The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/11

To prove that these sophisticated and sadistic crimes were
not exclusively characteristic of the S.S. or the special
police units, but that the major war criminals had
deliberately plunged whole sections of the German Armed
Forces into the very depths of moral degradation, I turn to
the contents of a note by the People's Commissar for Foreign
Affairs of the USSR, V. M. Molotov, dated 6 January, 1942,
which was submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 51. Your
Honours will find the passage I am about to quote on the
reverse side of the document book, paragraph 4. I begin the
quotation:--

     "There are no bounds to the wrath and indignation
     aroused among the Soviet population and in the Red
     Army by the innumerable and despicable acts of
     violence, the foul outrages perpetrated against
     the honour of the women and the mass murders of
     Soviet citizens, both men and women, carried
     
                                              [Page 36]
                                                       
     out by the German fascist officers and men.
     Wherever the rule of the German bayonet begins to
     hold sway, an unbearable regime of bloody terror,
     agonizing torture and savage murder is introduced.
     The robberies committed everywhere by the German
     officers and men are invariably accompanied by the
     beating and murder of immense numbers of entirely
     innocent people. For failure to deliver up food
     supplies to the very last crumb, and all clothing,
     down to the very last shirt, the occupants torture
     and hang old and young, women and children. At
     forced labour they beat up and shoot for all
     defective execution of the established quota of
     work given to them.
     
     On 30 June Hitler's thugs entered the city of
     Lvov, and on the very next day they started a
     massacre under the slogan, 'Kill the Jews and the
     Poles'. After hundreds had been put to death the
     Hitler gangsters arranged an 'exhibition' of the
     murdered citizens by building an arcade. The
     mutilated bodies, mostly of women, were laid out
     along the walls of the houses. The place of honour
     in this ghastly 'exhibition' was occupied by the
     corpse of a woman whose baby had been pinned to
     her with a bayonet.
     
     Such were the monstrous atrocities of the fascists
     from the very outbreak of the war. Wallowing in
     innocent blood, the Hitlerite blackguards are
     still continuing their dastardly crimes.
     
     In the hamlet of Krasnaya Polyana near Moscow on
     2nd December, the German fascist blackguards
     assembled all the local inhabitants between the
     ages of fifteen and sixty, locked them up in the
     icy premises of the District Executive Committee
     building in which all the window panes had been
     knocked out, and kept them there for eight days
     without food or water. The infant children of the
     women workers of the Krasnaya Polyana factory, A.
     Zaitseva, T. Gudkina, O. Naletkina, and M.
     Mikhailova, died in the arms of their mothers
     during this ordeal.
     
     Numerous instances are on record of Soviet
     children having been used as practice targets by
     the Hitlerites.
     
     In the village of Bely Rast, in the Krasnaya
     Polyana District, a gang of drunken German
     soldiers put twelve-year-old Volodia Tkachev up on
     the porch of one of the houses as a target and
     opened fire on the boy with an automatic rifle.
     The boy was riddled with bullets. After that the
     thugs began to fire random shots at the windows of
     houses. They stopped a collective farm woman, I.
     Mossolova, who was passing in the street with her
     three children, and there and then shot her and
     the children dead.
     
     In the village of Voskressenskoye of the Dubinin
     District, the Hitlerites used a three-year-old boy
     as their target, firing at him with their machine
     guns.
     
     In the regional center of Volovo in the Region of
     Kursk, where the Germans stayed for a space of
     four hours, a German officer killed the two-year-
     old son of a woman named Boikova by dashing the
     child's head against a wall merely because it was
     crying.
     
     In the village of Zlobin, in the district of Orel,
     the fascists killed the two-year-old child of a
     collective farmer, Kratov, because his crying
     disturbed their sleep.
     
     In the village of Semenovskoe, in the region of
     Kalinin, the Germans bound with twine the arms of
     Olga Tikhonova, the twenty-five-year-old wife of a
     Red Army man and mother of three children, who was
     in the last stage of pregnancy, and raped her.
     After violating her the Germans cut her throat,
     stabbed her through both breasts, and sadistically
     bored them out. In the
     
                                              [Page 37]
                                                       
     same village the occupants shot a boy of thirteen
     and cut out a five-pointed star on his forehead.
     
     In November the telegraph operator of the town of
     Kalinin, Ivanova, went to visit relatives in the
     village of Burashevo, near Kalinin, together with
     her thirteen-year-old son, Leonid. When they left
     the town they were noticed by some Hitlerites, who
     began shooting at them from a distance of sixty
     meters; as a result the boy was killed. The mother
     made several attempts to carry away the child's
     body, but whenever she tried to do so the Germans
     opened fire and she had to leave the body there.
     For eight days the German soldiers would not let
     her remove the body. It was only removed and
     buried by the mother when the place was occupied
     by our troops."
     
Mention is made, further on in the note, of another child
victim of the fascists. The Tribunal will see this murdered
boy in our filmed documentary evidence. I would ask the
Tribunal to pay attention to the further words of the note
which I will read into the Record:

     "In Rostov-on-Don a pupil of the commercial
     school, fifteen-year old Vitya Cherevichny, was
     playing in the yard with his pigeons. Some passing
     German soldiers began to steal the birds. The boy
     protested. The Germans took him away and shot him,
     at the corner of 27th Line and 2d Maisky Street
     for refusing to surrender his pigeons. With the
     heels of their boots the Hitlerites trampled his
     face until it was unrecognisable.
     
     The village of Bassmanova, in the Glinka district
     of the Smolensk region, liberated by our troops
     early in September was one mass of ashes after the
     German occupation. On the very first day of their
     arrival, the fascist fiends drove into the fields
     over 200 school children who had come to the
     village to help in the harvesting. There they
     surrounded them and savagely shot them all. A
     large group of schoolgirls was abducted to the
     rear 'For their Lordships, the officers'.
     
     The seizure of towns or villages usually begins
     with the erection of a gallows on which the German
     executioners hang the first civilians they can lay
     their hands on. Moreover, they leave the bodies
     hanging on the gallows for days and even weeks.
     They do the same with the people they shoot in the
     streets of the towns and villages, leaving the
     bodies untended for days on end.
     
     After the seizure of Kharkov, the German thugs
     hanged several people from the windows of a large
     house in the center of the city. Furthermore, in
     the same city of Kharkov on 16 November, nineteen
     persons, including one woman, were hanged from the
     balconies of a number of houses. The bestial acts
     of violence perpetrated against the women
     everywhere testify to the profound moral
     corruption of the criminals."
     
I will quote from that passage in the note which Your
Honours will find on Page 4, Paragraph 4, of the document
book.

     "Women and young girls are vilely outraged in all
     the occupied areas.
     
     In the Ukrainian village of Borodayevka, in the
     Dniepropetrovsk region, the fascists violated
     every one of the women and girls.
     
     In the village of Berezovka, in the region of
     Smolensk, drunken German soldiers assaulted and
     carried off all the women and girls between the
     ages of sixteen and thirty.
     
     In the city of Smolensk, the German Command opened
     a brothel for officers in one of the hotels, into
     which hundreds of women and girls were driven;
     they were mercilessly dragged down the street by
     their arms and hair.
     
                                              [Page 38]
                                                       
     Everywhere the lust-maddened German gangsters
     break into the houses, they rape the women and
     girls under the very eyes of their kinfolk and
     children, jeer at the women they have violated,
     and then brutally murder their victims.
     
     In the city of Lvov, thirty-two women working in a
     garment factory were first violated and then
     murdered by German Storm Troopers. Drunken German
     soldiers dragged the girls and young women of Lvov
     into Kesciuszko Park, where they savagely raped
     them. An old priest, V. I. Pomaznew, who, cross in
     hand, tried to prevent these outrages, was beaten
     up by the fascists. They tore off his cassock,
     singed his beard, and bayonetted him to death.
     
     Near the town of Borissov in Bielorussia, seventy-
     five women and girls attempting to flee at the
     approach of the German troops, fell into their
     hands. The Germans first raped and then savagely
     murdered thirty-six of their number. By order of a
     German officer named Hummer, the soldiers marched
     L. I. Melchukova, a sixteen-year-old girl, into
     the forest, where they raped her. A little later
     some other women who had also been dragged into
     the forest saw some boards near the trees and the
     dying Melchukova nailed to the boards. The Germans
     had cut off her breasts in the presence of these
     women, among whom were V. I. Alperako, and V. H.
     Bereznikova.
     
     On retreating from the village of Borovki, in the
     Zvenigorod District of the Moscow region, the
     fascists forcibly abducted several women, tearing
     them away from their little children in spite of
     their protests and prayers.
     
     In the town of Tikhvin in the Leningrad region, a
     fifteen-year-old girl named H. Koledetskaya, who
     had been wounded by shell splinters, was taken to
     a hospital (a former monastery) where there were
     wounded German soldiers. Despite her injuries the
     girl was raped by a group of German soldiers and
     died as a result of the assault."
     
I omit two paragraphs -- no, I omit one paragraph only, and
continue:--

     "But, the Hitlerites do not stop at the murder of
     individual Soviet citizens. Among the most
     appalling atrocities in the history of Hitlerite
     lawlessness and terrorism on German occupied
     Soviet territory are the nightmare mass murders of
     Soviet citizens which usually accompany the
     temporary seizure by the Germans of Soviet towns,
     villages, and other inhabited centers.
     
     "Here are a few instances of wholesale bloody
     murders carried out by the Germans against entire
     villages. In Yaskino, a village in the region of
     Smolensk, the Hitlerites shot all the old men and
     adolescents, and burnt the houses down to the
     ground. In the village of Pochinok of the same
     region, the Germans drove all the old men, old
     women and children into the collective farm
     office, locked the doors and burnt them all alive.
     In the Ukrainian village of Yomelchino in the
     region of Zhitomir, the Germans locked sixty-eight
     people into a small hut, sealed the doors and
     windows and asphyxiated everybody inside. In the
     village of Yershevo, of the Zvenigorod district in
     the Moscow region, now liberated by our troops,
     the Germans, prior to their withdrawal, drove
     about 100 peaceful citizens and wounded Red Army
     men into a church, locked them in, and blew up the
     building. In the village of Agrafenovka of the
     Rostov region, on 16 November, the fascists
     arrested the entire male population between the
     ages of sixteen and seventy and shot one man of
     every three."
     
The subsequent part of the note deals with the mass German
crimes known as "actions" and particularly to the "actions"
in Kiev. I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the fact
that the figure of those murdered in Babi Yar -- as
mentioned in this note -- is an understatement. After the
liberation of Kiev

                                                   [Page 39]
                                                            
it was established that the extent of the atrocities
perpetrated by the German fascist invaders was far greater
than was stated in the first instance.

From further information submitted to the Extraordinary
State Commission, in connection with the city of Kiev, it is
evident that during the monstrous so-called German mass
"action" in Babi-Yar not 52,000 but 100,000 were shot. I now
continue to quote from Page 4, of the document book,
Paragraph 3.

     "Terrible massacres and pogroms were carried out
     by the German invaders in the Ukrainian capital of
     Kiev. In the course of a few days the German
     bandits tortured and murdered 52,000 men and
     women, aged people and children, ruthlessly doing
     to death all Ukrainians, Russians, and Jews who in
     any way displayed their loyalty to the Soviet.
     Soviet citizens who succeeded in escaping from
     Kiev give a shattering picture of one of these
     mass executions. A large number of Jews, including
     women and children of all ages, were assembled in
     the Jewish cemetery. Before shooting them the
     Germans stripped them naked and then beat them.
     The first group marked for execution was forced to
     lie, face downwards at the bottom of a ditch,
     where they were shot with automatic rifles. The
     Germans then lightly sprinkled some earth over the
     dead bodies, made the next batch lie down in a row
     over the first and shot them in the same way."
     
I skip a paragraph and continue with the quotation. You will
have the opportunity of seeing the Hitlerite crimes
mentioned in the note. The German atrocities in Rostov are
shown in great detail in the filmed documentary evidence.

     "The Nazi blood-thirstiness towards the citizens
     of Rostov has become well known. During their ten
     days' stay in Rostov the Germans not only wreaked
     vengeance on individuals and families, but in
     their blood-lust they annihilated hundreds of
     inhabitants, especially in the working-class
     districts of the city. Near the premises of the
     Railway Board, German machine-gunners shot forty-
     eight people in broad daylight. Sixty people were
     shot by the Hitlerite assassins on the pavements
     of the main street of Rostov. Two hundred people
     were murdered in the Armenian cemetery. Even after
     being driven from Rostov by our troops, German
     generals and officers publicly boasted that they
     would return to Rostov purposely to vent bloody
     retribution on the inhabitants, who had actively
     helped to drive their mortal enemy from their
     native city.
     
     On the direct initiative of the command and
     officers of the German fascist armies, the advance
     and retreat of their troops were often protected
     by the peaceful citizens, preferably by women, old
     men and children."
     
I make no comment but I do consider it necessary to stress
the fact that only those who had perfectly understood
Keitel's directive, so well known to the Tribunal, that
human life "in the countries to which the directive refers,
is worth exactly nothing at all", could have perpetrated
these deeds.

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