The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                      TWENTY-FIFTH DAY
                WEDNESDAY, 2nd JANUARY, 1946

THE PRESIDENT: I call on the Counsel for the United States.

COLONEL STOREY : If the Tribunal please, when your Honours adjourned
on 20th December we were presenting the Gestapo, and had referred to
the use of the death vans by the Einsatz Groups in the Eastern
Occupied Territories and had almost concluded that phase of the
presentation. Your Honours will recall that we had referred to the use
of some death vans made by the Saurer Works, and the final reference
that I want to make in that connection is to a telegram attached to
Document 501-PS, which it is not necessary to read, establishing the
fact that the same make of truck or vans was the death van used by the
Einsatz Groups.

The final document in connection with the Einsatz Groups in the
Eastern Occupied Territories which we desire to offer is Document
2992-PS, and I believe it is in the second volume of the Document
Book. This is an affidavit made by Hermann Graebe. Hermann Gratbe is
at present employed by the United States Government in Frankfurt. The
affidavit was made at Wiesbaden, and I offer excerpts from Document
2992-PS, Exhibit USA 494.

This witness was at the head of a construction firm that was doing
some building in the Ukraine and he was an eye-witness of the
anti-Jewish actions at the town of Rowno, Ukraine, on 13th July, 1942,
and I refer to the part of the affidavit which is on Page 5 of the
English translation. Beginning at the first paragraph :

     "From September, 1941, until January, 1944, I was manager and
     engineer-in-charge of a branch office in Sdolbunow, Ukraine, of
     the Solingen building firm of Josef Jung. In this capacity it was
     my job to visit the building sites of the firm. The firm had,
     among others, a site in Rowno, Ukraine.
     During the night Of 13th July, 1942, all inhabitants of the Rowno
     Ghetto, where there were still about 5,000 Jews, were liquidated.
     I should describe the circumstances of my being a witness of the
     dissolution of the Ghetto and the carrying out of the pogrom
     during the night and morning, as follows :
     I employed for the firm, in Rowno, in addition to Poles, Germans
     and Ukrainians, about 100 Jews from Sdolbunow, Ostrog and
     Mysotch. The men were quartered in a building, 5 Bahnhofstrasse,
     inside the Ghetto, and the women in a house at the corner of
     Deutsche Strasse, 98.
     On Saturday, mth July, 1942, my foreman, Fritz Einsporn, told me
     of a rumour that on Monday all Jews in Rowrio were to be
     liquidated. Although the vast majority of the Jews employed by my
     firm in Rowno were not natives of this town, 1 still feared that
     they might be included in this pogrom which had been reported. I
     therefore ordered Einsporn at noon of the same day to march all
     the Jews employed by us -- men

                                                            [Page 200]

     as well as women -- in the direction of Sdolbunow, about 12 km.
     from Rowno. This was done.
     The senior Jew had learned of the departure of the Jewish workers
     of my firm. He went to see the Commanding Officer of the Rowne,
     Sipo and S.D., S.S. Major (S.S. Sturmbannfuehrer) Dr. Putz. as
     early as Saturday afternoon to find out whether the rumour of a
     forthcoming Jewish pogrom -- which had gained further credence by
     reason of the departure of Jews of my firm -- was true. Dr. Putz
     dismissed the rumour as a clumsy lie and, for the rest, had the
     Polish personnel of my firm in Rowrio arrested. Einsporn avoided
     arrest by escaping to Sdolbunow. When 1 learned of this incident
     1 gave orders that all Jews who had left Rowrio were to report
     back to work in Rowno on Monday, 13th July, 1942. On Monday
     morning I myself went to see the Commanding Officer, Dr. Putz, in
     order to learn, for one thing, the truth about the rumoured
     Jewish pogrom and, for another, to obtain information on the
     arrest of the Polish office personnel. S.S. Major Putz stated to
     me that no pogrom whatever was planned. Moreover, such a pogrom
     would be stupid because the firms and the Reiclisbalin would lose
     valuable workers.
     An hour later I received a summons to appear before the Area
     Commissioner of Rowno. His deputy Stabsleiter and Cadet Officer
     Beck, subjected me to the same questions as I had undergone at
     the S.D. My explanation that I had sent the Jews home for urgent
     delousing appeared plausible to him. He then told me-making me
     promise to keep it a secret-that a pogrom would, in fact, take
     place in the evening of Monday, 13th July, 1945. After lengthy
     negotiation I managed to persuade him to give me permission to
     take my Jewish workers to Sdolbunow-but only after the pogrom had
     been carried out. During the night it would be up to me to
     protect the house in the Ghetto against the entry of Ukrainian
     Militia and S.S. As confirmation of the discussion he gave me a
     document, which stated that the Jewish employees of Messrs. Jung
     were not affected by the pogrom."
And this original which I hold in my hand, I will now pass to the
translator for reading. I call the attention of your Honour to the
fact that it has the letterhead of "Der Gebietskommissar in Rowno,"
and it is dated 13th July, 1942, and is signed by this area
commissioner. I now read this document :

     "The Area Commissioner " -- which means Gebietskommissar  --
     Addressed : Messrs. Jung, Rowno.
     The Jewish workers employed by your firm are not affected by the
     pogrom " -- in parenthesis "Aktion."
As I understand, that means action.

     "You must transfer them to their new place of work by Wednesday,
     15th July, 1942, at the latest."

Signed by the Area Commissioner Beck.

And then the stamp -- the official stamp of the area commissioner at

Now, just the following paragraph on the original, Page 5 or 6, I
believe it is, one more paragraph 1 would like to read after the
reference "Original attached ":

     "On the evening of this day I drove to Rowno and posted myself
     with Fritz Einsporn in front of the house in the Bahnhoffstrasse

                                                            [Page 201]

     which the Jewish workers of my firm slept. Shortly after 22.00
     hours the Ghetto was encircled by a large S.S. detachment and
     about three  times as many members of the Ukrainian Militia. Then
     the electric arclights which had been erected in and around the
     Ghetto were switched on. S.S. and Militia squads Of 4 to 6 men
     entered or at least tried to enter the house. Where the doors and
     windows were closed and the inhabitants did not open at the
     knocking, the S.S. men and Militia broke the windows, forced the
     doors with beams and crowbars and entered the houses. The people
     living there were driven into the street just as they were,
     regardless of whether they were dressed or in bed. Since the Jews
     in most cases refused to leave their houses and resisted, the
     S.S. and Militia applied force. They finally succeeded, with
     strokes of the whip, kicks and blows with rifle butts in clearing
     the houses. The people were driven out of their houses in such
     haste that in several instances, small children in bed had been
     left behind. In the streets women cried out for their children
     and children for their parents. That did not prevent the S.S.
     from driving the people along the road, at running pace, and
     hitting them, until they reached a waiting freight train. Car
     after car was filled, and the screaming of women and children,
     and the cracking of whips and rifle shots resounded unceasingly.
     Since several families or groups had barricaded themselves in
     especially strong buildings and the doors could not be forced
     with crowbars or beams, these houses were now blown open with
     hand grenades. Since the Ghetto was near the railroad tracks in
     Rowno, the younger people tried to get across the tracks and over
     a small river, to get away from the Ghetto area. As this stretch
     of country was beyond the range of the electric lights, it was
     illuminated by signal rockets. All through the night these
     beaten, hounded and wounded people moved along the lighted
     streets. Women carried their dead children in their arms,
     children pulled and dragged their dead parents by their arms and
     legs down the road toward the train. Again and again the cries
     `Open the door!' ' Open the door!' echoed through the Ghetto."

1 will not read any more of this affidavit. It is a very long one.
There is also a second affidavit, but the part I wanted to emphasise
is the fact that the original exemption was signed by the Area
Commissioner, and that the S.D. and the S.S. participated in this

THE PRESIDENT : Ought you not to read the rest of that page, Colonel

COLONEL STOREY : All right, sir. 1 really had eliminated that because
1 thought it might be cumulative.

     "About 6 o'clock in the morning I went away for a moment, leaving
     behind Einsporn and several other German workers who had returned
     in the meantime. 1 thought the greatest danger was past and that
     I could risk it. Shortly after I left, Ukrainian Militia men
     forced their way into 5 Bahnhoffstrasse and brought seven Jews
     out and took them to a collecting point inside the Ghetto. On my
     return I was able to prevent further Jews from being taken out. I
     went to the collecting point to save these seven men. I saw
     dozens of corpses of all ages and both sexes in the streets I had
     to walk along. The doors of the houses stood open, windows were
     smashed. Pieces of clothing, shoes, stockings, jackets, caps,
     hats, coats, etc., were lying in the street. At the

                                                            [Page 202]

     corner of a house lay a baby, less than a year old, with his
     skull crushed. Blood and brains were spattered over the house
     wall and covered the area immediately around the child. The child
     was dressed only in a little shirt. The commander, S.S. Major
     Putz, was walking up and down a row of about 80 - 100 male Jews
     who were crouching on the ground. He had a heavy dog whip in his
     hand. I walked up to him, showed him the written permit of
     Stabsleiter Beck, and demanded the seven men whom I recognised
     among those who were crouching on the ground. Dr. Putz was
     furious about Beck's concession and nothing could persuade him to
     release the seven men. He made a motion with his hand encircling
     the square and said that anyone who was once here would not get
     away. Although he was very angry with Beck, he ordered me to take
     the people from 5 Bahnhofstrasse out of Rowno by 8 o'clock at the
     latest. When 1 left Dr. Putz, I noticed a Ukrainian farm cart
     with two horses. Dead people with stiff limbs were lying on the
     cart. Legs and arms projected over the side boards. The cart was
     making for the freight train. I took the remaining 74 Jews who
     had been locked in the house to Sdolbunow.
     Several days after 13th July, 1942, the Area Commissioner of
     Sdolbunow, Georg Marschall, called a meeting of all firm
     managers, railroad superintendents, and leaders of the
     Organisation Todt and informed them that the firms etc. should
     prepare themselves for the 'resettlement' of the Jews which was
     to take place almost immediately. He referred to the pogrom in
     Rowno where all the Jews had been liquidated, i.e., had been shot
     near Kostolpol."

Finally, his signature is sworn to on 10th November, 1945.

THE PRESIDENT : What nationality is Graebe ?

COLONEL STOREY: He is German. Graebe is a German, and is now in the
employ of the Military Government at Frankfurt -- the United States
Military Government.

Your Honour, in that connection there is another separate affidavit,
which 1 will not attempt to read, attached to this, a part of the same
document. But it has to do with the execution of some people in
another area and is along the same line. I am not reading it because
it would be cumulative, but it is a part of this same document.

I now pass from that subject to the next one.

The Gestapo and S.D. stationed special units in prisoner-of-war camps
for the purpose of screening racial and political undesirables and
executing those who were screened. The programme of mass murder of
political and racial undesirables carried on against civilians was
also applied against prisoners of war who were captured on the Eastern
Front. In this connection I call the attention of the Tribunal to the
testimony of General Lahousen, which your Honours will recall, of the
30th November, 1945. Lahousen testified to a conference which took
place in the summer of 1941, shortly after the beginning of the
campaign against the Soviet Union, which he attended ; and I want to
emphasise this, because we will later have a document that emanated
from this conference, attended by Lahousen himself, General Reinecke,
Colonel Breuer, and Mueller, the Head of the Gestapo. At this
conference the command to kill Soviet functionaries and Communists
among the Soviet prisoners-of-war was discussed. The

                                                            [Page 203]

executions were to be carried out by Einsatz Commandos of the Sipo and
the S.D.

Lahousen further recalled that Mueller, who was the head of the
Gestapo, insisted on carrying out the programme, and that the only
concession he made was that, in deference to the sensibilities of the
German troops, the executions would not take place in their presence.
Mueller also made some concessions as to the selection of the persons
to be murdered ; but, according to Lahousen, the selection was left
entirely to the commanders of these screening units. I refer to Page
281 of the transcript.

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