The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/21

Prisoners of war of the former Polish Army, captured as far
back as 1939 and imprisoned in various German camps, were
already concentrated, in 1940, in the Lublin camp on
Lipovaya Street and were soon after transferred, in batches,
to the "Extermination Camp of Majdanek," where they suffered
the same fate: systematic torture, murder, mass shooting,
hanging, etc....

The witness, Reznik, testified as follows:

     "In January, 1941, we, a party of approximately 4,000
     Jewish prisoners of war, were placed into railway
     coaches and sent to the East .... We were brought to
     Lublin, unloaded and handed over to the SS. About
     September or October, 1942, it was decided that only
     those people who were qualified as skilled plant and
     factory workers, and therefore needed in the town, were
     to be left in the camp on No. 7 Lipovaya Street, while
     all the rest, and I among them, were transferred to
     Majdanek Camp. All of us already knew, and knew far too
     well, that deportation to Majdanek meant death. Of this
     party of more than 4,000 prisoners of war only a few
     individuals, who had managed to escape while engaged in
     work outside the camp, remained alive.
     In the summer of 1943, 300 Soviet officers, including
     two colonels, four majors, with the remainder
     consisting of captains and senior lieutenants, were
     brought to Majdanek. The officers in question were shot
     in the camp."'
Huge camps for the extermination of Soviet prisoners of war
had been organised by German Fascists in the territory of
the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. The report of the
Extraordinary State Commission for the investigation of
crimes committed by the German invaders on the territory of
this Republic (we present to the Tribunal this report as
Exhibit USSR 41)contains the following data on the
extermination of 327,000 Soviet prisoners of war.

I quote excerpts from Page 7, on the right-hand column of
the above-mentioned report. You will, Sir, as well as the
other members of the Tribunal, find the excerpt on Page 97
of the document book:

     "In Riga, the Germans organised a camp, `Stalag 350,'
     for Soviet prisoners of war, on the premises of the
     former barracks on Pernovski and Rudolf Streets, which
     existed from July, 1941 to October, 1944. There Soviet
     prisoners of war were kept in inhuman conditions. The
     building where they were lodged had neither windows nor
     heating. In spite of heavy labour from 12 to 14 hours a
     day their rations consisted only of 150-200 grams of
     bread and so-called soup made of grass, rotten
     potatoes, leaves of trees, and other refuse."
In my opinion, it is necessary to stress the monotony of the
rations issued to the prisoners of war. Testimonies given by
witnesses coincide entirely with the official directive on
the quantities of food allotted to the prisoners of war,
which I have already read into thr record today.

A former prisoner of war, P. F. Yakovenko, who was
imprisoned in Stalag 350, testified (this is on Page 97 in
your document book):

     "We were given 180 grams of bread, half of it
     consisting of sawdust and straw, one litre of unsalted
     soup made of unpeeled rotten potatoes. We slept on the
     bare ground and were eaten up by lice. Between
     December, 1941, and May, 1942, 30,000 prisoners of war
     perished in this camp from starvation, cold, floggings,
     typhus and shooting. The Germans daily shot prisoners
     of war who, owing to weakness or illness, were unable
     to go to work; they mocked at them and beat them
     without any reason at all."
                                                  [Page 326]
G. B. Novitzkaya, who had worked as senior nurse in the
hospital for Soviet prisoners of war in No. 1,
Gymnastitcheskaya Street, testified that she had repeatedly
seen patients eat grass and tree leaves in order to quell
the pangs of hunger.

     "In sections of Stalag 350, on the territory of a
     former brewery, and in the Panzer barracks, over 19,000
     persons perished between September, 1941, and April,
     1942, alone, of starvation, torture, and epidemics. The
     Germans also shot wounded prisoners of war. In
     addition, Soviet prisoners of war perished en route to
     the camp, since the Germans left them without food or
A female witness, A.V. Taukuliss testified:

     "In the fall of 1941 a transport of Soviet prisoners of
     war, consisting of 50-60 coaches, arrived at the
     station of Salaspils. When the cars were opened, the
     stench of corpses was noticable at a great distance.
     Half the men were dead; many were at the point of
     death. Men who were able to climb out of the coaches
     tried to get water, but the guards opened fire and shot
     a score or two of them."
I shall not enumerate other facts which took place in Stalag
350, I shall merely read into thr record the final sentence,
referring to this camp. I fear that there is a misprint in
this sentence in your document book. If I am not mistaken,
it mentions the shooting of 120,000 Soviet prisoners. This
figure is inaccurate; in the original document, which I
shall now read into thr record, another figure is mentioned.

     "In Stalag 350 and in its branches the Germans tortured
     to death and shot over 130,000 Soviet prisoners of
On Page 97 of your document book you can find the following
part of this report:

     "There was a camp for Soviet prisoners of war, Stalag
     340, in Daugavpilis (Dvinsk), known among the internees
     and the town's inhabitants as the 'Death Camp,' where
     in 3 years, over 124,000 Soviet prisoners of war
     perished from starvation, torture and shooting.
     The butchering of prisoners of war by German
     executioners usually began on the way to the camp. In
     the summer, prisoners of war were transported in
     tightly closed wagons, in winter in freight coaches and
     on platform trucks. Masses of prisoners perished from
     hunger and thirst. They suffocated in the summer, they
     froze in the winter."
Witness T.K. Ussenko stated:

     "In November, 1941, I was on duty, as signalman, at the
     station of Most, and I saw a transport, consisting of
     more than 30 coaches, move into the '217 Kilometer'
     siding (this was the name given to that particular part
     of the track). Not a living soul was discovered in the
     coaches. No fewer than 15,500 [sic. The American
     translation uses the figure 1,500. At 50-80 persons per
     coach, the higher figure is clearly impossible. knm]
     dead bodies were unloaded from this transport. They
     were dressed in nothing but their underclothes. The
     corpses lay around the railway track for nearly a
The hospital attached to the camp was likewise dedicated to
the extermination of prisoners of war. School teacher V. A.
Efimova, who worked at the hospital, told the Commission:

     "It was rarely that any one left this hospital alive.
     Five shifts of grave-diggers, selected from amongst the
     prisoners, carried the dead to the cemetery in hand-
     carts. It frequently happened that a man who was still
     alive would be thrown into the cart and 6 or 7 corpses
     or bodies of executed people piled on top of him. The
     living were buried with the
                                                  [Page 327]
     dead. At the hospital sick people, tossing in delirium,
     were bludgeoned to death."
When an epidemic broke out in the camp, the Hitlerites drove
to the airfield all the prisoners from any barrack where
typhus patients had been discovered, and shot them. About
45,000 Soviet prisoners of war were thus exterminated.

Appalling facts are quoted in the documents of the
Extraordinary State Commission, which investigated the
crimes of the German Fascist invaders in the neighborhood of
Sevastopol, Kerch and at the health resort of Teberda. I
shall read into thr record some data from our Exhibit USSR
63/5. At the Sevastopol prison, the German Fascist Command
organised a hospital for sick and wounded prisoners of war.
Here the Soviet warriors perished in masses. I shall quote a
few sentences, which you will find in your document book on
Page 99:

     "At the time the hospital was organised, the sick and
     wounded were not given any water or bread for 5 or 6
     days by the Germans, who cynically said: 'This is the
     punishment for the specially stubborn defence of
     Sevastopol by the Russians.'"
The wounded brought in from the battlefield were given no
medical aid. Soldiers and officers were thrown on the cement
floor, where they lay bleeding for 7 and 8 days on end.

     During the defence of Sevastopol, a military hospital
     and a medico-sanitary battalion, No. 47, were installed
     in the vaults of the champagne factory at Inkermann.
     After the retreat of the Red Army, a large number of
     wounded soldiers and officers were left behind in Vault
     Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13, since there had been no time to
     evacuate them. When the German savages captured the
     factory, they all became drunk and set fire to the

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