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The Einsatzgruppen in Malaysia?

October 17, 2011

The following entry contains graphic description of violence.

“Blobel ordered me to have the children executed. I asked him, “By whom should the shooting be carried out?” He answered, “By the Waffen-SS.” I raised an objection and said, “They are all young men. How are we going to answer them if we make them shoot small children?” To this he said, “Then use your men.” I then said, “How can they do that? They have small children as we” This tug-of-war lasted about ten minutes….I suggested that the Ukrainian militia of the Feldkommandant should shoot the children. There were no objections from either side to the suggestion….

I went to the woods alone. The Wehrmacht had already dug a grave. The children were brought along in a tractor. I had nothing to do with the technical procedure. The Ukrainians were standing around trembling. The children were taken down from the tractor. They were lined up along the top of the grave and shot so that they fell into it. The Ukrainians did not aim at any particular part of the body. They fell into the grave. The wailing was indescribable. I shall never forget the scene throughout my life. I find it very hard to bear. I particularly remember a small fair-haired girl who took me by the hand. She too was shot later….The grave was near some woods. It was not near the rifle range. The execution must have taken place in the afternoon at about 3:30 – 4:00. It took place the day after the discussions at the Feldkommandanten….Many children were hit four or five times before they died.”

The above was the account of SS-Oberstrumfuhrer August Hafner of his orders from Paul Blobel an SS-Standartenfuhrer (rank equivalent to a Colonel) to shoot children during the Holocaust. The account was provided during the Nuremberg trials, the legal proceedings brought against the war criminals from the Nazi party after the Second World War. As we know by now, Hitler was not around to stand trial, he committed suicide during the final siege against the Reich by the Allied Forces. Hafner was a member of the SS, the Nazi secret police. The event was one such heinous act carried out by the Einsatzgruppen, the unit of the Wehrmacht (the German armed forces) during the Second World War. At the behest of Hitler, the Einsatzgruppen carried out systematic killings of the Jews.

You see, Hitler wanted to get rid of the Jews. He put them in concentration camps, put them in barricaded compounds and generally just being a pest. By his own tyrannical standards, he found it to be tiresome. He thought that there must be a better way to annihilate Jews from the face of the earth. As such, as only a tyrant of his level could think of, he came out with a method which was to him, ingenious. Why not just dig mass graves, make the Jews line up side by side, and get a few soldiers to shoot them. That way, the Jews will fall into the graves which will then be covered. Those still alive will die by suffocation.

Now, the topic about the Einsatzgruppen would be another entry altogether which will come in good time. What I wish to write about at this moment concerns the general responsibility of adults to care for children. The incident where a 19 year old lady threw her newborn from the second floor of a apartment complex really rankled with me. Not that other acts of cruelty against children did not affect me, but this one really did. I just imagined my happiness at looking at Harith Haiqal eight months ago when he was a newborn. To see him grow was indeed a blessing. I feel honoured to be able to raise my children, all of them. What type of person would have the heart to throw a newborn from two floors up? On second thought, this lady cannot in any situation be a person. Probably an animal. No, probably Satan in human form.

How different was what she did to what the Einsatzgruppen did to the poor children described in Hafner’s account above? I can see no difference. During the Nuremberg trials, the Defendants were found guilty. Some of them were sentenced to death. I believe the poor baby’s case was investigated under s. 315 of the Penal Code which carries a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment. If this is not injustice, I don’t know what is. The lady should be charged under s. 302 of the Penal Code (with death upon conviction), no questions about it. An eye for an eye. You kill your baby, we kill you. It’s that simple, really.

I just hope that justice is carried out. I also hope that the trial is given as much publicity as possible. It is the nature of Malaysians (maybe the nature of humans) to cringe at the news item when it was covered. At the end of the day everybody goes about their own daily business, conveniently forgetting (maybe ignoring) the fate of the baby who did not get to see the light of day due to it’s mother’s lack of human decency. Babies deserve to be showered with love and affection. Not be mercilessly killed.

A member of the Einsatzgruppen shoots a Jew. Note the mass grave. Credit:

Defendants in Nuremberg Trials No. 9 on the Einsatzgruppen being read their indictments. Credit:



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