The Field Men2023-06-22T13:33:14-05:00

The Field Men

The SS Officers Who Led the Einsatzkommandos – the Nazi Mobile Killing Units

The Field Men. The Einsatzkommandos, the Nazi mobile killing units of SS and Police personnel, who closely followed the German Army advancing into the Soviet Union in 1941, killed at least 1,300,000 people. Their organization, equipment, weapons, methods of killing, German Army assistance, German Police participation, erasing the crimes, and the heart of the book – biographical information on 380 SS officers, many of whom escaped justice after the war, who were assigned to operate these terrible organizations. A trap for the victims and for the perpetrators. Because Reinhard Heydrich, the evil, dreaded head of the SS Security Service, used the Einsatzkommandos as temporary assignments for senior SS officers to ensure that they had “blood on their hands,” shared guilt, and thus could never testify against him if Germany lost the war.

Two thousand nine hundred forty-five men lined up in four motorized columns immediately behind the German Army on June 22, 1941 as it prepared to launch Operation Barbarossa – the German attack on the Soviet Union – an attack designed to win the war. Their mission was for the glory of Greater Germany. It was to butcher as many human beings as they could get their hands on. Men, women and children, who were at that very moment peacefully sleeping in their warm beds in dozens of large cities and scores of small hamlets, from the Gulf of Finland to the Black Sea and from the border with old Poland to the outskirts of Moscow would be the victims.

The field men of the Einsatzkommandos, the men of Bach and Beethoven, Grimm and Gutenberg – and now Hitler and Heydrich – were very thorough at what they did. Over the course of the next two years, by means of machine-guns, carbines, gas vans, explosives, rifle butts or ax handles, the field men would slaughter 1,300,000 people.

After the biographical information is presented, the book devotes analyzes these officers with respect to awards received, later assignments, religion, ethnicity, marital status, education levels, age and other career factors. The microfilm file number for each officer is provided (They use the book at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland), as is an appendix that provides a translation of German to English to assist a researcher look through theses personnel records at the archives.

This is not a book for the casual reader on the subject. That honor should go to Richard Rhodes' work Masters of Death: The SS Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust. Richard used information from The Field Men for his own work and graciously said of it:

"…One of the few sources of reliable information about the Einsatzgruppen…"

If you are a dedicated Holocaust historian, and if your copy of the paperback edition of Raul Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews is as "dog-eared" as mine is, this is a definite book for your library.

Over 175 photographs, detailed maps show the locations for each unit throughout the campaign, 230 pages.  (Schiffer Publishing)

The Field Men: The SS Officers Who Led the Einsatzkommandos – the Nazi Mobile Killing Units (auf Englisch, 175 Fotografien, 230 Seiten.)  Biographische Informationen für 380 SS Offiziere (SS-Untersturmführer bis SS-Gruppenführer) in Einsatzkommando und Einsatzgruppen zugewiesen.  Auch Organisation, Ausrüstung und Waffen.  Schiffer Verlag.

[Wegen der freizügigen Datenschutzgesetze in den Vereinigten Staaten werden alles Informationen über den vollständigen Namen und Geburtsdatum im Buch aufgeführt.] 

Comments on The Field Men

“Many of your findings are very interesting indeed and will certainly shed some new light on the role of the Einsatzkommando officers – as your first book has already done with regard to the concentration camp officers.”

- Simon Wiesenthal

“The photo section is exceptional, and absolutely fascinating. This is the most complete collection of the rogues gallery I have seen anywhere.”

- Dr. Charles Sydnor, Jr. Author of Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death’s Head Division, 1933 – 1945

“…A fascinating book and we can well use it over here. In fact, Professor Rüter has already ‘confiscated’ it for our Justice Library.”

- Professor D. W. de Mildt University of Amsterdam, co-author with C.F. Rüter of Die Westdeutschen Strafverfahren Wegen Nationalsozialistischer Tötungsverbrechen 1945 – 1997

“…One of the few sources of reliable information about the Einsatzgruppen…"

- Richard Rhodes Pulitzer Prize winner – The Making of the Atomic Bomb; author of Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust

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