The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/11/22

(No response.)

THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness can retire.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I would like to submit to the Tribunal a
very short excerpt from a document which is submitted as an
appendix to the Polish Government Report. I mean an
affidavit . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got any more witnesses?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes; I still have a request to call one
more witness on the last count of my statement. In
connection with the presentation of evidence on this last
count, I would request the Tribunal's permission to summon
as witness, the Archdeacon of the Leningrad churches and
Rector of the Leningrad Seminary, the Acting Dean of St.
Nicola Boqoiavlensky Cathedral in Leningrad, the Very Rev.
Nicolai Ivanovitch Lomakin.

                                                   [Page 20]

THE PRESIDENT : Very well, and you will be able to conclude
his evidence today and conclude your statement; is that

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I would like to read another short excerpt
from this report of the Polish examining magistrate, which I
submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 340. I shall read
only that excerpt which shows the scale of the crimes. The
number of victims murdered at the Treblinka Camp, according
to the Polish magistrate, is about 781,000 persons. At the
same time he mentions that the witnesses interrogated by him
testified to the fact that when the clothes of the internees
were sorted out, they even found British passports and
diplomas of Cambridge University. This means that the
victims of Treblinka came from every European country.

I would further like to quote as proof of the existence of
another secret extermination centre, the depositions of
Wladislav Bedgarz, the District Examining Magistrate in the
city of Lodz, made before the Chief Commission for the
Investigation of German crimes in Poland; this testimony is
also an official appendix to the Polish Government Report. I
would like to read two excerpts from this statement, which
give us an idea of the methods of extermination practised in
the village of Helmno. The two paragraphs are on Page 223 of
the document book:-

  "In the village of Helmno there was an abandoned mansion
  surrounded by a large park - the property of the State.
  Nearby there was a pine forest with dense undergrowth. At
  this point the Germans built an extermination camp. The
  park was enclosed by a high wooden fence, and one could
  not see what was going on in the park nor in the house
  itself. The inhabitants of the village of Helmno were all

I interrupt the quotation and pass on to Page 226 of the
document book, first paragraph:-

  "The whole organisation set up for the extermination of
  people was so cunningly devised that right up to the last
  moment the next transport of doomed persons could not
  guess the fate of the group which had preceded them. The
  departure of transports - consisting of 1,000 to 2,000
  persons - from the village of Sawadki to the
  extermination camp and the extermination of the arrivals
  lasted until 2 p.m.
  The trucks, loaded with Jews, arrived in the camp and
  stopped before the mansion. A representative of the
  Sonderkommando made a short speech to the new arrivals.
  He assured them that they were going to work in the East.
  He promised them just treatment by the authorities and
  adequate food, and at the same time instructed them to
  take a bath before leaving while their clothing was
  disinfected. From the courtyard the Jews were then
  brought to a big warm room on the second floor of the
  mansion. There they had to undress, and clad in
  underclothes only they went downstairs, passed through a
  corridor with signs such as 'To the Medical Officer' and
  'To the Bath' on the walls. The arrow which showed the
  way 'To the Bath' pointed towards the exit. The Germans
  told the Jews who came out into the yard that they would
  go to the bath in a closed van, and true enough a large
  van was brought up to this door so that the Jews coming
  out of the house found themselves on a ladder leading
  straight inside the van. The loading of the Jews into the
  van lasted a very short time. Police were on guard in the
  corridor and near the van. With blows and shouts they
  forced the Jews to enter the van, stunning them, so that
  they could not attempt any resistance. When all the Jews
  were piled inside the van, the doors were carefully
  locked and the driver switched on the motor, so that the
  Jews in the van were poisoned by the exhaust gas."

                                                   [Page 21]

I consider it unnecessary to quote that part of the report
which testifies that the van in question was the "murder
van" already well known to the court.

I will just quote one sentence from Page 10 of this
document, paragraph 3:-

  "Thus, at least 340,000 men, women, and children, from
  newborn babes to aged persons, were exterminated in

I believe that I can end here that part of my statement
which concerns the secret exterminating centres. And now I
pass on to the last part of my statement, dealing with
religious persecutions.

In the Soviet Union as well as in the occupied countries of
Eastern Europe, the German fascist criminals brought shame
upon themselves by their mockery of the religious feelings
and faith of the people, by persecuting and murdering the
priesthood of all religious creeds.

In proof of this I shall read a few excerpts from the
corresponding report of the various governments:
Czechoslovakia. On Page 70 of the Russian text, which
corresponds to Page 80 of the document book, we find the
description of the persecution of the Czech Orthodox Church
by the German fascist criminals. I quote only one paragraph:-

  "The hardest blow was directed against the Czech Orthodox
  Church. The orthodox parishes in Czechoslovakia were
  ordered by the Berlin Ministry for Church Affairs to
  leave the jurisdiction of the Belgrado-Constantinople
  diocese and to become subordinate to the Berlin Bishop.
  The Czech Bishop Gorazd was executed together with two
  other priests of the Orthodox Church. By a special order
  of the Protector Daluege issued in September 1942, the
  Orthodox Church of Serbian-Constantinople jurisdiction
  was dissolved on Czech territory; its religious activity
  forbidden, and its property confiscated."

On Page 69 of the same report, which corresponds to Page 79
of the document book, in the last paragraph there is a
description of the persecution of the Czech national church,
which was persecuted by the German fascists, according to
the report: "just because of its name, because of its
sympathy for the Huss movement, the democratic constitution
and because of the role it played in founding the Czech
Republic". The Czech national church in Slovakia was
prohibited and its property confiscated by the Germans in

The Protestant Church in Czechoslovakia was also persecuted.
The excerpt which I would like to read may be found on Page
80 of the document book, paragraph 2:-

  "The Protestant Churches were deprived of the freedom to
  preach the Gospel. The German Secret State Police watched
  carefully to see that the clergy observed the
  restrictions imposed on it. Nazi censorship went so far
  as to prohibit the singing of hymns which praised God for
  liberating the nation from the enemy. Some passages from
  the Bible were not allowed to be read in public at all.
  The Nazis strongly opposed the promulgation of certain
  Christian doctrines, especially those which proclaimed
  the equality of all men before God, the universal
  character of Christ's Church, and the Hebraic origins of
  the Gospel, etc. Any reference to Huss, Schischka, the
  Hussites and their achievements, as well as to Masaryk
  and his Legions, were strictly forbidden. Even religious
  text books were confiscated. Church leaders were
  especially persecuted. Scores of ministers were thrown
  into German concentration camps, among them the General
  Secretary of the Student Christian Movement in
  Czechoslovakia. One of the assistants of its president
  was executed."

On Page 68 of this report we find information as to the
persecution of the Catholic Church of Czechoslovakia. This
excerpt is on Page 79 of the document book, second
paragraph. I quote a short excerpt:-

  "In the territory annexed to Germany after the Munich
  Pact a number of Czech priests were robbed of their
  property and expelled. Pilgrimages to national shrines
  were prohibited in 1939. At the outbreak of war, 437
                                                   [Page 22]
  Catholic priests were among the thousands of Czech
  patriots arrested and sent to concentration camps as
  hostages. Venerable church dignitaries were dragged to
  concentration camps in Germany. On the road near the
  concentration camps it was a common thing to see a priest
  dressed in rags, exhausted, pulling a cart, and behind
  him a youth in SS uniform, whip in hand."

The believers and clergy in Poland also suffered most
ruthless persecution. I quote short excerpts from the Polish
Government Report, which the members of the Tribunal will
find on Page 10 of the document book:-

  "By January, 1941, about 700 priests were killed; 3,000
  were in prisons or in concentration camps."

The persecution of the clergy began immediately after the
capture of Polish territory by the Germans. According to
Page 42 of the Polish Report:-

  "The day after the occupation of Warsaw the Germans
  arrested some 330 priests. In Cracow the closest
  collaborators of Archbishop Monsignor Sapicha were
  arrested and sent to Germany. The Rev. Canon Czaplicki,
  75 years of age, and his assistant, were executed in
  November, 1939."

The report of the Polish Government quotes the following
words of Cardinal Hlond:-

  "The clergy are persecuted very harshly. Those who have
  been permitted to stay are subjected to humiliation, are
  paralysed in the exercise of their pastoral duties, and
  are stripped of parochial benefices and of all their
  rights. They are entirely at the mercy of the Gestapo."
  It is like the Apocalyptic vision of the 'Fides
  Depopulata'" . . .

On the territory of the Soviet Union the persecution of
religion and clergy took the form of desecration of
churches, destruction of shrines connected with the
patriotic feelings of the Russian people, and the murder of

I beg the Tribunal to call the last witness of the Soviet
Prosecution, the Dean of the Church of the City of
Leningrad, the Very Reverend Nicolai Ivanovitch Lomakin.


THE PRESIDENT: Would you tell me your name?

THE WITNESS: Nicolai Ivanovitch Lomakin.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it the practice for you to take an oath
before giving evidence or not?

THE WITNESS: I am an Orthodox priest.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you take the oath?

THE WITNESS: I belong to the Orthodox Church, and when I
entered the priesthood in 1917 I took the oath to tell the
truth all my life. This oath I remember even to the present

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. You can sit if you wish.



Q. Please tell us, witness, are you the Dean of the Church
of the City of Leningrad. Does that mean that all the
churches in that city are subordinate to you?

A. Yes, all the churches are directly subordinate to me. I
am obliged to visit them periodically to inspect their
condition, and the condition of the parish. I must then make
my report to His Grace, the Metropolitan.

                                                   [Page 23]

Q. The churches of the Leningrad region were also under your

A. They are not subordinated to me at the present time, but
during the siege of Leningrad by the Germans and the
occupation of the Leningrad region, they were put under my

Q. After the liberation of the Leningrad region from the
German occupation did you visit and inspect the churches
throughout the region at the request of the Patriarch?

A. No, not at the request of the Patriarch, but by the
request of the Metropolitan Alexei, the Patriarch was then
Sergei. At that period Metropolitan Alexei was the
Archbishop of Leningrad and later he became the Patriarch of
Moscow and all the Russians.

Q. Please tell us, witness, where were you during the siege
of Leningrad?

A. I was all the time in Leningrad.

Q. If I am not mistaken, you were decorated for the defence
of Leningrad?

A. Yes, on my birthday I was awarded this medal for my
participation in the heroic defence of Leningrad.

Q. Tell us, witness, at the beginning of the siege of
Leningrad - at which church did you officiate?

A. At the beginning of the siege I was in charge of the
Georgievsky Cemetery, I mean I was the Rector of the
cemetery Church of St. Nicholas.

Q. It was, therefore, a cemetery church.

A. Yes.

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