The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/17

                                                  [Page 307]
It seems to me useful to point out that there is on the
document a note in pencil to the effect that:

     "It is requested to follow up the matter of the rations
     because State Secretary Backe is, apparently, beginning
     to lose his nerve."

The signature is illegible.

It seems to me that this note vividly discloses the
arguments that were going on over establishing a norm. Not
by accident does it speak here of the wide discrepancy in
the estimates concerning necessary caloric requirements of
the experts of the Reich Health Administration and the Army
Medical Inspectorate.

As the Tribunal will remember, the witness Blaha testified,
in reply to my questions that almost all prisoners of war
who died of starvation in the Dachau Camp were men of the
Red Army. I shall submit evidence showing that the Dachau
Camp was not an exception in that respect.

On 27th April, 1942 the People's Commissar for Foreign
Affairs of the U.S.S.R. was forced to submit a new note. I
present this note as Exhibit USSR 51. You will find the
place I am referring to on Page 13 in your document book,
where it is marked in red pencil for your convenience.

     "The Soviet Government now has at its disposal many
     hundreds of new documents confirming the nefarious
     crimes committed against Soviet prisoners of war, dealt
     with in the note of the Government of the U.S.S.R.
     dated 25th November, 1941.
     It has been incontrovertibly established that the
     German Command, desiring to take revenge for the
     defeats inflicted on its army in the last few months,
     has everywhere introduced the practice of physical
     extermination of Soviet prisoners of war.
     Along the entire length of the front, from the Arctic
     to the Black Sea, bodies of slain Soviet war prisoners
     and tortured war prisoners have been discovered. In
     almost every case these corpses bear traces of the
     horrible torture which precedes murder. In dugouts from
     which Red Army troops have driven the Germans, in
     fortifications, and also in populated centers, bodies
     of Soviet prisoners are found who have been murdered
     after savage torture. Facts like the following,
     recorded in affidavits signed by eye-witnesses, are
     being uncovered with increasing frequency. On 2nd and
     6th March, 1942, on the Crimean front, in the hilly
     region near the village of Jantora, the bodies of nine
     Red Army men who had been taken prisoner were found so
     brutally tortured by the Fascists that only two of the
     corpses could be identified. The nails had been drawn
     from the fingers of the tortured prisoners of war,
     their eyes had been gouged out and the right breast of
     one corpse had been completely cut out; there were
     traces of torture by fire, numerous knife wounds, and
     broken jaws.
     In Theodosia scores of bodies of tortured Azerbaijanian
     Red Army men were found. Among them were Ismail-Zadch
     Jafarov, whose eyes had been gouged out and ears
     slashed off by the Hitlerites; Kuli-Zadch Alibekov,
     whose arms had been dislocated by the Hitlerites, after
     which he had been bayoneted; Corporal Ali Ogly Islom-
     Mahmed, whose stomach had been ripped open by the
     Hitlerites; Mustafa Ogly Asherov, who had been bound to
     a post with wire and died of his wounds in this
And then, in the same note, is cited:

     "In the village of Krasnaperovo (Smolensk region),
     attacking units of the Red Army found 29 dead and 2
     naked bodies of captured Red Army men and officers,
     none of whom had a single bullet wound. All the
     prisoners had been knifed to death. In the same
     district, in the village of Babaevo, the Hitlerites
     placed 58 captive Red Army men and 2 women ambulance-
     workers in a haystack and then set fire to the hay.
     When the
                                                  [Page 308]
     people who had been doomed to death attempted to escape
     from the flames, the Germans shot them.
     In the village of Kuleshovka, the Germans captured 16
     severely wounded men and officers, stripped the
     prisoners, tore the dressings from their wounds,
     tormented them with hunger, stabbed them with bayonets,
     broke their arms, tore open their wounds, and subjected
     them to other tortures, after which those who were
     still alive were locked up in a house, which was then
     set on fire.
     In the village of Strenevo of the Kalinin region, the
     Germans locked 50 wounded captive Red Army men in a
     school building and burnt them to death.
     In the town of Volokolamsk the invaders forbade Red
     Army men who had been locked on the fifth floor of
     house Number 316 Proleterskaja Street to leave the
     house when a fire broke out. Those who attempted to
     leave or to jump from the windows were shot. Sixty
     prisoners perished in the flames or were killed by
     In the village of Popovka (Tula region), the Germans
     drove 140 captive Red Army men into a barn and set fire
     to it. Ninety-five perished in the flames. Six
     kilometers from Pegostye Station, in the Leningrad
     region, the Germans, in the course of their retreat
     under pressure of the Red Army troops, used explosive
     bullets to kill over 150 Soviet war prisoners after
     frightful beatings and savage torture. On most of the
     bodies the ears had been slashed off, the eyes gouged
     out, and the fingers chopped off, while several had had
     one or both hands hacked off and their tongues torn
     out. Stars had been cut out on the backs of three Red
     Army men. Not long before the liberation of the town of
     Kondrovo, Smolensk region, by units of the Red Army in
     December, 1941, the Germans executed over 200 Red Army
     prisoners of war whom they had taken through the city,
     naked and barefoot, to the outskirts, shooting on the
     spot those who were exhausted and unable to walk any
     further, as well as those local citizens who gave them
     bread on their way through the city."

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.

                    (A recess was taken.)

COLONEL POKROVSKY: In their desire to exterminate as many
Soviet prisoners of war as possible, the Nazi conspirators
excelled themselves by inventing newer and ever newer
methods of extermination. The note states:

     "Of late a number of new cases have been established in
     which the German Command made use of Soviet war
     prisoners for clearing mine fields and for other
     hazardous work. Thus, in the district of the villages
     of Bolshaja and Malaja Vloya, for 4 days the Germans
     drove scores of prisoners lined up in close ranks, back
     and forth over a mine-field. Every day several
     prisoners were blown to pieces by mines. Provision is
     made for this method of killing prisoners in the orders
     of the German Command."

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