The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Colonel Smirnov.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: May it please your Honours, it is my duty
to submit to the Tribunal evidence on the last count of the

"Crimes Against Humanity" are dealt with in Count 4 of the
Indictment and by Article 6, and particularly sub-paragraph
"c" of Article 6, of the Charter.

I will submit evidence of crimes which the Hitlerites
committed on the territories of the temporarily occupied
areas of the Soviet Union, Poland, Yugoslavia,
Czechoslovakia and Greece.

The Crimes Against Humanity (just as the other crimes of the
German fascists for which evidence has been submitted to the
Tribunal by my colleague) originated in the criminal nature
of fascism in its endeavour to dominate the world by
predatory seizure of whole States in the East and in the
West, and in the enslavement and mass extermination of
people. These crimes were a transmutation and a working
projection of the cannibalistic theories of German fascism.

Elements forming the concept of "Crimes Against Humanity"
are to be found in nearly all the criminal acts of the
German fascists For instance, a considerable amount of
probative facts in corroboration of the gravity of the
crimes committed by the German fascists has already been
submitted to the Tribunal during the presentation of the
Count concerning War Crimes against the civilian population.

The criminal violation by the Hitlerites of the laws and
customs of war, as well as the mass extermination of the
prisoners of war, are some of the gravest Crimes Against
Humanity. At the same time, the concept "Crimes Against
                                                  [Page 297]

is considerably broader in scope than any definition of
German fascists' crimes, of which proofs have been hitherto
submitted to the Tribunal.
Together with the arrival of German forces and the
appearance of the swastika on official buildings, the
inhabitants of the temporarily occupied Eastern European
countries entered, so to speak, the ante-chamber of death.
The merciless fascist machine tried forcibly to deprive them
of all that which, as a result of centuries of human
development, had become an integral part of humanity.

Thus, death hung over them constantly, but on their way to
death they were forced to pass through numerous and
agonising phases, insulting to human dignity, which
constitute, in their entirety, the charge entitled in the
Indictment "Crimes Against Humanity".

Attempts were made to force them to forget their own names
by hanging a number around their necks or by sewing a
classification mark on their sleeves. They were deprived of
the right to speak or to read in their mother tongue. They
were deprived of their homes, their families, their
motherland, and forcibly deported hundreds and thousands of
kilometres away. They were deprived of the right to
procreate. They were scoffed at and insulted. Their feelings
and beliefs were jeered at and ridiculed. Finally, they were
deprived of their last right - to live.

The numerous investigations not only noted the state of
extreme physical exhaustion of the victims of German fascist
atrocities but also usually mentioned the state of deep
moral depression of those who, by the hazards of fate
escaped the fascist hell.

A long period of time is necessary for these victims of
German fascism to return once again to a world of normal
conceptions and activities and to man's conventions for
human society. All this is very hard to express in legal
formulas, but, in my opinion, is very important in the
indictment of the major war criminals.

I ask the Tribunal to refer to the report of the Polish
Government, which has already been submitted to the Tribunal
as Exhibit USSR 93. The quotation which I should like now to
refer to is on Page 10 of the document book. On Page7O of
the Russian text of this report, there is a quotation from
the statement of Jacob Vernic, a carpenter from Warsaw, who
spent a year's internment in the extermination camp of
Treblinka 2. Sometimes the official German documents refer
to "Treblinka 2" as "Treblinka B", but it is one and the
same. This was one of the most terrible centres created by
German fascism for mass extermination. In my statement, I
will submit to your Honours evidence Connected with the
existence of this camp.
This is what Vernic said in presenting a report on Treblinka
to the Polish Government; a report which, as he stressed in
the foreword, was his only reason "to continue his pitiful
  "Awake or asleep I see terrible visions of thousands of
  people calling for help, begging for life and mercy.
  I have lost my family, I have myself led them to death, I
  have myself built the death chambers in which they were
  I am afraid of everything, I fear that what I. have seen
  is written on my face. An old and broken life is a heavy
  burden, but I must carry on and live to tell the world
  what German crimes and barbarism I have seen."

Those who came to Treblinka entered, as I said, the ante-
chamber of death. But were they the only victims of this
fate? An analysis of probative facts connected with the
crimes of the German fascists irrefutably testifies to the
fact that the same fate was shared not only by those who
were sent to special extermination camps, but also by all
those who became the victims of these criminals in the
temporarily occupied countries of Eastern Europe.

I ask the Tribunal's permission to put in evidence a short
quotation from a document already submitted to the Tribunal
as Exhibit USSR 46: the report of the Extraordinary State
Commission on the Crimes Committed in the City and

                                                  [Page 298]

Region of Orel. In the text of this document there is a
special communication of a distinguished Russian scientist,
a doctor, the president of the Academy of Medical Science
and member of the Extraordinary State Commission,
Academician Bourdenko. The Tribunal will find his
communication on Page 14 of the document book, paragraph 6.

  "The scenes I had to witness", says Bourdenko, "surpassed
  the wildest imagination. Our joy at the sight of the
  delivered people was dimmed by the expression of stupor
  on their faces. This led one to reflect - what was the
  matter? Evidently, the sufferings they had undergone had
  created, in their eyes, equality between life and death.
  I observed these people during three days. I bandaged
  them, I evacuated them, but their psychical stupor did
  not change. Something similar could be noticed during the
  first days on the faces of the doctors."

I shall not, your Honours, waste time in drawing attention
to the long and well-known extracts from "Mein Kampf" or the
"Myth of the Twentieth Century". We are interested in the
first place, in the criminal practices of the German fascist

I have already said above, that death constantly hung over
the people who became the victims of fascism. Death could
come unexpectedly, simultaneously with the appearance in one
or another place of a Sonderkommando, but, at the same time,
a death sentence would be pronounced for any action by these
special acts so mockingly called "German Fascist Laws".

I and other members of the Soviet prosecution have already
given numerous examples of these terroristic laws,
directives and decrees of the German fascist authorities. I
do not wish to repeat myself, but I beg the Tribunal's
permission to quote one of these documents, as it concerns
all the temporarily seized Eastern territories.The only
justification for the publication of this document was for
its author, the defendant Rosenberg, the fact that these
temporarily occupied districts were not populated by
Germans. This characteristic document is evidence of the
persecution of people on racial or political grounds. I beg
the Tribunal to enter in the record, as Exhibit USSR 395,
the photostat of the so-called order supplementing the penal
directives for the Eastern territories which was issued by
Alfred Rosenberg on 17 February, 1942. I will read this
document in full, beginning with paragraph 1.

  "The death penalty, or, in lesser cases, penal servitude
  will be inflicted upon those who:-
  (1) Use violence against the German Reich or against the
  supreme authority established in the occupied
  (2) Commit violence against a German subject or a person
  of German nationality for his or her being of this German
  (3) Use violence against a member of the German Army or a
  non-military organisation or its followers including the
  German police, and the auxiliary forces, the Reich Labour
  Service, a German authority or institution, or the
  organisations of the N.S.D.A.P.;
  (4) Encourage or incite to disobedience of orders or
  directives issued by the German authorities;
  (5) With intent impede the actions of the German
  authorities and institutions, or damage the materials and
  equipment used by the latter for public work or welfare;
  (6) Collaborate in anti-German movements or conspire to
  support groups prohibited by the German authorities;
  (7) Participate in or incite hostile activity and thus
  reveal anti-German views;
  (8) By their behaviour lower or injure the authority or
  the welfare of the German State and people;
  (9) Of intent commit arson and thereby compromise the Pan-
  Germanic interests or..."

                                                  [Page 299]

THE PRESIDENT: Have you read this before?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I checked the transcript, and I do not
think that this has been read into the record.


COLONEL SMIRNOV: It may be that similar orders were read;
maybe those of Frank or some other orders. They are all
alike. In any case I could not find any mention of this
document in the transcript.
I continue:
  "... compromise the Pan-Germanic interests or cause
  damage to the property of both German subjects or persons
  of German nationality".
Paragraph 2 is very characteristic:-
  "Furthermore, the death penalty, and, in lesser cases,
  penal servitude is to be inflicted upon those who:-(1)
  Agree to commit any punishable action as provided by
  paragraph 1.(2) Enter into serious negotiations on that
  (3) Offer their services or accept such a proposal.
  (4) Possess accurate information on such an action or its
  intention at a time when the danger can still be averted,
  and wilfully refrain from warning the German authorities
  or the person threatened in good time".

Paragraph 3:-

  "An offence not coming under paragraphs 1 and 2 is to be
  punished by death, even if this penalty is not provided
  for by the general German criminal laws and by decrees of
  German authorities, if the offence is of a particularly
  base type or for other reasons is to be considered
  particularly serious. In such cases the death penalty is
  also permissible for juvenile criminals".

Paragraph 4:-

  "If there is no justification for turning the case over
  to competent courts martial, the 'Special Courts' are
  (2) The special instructions issued for the Armed Forces
  are not hereby affected".

I omit paragraph 5.

This order of Rosenberg's was only one link in the chain of
crimes committed by the leaders of the German fascism
directed toward exterminating the Slav peoples.

I pass on to the first part of my statement which is
entitled "Extermination of Slav Peoples". In this part I
will show how this criminal purpose of exterminating the
Slav peoples was put into effect. I will quote data from the
Report of the Yugoslav Government, which is to be found on
Page 56 of the Russian text or on Page 76, paragraph 3,
document book:-

  "Apart from the thousands of Yugoslavs who died in
  battle, the occupants exterminated at least one-and-a-
  half to two million people, mostly women, children and
  aged persons. Of the fifteen million pre-war Yugoslav
  population, in the comparatively short period of four
  years, almost 14 per cent. were exterminated."

In the Report of the Czechoslovak Government, on Pages 36
and 37 of the Russian text, there is proof of a plan
conceived by the Hitlerite criminals for the forcible
expulsion of all Czechs and the settling of German colonists
in Czechoslovakia. The report quotes an excerpt from a
statement of Karl Hermann Frank, who admitted the existence
of this plan and declared that he, Frank, had compiled a
memorandum in which he objected to such a plan. I quote the
excerpt from the statement of Hermann Frank, which the
Tribunal can find on Page 37 in the document book, fourth

                                                  [Page 300]

  "I considered this plan senseless as, in my opinion, the
  vacuum created by these measures would, for geo-
  political, commercial, technical, industrial, or other
  reasons, have seriously upset the vital functioning of
  Bohemia and Moravia, and because the immediate filling of
  this vacuum with new German settlers would prove

In Poland a regime of extermination of the Slav population
was put into effect by divers criminal methods, among which
the most prevalent was that of driving people to an extreme
state of exhaustion by excessive labour and subsequent death
from hunger. The criminals quite consciously embarked upon
the extermination by starvation of millions of people, a
fact which is attested by a number of documents already
quoted by me and my colleagues in part, from the diary of
Hans Frank.

I will quote a few short extracts from this document. Here
is an excerpt concerning the minutes of a conference held by
the Governor on 7 December, 1942, in Cracow.

The Tribunal will find the passage I wish to quote on Page
89 of the document book, in the first column of the text:

  "If the new food supply plan be put into effect, it means
  that for the city of Warsaw and its surroundings alone,
  500,000 people will no longer receive food relief."

And here is another short excerpt from the minutes of the
governmental conference held on 24 August, 1942. The
Tribunal will find it on page 90 of the document book, first
paragraph of the text:

  "Dr Frank: With all the difficulties which arise from the
  illness of workers, or the breaking up of their unions,
  you must always bear in mind that it is much better for a
  Pole to collapse than for a German to be defeated. The
  fact that we shall be consigning 1,200,000 Jews to death
  by starvation is an incidental matter. It is self-
  evident, of course, if the Jews do not die from
  starvation, that anti-Jewish measures will become
  expedient in the future."

The third short quotation is an excerpt from the minutes of
a labour conference held by the political leaders of the
Labour Front of the N.S.D.A.P. in the Government General, on
14 December, 1942. The Tribunal will find it on Page 89 of
the document book, second paragraph:-

  "We are faced with the following problem: Will it or will
  it not still be necessary for us as from 2 February, to
  exclude from food allocations two million persons of non-
  German nationality?"

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