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

Sixty-First Day: Monday, 18th February, 1946
(Part 5 of 7)

[COLONEL L. N. SMIRNOV continues]

[Page 95]

And this was the subsequent fate of those children. I continue with my quotation :
"On 23 September, 1942, at seven o'clock in the evening, a 5-ton truck appeared in the yard of the Children's Home, bringing six armed Germans in military uniform. The group leader, named Max, explained that the children would be taken to Brest and ordered them to be placed in the truck. Fifty-five children and their teacher, Grocholskaya, were placed in the truck. One girl, 9-year- old Tossia Schachmatova, succeeded in climbing out of the truck and escaping. The remaining fifty-four and the teacher were driven away in the truck in the direction of the station of Dubitz, 1 1/2 kilometres from the village of Leplevka. The car stopped at a frontier gun emplacement, 800 metres from the River West Bug. The children were undressed" which was proved by the fact that the children's clothes were found in the returning truck, - "and shot."

[Page 96]

I omit the remaining part of this official report. It has been proved by documents dealing with the shootings that in mass executions of children they were torn in half while still alive and thrown into the flames. To confirm this I refer to the testimony of the witness Hamaidas, a native of the village of Lisinchi in the Lvov Region, who was confined by the Germans in Yanov Camp at Lvov.

Hamaidas' occupation in the camp was to burn the corpses of those who had been shot. At the same time he was a witness to the mass shooting of the peaceful population, men, women and children.

The testimony of Hamaidas, together with other documents concerning the Lvov camps, has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 6-c; I quote two lines from the testimony of Hamaidas, from Page 55 of the document book, eleventh line from the bottom of the page:

"I was a witness to such facts, The executioner would seize children by the feet, tear them apart and throw them into the fire."
Having shot the parents, the German murderers considered it unnecessary to waste ammunition on children. When they did not throw the children into the grave pits they often murdered them simply by hitting them with a heavy object or by pounding their heads against the ground.

I refer, in confirmation of this, to the document already presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 6-c, which contains medico-forensic reports of experts employed in the exhumation in Yanov Camp. I shall only quote two lines of the conclusion.

The members of the Tribunal will find the place where I refer to the conclusion of the legal-medical experts on Yanov Camp on Page 330 of the document book, second paragraph. I quote this brief excerpt:-

"The executioners did not consider it necessary to waste ammunition on children. They simply killed them by hitting them over the head with a blunt instrument.

Children were often cut in half with rusty saws and subjected to other forms of tortures."

I ask the permission of the Court to read into the record only one paragraph from a note of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S,S.R., dated 24 April, 1942. The members of the Tribunal will find the place to which I refer on Page 8, third paragraph:
"The invaders subjected children and adolescents to the most brutal tortures. Among the 100 wounded and maimed children, victims of the Hitlerite terror in the districts of the now liberated Moscow Region, undergoing treatment in the Russakov Hospital in Moscow, there is, for instance, the case of a 14-year-old boy, Vanya Gromov, from the village of Novinki, who had been strapped to a table by the Hitlerites and had his right arm sawed off with a rusty saw. The Germans chopped off both hands of 12-yearold Vanya Kryukov, of the village of Kryukovo, in the Kursk Region, and drove him, bleeding profusely, towards the Soviet troops."
I omit the rest of the quotation - two pages - since similar facts are related in the document which confirm the above- mentioned episodes.

Children were the first victims of carbon monoxide poisoning in the German gas vans. In confirmation I refer to the material already submitted as Exhibit USSR 1, which is the Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the Crimes

[Page 97]

of the German Fascist Occupiers in the Stavropol Region. The members of the Tribunal will find that brief excerpt on Page 269 in the document book, paragraph 4.
"It has been established that in December 1942, by order of the Chief of the Gestapo for the town of Mikoian- Schachar, Lieut. (Oberleutnant) Otto Weber, an extraordinarily cruel massacre was carried out of Soviet children undergoing treatment for tuberculosis of the bone in the sanatorium of the Teberda health resort. Eyewitnesses to this crime have testified as follows:

Before the entrance of the first section of the sanatorium, on 22 December, 1942, a German automobile drew up. Seven German soldiers, who had arrived in the vehicle dragged fifty-four seriously ill children, ranging in age from three years upward, out of the sanatorium (they were too ill to move and therefore were not driven forcibly into the van) and stacked them in layers inside the vehicle. They then closed the door, let in the carbon monoxide gas and drove off from the sanatorium. An hour later the vehicle returned to Teberda. All the children had perished. They had been exterminated by the Germans and their bodies thrown into the Teberda ravine near Gunachgir."

Children were also drowned in the open sea. In confirmation, I refer to the document already submitted, Exhibit USSR 63, on the "German Atrocities in Sebastopol ". The members of the Tribunal will find the place I am referring to on Page 226, paragraph 7 - I quote:
"In addition to the mass shootings, the Hitlerites cruelly drowned peaceful citizens in the open sea.

Prisoner Cpl. Friederich Heile, of troop battalion 2-19 MKA, Naval Transport Detachment, testified as follows:

'When I was in the port of Sebastopol, I saw large groups of peaceful citizens, including women and children, brought to the harbour. All the Russians were loaded on barges. Many resisted. However, they were beaten and driven forcibly on to the barges. About 3,000 people, all told, were loaded on. The barges put out to sea. Several hours passed and the barges slipped again into their moorings. From the ship's crew I found out that all the people had been thrown overboard."'
Heavy artillery fire was openly directed by the German fascist criminals against schools, children's asylums, hospitals and other children's institutions in Leningrad.

I present to the Tribunal the summary report of the Leningrad City Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes. This report is being submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 85. I shall not quote any long passages from this report. I shall merely draw the Tribunal's attention to the fact that on Page 347, Volume 11, paragraph 4, in the document book, the Judges may see for themselves the list of targets exposed to German artillery fire, which is testified to by the logs of the fighting units. The following are some of those targets:

"Number 736, a school in Baburinsk Street.

Number 708, Institute for the Care of Mothers and Infants.

Number 192, Palace of Pioneers."

I also shall take the liberty of quoting a short excerpt from the testimony of the director of School No. 218, which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 348, Volume II, first paragraph.

The director of School No. 26, located at 13, Rubenstein Street, writes:

"On 18 May, 1942, School No. 218 underwent artillery fire. A twelve-year-old boy, Lenja Isarow, was killed. A little girl, Dora Binamowa, turned

[Page 98]

white and moaned with pain. 'Mummy, how can I get along without my leg?' she said. Leva Gendelev was bleeding to death. He was given aid, but it was too late. He died in the arms of his mother, calling out, 'Accursed Hitler'.

Djenia Kutareva, though seriously wounded, begged that his father should not be disturbed because he suffered from heart disease. The teacher and all the pupils assisted the victims."

I conclude the quotation concerning Leningrad. I omit two pages of the text, and draw the Tribunal's attention to Page 355, Volume II, paragraph 6. Your Honours will find there a document previously presented as Exhibit USSR 8.

This is a report of the Extraordinary State Commission on "The Infamous Crimes of the German Government in Auschwitz". I shall quote several short passages from the second report entitled "Murderers of Children"; at the same time, however, I would ask your Honours to pay special attention to Page 47 of the Auschwitz Album (Exhibit USSR 30) as well as to Pages 48 and 49. The photographs on these pages clearly show how emaciated these children were. I omit the first paragraph, and I quote:

"Investigations have proved that the Germans completely sapped the strength of children between eight and ten years of age, by forcing them to do the same heavy work as they gave to the adults. Toil beyond their strength, beatings and torture soon exhausted the children - then they were killed.

Ex-prisoner Jacob Gordon, a doctor from Vilnius, testified:

In the beginning of 1943, at Camp Birkenau, 164 boys were taken away to the hospital, where they were killed by injections of carbolic acid in the heart.

Ex-prisoner Bakasch Waldraut, of Dusseldorf, Germany, testified:

'In 1943, when we worked on the construction of a hedge surrounding crematorium No. 5, I myself saw S.S. men throw several living children into bonfires.'"
Here is what some of the children, who were saved by the Red Army, themselves testify about the tortures to which they were subjected.

I omit the next paragraph and ask the Tribunal, while I read, to refer to Page 50 of the photographic documents of Auschwitz. Here we find the photographs of a twelve-year-old boy, Ziehmlich, and a boy of thirteen, Mando, and the Tribunal can see the deformation of these children from exposure to cold. I continue:

"A nine-year-old boy, Andrazz Lerintsiakosz, a native of the city of Klez, Hungary, testified:

'After we had been driven to Block 22 of the camp, we were beaten, mainly by German women who were put over us as guards. They beat us with sticks. During my stay in the camp Dr. Mengele bled me very frequently. In November, 1944, all the children were transferred to camp 'A', known as the "Gypsy Camp ". During roll-call it was discovered that one child was missing. Thereupon the leader of the women's camp, Brandem, and her assistant, Mendel, drove us all into the street at one in the morning and left us standing there in the cold until noon.'"
I omit the next three paragraphs of the quotation, and I read into the record the last paragraph of this section:
"There were, among the children liberated from Auschwitz and examined by physicians, 180 children, fifty-two of them under eight years of age and 128 between the ages of eight and fifteen. All arrived in the camp in the

[Page 99]

second half of 1944 ; that is, they spent between three to six months in the camp. All 180 children underwent a medical examination which established that seventy-two suffered from tuberculosis of the lungs and glands, forty-nine suffered from the consequences of malnutrition and elementary dystrophy (i.e., complete exhaustion) and thirty-one from frostbites."
I submit to the Tribunal and request your Honours to accept as evidence Exhibit USSR 92. It is a directive from the Administration of Food and Agriculture, entitled "Treatment of Pregnant Women of Non-Germanic Origin".

I refer this document to the Tribunal because, in their hatred of the Slav race, the German fascist criminals even attempted to murder the babe in the womb.

The members of the Tribunal will find the document on Page 362, in Volume II of the document book. I shall read two short paragraphs into the record:-

"There has recently been a considerable increase in the birth rate among women of non-Germanic origin. Because of this difficulties have arisen, not only as to the use of these people for labour but, to a greater extent, because of the sociological menace which should not be under-estimated."
I omit one paragraph and quote further:
"The simplest method for overcoming these difficulties would be to inform, as soon as possible, the institutions which employ them for labour, of the pregnancy of the non-Germanic women."
I draw your special attention to the last sentence:
"These institutions must compel the women to get rid of their children by resorting to abortion."
I conclude my quotation.

The analysis of the material connected with the Hitlerite terror in the countries of Eastern Europe is positive proof that the atrocities perpetrated on children will remain forever the most disgraceful page in the history of German Fascism.

I request permission, your Honour, to present now the photographic documentation which, owing to a technical difficulty, I was unable to show before the luncheon recess. With your consent I shall show it at once. Apparently the presentation will now be more successful than earlier in the day. I would emphasise that, in selecting the photographs I was not, so to speak, guided by the horror of their contents, but simply by the fact that they demonstrate typical fascist procedures.

(Photographs were projected on the screen in the Court Room.)

(1) Here we see one person being shot. This snapshot was taken in the Moscow Region, during the German advance on Moscow. The man was executed in reprisal for the death of a German.

(2) Here we see four persons being shot. The four youths condemned to death are standing on the edge of a pit which they have dug. The members of the Tribunal can see for themselves that the German criminals standing on the outskirts of the wood are laughing at the victims.

(3) This snapshot was taken at the time of the execution. The killing is carried out in the typical German style, i.e., by a shot in the back of the neck. You will observe that the victims are crying out at the moment of death.

(4) The snapshots, your Honours, which I am now showing were taken by the German Obergruppenfuehrer Sauberstroh, Chief of the Neapal Gestapo. It represents a German mass execution. The victims have been ordered to strip on the execution ground. Here you see a young girl seated, already undressed, and next to her brother, Jacob, who has also been ordered to strip. I wish to

[Page 100]

emphasise the fact that the snapshots were taken in December when the cold is intense.

(5) In addition to some women condemned to be shot, this snapshot also shows a very young girl trying to hide behind her mother.

(6) In December, these naked women are being taken to the execution ground. Condemned to death, these women have been forced, by the same Obergruppenfuehrer, to pose before the camera.

(7) Here we have a group of men and with them a small child accompanied by his mother. They are going to the execution ground.

(8) This is an amateur photograph, albeit a very clear one. Here, your Honours, you see a group of people and some dead bodies, with machine guns to the right of them. I would ask the Tribunal to observe the disposal of the dead bodies. The photograph is probably taken in the first months of the German occupation because the bodies have been thrown into the pit carelessly; in the latter months orders were given to lay out the bodies tidily in rows.

(9) This is a snapshot of the same group. Here you see both women and young girls who had been condemned to death.

(10) In Yanov Camp the executions are carried out to the strains of the " Death Tango" played by an orchestra conducted by Professor Strich, an internee in the camp, together with his bandmaster, Mundt. I request your Honours to observe two points of interest in this snapshot. To the right we see the camp commander, Obergruppenfuehrer Gebaude, in a white uniform, and behind him his dog, Rex, known to us through many interrogations, as having been trained to harass living persons and to tear them to pieces. It is evident that Gebaude is leading the orchestra to the execution ground.

(11) One of the gallows used by the German Fascists in their attempt to establish a regime of terror in the temporarily occupied territories of the Soviet Union. The snapshot was found in the files of the Yanov Gestapo. A woman is seen laughing at the foot of the gallows.

(12) A second gallows erected in the same market place, also taken from the archives of the Gestapo.

(13) I am showing your Honours the snapshot of an entire street festooned with bodies of Soviet citizens. This is a street in the city of Lvov and I beg to remind the Tribunal that, according to the records of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, similar hangings also occurred in Kharkov.

(14) The same street in Lvov. The snapshot was taken from the archives of the Lvov Gestapo.

(15) The gallows were not the only means of execution. The guillotine too, was used on a very vast scale. In this snapshot you see the heads of victims guillotined in the prison of Danzig. The snapshot was taken in the Anatomic Institute in Danzig where the bodies of the victims were brought after execution.

(16) I shall not show you too many snapshots of tortures inflicted. I only wish to show a few typical examples. This snapshot was, taken from a dead Gestapo soldier. It shows a young girl being flogged. Later you will see what next they did to her.

(17) It is not quite clear whether the girl is being strung up by the hair or hanged by the neck. Judging by the convulsive movement of her hands I think that a noose has just been placed round her neck. Observe the bestial face of the scoundrel who is hanging her.

(18) Here is a snapshot taken from a dead Gestapo soldier. I wish to emphasise the manner in which the German fascists mocked the chastity of the Russian

[Page 101]

women. They had just forced these Ukrainian women to run naked before the German brutes.

(19) This snapshot will help you to understand subsequent events. It represents a machine for grinding human bones. Next to the machine stands the prisoner of war who feeds it. It can grind the bones of two hundred persons at a time. As has been proved to the Commission, it has a constant yield of 200 cubic metres of bone meal.

(Photographs identified as Exhibits USSR 100, 101, 102, 212, 385, 388, 389, 390, 391.)

That is all.

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