The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Eighth Day: Wednesday, February 13, 1946
(Part 6 of 19)


[Page 307]

It seems to me useful to point out that there is on the document a note in pencil to the effect that:
"It is requested to follow up the matter of the rations because State Secretary Backe is, apparently, beginning to lose his nerve."
The signature is illegible.

It seems to me that this note vividly discloses the arguments that were going on over establishing a norm. Not by accident does it speak here of the wide discrepancy in the estimates concerning necessary caloric requirements of the experts of the Reich Health Administration and the Army Medical Inspectorate.

As the Tribunal will remember, the witness Blaha testified, in reply to my questions that almost all prisoners of war who died of starvation in the Dachau Camp were men of the Red Army. I shall submit evidence showing that the Dachau Camp was not an exception in that respect.

On 27th April, 1942 the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. was forced to submit a new note. I present this note as Exhibit USSR 51. You will find the place I am referring to on Page 13 in your document book, where it is marked in red pencil for your convenience.

"The Soviet Government now has at its disposal many hundreds of new documents confirming the nefarious crimes committed against Soviet prisoners of war, dealt with in the note of the Government of the U.S.S.R. dated 25th November, 1941.

It has been incontrovertibly established that the German Command, desiring to take revenge for the defeats inflicted on its army in the last few months, has everywhere introduced the practice of physical extermination of Soviet prisoners of war.

Along the entire length of the front, from the Arctic to the Black Sea, bodies of slain Soviet war prisoners and tortured war prisoners have been discovered. In almost every case these corpses bear traces of the horrible torture which precedes murder. In dugouts from which Red Army troops have driven the Germans, in fortifications, and also in populated centers, bodies of Soviet prisoners are found who have been murdered after savage torture. Facts like the following, recorded in affidavits signed by eye-witnesses, are being uncovered with increasing frequency. On 2nd and 6th March, 1942, on the Crimean front, in the hilly region near the village of Jantora, the bodies of nine Red Army men who had been taken prisoner were found so brutally tortured by the Fascists that only two of the corpses could be identified. The nails had been drawn from the fingers of the tortured prisoners of war, their eyes had been gouged out and the right breast of one corpse had been completely cut out; there were traces of torture by fire, numerous knife wounds, and broken jaws.

In Theodosia scores of bodies of tortured Azerbaijanian Red Army men were found. Among them were Ismail-Zadch Jafarov, whose eyes had been gouged out and ears slashed off by the Hitlerites; Kuli-Zadch Alibekov, whose arms had been dislocated by the Hitlerites, after which he had been bayoneted; Corporal Ali Ogly Islom- Mahmed, whose stomach had been ripped open by the Hitlerites; Mustafa Ogly Asherov, who had been bound to a post with wire and died of his wounds in this position."

And then, in the same note, is cited:
"In the village of Krasnaperovo (Smolensk region), attacking units of the Red Army found 29 dead and 2 naked bodies of captured Red Army men and officers, none of whom had a single bullet wound. All the prisoners had been knifed to death. In the same district, in the village of Babaevo, the Hitlerites placed 58 captive Red Army men and 2 women ambulance- workers in a haystack and then set fire to the hay. When the

[Page 308]

people who had been doomed to death attempted to escape from the flames, the Germans shot them.

In the village of Kuleshovka, the Germans captured 16 severely wounded men and officers, stripped the prisoners, tore the dressings from their wounds, tormented them with hunger, stabbed them with bayonets, broke their arms, tore open their wounds, and subjected them to other tortures, after which those who were still alive were locked up in a house, which was then set on fire.

In the village of Strenevo of the Kalinin region, the Germans locked 50 wounded captive Red Army men in a school building and burnt them to death.

In the town of Volokolamsk the invaders forbade Red Army men who had been locked on the fifth floor of house Number 316 Proleterskaja Street to leave the house when a fire broke out. Those who attempted to leave or to jump from the windows were shot. Sixty prisoners perished in the flames or were killed by bullets.

In the village of Popovka (Tula region), the Germans drove 140 captive Red Army men into a barn and set fire to it. Ninety-five perished in the flames. Six kilometers from Pegostye Station, in the Leningrad region, the Germans, in the course of their retreat under pressure of the Red Army troops, used explosive bullets to kill over 150 Soviet war prisoners after frightful beatings and savage torture. On most of the bodies the ears had been slashed off, the eyes gouged out, and the fingers chopped off, while several had had one or both hands hacked off and their tongues torn out. Stars had been cut out on the backs of three Red Army men. Not long before the liberation of the town of Kondrovo, Smolensk region, by units of the Red Army in December, 1941, the Germans executed over 200 Red Army prisoners of war whom they had taken through the city, naked and barefoot, to the outskirts, shooting on the spot those who were exhausted and unable to walk any further, as well as those local citizens who gave them bread on their way through the city."

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

COLONEL POKROVSKY: In their desire to exterminate as many Soviet prisoners of war as possible, the Nazi conspirators excelled themselves by inventing newer and ever newer methods of extermination. The note states:

"Of late a number of new cases have been established in which the German Command made use of Soviet war prisoners for clearing mine fields and for other hazardous work. Thus, in the district of the villages of Bolshaja and Malaja Vloya, for 4 days the Germans drove scores of prisoners lined up in close ranks, back and forth over a mine-field. Every day several prisoners were blown to pieces by mines. Provision is made for this method of killing prisoners in the orders of the German Command."

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