Nazi death squads, Einsatzgruppen, formed to exterminate opponents of the Reich in masses. They worked across Eastern Europe and the USSR. To exterminate as many people as they could, leaders explored methods of killing by mass shootings, gas vans, and explosions. The more people it killed quickly, the more useful it was. Einsatzgruppen caused great destruction as they passed through villages, by late 1939 they had already burned 500 villages and executed 16,000 people(“The Einsatzgruppen, “Einsatzgruppen). Their ghastly skill developed over time with the help of skilled leaders. The Einsatzgruppen were originally Nazi police intelligence that worked with German forces. Their role was to follow advancing forces and clear the area of Nazi opponents by imprisoning them. In September 1939, the Einsatzgruppen received orders to eliminate factors that were considered contrary towards the Reich. This order was understood as an instruction to murder members of the Polish upper class and Jews. Commands were received to arrest Jews and move them to ghettos neighboring train tracks for easier transportation. A few months later, this group of Einsatzgruppen was disbanded and active members became part of the Security Police and Security Services in Poland. New special units of Einsatzgruppen formed when Germany was preparing to invade the Soviet Union in 1941.They accompanied advancing military forces and had a very similar job of finding enemies of the Reich but instead of imprisoning the opponents they executed them. Four groups of Einsatzgruppen were assigned territories and were in charge of liquidating the Jews in these areas. Overall, 1.25 Jews and thousands of Soviets had been murdered in early 1943(“Einsatzgruppen”). The general method of execution used was lining the victims along ravines, mines, or ditches and shooting them(“Einsatzgruppen”). Some victims were able to climb out after hiding underneath the dead bodies until nightfall. A victim describes how she survived in Babi Yar, “They lined us up on a ledge which was so small that we couldn’t get much of a footing on it. They began shooting us. I shut my eyes, clenched my fists, tensed all my muscles and took a plunge down before the bullets hit me. It seemed I was flying forever. But I landed safely on the bodies… Using my left arm, I managed to move a little way up. Then I took a deep breath, summoned up my waning strength and crawled out from under the cover of earth…”(“Holocaust Timeline”). A system began where there were piles made where Jews handed over their possessions and turned in their clothes in another pile before they were killed. Reports of these daily executions would be filed by commanders(“Einsatzgruppen”). This method was used in Babi Yar, where 33.771 Jews were exterminated within a week. A notice was posted throughout the city of Kiev, telling Jews to be prepared for transport and then were taken to the ravine of Babi Yar and killed(“The Einsatzgruppen, “Babi). This close-contact with murder had a harrowing effect on the Einsatzgruppen members(“Einsatzgruppen”). Because of this, other methods of mass extermination were created. Gas vans were created as a solution by Arthur Nebe with the help of Walter Rauff. A vehicle was made that could fit up to 150 people densely packed into the cab, that was hermetically sealed, and poisoned with the carbon monoxide from the van’s exhaust. This process would take ten to fifteen minutes and during this, the van would be driven from the loading site to graves. Arthur Nebe also tried to use explosives and experimented on 25 patients from a mental asylum. These experiments proved that explosions were too much trouble and took too much time to kill everyone and were ruled out(“The Einsatzgruppen: From”). Some Jews were able to escape the destruction of the Einsatzgruppen, it was estimated that 1.5 million were able to elude them as they traveled with the advancing forces. It was soon noticed that the Einsatzgruppen had to move fast and often missed big Jewish communities, so other mobile killing units were sent out to find those communities. But many Jews were unable to escape the death squads. “The Einsatzgruppen had moved with such speed behind the advancing army that several hundred thousand Jews could be killed like sleeping flies,” Many were not prepared when the Einsatzgruppen had invaded. Others towards the east had more time and tried to escape, but were forced back into towns by the German army(Hilberg). When the countries in the west began to hear about the mass murders, Nazis began to destroy evidence with Operation 1005. This was led by Paul Blobel and involved the Einsatzgruppen to dig up mass graves and burn the bodies. Often they would force prisoners from concentration camps to do move and burn the bodies and killed them after so no news of it would spread. This made it extremely difficult to determine how many people had actually been killed. Some of the prisoners were actually able to escape and write about the burnings. This happened in extermination camps such as Auschwitz, Chelmno, Treblinka, and places like Babi Yar(“Aktion 1005”). The Einsatzgruppen were skilled mobile killing units able to exterminate approximately 1.25 million Jews. They traveled fast and were able to strike efficiently and succeeded in exterminating mass numbers of opponents of the Reich by using gas vans and shooting them in hoards. This process was well-thought-out and planned by Nazi leaders, they were able to provide back up when their first try did not work as well as they hoped and paid attention to other countries’ knowledge of their activities, so countries were not able to know the gruesome acts they were committing.