Czechoslovakia: Einsatzgruppe I Prag (March 1939)

Figure 1.--We have not yet found any images of Einsatzgruppe I Prag. We do not yet even know how they were uniformed. Here we see the motorized corps of a SS-Verfügungstruppen (SS-VT) regiment as it entered Prague (March 15, 1939). The Wagffen-SS had not yet been formed, but the SS-VT would be the core of it. We believe their principal assignment was to aid Einsatzgruppe I Prag and the security police as they proceeded to seize control of Czechoslovakia.

Hitler only 6 months after Munich, where he pledged to Primeminister Chamberlain that he would respect the borders and independence of Czechoslovakia, ordered the Wehrmacht to invade Czechoslovakia. The Czech lands were quickly occupied. It was a peaceful occupation. Deprived of allies and their border defenses and at the mercy of the Luftwaffe, the Czechs did not resist. Slovakia was allowed to seceed from Czechoslovakia and became a compliant puppet state. Hungary was allowed to seize land in eastern Czechoslovakia. The Czech lands were made the Protectorate of Bohenia and Moravia. This was the first NAZI action which resulted in the acquisition of territory not primarily occupied by ethnic Germans. Hitler had also assured Chamberlain that he wanted no Czechs. SS Einsatzgruppen teams as in Austria and the Sudetenland also went into the occupied Czech lands. Eisatzgruppe I Prag was commanded by SS-Ostubaf. Dr. Erich Ehrlinger . It included four Einsatzkommando (Budweis, Prag, Kolin, and Pardubitz). The Eisatzgruppen organized for the Sudentenland were reformed and also employed in the occipied Czech lands. We believe that the Einsatzgruppen used in the Sudetenland we not only reformed, but expanded for operations in the Czech lands. The Einsatzgruppen assignment was to follow the Heer units into Prague and set up temporary offices for the Security Service and Security Police. They secured the property of the former Czech state includung offices and files. But it was not just buildings that they were after. They were also under orders to 'secure' political life. This meant people. As before they had lists of people to arrest. A major priority was locating and arresting NAZI critics. We have not yet found, however, a detailed decription of their operations. Hopefully readers will know more. After the Czech operations, the Einsatzgruppen were disbanded. Heydrich apparently wanted entirely new commands to execute new orders for the invasion of Poland.


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Created: 5:31 AM 6/25/2015
Last updated: 5:31 AM 6/25/2015