Heydrich directs the Einsatzgruppen to establish Jewish ghettos

Germany’s invasion of Poland was far from complete, yet Reinhard Heydrich was planning something even more dreadful. The following memorandum makes it clear that the measures to establish Jewish ghettos were only a means to an end – the ‘final aim’ is unspecified:

The Chief of the Security Police
Berlin: September 21, 1939

To: Chiefs of all Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police

Subject: Jewish question in the occupied territory

I refer to the conference held in Berlin today and once more point out that the planned overall measures (i.e., the final aim) are to be kept strictly secret.

Distinction must be made between:

(1) The final aim (which will require extended periods of time), and
(2) The stages leading to the fulfillment of this final aim (which will be carried out in short terms).

The planned measures demand the most thorough preparation in their technical as well as economic aspects.
It is obvious that the tasks that lie ahead cannot be laid down in full detail from here. The instructions and guidelines below will at the same time serve the purpose of urging the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen to give the matter their practical thought.

For the time being, the first prerequisite for the final aim is the concentration of the Jews from the countryside into the larger cities. This is to be carried out with all speed.

The Jewish Virtual Library has a copy of the full memorandum.

Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: