The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th February to 26th February, 1946

Fifty-Ninth Day: Thursday, 14th February 1946
(Part 14 of 15)

[COLONEL L. N. SMIRNOV continues]

[Page 35]

To prove that these sophisticated and sadistic crimes were not exclusively characteristic of the S.S. or the special police units, but that the major war criminals had deliberately plunged whole sections of the German Armed Forces into the very depths of moral degradation, I turn to the contents of a note by the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR, V. M. Molotov, dated 6 January, 1942, which was submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 51. Your Honours will find the passage I am about to quote on the reverse side of the document book, paragraph 4. I begin the quotation:-
"There are no bounds to the wrath and indignation aroused among the Soviet population and in the Red Army by the innumerable and despicable acts of violence, the foul outrages perpetrated against the honour of the women and the mass murders of Soviet citizens, both men and women, carried

[Page 36]

out by the German fascist officers and men. Wherever the rule of the German bayonet begins to hold sway, an unbearable regime of bloody terror, agonizing torture and savage murder is introduced. The robberies committed everywhere by the German officers and men are invariably accompanied by the beating and murder of immense numbers of entirely innocent people. For failure to deliver up food supplies to the very last crumb, and all clothing, down to the very last shirt, the occupants torture and hang old and young, women and children. At forced labour they beat up and shoot for all defective execution of the established quota of work given to them.

On 30 June Hitler's thugs entered the city of Lvov, and on the very next day they started a massacre under the slogan, 'Kill the Jews and the Poles'. After hundreds had been put to death the Hitler gangsters arranged an 'exhibition' of the murdered citizens by building an arcade. The mutilated bodies, mostly of women, were laid out along the walls of the houses. The place of honour in this ghastly 'exhibition' was occupied by the corpse of a woman whose baby had been pinned to her with a bayonet.

Such were the monstrous atrocities of the fascists from the very outbreak of the war. Wallowing in innocent blood, the Hitlerite blackguards are still continuing their dastardly crimes.

In the hamlet of Krasnaya Polyana near Moscow on 2nd December, the German fascist blackguards assembled all the local inhabitants between the ages of fifteen and sixty, locked them up in the icy premises of the District Executive Committee building in which all the window panes had been knocked out, and kept them there for eight days without food or water. The infant children of the women workers of the Krasnaya Polyana factory, A. Zaitseva, T. Gudkina, O. Naletkina, and M. Mikhailova, died in the arms of their mothers during this ordeal.

Numerous instances are on record of Soviet children having been used as practice targets by the Hitlerites.

In the village of Bely Rast, in the Krasnaya Polyana District, a gang of drunken German soldiers put twelve-year-old Volodia Tkachev up on the porch of one of the houses as a target and opened fire on the boy with an automatic rifle. The boy was riddled with bullets. After that the thugs began to fire random shots at the windows of houses. They stopped a collective farm woman, I. Mossolova, who was passing in the street with her three children, and there and then shot her and the children dead.

In the village of Voskressenskoye of the Dubinin District, the Hitlerites used a three-year-old boy as their target, firing at him with their machine guns.

In the regional center of Volovo in the Region of Kursk, where the Germans stayed for a space of four hours, a German officer killed the two-year- old son of a woman named Boikova by dashing the child's head against a wall merely because it was crying.

In the village of Zlobin, in the district of Orel, the fascists killed the two-year-old child of a collective farmer, Kratov, because his crying disturbed their sleep.

In the village of Semenovskoe, in the region of Kalinin, the Germans bound with twine the arms of Olga Tikhonova, the twenty-five-year-old wife of a Red Army man and mother of three children, who was in the last stage of pregnancy, and raped her. After violating her the Germans cut her throat, stabbed her through both breasts, and sadistically bored them out. In the

[Page 37]

same village the occupants shot a boy of thirteen and cut out a five-pointed star on his forehead.

In November the telegraph operator of the town of Kalinin, Ivanova, went to visit relatives in the village of Burashevo, near Kalinin, together with her thirteen-year-old son, Leonid. When they left the town they were noticed by some Hitlerites, who began shooting at them from a distance of sixty meters; as a result the boy was killed. The mother made several attempts to carry away the child's body, but whenever she tried to do so the Germans opened fire and she had to leave the body there. For eight days the German soldiers would not let her remove the body. It was only removed and buried by the mother when the place was occupied by our troops."

Mention is made, further on in the note, of another child victim of the fascists. The Tribunal will see this murdered boy in our filmed documentary evidence. I would ask the Tribunal to pay attention to the further words of the note which I will read into the Record:
"In Rostov-on-Don a pupil of the commercial school, fifteen-year old Vitya Cherevichny, was playing in the yard with his pigeons. Some passing German soldiers began to steal the birds. The boy protested. The Germans took him away and shot him, at the corner of 27th Line and 2d Maisky Street for refusing to surrender his pigeons. With the heels of their boots the Hitlerites trampled his face until it was unrecognisable.

The village of Bassmanova, in the Glinka district of the Smolensk region, liberated by our troops early in September was one mass of ashes after the German occupation. On the very first day of their arrival, the fascist fiends drove into the fields over 200 school children who had come to the village to help in the harvesting. There they surrounded them and savagely shot them all. A large group of schoolgirls was abducted to the rear 'For their Lordships, the officers'.

The seizure of towns or villages usually begins with the erection of a gallows on which the German executioners hang the first civilians they can lay their hands on. Moreover, they leave the bodies hanging on the gallows for days and even weeks. They do the same with the people they shoot in the streets of the towns and villages, leaving the bodies untended for days on end.

After the seizure of Kharkov, the German thugs hanged several people from the windows of a large house in the center of the city. Furthermore, in the same city of Kharkov on 16 November, nineteen persons, including one woman, were hanged from the balconies of a number of houses. The bestial acts of violence perpetrated against the women everywhere testify to the profound moral corruption of the criminals."

I will quote from that passage in the note which Your Honours will find on Page 4, Paragraph 4, of the document book.
"Women and young girls are vilely outraged in all the occupied areas.

In the Ukrainian village of Borodayevka, in the Dniepropetrovsk region, the fascists violated every one of the women and girls.

In the village of Berezovka, in the region of Smolensk, drunken German soldiers assaulted and carried off all the women and girls between the ages of sixteen and thirty.

In the city of Smolensk, the German Command opened a brothel for officers in one of the hotels, into which hundreds of women and girls were driven; they were mercilessly dragged down the street by their arms and hair.

[Page 38]

Everywhere the lust-maddened German gangsters break into the houses, they rape the women and girls under the very eyes of their kinfolk and children, jeer at the women they have violated, and then brutally murder their victims.

In the city of Lvov, thirty-two women working in a garment factory were first violated and then murdered by German Storm Troopers. Drunken German soldiers dragged the girls and young women of Lvov into Kesciuszko Park, where they savagely raped them. An old priest, V. I. Pomaznew, who, cross in hand, tried to prevent these outrages, was beaten up by the fascists. They tore off his cassock, singed his beard, and bayonetted him to death.

Near the town of Borissov in Bielorussia, seventy- five women and girls attempting to flee at the approach of the German troops, fell into their hands. The Germans first raped and then savagely murdered thirty-six of their number. By order of a German officer named Hummer, the soldiers marched L. I. Melchukova, a sixteen-year-old girl, into the forest, where they raped her. A little later some other women who had also been dragged into the forest saw some boards near the trees and the dying Melchukova nailed to the boards. The Germans had cut off her breasts in the presence of these women, among whom were V. I. Alperako, and V. H. Bereznikova.

On retreating from the village of Borovki, in the Zvenigorod District of the Moscow region, the fascists forcibly abducted several women, tearing them away from their little children in spite of their protests and prayers.

In the town of Tikhvin in the Leningrad region, a fifteen-year-old girl named H. Koledetskaya, who had been wounded by shell splinters, was taken to a hospital (a former monastery) where there were wounded German soldiers. Despite her injuries the girl was raped by a group of German soldiers and died as a result of the assault."

I omit two paragraphs - no, I omit one paragraph only, and continue:-
"But, the Hitlerites do not stop at the murder of individual Soviet citizens. Among the most appalling atrocities in the history of Hitlerite lawlessness and terrorism on German occupied Soviet territory are the nightmare mass murders of Soviet citizens which usually accompany the temporary seizure by the Germans of Soviet towns, villages, and other inhabited centers.

"Here are a few instances of wholesale bloody murders carried out by the Germans against entire villages. In Yaskino, a village in the region of Smolensk, the Hitlerites shot all the old men and adolescents, and burnt the houses down to the ground. In the village of Pochinok of the same region, the Germans drove all the old men, old women and children into the collective farm office, locked the doors and burnt them all alive. In the Ukrainian village of Yomelchino in the region of Zhitomir, the Germans locked sixty-eight people into a small hut, sealed the doors and windows and asphyxiated everybody inside. In the village of Yershevo, of the Zvenigorod district in the Moscow region, now liberated by our troops, the Germans, prior to their withdrawal, drove about 100 peaceful citizens and wounded Red Army men into a church, locked them in, and blew up the building. In the village of Agrafenovka of the Rostov region, on 16 November, the fascists arrested the entire male population between the ages of sixteen and seventy and shot one man of every three."

The subsequent part of the note deals with the mass German crimes known as "actions" and particularly to the "actions" in Kiev. I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that the figure of those murdered in Babi Yar - as mentioned in this note - is an understatement. After the liberation of Kiev

[Page 39]

it was established that the extent of the atrocities perpetrated by the German fascist invaders was far greater than was stated in the first instance.

From further information submitted to the Extraordinary State Commission, in connection with the city of Kiev, it is evident that during the monstrous so-called German mass "action" in Babi-Yar not 52,000 but 100,000 were shot. I now continue to quote from Page 4, of the document book, Paragraph 3.

"Terrible massacres and pogroms were carried out by the German invaders in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. In the course of a few days the German bandits tortured and murdered 52,000 men and women, aged people and children, ruthlessly doing to death all Ukrainians, Russians, and Jews who in any way displayed their loyalty to the Soviet. Soviet citizens who succeeded in escaping from Kiev give a shattering picture of one of these mass executions. A large number of Jews, including women and children of all ages, were assembled in the Jewish cemetery. Before shooting them the Germans stripped them naked and then beat them. The first group marked for execution was forced to lie, face downwards at the bottom of a ditch, where they were shot with automatic rifles. The Germans then lightly sprinkled some earth over the dead bodies, made the next batch lie down in a row over the first and shot them in the same way."
I skip a paragraph and continue with the quotation. You will have the opportunity of seeing the Hitlerite crimes mentioned in the note. The German atrocities in Rostov are shown in great detail in the filmed documentary evidence.
"The Nazi blood-thirstiness towards the citizens of Rostov has become well known. During their ten days' stay in Rostov the Germans not only wreaked vengeance on individuals and families, but in their blood-lust they annihilated hundreds of inhabitants, especially in the working-class districts of the city. Near the premises of the Railway Board, German machine-gunners shot forty- eight people in broad daylight. Sixty people were shot by the Hitlerite assassins on the pavements of the main street of Rostov. Two hundred people were murdered in the Armenian cemetery. Even after being driven from Rostov by our troops, German generals and officers publicly boasted that they would return to Rostov purposely to vent bloody retribution on the inhabitants, who had actively helped to drive their mortal enemy from their native city.

On the direct initiative of the command and officers of the German fascist armies, the advance and retreat of their troops were often protected by the peaceful citizens, preferably by women, old men and children."

I make no comment but I do consider it necessary to stress the fact that only those who had perfectly understood Keitel's directive, so well known to the Tribunal, that human life "in the countries to which the directive refers, is worth exactly nothing at all", could have perpetrated these deeds.

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