Statement of Oberbootsmaat Schulz on the killings in Liepaja

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I had been hearing continious rifle salvos for some time in the harbour area, so I decided to see what was happening there. After finishing work some time between 17:00 and 18:00 hours, I went by boat to the other bank, in the direction of the shots. With me was a member of our section, I no longer remember his name. It may have been around August 1941. When we reached the other bank we went to the bunkers at the old citadel. We stayed there a while and climbed on to a bunker so that we could see better.... I saw a long deep trench which was said to have been dug by the Jews the previous day. By the trench stood members of the SS and Latvian plain-clothes police wearing arrnbands. The execution area was cordoned off by the Latvians. We had a good view of the trench, so we were able to observe everything well.

The execution area was about a kilometre from the lighthouse. The land was overgrown with bushes and the ground was sandy. We watched the execution for about an hour and a half. During this time three or four trucks each holding five men were brought from the town to the execution area. The victims had to fie down in the back of the truck during the transport. It was driven right up to the trench and then the victims were herded into the trench from the truck like cattle. This was done by the Latvian police. They were holding clubs and were armed with carbines. I saw the victims being struck by the clubs. Each time, the five had to walk single file into the trench. Then they had to line up in the trench with their backs to the five marksmen. The five marksmen stood with their rifles on the side of the trench. I clearly remember that an SS officer stood by the trench. Apart from him there were also some SS or SD men. The shooting took place under the supervision of the SS. I no longer know for sure today whether the firing-squad was made up of Latvians or SD men; I think however that they were SD men. One of them gave a command and a salvo was fired.

The victims stood facing us. I still remember clearly that after the salvo the victims collapsed. They were shot in the head. Blood spurted out. I can still very well remember the SS officer finishing them off with his pistol....

I clearly recall one elderly man who was wearing a white coat, from which you could tell that he was a Jewish minister. I must mention that apart from me there were also other members of the Wehrmacht (army and navy) watching the execution. One of the other soldiers who was also watching told me that this man was a Jewish man of religion. As be was walking to the trench the man collapsed. The other Jews had to take him to the trench, where he was shot.

Klee, Ernst, Willi Dressen and Volker Riess, editors. The Good Old Days. New York: The Free Press. 1988. pp. 129-130

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Ken Lewis
April 17, 1999
Rev. 1.1