The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I draw the attention of the Tribunal to the following text,
where we find details on certain methods of murder adopted
by the criminals

Mass shootings, as shown in the following sub-paragraphs
(a), (b) and (c), took place in 1941.

The extermination of peaceful citizens in the gas wagons
occurred in 1943, as shown in sub-paragraph (d).

I omit the next page, and draw the attention of the Tribunal
to that part of the document which is on Page 240; a
description of the methodical destruction of the inmates in
Rovno prison.

I dwell on this point because similar methods of
extermination of Soviet people are typical of the terrorist
regime established by the Hitlerites in the temporarily
occupied territories of the USSR.

I begin my quotation on Page 240 of the document book:-

   "On 18th March, 1943, the paper 'Volyn' of the German
   occupation  troops, published the
   following announcement:-
     'On 8th March, 1943, inmates of Rovno prison while
     attempting to escape, killed one German prison official
     and one guard. The escape was thwarted by the energetic
     action of the prison guard. By order of the commandant
     of the German S.P. (Schutzpolizei) and S.D.
     (Sicherheitsdienst), all the prison inmates were shot
     on that same day.'

In November, 1943, the German District Judge was murdered by
a person unknown. As a measure of retaliation, the
Hitlerites again shot over 350 inmates of Rovno prison."

I will not quote any further examples of the executions in
the prisons, since in those documentary films which will be
submitted to the Tribunal, your Honours will find a series
of similar crimes committed by the Hitlerite invaders on the
territories of the USSR.

I pass on to the following part of my statement:-

"The retaliatory destruction of village populations."

In the endless chain of German fascist crimes, there are
some which will remain for a long time, perhaps forever, in
the memory of indignant mankind, even though mankind will
have learned about still graver crimes perpetrated by the
Nazis. One of the crimes that will thus be remembered is the
destruction of a small Czechoslovak village called Lidice
and the merciless annihilation of the population of that

                                                   [Page 87]

Many times, and in even more cruel forms, the fate of Lidice
was suffered on the territory of the Soviet Union, of
Yugoslavia and Poland; but mankind will never forget Lidice,
for this little village became a symbol of Nazi criminality.

The destruction of Lidice was a retaliation by the Nazis for
the just execution of the Protector of Czechia, Heydrich, by
Czechoslovak patriots.

The Chief Prosecutor of the USSR, when speaking of Lidice,
quoted a German report concerning this act of terror, which
was published in the paper "Der Neue Tag" on 11th June,

I will quote a very short extract from the report of the
Czechoslovak Government, which the Tribunal will find on
Page 172 of the document book:-

   "On 9 June, 1942, the village of Lidice was surrounded,
   on the order of the Gestapo, by soldiers who arrived
   from the hamlet of Slany in ten large trucks. They
   allowed everyone to enter the village, but no one was
   permitted to leave. A twelve-year-old boy tried to
   escape; a soldier shot him on the spot. A woman tried to
   escape; a bullet in the back killed her, and her corpse
   was found in the fields after the harvest.
   The Gestapo dragged the women and children to the
   The 10 June was the last day of Lidice and of its
   inhabitants. The men were locked up in the cellar, the
   barn and the stable of the Horak family farm. They
   foresaw their fate and awaited it calmly. The seventy-
   three year old priest, Steribeck, strengthened their
   spirit by his prayers.

I omit the following two paragraphs and continue my

   "The men were led out of the Horak farm into the garden
   behind the barn, in batches of ten, and shot. The
   murders went on from early morning until 4 o'clock in
   the afternoon. Afterwards the executioners were
   photographed, with the corpses at their feet."

I omit the following four paragraphs and pass on to the fate
of the population of Lidice:

   " The fate of the men of Lidice has been described. One
   hundred and seventy-two adult men and youths from
   sixteen years upwards were shot on 10 June, 1942.
   Nineteen men who worked in the Kladno mines were
   arrested later on in the collieries or nearby woods,
   taken to Prague and shot.
   Seven women from Lidice were shot in Prague as well. The
   remaining one hundred and ninety-five women were
   deported to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Forty-
   two died of ill-treatment; seven were gassed; three
   disappeared. Four of these women were taken from Lidice
   to a maternity hospital in Prague where their newly born
   infants were murdered; then the mothers were sent to
   The children of Lidice were taken from their mothers a
   few days after the destruction of the village; ninety
   children were sent to Lodz, in Poland, and thence to
   Gneisenau concentration camp, in the so-called
   'Wartheland.' So far no trace of these children has been
   found. Seven of the youngest, less than a year old, were
   taken to a German hospital in Prague.  After examination
   by 'racial experts' they were sent to Germany, there to
   be brought up as Germans and under German names. Every
   trace of them has been lost.
   Two or three infants were born in Ravensbruck
   concentration camp. They, were killed at birth."

                                                   [Page 88]

The fate of Lidice was repeated in many Soviet villages.
Many peaceful citizens of these villages perished in even
greater torment: they were burned alive, or died victims of
still more brutal forms of execution.

I have considerably reduced the volume of the examples which
I wished to quote, and I omit the next page of the text,
drawing the attention of the Tribunal to the text on Page
295. This document, already submitted to the Tribunal by my
colleague, Colonel Pokrovsky, is a report of the
Extraordinary State Commission on the Crimes of the
Hitlerite Invaders in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist
Republic. I quote one paragraph only:-

   "On the third of June, 1944, in the village of Perchape,
   of the Trakai district, the Hitlerites broke into the
   village and plundered it completely, after which, having
   driven all the men into one house and the women and
   children into three others, they set fire to the
   buildings. Those who attempted to flee were caught by
   the fascist monsters and thrown back into the burning
   houses. In this manner the entire population of the
   village, 119 souls in all, 21 men, 29 women (and I
   stress), 69 children, were burned to death."

I close the quotation and beg the Tribunal to turn to
another document, which I submit as Exhibit USSR 279. It is
a communique of the Extraordinary State Commission on the
Crimes of the German fascist Invaders in the cities of
Viazma, Gjatsk, and Sychev of the Smolensk region, and also
in the city of Rjev in the Kalinin region.

I would have liked to dwell more fully on this report but I
will now summarise it in order to shorten my statement.

I omit two pages of the text and pass on to Page 145 - I
quote the sixth paragraph:-

   "In the village of Zajtschiki, members of the Gestapo
   drove into one house the following persons: Michael
   Zaikhov, age 61; Nikifar Belyahov, age 69; Catherine
   Jegorava, age 70; Catherine Golubyera, age 70; Jegor
   Dadonov, age 5; Myra Zernova, age 7; and others - 23
   persons all told. The Gestapo set fire to the house and
   burned all the victims alive."

I omit two paragraphs and quote one more:-

   "In. retreating from the village of Gratschevo in the
   District of Gesclizatsk, in March, 1943, the Assistant
   Chief of the German Field Police, Lt. Boss, drove two
   hundred inhabitants of the Chistyakov Communal Farm into
   a house. (The names of the victims are then given.) He
   locked the doors, set fire to the house and all the two
   hundred were burned alive."

I will not enumerate the names of the people, but I wish to
draw the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that some of
them were 63 and 70 years old, some of the children were 3,
4 or 5 years old.

I omit two paragraphs and quote another excerpt:-

   "The fascists burned all the inhabitants, both young and
   old, of the villages of Kuliekovo and Kolesniki, of the
   Geschzatsk district, in one farm-house."

That concludes the reading of this document.

I now ask the Tribunal to accept in evidence a German
document, submitted in evidence as Exhibit USSR 119. This is
a certified photostat of an operational report and other
documents of the 15th Police Regiment. Among them we find
one entitled "Summary of a Punitive Expedition to the
village of Borysowka, 22 and 26 September, 1942". The
Tribunal will find this document on Page 309 of the document

                                                   [Page 89]

I quote in brief from this document, which proves beyond
doubt that under the guise of anti-partisan warfare the
Hitlerite criminals mercilessly annihilated the population
of the Soviet villages.

I quote the first part under the heading:-

   "1. Mission: The 9th Company must destroy the village of
   Borysovka, which is overrun by partisans.
   2. Forces: Two platoons of the 9th Company of the 15th
   Police Regiment, one platoon of gendarmes of the 16th
   Motorised Regiment, and one tank platoon from Beresy-
   Kartuska." (I emphasise, your Honours, that the
   expedition included a tank platoon from Beresy-Kartuska.
   Against whom were these tanks and the two platoons
   supposed to operate ?)

We find an answer to this question in the following item of
this report:-

   "3. Execution of Mission: The company assembled in the
   evening of 22 September, 1942, in Dyvyn. During the
   night from 22 to 23 September, 1942, they marched from
   Dyvyn in the direction of Borysovka. The village was
   encircled from the north to the south by two platoons at
   4 a.m. . . . At daybreak the entire population of the
   village was assembled by the village elder. After an
   investigation of the population with the assistance of
   the Security Police and the S.D. from Dyvyn, five
   families were resettled in Dyvyn. The remainder were
   shot by an especially detailed squad, and buried five
   hundred metres to the north-east of Borysovka.
   Altogether, 169 persons were shot, consisting of 49 men,
   97 women and 23 children."

I consider that these quotations are so eloquent that I can
conclude the reading of this document and, omitting two
pages, pass on to the next part of my statement.

I beg the Tribunal to look at Page 119 of the document book,
which contains the report of the Extraordinary State
Commission on the "Destruction caused by the German fascist
invaders in the Stalinsk Region".

Hitherto I have submitted proof of the fact that in the
villages the German fascist invaders criminally exterminated
the Soviet population by burning their victims alive. In
this report we find a confirmation of the fact that people
were burned alive equally in the cities and towns. This
document has been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR
2. I quote from Page 116 of the document book:-

   "In the city of Stalino, the German invaders drove all
   the residents of the professor's house into a barn,
   closed the entrance, blocked it, poured oil on it and
   set it on fire. All those in the barn lost their lives,
   with the exception of two little girls, who saved
   themselves by pure chance."

I omit the next part of the report of this Commission.

   "On 11 November, 1943, the members of this Commission
   made excavations on the site of the barn and while
   investigating it, they discovered 41 charred human

From the very first days of the war against the USSR, the
German fascist terror toward the civilian population,
assumed monstrous proportions. This was noted in the reports
of several German officers, who had participated in the
First World War and who stressed the fact that even in the
cruel First World War they had never witnessed anything

I again refer to a German document and submit to the
Tribunal, as Exhibit USSR 293, an authenticated photostat of
a report from the former Commander of the 528th Regiment,
Major Roesler, and a report by Schirwindt, who was Chief

                                                   [Page 90]

of the 9th Military District. Since this document is of
sufficient interest I will read it into the record in full.
You, your Honours, will find the extract on Page 319 of the
document book:-

   "Kassel, 3 January, 1942.
   Major Roesler.
   The report passed on to me by the 52nd Reserve Regiment
   on the attitude towards the Civilian Population in the
   East prompts me to state the following:-
   At the end of July, 1941, the 58th Infantry Regiment,
   then under my command, was on its way from the West to
   its rest billets in Zhitomir. After I had moved with my
   staff into the staff quarters, on the afternoon of the
   day of our arrival, we heard rifle volleys, at a short
   distance from us, at regular intervals, followed a
   little later by pistol shots. I decided to find out what
   was happening and started out with my adjutant and the
   courier (1st Lieutenant von Bassewitz and Lieutenant
   Muller-Brodmann) in the direction of the rifle shots.
   We soon got the impression that something was happening,
   since after some time we saw numerous soldiers and
   civilians streaming towards the railway embankment. We
   could not reach the other side of the embankment for a
   long time. After a certain interval, however, we heard
   the sound of a whistle followed by a volley of about ten
   rifles, which in turn was followed some time later by
   pistol shots.
   When we finally scrambled over the embankment a picture
   of horror was revealed to us. A pit, about seven to
   eight metres long and perhaps four metres wide, had been
   dug in the ground. The upturned earth was piled on one
   side of the pit. This pile of earth and the side of the
   pit were completely soaked in human blood. The pit
   itself was filled with numerous corpses of all ages and
   sexes. There were so many corpses that one could not
   even ascertain the depth of the pit.
   Behind the pile of earth stood a police detachment under
   the command of a police officer. The uniforms of the
   police bore traces of blood. Many soldiers from the
   troops just billeted in the area stood around. Some of
   them wore shorts and lounged about as spectators. There
   was also a number of civilians, women and children.
   This sight was so appalling that I cannot forget it even
   now, I remember particularly clearly the following
   scene. In this grave lay, among others, an old man with
   a white beard, clutching a cane in his left hand. Since
   this man, judging from his sporadic breathing, still
   showed signs of life, I ordered one of the policemen to
   kill him off. He smilingly replied. 'I have already shot
   him seven times in the stomach. He can die on his own
   The bodies lay in the grave, not in rows, but as they
   had fallen from the top of the pit. All these people had
   been killed by rifle shots in the nape of the neck and
   then in the pit were granted the coup de grace of a
   pistol shot.
   I have never seen anything of the kind, either in the
   First World War, in the Russian or in the French
   campaigns of the present war. I have witnessed many
   disagreeable things in the volunteer detachments in
   1919, but I have never witnessed a similar scene."

I omit one paragraph and continue:-

   "I wish to add that according to the testimony of
   soldiers who have
                                                   [Page 91]
   often watched these executions, apparently several
   hundred persons were shot by these methods every day.
   (Signed) Roesler."

Characteristic is the comment in the covering note from the
Deputy Commander of the IX Army Corps and Officer Commanding
the 9th Military District, who forwarded Roesler's report to
the Chief of the Army Armament and Equipment Department,

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