Lines: 331 Archive/File: holocaust/poland/reinhard/belzec pavli.001 Last-Modified: 1994/08/17 Source: United States Department of Justice Copy MINUTES OF INTERROGATION The City of Stalino November 17, 1949 I, the deputy director of the Department in the Investigations Division of the State Ministry of Defense in the Dirstict of Stalino, Lt. Klaimoanov, interrogated the accused - Nikolai Antonevitch Pavli, born 1921, in the village of Staro-Michailowka, in the area of Marinsk, District of Stalino, Ukrainian, USSR citizen, of peasant stock, working as a replacement civil engineer in the agricultural department of the General Council in the area of Mizewski in the District of Dniepropetrowsk, not a party member, married, secondary education, served in the Soviet army from 5/X/40 to 16/VII/41 and from 2/VII/45 to 21/V/46, has no state decorations, no criminal past. Before arrest, he lived in the village of Kamanka, Lenin Street, area of Mizewski, District of Dniepropetrowsk. Arrested by the State Ministry of Defense of the Stalino District on November 10, 1949. Question: Specify the circumstances under which you were captured by enemy forces in July 1941. Answer: While I was a range soldier of a 120 mm. battery in artillery regiment 115, division 75, at the time of military activity in the direction of the city of Kowil, our unit was surrounded by the enemy. His unit tried to break through in the direction of our forces but was unsuccessful and after this everyone split up in different directions with the objective of reaching our forces in groups. I and the soldier Rafalnikow (I do not recall his forename or his father's name) advanced on our own. On the way, a vehicle 11-1 stood on the road, having been abandoned by retreating Soviet forces. I know how to drive and, together with Rafalnikow, we tried to start the vehicle and continue in the direction, but we were suddenly overtaken by German soldiers; a German officer took from us the rifle - carbine, and under guard we were led to the township of Powursk, District of Wollinskaya and were put into a house where there were already 20 prisoners of war. The next morning, all the prisoners, including myself, were taken to a township (I do not recall its name), from where we were put onto trucks and taken to a prisoner of war camp in the town of Lutsk. Three days later, I was taken with a large number of prisoners of war to a railway station (I do not recall its name) and by car, we were led to a prisoner's camp in Poland. At the prisoner-of-war camp in the town of Chelm, I was held until September 1941. The Germans used me as the other prisoners for various work within the camp. Later together with a number of people, I was conscripted by the Germans to serve in the SS force at the Trawniki concentration camp, Lublin command, as a Wachman of the SS. Question: Under what circumstances were you conscripted by Germans to serve in the SS force at the Trawniki concentration camp? Answer: I was conscripted by Germans for the SS forces in the following circumstances: About 26 September 1941, a German officer of the SS forces, Oberschrf Mayewski (I do not know his forename or his father's name) came to the prisoners' camp in the city of Chelm and ordered the camp command to hold a parade of the prisoners in the camp. When the soldiers were arranged on parade, he, Mayewski and an interpreter among the prisoners (I do not know his surname, forename, or father's name) passed through the parade and the said officer - Mayewski, selected, according to his considerations, from among the prisoners, asking them about their origins. I told him that I was from Donbass and after that I was taken aside. A group of prisoners of war who had been chosen stood there. After 60 people had been selected, myself among them, no-one told us for what purpose we had been selected. Subsequently the group that had been selected, including myself, was put on two trucks and taken to the Trawniki camp, Lublin command (Poland). Upon our arrival at the Trawniki concentration camp, we were located in a building within the camp. For a month we were not used for work, but just fed; we underwent a period of isolation. After a month, we were divided into groups and began to hold basic training. Each company had about 60 people and at that time there were 6 such companies. Germans - Volksdeutche from the Germans of Russia, held the military training with us. Question: What did they teach you, what subjects? Answer: They taught me and the others basic training and use of weapons - rifle and the rules for guarding prisoners. They did not teach us other subjects. We studied at the school for Wachmans of the SS. I took part in guard duties at the Trebnicki camp; at that time there were no prisoners at the camp. During the training at the Trebnicki camp, in October or November 1941, each of us was interrogated by a member of the camp command, filled in a form - questionnaire that was later signed by him and gave a thumb print; then each of us was granted the title of Wachman of the SS. In November 1941, I was sent as part of a group of 40 Wachmans of the SS for further service at the Belzec death camp, where I continued to serve as a Wachman until August 1942. Being an SS Wachman at the Belzec death camp, I guarded all the time imprisoned civilians who were brought by the Germans from various conquered countries for extermination in special gas chambers "bath-houses", through suffocation gas. The prisoners from various conquered countries would arrive by train to the Belzec camp; under the guard of Wachmans and Germans the prisoners would be taken off the trains and from there led to the gas chambers, where Wachmans and Germans would force the prisoners to undress naked, irrespective of their sex, including children. Afterwards they would be put into the gas chambers - "bath-houses", the doors would be hermetically closed. By the building with the gas chambers was located the machinery division with an internal combustion engine, from which the exhaust gas would be piped to the chambers in which the prisoners were killed. After about 15-20 minutes, the gas chambers would be opened and work details consisting of Jewish prisoners would remove the bodies, load them on a special cart and take them to special pits that had been dug in advance. There the bodies would be arranged; as the pit filled up, work details would cover it with earth. My participation in extermination of the people was expressed in that on a regular basis I guarded the prisoners. When the trains arrived, I would guard the prisoners during their disembarkation from the train, I ensured that none of the prisoners would escape. I also accompanied the prisoners under guard to the place where they were undressed. I guarded the clothes while other Wachmans and Germans would take the prisoners into the gas chambers. I also guarded the work details when they were engaging in unloading bodies by the pits. Apart from that, I guarded the pit to which they would bring people for execution by shooting, from among the prisoners who had arrived by train, since on every train there were sick prisoners. Those who could not walk to the death camp by themselves were led by Jewish prisoners to a pit and there a German officer would shoot them with a pistol. From every train, about 20-30 people would be shot, depending on the number of the sick. During my service as an SS Wachman at the Belzec death camp, 40,000 people-prisoners were put to death, most of them through suffocation gas. In August 1942, I was sent as part of a group of 30 SS Wachmans for further service at another death camp, Sobibor, Lublin command. At the Sobibor death camp, I performed the same service as at the Belzec death camp - I guarded imprisoned civilians that had been brought from conquered countries by Germans for destruction in the gas chambers - also by suffocation gas from an engine. During my service as an SS Wachman at the Sobibor death camp, as I testified previously, I guarded imprisoned civilians when the trains would arrive, I guarded in order to prevent prisoners from escaping. I accompanied them under guard to the camp for extermination. Similarly, I took part in surrounding the pits to which the infirm and sick would be brought by cart in order to put them to death by shooting. I personally did not shoot at prisoners. A German officer of the SS shot them. I and the other Wachmans only had to stand around the pit at the time of the shooting. Apart from that, I guarded the prisoners within the camp and also on the watch towers around the camp. Sometimes the Germans would take advantage of the prisoners who had been brought to the death camp for various jobs - wood work in the forest, and it might fall to me to accompany them to the work site. I guarded them during the work and afterwards back to the death camp. As I have noted, the extermination of people at the Sobibor death camp was undertaken by suffocation gas and also by shooting. The bodies of the people who had been put to death by gas or had been shot were arranged in pits on a special surface by work details by the rail lines and burned. As an SS Wachman, I also guarded the work details. In November 1942, I was sent in a group of 30 Wachmans through the Trawniki concentration camp command to the city of Lublin where, together with other Wachmans I guarded imprisoned civilians. I accompanied them to various jobs and back. The prisoners were utilized for various jobs, in the wood processing plant, on a farm, in demolishing houses that had been destroyed, etc. I served as a Wachman in the SS force in the city of Lublin until October 1943. In October 1943, I was sent in a group of 60 SS Wachmans through the Trawniki concentration camp command for further service in the SS forces at a concentration camp in Flossenburg (Germany) where I guarded prisoners and accompanied them under guard to construction work at the aviation plant of the Messerschmidt Co. and also other work. Being an SS Wachman at a concentration camp in the township of Flossenburg, I, as the other Wachmans of the SS, was given an SS tattoo for a medical examination. I removed the letter in 1945 with the aid of a burning cigarette after the defeat of the German forces because I was afraid of punishment for my crimes. I served in the SS forces of the concentration camp in the township of Flossenburg until March 1944. In March 1944, I was sent for further service in the SS forces at a camp in the village of Graffenreut, where I also guarded imprisoned civilians who were utilized by the Germans for work in Germany military warehouses, at a brick-works and within the camp. As the front drew near, I engaged with the other SS Wachmans in evacuation of prisoners to the rear, but with the approach of the American forces, all the Wachmans of the SS and the prisoners fled in various directions. On the way, I and the SS Wachman Rafalovski (I don't remember his forename or father's name) changed our uniforms for civilian clothes in some township (I don't know its name). When the American forces entered, I, as many Soviet citizens, was sent to a transit camp in the township of Walkhuri with the aim of returning me to my country, among many Soviet citizens who had been taken by the Germans for work in Germany, I was transferred by the American forces in trucks to the area of Czechoslovakia that was under the control of the Soviet forces (I do not recall the city). Afterwards, with many others, I was sent on foot to a camp of Soviet citizens designated for immigration to the homeland in the city of Zwettle (Austria) and, from this camp, in June 1945, I was conscripted for service in the Soviet army in which I served until May 31, 1946. Question: When and where did the conversation take place between you and representatives of the American military authorities before your departure for the area controlled by the Soviet forces? Answer: Being in the area of deployment of the American forces, representatives of the military forces held no conversation with me. Question: Give names of people who served with you in the SS forces at the Trawniki, Belzec, Sobibor death camps and at other camps. Answer: The following people served together with me in the SS forces at the death camps: 1. Ivan Werdenik (I don't know his father's name), born 1921-22, Ukrainian, I don't know his place of origin, served in the Soviet army as a soldier, was captured by the Germans in 1941. Being a prisoner in the city of Chelm (Poland) he was conscripted by Germans in October 1941 to the SS forces. He underwent together with me in the SS forces at the Trawniki concentration camp, Lublin command the basic training, use of weapons and studied the rules of guard-duty. In March 1942 he was sent, together with me, for further service in the SS forces to the Belzec concentration camp, Lublin command (Poland), where he served as an SS Wachman until August 1942. From August 1942 until November 1942 he served together with me as an SS Wachman at the Sobibor concentration camp, Lublin command. In November 1942, I was sent for further service at another camp while Werdenik continued to serve in the SS forces at Sobibor. As an SS Wachman, Werdenik guarded at the death camps of Belzec and Sobibor prisoners who had been brought by Germans from various conquered countries for extermination in the gas chambers through gas. He participated in the extermination of Jews in that he guarded the trains that would arrive with the prisoners. He guarded the pit where the executions by shooting were carried out. Distringuishing marks: Medium height, demonic, round face, straight nose, on left arm under the armpit he has an SS tattoo. I do not recall other marks. 2. Andrei Vassilega (I don't know his father's name), born 1914, Ukrainian, I do not know his place of origin. Before the war, he worked as a tailor in the city of Stalino in Petrowka. Served in the Soviet army, captured by Germans in 1941. In September October 1941 he was conscripted by Germans to the SS forces at the Trebnicki death camp, Lublin command (Poland), as an SS Wachman. At the Trawniki concentration camp, he worked as a tailor for the SS forces. In 1946 I saw him at Petrowska. I visited his home. In 1946 he worked as a cutter at a sewing shop. According to rumours from people, I knew that he had been indicted. 3. Alexander Feodorowitch Tityebski, born 1917-18, Ukrainian, resident of the District of Stalino, doctor by profession, served in the Soviet army, was captured by the Germans in 1941. While in captivity was conscripted to the SS force at the Trawniki death camp, Lublin command (Poland) as an SS Wachman. Afterwards, he served as the camp doctor. I do not know his present whereabouts. Distinguishing marks: Medium height, demonic, upright stature, round face, stright nose, I do not recall other marks. The interrogation was halted. The minutes were recorded according to my words in correct form, were read out to me and therefore I am signing. The interrogation was conducted by: Deputy Director of the Department in the Investigations Division of the State Ministry of Defense in the District of Stalino - Major Klaimanov (Signature) Stamp Correct: signature Confirmation: Nikolai Atonovitch Pavli, born 1921, was found guilty on December 23, 1949 by a military tribunal of the Cherkov Command according to Section 54-1 "B" of the Penal Code of the Soviet REpublic of Ukraine and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in labor camps. Deputy Director of the Department in the Investigations Division of the State Ministry of Defense in the District of Stalino Major Klaimanov - signature. Stamp. Stamp - the Attorney-General of the USSR Correct. Director of the Office of the USSR Attorney-General - A.P. Vladimirov - signature. The photocopy was made from a copy in Criminal File (in the archives) No. 56434 (Vol. 2, pp. 118-121) versus Guncherov P.N., Sherbak, N.K. et al. Director of the Office of the USSR Attorney-General - A.P. Vladimirov - signature. Stamp - the Attorney-General of the USSR
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