The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. KRAUS: Yes, I understand you, Mr. President, to say that
in principle we may offer affidavits, whether certified by
notary public or by a lawyer or whether bearing only the
signature of the person who makes the statement. These are
the three forms we have: The first is the simple letter
written with the heading, "I declare under oath"; the
second, that in which the signature has been certified by a
lawyer; and the third is the one which has been declared
before and certified by a notary public.

We have procured many documents of that kind, in order to
expedite matters, and we would like to know whether or not
we may expect to present them as evidence in order to avoid
the calling of witnesses.

THE PRESIDENT: I think that in all probability the matter
will be considered when you present the applications for
giving evidence by affidavit. We have, to-day, in dealing
with the first four defendants, allowed, in a variety of
instances, interrogatories to be administered to various
witnesses where it appeared appropriate that that should be
done, in order to save time. No doubt the same rule will
apply when you come to submit your applications.

DR. KRAUS: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov; would it be more convenient
to you to go on with your presentation now on this document
which we have admitted, or do you wish to present a film?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I would like to finish the
presentation of this proof, i.e., to read into the record
the passages from the document I have quoted.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, but the Tribunal, I think, desire
that these two witnesses, Major-General Westhoff and
Wieland, whatever his rank may be, should be produced for
examination as soon as possible afterwards. I do not mean
this afternoon, because that wouldn't be possible, but, if
possible, tomorrow.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: If you will allow me, I shall request the
representative of the British Delegation to reply to this

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Roberts, Colonel Smirnov was saying he
would ask you to answer, because I was saying that the
Tribunal would like to have the witnesses called as soon as
possible after the report was read.

MR. ROBERTS: Westhoff we know about, so I heard, sir, and I
am making enquiries now as to where Wieland is. If your
Lordship will give me a few minutes I will try to find out
where Wieland can be located.


MR. ROBERTS: But I shall have to leave the Court, then, my

THE PRESIDENT: One minute, please.

Colonel Smirnov, would it not be equally convenient to go on
with the film now in order that the report, when it is
presented, can be presented as close as possible to the
evidence of the witnesses? Otherwise, supposing Mr. Roberts
is unable to locate Wieland this afternoon, it might be that
if you read the report now, there might be a week possibly -
or even more - between the reading of the report and the
evidence of the witness. Is it possible to go on with the
film now?

                                                  [Page 333]

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Very well, Mr. President. What we are
showing the Tribunal cannot be called a film in the full
sense of the word. It is a series of photographs taken by
the Germans themselves on the site where the crimes were
committed, which were then re-photographed and transferred
to a reel. It is not a film - it is a photo-document. We are
presenting this photo-document as Exhibit YU 105 also USSR
442 and we are only presenting one part of it. The fact of
the matter is that the Government of Yugoslavia presented
photo-documents for every section of the report. We have
excluded the part dealing with the other sections and only
show that part which deals with Crimes Against Humanity.
Thus, only a section is being shown to the Tribunal. May I
show it?

(The photographic document referred to was shown on the

COLONEL SMIRNOV: May I continue with the presentation of the
documentary evidence?


COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, in order to allow the
British prosecution to settle the question as to when the
two witnesses will be summoned before the Tribunal, I take
the liberty of passing to the next part of my statement.
Have I your permission to do so?


COLONEL SMIRNOV: I pass on to that part which deals with the
persecution of the Jews, Page 37 of the text. The excessive
anti-Semitism of the Hitlerite criminals, which pursued a
perfectly logical course, is only too well known. I shall
not quote from the so-called "Theoretical works" of the
major war criminals - from Hitler or Goering, Papen or
Streicher. In the Eastern European countries all the anti-
Semitism of the Hitlerites was put into full effect and
mostly in one way only - in the physical extermination of
innocent people.

The American prosecution has, in its own time, submitted to
the Tribunal one of the reports of a special German-fascist
organisation, the so-called "Operational Group A" which was
submitted as Exhibit USA L 180. Our American colleagues
submitted this particular report covering the period up to
15th October, 1941. The Soviet prosecution possesses other
reports of this criminal German fascist organisation,
covering a further period of time and which might almost be
considered as a continuation of the first document, namely,
the report on "Einsatzgruppe A", from 10 October 1941, to 31
January, 1942. I submit to the Tribunal a photostatic copy
of this report as Exhibit USSR 357. I request the permission
of the Tribunal to read into the record a very brief excerpt
from Chapter 3 of the report of "Operational Group A",
entitled "The Jews", and I would invite the attention of the
Tribunal to the fact that the data presented in this report
refer exclusively to one organisation - "Einsatzgruppe A". I
quote one paragraph from Page 70 of the document book:

  "The systematic task of purging the East was, according
  to basic orders, the liquidation of the Jews to the
  fullest possible extent. This objective has been
  practically realised to the full. Excluding Bielorussia,
  239,052 Jews have been executed. The surviving Jews in
  the Baltic Provinces are being mobilised for work, as and
  when their turn comes, and sent to live in the ghettos."

I interrupt the quotation and read two further excerpts from
a sub-paragraph, "Esthonia", on Page 2 of the Russian text,
which, in turn, corresponds to Page 171, paragraph 2 of the
text of your document book.

  "...The execution of the Jews, in so far as they were not
  indispensable for working purposes, was carried out
  gradually by forces of the Schutzpolizei and the SD. At
  present there are no Jews left in Esthonia."

I quote a few brief excerpts from the sub-paragraph entitled
"Latvia". I

                                                  [Page 334]

quote one line from the last paragraph of the Russian text,
Page 171 of the document book.

  "When the German troops entered Latvia, there were still
  70,000 Jews left there."

I break off the quotation and read one line on Page 3,
paragraph 2 of the Russian text, Page 171, last paragraph of
the document book:-

"By October, 1941, the Sonderkommandos had executed exactly
30,000 Jews ."

I again break off and continue with the following:-

  "Further executions were frequently carried out. Thus,
  for instance, 11,084 Jews were executed on 9 November,
  1941, in Bielsk. In the beginning of December, 1941, as a
  result of an operation carried out in Riga and following
  the order of the former chief of the SS and Police,
  27,800 persons were executed, and in mid-December, 1941
  in Libau, 2,350 Jews were executed. At present there are,
  rounded up in the ghetto, besides the Jews from Germany,
  exactly 2,500 persons in Riga, 950 in Dvinsk and 300 in

THE PRESIDENT: Can you tell me where these figures come
from? Are they in an official report, or are they German

COLONEL SMIRNOV: These are the data published by the Germans
themselves This particular document was discovered in the
Gestapo archives. It was brought out of Latvia by troops of
the Red Army. I request your Honours to take note that this
document only covers the period between 16 October, 1941,
and 31 January, 1942. These are, therefore, not conclusive
data but merely data connected with one German operational
group during this particular period of time.

Have I your permission to proceed, Mr. President?


COLONEL SMIRNOV: I quote one line only from the sub-
paragraph entitled "Lithuania," which is on Page 173 of the
document book, paragraph 3:-

  "As a result of numerous individual operations, 136,421
  persons in all were liquidated."

I request the Tribunal to allow me to quote in greater
detail from the next sub-paragraph of the "A" group report,
entitled "Bielorussia". I quote the last paragraph, on Page
5 of the Russian text, Page 174, last paragraph, of the
document book:-

  "The problem of liquidating the Jews in toto, in the
  territory of Bielorussia after the arrival of the
  Germans, presented certain well-known difficulties. As a
  matter of fact, it was in this territory in particular
  that the Jews, for lack of other sources, constituted a
  high percentage of specialists and are therefore
  indispensable. Moreover, operational group "A" only took
  over the territory after the hard frosts had set in, a
  fact which hampered the carrying out of the mass
  executions very seriously indeed.
  A further difficulty was that the Jews were scattered all
  over the territory. Bearing in mind the fact that
  distances were vast, road conditions bad, transportation
  and petrol lacking, and the forces of the Security Police
  insignificant the mass executions could only be carried
  out by a maximum effort. Nevertheless, 41,000 Jews have
  already been shot. This figure does not include the
  persons executed by former operational commands . . ."

I interrupt once more and proceed to read from the following
paragraph. This corresponds to Page 175, paragraph 2, of the
document book.

                                                  [Page 335]

  "To the Chief of Police in Bielorussia, Despite the
  difficult situation, orders have been given to solve the
  Jewish question as soon as possible. None the less, this
  calls for two months' time and depends on the weather.
  The distribution of the remaining Jews in the camp and
  ghettos of Bielorussia is nearing its end."

In order to show how the mass executions of the Jews by the
Germans were carried out, I present to the Tribunal as
Exhibit USSR 119-A, a photostatic copy, certified by the
Extraordinary State Commission, of an original document.
This is the conclusive report of the Commander of one of the
companies of the 15th Regiment of Police, which carried out
the mass extermination of the Jews assembled in the ghetto
of the town of Pinsk. On 29 and 30 October, 1942, criminal
elements from the 12th Regiment of Police murdered 26,200
Jews in Pinsk. This is how Company Commander Sauer described
the crimes. I will not quote the document in toto since it
is rather long, but I will quote a few excerpts. The passage
I am about to read - and I ask the Tribunal's permission to
read it into the record - is on Page 177 of your document
book, paragraph 3:-

  "The encirclement of the districts was fixed for 4.3o
  a.m.; it appears that owing to the personal
  investigations made by the commanders and to the
  admirable manner in which the secret was kept, the
  encirclement was carried out in the shortest time
  imaginable and it was impossible for the Jews to break
  through the surrounding ring.
  The combing of the ghetto began at 6 a.m., but, owing to
  the darkness, was postponed for another half-hour. Such
  Jews as had noticed what was happening began to assemble
  voluntarily in all the streets. Under two Sergeants the
  Germans succeeded in bringing several thousand Jews to
  the assembly point within the very first hour. When the
  remaining Jews realised what all this meant, they too
  joined the column, so that the checking operations
  intended by the police guard at the assembly point could
  not be carried out in view of the enormous crowd which
  had collected.
  On the first day of the comb-out only one to two thousand
  persons were checked. The first comb-out ended at 5 p.m.
  without any incident. About 10,000 persons were executed
  on this first day. That night the company stood by, ready
  for action, in a soldiers' club.
  On 30 October, 1942, the ghetto was combed a second time,
  on 21 October a third time and on 1 November for the
  fourth time. Altogether 15,000 Jews were rounded up. Sick
  Jews and children left behind in the houses were executed
  on the spot in the yards of the ghetto. About 1,200 Jews,
  all told, were executed in the ghetto."

I request the permission of the Tribunal to allow me to
continue quoting the second page of the document, which
corresponds to Page 178 of the document book, paragraph 6:-

  "Sub-paragraph 3. Where there are no cellars and a
  considerable number of persons are huddled together in
  small underground shelters, these shelters must be broken
  into from outside, or else police dogs sent in (one
  police dog, 'Asta' put up a remarkably good performance
  in Pinsk), otherwise hand grenades should be thrown in,
  after which the Jews invariably came out of their hiding

I further quote sub-paragraph 5:-

  "We recommend persuading very young children to disclose
  these hiding places by promising to spare their lives.
  This method has fully justified its application."

                                                  [Page 336]

This example which have just read into the record, is
typical of the Police Regiment and of the methods they
applied for the extermination of Jews who had been rounded
up in the ghetto. But the German fascists did not apply only
this method when proceeding to the extermination of the
peaceful Jewish population. Another, similarly criminal
device was the assembling of Jews at a given spot under the
pretext of transferring them to some other locality. The
assembled Jews would then be shot. I submit to the Tribunal
an original poster which had been put up in a Kislovodsk
street by "Kommandantur No. 12". Your Honours will find the
text quoted on Page 180. I shall quote some extracts from
this poster, which is a comparatively long one. I start with
the first part:-

  "To all Jews!
  For the purpose of colonising sparsely populated
  districts of the Ukraine, all Jews residing in Kislovodsk
  and all Jews who have no permanent abode, are ordered to
  report on Wednesday, 9 September, 31942, at 5 a.m.,
  Berlin time (6 a.m. Moscow time), at the goods' station
  in Kislovodsk; the transport will leave at 6 a.m. (7 a.m.
  Moscow time). Every Jew to bring luggage not exceeding 20
  kilograms in weight, including food for a minimum of two
  days. Further food will be supplied by the German Forces
  at the railway stations.'

I omit the next paragraph and only quote one line:-

  "Also subject to transfer are the Jews who had been

I break off the quotation at this point.

In order to ascertain what happened to the Jewish population
in the town of Kislovodsk (the same happened to the Jews in
many other towns) I would request the Tribunal to refer to
the contents of a document which has already been submitted
to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 1. It is a report of the
Extraordinary State Commission of the Stavropol region. The
part which I wish to read, in brief, is on Page 185 of your
document book. It states there that the 2,000 Jews who had
assembled at the Kislovodsk station were sent to the station
of Mineralniya Vody and shot in an anti-tank trench 21
kilometres distant from the town. Here, too, thousand of
Jews, transferred from the towns of Essentuki and
Piyatigorsk, were shot on the same site.

In order to show the extent of the criminal extermination of
the Jewish population in Eastern Europe, I now refer to the
contents of reports received from the Governments of the
respective Eastern European countries, which have already
been submitted to the Tribunal.

I quote a report of the Polish Government, on Page 136 of
the Russian text of this document. I begin the quotation:

  "The official statistical year-book of Poland, in 1931,
  estimates the number of Poles at 3,115,000."

According to unofficial figures collected in 1939, there
were in Poland 3,500,000 Jews.

After the liberation of Poland, the Jews, in that country
numbered less than 100,000, and 200,000 Polish Jews are
still arriving in the USSR.

Thus, about 3,000,000 Jews perished in Poland.

In Czechoslovakia, as seen from the data published on Pages
82-83 of the Russian text of the report, the Jews numbered
118,000. To-day, in the entire country, they only number
6,000 all told. Of the total number of 15,000 Jewish
children, only 28 have returned.

THE PRESIDENT: Can we leave off there?

(The Tribunal adjourned until 27th February, 1946, at 10.00

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