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 25th February, 1946

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

[COLONEL L. N. SMIRNOV continues]

[Page 39]

I quote further from the note of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Page 7 of the document book, the last paragraph:-
"In addition to all that has already been stated, the Soviet Government has in its possession documentation bearing on the monstrous atrocities systematically repeated by the German fascist command, such as the use of Soviet civilians to cover German troops during battle with the Red Army.

On 28th August, 1941, German fascist troops attempted to force the river Ipput. Powerless to overcome the stubborn resistance of the Red Army

[Page 40]

units, they assembled the population of the Bielorussian town of Dobrush in the Gomel region, and by threatening to shoot those who refused, drove women, children, and old people before them, using them as a shield when they attack in battle formation.

The same dastardly crime against the civilian population was repeated by the German Command in the Vybori Collective Farm Sector of the Leningrad region as well as in the district of Yelna, in the region of Smolensk. The fascist thugs continue to resort to this brutal and cowardly method right up to the present day. On 8 December the Hitlerites made use of the local civil population to cover their retreat from the village of Yamnoye, in the region of Tula. On 12 December, in the same region, they assembled 120 persons - old people and children - and made them march in the vanguard of their troops during engagements with the advancing units of the Red Army. In the fight by our troops for the liberation of the city of Kalinin, units of the German 303rd Regiment, 162nd Division, attempting to launch a counter-attack, assembled the women of one of the suburban villages, placed them in the vanguard of their troops, and then went into action. Fortunately the Soviet troops succeeded, when beating off the attack, in driving a wedge between the Hitlerites and their victims, thereby saving the lives of the women."

In order to satisfy the needs of the German fascist armies and in violation of all International Conventions, the criminals employed the civil population for particularly dangerous work, especially for clearing the mine fields.

I will quote an extract from the second part of this note, which the Tribunal will find on Page 2 of the document book, Paragraph 4.

"Wherever German troops and German authorities made their appearance on Soviet territory, a regime of brutal exploitation, tyranny and arbitrary rule was immediately established as far as the defenceless civil population was concerned.

With a complete disregard for age or conditions of health, the Soviet citizens were compelled, under threat of torture, shooting or death by starvation, to perform, gratuitously, various kinds of heavy work, including work of a military nature. In a number of cases, civilians employed on one or another job of a military nature were summarily shot to ensure secrecy.

Thus, for instance, in the village of Kolpine, in the region of Smolensk, the invaders drove all the farmers off to work on building bridges and dugouts for German units. Upon the completion of the construction of these fortifications, all these farmers were shot."

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a good time to break off.


(The Tribunal adjourned until 15th February, 1946 at 1000 hours.)

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