The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/17

Order Number 109 to the 203rd Infantry Regiment states:

     "General Field Marshal Rundstedt, Commander-in-Chief of
     the Army, has ordered that, apart from military
     operations, the search for mines and the clearing of
     mine fields be done by Russian prisoners, with a view
     to sparing German blood. This also refers to German

The marauding mentioned in the previous note is regarded not
only as something possible, but is proclaimed as obligatory
to all the soldiers of the German Army.

                                                  [Page 309]

The Peoples' Commissar refers to the following documents
issued by the German Command, in stressing the fact that
this looting, done in winter-time, doomed the Red Army men
to freeze to death:

     "An order of the Staff of the 88th Regiment of the 34th
     German Infantry Division, headed 'Situation with
     Respect to Clothing,' imposed: 'Boots should be removed
     from Russian prisoners of war without hesitation.'

That this order is not an accidental one is seen from the
fact that even before the perfidious attack on the U.S.S.R.,
the German Command provided for recourse to this system of
supplying its troops.

Among the documents of the 234th Infantry Regiment of the
56th Division, a circular was found numbered 121/4 and dated
6th June, 1941, bearing the heading, "On the Principles of
Supply in the Eastern Areas." This circular states on Page

     "You must not count on being furnished clothing.
     Therefore it is particularly important to remove
     serviceable boots from prisoners of war and to make
     immediate use of all suitable clothing, underwear,
     socks, etc."
As the note points out, the Germans, with a view to
exterminating Soviet prisoners of war, deprived them of
food, condemned them to slow starvation and in some cases
used a bad quality food. Soviet authorities have in their
possession Order Number 202 of the Staff of the above-
mentioned 88th Regiment, which states:

     "Carcasses of horses will serve as food for Russian
     prisoners of war. Such points where carcasses of horses
     have been dumped are designated by signs. They can be
     found along the highways in Malo-Yaroslavets and in the
     villages of Romanovo and Beloussovo."
Order Number 166/41 to the 60th Motorized Infantry Division
is quite outspoken in demanding the mass murder of Soviet
prisoners of war. This order states:

     "Russian soldiers and non-commissioned officers are
     extremely courageous in battle. Even small isolated
     units are always ready to attack. Therefore no humane
     attitude towards the prisoners is permissible. The
     destruction of the enemy by fire or by cold steel must
     be continued until he is rendered completely
The regulations issued by the German Command on the
treatment of Soviet war prisoners, under Number 1/3058,
contain the following instructions:

     "At the slightest sign of insubordination energetic and
     direct action must be taken. Arms must be used
     ruthlessly. Bludgeons, canes, and whips must not be
     used. Leniency, even towards obedient and hard-working
     prisoners only indicates weakness and must not be
     indulged in." (From Point 2.)
     "At work the distance to the prisoner must always be
     such as to permit of immediate recourse to arms." (From
     Point 3.)
All this proved to be insufficient. The order of the High
Command of the German Army, dated 14th January, 1942 and
issued in the name of Hitler as Commander-in-Chief, states -
- Paragraph 2:

     "All clemency or humaneness towards prisoners of war is
     strictly condemned. A German soldier must always make
     his prisoner feel his superiority. Every delay in
     resorting to arms against a war prisoner harbours
     danger. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army hopes that
     these directions will be fully carried out."
     "The Soviet Government continues to receive reliable
     information on the condition of captive Red Army men in
     the German-occupied territories of the U.S.S.R. as well
     as in the German rear, and in the German-occupied
                                                  [Page 310]
     European countries. This information testifies to the
     further deterioration of the regime instituted for
     captive Red Army men, and that they are particularly
     bad off in comparison with the war prisoners of other
     countries. It further testifies to the dying of Soviet
     prisoners of war from starvation and illness, from foul
     indignities and bloody cruelty systematically applied
     to the Red Army men by the Hitlerite authorities who
     have long since violated the most elementary
     requirements of International Law and human ethics."
The note specially stresses the fact that the inhuman
atrocities and the cruelty perpetrated by the German Fascist
gangsters against the Soviet war prisoners exceed the
atrocities of Genghis Khan, Baty and Mamay.

In spite of that the note states -- you will find on Page 14
of the document book:

     "The Soviet Government, true to the principles of
     humaneness and respect for its international
     obligations, has no intention, even in the given
     circumstances, of applying retaliatory repressive
     measures against German prisoners of war, and
     continues, as heretofore, to observe the obligations
     undertaken by the Soviet Union with regard to the
     regime for war prisoners specified by the Hague
     Convention of 1907, which was likewise signed but so
     perfidiously violated in every one of its points by
Later I shall quote an affidavit, written by a group of
German prisoners of war. The authors of the document, on the
one hand, by a series of new facts, have added to the number
of atrocities committed by the conspirators against the
Soviet war prisoners; and on the other hand, they have
confirmed that the Soviet Command is true to the principle
of humaneness in its attitude towards the German captives.

The military victory of the democratic Powers opened the
innermost secrets of Hitler's archives. Along with a large
number of documents that raise the curtain on the criminal
plans of the conspirators, we have also obtained a wide
opportunity of interrogating living witnesses. A whole
series of questions become finally clear as and when the
witnesses' depositions are being cross-checked with the
documentary archives. Much new evidence has also been
received by us on the subject of the crimes against the
prisoners of war.

Some information with regard to the criminal Hitlerite
practice of exterminating the Soviet prisoners of war
appeared on 27th April, 1942, in the official communication
of V. M. Molotov, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs in
the U.S.S.R.

I shall here prove that this crime was part of the general
conspiracy, and was planned in advance of the aggressive war
against the Soviet Union. The Tribunal will see that the
regime for war prisoners was really the sum total of diverse
methods for their extermination. Let us turn to the
testimony of the witnesses.

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