Einsatzgruppen (German: "task forces";"deployment groups" singular Einsatzgruppe; official full name Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD) were SSparamilitarydeath squads that were responsible for mass killings, typically by shooting. The units targeted Jews in particular, but also significant numbers of other population groups and political categories; including Gypsies, and Soviet political commissars. The Einsatzgruppen operated throughout the territory occupied by the German armed forces following the German invasions of Poland, in September 1939, and later, of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The Einsatzgruppen carried out operations ranging from the murder of a few people to operations which lasted over two or more days, such as the massacres at Babi Yar (33,771 killed in two days) and Rumbula (25,000 killed in two days).
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