The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Eighth Day: Wednesday, February 13, 1946
(Part 16 of 19)

COLONEL POKROVSKY: On Page 115 of the document book you will find the excerpt I am about to quote from the testimony of Citizeness P.Y. BulytchyevA.
"P.Y. Bulytchyova, born in the city of Kerch in 1894, testified:

'I witnessed how our Red Army prisoners of war, both soldiers and officers, were repeatedly driven along the street, and how the weak and wounded were shot out of hand by Germans in the street itself when, through sheer debility, they fell out of the ranks. Many times I witnessed this terrible scene. Once, in the freezing cold, I saw a group of exhausted, ragged and barefooted prisoners driven along. Those who attempted to snatch the pieces of bread thrown to them by the citizens were beaten up with rubber truncheons and rifle butts. Those who fell under the blows were promptly shot.'"

I am omitting a few sentences which, in my opinion, need not be read into the record.
"At the time of the second occupation, when the Germans broke into Kerch again, they began to avenge themselves with even greater fury on perfectly innocent people."
The witness testifies that the Fascist butchers first of all avenged themselves on the military personnel and that they beat wounded soldiers to death with rifle butts.

On the same page you will find the following excerpt:

"The prisoners of war were driven into large buildings, which were then set on fire. Thus, the Voikov school was burned down, together with the Club for Engineering and Technical Workers, where were 400 soldiers and officers of the Red Army.

Not a man succeeded in escaping from the burning building. All those who attempted to save themselves were mowed down by machine gun fire. Wounded soldiers were savagely tortured to death in the small fishing village of Mayak."

Another woman witness who lived in this village, A. P. Buryatchenko, testified:
"On 28th May, 1942, the Germans shot all the peaceful inhabitants who had remained in the village and had not succeeded in hiding. The Fascist monsters mocked the wounded Soviet prisoners of war, beat them with rifle butts, and then shot them. In my home, the Germans discovered a girl in military uniform, who resisted the Fascists, crying: 'Shoot, you vipers, I die for the Soviet people and for Stalin, but you, you monsters, will die a dog's death.' This girl patriot was shot out of hand."

[Page 331]

There is, in the district of Kerch, the stone quarry of Adjimushkaisk. Red Army soldiers were exterminated and poisoned by gas. N. N. Dashkova, a woman from the village of Adjimushkaisk, testified:
"I myself saw the Germans -- who had caught about 900 Red Army soldiers in the quarry -- first ill-treat and then shoot them. The Fascists used gas."
I omit several sentences. On the same page, 115, you will find the following quotation:
"At the time of the occupation a camp for Soviet prisoners of war, housing over 1,000 captives, was set up in the `Engels' Club. The Germans ill-treated them, fed them only once a day, drove them off to heavy labour beyond their strength and shot out of hand all those who, exhausted, fell by the road."
I consider it essential to quote a few more testimonies:

N.J. Shumilova, a woman from the hamlet of Gorki, testified:

"I myself saw a group of prisoners of war being led past my courtyard. Three of them were unable to move and were promptly shot by the German escort."
P.I. Gerassimenko, a woman living in the hamlet of Samostroy, testified:
"Many Red Army soldiers and officers were driven to our village. The area which they occupied was surrounded by barbed wire. Here, naked and barefoot, they perished from cold and hunger. They were kept in the most frightful and inhuman conditions. By the side of the living lay the bodies of the dead, and these bodies were not moved for days on end. Such conditions rendered life in the camp still more intolerable. The prisoners were beaten with rifle butts, flogged by the lash and fed on refuse. Any inhabitant who attempted to give food and bread to the prisoners was beaten up, while prisoners attempting to take these gifts were shot."
In a Kerch school, No. 24, the Germans set up a camp for prisoners of war. A.N. Naumova, a school teacher, testified as follows concerning the regime in the camp:
"There were many wounded in the camp. These unhappy people, though bleeding profusely, were left without any help. I collected medicine and bandages for the wounded, and their wounds were dressed by a medical orderly from amongst the captives. The prisoners suffered from dysentery since they were fed hog-wash instead of bread. People dropped from exhaustion and disease; they died in agony. On 20th June, 1942, three prisoners of war were given the lash for attempting to escape from the camp. The wounded were shot. In June one of the escaped prisoners was caught and executed."
Koshenikove, a teacher in the "Stalin" School, in the area of the factory-kitchen and Voikov works, witnessed the execution of a group of Red Army men and officers.

In 1943 the German criminals drove Red Army prisoners all the way from the Caucasus. The entire road from the ferry to the town, a distance of some 18 to 20 kilometres, was littered with the dead bodies of Red Army men. There were many sick and wounded among the prisoners of war. Whoever was unable to walk, either through exhaustion or sickness, was shot on the way.

Among other facts there is one which deserves special attention:

In 1942 the Fascists threw 100 Red Army prisoners of war, alive, into the village well of Adjimushkay; their bodies were subsequently extracted by the

[Page 332]

inhabitants and buried in a communal grave in the sacred brotherhood of death.

This information is contained in the same report, extracts of which I have just quoted to you.

On 29th January, 1946, the witness, Paul Roser, was interrogated here, before the Tribunal. He testified that in the course of four months, out of 10,000 Russians, whom he had seen as prisoners of war in the German camp at the city of Ravva-Ruskaya, only 2,000 remained alive.

We possess evidence from yet another eye-witness of the numerous atrocities and endless tortures inflicted on the prisoners of war at Ravva-Ruskaya.

Witness V.S. Kotchan, who was duly interrogated according to the procedure prescribed by our laws, testified before the Captain of the Guard of Justice, Ryzhov, on 27th September, 1944 (the minutes of his interrogation are hereby submitted to you as Exhibit USSR 6(b):

"I worked under the Germans, as a navvy, at the Red Army prisoner of war camp from December, 1941 to April, 1942."
I omit a few lines irrelevant to the matter, and I quote further:
"This camp was set up by the Germans in the barracks near the railway. The entire area of the camp was surrounded by barbed wire. According to personal statements by the prisoners of war, the Germans drove from 12,000 to 15,000 men into this camp. While we were working, we watched the Germans ill-treating the Red Army prisoners of war. They fed them once a day on unpeeled, frozen potatoes, baked in their skins and covered with dirt. They kept the prisoners of war in the cold barracks all through the winter.

I know for a fact that when the Germans drove the prisoners of war into this camp, all clothes, overcoats, boots and shoes which were at all serviceable were taken from them, leaving them barefoot and in rags. They were taken to work daily under escort from 4 to 5 in the morning and kept working until 10 o'clock at night. Then, worn out, cold and hungry, the prisoners were marched back to their barracks where doors and windows had purposely been left open all day, so that the frost might enter these barracks and freeze them to death. In the morning, under the supervision of German soldiers, hundreds of corpses would be taken away in a tractor by the prisoners of war, where they were buried in previously prepared pits in the forest of Volkovitch. When the prisoners were marched off to work in the morning, under escort, the Germans would place a detachment of soldiers armed with rifles and stakes by the gates leaving from the camp; they poleaxed them with stakes, stabbed them with bayonets and chased the hungry and exhausted prisoners who were unable to move properly."

The German camp administration brought out completely naked prisoners of war, bound them with ropes to a wall surrounded by barbed wire and kept them there, in the cold of the December winter, until they froze to death. The air of the camp resounded continually with the groans and cries of people maimed by rifle butts. Some were poleaxed with rifle butts on the spot.

When, starving and exhausted, the prisoners were brought to the camp, they would hurl themselves on a heap of rotten and frozen potatoes. This, in turn, would be followed by a shot from the German escort."

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