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In Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (volume 3, page 215, the Red Series), document 200-PS has the following passage:

The Command is further charged with the transferring of worthwhile Russian youth between 10–14 years of age, to the Reich. The authority is not affected by the changes connected with the evacuation and transportation to the reception camps of Bialystok, Krajewo, and Olitei.

Seemingly, Olitei was somewhere in Poland, but where? It's an utter mystery to Google, Google Books, and several authoritative works of reference. My best guess is that Olitei is an aberrant or obsolete spelling of one of the Polish quarters of Gdańsk—Oliwa (or Oliva). (For what it's worth, in the first volume of the Red Series, in this very same passage, Bialystok is misspelled Pialystok.)

I reached out to the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. This is its guess:

It may be possible that this reference is actually to Alytus, Lithuania, which is also known as "Olita," in the former Suwalki region. https://beta.jri-poland.org/town/Olita/

The National Geospacial Intelligence Agency confirms Olita as a variant of Alytus. https://geonames.nga.mil/namesgaz/

Does anyone have a better guess than mine or the Museum's?

Edit: Thanks to the map linked to by Moishe Kohan, and the findings of LangLangC, I was able to come up with this:

enter image description here

Olita (or Alytus) makes sense because Olita, Bialystok, and Grajewo form a triangle near Kowno (present-day Kaunas), which is partly where the infamous Slutsk Affair took place. Having the three reception camps in this area would have made sense for after the Slutsk Affair (vol. 1, Red Series, p. 138):

Kowno … To our surprise it was not easy at first to set in motion an extensive pogrom against Jews. [Algirdas] Klimatis, the leader of the partisan unit, mentioned above, who was used for this purpose primarily, succeeded in starting a pogrom on the basis of advice given to him by a small advanced detachment acting in Kowno, and in such a way that no German order or German instigation was noticed from the outside. During the first pogrom in the night from 25. to 26.6 [i.e., 25–26 June] the Lithuanian partisans did away with more than 1,500 Jews, set fire to several synagogues or destroyed them by other means and burned down a Jewish dwelling district consisting of about 60 houses. During the following nights about 2,300 Jews were made harmless in a similar way. In other parts of Lithuania similar actions followed the example of Kowno, though smaller and extending to the Communists who had been left behind.

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  • "Olitei" might to be a misspelling, for instance, it is spelled "Olitai" in the German document here, p. 289. Jan 5, 2022 at 23:05
  • @LаngLаngС: Most likely: Olita (that's how they spelled Alytus on one of the Nazi-era maps here) -> Olitai, so a double misspelling. Jan 6, 2022 at 0:40
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    For the sake of completeness, the linked map was published in 1942 in Vienna. Jan 6, 2022 at 1:18
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    In German, the diphthongs ei and ai both read like the English eye, hence the reason for the alternate spelling; furthermore, since ai is not a native German diphthong, this would then explain the predominance of the ei form within German documents.
    – Lucian
    Jan 6, 2022 at 6:22
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    @Lucian: good point. But let me add that ai is actually native, just less common. See e.g. words or names like Main, Saite, Laib, Hai etc
    – Jan
    Jan 6, 2022 at 11:47

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Most likely this "Olitei" means indeed Olita or modern day Alytus. The passage quoted dates from mid-July 1944, and at just that time Olita started to get into the focus of Soviet ambitions and German defensive efforts.


The official German language transcript seems to read "Olitei":

»Das Kommando ist weiterhin mit der Überführung in das Reich nützlicher russischer Jungen und Mädchen zwischen 10 bis 14 Jahren beauftragt. Ihre Machtbefugnis ist durch die Änderungen, die in Verbindung mit der Evakuierung und dem Transport zu den Aufnahmelagern in Bialystok, Krajewo und Olitei eingetreten sind, nicht berührt. Der Führer wünscht, daß diese Aktion noch verschärft wird« (200-PS).

NP Bd. 2, Der Prozeß gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Gerichtshof Nürnberg 14. November 1945 – 1. Oktober 1946. Amtlicher Wortlaut in deutscher Sprache. Nürnberg 1947. // Der Nürnberger Prozeß, Hauptverhandlungen, Zweiter Tag. Mittwoch, 21. November 1945, Nachmittagssitzung, 3. Verbrechen gegen die Juden:

Whereas an English edition with a German transcript version on archive.org for the preceding secret teleprint order (199-PS) reads clearly Olitai:

Erfahre soeben, dass Flüchtlingslager für Weissruthenen in Bialystok, Krajewo und Olitai für die Werbetätigkeit des Kriegseinsatzkommandos Mitte gesperrt worden sind.

— Trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945–1 October 1946. (p289, p303 in PDF; referencing a date of July 11, 1944. Both 199-PS & 200-PS together in English translation.)

The document 200-PS is: "200-PS; Confidential telegram from Berger to Reich Ministry for Occupied Eastern Territories, 8 July 1944 concerning forced labor of children." (IMT, NT Vol XXIV PDF, p232.) This is plan for 10–14 years old children is referenced for the 'ideas' of Rosenberg and Gottlob Berger for the 'recruitment' and abduction plans codenamed 'Heuaktion'.

If we assume that the noted aberration of "Bialystok is misspelled Pialystok" is not the only problem with these documents in some of their details, then it is also quite fair to assume that the tiny location of "Krajewo" is so much more to the West than Białystok that a more likely candidate is the bigger city of Grajewo, which was in Soviet hands after 1939 and again in German hands in 1941.

Note that "problems in the spelling of these documents" does not mean much more than that the original telegrams might have been faulty… 'Olita' is surely what is meant in these documents, which seem to contain clerical errors rendering them as Olitei or Olitai. At which level these errors were introduced is unclear, but on initial transmission remains possible.

This would then make Grajewo and Białystok both quite close together geographically and both given over to the Soviets in 1939 after Germany invaded Poland and then both locations seeing early battle in 1941.

Further, Grajewo was a central camp hub for deportations of Lithuanians and Ruthenians westward:

Zu Amtsantritt des GBA Sauckel im März 1942 bestand in den „besetzten Ostgebieten“ bereits ein ausgedehntes Lagersystem mit Auffang-, Sammel- und Verteilungslagern für ins Deutsche Reich zu deportierende Arbeitskräfte. Von den Sammellagern wurden die Transporte aus dem Gebiet Weißrussland und Litauen hauptsächlich über Brest-Litowsk zur Grenzstation Grajewo weitergeleitet.

— Karner

Looking at the possible spellings for Olitei/Olitai we find both versions in relevant documents:

Example: Olitai, Olitai

Example: Olitei, Olitei

If we assume a newly erected camp, mainly for Ruthenians/Belarussian prisoners, then indeed the most likely candidate seems to be Olita when speaking Polish, Alytus, when speaking Lithuanian, but curiously Alitten in (possibly quite old?) German, which would have surely been the preferred spelling in Nazi documents?

Confirmation from German documents using Alitten eludes me currently, but Alytus is the much better fit compared to Gdansk, for timeframe, state of war then, geographical position.

Both Białystok and Alytus later saw a listing as having a Stalag, No 316 & 343. (These two oral history interviews may shed more light on Alytus prison camp).

On a contemporary map (found by @Moishe Kohan) these would be roughly in this area and spelled Olita by the Germans then:

enter image description here

From a purely logistics point of view convincing as well, and again confirming the contemporary spelling of Olita, map 327 from 1944:

enter image description here

That a rather central camp existed at Olita/Alytus is described as:

Zunächst brachte die Werbekommission Hessen, in deren Zuständigkeitsbereich die Bezirke Wilna/Vilnius-Stadt, Wilna/Vilnius-Land, Traken/Trakai, Schwentzionys/Švencionys und Olita/Alytus fielen, 1.500 Werbeplakate an. Daraufhin meldeten sich bis 21. Jänner 1942 aus Wilna/ Vilnius und Umgebung insgesamt rund 630 Personen freiwillig zum Arbeitseinsatz in Deutschland. Diese „Werbemaßnahmen“ des Sozialamtes in Wilna/Vilnius bewirkten, dass bis 19. Jänner 1942 rund 800 Arbeitskräfte bereitstanden.

— Karner

With the passage "Alytus" having the footnote:

Unter Ausnahme des Stalags Olita, das in den Zuständigkeitsbereich der Anwerbekommission in Kauen/Kaunas, fiel. LCVA, R-626, Ap. 1, B. 216, S. 161, Schreiben der „Anwerbekommission Hessen“ an den Generalkommissar in Kauen/Kaunas, o. O., 21. 1. 1942.

— Stefan Karner & Peter Ruggenthaler: "Zwangsarbeit in der Land- und Forstwirtschaft auf dem Gebiet Österreichs 1939 bis 1945", in: Clemens Jabloner et al. (eds): "Veröffentlichungen der Österreichischen Historikerkommission. Vermögensentzug während der NS-Zeit sowie Rückstellungen und Entschädigungen seit 1945 in Österreich", Band 26/2, Oldenbourg Verlag: Wien, München, 2004. (p137)

Finally, the war events in mid-1944 when the camps were dissolved make all Białystok and Olita come together again in tactical decisions:

Berlin, 14. Juli: Im Osten hat sich der sowjetische Vormarsch weiter verlangsamt, […] Die Meldungen sprechen dabei von drei solchen Sperrlinien und Sehnenstellungen, von denen die erste westlich der Szczara bis hinauf zur Njemenschleife bei Olita verläuft, also von Norden her südwestlich von Lida und Baranowicze. Dieser Sperriegel sichert die Räume von Grodno und Bialystok. […] Ostwärts von Olita gingen die deutschen Verbände […]

— Warschauer Zeitung, 14. Juli 1944, p1.

Given the dynamics of war events, the 'evacuations' in that region to deport the refugees and slave labourers westward had to end, as of July 10, 1944 when Olita became a focal point of that front.
(— Cf. the rather detailed account in: Rolf Hinze: "Das Ostfrontdrama 1944. Rückzugskämpfe Heeresgruppe Mitte", Motorbuchverlag: Stuttgart, 1987. p121, 139–144 etc.)

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    More evidence for Alytus Translation places Olite in connection with other cities Kauno and Vilnius. Find those on map and Alytus is nearby -south, abt 54.3987264517795, 24.053397380413916.
    – justCal
    Jan 6, 2022 at 0:45
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    Thanks. I added a note to my original post: there is also the fact that Kowno is where part of the Slutsk Affair took place, so having these reception camps directly below Kowno would have made sense.
    – Lijishe
    Jan 6, 2022 at 1:04

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