The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/11

I submit to the International Military Tribunal Exhibit USSR
29. It is a communique of the Polish-Soviet Extraordinary
Commission for the Investigation of the "Crimes perpetrated
by the Germans in the Extermination Camp of Maidanek in the
city of Lublin". The Tribunal will find this communique on
Page 63 of the document book. I quote Section 3 of this
document: "Tortures and Murder in the Extermination camp"
Page 64 reverse side of the document book beginning with the
last paragraph:--
     "The forms of torture were extremely varied. Some
     of them were in the nature of so-called jokes
     which frequently ended in death. They included
     mock shooting when the victim was rendered
     insensible by a blow over the head with a blunt
     instrument, and mock drownings in the pond of the
     camp which often ended in actual drowning.
     Among the German executioners were specialists in
     particular methods of torture. Prisoners were
     killed by a blow with a stick on the back of the
     head, by a kick in the stomach, in the groin, etc.
     The S.S. torturers drowned their victims in the
     dirty water flowing from the bathhouse through a
     narrow ditch. The head of the victim was plunged
     into the dirty water and held under by the boot of
     an S.S. man until he died. A favorite method of
     the Hitler S.S. was to hang prisoners with their
     hands bound behind their back. The Frenchman, de
     Courantin, who suffered the torture in question,
     stated that a man hanged in this manner lost
     consciousness very rapidly, whereupon the hanging
     would be interrupted. He
                                              [Page 35]
     was hanged again as soon as consciousness was
     recovered and the process was repeated several
     For the smallest offense, particularly for any
     suspicion of escape, the camp internees were
     hanged by the German fiends. In the middle of each
     field stood a post with a cross beam two meters
     above ground, from which the victims were hanged.
     'I saw from my barracks,' said witness Demashev,
     former camp internee and Soviet prisoner of war,
     'how people were hanged from the beam in the
     middle of the field.'
     Close to the laundry, on the landing between the
     first and second floor, was a special shed, where
     prisoners were hanged in whole groups from the
     cross beams."
The women interned in the camp were subjected to the same
ill-treatment and torture; they suffered the same forms of
control, of work beyond their strength, of beating and ill-
treatment. The greatest cruelty was inflicted by the female
personnel of the S.S. The worst were the Chief Woman
Supervisor Erich, and the supervisors Braunstein, Anni,
David, Weber, Knoblick, Ellert, and Radli.

The Commission has established many facts of unparalleled
brutality perpetrated by the German executioners in the

The German, Heinz Stalbe, chief of the camp police, stated
that he had seen with his own eyes how the director of the
crematorium, Oberscharfuehrer Mussfeld, tied the arms and
legs of a Polish woman and threw her into the furnace alive.

The witnesses Yelinski and Olech -- workers in the camp --
also stated that internees had been burned alive in the
crematory ovens.

     "An infant was snatched from its mother's breast
     and dashed before her eyes against the wall of the
     barracks," stated witness Atrochov. "I saw for
     myself how infants were taken from their mothers
     and murdered before their eyes: the executioner
     would seize one small leg, stand on the other, and
     the infant would be torn in half," stated witness
     Edward Baran.
     The deputy camp commandant, S.S. Obersturmfuehrer
     Tumann was particularly noted for his sadistic
     tendencies. He forced groups of internees to kneel
     in a row and then killed them by blows on the head
     with a stick. He set Alsatian dogs on the
     internees. He participated actively and
     energetically in all executions and killings of
     the prisoners."
Thus hunger, work beyond their strength, torture, torment,
ill-treatment and murder accompanied by unheard-of sadism
were employed for the mass extermination of the captives in
the camp.

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