In the history of the bloodlands, Operation Barbarossa marks the beginning of a third period. In the first (1933-1938), the Soviet Union carried out almost all of the mass killing; in the second, during the German-Soviet alliance (1939-1941), the killing was balanced. Between 1941 and 1945 the Germans were responsible for almost all of the political murder.
As many Soviet prisoners of war died on a single given day in autumn 1941 as did British and American prisoners of war over the course of the entire Second World War.
On any given day in the second half of 1941, the Germans shot more Jews than had been killed by pogroms in the entire history of the Russian Empire.4