Violence and terror also accompanied the German army on its eastward march. This wanton cruelty was meant to paralyze and demoralize the conquered peoples. The Nazis singled-out Jews as special targets for humiliation. They forced religious Jews to desecrate Torah scrolls; the beards and sidelocks required by Jewish law were forcibly cut and shaved. Old men were made to dance or act like beasts of burden. Women were strip searched.

But Jews faces a terror that went far beyond humiliation. In many towns and villages, men, women, and children were shot. Such calculated acts of violence preceded the establishment of ghettos but contributed to the same general ends: an uprooting of Jewish communities.