The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th February to 11th March, 1946

Sixty-Ninth Day: Wednesday, 27th February, 1946
(Part 3 of 9)

[COLONEL L. N. SMIRNOV continues]

[Page 8]

I will quote a further excerpt from the statement of the Dutch doctor, De Vind, which has also been submitted previously to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 52. I quote that part of the statement in which he speaks of experiments carried out by a certain Professor Schumann on fifteen young girls. This excerpt is on Page 204 of the document book, third paragraph:-
"Professor Schumann (a German). These experiments were carried out on fifteen girls of 17 to 18 years of age, including Shishni, Bella, Buena and Dora, from Salonica (Greece). Only a few of them survived, but unfortunately they are still in German hands, and we have consequently no objective data on these brutal experiments. However, the following has been established beyond doubt: The girls were placed between two plates within the field of ultra-short waves; one electrode was place in the abdomen and the other on the buttocks. The focus of the rays was directed on the ovaries which were consequently burnt out. As a result of the irregular dosage, serious burns appeared on the stomach and on the buttocks. One girl died of these terrible burns, the other girls were sent to Birkenau to the medical unit or to working commandos. A month later they were returned to Oswiecim, where they were subjected to two operations for checking the results; one, a longitudinal, the other a horizontal incision. The reproductive organs were removed for study. As a result of the destruction of hormones, the girls completely changed in appearance and resembled old women."
Experiments in sterilisation of women and castration of men were carried out in Oswiecim on a mass scale beginning in 1942, and some time after the sterilisation, the men were castrated for a special study of the tissues.

You can find a confirmation of this fact in the Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on Oswiecim, where numerous statements of individual internees

[Page 9]

who underwent such operations have been quoted. The Tribunal will find the excerpt which I wish to read on Page 197 of the document book, second paragraph.

I quote two paragraphs:-

"Vilagora, who was subjected to such experiments, stated:-

'A few days after I had been brought to Birkenau, I believe, it was in the first days of December, 1942, all the young men from 18 to 30 years of age were sterilised by X-raying the scrotum. I myself was among those sterilised. Eleven months later, that is to say, on the 1st of November, 1943, I was castrated. Together with me on that same day two hundred persons were sterilised.'

Witness David Suritz, from the town of Salonica (Greece), stated the following:-

'Toward July 1943 1 myself and ten other Greeks were placed on some kind of list and sent to Birkenau. There we were stripped and subjected to sterilisation by X- rays. A month later we were summoned to a central section of the camp where all those sterilised underwent an operation for castration.' "
I believe that it was not by accident that the experiments on people began with sterilisation and castration. This was a quite natural result of the theories of German Fascism, interested in lowering the birth-rate of those people whom they considered to be vanquished. It was a part of Hitler's "depopulation technique" and in confirmation of this, I would now like to quote a very short excerpt from Rauschning's book, "The Voice of Destruction", which has already been submitted to the Tribunal. This extract has not yet been read into the record, and the Tribunal will find it on Page 207 of the document book.

Hitler said to Rauschning:-

"And by 'destruction' I do not necessarily mean extermination of these people - I shall simply take systematic measures to prevent their procreation."
I omit the next three sentences and quote one more sentence:-
"There are many means by which a systematic and comparatively painless extinction of undesirable races can be attained, at any rate without blood being shed."
This excerpt is on Page 137 of the book, "Voice of Destruction".

Sterilisation and castration became a criminal practice of the Hitlerites in the occupied territories in Eastern Europe. I beg the Tribunal's permission to draw its attention to two of these documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, perhaps that would be a convenient time to break off.

The Tribunal would like to know how long you think you will take before you conclude your statement.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I believe, Mr. President, that I will finish my statement today.

I would like the Tribunal to allow me to question three more witnesses today and I still have about one hour of reading. But it is very difficult for me to determine the time exactly, as that sometimes depends on other factors known to you, which may force me to change my intentions.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I ask the permission of the Tribunal to draw its attention to two very short German documents, which we are submitting as exhibit USSR 400 in photostats certified by the Extraordinary State Commission. They are two reports submitted by Lieutenant Frank, head of a Security Police division regarding the conditions under which a gypsy woman, Lucia Strasdinsch had the right to reside in the town of Libau.

[Page 10]

"To the prefect of the town of Libau.

Security Police Post, Town of Libau.

Libau, 10th December, 1941.

It has been decided that the gypsy Lucia Strasdinsch will be allowed to take up residence here again only on the condition that she submits to being sterilised. She is to be informed accordingly and a report on the result to be rendered to this office.

Frank Lt., Security Police and O.C. Security Police Post."

The second document is a memorandum from the Prefecture of Libau to the head of the Security Police Post.
"I herewith return your letter of 10th December, 1941 regarding the sterilisation of the gypsy Lucia Strasdinsch and beg to report that this person was sterilised in the local hospital on 9th January, 1942. Pertinent letter No. 850 of 12.1.42 from the hospital is attached."
In order to show the extent of the experiments which were performed on live persons, I would ask your Honour to turn to the Report of the Extraordinary State Commission. The extract which I should like to quote, the members of the Tribunal may find on Page 197 of the document book, second paragraph. It is stated there that a statistical report by the commandant of the camp has been discovered in the archives of the camp, This report is signed by the deputy commander of the camp Gella. It has a column under the heading "Internees nominated for Experiments." This column reads as follows:-
"Women subject to experiments: on 15th May, 1944 - 400
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .on 15th June - 413
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .on 19th June - 348 " and so on.
I would like to conclude this chapter on experiments on live persons, with the following: I would like to quote the memorandum of the report on Oswiecim camp. The members of the Tribunal may find the passage on Page 197 of the document book, paragraph 5. I omit the part which refers to sterilisation and castration because I think that this question has been sufficiently elucidated. I will quote only points 4, 6 and 7 of the memorandum, which speak of the researches carried out in Oswiecim with various chemical preparations at the request of various German firms. According to the testimony of one German physician, Dr. Valentin Erwin, there was one case where the representatives of a German chemical firm, Dr. Glauber, a gynaecologist from Konigshhutte, and Chemist Gebel, bought from the administration of the camp a hundred and fifty women for such experiments. I omit paragraph 5 and I quote paragraph 6:-
"Experiments on men by applying irritant chemical substances on the skin of the calf in order to create ulcers and phlegmons."

Paragraph 7:- "A series of other experiments - artificial infection with malaria, artificial insemination and so forth."

I omit the three next pages of my statement which give the particulars of these experiments. I would only like to draw the attention of the Tribunal to other crimes perpetrated by the German doctors, and, in particular, to the extermination of patients in mental hospitals. I am not going to quote all the examples which the Tribunal will find in the Report of the Extraordinary State Commission, but will dwell on one crime only, which was perpetrated in the city of Kiev. I quote a paragraph from the Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the city of Kiev, which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 212 of the document book, paragraph 6:-
"On 14th October, 1941 an SS detachment under the leadership of the German garrison physician Rikowsky, entered the mental hospital. The Hitlerites drove three hundred patients into one building, kept them there without food and water, and then shot them in a gully of the Kirilovsky wood. The remaining patients were exterminated on 7th January, 27th March, and 17th October, 1942."

[Page 11]

In the subsequent part of the Extraordinary State Commission's report statements is quoted, a statement made by Professor Kapustianski, by a woman doctor Dsevaltovski and the nurse Troepolski, and investigated, duly verified and confirmed. I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 249 the photostat of this testimony, and I request that it be included in the files of the case as evidence. I am quoting some of the extracts from this document:-
"During the German occupation of the city of Kiev, the Kiev Psychiatric Clinic had to experience some very tragic days, which culminated in the complete ruin and destruction of the hospital. A crime was committed against the unfortunate mentally sick people, the like of which had not been known in history up to this time."
I omit the next part and I quote further on:-
"In the course of the years 1941-1942, eight hundred patients were killed."
I omit the next two paragraphs and I read on:-
"On 7th January, 1942, the Gestapo men came to the hospital. They posted guards everywhere in the grounds of the hospital. To enter or leave the hospital was forbidden. A representative of the Gestapo requested the selection of the chronically sick people to be sent to Zhitomir."
I omit the next sentence.
"What was in store for the sick people was carefully concealed from the medical staff. After that, special vehicles arrived at the hospital. The sick people were pushed into them, some sixty to seventy persons into each one. Everyone could see these atrocities, which were perpetrated in front of the ward windows. The patients were pushed into the vehicles and were murdered. Their corpses were thrown out on the spot. This awful deed went on for two days, and three hundred and sixty five patients were exterminated. The patients who could think soon realised the truth. There were heartrending scenes. For example, a young girl, patient Y., in spite of all the efforts of the doctor, understood that death was awaiting her. She came out of the ward, embraced the doctor, and quietly asked him, 'Is this the end?' Pale as death, she went to the vehicle and, refusing any assistance, climbed inside. The entire staff was told that any criticism or any expression of displeasure would be completely out of place and would be regarded as sabotage."
I shall quote one more sentence from this report:-
"It is a characteristic detail that these unprecedented murders were committed on Christmas Day, when Christmas trees were being distributed to the German soldiers, and the inscription 'God with us' sparkled on the belts of the executioners."
I think it possible to omit the following four pages of my speech because they deal with similar cases of the murder of mental patients in other parts of the country. Similar methods were used for these murders as those used in Kiev. I will request the Tribunal to accept as evidence the photostats of three German documents, certified by the Extraordinary State Commission, which testify to the fact that special official formulas were worked out for the murder of the insane by the German fascists.

I submit these documents. The first document is submitted as Exhibit USSR 397. The members of the Tribunal may find it on Page 218 of the document book. I am quoting the text of the document:-

"To the Registrar's office in the town of Riga:"
I omit the next paragraph.
"I hereby certify that 368 incurable mental patients, whose names appear on the annexed list died on 29th January, 1942.

(Signed) Kirste, SS Sturmbannfuehrer."

[Page 12]

The second document is submitted as exhibit USSR 410. This is a report by the head of the Security Police and SD in Latvia, No. 357/42g, dated 23rd May, 1942. I am quoting one paragraph from this document:-
"I hereby certify that 243 incurable mental patients, whose names appear on the enclosed list, died on 14th April, 1942.

(Signed) Kirste, SS Sturmbannfuehrer."

The third document is submitted as exhibit USSR 398. This is a report by the head of the Security Police and SD, Latvia, dated 15th March, 1943. I will read into the record one paragraph of this document:-
"I hereby certify that 98 incurable mental patients whose names appear on the enclosed list, died on 22nd October, 1942.

(Signed) Kirste, SS Sturmbannfuehrer."

I think I can also omit the next one and a half pages of my statement, but I would request the Tribunal to accept as evidence the following document without reading it, as proof of the experiments carried out on live persons. I submit as Exhibit USSR 406 the data about the experiments carried out in another camp, the Ravensbruck camp. It contains the results of the investigation by the Polish State Commission. The photographs contained therein are very characteristic and I need not comment on them, they are self-evident.

I would now request the Tribunal's permission to summon as witness a Polish woman, Shmaglevskaia, to testify regarding the attitude of the German fascists toward the children in the concentration camps.

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