protested his absence from Kiev and declared further that only fifteen of his fifty-three men could be detailed for the executions. Returning to Chelmno, after his appointment Blobel, along with a small staff of three or four men, began experimenting with systems for burning bodies. The place chosen for these experiments was Chelmno, the first death camp that had been established and had been operating since the end of 1941. On 22-08-1941 the Sonderkommando murdered Jewish women and children at Bila Tserkva with the consent of Field Marshal Walther von Reichenau, commander of the 6th Army. SS-Obersturmführer August Häfner, who died age 87 on 20-06-1999 in Ilshofen-Eckartshausen, testified at his own trial:
The Wehrmacht had already dug a grave. The children were brought along in a tractor. 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….The wailing was indescribable
From July 1942 until 1944, Blobel was put in charge of Aktion 1005, the operation to obliterate the traces of the mass murders committed by the Germans by disinterring and cremating the bodies from the mass graves in the German-occupied Soviet Union. This was carried out by exhuming the bodies from mass graves and burning them, a task that Blobel optimized with techniques he had developed, alternating layers of bodies with firewood or the use of rails as grills. One of his pronounces is, I would not say that they were happy. The victims knew what was going to happen to them. Of course, they were told what was going to happen to them and they were resigned to their fate and that is the strange thing about these people in the East. He told that during his visit in August He himself observed the burrning of the bodiesin a mass grave near Kiev. This grave was about 55 m long, 3m wide and 2-1/2 m deep. After the top had been removed the bodies were covered with inflammable material and ignited. It took about two days until the grave burned down to the bottom. He himself observed that the fire had glowed down to the bottom. After that the grave was filled in and the traces practically obliterated. Reich Security Officer Albert Hartl he died after a happy life, age 78 on 14-12-182 in Ludwigsburg, told of a summer evening—that same hot summer in 1942—in Kiev when he was invited to dine with the local Higher SS Police Chief and SS Brigadeführer, Dr. Max Gareon Alexander Thomas Thomas died age 54 on 06-12-1945. Thomas made an attempt for suicide and died of the result of this attempt in the Würzburger Luitpold hospital. .A fellow guest, SS Oberstleutnant Paul Blobel, had driven him to the general’s weekend dacha. ‘At one moment—it was just getting dark,’ said Hartl, ‘we were driving past a long ravine. I noticed strange movements of the earth. Clumps of earth rose into the air as if by their own propulsion—and there was smoke; it was like a low-toned volcano; as if there was burning lava just beneath the earth. Blobel laughed, made a gesture with his arm pointing back along the road and ahead, all along the ravine—the ravine of Babi Yar—and said, ‘Here lie my thirty-thousand Jews. Up to 59.018 killings are attributable this awful Blobel, though during testimony he was alleged to have killed 10.000–15.000.
Death and burial ground of Blobel, Paul.