The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The names have already been mentioned here of the camps of
Maidanek and Auschwitz with their gas-chambers, in which
over 5,500,000 completely innocent people, citizens of
Poland, Czechoslovakia, U.S.S.R., U.S.A., Great Britain,
France, and other democratic countries, were killed. I must
name the concentration camps of Smolensk, Stavropol,
Kharkov, Kiev, Lwow, Poltava, Novgorod, Orel, Rovno,
Dniepropetrovsk, Odessa, Kamenetz-Podolsk, Gomel, Kerch, of
the Stalingrad region, of Kaunas, Riga, Mariampol
(Lithuanian S.S.R.) of Kloga (Estonian S.S.R.) and many
others, in which hundreds of thousands of Soviet nationals
belonging to the civilian population, as well as soldiers
and officers of the Red Army, were tortured to death by the

The Germans also carried out mass shootings of Soviet
citizens in the Lisenitz forest, which is on the outskirts
of Lwow in the direction of Tarnopol. It was to this forest
that the Germans daily drove, or brought in motor vehicles,
large parties of Soviet prisoners of war from the camp
"Citadel," internees from the Yanov camp and from the Lwow
prison, as well as peaceful Soviet citizens who had been
seized on the squares and streets of Lwow in the course of
numerous round-ups.

Investigations made by the Extraordinary State Commission
established the fact that the Germans shot over 200,000
people in the Lisenitz forest.

These mass murders, this arbitrary regime of terror, was
fully approved by the defendant Rosenberg in his speech at
the meeting of the German Labor Front in November, 1942:

     "Apparently," declared Rosenberg, "if we are to
     subjugate all these peoples (i.e., peoples inhabiting
     the territory of the U.S.S.R.), then arbitrary rule and
     tyranny will be an extremely suitable form of
                                                  [Page 185]
Later, when the Red Army began to clear out the German
Fascist hordes from the Soviet Union territory they had
occupied, and when the organs of the Soviet authorities
began to discover the abominable crimes perpetrated by the
Fascist monsters and to find numerous graves of Soviet
citizens, soldiers and officers tortured to death by the
Fascists, the German Command took urgent measures to conceal
and destroy all traces of their crimes. For this purpose,
the German Command organised everywhere exhumations of
corpses from their graves and their cremation. A special
order of the Obersturmfuehrer, dated "Rovno, 3rd August,
1943 -- IV A.I. No. 35/43c," addressed to the Regional
Leader of Gendarmerie in Kamen-Kashirsk, prescribed
"immediately to supply information concerning location and
number of graves (common) of persons to whom special
repressive measures were applied in the district.

Among the documents discovered in the Gestapo building of
the Rovno district has been found a report concerning the
execution of the above-mentioned order, with the enumeration
of about 200 localities, where such graves were registered.
One can see from this list that the German Fascist henchmen
primarily chose inaccessible and isolated spots for the
interment of their victims.

At the end of the list we read, "the list includes all the
graves, including those of the Commandos who worked here

I will now quote an extract of the appeal to the public
opinion of the world from the representatives of several
thousand former internees at Auschwitz:

     "The gassing of unbelievable numbers of people took
     place upon the arrival of `transports' from various
     countries, including: France, Belgium, Holland, Greece,
     Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Poland, the
     U.S.S.R., Norway and others. The new arrivals had to
     pass before an S.S. doctor or else before the S.S.
     commandant of the camp. The latter pointed his finger
     to the right or left. The `left' meant death by gas.
     Out of a transport of 1,500, an average of 1,200 to
     1,300 were immediately to be gassed. Now and then, the
     quota of people sent to this camp was a little higher.
     It often occurred that the S.S. doctors Mengele and
     Thilo performed this `selection' while whistling a
     lively tune. The people destined to be gassed were
     obliged to strip in front of the gas chambers, after
     which they were whipped into the gas chambers. Then the
     door of the underground gas chamber was closed, and the
     people were gassed.... Death occurred approximately
     four minutes later. After eight minutes the gas chamber
     was opened, and workmen belonging to a `special
     outfit,' the so-called `Sonderkommando,' transported
     the bodies to the cremation ovens, which burned day and
     "There was a shortage of ovens at the time of the
     arrival of transports from Hungary, consequently
     enormous ditches were dug for the purpose of burning
     the bodies. Fires made of wood soaked in petrol were
     laid in these ditches and the bodies were thrown into
     them. However, the S.S. men frequently hurled live
     children and adults into those ditches, where these
     hapless victims died a terrible death. To effect a
     saving in petrol, the fats and oils necessary for
     cremations were partly derived from the bodies of
     gassed peoples. Fats and oils for technical purposes
     and for the manufacture of soap were also obtained from
     the corpses."
The petition ends with the following words:

     "Together with 10,000 rescued inmates of all
     nationalities, we demand that the crimes and the
     inconceivable atrocities of the Hitlerites should not
     remain unpunished."
This just demand is supported by the entire civilised world
and by all freedom-loving people.

                                                  [Page 186]
The organised mass annihilation of prisoners of war
constitutes one of the vilest crimes of the Hitlerite

Numerous facts of murders, tortures, and ill treatment to
which prisoners of war were subjected have been definitely
established. They were tortured with red-hot irons, their
eyes were gouged out, their extremities severed, etc.

The systematic atrocities and short shrift justice against
captured officers and men of the Red Army were not chance
episodes or the results of criminal activities of individual
officers of the German Army and of German officials.

The Hitlerite Government and the High Command of the German
Army ruthlessly exterminated prisoners of war. Numerous
documents, orders, and decrees of the Fascist Government and
orders of the German Supreme Command testify to this fact.

As early as March, 1941 -- as the German Lieutenant-General
Osterreich testified during his interrogation -- a secret
conference took place at the headquarters of the High
Command in Berlin, where measures were planned for the
organisation of camps for Russian prisoners of war, and
"rules" laid down for their treatment. According to
Osterreich's evidence, these "rules" and "measures" for
Soviet prisoners of war were essentially a plan for their

Many Soviet prisoners of war were shot or hanged, while
others perished from hunger and infectious diseases, from
cold and from torture systematically employed by the Germans
according to a plan which was developed beforehand and had
as its object the mass extermination of Soviet persons.

In Appendix 3 to Order No. 8 for the Chief of the Security
Police and S.D., dated 17th July, 1941, a list is given of
prisoner-of-war camps set up in the area of the 1st Military
District and of the so-called Government General. In the 1st
Military District camps were set up in particular in
Prokuls, Heidegrug, Schierwind, Schutzenrode (Ebenrode) in
Prostken, Suwalki, Fischbor-Tursen and Ostrolyenko. In the
so-called Government General, camps were set up at Ostrov-
Mesovetzky, Sedlitz, Byelopedlasko, Kholm, Jaroslav, etc. In
the appendix to Operational Order No. 9, issued in
development of Order No. 8 of 17th July, 1942, lists are
given of the camps for Soviet prisoners of war situated in
the territory of Military Districts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11 and
13, at Hammerstein, Schneidemuehle and many other places.

                    (A recess was taken.)

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