The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Such are some of the numerous details of the crimes
committed by the fascist barbarians, demonstrating how the
criminal schemes of the Hitlerite conspirators were
factually materialised.

                                                  [Page 195]

Destruction and Plunder of Cultural and Historical Treasures
and Cultural and Educational Institutions in the Ukraine.

It is known how mercilessly the German fascist invaders
carried out the economic plunder of the Ukrainian
population. The destruction and plunder of Ukrainian
cultural and historical treasures played no lesser part in
the plans of the Hitlerite conspirators, and was carried out
with the same savage zeal.

In accordance with their criminal plans for the enslavement
of the freedom-loving Ukrainian people, the Hitlerite
conspirators endeavoured to annihilate its culture. From the
very first days of their invasion of the Ukraine, the
Hitlerites, in execution of their criminal designs, embarked
upon the systematic destruction of schools, higher
educational institutions, scientific establishments,
museums, libraries, clubs and theatres.

The historical and cultural treasures in the cities of Kiev,
Kharkov, Odessa, in the Stalinsky and Rovensky provinces,
and many other larger and smaller cities, were subjected to
plunder and destruction.

From the document presented by the Soviet Prosecution as
Exhibit USSR 32, containing the sentence pronounced by the
Military Tribunal of the 4th Ukrainian Front on 15-18
December, 1943, it is evident that the German fascist armies
in Kharkov, in the Province of Kharkov, acting on the direct
instructions of Hitler's Government, burnt, plundered and
destroyed the material and cultural treasures of the Soviet
people. These excerpts, your Honours, you will find on Page
359 in your document book.

I now proceed to the evidence of crimes committed by the
Hitlerites in the capital of the Ukrainian Republic-Kiev.

I quote one paragraph of the document presented by the
Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit USSR 248. You will find it on
Page 363 of your document book; it is an extract from the
records of the Extraordinary State Commission, "about the
destruction and plunder by the fascist aggressors of Kiev's
Psychiatric Hospital". Amongst other destruction they:

  " . . . burnt the archives of the Institute, priceless
  from a scientific point of view, destroyed the
  magnificent hospital library of 20,000 volumes, plundered
  the cultural reservation together with a priceless
  monument of the eleventh century - the famous Kirilovsky
  Cathedral, situated in the Institute grounds."

I next pass on to several excerpts from the Extraordinary
State Commission's report which was presented to the
Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 9. The excerpts quoted are on Pages
365-366 of the document book.

  "Before the German invasion, Kiev possessed one hundred
  and fifty secondary and elementary schools. Of this
  number, seventy-seven schools were used by the Germans as
  military barracks, nine served as warehouses and
  workshops, two were occupied by military staffs and eight
  were turned into stables. During their retreat from Kiev,
  the German barbarians destroyed one hundred and forty

I omit the next paragraph.

  "The German invaders stole over 4,000,000 volumes from
  the various Kiev libraries. From the library of the
  Ukrainian S.S.R Academy of Science alone the Hitlerites
  sent to Germany over 320,000 different valuable and
  unique books, magazines and manuscripts."

I beg you, your Honours, to note that Dr. Forster, S.S.
Obersturmfuehrer, who served in the "Special Purpose
Battalion" established on the initiative of the defendant
Ribbentrop and acting under his orders, testified to the
plunder of the library of the Ukrainian S.S.R Academy of
Science, in his deposition of 10 November, 1943, which I
have already read into the record.

                                                  [Page 196]

I omit one paragraph and pass on to a further reading from
the report of the Extraordinary State Commission:-

  " . . . On 5th September, 1943, the Germans burnt and
  blew up one of the most ancient centres of Ukrainian
  culture - the 'T. G. Shevtchenko' State University in
  Kiev, founded in 634.
  In the fire perished the greatest of cultural treasures
  which for centuries had represented the scientific and
  educational foundations on which the work of the
  university was built, and the priceless documents from
  the Historical Archives of Ancient Manuscripts. The
  library containing over 1,300,000 books perished, and
  with it the Zoological Museum of the University, with
  over 2 million exhibits, together with a whole series of
  other museums....
  . . . The German occupants also destroyed other
  institutions of higher education in Kiev; they burned and
  looted the majority of the medical institutions.
  In Kiev the fascist barbarians burned down the building
  of the Red Army Dramatic Theatre, the Theatrical
  Institute, the Academy for Music, where the instruments
  were burned together with the very valuable library and
  all the equipment; they burned down, with its entire
  equipment, the 'Gorki Theatre for Juvenile Audiences';
  they destroyed the Jewish Theatre....
  In the Museum of Western European and Eastern Art only
  some large canvases were left; the robbers had not had
  time to remove them from the high walls of the stairway
  shafts. From the Museum of Russian Art the Hitlerites
  carried off, together with all the other exhibits, a
  collection of Russian icons of inestimable value. They
  looted the Museum of Ukrainian Art until only 1,900
  exhibits of the National Art section of this museum were
  left of the original 41,000."

I omit the remainder of this page and pass to Page 62 of the

  "The Hitlerites plundered the 'T. G. Shevtchenko' Museum
  and the historical Museum. They looted the greatest
  monument to the Slav peoples - the Cathedral of St.
  Sophia - from which they removed fourteen twelfth century

I omit one paragraph.

  "By order of the German Command the troops plundered,
  blew up and destroyed a very ancient cultural monument -
  the Kievo-Pecherskaya Abbey.
  The 'Uspenski Cathedral', built in 1075-89 by the ruling
  Grand Duke, Svyatoslav, with murals painted in 1897 by
  the famous painter V. V. Vereshchiagin, was blown up by
  the Germans on 3 November, 1941."

I omit the remainder of Page 62 and pass on to Page 63 of
the report:-

  "We cannot gaze without sorrow," states Nicholas,
  Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia, and member of the
  Extraordinary State Commission, "on the heaps of rubble
  of the Uspenski Cathedral, created in the eleventh
  century by the genius of its immortal builders. The
  explosions formed several huge craters in the area
  surrounding the Cathedral, and - beholding them - it
  would appear that the very earth had shuddered at the
  sight of the atrocities committed by those who no longer
  had a right to be called human beings. It was as if a
  terrible hurricane had passed over the Abbey, overturning
  everything, throwing down and destroying the mighty
  building of the Cathedral. For over two years Kiev lay
  shackled in the German chains. Hitler's executioners
  brought death to Kiev, together with ruin, famine and
  executions. In time all this will pass from the near
  present to the far distant past, but never will the
  people of Russia and the Ukraine, or honest men all the
  world over, forget these crimes."

                                                  [Page 197]

Mr. President, may I dwell on two more documents?

The first, document 035-PS, is entitled:

"A brief report on security measures of the Chief Labour
Group in the Ukraine during the withdrawal of the Armed

It was presented to the Tribunal by our American colleagues
on 18 December, 1945. A characteristic peculiarity of this
document is that it undisguisedly testifies to the looting.
It is quite clear to all that reference is made to a gang of
robbers, although the Hitlerites still persist in referring
to robbery as work. They shipped the most valuable exhibits
of the Ukrainian Museum to Germany as " Miscellaneous

The report begins with the description of the creation of a
safe little corner for the "Einsatzstab" establishments, a
purpose for which the inhabitants of an entire district were
thrown out of their quarters. There then follows, in this
document, a list of booty removed from the plundered museums
of Kharkov and Kiev, from archives and even from private

I shall quote one brief excerpt only from this document,
dealing with the contents of the Ukrainian and the
Prehistorical Museum of Kiev. You will find this excerpt on
Page 368 of the document book. I quote:-

  "1. The 1 October, 1943, Materials of the Ukrainian
  Museum in Kiev.
  On the basis of the general evacuation orders of the City
  Commissioner, the following were sorted out by us and
  loaded for shipment to Cracow:
     Miscellaneous Textiles.
     Collections of valuable embroidery patterns.
     Collections of brocades.
     Numerous wooden utensils, etc.
  The major part of the Prehistorical Museum was carried

The second Document 1109-PS of 17 June, 1944, is headed
"Note for the Director of Operational Group P4 " and is
addressed to von der Milwe-Schroeden. I shall quote in full
a short excerpt which you will find on Page 369 of the
document book.

  "2. The removal of Cultural property.
  A great deal of material from museums, archives,
  institutions and other cultural establishments was
  systematically removed from Kiev in the autumn of 1943.
  These actions to safeguard the material were carried out
  by Special Purpose Staff RR, as well as by the individual
  directors of institutes, etc., at the instigation of the
  Reich Commissar."

Here I would point out that "Einsatzstab Rosenberg," in some
documents , is also referred to as the "Staff of
Penetration". The initials RR stand for Reichsleiter

  "At first, a great deal of the evacuated property was
  taken only to the areas of the rear: later on, this
  material was forwarded to the Reich, When the
  undersigned, towards the end of September, received the
  mission from the Cultural Division of the Reich Commissar
  to take out of Kiev the remaining cultural effects the
  most valuable materials, from a cultural point of view,
  had already been removed. During October some forty
  carloads of cultural effects were shipped to the Reich.
  In this case it was chiefly a question of valuables which
  belonged to the scientific institutions of the National
  Research Centre of the Ukraine. These institutions are at
  present continuing their work in the Reich and are being
  directed in such a manner that at any given moment they
  can be brought back
                                                  [Page 198]
  to the Ukraine. The cultural valuables which could not be
  promptly safeguarded were plundered. In this case,
  however, it was always a question of less valuable
  material, as the essential assets had already been
  systematically removed in accordance with orders

In October, 1943, factories, workshops, plants and other
equipment were removed from Kiev by the order of the
military Commander of the town, but where it was taken, I do
not know." (This letter ends with the following sentence):-

  "At the time the Soviets entered the city there was
  nothing valuable, in this respect, left in the city."

May it please your Honours, from the documents submitted by
the Soviet Prosecution, the Tribunal has already learned
about the criminal conspiracy between Hitler and Antonescu.
As a reward for supplying Germany with cannon-fodder, oil,
wheat, cattle, etc., Antonescu's criminal clique received
from Hitler's Government authorisation to plunder the
civilian population between the Bug and the Dniester. German
and Roumanian invaders plundered and destroyed many objects
of cultural value, health resorts and medical institutions
in Odessa. The Hitlerites also plundered on their own
account, as well as in co-operation with Antonescu's clique.
To prove this, I will now read into the record a few
excerpts from the report of the Extraordinary State
Commission, presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 47.
These excerpts are taken from Page 372 of your document
book. I omit one paragraph and begin to quote from the
penultimate paragraph on this page of my report:-

  "The German Military Command plundered the museums of
  Odessa, carrying away hundreds of unique objects,"

and further, I here omit two paragraphs and quote the last
line of Page 66:-

  "According to a plan, drawn up in advance, the German
  fascist conspirators blew up or burned 2,290 of the
  largest buildings of architectural, artistic and
  historical value. Among these were the house of A. S.
  Pushkin ... the Sabansky barracks, built in 1827, and
  others, representing in themselves valuable monuments to
  the material culture of the beginning of the nineteenth
  In Odessa the German and Roumanian invaders destroyed:
  The first hospital for contagious diseases, the second
  district hospital, the sanatological hospital, the
  psychiatric hospital, and two children's hospitals, a
  children's polyclinic, seven infant consulting centres,
  fifty-five day nurseries, two maternity homes, one
  dispensary, one leprosarium, six polyclinics and the
  following research institutions: for the study of
  tuberculosis, for studying conditions in spas and others.
  They destroyed twenty-nine sanatoria located around

The Hitlerites committed crimes on an exceptionally large
scale in the Stalino province.

I omit the rest of this page and pass to Page 68 of the
report. The report of the Extraordinary State Commission,
presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit USSR 2, gives
an enormous number of facts. I shall not quote all of those,
your Honours, but I shall confine myself to several excerpts
only from the above-mentioned document, which have not yet
been read into the record by my colleagues.

They can be found on Pages 374 and 375 in your document
book. I quote:

  "During their retreat from Stalino, the Hitlerites
  completely destroyed . . . one hundred and thirteen
  schools, sixty-two kindergartens, three hundred and
  ninety shops, the Winter and Summer Theatres, the Palace
  of the Pioneers seating 1,100 persons, the Radio-Theatre,
  the Museum of the Revolution, the Picture Gallery and the
  Dzerjinsky Club of the City.
                                                  [Page 199]
  Special detachments of engineers went from school to
  school, pouring incendiary liquid over them and setting
  them on fire. Those Soviet people who tried to extinguish
  the fires were immediately shot by the fascist
  scoundrels.... Exceptionally severe damage was caused by
  the invaders to the medical establishments of the city."

I omit three paragraphs of the report, and I quote the
penultimate paragraph on this page:-

  "The Medical Institute, a model scientific establishment
  for 2,000 students, was destroyed on the orders of
  'Oberfeldarzt' Roll, Chief Medical Officer of Belindorf,
  and Chief Medical Officer of Kuchendorf.
  Of a total of 600,000 books on science and art, 530,000
  volumes were burned by the Hitlerites."

In the town of Makeyevka the German fascist invaders blew up
and burned down the city theatre, seating 1,000 persons, the
circus, seating 1,500 persons, forty-nine  schools, twenty
day nurseries and forty-four kindergarten schools. By order
of the Town Commander, Fogler, 35,000 volumes from the
central "Gorki" library were destroyed in a bonfire.

I shall not enumerate all the cities. These facts were
mentioned in a document which, according to Article 21 of
the Charter, provides irrefutable evidence. In agreement
with the rulings of the Tribunal, this document will not be
read into the record in full. I must, however, draw your
attention to the fact that in the Province of Stalino, the
Hitlerites burned down schools, theatres, day nurseries,
hospitals and even churches. Thus in the town of Gorlovka
"they destroyed thirty-two schools, attended by some 21,649
children, burned down the town hospital, five polyclinics, a
church and the Palace of Culture".

In the city of Konstantinovka "The Occupational Authorities
blew up and burned down all the twenty-five city schools,
two cinemas, the principal city library with 35,000 volumes,
the Pioneers' Club, the children's technical centre, the
city hospital and the day nurseries".

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