On 28th September 1941 the Chief of the Security Police in Berlin received the following report from Einsatzgruppe C, based in Kiev:
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 97
Vorkommando 4a [operates] directly with the combat troops in Kiev since September 19.
Einsatzgruppe HQ came up on September 24. Office Building NKVD, October 24th Street, assigned and commandeered as seat of Einsatzgruppe HQ. Building evacuated this morning to move into emergency quarters in the one-time tsar’s castle. Town almost destroyed upon entry of troops. Numerous barricades and tank traps put up in main street. In addition, other strong defensive installations in the town area.
On September 20, the citadel blew up and the Artillery Commander and his chief of staff were killed. On September 24, violent explosions in the quarters of the Feldkommandatur; the ensuing fire has not yet been extinguished. Fire in the center of the town. Very valuable buildings destroyed. So far, fire fighting practically without any effect. Demolitions by blasting: being carried out to bring the fire under control. Fire in the immediate neighborhood of this office. Had to be evacuated for this reason.
Considerable damage done in and around the building by blasting. Blasts continuing. Also, fire breaking out. Up to now, 670 mines detected in buildings, according to a mine-laying plan which was discovered: all public buildings and squares are mined, among them, it is alleged, also the building assigned to this office for future use. Building being searched most assiduously. In the course of this search, sixty Molotov cocktails of explosives were detected and removed.
In the Lenin Museum, seventy hundred weights of dynamite discovered which were to be touched off by wireless. It was repeatedly so observed that fires broke out the moment buildings were taken over. As has been proved, Jews played a preeminent part. Allegedly 150,000 Jews living here.
Verification of these statements has not been possible yet. In the course of the first action, 1,600 arrests, measures being evolved to check the entire Jewish population. Execution of at least 50,000 Jews planned. German Army welcomes measures and demands drastic procedure. Garrison commander advocates public execution of twenty Jews.
A larger number of NKVD officials, political commissary partisan leaders and partisans arrested. According to reliable information, demolition battalion of the NKVD and considerable number of NKVD men in Kiev. This morning, enemy plots detected.
Contact established with German Army and authorities. Participated preeminently in setting up town administration Informants posted. Vorkommando of the Higher SS and Police Leaders arrived Detailed reports to follow.
Also on the 28th September the following notice was posted around the city of Kiev, addressed to the Jewish population:
Kikes of the city of Kiev and surroundings!
On Monday; September 29, you are to appear by 7:00 a.m. with your possessions, money, documents, valuables, and warm clothing at Dorogozhitshaya Street next to the Jewish cemetery.
Failure to appear is punishable by death.
The implication of the stated need for ‘warm clothing’, as well needing their valuables, appeared to be that these people would be transported somewhere. It was a typical SS deceit. Records show that Sonderkommando 4a in collaboration with Einsatzgruppe HQ and two Kommandos of police regiment South, executed 33,771 Jews in Kiev on September 29 and 30, 1941.
See Holocaust Research Project for the statement of Paul Blobel who commanded 4a at the time and admitted participation in the mass murders, including this description of the procedure used at the time:
I had divided my unit into a number of execution squads of 30 men each. First the subordinated police of the Ukrainian militia, the population and the members of the Sonderkommando seized the people, and mass graves were prepared.
Out of the total number of persons designated for the execution, 15 men were led in each case to the brink of the mass grave, where they had to kneel down, their faces turned toward the grave. At that time clothes and valuables were not yet collected. Later on this was changed.
The execution squads were composed of men of the Sonderkommando 4A, the militia and the police. Then the men were ready for the execution. One of my leaders who was in charge of this execution squad gave the order to shoot, since they were kneeling on the brink of the mass grave, the victims fell, as a rule, at once into the mass grave.
I have always used rather large execution squads, since I declined to use men who were specialists for shots in the neck. Each squad shot for about one hour, and was then replaced.