The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
21st January to 1st February, 1946

Forty-Seventh Day: Thursday, 31st January, 1946
(Part 7 of 8)

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Page 76: medical certificate from Doctor Nicolaides, who examined the women who were raped in this region.
"To terrorise the inhabitants at Trebeurden in Brittany they hanged innocent people, and slashed the corpses to make the blood flow."
I proceed: F-912, submitted as Exhibit RF 421, Page 82 of your book: It is the recital of the massacre of thirty-five Jews at St. Amand-Montrond. These men were arrested, and killed with pistol shots in the back by members of the Gestapo and of the German Army. They were innocent of any crime.

I proceed: Document F-913, submitted as Exhibit RF 422, Page 96, at the bottom of the page. I am quoting:

"On 6 of April 1944 German soldiers of the Gestapo arrested young Bezillon, eighteen years of age, dwelling at Oyonnaxain, whose brother is in the Maquis."
On Page 97:
"The body of this young man was discovered on 11 April 1944 at Sieges (Jura) frightfully mutilated. His nose and tongue had been cut off. There were traces of blows over his whole body and of slashes on his legs. Four other young men were also found at Sieges at the same time as Bezillon. All of them had been mutilated in such a manner that they could not be identified. They bore no trace of bullets, which clearly indicates that they died from the consequences of ill-treatment "
I proceed: F-615, which I submit as Exhibit RF 423, Page 98 of your document book. "Destruction of the village of Cerisay, Page 100 of your document book, next to the last paragraph:
"The fire did not cause any accident to persons, but the bodies of the two persons killed by German convoys and those of two victims of the bombardment were burned."
This village was destroyed by artillery fire. One hundred and seventy-two buildings were destroyed and five hundred and fifty-nine people were left homeless. That is from the last line on Page 100 of your document book.

We place before you Document F-919 as Exhibit RF 424 and we shall quote only Page 103, paragraph 5: This is the murder of a young man of Tourch in the Finistere Dept. The murderers compelled the mother to prepare a meal for them. I am quoting:

"Having been fed, they disinterred the victim. They searched and

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found that the body bore a card of identity bearing the same name and address as his mother, brothers, and sisters, who were present and who were in tears. One of the soldiers, finding no excuse to explain this crime, said dryly before going away, "It is too bad," and the body was again buried.
Document F-616, submitted as Exhibit RF 425, Page 104: This concerns the report of the operations of the German Army in the region of Nice around 20 July 1944, Page 105 of your document book, second paragraph: I quote:
"Having been attacked at Presle by several groups of Maquis in the region, by way of reprisals, a Mongolian detachment, still under the SS, went to a farm where two French members of the Resistance had been hidden.

Being unable to take them prisoner, these soldiers then took the proprietors of that farm, (the husband and wife), and after subjecting them to numerous atrocities (knifing, rape, et cetera) they shot them down with sub- machine guns. Then they took the son of these victims who was only three years of age, and, after having frightfully tortured him, they crucified him on the gate of the farmhouse."

We present Document 914 as Exhibit RF 426, Page 107 of your document book. This was a long recital of the murders committed without any cause whatever by the German Army in Rus Tronchet at Lyons. Page 109 at the end of the last paragraph. I now read:
"Without preliminary warning, without any effort having been made to verify the exact character of the situation and, if necessary, to seize those responsible for the act, the soldiers opened fire. A certain number of civilians, men and women and children, fell. Others who were untouched or only slightly wounded fled in haste."
On Page 110 or 111 the Tribunal will find the official testimony that was drawn up on the occasion of this murder. We submit without quoting, which we ask you to take judicial notice of, only the minutes relating to the crimes of the German Army committed in the region of Loches (Indre-et- Loire), Document F-617, placed before you as Exhibit RF 427 and on Page 115 of your document book.

Document F-607, submitted as Exhibit RF 428, which is on Page 119 of your document book, describes the looting, rape, and burnings at Saillan during the months of July and of August 1944. I quote the third paragraph:

"During their sojourn in the region - I mean the German soldiers - three rapes were committed against three women in that area."
I pass on to F-608, Page 120 of your document book, submitted as Exhibit RF 429: A person was burned alive at Puisots by a punitive expedition. This person was innocent. I present Document F-610 as Exhibit RF 430, Page 122 of your document book. The whole region of Vassieux in the Vercors is devastated. This Document, F-610, is a report by the Red Cross prepared prior to the liberation. Page 123 of your document book. I am quoting:
"We find in a farm a man wounded. He was struck by eight bullets under the following circumstances. The Germans forced him to set fire to his own house, and tried to prevent him from emerging by shooting at him with their pistols. In spite of his wounds he was miraculously able to escape.
We present Document F-618 as Exhibit RF 431, Page 124 of the document book, also Page 125, the next to the last line. I quote, concerning people who were executed:
"Before being shot these people were tortured. One of them, M. Francis Duperrier, had his arm broken and his face completely mutilated,

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and M. Perroud Plattet, had been completely disembowelled with a piece of sharp wood. His jaw bone was also crushed."
We present Document 605 as Exhibit RF 432, Page 126. This document relates and describes the burning of the hamlet, Des Plaines near Moutiers, in the Department of Savoy. I read at the beginning of the eighth line, and end of the second paragraph: "Two women, Mine. Romanet, 72 years old and her daughter, age 41, were burned in a small room of their dwelling, where they had sought refuge. In the same place a man, M. Charvaz, who had had his thigh shattered by a bullet, was found burnt to a cinder.

We now present as Exhibit RF 433, French Document F-298, Page 127, and the following, in your document book, which describes the destruction of Naille in the department of Indre-et-Loire. That area was entirely destroyed on 25 August 1944, and a large number of its inhabitants were killed or seriously wounded. This destruction and these crimes were motivated by no terrorist action, by no action of the French Forces of the Interior. We place before you Document F-907 as Exhibit RF-434, Page 132 and the following, in your document book. This document related to the crimes committed by the German Army at Montpezat-de- Quercy. This is a letter written to the French Delegation by the Bishop of Montauban, Monseigneur Theas, on 2 May. I quote the second paragraph of Page 132, " On 2 May 1944 under the pretext of combating the Maquis. . .

THE PRESIDENT: Can I see your document?


THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, how do you make out this exhibit? It is not an official document, is it, in any shape or form?

M. DUBOST: Document F 673, Page 129 of your document book, refers to the events.

THE PRESIDENT: There is some other document, you mean?

M. DUBOST: Document F-907 really explains Document F-673, which is on Page 139 of the document book, and this document authenticates the letter by Monseigneur Theas, who is Bishop of Montauban. I wish to present that by referring to Document F-673 if the Tribunal is not disposed to grant sufficient credit to Document F-907.

THE PRESIDENT: I think that would be better.

M. DUBOST: F-673, submitted as Exhibit RF 392, Page 139 of your document book, related to the incident leading to crimes by the Germans at Montprezat-de-Quercy. . . Paragraph 1, Page 139, is a letter by the French Armistice Commission, and is extracted from the archives of the Armistice Commission in Wiesbaden.

"On the night of 6 or 7 June last, at the time of an operation in the region of Montpezat-de-Quercy, German troops set fire to four farmhouses which formed the hamlet called Perches. Three men, two women and two children, 14 and 4 years old, were burned alive. Two women and a child of ten disappeared, having suffered the same fate.

On Saturday, 10 June, having been shot at by two refractories in the village of Marsoulas, German troops killed these two men. Moreover, they massacred, without any explanation, all the other inhabitants of the village that they could lay their hands on.

Thus seven men, six women, and 14 children were killed, most of them still in their beds at the early hour when this happened.

On 10 June, at about 1900 hours, five Luftwaffe fliers attacked the town of Tarbes for half-an-hour with bombs and machine guns. Several buildings were destroyed, among them the Hotel des Ponts et Chaussdes, and the Academic Inspectorate. There were seven dead and about ten

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wounded who were naturally hit by chance among the population of the city.

On this occasion the general in command of the VS 659 at Tarbes immediately announced to the Prefect of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees that the operation had been neither provoked nor ordered by him.

Following each of these events the Prefect of the Region of Toulouse addressed to the General commanding the HVS. 564, letters in which, in dignified and measured terms he protested against the acts in question through which innocent women and children were deliberately put to death. He formulated quite accurately the opinion that under no circumstances could children in the cradle be considered as accomplices of the terror raids. He requested finally that instructions be given to avoid the recurrence of such painful scenes.

Answering in toto on 19 June, to the three letters of the Regional Prefect of Toulouse, the chief of staff of the general commanding the Principal General Staff Liaison 564 announced the principal position taken by his chief. This justified the acts of reprisal cited because of the following : The French population has the duty not only of fleeing from terrorists but also of rendering their operations impossible, which will avoid any reprisals against innocents.

In the struggle against terrorism the German Army must employ and will employ all means at its disposal, even methods of combat new in Western Europe.

The terroristic raids of the Anglo-Americans are now causing the massacre of thousands and thousands of innocent women and children in Germany. That their innocent blood has been shed is the guilt of the enemy, wherefore the German soldier is obliged to use his arms in the South of France.

I have the honour to ask you," concluded General Bridoux, who was with the German Commission "whether the French Government is to consider the arguments cited above as reflecting accurately the position taken by the German High Command, in view of the facts disclosed in the first part of the present letter."

We now place before you Document F-190, Exhibit RF-435, Page 141 of the document book, which describes the crimes committed at Aseq by a German unit, which, in reprisal for the destruction of the railway, massacred 77 men of all categories and all ages, among whom were 22 railway workers, employees, industrialists, business men and workmen. I quote the last part of the penultimate paragraph of Page 145:
"The oldest of these victims, M. Briet, retired, was 74 years old, born on 3 October, 1869, at Ascq. The youngest, Jean Roques, a student, son of the postmaster, was 15 years old, born on 4 January, 1929, at Saint Quentin. Father Gilleron, a priest of Ascq, and his two protegees, M. Averlon and sons, who had fled from the coastal area, were shot."
This massacre was the cause of a protest made by the French Government at that time, to which Commander-in-Chief von Rundstedt replied on 2 May 1944, Document F-673, which we have already placed before you. That is on Page 154; it was submitted as Exhibit RF 392. The reply of this superior officer of the German Army is the last paragraph of 154:
"The population of Aseq bears the responsibility for the consequences of its treacherous conduct, which I can only severely condemn."
General Berard, president of the French delegation attached to the German Armistice Commission, was not satisfied with the reply given by Rundstedt, and on 21 June, 1944 he reiterated the French protest, addressing it this time

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to General Vogl, president of the German Armistice Commission. This is F-673, Page 155, of your document book. I now quote the second paragraph of Page 155:
"In all, from 10 October 1943 to May 1944, more than 1200 persons were thus made victims of those measures of repression."
The last two lines of Page 155:
"These measures of repression strike innocents and cause terror to reign against the French population."
Page 157, next to the last paragraph:
"A great number of the acts that have been mentioned took place in the course of repressive operations directed against populations accused of having had relations with the Resistance. In such operations there was never any concern about discovering whether the people suspected of having rendered service to the Maquis were really guilty; and still less in this case, to ascertain whether these people had acted voluntarily or under duress. The number of innocent people executed is therefore considerable."
The last paragraph:
"The repressive operation in Dordogne of 26 March to 3 April 1944, and particularly the tragic incident of Ascq, which have already brought about the intervention of the French Government, are grievous examples: At Ascq specifically, 86 innocents paid with their lives for one attempt, which, according to my information, did not cause the death of a single German soldier."
End of paragraph 3, Page 158:
"Such acts can only stimulate the spirit of revolt in the adversaries of Germany, who after all are the only beneficiaries."
The reply of the Armistice Commission, Document F-707, submitted as Exhibit RF 436, is the rejection of General Berard's request. The document is before you. I do not think it is necessary for me to quote it.

General Berard, on 3 August, 1944, reiterated this protest. This is Document 673, already deposited before you, Page 160 and Page 162 in your document book. At the end of his protest he writes :

"An enemy who surrenders must not be killed even though he is a franc-tireur or a spy. The latter is to receive just punishment through legal procedure." But this is only the text of the German stipulations applying to domestic matters.
We place Document F-706, which becomes Exhibit RF 437, before the Tribunal; it is a note from the French State Secretary for Defence to the German general, a protest against measures of destruction taken by the German troops in Chaudebonne and Chavroches. We shall not read this document. The Tribunal may take judicial notice of it if it deems it necessary.

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