The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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As regards the technical difficulties, I cannot, at present,
undertake to give the Tribunal a precise description of all
the technical difficulties reported to me by my
collaborators, since I can no longer remember them. But I do
know that, when they were working on this matter,
establishing the existence of the witness, searching for
him, bringing him here, they -- my collaborators -- declared
that they could do this once but that they would not be able
to do it a second time. Consequently, Dr. Wengler, a free
agent, was here in Nuremberg, not for one day, but for many
days, precisely for the time needed adequately to clear up
all the questions which were of interest to us and to
interrogate him, since we foresaw the impossibility of
summoning him a second time.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know where the
deponent, the witness, was brought from when he was brought
to Nuremberg.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: From Berlin. He was brought the last time
from Berlin.

THE PRESIDENT: Then is he now in Berlin?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I do not undertake to answer this
question now without making further inquiries. He is not

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Dr. Nelte, do you want to say anything?

DR. NELTE: I would just like to refer to the last page of
the minutes, where the address is given: Dr. Wilhelm
Wengler, Berlin-Hermsdorf, Ringstrasse No. 32. We are simply
concerned with the question: Which technical difficulties
are involved to bring this witness from Berlin to Nuremberg
a second time? Of course, I do not know whether the witness
is in Berlin, but I assume that he is there.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

                    (A recess was taken.)
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will allow the deposition to be
put in evidence, should the Soviet Prosecutor decide to do
so. If the document is put in evidence, the Tribunal will
desire that the Prosecutor should secure the attendance of
the deponent as a witness for cross-examination. If the
Prosecution is unable to secure the attendance of the
deponent as a witness, then the Tribunal will itself attempt
to secure the attendance of the deponent as a witness, for

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I can report to the Tribunal that
attempted to employ the time spent by the Tribunal in
deliberating this problem, in discovering if we could bring
this witness back again, and that I did not receive a
conclusive reply from my organisation. According to the wish
of the Tribunal, I will omit

                                                   [Page 14]
the topic of his cross-examination and shall only refer to
it again if I am informed by my collaborators that we can
once more bring the witness before the Tribunal. This would
seem to me in accordance with the wishes of the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, I am not quite sure that
you quite appreciate what I said. What I said was that you
are at liberty to put in the document now, if you wish to do
so. That is one thing. But, if you do so, you must attempt
to secure the attendance of the witness, and should you fail
to do so, the Tribunal will attempt to secure his
attendance; the document will still be in evidence and will
not be struck out, although of course, it will be open to
the criticism that it is only a deposition or an affidavit,
and that the witness has not been produced for cross-
examination and therefore the weight that attaches to the
testimony will not be so great as it would be if the witness
had been produced for cross-examination.

Is that clear?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: Yes. Wengler was interrogated by me ---

THE PRESIDENT: I fear I used inaccurately the word
"affidavit." It is only an interrogation. It is not made
upon oath and that, of course, will be taken into
consideration. But the point is that you can put in the
document now if you decide to do so. That is a matter for
your discretion. If you do so, you must attempt to secure
the attendance of the witness for cross-examination. If you
are unable to get him, then the Tribunal will attempt to get
him here for cross-examination.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: When reporting to the Tribunal on the
measures we had adopted, I started from the point of view
that the Tribunal desired that each witness, whose testimony
had been read into the record, could, if necessary, be
summoned to appear before the Tribunal for a supplementary
cross-examination. That is why I have already attempted to
find out whether we can call up this witness now, and since
I have not yet received any definite answer from our
organisation, I wish to invite the attention of the Tribunal
to the possibility that we will simply abstain from
mentioning these minutes now, as we only need them for the
confirmation of one point, already confirmed by a document
which has just been presented to the Tribunal. This is the
report signed by Canaris. What is the meaning of Wengler's
interrogation? The meaning of Wengler's interrogation is
that it shows that the O.K.W. knew of the treatment meted
out to the Soviet prisoners. Canaris said the same.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you must decide, Colonel Pokrovsky,
whether you wish to put in the document or not. If you wish
to put in the document, you may do so, but I do not think it
is right for you to state the contents of the document and
at the same time not to put it in. If you wish to put it in,
you may do so. I have already added the condition that, if
you do put it in, then you must try to secure the attendance
of the witness, and if you cannot secure the attendance, the
Tribunal will try to secure it.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I consider that Wengler's testimony is
not important enough for us to pay so very much attention to
it. If we can find this witness, we will examine him at a
later date.


COLONEL POKROVSKY: In the light of the documents read into
the record, and also in view of the protest of the German
prisoners of war in Camp 78, which shows how humanely the
Soviet authorities treated German military prisoners of the
German Army, the sentence from Appendix I of Operations
Order No. 14 of the Chief of the Security Police and the
S.D., concerning the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war,
is nothing less than a brazen insult. This sentence can be
found in paragraph 3, on Page 7 of the document submitted to
the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 3. You will find it on Page 204
of your document book:--

     "The Bolshevik soldier has lost his right to be
     treated as an honest soldier and in accordance
     with the rules of the Geneva Convention."
                                                   [Page 15]
I beg the Tribunal to recollect that the following
directive, dated 7th November, 1941, appears in Appendix II
of Order No. 11 of the General Staff Headquarters of the
O.K.W. I quote from Exhibit No. USSR 3, extracts from which
appear on Page 233 of your document book (last paragraph in
the right-hand column of Page 5).

     "The work of the Special Squad, by sanction of the
     rear area commander (officer in charge of prisoner
     of war affairs of the district) must be done in
     such a way that the selecting and sorting-out is
     practically unnoticeable. Executions must be
     carried out without delay, and at sufficient
     distance from the camp and from habitations to
     keep them secret from the other prisoners and the
These are the transfers of prisoners "to some place in the
neighbourhood" that Kunze, the expert executioner, had in
mind, when he reported to his chiefs on the incidents which
occurred during the execution of the twenty-eight crippled
prisoners of war.

Among the documents submitted to the Tribunal by the Soviet
Delegation, are data regarding the shooting, on 7th April,
1945, at the Seelhorst Cemetery in Hannover, of 150 Soviet
prisoners of war and civilians. We submit these data as
Exhibit USSR 112. You will find the data in question on Page
207 of your document book. They have been placed at our
disposal by the American Investigation authorities. They
consist of a number of testimonies, including that of Peter
Palnikov, a Red Army officer who had fortuitously escaped
the execution. You will find the minutes to which I refer on
the same page, 207, of your document book. We have also the
testimonies of other members of the local population who had
been questioned under oath by the American Investigation
Authorities. Their evidence is corroborated by medical
reports on bodies exhumed from the graves at Seelhorst
Cemetery. In addition, we submit duly certified photographs.

I shall not read all these documents into the record but
shall merely point out that the 167 corpses thus exhumed
were specially noted in the concluding report of the
Commission, as enabling the Commission to judge, from their
appearance, of the "pronounced degree of insufficient

This circumstance must be stressed so that the Tribunal may
have a perfectly clear picture of the food situation
prevalent among Soviet prisoners of war in the various
camps. Regardless of the territory in which the camp was
located, all Soviet prisoners of war were exposed to a
regime of hunger with the same sustained and systematic

While I am thus reporting on the Hitlerian atrocities
perpetrated on the prisoners, I find that we now have at our
disposal several court verdicts pronounced on the fascist
criminals who committed their crimes in the temporarily
occupied territories.

In accordance , with Article 21 of the Charter, I submit to
the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 87, the verdict of the District
Military Tribunal. You will find the entire verdict on Pages
214, 215 and 221 of the document book. It was pronounced in
Smolensk on 19th December, 1945. The Tribunal inflicted
penalties varying from 12 years' hard labour to death by
hanging, on ten Hitlerites directly guilty of the numerous
crimes committed in the city and region of Smolensk.

I will not quote the document, but will merely mention that
on Pages 4, 5 and 6 of the verdict, in passages marked in
your copies -- these pages, i.e., 4, 5 and 6 of the verdict,
are to be found in your document book on Pages 218, 219 and
222 -- there is information showing that, as a result of
pseudo-scientific experiments on prisoners of war by persons
who, to the undying shame of German medicine, were known --
in Germany -- as professors and doctors, prisoners were
tortured and murdered by blood poisoning.

                                                   [Page 16]
The sentence presents further evidence that, as a result of
savage ill-treatment by the German escort conveying Soviet
prisoners of war, some 10,000 exhausted, half-dead captives
perished between Vyazma and Smolensk.

It is precisely this passage, this information, which you
will find in sub-paragraph 3 of the verdict. It appears on
Page 218 of your document book. The verdict reflects the
systematic mass shooting of prisoners of war in Camp 126, in
the city of Smolensk, Dulag-126-South, during the transfer
of the prisoners to the camp and to the hospital. The
verdict particularly emphasizes the fact that prisoners of
war, too exhausted to work, were shot out of hand.

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