ON THE EDITING
Of the total of 226 original document volumes of the Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, many are no longer available today in the Freiburg Military Archives; nor have they been for a many years. Confiscated and transported to America as “captured documents’, the collection was only returned to Freiburg in 1968, and then only in incomplete form. Next to the absence of complete documents, the disappearance of the majority of the original photographs is particularly distressing.
In this sense, it is a fortunate accident of contemporary history that the War Crimes Bureau itself undertook an evaluation of its research findings organized on the basis of years of publication, preparing one volume of text, containing a summary of the individual investigative findings, for both 1941 and 1942, in addition to two volumes of documents for both years, including witness interrogations, expert opinions and much additional material. The mimeographed text volumes contain extracts from the original photographs, on photographic paper, so that these irreplaceable documents have been rescued for posterity. The present book, “Crimes Against the Wehrmacht”, is based on the above described War Crimes Bureau evaluation of the investigative findings for the years 1941 and 1942. The actual facts of the individual cases, taken from the text volumes and interrogation transcripts, as well as from the expert opinions contained in the same document volumes, were then compared with the original document volumes to ensure their authenticity.
The above mentioned evaluation volumes for the years 1941 and 1942 are not organized in strictly chronological order. This is because, among other things, many crimes committed in 1941 were only solved -- or the cases closed -- in 1942. A more sensible arrangement, for purposes of clarity, where the present book was concerned, appeared to call for an abandonment of the organization of the material in two volumes for 1941 and 1942, replaced by an organization of the cases by subject matter, in only one volume. The original introductory texts of the volumes for 1941 and 1942 were reproduced, in turn, at the beginning of each documentary section, since they summarized, once again, major aspects of the topics under investigation, accompanied by essential documentary proof. Out of respect for the dead, the names of victims have been abbreviated in all cases. The full names are available for consultation in the Freiburg document volumes. By contrast, the names of all judges, witnesses, and experts, etc. are given in full.
INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME ONE
Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht (WR) War Crimes Bureau
Berlin, November 1941
“Crimes of the Russian Wehrmacht 1941”
The investigative findings of the Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau relating to war crimes of the Red Army against captured and/or wounded German soldiers as well as attacks upon medical orderlies, physicians and stretcher bears – all illegal in international law – during the first months of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union, exceeded the worst fears and all the powers of human imagination. From the very first day of the war, the conduct of the Soviet Union simply wiped out all the obligations of international law, reached by treaty agreements between [nearly all] civilized nations and expressed in the Fourth Hague Convention on Land Warfare and the various Geneva Conventions [1929 Geneva Prisoner of War Convention and 1929 Geneva Convention on the Amelioration of the Condition of the Sick and Wounded in the Field], not to mention other treaties, utilizing the same methods of brutality towards prisoners and the wounded prisoners of war and medical personnel as were customarily employed by the Soviet authorities against its own citizens.
At the same time, the Soviet authorities resorted to deception for the purpose of concealing their own conduct. A military order, bearing the official seal of approval of the Council of People’s Commissars and dated 1 July 1941, sets forth the principals of international law allegedly to be followed by the Red Army in application of the Hague Convention on Land Warfare. A so-called transcript of this order fell into German hands with the capture of a Russian staff officer (see photocopy of the Russian text, Document 1), and the translation of the same order, Document 2).
1) Red Army order, dated 1 July 1941, containing information on the principals of international law allegedly applicable to the treatment of prisoners of war, was issued for purposes of deception only.
This copy of the Red Army order, crudely prepared on a mimeograph machine, must have enjoyed only very limited distribution, and was obviously never respected: otherwise, the horrifying crimes committed against captured and/or wounded German soldiers and medical orderlies (enjoying Red Cross protection under the Hague Convention) at all points of the Russian front, from the very first day of the war onwards and proven in numerous cases, would be simply inexplicable.
The deliberate inhumanity of the Red Army towards German POWs, both wounded and unwounded alike, is further proven by two other military orders taken from captured Soviet staff officers.
An order of the “People’s Commissariat for Defense Affairs, Political Propaganda Leadership, 5th Army” dated 30 June 1941 (No. 025) states that soldiers and commanders of the Red Army, “embittered at the cruelty of the fascist bandits (and quite legally so), take no German prisoners, either officers or enlisted men, but rather, shot them on the spot”, and that these were not just individual occurrences. An unexpected result of the shootings, from the point of view of the Soviet leadership, however, was the difficulty of gaining information relating to German positions, determining the state of German morale, and exploiting these factors propaganda purposes. One particular difficulty was that German soldiers were discouraged from deserting or surrendering to the Red Army: if it became known that German prisoners were being shot, “the flow [of prisoners and turncoats] would dry up”. Major General Potapow, who signed this order along with Divisional Commander Inkischeff and Brigade Commander Kolschenko, therefore categorically prohibited all further spontaneous shootings”, simultaneously ordering that all Red Army combat soldiers and commanders be informed of the harmfulness of shooting captured soldiers and officers.
The order of the “People’s Commissariat for Defense Affairs, USSR, Division of Political Propaganda of the 31st Rifle Corps” dated 14 July 1941 (No. 020), reproduced as Document 3, addressed to “all heads of Political Propaganda, Defense Units and deputy commanders for political matters”, mentioning the following “shortcomings”, in addition to many other serious complaints: “Combat soldiers and commanders of the Red Army take no prisoners, either officers of enlisted men. Cases have been observed in which the prisoners had been strangled or beaten to death. Such an attitude towards the taking of prisoners harms the Red Army by embittering members of the ‘fascist forces’, hindering the process of decomposition of the hostile forces, and giving ‘fascist’ officers plausible grounds upon which to deceive the rank and file about the ‘horrors’ of falling into the hands of the Red Army and stiffening German resistance”. The annexed collection of documents contains no more ruthless confirmation from Soviet sources of the ruthless acts of Bolshevik violence than these two Soviet orders dated 30 June and 14 July 1941. At same time, it should not be forgotten that isolated objections against the deliberate murder of German prisoners are based, not on ethical, but, rather, exclusively practical considerations.
This is made quite obvious by the opening sentences of the order dated 30 June 1941 and the third sentence of Number 1 of the order of 14 July 1941. “Such an attitude towards the taking of prisoners harms the Red Army”. Overwhelming evidence of the murder of German wounded left behind on the field of battle is provided by both the testimonies of Soviet soldiers captured by the Germans and by hundreds of sworn statements by German soldiers having been captured by the Soviets but who escaped and succeeded in finding their way back to German lines. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that incomparably greater numbers of German soldiers were [doubtlessly] unable to find their way back to German lines, darkening the picture with their silence.
To date, over four months since the commencement of hostilities between Germany and the USSR, no communication has been received from the Soviet authorities relating to the erection of POW camps in the Soviet Union. Access to prisoner of war camps in the Soviet Union has thus far been denied, even to authorized representatives of the International Red Cross, although the German government has repeatedly permitted the inspection, by representatives of the United States, as well as various representatives of the International Red Cross and other assistance organizations.
Prior to preparation of the present copy, the documents reproduced in the annexes have, for the most part, already been forwarded to the Foreign Office for use in a White Book on “Bolshevik Crimes against the Laws of War and Humanity”, naturally following clarification of the individual occurrences in each case.
The evidence presented here represents only an excerpt from the much greater quantity of total evidentiary material collated over the course of the first four months of the war against Soviet Russia. It should be noted, in this regard, that the discovery of evidence, and [related] investigation of even more Soviet war crimes, has been rendered more difficult by the constant advance of the German armies.
The annexed probative material consists of messages and service reports from German units, as well as, and for the most part, of the transcripts of the legal interrogations of sworn witnesses before military courts, taken by responsible military and civilian courts. As already stated, the testimonies of Soviet prisoners of war and members of the Russian civilian population were also evaluated for purposes of presentation of proof. All these documents, in their plain language, provide a devastating overall picture of the extreme brutalization of Bolshevik officers and soldiers as well as their political leaders.
Documents on the Russian atrocities against Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian and other minorities of the population of the Soviet Union relating to the first few months of the war are annexed to the evidence of war crimes against members of the German Wehrmacht (Chapter C). These documents as well, especially the brutal murder of countless women
and children which they reveal, confirm the intent of the methodical actions of the Soviet units, providing an important supplement to the evidence of war crimes against German soldiers set forth in the present volume.
The collection of documents contained in the present copy concludes with an investigative record establishing the brutalization of members of the Bolshevik forces towards other members of the Red Army, even to the point of cannibalism.
[The following is a translation of several Soviet documents issued for propaganda purposes only. - C.P.]
Document 2 – Certified Translation
Decree of the Council of the Peoples’ Commissars of the USSR dated 1 July 41, no. 1798-80406.
The term “prisoner of war” is defined as follows:
-Persons belonging to the armed forces of States in a state of war with the Soviet Union, captured in combat, as well as the citizens of the same States, interned in the territories of the USSR.
-Persons belonging to the armed forces but not forming part of the hostile army, when they bear arms openly.
-Civilians accompanying the hostile army in due obedience to orders, such as reporters, suppliers and other persons, captured in combat.
It is forbidden to:
-insult prisoners of war or treat them with brutality;
-use compulsion or threats against prisoners of war, or to demand information as to conditions in their country in a military or any other regard;
-remove parts of the uniforms, underclothing, footwear and/or other objects of personal use as well as personal documents, orders and decorations. Private property and money may be taken from prisoners of war for safekeeping, against official receipt, by persons authorized to do so.
The conditions of execution of the present order, in addition to all other rules and orders relating to them, are to be posted in Russian, and a language understood by the prisoner, so that they can be read by all POWs.
Transfer of POWs to the rear:
-POWs are to be transferred to POW camps as quickly as possible.
- POWs are to be registered upon capture on behalf of the unit [to which they belong]. In addition, every POW is obligated to indicate his true first and last name, his age, place of capture, and serial number. These data are to be transferred together with the POW.
- wounded and sick POWs requiring medical care or hospital treatment must be immediately transferred to the nearest field hospital by the head of the units. After their recovery, these POWs are to be transferred from the field hospital to the POW camp.
- maintenance for the POWs (food, medical or sanitary care, supplies) must be provided:
- pending transfer to the reception point of the POW camp by order of the army leadership.
- thereafter: by order of the bodies of the Domestic Commissariat of the USSR.
Care of POWs and their legal position:
-the reception points of the POW camps are, upon order of the army leadership, to be located to the rear of the army, while POW camps are to erected outside the field of the military operations
by order of the Domestic Commissariat with the approval of the Defense Commissariat.
-living quarters, underclothing, clothing, footwear, food and other articles of necessity as well as media of exchange are to be made available to all POWs according to the guidelines drawn up by the Administration for POWs and Interned Persons at the Domestic Commissariat. Lists of the necessary articles of personal use, with an indication of the quantities to be made available, are to be posted in visible locations in all barracks, and field hospitals, etc. frequented by POWs. The reception of food and other assistance from third parties shall not result in reduced rations, with which the POWs shall be provided at the cost of the State.
-captured officers and assimilated persons, shall be housed separately from other POWs, and provided with lodgings, clothing, footwear, food and other articles of necessity as well as media of exchange according to the applicable standards.
-all POWs shall be permitted to wear their uniforms, insignia of rank, decorations and medals. The carrying and concealment of weapons is forbidden.
- with regards to health, all POWs are to receive medical care on the same basis as members of the Red Army. For purposes of medical care, POWs may, in addition to the official camp personnel, also be treated by medical orderlies of the hostile army, selected from amongst the POWs.
All POWs shall enjoy the following rights:
-to inform their own country of their capture, at the earliest possible opportunity
- to purchase food, clothing, underclothing, footwear and other necessary articles of personal use, at their own cost expense.
- to receive money transfers from their own country and neutral countries.
For the purpose of maintaining internal order and [proper] understanding with the POWs, authorized persons or room-group or barrack elders (etc. according to the housing conditions), shall appointed, by the camp administration, from the ranks of the POWs, to act as intermediaries in all dealing between the POWs and the administration.
All post (letters and cards, money transfers, insured letters) received and sent by POWs shall be forwarded free of charge according to the terms of the Administration for POWs and Interned Persons at the Domestic Commissariat.
Money in foreign currencies sent to POWs shall be converted into Soviet currency according at the applicable exchange rate. POWs shall be entitled to keep money on their person, up to amounts established under the terms of Administration for POWs and Interned Persons at the Domestic Commissariat. Sum in excess of said amount shall be handed over to the camp administration for safekeeping at State Savings Banks. All sums above the standard sum must be paid out with the approval of the camp administration.
Every POW shall be entitled to draw up a Last Will and Testament. All deaths, and the locations of all graves, must be officially certified.
Money and documents belonging to deceased POWs shall be sent to the Central Information Agency at the Executive Committee of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Association acting on behalf of the POW, for forwarding to the heirs. All shipments of food received for a deceased POW shall be distributed among the POWs through the authorized representative or elder.
All POWs must obey the camp administration and comply with all the regulations set forth in the present decree, as well as all provisions of the Rules of Internal Order issued by the Administration for POWs and Interned Persons at the Domestic Commissariat.
Working regulations for POWs
POW Corporals may be required to work, both inside and outside the camp, in the industry and agriculture of the USSR, on the basis of special regulations drawnup by the Administration for POWs and Interned Persons at the Domestic Commissariat. Officers and assimilated POWS may not be required to work without their consent.
POWs required to work shall be protected by the same industrial safety regulations applicable to citizens of the USSR in the same region and for branch of industry.
POWs employed in various branches of the national economy shall be paid a wage in accordance with the special regulations of the Administration for POWs and Interned Persons at the Domestic Commissariat. Sums shall be deducted from said wage to compensate for the expense of their maintenance (payment for lodgings,
communal services (i.e. lighting, heating, water, etc.), and food, if common kitchens are installed).
Living quarters and communal services shall be supplied at the expense of the undertakings and organizations among which the POWs are occupied.
From the time that they begin work, the POWs will be discharged from all types of state care.
The exploitation of the POW work force is prohibited.
-in combat zones
- for personal needs of the administration, as well as for personal needs of other POWs (“flunky” services).
Criminal law and disciplinary liability of POWs
Crimes by POWs shall be tried by court martial according to the laws of the USSR and its Member States. Failure to obey orders by their superiors, resistance against such persons or insulting the same while carrying out orders, shall be equivalent to the corresponding crimes in the Red Army.
-For offenses not governed by criminal law, POWs shall suffer disciplinary punishment. The types of said punishments, its infliction, the appeals process and any abuse thereof, shall be established by the Administration for POWs and Interned Persons at the Domestic Commissariat, in application of the disciplinary regulations of the Red Army.
-POWs against whom an investigation is pending, who have been sentenced to any punishment by a court, or who have suffered disciplinary punishment, shall suffer no further legal action or restrictions in addition to those required to serve the [sentence of] punishment or [comply with] the investigation.
-The Executive Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Association shall be informed of all sentences within 20 days of the date of sentencing. A copy of the sentence must be enclosed. All death sentences against POWs must be communicated immediately, and may not be carried out until after the expiration of one month of said communication.
On information and Assistance to POWs
-POW lists and dealing in POW matters with foreign and international organizations and information agencies shall be exchanged by the Executive Committee of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Association. To this end, a special POW Information Committee shall be formed at the Executive Committee, working according to guidelines confirmed by the Executive Committee and approved by the Domestic Commissariat.
-Representatives of foreign and international Red Cross organizations shall be permitted to provide assistance to POWs in the territory of the USSR, with the special permission of the Foreign Commissariat.
Document 3 Translation
People’s Commissariat for Defense Affairs, USSR
Division Political Propaganda of the 31st Rifle Corps
14 July 1941, no. 020, Series “G”
Chiefs of the Political Propaganda Defense Units
And Representative Commanders for Political Affairs of the Individual Units
193rd Rifle Division only
The following politically harmful or even criminal defects in Party-political work of the Divisions have been observed in combat:
towards prisoners of war causes political harm to the Red Army, embitters the soldiers of the fascist army, prevents the process of its decomposition, and provides the Officer Corps of the fascist army with a pretext to lie to enlisted men about the “horrors” of captivity in the Red Army and stiffens the resistance of the soldiers.
I therefore order
ONE: All units and sub-divisions be personally informed, using all means of Party-political work, of the great harmfulness of such unworthy behavior against prisoners; that it be made clear that the German soldier – worker or peasant -- does not fight voluntarily, and that he ceases to be an enemy as soon as he surrenders;
- that care be taken to ensure that soldiers, and officers in particular, are taken prisoner;
- that all plundering be immediately prohibited; that the commands of all political divisions, party and Komsolmol organizations be instructed that the personal effects of prisoners and the dead, such as weapons, mainly field pouches and officer’s documents, are to be delivered to the Divisional Staff. Personal effects belonging to prisoners (watches, knives, razors, etc.) are not to be confiscated. All plundering is to be punished by court martial.
Remember that prisoners are permitted to keep all personal effects, to wear their uniforms and even their decorations.
TWO: All wounds to the extremities (hands, feet) are to be closely examined and all persons guilty of self-mutilation are to be sentenced immediately, and never sent to the base, but rather, to the front, after provision of medical first aid.
THREE: The entire corps is to be made aware of the great harmfulness and criminality of any abandonment of weapons and ammunition during withdrawal. All persons are to be reminded that they have sworn an oath relating to the handling and safeguarding of weapons and Socialist property.
All necessary measures are to be taken to prevent the abandonment and throwing away of the weapons.
Every individual case of loss of weapons and ammunition is to be investigated and the guilty parties are to be held responsible.
FOUR: The entire corps of the sub-divisions are to prohibited from making illegal demands on the collective farm peasants to supply food.
A feeling of considerate treatment, good manners, sympathy with the collective farm peasants of the settlements is to be encouraged wherever the division or sub-division takes up a position.
FIVE: Cases have been observed of a lack of mutual assistance in battle. Wounded combatants are left on the battle field, without any assistance or support, instead of being borne away. Medical orderlies and individual physicians (395th Rifle Regiment) conceal themselves in the base without doing their duty. There is an absence of any feeling of the need for education for comradeship in the battle.
The wounded are to be treated with the greatest care. The political units, Party and Komosol organizations are to be instructed to carry on an uninterrupted task of political education in regards to the wounded. Care should be taken that members of the medical services (physicians, medical orderlies) are at their positions during combat instead of loafing around in the base.
SIX: Full details of Party political are to be posted in the company barracks: the Party apparatus, all units and sub-divisions, as well as the Komosol organization, are to be instructed to carry on a task of political education. Political information and Komosol meetings
and discussions are to be held. Representatives of the commanders in the company/battery are to be supported in their untiring, deliberate political-educational work.
SEVEN: The valuable initiative in relation to the listing of groups of combat activity, as well as of groups for the destruction of tanks is to be disseminated among the masses of the Red Army to the greatest extent [possible], in a manner in keeping with national-ethnic ways of thinking. Meetings of such groups are to meet on a regular basis, informing the units with regards to the methods, procedures and tactics of German scouts and troops, as well as of all experiences [gained] in combat by our own troops.
EIGHT: The work of the subordinate agitators is to be carried on in all sub-divisions. Where such sub-agitators do not exist, new ones are to be posted, consisting of reliable, politically trained corps. Regular training events are to be held with their participation, for the purpose of familiarizing them with international conditions and the situation on the front of the unit and sub-division.
All agitation activity should be based on Gen. Stalin’s speech (on the radio).
NINE: Cases have occurred in which units of the Commanding leaders have torn off their distinctive markings. This is explained, in particular, by the lack of necessary cooperation with the intermediate member of the commanding leaders.
Special care is to be taken in working with the chiefs of the companies, batteries and platoons, and regular information meetings and talks are to be held.
TEN: The newspaper “Battle March” is very slow in reaching members of the Red Army on the very front lines. Frontline combat leaflets are not issued at all.
The political-propaganda defense leaders should personally ensure that the newspapers are received by the combatants, instead of simply piling up at the collection points. The issue of front line combat leaflets is to be activated, describing the combat experiences of the sub-divisions, individual groups and fighters.
The execution of the correct directives is to be described daily in the political reports.
The Chief of the Political Propaganda Intelligence Service of the 31st Rifle Corps, Brigade Commissar Iwanstschenko.
[End of translation of Soviet documents issued for propaganda purposes only. They are comparable to the Constitution of the USSR, which guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and even the freedom of the Republics to secede from the USSR! This was quoted by Franklin D. Roosevelt to "prove" that Soviet Russia was a "Western-style democracy" and that we would get along very well with "Uncle Joe -- very well indeed". - C.P.]
Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau
INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME II
Berlin, March 1942
“War Crimes of the Soviet Armed Forces, 1942”
The present second volume of the transcript of “War Crimes of the Soviet Armed Forces” represents a summary of the further findings of serious violations of international law by Soviet forces in the period between the end of November 1941 and approximately mid-March 1942. The Soviet claim that Russian troops were only compelled to shoot German POWs in self-defense against German acts of violence is obviously an unacceptable device to camouflage the cruelties deliberately committed by Soviet troops from the first day of the war with the approval of Soviet higher levels of authority. Acts of brutality against an enemy fighting honorably and the murder of defenseless prisoners of war are alien to German soldiers. That this is true is proven by the history of all other theatres of the present war. On the other hand, the Soviet Army, through its unprecedented brutality since the very beginning of the war, has violated every precept of international law and humanity, either through the acts of individual soldiers, as the result of powerful ideological indoctrination or under the influence of political commissars. This is shown by the very first transcript of the Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, as well as by the documents contained in the present second transcript.
Even the first transcript dealt with 45 cases of Soviet murders, all of them committed in the days between the 22th and 30th of June 1941, including many mass murders most of which were committed with the greatest cruelty. The second transcript presents further numerous proofs of such deliberate murders of defenseless officers and soldiers in the first days and weeks of the campaign. Members of the German Luftwaffe compelled to make forced landings behind the Russian front – apart from the few individuals able to find their way back to German lines – were apparently murdered without exception. There can be no question, even to the slightest degree, of any justified reaction on the part of the Soviets to the manner of procedure of German troops since the present probative material shows beyond a doubt that the Soviet atrocities were committed in the most varied sections of the front in the same way, and simultaneously, from the very beginning of the war. On the other hand, the German army treated innumerable captured Soviet soldiers and officers according to the regulations relating to POWs, properly transferring them to collection points from the very first day of the invasion of the USSR. The German army acted at all times in accordance with the provisions of international law with regards to the Soviet Union, as well as against all other belligerents.
The real reason for the unprecedented systematic cruelties of the Soviet troops lies in the instructions, given in accordance with orders, issued to the troops by the uppermost command agencies of the Soviet Army and the Russian leadership.
Even the Soviet orders dated 30 June 1941 and 14 July 1941 discussed in the first transcript (see Introduction to Volume One), as well as the testimonies reproduced therein, provide full clarity in this regard. But even the last shadow of a doubt with regards to the full responsibility of the Soviet military and political leadership to German POWs for the thousands of murders of against German POWs and defenseless wounded by Russian officers, commissars and soldiers is effaced by the recently discovered orders and announcements of Soviet command agencies:
The translation of an instruction of the Chief of the Political Division of the Russian 9th Cavalry Division to the Commissars of their subordinate units (Document 1) runs as follows:
“To the War Commissars of all units:
"Cases have recently been observed in which wounded officers and soldiers of the German army were killed on the spot, without conducting them to the higher staffs for interrogation beforehand and for an improvement of the information on the enemy.
"Captured officers and soldiers are to be conducted for interrogation to the higher staffs. Combatants and commanders must be made aware that the enemy will not be spared wherever he is found, not even by the higher staff officers; but for the cause, for the war, we need prisoners, and therefore prisoners must be taken.
They can always be dealt with later. None of the invaders will leave our land alive.
Head of the Political Division of the 9th Cavalry Division. Signed signature, Regimental Commander of the 9th Cavalry Division, Signed Signature.”
One of the orders of the commanders of the 168th Cavalry Regiment of 28 December 1941, the original of which is in our possession, states as follows:
“Cases have recently occurred in which German fascist POWs were not turned over to the Regimental Staff by [Soviet] officers, but were rather shot on the spot, so that we lost the opportunity of forming an impression of the situation of the enemy.
"All POWs taken are to be delivered to the Regimental Staff on the personal responsibility of the leaders of sub-divisions and political leaders.
"The Commander of the 168th Cavalry Regiment, Pankratov, Army Commissar of the 168th Cavalry Regiment, signed Kutusov, Elder Political Leader, Head of Staff of the 168th Cavalry Regiment.”
Another report (Document 2), also available in the original, issued by the Chief of the Reconnaissance Division of the Staff of the Russian 33rd Army of 8 December 1941 says:
“A total of 15 POWs, soldiers of the German army, were brought in between 1 December 1941 and 6 December 1941.
Total: 15 men
Note: Due to the complicated situation, 100 POWs taken by the 10 G.M. [?] Rifle Division were shot by order of the Divisional Commissar.
3 men were handed over to the 23 Army.
Document 1: Instructions from the Head of the Political Division of the Russian 9th Cavalry Division
Document 2: List of 115 German POWs shot
8 men from the Ski Battalion were shot.
4 men from the 222nd Rifle Division were shot.
A total of 115 men were shot.
Head of the Reconnaissance Division of the Staff of the 33rd Army, Captain Potapov.”
According to Transocean Berlin, Moscow Radio, during one of its “Literary Broadcasts”, on 24 January 1942, broadcast a report from the Russian writer Erberg on the retaking of Rostov by the Red Army. His report describes, among other things, the manner in which the “heroic crew of a Soviet tank” shot German soldiers immediately after taking them prisoner. The report described, in great detail, the manner in which the Soviet soldiers, after taking a German officer prisoner, discussed whether or not he should be killed by a shot in the back of the neck or in the usual manner, at which point the tank commander said:
“I want to shoot the dog with my revolver from the front, so I can rejoice in his fear”.
Four Soviet POWs stated to an interrogating officer of a German Regiment on 18 January 1942 (Document 3):
“Starting on 6 November 1941, in reading out our orders, our Politruk told us, every day, that Stalin, in his radio speech on 6 November 1941, had ordered that all Germans found on the Russian front, regardless of whether they were ethnic Germans or captured German soldiers, were to be killed to the last man, and that this order was to be taken literally.
If any German soldiers were taken prisoner, they were to be transported to the rear; we don’t know what happened to them.”
The Russian POW Demschenko, during his interrogation on 22 December 1941, declared:
“Between the 4th and 8th of December 1941 -- I can’t remember the exact day -- an order from Stalin was read out to us by our platoon leaders, stating that no more German prisoners were to be taken. All German prisoners and German wounded in captivity were to be shot immediately.”
The Russian civilian physician Dimitrijew, responsible for treating Russian wounded in the local field hospital before and after the occupation of Feodosia by the Russians on 29 December 1941, asked the commander of the 9th Russian Corps why the German wounded had all been killed; the answer he received was that the killings were because of Stalin’s order of 7 November 1941, in which Stalin declared that all Germans or occupiers found on Russian soil were to be killed. The Corps Commander then added that, on the basis of this speech by Stalin, the commissars had given the soldiers the order to kill all occupiers. The commissars thought it perfectly acceptable to kill all the German wounded (see Chapter B).
The Soviet colonel Ivan Gajevski, when captured by the Germans, gave the following statement in the transcription of his interrogation on 6 August 1941:
“Shortly before the outbreak of the war, I was stationed with my regiment in Bialystok and the surrounding region. There was a lot of talk among the commanders about a war between Germany and Russia, there was the opinion that the war would break out on approximately 15 July 1941 and that Russia would attack first.
In the 29th Tank Division, to which I belonged, there was an order from the superior Army (10th or 4th?) to the effect that higher-ranking German officers captured on the front were to be taken away for interrogation, while lower-ranking officers were to be shot, because these officers were considered to be dedicated followers of Hitler. Nothing was said about a similar treatment of enlisted men.”
Testimony of a Russian defector confirming the implementation of Stalin Order of 6 November 1941 to shoot all Germans on Russian soil.
The Russian order “To the division leaders responsible for the political education of the detachments and units” complains of the inadequate political education work of the subordinate units. This order contains the following sentence:
“In the region of Kestenjga, the units don’t even know which German battalion s or regiments they are fighting. It has occurred that the detachments, who didn’t even know how many German troops they were fighting, assembled a POW transport which never reached its destination, but rather liquidated them on the way there. On 22 August 1941, POWs transferred from region km 37 never even arrived at the [General] Staff of the 88th Rifle Regiment.”
This comment, like the order from the heads of the Political Division of the 9th Russian Cavalry mentioned above, reveals not the slightest concern for the illegal Soviet treatment of POWs under international law, but is, on the contrary, exclusively concerned with the vested interest of the Russian [General] Staff in taking delivery of POWs for purposes of interrogation as to the disposition of the German troops, and other important military matters. The fate of the POWs actually received by the higher-ranking staffs based on the orders quoted above in no way differs from those killed immediately after capture in accordance with Stalin’s order -- as proven by the documents newly presented here, against the interests of the Soviet staff.
A report received from the German 11th Division to the General Staff of the 1st Army Corps, shortly before conclusion of the present transcript provides proof -- in addition to the reports, testimonies, and slides – of the horrifying fact that surrounded Russian troops in January 1942 lived off the flesh of fallen German soldiers and their own comrades. Another report simultaneously received from another section of the front shows that seven Russian soldiers, during a [German] search of a forested area, were surprised in the cutting up or preparation of fleshy body parts taken from fallen comrades.
Cannibalism among Russian POWs in German POW camps is no special phenomenon, but rather stands, as a whole, in causal connection, as proven by documents presented in this transcript, in connection with the extreme brutalization of Soviet troops (see also Chapter D).
Murder and Mistreatment of POWs and Defenseless Wounded
Two German fliers, a First Lieutenant and Wachmeister (Cavalry Sergeant) were captured by the Russians after bailing out of their burning plane on 22 June 1941, southwest of Lomza, in the vicinity of Zambro. One of the two fliers had a serious knee injury after bailing out and also had suffered a wound in the face, which seriously hindered his vision due to severe bleeding. Immediately after being taking prisoner, Russian soldiers tore off their clothing down to shirt and underclothing. All their private property was confiscated. They were insulted and finally forced to walk for two hours, clothed only in shirt and underclothing, barefoot, with their hands up, in front of the Russians on poor, rutted paths through the fields for approximately two hours. Whenever they allowed their hands to drop due to exhaustion, they were jabbed with rifle barrels. One of the two German prisoners, a First Lieutenant was even whipped with a Nagaika by a Russian officer. After painful hours, they reached the village of Sambridze-Stare. There they were interrogated by high-ranking Russian officers. They were interrogated as to their membership in German troops. When the two Germans refused to give information, they were led to a fenced-in potato patch one of the roads from Ostrow-Maz.-Bialystok, where there was a barn on the side opposite the road. They were ordered to stand with their backs up against the barn. They were guarded by mounted sentries armed with carbines, on both sides of the field. When the area suddenly came under fire, obviously by German forces, one of the sentries aimed his carbine at the Wachmeister (cavalry sergeant) and shot him in the thigh and immediately afterwards shot him again in the upper arm. When the Wachmeister called out to his superior “First Lieutenant, I’m hit!”, he received no answer, because the First Lieutenant had also been fatally shot in this same moment by a shot in the back. The Russian sentries ran away. During the night, Russian officers appeared
and checked to be sure that both POWs were dead. Since they both looked dead, they went away again. The survivor succeeded in reaching German lines again the next day.
On 22 June 1941, a wounded German soldiers in the municipality of Mosty-Male had to be left behind in the company of an unwounded German soldier. Both men were to be rescued soon afterwards. Before this could be accomplished, Russian troops reached Mosty-Male. A Russian officer and two soldiers visited the Mayor’s office, found the wounded German soldier lying there, and shot him dead, although his status as a wounded man was clearly discernible from his bandages. The unwounded German soldier only escaped the same fate because he was concealed by members of the municipality. After the withdrawal of the Russians, the members of the municipality buried the murdered German POW in their cemetery. Establishment of the facts concerning the wounded German soldier is based on the sworn testimony of the rural innkeeper, Michajlo, and the rural innkeeper, Wasylyna, as well as the daughter of the house, Huta, in Mosty-Male.
The Russian POW Colonel Antonoff, tank liaison officer with the 10th Russian Army in Bialystok, made the following statement under interrogation:
“On 22 June 1941, a German flier was shot down over Bialystok. The pilot saved himself by bailing out. He was captured and interrogated. After the interrogation he was shot for no special reason.”
Flight Lieutenant T. who bailed out near Dziembrov on 22 June 1941, was beaten after being taken prisoner on the same day in Dziembrov, tied up with his hands tied behind his back, and transported to Mink, together with Russian or Polish civilian prisoners, where he was shot in a house at no. 10 October Street on 25 June 1941, according to information from the Russian school inspector Dajnako. These facts are proven by the testimony of the bookkeeper Michael Zmarzly and master butcher Antoni Rodziewicz.
TEXT DOCUMENTS TO Case 003
Official eyewitness testimony of Russian POWs relating to the shooting of a German pilot.
At Smigliai, likewise on the same day as the outbreak of the German-Russian war, four German soldiers captured by the Russians were found dead by advancing German troops shortly afterwards. They had been murdered by shots in the back of the neck, two of them furthermore with numerous additional bullet wounds (sworn testimony of Lieutenant Zernack).
On the 22nd or 23rd of June 1941, Wehrmacht chaplains Bohle and Sander, in Lithuania, found two dead German soldiers on the road from Edriejavas to Rietavas, where a German field dressing station was to have been built; the bodies had been severely mutilated. One of them had a properly bandaged thigh wound, in addition to several bayonet wounds in the breast. The second soldier had an obviously slight head wound which had been bound with gauze bandage. This soldier had had both eyes beaten out, obviously with a rifle butt. A battered rifle was found at the scene, the lock and safety catch of which exactly matched the mutiliations to the eye sockets. According to the sworn testimony of both witnesses, who agreed on all points, it must be assumed that both dead men were first wounded, and then bestially murdered.
Documents to Case 006
Court of the 217th Division, Divisional Staff Headquarters, 8 September 1941
In the matter under investigation, the Divisional pastor Bohle, further described below, appeared as a witness.
The appearing persons were familiarized with the object of the investigation and informed of the significance of the oath to be sworn. The witnesses were thereafter interrogated individually and in the presence of the witnesses to be interrogated.
My name is Arnold Bohle, I am 34 years old, of the Evangelical faith (rank – profession) Divisional Pastor (unit, residence), Field Post number 24,683; I reply in the negative to the other credibility questions.
As to the object of my interrogation, I declare as follows:
On 32 June 1941, 3 km northeast of Edriejavas (east of Memel, on the map 1:300,000, altitude 139), in the courtyard of a farm by the side of the road, I saw 2 dead German soldiers. Their unusual posture attracted my attention, so that I stopped to examine the type of their wounds.
One of the dead soldiers had a wound on the thigh, which was bandaged. His death was obviously the caused by several bayonet wounds in the breast, which must have been inflicted while he was lying on his back. Since the front of the uniform showed only the entry wounds, while the entire back was drenched with blood.
The other had obviously been slightly wounded in the head; a gauze bandage had been wrapped around his head several times. The bridge of his nose and the general region of the eyes had been completely smashed in with a blow from a rifle butt. The blow had been inflicted with the weapon reversed, and with such force that the stock had broken off. The lock of the weapon, the safety catch had caused a clearly perceptible indentation in the edge of the wound in the right
Pictorial documentation to Case 006
Operation Barbarossa began on Sunday, 22 June 1941. Cruel mutilations were inflicted on members of the German Wehrmacht, even in the very first days of the war. This soldiers, in Lithuania, lost both eyes, beaten out with a rifle.
eyebrow (compare the attached photograph taken by myself). From the position of the two dead men and from the type of their wounds, it was very clear that they had been murdered, after having received their initial wounds.
Read out, approved and signed sworn. Signed: Arnold Bohle.
As to my person: My name is Paul Gusky, I am 27 years of age, Gefreiter, Field Post Number 24,683 (civilian occupation: construction worker).
As to the facts: I was in the vehicle, together with Gefreiter Sagemüller, Divisional Pastor Bohle, and Wehmachts Pastor Sander, on the 2nd day of the war against Russia. We were driving to our quarters at the main field dressing station. On the way, we saw some dead Russians lying on the ground; we got out of the vehicle to look at 2 dead German soldiers. Pastor Bohle took a few photographs of one of the dead Germans. When I looked at the two dead soldiers, I got the impression that both of them had at first only been wounded, since one had a bandage around the thigh, and the other had a bandage around his head. These two soldiers must have then been murdered. One of the soldiers had been murdered by a blow on the head with a rifle, making a deep impression in the eye socket. As a result of the force of the blow, the rifle butt had broken off. The second solder had stab wounds in the chest. A First Lieutenant (Medical Corps) came along and unwrapped the bandage from around the head of the photographed soldier. He established that the head wound, which had been bandaged, could not have been fatal. There were some other German soldiers in the vicinity who said that these two solders had been murdered by civilians. I can make no statement as to the truth of this claim.
Read out, approved and signed sworn. Signed signature: Gusti, Gefreiter. Signed: Naraschevski, Signed: Salewski. Certified: Secretary.
Court of the 217th Division Divisional Staff Headquarters, 8 September 1941
Present: 1. Judge Advocate Naraschevski
In the matter under investigation, the following persons appeared as witnesses.
The appearing parties were familiarized with the object of the investigation and the significance of the oath to be administered. At this point, the witnesses were interrogated as follows, both individually and in the presence of the witnesses to be interrogated later.
As to the object of my interrogation, I declare as follows:
On 23 June 1941, I was driving in the direction of Edriejavas towards Rietavas, where a new field dressing station was to be set up. On this trip, among a number of dead German soldiers, I noticed two dead Germans who had been badly mutilated. One of these solders had a bandaged thigh wound. He also had several bayonet wounds in the chest. The second solder had a slight head wound, as shown by a light gauze bandage wrapped around his head. This soldier had had both his eyes beaten out. A broken rifle, with its lock and safety catch, fit exactly into the eye sockets. It may be assumed with certainty that both soldiers had first been wounded and were then bestially murdered. One of them had had his eyes beaten out with the rifle butt. Since the rifle butt broke off during the beating, the second was murdered with bayonet stab wounds.
A talk with me about these interrogations was recorded on a phonograph record on 25 June 1941 by the propaganda Company.
Read out, approved and sworn. Signed: Konrad Sander
As to my person: My name is Johann Sagemüller, I am 30 years old, I am a Catholic, Gefreiter at Field Post Number 24,683 (civilian occupation: poultry dealer).
As to the facts: I was driving the vehicle available to the two divisional pastors. On 23 June
1941, we were driving to one side of the main road from Edriejavas towards Rietavas. On the way, we stopped to examine two dead German soldiers. So far as I can remember, one of them was a Gefreiter, the second was a Gefreiter. The Gefreiter had taken one boot off. He had a bandage around his head. The area around the Gefreiter’s eyes had been smashed in with a German rifle.
The other soldier, who had a bandaged wound on his leg, had stab wounds in the chest. I then left to turn the vehicle around, and was no longer there when a doctor loosened the bandage on the Gefreiter’s head and examined the bandaged wound.
Read out, approved and signed sworn. Signed: Gefreiter Johann Sagemüller. Signed: Naraschweski. Signed: Salewski. Certified: Secretary
In the region of Suwalki, on the morning of 23 June 1941, four German soldiers traveling by truck towards Kalwarja were compelled by sudden heavy Russian fire to leave the vehicle and seek cover in ditches alongside the road. Since they were unarmed, they were forced to surrender to a force of approximately 25 Russians. There were forced to raise their hands and led into the Russian position. There were forced to take off their shirt and boots, their personal property, in particular, watches rings, handkerchiefs etc. was taken away, and they were briefly interrogated. Finally, they were compelled to sit down at the edge of a ditch, where they were blindfolded. The Russian position then came under unexpected German fire. The Russians began to vacate the position. In any case, Gefreiter Roeben who has reported these events as a sworn witness, decided, from the actions of the Russians, that the Russians intended to withdraw. The Russians started their vehicle and fired six another shots before they drove away. The witness immediately had the feeling that they had killed his three comrades with two shots each, and was waiting for them to kill him, too, which they didn’t, however. Very distinctly, he heard his comrades’ death-rattle and death struggles, and one of them spoke to him after that, until all was still. After other Russians repeatedly appeared during the night without discovering him, he was found by German comrades. He then found that his three comrades had been killed by the withdrawing Russians.
On 24 June 1941, a German military aircraft was hit by Russian fire west of Minsk. The crew, consisting of Lieutenant Sch. as pilot, Corporal W as radio operator, Gefreiter H as mechanic and Feldwebel Aubeck as observer, were forced to bail out of the burning plane. The witness Feldwebel Aubeck, upon whose testimony the following description of the facts of the case is based, met Lieutenant Sch and Corporal W soon after hitting the ground. They decided to try to reach a forest lying in a western direction, but as a result of the swampy terrain they made only slow progress. In this situation, they were suddenly
surrounded by four Russian soldiers, armed with weapons, machine guns and other heavy weapons. Since resistance was completely hopeless, they gave themselves up by raising their hands. The Russians nevertheless continued to fire their weapons at the downed fliers, but without hitting them. They were then taken prisoner by the Russians, and Lieutenant Sch was tied up with his hands crossed behind his back by means of a leather strap. After a short march they were loaded onto a vehicle with and tied to the vehicle with ropes. About an hour another two German fliers were brought up. The fliers, now five in number, were then loaded onto a truck under the escort of a Russian flier lieutenant and a large number of Russian soldiers. But first they had all their private property taken away. Two Russian women, who were present when the fliers were taken prisoner, “rode shotgun” on the truck as well. Shortly before reaching Minsk, all the POWs were blindfolded. The further procedure after their arrival at Minsk was described by Feldwebel Aubeck in his testimony of 20 October 1941:
“The truck stopped suddenly and we were pushed out of the truck onto the ground with kicks. There I was grabbed by the collar and, as I could perceive despite the blindfold, pushed into a house. Then we went up some stairs, during which I was pushed once against the wall or against the landings, another time I received a blow to the back of the knee, so I fell on the floor. Finally we were brought into a room in which the only talking was in a whisper. There my straps were loosened, but immediately tied up again, even tighter than before. My arms were bound against my back, first beneath the elbows and then the hands were crossed. We were then pushed down the stairs again. I heard that a flier, who was unknown to me by name, expressed pain due to the swelling of his knees, which he had drawn together. The Russians obviously didn’t like that, since I immediately heard him receive a blow to the head with a rifle butt after which he was pulled downstairs by his legs. I could see out from beneath my blindfold, and was able to observe for a moment the manner in which aircraft officer was dragged past me. We were led through a type of cellar passageway into an unlit courtyard. They forced us to lie down in a corner by the wall. I immediately lay down voluntarily, since I had given up all hope of life and only wished to lose consciousness as quickly as possible. I deliberately lay down in such a way that my face on the ground and turned to the wall, because I did not wish the first blows to hit me in the face. While on the ground, I pushed my blindfold upwards, and lost it on the ground. As my eyes became accustomed to the darkness, I could see what was going on in my immediate vicinity. At first, I immediately received a blow with a hard object; I had the impression that it was a brick. In the meantime I turned somewhat and saw behind me Corporal W, now without blindfold, who had sat up, and said “Goodbye” to me. Immediately afterwards, I only heard a gurgle from him. I then received a blow. On the other hand, I saw how Lieutenant Sch lay near me, rolled over on his back, his face upwards. A Russian repeatedly stomped Lieutenant Sch’s face with the heel of his boot. At first, Lieutenant Sch kept saying to him, “You’re crazy, you’re crazy”, until he, too, could only gurgle. I myself alternated between consciousness and unconsciousness. I then still saw the manner in which the pilot, who was not known to me by name, received a blow in the back. As he writhed around and groaned, a Russian stuck his bayonet in his side several times.
“I was afraid that I might be buried alive, so I attempted to receive a fatal blow as quickly as possible. I also saw a Russian standing on Lieutenant Sch, with one foot on his mouth and one foot on his stomach. In the effort to receive a decisive blow, I straightened up and first received a blow with a boot against my mouth and nose, so I fell over again, with my face to the wall. I then received a powerful blow to the left side of my skull, as a result of which I lost consciousness.
“I regained consciousness the next morning, mainly as result of the heat, due to the fact that the Russians had set fire to the entire area. My whole face was swollen, until I had only a slit for a left eye, allowing me to see a little bit. I only came to slowly and gradually and I finally remarked that I was lying between Lieutenant Schw’s legs. I finally succeeded in getting to my feet. I saw that Lieutenant Sch was still warm, but that he was dead. He was no longer breathing and gave no signs of life when I shook him. On the other hand, Corporal W. was still alive and asked me where Lieutenant Sch was. The other pilot was still giving signs of life, while his radio operator lay dead. I couldn’t see the Russians any more, except for one Russian prisoner, who was also tied up, almost naked, and trying to remove his ropes by rubbing them against some roof guttering. I dragged myself into the house to look for a knife. At the same time, I noted that the house was a prison. Finally, the only useful object I found was a rusty knife; I dragged myself further along with the knife, until I came to a washroom in which there was an old chaise longue with a hole in it. I stuck the handle of the knife into the hole, put the edge between my ropes, and sawed them through. Then I ran back to the courtyard. I saw how the captured Russian and a German, whom I took for Corporal W, lay in the courtyard. I dragged the German quickly into the house after loosening his ropes. I placed him on top of some laundry lying there, in a room in which I had found water. I went back out to the courtyard to look after the other one. But I saw that the corner where we wanted to break out was already enveloped in flames. So I went back and hid in the room in which I had hidden my comrades. On the third day, I noted that the comrade whom I had saved was not Corporal W, but rather the pilot from the other machine. He died during the night of the third day. The next morning, I laid him on a bunk in a cell. I maintained what was left of my vital energy by calculating that the Germans could be there by the sixth or seventh day. On the seventh day after I crash-landed, I actually heard the sounds of fighting and dragged myself outside, until I saw German tanks on a street, and the tanks picked me up.”
At the end of June 1941, at Kernarava, northwest of Vilna, 14 German Anti-Tank soldiers were tied up after being captured by the Russians and then cruelly murdered in a completely defenseless condition with blows on the head with a shovel, bayonet wounds or in other ways.
DOCUMENTS TO Case 009
Wedemeyer, certified engineer,
Local Bivouac, 6 July 1941
Field Post no. 147 700
Technical Judge Advocate
Report on treatment of POWs by the Russians.
On 2 July 1941, it was my task to view captured vehicles on the river bank opposite Kernarava (northwest of Vilna). In the forest, I was told that the body of a German soldier had been found by the side of the road. I found it by accident. The uniform was open, the hands and elbows were tied together, and the skull had been smashed in (apparently) with a spade. The brain lay approximately 1 meter away from the body. Judging by the uniform he was a Gefreiter 2 from the Anti-Tank [Company] [?] of the 253rd Division.
In the piece of forest in the direction of the Furt, another Anti-Tank [specialist] was found murdered in the same manner. He lay only a few meters from the piece of ordinance, which he had apparently been attempting to use to fire on enemy batteries approximately 70 m away.
On 3 July 1941, the locals reported that pieces of German uniforms had been found in a ditch. The ditch was immediately opened and several other anti-tank soldiers were also found, also bound. The first had been killed by several stab wounds in the breast, while the second was without any lower jaw.
The above mentioned corpses were photographed by myself. On the location of the two graves were two pools of blood,
one of which I also photographed. The graves were photographed according to location and marked by stacks of roots, enabling them to be found again. A total of 14 bodies were found in the graves, as established by a Lieutenant of the Anti-Tank Division, who then secured the bodies and buried them in the cemetery at the transfer site of Division P. According to his testimony, all bodies exhibited leg wounds, and all the bodies had been tied up at a later time, and were later obviously tortured to death, as shown by the mutilations. Their hands were tied together so tightly that the skin was wrinkled and loose on the flesh.
An examination of the Russians’ personal effects showed pictures of Mongols, and postcards from Finland and Poland.
According to the testimony of the locals, the Russians had bivouacked there for 3 days, and were then disturbed by the Anti-Tank Division. The latter were ambushed and shot at from 3 sides.
At the vehicle parking area at the Furt, a number of bodies were found, also mutilated, but not tied. They were locals captured by the Russians.
The personal effects of several soldiers from the regimental staff were found at the locations shown on the sketch. They were buried. The location of the bodies is unknown to me.
Signed Wedemeyer, Certified Engineer, Judge Advocate, Certified: Secretary.
Court of the A.O.K. 16
Army Headquarters, 9 July 1941
Colonel Judge Advocate Dr. Mantler
During the investigative phase of violations of international law by the Russians, the following person appeared as a witness.
The witness was familiarized with the object of the investigation and informed of the significance of the oath to be taken. He was then interrogated as follows:
My name is Ernst August, I am 42 years old, a Christian (rank, occupation), technical Judge Advocate (unit, residence) official vehicle expert. Field post no. 14700.
I declare to the object of my interrogation:
On 2 July 1941, was I sent by Captain Diener (AOK, 16, O Kraft [?]) to the river bank opposite Kernara (northwest of Vilna) to view the captured vehicles there. During the accomplishment of my mission, I had to beware of Russian stragglers in these areas. I therefore stuck carefully to the main road, and there I found a great number of Lithuanians, who were also looking for captured articles. They informed of the location of the vehicles, but one of them also told me that there were “Germanskys” in the area. Upon further penetration, I accidentally came upon the body of a German soldier. The further progress of my investigations, as experienced by myself, has been described in my written report of 7 July 1941 (see below), and the sketch made by myself (see below). Both documents form an integral part of my eyewitness testimony. I am unable to say anything in addition to what I have described there.
In supplement, I wish to remark: when, I in the 4th paragraph of my report, I referred to the findings of the Lieutenant of the Panzerjaeger, which were unknown to me until that time, I did so because, as I thought, that this Lieutenant, from the 253rd Division, would be easy to find; he photographed each of the 14 bodies, and is able to give more detailed information.
Read out, approved and signed. Signed: Certified: Engineer Wedemeyer.
The witness was regularly sworn.
Signed Dr. Mantler. Signed: Klusen. Certified: Secretary.
Pictorial documents to Case 009
The sketch shows the spot at which the buried objects of equipment of soldiers of the regimental staff were found. The fate of the soldiers is unknown.
Northwest of Vilnius/Vilna (Lithuania) German Anti-Tank soldiers were found tied up and them cruelly murdered with shovel blows to the head, as well as with bayonet wounds.
A seriously wounded motorcycle rider, wounded in combat, then bandaged by German medical orderlies and equipped with a medical tag, fell into the hands of the Russians during a sudden advance. The Russians ripped his bandages off and poked his eyes out.
After the capture of Lemberg on 3 July 1941, by German troops the bodies of four members of the German Luftwaffe were found in the local N.K.V.D. prison. From the investigative findings of the advising pathologist of the 17th Army Physician on 3 July 1941 and further probative documents show that these were the bodies of four German fliers delivered to the N.K.V.D. prison and killed there before the Russian withdrawal.
The bodies of three German fliers were found in the 14th military hospital in Lemberg, Ulica Lyczakowska 26, likewise after the capture of Lemberg. The former Russian divisional advisor of the same field hospital, by the name of Pilichiewicz, as well as the Russian physician Dr. Sadlinski, testified as follows in the sworn interrogation of 4 July 1941.
“I am employed as the caretaker of the surgical division. On one of the first days of the war, two wounded German officers were delivered to the surgical division, guarded by several Soviet soldiers. It was at any rate said that these were German officers, they might have been non-commissioned officers or enlisted men. They were no longer wearing a uniform when they were brought in. They were clothed in their shirts. Both were only slightly wounded. I can’t say which type of wounds they had, since I didn’t see the wounds myself. Dr. Sadlinksi will provide information as to the type of wound. A few days later a third wounded German soldier was brought in. It was also said of this one that he was an officer. I am unable to say what type of wound he had.
The guards who delivered the soldiers indicated that all three wounded men were fliers. The plane was said to have been shot down and the fliers were said to have bailed out. Whether they were really fliers I do not know from my own observation.
The responsible divisional doctor did not take any particular care over the wounds. Dr. Sadlinksi, a civilian physician employed here, took over the wounded men and visited them from time to time. When Dr. Sadlinksi proposed to the divisional physician that the wounded should receive medical help, the other wouldn’t talk about it. At first, the medical personnel were still allowed to talk to the wounded men, but soon afterwards but this was soon forbidden by the divisional commissar.
When Lemberg was evacuated by the Russians on Sunday 29 June, the Russian wounded were carried into the courtyard. When the last vehicle was loaded, the medical personnel was released from the hospital and immediately sent home. At this time, I remained in the vicinity of the operating room, which was located on the ground floor. It might have been eleven o’clock German time. When everything had been loaded, I saw commissars Loginow and Moslow enter the
hospital through the central door. They both had a Nagan in their hand. They went up to the first floor. After a short time I heard several shots. I hurried up the stairs, to reach the first floor. After a short time, I heard several shots. I hurried up the stairs to reach the first floor. As I came out onto the stairs, both the two above mentioned commissars came out towards me. Besides myself, the administrator, named Litoszewski, was also on the stairs with a pistol in his hand. All three left the hospital without saying a word to me. I then went back into my warehouse. There was no doubt in my mind that the commissars had shot the wounded men. I never went back into the room myself, but rather went straight home, because the Soviets were shouting that they would shoot anybody still in the hospital.
“On one of the first days of the war two German fliers were delivered to the local hospital. They were only slightly wounded. I wish to correct that, I can’t say with certainty that they were members of the Luftwaffe. But they talked about it in the hospital. Nor can I say that they were officers.
I myself had the opportunity to see both the German soldiers in the hospital. Their wounds were not very serious. One soldier had a wound in the chest, the other only had a skin abrasion the size of a hand on his knee joint. Both wounded men were placed in Room 21. I myself was not the acting physician. A Soviet Russian military doctor was responsible for the treatment. Out of interest I visited the two German soldiers for approximately two days after their delivery to the hospital and kept myself informed as to their state of health. Both explained to me that they were doing well, and that their bandages had even been changed.
On the date of the evacuation of the hospital, I went to the room of the German wounded, in the morning, to see how they were. A third wounded man had also been delivered in the hospital. He was also a member of the Luftwaffe. I don’t know his rank. I know he had the following wounds: a dislocation of the left shoulder joint, a fracture of the left upper arm, and a tarsus. I suggested to the acting physician that the shoulder should be manipulated back into its socket, and be placed in a cast. But I received no answer. When I mentioned it a second time, the physician explained to me – it was the Captain (Medical Corps) Sambor – “OK, OK”. I myself had attempted the manipulate the shoulder back into the socket. But it didn’t work, since everything was swollen and this would only have been possible under anesthesia. When I again suggested that the patients be brought into the operating room so as to perform the manipulation under anesthesia, I only received the answer “OK, OK”. After this incident, I didn’t see the wounded men any more. I can give no further factual information. Employees of the hospital later told me that the wounded men had been shot by Russian commissars.”
The nurse, Gryglöwna, also fully confirmed the testimony of the two other witnesses reproduced above. The names of the three murdered German fliers were still visible in the hospital bath book.
At Konstaninow (approximately 80 km northeast of Vilna), Gefreiter Grossmann and three comrades were attacked by the Russians on a trip with a truck. A Corporal and two Leading Aircraftsmen (Luftwaffe) [Obergefreiter] were killed during the attacks, while Gefreiter Grossmann, who was only grazed on the head, was able to conceal himself in a cornfield along the road. A bit later, a German reconnaissance troop appeared. Grossmann and a few men of this reconnaissance troop hid his fallen comrades, by concealing the dead in the ditch along the side of the road, and covering each man with a coat, since there was no time to bury them. In so doing, he observed that Corporal M. and Gefreiter B. each had a bullet wound in the chest,
while Gefreiter K had a bullet wound in the head. There were no other visible wounds. Grossmann then drove his truck back to Michaelowski, under the protection of the armed reconnaissance vehicle. On the next morning an assault troop was sent to the location of the above described incident, which brought back the three dead men. The witness now saw that all three dead men had the nostrils stuffed with sawdust. He further remarked that Gefreiter K had had the middle finger of the fight hand the middle finger of the left hand cut off and that his boots were missing.
During a fire fight around Dabrowka on 27 June 1941, six German soldiers, two of whom were severely wounded, were captured by the Russians. At first, they were guarded by two Russian soldiers, who were however replaced by others that evening. This new corps of guards shot five of the German POWs, including the two severely wounded, without saying a word. Only one, the witness, Oberschütze Schlösser, who was also shot at, escaped, by feigning death. One of the two Russian soldiers also stabbed the German POWs with his bayonet. Oberschütze Schlösser received a similar wound in the back as well, but was not seriously wounded. Early the next morning Schlösser discovered that all his comrades were dead, after some of them had given no signs of life during part of the night. With some difficulty, he finally succeeded in finding his way back to a German regiment.
North of the Rozana-Slonim road, five captured German riflemen were killed by shots in the back of the neck by the Russians during the period before 25 June 1941, after one of the POWs had had his hands and feet tied and all POWs were plundered of all their possessions.
Documents to Case 015
Court martial of the 10th Tank Division
Reserve Auxiliary List 77/41 10.August 1941
Captain and court officer Ebock
Appointed representative of the Judge Advocate.
Army Justice Inspector Dirr, Agency Documentary Official.
The following persons appeared:
Lieutenant Rolf, First Lieutenant Bauer, Stabsfeldwebel Lützig, all from the 2nd Company, 90th Anti-Tank Division.
They declared as follows after being familiarized with the object of their interrogation and the significance of the oath:
For the record: My name is Hans-Jürgen Rolf, I am 25 years old, a believer in God, Lieutenant with the 2nd Company, 90th Anti-Tank Division.
On the facts: On 25 June 1941, the Company, was ordered to secure the Operational Headquarters of the 2nd Tank Group. They were advancing with the Operational Headquarters on the Rozana-Slonim road. The Operational Headquarters bivouacked in the forest 5 km southwest of Slonim. The Company proceeded to secure the area northwards. After I had used up all my ordinance, I was assigned to search the surrounding cornfields for Russian soldiers or anything of the kind.
Approximately 800 m north of the Rozana-Slonim road stood an isolated house with a small sand ditch right in front of it. In a circle about 50 m around this house, lay 5 German soldiers, all of whom had been killed by gunshot wounds in the back of the head or neck, and who had been robbed of all but a few personal effects. Judging by the uniforms, they belonged to a rifle regiment. They could only have lain there a short time, since the bodies were still fresh.
The first body that I came across, lay in the above mentioned sand pit. I observed an entry wound on the right rear side of the head, and a larger exit wound on the left cheek. It still had a belt with flare pistol. Everything had been taken away, except for his pay book and empty breast bag, hanging down in front of the uniform.
To the right of the sand pit, likewise right behind the house, lay three other bodies of German soldiers at a distance of 20 m each. I noticed head shots in all these bodies as well. I cannot give any details as to whether they had been killed by a shot in the back of the neck as well. As already mentioned, the bodies all lay face downwards, and had likewise been robbed of everything they had. On one of them, even the boots had been taken away.
The 5th body lay to the right, in front of the above mentioned house; it likewise lay face downwards. The feet and hands of this body were tied with a type of bread bag strap, with his hands behind his back. These bodies also bore obvious signs of gunshot wounds to the back of the neck. I also noticed -- and this was later confirmed by Medical orderly Corporal Schönborn -- that the body had 5 stab wounds in the breast. Whether these were caused by knife wounds or bayonet wounds I cannot say. These bodies had also been plundered.
Medical orderly Corporal Schönborn only took a pocket handkerchief, a mirror, a comb, two pay books, two identity tags and a picture from the bodies. Everything else in terms of valuables and personal effects had already been taken.
I immediately reported the occurrence to the Company.
Read out, approved and signed. Signed Rolf Lt.
The witness was legally sworn.
For the record: My name is Friedrich Bauer, I am 27 years old, of the Catholic faith, First Lieutenant and Company, Chief of the 2nd Company, 90th Anti-Tank Division.
On the facts: I heard by written report from Lieutenant Rolf that he had found the bodies of 5 German soldiers in the vicinity of a house approximately 800 m north of the Rozana-Slonim road, in the section of his platoon, all of whom had obviously been killed by shots to the back of the neck and stab wounds; all the bodies had been plundered. I went to the location, and found what had been reported. I forwarded the report to my division. Approximately one hour later, my commander appeared. Major Knape, together with First Lieutenant of the General Staff Baierlein, on behalf of the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Tank Group, and visited the location where the bodies were found, together with myself. They also became convinced of the correctness of the data of Lieutenant Rolf of the General Staff. First Lieutenant Baielein, in his presence, took several photographs of the bodies, particularly, those which had been tied up.
After returning to my command post, I ordered medical orderly Corporal Schönborn to examine the wounds on the bodies once again, and to gather the personal effects. I sent the personal effects, already gathered by Lieutenant Rolf, to the responsible agencies. The bodies were buried at my order on the same evening.
Read out, approved and signed. Bauer
The witness was legally sworn.
For the record: My name is Alfred Lützig, I am 31 years old, Catholic, Stabsfeldwebel with the 2nd Company, 90th Anti-Tank Division.
On the facts: After I heard from Lieutenant Rolf of the discover of the 5 German soldiers killed with shots to the back of the neck or bayonet wounds,
Pictorial documentation to Case 15
Pictorial documentation to Case 16
Five captured German soldiers killed by gunshot wounds to the back of the head. One was found tied up and another had been robbed of his boots.
I also visited the site. I also viewed these bodies more closely, and confirmed the discovery in the same manner as described in my presence by Lieutenant Rolf. On the same occasion, I also took 2or 3 photographs of the tied up bodies and of the body whose boots had been removed, which photographs at the present time have not yet been developed. I am ready to send extracts of them as soon as I have the opportunity to prepare the same.
Read out, approved and signed. Signed: Lützig, Stabsfeldwebel.
The witness was legally sworn.
Signed: Ebock. Signed: Dirr, Certified: Secretary
At the end of June 1941, five engineers with gunshot wounds in the arms or legs, were murdered in a defenseless condition by Russian soldiers south of Teremno, two of them by stab wounds to the back of the neck with a bayonet, another with a shot through the heart, and one by a shot through the back of the neck. The same fate probably also befell two other engineers who were also buried at the time of the medical examinations.
Tadeusz Osipowicz, a farmer, observed on 26 June 1941 the following procedure which occurred in the vicinity of his dwelling house near D[?] -Zytorodz. He saw that a German airplane had crashed and went to the site of the crash. The airplane lay immediately next to the observation tower, approximately two and half kilometers south west of Indura. Near the airplane stood approximately ten Russian soldiers around one German pilot. The pilot was wounded. Obviously, he had broken both legs in bailing out. The pilot asked for water, whereupon the witness got water and gave it to him to drink. Then the civilians were driven away by the Russians, who said that civilians had no business there. Before going away again the witness established that the wounded man was not tied up, and that he had no wounds on his face. Three Russian soldiers went away in a south eastern direction, from which a call for help from a second member of the airplane crew could be heard.
On the next morning, the witness visited the site of the crash again and saw the pilot lying there. Russian soldiers were nowhere around. Death must have been caused by a point-blank gunshot, wound since the dead man had a wound over the left eye and a bigger (obviously exit wound) on the back of his head. The witness expressly confirmed that such a head shot wound was not present the day before. The dead man had been robbed of his boots, and nearly all other objects which the witness had seen on the wounded man the day before. Neither the witness or his companion heard or saw anything of the second member of the airplane crew.
During an attack on 26 June 1941, Feldwebel Krieg suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach. Medical orderlies J. and J. attempted to care for him and other wounded men. At this moment, Russians reached them in sudden advance and killed them with cudgel blows to the head, or bayonet wounds to the back of the head, although both medical orderlies were clearly identified as medics by their Red Cross armbands. The Russians had no reason to doubt that the men killed were acting in the line of duty as medics. Feldwebel Krieg, despite his serious wound, received two blows with a cudgel on the head. Many other wounded and defenseless members of the 2nd Police Security Regiment were beaten to death or killed during the same fire-fight.
In the record of 11 September 1941, two Ukrainian women, Sina Maleczko and Halina Andruszczuk, reported under oath the shooting of two German soldiers who fell into the hands of Russian soldiers after being wounded in the in fire fight on 27 June 1941 in the village of Horodyscze, near Luck.
On 27 or 28 June 1941, at the fortifications of Skomorochy, approximately eight to ten kilometers northeast of Sokal on the Bug, five German officers or Corporals and Gefreiters were cruelly mutilated by Russian troops after being wounded in combat. Major S’s left eye was put out, in addition to which the bone of the lower jaw was exposed by a smooth cut from ear to ear, exposing the upper and lower jaw bones. Stabsfeldwebel P’s right eye had been put out, his left eye seriously injured,and the left ear cut off, by a crescent-shaped cut from below, in addition to which the upper arm joint was crushed. Wooden splinters in the right eye socket appear to justify the assumption on the part of the Surgeon Major, Dr. Stankeit, that the eye had been put out with a piece of wood. Gefreiter Sch. had also had his left eye put out, while Stabsfeldwebel W had lost the right eye. Corporal L. exhibited smooth-edged cuts around both eye sockets; the interior of the eye socket hung torn to pieces, hanging by a piece of flesh. In the expert opinion of the medical expert, the fact that, in all cases, serious bleeding from the eye sockets was visible, indicated that these mutilations had been inflicted prior to death.