The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-07/tgmwc-07-64.07

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-07/tgmwc-07-64.07
Last-Modified: 1999/11/17

Before their retreat from Mariupol:-

  "The German Occupational Authorities burned down all the
  sixty-eight schools of the city, seventeen kindergarten
  schools ... and the Palace of the Pioneers."

I shall now quote a few excerpts from the document presented
to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 45. These excerpts are found
on Page 378 of your document book. The document deals with
the Hitlerite crimes in Rovno and the Region of Rovno.

The city of Rovno was of special importance. It was the
residence of Reichsminister Erich Koch, the closest
collaborator of the defendant Rosenberg. Numerous
conferences of the Hitlerite leaders for elaborating their
plan for the enslavement of the Ukrainian people took place
in this city.

This report of the Extraordinary State Commission, from
which I now quote, established the following facts-:

   "The Hitlerites, on the Ukrainian territory they had
   seized, endeavoured to establish a regime of slavery and
   serfdom and to annihilate the Ukrainian sovereignty and
   The vast material in possession of the Extraordinary
   State Commission, based on documents, testimonies of
   witnesses and personal inspection by members of the
   Commission, and their acquaintance with conditions
   prevailing in various cultural and educational
   establishments on Ukrainian territory liberated by the
   Red Army, leave no doubt that the German fascist
   barbarians had, for their aim, the destruction of
   Ukrainian culture and the extermination of the finest
   representatives of Ukrainian art and science who had
   fallen into their hands."

                                                  [Page 200]

I omit two paragraphs, and I quote the penultimate paragraph
on this page:-

   "The German fascist aggressors closed down nearly all
   the cultural and educational establishments in Rovno. On
   3oth November, 1941, the closing down of schools in the
   General Kommissariat of Volyn and Podolia was officially
   announced in the newspaper 'Volyn'."

I omit the end of page 70, and I quote the last paragraph on
Page 71 of this report:-

   "The fact that all these crimes were committed in the
   town where the former Reichskommissar for the Ukraine,
   Erich Koch, was living, serves as an additional proof
   that all the crimes of the Hitlerite bandits were
   perpetrated in execution of a plan for the extermination
   of the Soviet people and the devastation of the Soviet
   territories temporarily occupied by the Hitlerites, a
   plan conceived and executed by the Hitlerite

Destruction and Plunder of Cultural Valuables of the Capital
of the Bielorussian Republic, the City of Minsk

In Section 5 of his opening statement, General Rudenko,
Chief Prosecutor for the USSR, quoted an extract from a
letter of the German commissar for Bielorussia Kube,
addressed to the defendant Rosenberg.

This document is a typewritten letter, signed in ink by
Kube. It has several notations in pencil, evidently by
Rosenberg, and it is stamped " Ministerial Bureau", and
dated 3rd October, 1941. This document, identified as 1099-
PS, I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 379 in evidence
of the enormous proportions assumed by the plundering of
historical treasures, carried out everywhere by the
Hitlerites. With your permission I shall now take the
liberty of quoting some additional extracts from this
document, which discloses the fact that not only were the
plundered treasures sent to Germany, but that they had also
been stolen by individual generals of Hitler's Army.

Kube's letter reveals at the same time the existence of a
previously elaborated plan for the plunder of the cultural
treasures in Leningrad, Moscow and the Ukrainian cultural
centres. The vandalism of the Hitlerites reached such
proportions that even Kube, that hangman of the Bielorussian
people, was roused to indignation. He was afraid of allowing
a profitable deal to slip through his hands and sought
compensation from Rosenberg.

I quote the second paragraph from the beginning of the

   "Minsk possessed a large and, in part, a very valuable
   collection of art treasures and paintings which have now
   been removed almost in their entirety from the city. By
   order of Reichsfuehrer S.S., Reichsminister Heinrich
   Himmler, most of the paintings, some even during my term
   of office, were packed by members of the S.S. and sent
   to the Reich. They are worth several millions of marks
   and they were all taken from the General District of
   Bielorussia. The paintings were supposedly sent to Linz
   and to Konigsberg in East Prussia. I beg to have this
   valuable collection placed once more at the disposal of
   the General District of Bielorussia or, in any case, to
   place the monetary value of these collections with the
   Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories."

Kube, as well as the defendant Rosenberg, likewise decided
that he had the right to monopolise the stolen treasures and
complained that (and I quote the second part of the second
paragraph of this letter):-

   "General Stubenrauch has taken a valuable part of this
   collection and has carried it off to the area of
   military operations. 'Sonderfahrers', whose names have
   not yet been reported to me, have carried off three
   truck-loads of furniture, paintings and works of art."

                                                  [Page 201]

Having, along with other fascist leaders, robbed the people
of Bielorussia, and taken a direct part in the mass ill-
treatment and extermination of the Soviet population, Kube
hypocritically declared (I quote the last paragraph of this

"Bielorussia, already rather impoverished, has suffered
heavy loss through these actions."

And Kube recommended to Rosenberg, I quote:

"It is possible that specialists will be appointed
beforehand for directing these measures in Leningrad and
Moscow, as well as in some of the ancient Ukrainian cultural

That was the ultimate goal of their desires. It is now
universally known what meaning the Hitlerites attached to
the word "measures" when applied to the occupied
territories. It meant a regime of bloody terror, arbitrary
blackguardism, violence and unrestricted plunder.

On breaking into Minsk, capital of the Bielorussian
Republic, the German fascist invaders attempted to destroy
the culture of the Bielorussian people and turn the
Bielorussians into obedient German slaves.

As has been established by special investigations, the
Hitlerite military authorities acting on direct orders from
the German Government, ruthlessly destroyed scientific
research institutes and schools, theatres and clubs,
hospitals and polyclinics, kindergartens and day nurseries.

I am reading into the record an excerpt from the document
which was presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit
USSR 38.

  "For three years the German fascist invaders in Minsk set
  out to destroy systematically the scientific research
  institutes, institutions of higher education, libraries,
  museums, institutions of the Academy of Sciences,
  theatres and clubs.
  It took more than twenty years to build up the Lenin
  library in Minsk. In 1932 this work was completed by the
  construction of a special new building with a large and
  well-equipped depository for storing books. From this
  library the Germans carried off to Berlin and Konigsberg
  1,500,000 extremely valuable books on the history of

I omit the end of page 73 of the report.
  "In their attempt to eradicate the culture of the
  Bielorussian people, the  German fascist invaders
  destroyed every cultural and educational institution in
  Minsk . . . The libraries of the Academy of Science,
  containing 300,000 volumes, of the State University, the
  Polytechnic Institute, and the Medico- Scientific library
  and the public library of the city ('A. S. Pushkin') were
  carried away to Germany.
  The Hitlerites destroyed the Bielorussian State
  University together with the Zoological, the Geological
  and Mineralogical, the Historical and Archaeological
  Museums as well as the Medical Institute with all its
  clinics. They also demolished the Academy of Aciendes
  with its nine institutes."

I omit the remainder of this paragraph.

  "They destroyed the State Art Gallery and carried away to
  Germany paintings and sculptures by Russian and
  Bielorussian masters . . . They plundered the
  Bielorussian State Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the First
  Bielorussian Dramatic Theatre, the House of National
  Creative Art, together with the Houses of the Unions of
  Writers, Artists and Composers.
  In Minsk the fascists destroyed forty-seven schools,
  twenty-four kindergarten schools, the Palace of the
  Pioneers, two maternity hospitals, three children's
  hospitals, five city polyclinics, twenty-seven nurseries
  and four children's welfare centres; the Institution of
  Infant and Maternity Welfare was reduced to a heap of

                                                  [Page 202]

The prosecution has at its disposal document 076-PS which is
a report entitled "On Minsk Libraries," by a German
corporal, Abel. This corporal had investigated all the
libraries in Minsk and stated in his report that nearly all
of them had been destroyed.

I present this report as Exhibit USSR 375. I consider, Mr.
President, that it will be quite sufficient to read into the
record individual excerpts from this report. There is no
need to read the report in its entirety. It is stated, on
page 75 of my report, that:-

  "The Lenin library was the central library of
  Bielorussia. It is difficult to estimate the exact number
  of volumes, but the number of works is approximately
  5,000,000 . . . The  depositories for storing books
  present a desolate picture . . ."

I omit two paragraphs of my report, and I quote further:-

  "The library of the Polytechnical Institute in the
  basement of the left wing, as well as a great number of
  laboratories, was devastated on a considerable scale and
  left in complete disorder."

The report concludes with the following sentence, which I

  "The purpose of this report" - wrote the German corporal
  - "can only be achieved if presented for consideration to
  the Supreme Command, and when the Command will issue the
  necessary orders plainly forbidding the German soldier
  from behaving like a barbarian."

But such an order never followed and never could follow,
since fascism and barbarism are inseparable; fascism, in
fact, means barbarism.

THE PRESIDENT: What were you proposing to do after the
adjournment this afternoon?

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL RAGINSKY: After the recess I will present
several written documents pertaining to the destruction of
cultural valuables in the Lithuanian, Esthonian and Latvian
Republics and later, with the permission of the Tribunal, I
would like to present a documentary film, so that at the
close of the session all presentation of evidence would be
completed and my report finished.

THE PRESIDENT: How long will the film take ?

LIEUTENANT- GENERAL RAGINSKY: The presentation of the
documentary film will take about thirty to thirty-five

THE PRESIDENT: Do you not think that, after the vast amount
of damage and spoliation to which you have drawn our
attention in some detail, it would be sufficient if you were
to summarise by telling us the countries in which similar
spoliation had taken place? It is difficult to assimilate
all this vast amount of detail.

LIEUTENANT- GENERAL RAGINSKY: I have in mind, Mr. President,
to present to the Tribunal the documents which will serve as
a summary and in which all the general totals will be given.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. We will adjourn now for ten

(A recess was taken.)

LIEUTENANT- GENERAL RAGINSKY: I wish to draw the attention
of the Tribunal to the fact that before presenting the
conclusion of this report I would like to read into the
record a German document referring to the same subject.

Having occupied the Lithuanian, Esthonian, and Latvian
Soviet Republic, the German fascist invaders attempted to
reduce the Soviet Baltic Provinces to the status of a German
colony, and to enslave the people of these republics. This

                                                  [Page 203]
criminal design of the Hitlerite Government found its full
expression in universal plunder, general ruin, violence,
degradation, and in the mass murder of old men, women and

In order to Germanise the people of the Lithuanian,
Esthonian and Latvian Soviet Socialist Republics, the
Hitlerites destroyed by all possible means the culture of
the peoples of these Republics.

I omit the remainder of page 76, 77 and 78, and from page
79. I quote one paragraph only:-

  "The capital of Soviet Latvia, Riga, was declared by the
  occupational authorities the capital of 'Ostland'
  (Eastern Territory) and the seat of 'Staff Rosenberg.'"

Among the documents presented to the Tribunal by the Soviet
Prosecution as Exhibit USSR 7, Exhibit USSR 39 and Exhibit
USSR 41, there are a number of facts which do not and cannot
exhaust the crimes perpetrated by the Hitlerites in the
Soviet Baltic provinces.

Among the monstrous crimes against the peoples of the Baltic
provinces, the defendant Rosenberg, the former
Reichsminister, played a major part.

I read from page 81:-

  "Even at the time when it was quite evident that the
  downfall of fascist Germany was fast approaching, when
  the hour of just and stem retribution was facing the
  Hitler criminals, the defendant Rosenberg still continued
  in his plundering.
  As late as the end of August, 1944, Rosenberg organised
  and executed the plundering of cultural resources in Riga
  and Reval, in Dorpat and in a number of towns in the
  Esthonian Republic."

I draw the attention of the Tribunal to document 16i-PS
dated the 23 August, entitled "Assignment" and signed by
Rosenberg's Chief of Staff, Utikal.

This document is submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR
376, which your Honours will find on page 400. I quote:-

 "On 21 August, 1944, Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg
 requested Friedrich Schuller, from the headquarters of the
 Chief of Staff, to report on the possibilities existing
 for the evacuation of cultural treasures from the Eastern
 territories. On the basis of this report the Reichsleiter
 has ruled that the most precious cultural riches of the
 Ostland should still be removed by his staff, in so far as
 this can be done without interfering with the interests of
 the fighting forces. The Reichsleiter specified the
 following cultural things as having particular value:
    From Riga:
    the City Archives, the State Archives (the major part
    of these were in Edwahlen),
    From Reval:
    the City Archives, the Esthonian Literary Society and
    small collections from the town hall,
    From Dorpat:
    Works from the Evangelical Lutheran Consistory, the
    Church of St. Nicholas, and the University Library.
    Collections located on Esthonian estates Jerlep, Wodja,
    Weissenstein and Lachmess.
 Head Task Force Leader Schuller, in his capacity as acting
 director of the main labour group for the East, is
 commissioned with the carrying out of their removal and
                                                  [Page 204]
 He is advised to maintain special contact with group
 'North' in order to co-ordinate the execution of this
 mission for the Reichsleiter, with the transportation
 requirements of the field forces."

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.