The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 127]

  "To all commandants of the concentration camps:-
  According to a statement received from the Central
  Security Administration, parcels of clothing were sent
  from the concentration camps mainly to the Gestapo
  Administration in Brno and in some there were bullet-
  holes and blood-stains on the articles. Some of the
  parcels were damaged, so that anyone could see what was
  inside them.
  As the Central Security Administration will in the near
  future issue regulations concerning the disposal of
  articles belonging to the deceased inmates, the sending
  of these articles is to cease immediately until definite
  regulations have been issued as to the disposal of
  property belonging to internees who have been put to
  Signed: Glucks, S.S. Brigadefuehrer and Major General of
  the S.S.".

I pass on to the presentation of evidence, depicting the
scale of the crimes committed.

In two extermination camps alone the criminals exterminated
five and a half million people. In proof of this I quote the
conclusions of the Extraordinary State Commission for
Auschwitz. I will quote only a short excerpt. It is preceded
by a detailed calculation. The Tribunal will find this
reference on Page 356 of the document book, fourth

  "However, using rectified coefficients for the part time
  use of the crematorium ovens and for the periods when
  they stood empty, the technical expert commission has
  ascertained that during the time that the Auschwitz camp
  existed the German butchers exterminated in this camp not
  less than four million citizens of the USSR, Poland,
  France, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Roumania, Hungary,
  Holland, Belgium and other countries".

I quote the corresponding passages from the Polish-Soviet
Extraordinary State Commission's report on Maidanek. The
Tribunal will find this quotation on Page 66, reverse side
of the document book, paragraph 6:-

  "The Polish-Soviet Extraordinary State Commission has
  ascertained that during the four years' existence of the
  extermination camp at Maidanek the Hitlerite hangmen,
  following the direct order of their criminal government,
  exterminated by mass shooting, and mass killing in gas
  chambers approximately one and a half million persons:
  Soviet prisoners of war, prisoners of war of the former
  Polish Army, and nationals of various countries: Poles,
  Frenchmen, Italians, Belgians, Dutch, Czechs, Serbs,
  Greeks, Croats and a great number of Jews".

With this document I conclude that section of my statement
which concerns the concentration camps and pass on to the
last section entitled "Concealment of Crimes".

During the period of their temporary military successes, the
German fascist criminals did not take much trouble to
conceal the traces of their crimes.

They did not even consider it necessary to camouflage the
burial grounds into which they hurled the bodies of the
murdered persons after the shootings.

But after the defeat suffered by the Hitlerite war-machine
at Stalingrad, the situation changed. Fearing retaliation,
the criminals began to take urgent measures to conceal the
traces of their crimes. Wherever possible, they burned the
corpses. Where this could not be done, the burial grounds
were carefully camouflaged with moss or green foliage. The
earth which covered the graves of those shot was smoothed
out with special machines and with caterpillar tractors.

However, the main method adopted by the German fascist
criminals for camouflaging their crimes was the burning of
the corpses. The ashes from the burned

                                                  [Page 128]

bodies were strewn over the fields. The bones which had not
been calcinated were crushed in special machines and mixed
with manure for the preparation of fertilisers. In large
camps the crushed bones of the victims were sold to the
German firms to be transferred into hyperphosphate.

As proof of the enormous scale of the Hitlerites' criminal
activity directed toward concealing the traces of their
crimes, I shall submit to the Tribunal a series of
documents. I will refer, first of all, to the communique of
the Polish-Soviet Extraordinary State Commission on
Maidanek. This document was submitted to the Tribunal as
Exhibit USSR 29. The part of the communique to which I refer
will be found by the Tribunal on Page 65 of the document
book, on the reverse side, last paragraph. In order to save
time, I will merely summarise the contents:-

In the beginning of 1942, two ovens for the burning of
corpses were built:-

   "As there were a great many corpses, the Germans, in
   1942, began, and by autumn of 1943 had finished, the
   building of powerful crematoria, consisting of five
   ovens. These ovens burned unceasingly. The temperature
   could reach 1,500 degrees Centigrade. In order to be
   able to put as many bodies as possible into the ovens,
   the corpses were dissected and the limbs hacked off ".

I omit the next paragraphs and beg the Tribunal to pay
attention to the passage which is three paragraphs further

The ovens in the crematoria proved to be inadequate, so the
Germans were compelled to resort to special primitive
cremation installations, which had been made in the
following way: I begin the quotation on Page 334 of the

   "On rails or frames, which served as grates, planks were
   placed. Corpses were laid on the planks, then more
   planks and again corpses. 500 to 1,000 corpses were
   piled on one pyre. All were covered with petrol and

I quote a short excerpt which shows the scale of criminal
actions taken to conceal the traces of
these crimes: Page 336, first paragraph:-

   "The commission has ascertained that in the ovens of the
   crematoria alone more than 600,000 corpses were burned.
   More than 300,000 corpses were burned on the gigantic
   pyres in the Krimpetz woods; more than 80,000 corpses
   were burned in the two old ovens; not less than 400,000
   corpses were burned on pyres in the camp itself, near
   the crematoria".

As a proof of this, that is to say, of the scale of the
criminal activity of the Hitlerites in concealing the traces
of their crimes, I refer now to the Report of the
Extraordinary State Commission for the Town of Minsk. The
members of the Tribunal will find this quotation on the back
of Page 215, paragraph 4. I quote a short excerpt:-

   "In the Blagovtchina woods, thirty-four ditch graves
   were discovered, camouflaged with evergreen branches.
   Some of the graves reached a length of 50 metres. During
   a partial excavation of five of these graves, corpses,
   and a layer of ashes 50 centimetres or 1 metre thick
   were discovered at a depth of 3 metres. Near the graves
   the commission discovered a great number of small human
   bones, hair, false teeth and numerous small personal
   articles. The investigation has ascertained that the
   fascists exterminated here up to 150,000 persons.
   At a distance of 45o metres from the former hamlet of
   Petrashkevichi eight ditch graves have been discovered.
   Their size is 21 metres long, 4 metres wide, and 5
   metres deep. Before every ditch grave there are enormous
   piles of the ashes of the burned corpses".

                                                  [Page 129]

I omit the next page, and as further proof of this crime I
am now referring to the report of the Extraordinary State
Commission concerning the "Crimes of the German Fascist
Invaders in the Lvov Region". This document has already been
submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 6. I quote a very
short excerpt from it. The part which I will quote will be
found by the members of the Tribunal on Page 164 on the
reverse side, paragraph 5.

   "Upon the order of Reich Minister Himmler and of Major
   General of Police S.S. Katzmann, special measures for
   exhuming and burning the corpses of murdered peaceful
   citizens, Soviet prisoners of war and citizens of
   foreign countries were carried out in June, 1943. In
   Lvov the Germans created a special Sonderkommando No.
   1005 composed of 126 men. The chief of this Kommando was
   Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Scherlack; his assistant,
   Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Rauch. The duty of this
   Sonderkommando was to exhume and burn the corpses of the
   civilians and prisoners of war who had been liquidated".

I dwell on this extract, and I would beg the Tribunal to
remember this number, "Sonderkommando No. 1005." This
Kommando was the prototype of similar Sonderkommandos
created by the Germans. Later, the Sonderkommandos created
for this task received the numbers of 1005A, 1005B, etc.

I finish the quotation with the conclusion of the medico-
forensic experts. I quote the last paragraph on Page 340 of
the text:-

   "Thus the Hitlerite murderers adopted on the territory
   of the Lvov Region the same methods for concealing their
   crimes which they employed earlier in connection with
   the murder of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest.
   The expert commission found that methods used in
   camouflaging the graves in Lisenitz Forest were exactly
   the same as those used in camouflaging the graves of the
   Polish officers killed by the Germans at Katyn.
   To extend the experiments in exterminating people,
   cremating corpses and camouflaging the crimes, the
   Germans set up in Lvov, in the Yanov Camp, a special
   school for the preparation of qualified cadres. The
   commandants of the camps of Lublin, Warsaw, Cracow and
   other cities attended this school. The chief of the
   Sonderkommando No. 1005, Scherlack, taught the
   commandants on the spot how to organise the exhumation
   of the corpses from the graves, how to pile them on
   stacks, burn them, how to scatter the ashes, to crush
   the bones, to fill up the ditches, and how to plant
   trees and brush wood on the graves as camouflage".

I now refer to a document which has already been submitted
to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 61, which is the report of
the examination in the town of Lvov of the special machine
for the crushing of bones. This record may be found by the
members of the Tribunal on Page 473 of the document book. As
I have very little time left at my disposal, I shall quote
only very short excerpts. I quote paragraph 1, on Page 342:-

"The machine for crushing bones is mounted on a special
carriage on the platform of a trailer. It is easily
transportable without dismounting".

I omit the next paragraph, and shall read one more short
extract :-

   "The machine will function anywhere without special
   preparation, and can be transported by automobile or any
   other vehicle.
   A machine of these dimensions can produce 3 cubic metres
   of calcinated bone powder".

I omit the next four pages of the report, and submit to the
Tribunal as evidence the original record of the
interrogation of Gerhard Adamitz (Exhibit USSR 80), taken by
an American Army lieutenant, Patrick McMahon.

                                                  [Page 130]

Gerhard Adamitz was interrogated under oath.

I dwell especially on this document, which, kindly, has been
put at our disposal by our American colleagues; because
Adamitz's testimony, to use a legal term, in some points
corroborates our own evidential material. The testimony is
very lengthy, and I will limit myself to a few short

Gerhard Adamitz was a member of Sonderkommando 1005B. I draw
the attention of the Tribunal again to the fact that the
first Sonderkommando was simply 1005; this one is
Sonderkommando 1005B. The excerpt which I shall quote from
the testimony of Gerhard Adamitz will be found by the
members of the Tribunal on Page 480 of the document book,
beginning with the second paragraph.

Gerhard Adamitz said that, together with forty other members
of the Schutzpolizei, he left Dniepro-Petrovsk and was sent
to Kiev. I remind the Tribunal of the name of Babi-Yar,
which it has already heard. I begin to quote the testimony
of Adamitz, page 347:

   "Our Lieutenant Winter reported about our column to
   Oberleutnant Hanisch, who was the Zugfuehrer of the
   Schutzpolizei of group 1005A. The place smelled of
   corpses. We felt faint, stopped our noses and tried not
   to breathe. Oberleutnant Hanisch addressed us. I
   remember the following excerpts:-
   'You have come to the place where you are to serve and
   support your comrades. You already smell an odour coming
   from the kitchen behind us. We must all get used to
   this, and you must all carry out your duties. We will
   have to guard internees, and do so very strictly.
   Everything that takes place here is the secret affair of
   the Reich. Everyone of you answers with his head if ever
   an internee under his guard succeeds in escaping, and
   besides this, will be subjected to a special regime. The
   same fate awaits anyone who lets out anything or is
   careless in his correspondence'."

I omit the next sentence and continue the quotation -.

   "After this speech of Hanisch, we were led out so as to
   acquaint ourselves with the place where we were to
   serve. We left the cemetery and were brought to an
   adjoining field - yes, I am right - the field was
   adjoining. The road which crossed this field was guarded
   on both sides by policemen, who chased away all those
   who tried to approach it. In the field we saw about 100
   internees resting from work. The legs of each internee
   were in chains of about 35 centimetres long. They were
   dressed in civilian clothes".

I omit the next part of the paragraph and continue the

   "The work of the internees consisted, as we found out
   later, in exhuming corpses which had been buried here in
   two common graves, transporting them, piling them up in
   two enormous heaps and burning them. It is difficult to
   estimate the numbers, but I believe that on this spot
   were buried 40,000 to 45,000 corpses. One anti-tank
   ditch served as a grave and was partially filled with
   corpses. This ditch was 100 metres long, 10 metres wide,
   and 4 to 5 metres deep".

I interrupt my quotation, and continue with the last
paragraph of the text:-
   "On the day of our arrival, about the 10th September,
   1943, there were three or four small piles of corpses on
   the field".

It is interesting to note what this fascist expert in the
burning of corpses understood by the words "small piles". I
continue the quotation:-

   "Every such pile consisted of about 700 corpses. It was
   about 7 metres long, 4 metres wide, and 2 metres high".

                                                  [Page 131]

Continuing from the next page:-

   "Here and in other places I observed the following
   methods of burning corpses:-
   With the aid of iron hooks, the corpses were dragged to
   certain spots and then piled on a wooden platform. Then
   the whole pile of corpses was surrounded with logs,
   paraffin was poured on and ignited.
   We, the policemen of Sonderkommando 1005 B, were then
   led back from the cemetery to the kitchen. However, not
   one of us could eat because of the terrible smell and
   because of all we had seen".

Although the rest of the text is very interesting, I have to
leave it out in order to save time and continue the
quotation from Page 351, second paragraph. I quote this
excerpt, as in the Report of the Kiev Extraordinary State
Commission I already had the honour to report to the
Tribunal about the statements of internees who had fled from
these Kommandos.

Adamitz's testimony gives full confirmation of this episode.
I shall read only a short quotation:-

   "About 29th October, 1943, at 4.45 a.m., during dense
   fog, thirty internees escaped. They tore off their foot
   chains, rushed out of their barracks with shouts, and
   ran away in different directions. Six of them were shot;
   because of the dense fog the others succeeded in

I beg the Tribunal to pay attention to the fact that as soon
as the work of burning corpses was completed the internees
were murdered. In proof of this I quote the following
excerpt from Adamitz's statement, page 352:-

   "In other places where I served as guard, the internees,
   after their work of exhuming and burning of corpses had
   been done, were murdered. They had been brought in
   groups or individually under the escort of the policemen
   chosen for this purpose, to a spot designated by the
   S.D. The policemen were afterwards sent back to bring
   along more internees. Then the members of the S.D.
   forced the internees to lie, face down, on a wooden
   platform, and immediately shot them in the nape of the
   neck. The internees in many cases obeyed this order
   without resistance, lying down next to their comrades
   who already had been shot".

I draw the attention of the Tribunal to the further career
of the Sonderkommando. You will find information on this
subject in the same record. This Sonderkommando served in
Kryvoy Rog, in Nikolaiev, at Voznesensk and in Riga. That is
to say, it crossed my country from the Black Sea to the
Baltic countries; a distance of thousands of kilometres,
Everywhere it carried out the same work. In confirmation of
this I will quote only a short excerpt regarding the last
stage on the Kommando's work in Riga. Page 357 of the

   "We members of Kommando 1005 B received an order to go
   to several newly-built barracks, which were situated
   about 250 metres from six or seven mass graves".

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