The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I refer further to the Report of the Extraordinary State
Commission on the Crimes in the City of Kiev. This report
describes murders in the camps which will also be shown in
the film.

I quote only one excerpt from this report, which shows the
methods of extermination of people in the Siretzk Camp. I
quote Page 289, paragraph 3, of the Russian text:-

   "Radomski and Rieder used all kinds of devices for the
   extermination of Soviet citizens. For instance, they
   invented the following method: Several Soviet prisoners
   would be forced to climb a tree and others had to saw it
   down, The prisoners would fall together with the tree
   and be killed ".

Further, I quote a short excerpt from the Report of the
Extraordinary State Commission on Crimes in the Esthonian
S.S.R. This excerpt describes the very

                                                  [Page 123]

severe regime in the Esthonian camps. I quote the last
paragraph on Page 90:-

   "Daily in the camp there were public floggings of the
   inmates on a bench especially built for this purpose.
   Besides this, for the smallest offence people were kept
   without any food for two days; or in the coldest
   weather, they were forced to stand tied to a post for
   two or three hours. Not only the S.S. Guards but also
   the administration of the camp and the German physicians
   took part in torturing the internees. The German doctor,
   Bortmann, personally beat two inmates, Dr. Salkinson and
   Dr. Tzetzov. Beside this, Dr. Bortmann systematically
   poisoned sick inmates by subcutaneous injections of
   evipan. The medical attendant Unterscharfuehrer Gent
   killed twenty-three elderly inmates with an axe. The
   witness I. M. Ranter testified:' In February, 1944, two
   children were born in the camp at Kloga. Both of them
   were thrown alive into the furnace of the crematorium
   and burned '".

I interrupt my quotation, as I consider that the regime in
these concentration camps has already been sufficiently
described. I pass on to the presentation of evidence on the
camps of extermination, the so-called "Vernichtungslager ".
Numerous proofs on this subject have already been presented
to the Tribunal and therefore I shall limit myself to the
presentation of evidence which is connected with the
documentary films which are to be shown to the Tribunal to-
day. I consider that the Tribunal has had enough proof of
the fact that citizens of all European countries were
exterminated in concentration camps. People both from
Western Europe and from the countries of Eastern Europe were
brought into these camps. This is shown not only by official
reports on these camps but also from a board with names of
inmates of one of the camp's section which your Honours can
find in the album of documents on Auschwitz. Citizens of all
European countries can be found.

A special technique was used in the extermination of the
people and in connection with this I draw the attention of
your Honours to one fact, which I especially investigated
when I was analysing the material relating to concentration
camps. I decided to ascertain the number of individual firms
in the German-fascist State engaged in building crematoria
for the concentration camps.

I shall present to the Tribunal the evidence that in fascist
Germany there were at least three special firms engaged in
building crematoria and crematoria installations for
concentration camps. This testifies to the scale of the
crimes committed in these camps. I omit the text from pages
295 to 303. I begin the presentation of evidence relating to
this section. I ask the Tribunal to refer to the Report of
the Extraordinary State Commission on the Crimes of German
Fascist Invaders in Auschwitz. I quote the documents, which
are on Page 353 in the document book of the Tribunal, and
which are quoted in the text of the report. I begin the

   "Construction of new vast crematoria was entrusted to
   the German firm of Topf & Sons, of Erfurt, which
   immediately began to build four powerful crematoria and
   gas chambers in Birkenau. Berlin demanded with
   impatience that the construction be expedited and all
   work completed by the beginning of 1943".

In the office records of the Auschwitz Camp there was
discovered a voluminous correspondence between the
administration of the camp and the firm Topf & Sons. Among
them the following letters:-

   "I. A. Topf & Sons, Erfurt,
   12th February, 1943.
   To Central Construction Office of S.S., and Police,
   Subject: Crematoria 2 and 3 for the camp for prisoners
   of war.
   We acknowledge receipt of your wire of 10th February, as
   You are to deliver the complete installation for
   Crematorium No- 3. You
                                                  [Page 124]
   are expected to take steps to ensure the immediate
   despatch of all the machines complete with parts.
   We again acknowledge receipt of your order for five
   triple furnaces, including two electric lifts for
   raising the corpses and one emergency lift. A practical
   installation for stoking coal was also ordered and one
   for transporting the ashes '".

I omit the next document which deals with bath-houses, and
present to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 64, a document which
is appended to the report of the Yugoslav Government. This
is a certified photostat of a document, outwardly having all
the official character of a business document from a "sound
business firm". The name of the firm is Didier. The subject
of the correspondence - the construction of crematoria
"designed for a large camp in Belgrade". The document
presented by me characterised the firm Didier as a firm with
considerable experience in construction of crematoria for
concentration camps and which advertised itself as a firm
that understood the demands of its clients. For putting the
bodies into the furnace, the firm designed a special
conveyor with a two-wheeled shaft. The firm claimed that it
could execute this order much better than any other firms,
and asked for a small advance, to draw up plans for the
construction of a crematorium in the camp.

I quote a few short excerpts from this document - the first
two paragraphs:-

   "With reference to your son's visit and his conversation
   with our expert, Herr Storl, we note that the Belgrade
   S.S. unit intends to build a crematorium for a large
   camp and that you have received instructions to design
   and construct the building in co-operation with local

I interrupt my quotation and I shall quote one more excerpt:-

"For putting the bodies into the furnace, we suggest simply
a metal fork moving on cylinders.

Each furnace will have an oven measuring only 6oo
millimetres in breadth and 450 millimetres in height, as
coffins will not be used. For transporting the corpses from
the storage point to the furnaces we suggest using light
carts on wheels and we enclose diagrams of these drawn to

I interrupt my quotation here and I present to the Tribunal
Exhibit USSR 325. This document will be brought to you
presently, Mr. President. May I refer to it? It will be
presented to you within a few minutes.

I submit the new document as Exhibit USSR 325; it, too,
deals with the construction of those crematoria for
concentration camps in Belgrade and contains the
correspondence of the firm Kori, G.m.b.H. This is a well-
known firm, which considered that even every business letter
must be ended with "Heil Hitler!" As its clients were well
known to it, the firm Kori once again inquired whether "two
furnaces would be sufficient". The firm, among other things,
mentioned that it had already built four furnaces for Dachau
and five for Lublin; it emphasised that its technically
perfect furnaces gave full satisfaction in practice. I quote
a very short excerpt of this document which the Tribunal
will find on Page 471 in volume 2 of the document book. I
quote the first paragraph:-

   "Following our discussions regarding the delivery of a
   crematorium installation of simple construction, we
   suggest our perfect coal-burning furnaces for crematoria
   which have hitherto given full satisfaction.
   We suggest two crematorium furnaces for the building
   planned, but we advise you to make further inquiries to
   make sure whether two ovens will be sufficient for your

I omit the next paragraph and continue the quotation

   "The area required for the furnaces, including space for
   the stokers and other personnel is shown on the attached
   diagram. Sketch J. Nr. 8998 shows an installation with
   two furnaces. Sketch J. Nr. 9122 shows the arrangement
   of four furnaces in the construction projected for
   Dachau. A further sketch,
                                                  [Page 125]
   J. Nr. 9080, shows the Lublin installation with five
   crematorium furnaces and two built-in compartments for

I omit the next part of the document. The ending is very

   "Awaiting your further news, we will be at your service.
   Heil Hitler!
   C. H. Kori G.m.b.H."

And so we have established that the design and construction
of the crematorium ovens for German
concentration camps ...

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know, as they have
not these letters before them, to whom they were addressed.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: The letters, Mr. President, were addressed
to the S.S. units in Belgrade. These documents were captured
by the Yugoslav Government. The S.S. units in Belgrade
considered that the methods of extermination practised in
Bandetz and Seymeit, which I have already described to the
Tribunal, were not adequate and they decided to perfect
them. For this purpose they started building, or rather they
designed the construction of crematoria in the concentration
camps. This was the subject of the lively business
correspondence between the S.S. police and the S.S. units in
Belgrade and the German firms, part of which I have just
presented to you.

THE PRESIDENT: Were the other letters that you referred to
also addressed to S.S. units ?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President, they were also
addressed to the S.S. units. The first letter, addressed to
the administration of the Auschwitz camp was from the firm
Topf & Sons.

I shall now present to the Tribunal evidence of the fact
that besides the permanent crematoria, there existed also
movable crematoria. The Tribunal already knows about the
movable gas chambers. These were "murder vans". There were
also created transportable crematoria. An S.S. member, Paul
Waldmann, testifies to their existence. He was one of the
participants in the crime perpetrated by the German fascists
when 840,000 Russian prisoners of war in Sachsenhausen were
annihilated at one time. Exhibit USSR 52 on Auschwitz has
already been presented to the Court. I quote that particular
extract from the testimony of the S.S. member, Waldmann,
which mentions the mass execution in Sachsenhausen.

  "The war prisoners murdered in this way were cremated in
  four movable crematoria, which ran on car trailers."

I omit the next two pages of my report which deals with gas
chambers and crematoria. I think the Tribunal already has a
clear idea of this question. But I ask the Tribunal to pay
attention to the repugnant methods introduced by the German
fascists for industrial utilisation of corpses. Further I
shall present to the Tribunal evidence which will testify to
even more repulsive utilisation of the corpses. Now I shall
quote from a report on Auschwitz, which the Tribunal will
find on Page 353, reverse side, of the document book. Beside
this I ask the Tribunal to refer to the Auschwitz album,
where on Pages 34, 35 and 36 they will see the photographs
of seven tons of hair, packed for shipment to Germany, which
was taken from dead women. I begin the quotation:-

   "From 1943, the Germans, in order to utilise the bones
   which were no [sic] burned, started to grind them and
   sell them to the firm 'Strem' for the manufacture of
   superphosphate. In the camp there were found bills of
   lading, addressed to the firm 'Strem' of 112 tons and
   6oo kilograms of bone meal from human corpses. The
   Germans also used for industrial purposes hair shorn
   from women who were doomed for extermination."

I omit the next pages of my statement and I want to draw the
Tribunal's attention

                                                  [Page 126]

to the findings of a commission of technical experts which
the Tribunal will find on Page 165, reverse side of the
document book, paragraph 2.

Special research took place in the gas chambers. On the
basis of exact chemical reactions it was established that
poisoning in gas chambers was done by means of hydrocyanic
acid, Cyclone "A" and Cyclone "B," and also carbon monoxide.

I quote only one paragraph from the findings of the
technical experts' commission:-

   "Technical and medico-chemical analysis of the gas
   chambers in the concentration camps in Maidanek" - that
   is on Page 319 of the document book, third paragraph -
   "confirms and proves that all those chambers, especially
   the first, second, third and fourth, were designed and
   used for systematic and mass extermination of people by
   means of poisonous gases, such as hydrocyanic acid and

I omit the following extracts of my statement which describe
the regime in the camps of Auschwitz and Maidanek. I
consider that the Tribunal has already a very clear idea of
this. The majority of the people were sent immediately to
their death in gas chambers, while one fifth or one sixth of
them, left in the camp, were subjected to starvation and
killed afterwards. I had the intention of presenting many
documents and excerpts from documents which confirm this
fact, but to save time, I omit them, and pass on to Page 324
of my statement. I mention this for the convenience of the
interpreters. I quote several facts which deal with cynical
and repugnant plundering of inmates who were killed in
Maidanek and Auschwitz. I ask the Tribunal to refer
simultaneously with the text I am going to present to the
Auschwitz album, where on Page 27 you will see a picture of
suitcases, which were the property of the inmates; on Page
28 suitcases with labels of different countries and on Page
39 a colossal warehouse of children's clothes; the same on
Page 33.

The document which has not been presented in time, your
Honour, is the correspondence with the Kori firm now
presented to the Tribunal. I ask to be excused for the
delay. I quote only that particular part of the report on
Auschwitz, which the Tribunal will find on Page 325, on the
reverse side of the document book, where is stated what was
discovered by the commission at the warehouses of this camp.
I quote one paragraph; this is on Page 325, second

   "On the grounds of the Auschwitz Camp there were thirty-
   five special warehouses for sorting and packing the
   belongings and clothes. Before the retreat under the
   pressure of the Red Army, twenty-nine of these
   warehouses were burned with the things stored in them.
   In the remaining six were discovered:-
     1. Men's clothes and underwear . . . .348,820 sets
     2. Women's clothes and underwear . . .836,255 sets
     3. Women's footwear . . . . . . . . . . 5,525 pairs
     4. Men's footwear . . . . . . . . . . .38,000 pairs
     5. Rugs and carpets . . . . . . . . . .13,964 pieces."

I omit the following two paragraphs and I quote:-

THE PRESIDENT: It is time to adjourn.

(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Your Honours, the same picture of organised
plundering of the murdered persons was ascertained by the
commission during the investigation of  Maidanek. I will not
quote this part of the communique of the Polish-Soviet
Extraordinary State Commission, in full, but only one
excerpt of the general economical administration of the S.S.
which the Tribunal will find on the back of Page 66 of the
document book, third paragraph:

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