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MARSHAL: The Defendant Hess will be absent from today's session on account of illness.
GEN. RUDENKO: I would like to inform Your Honor that in accordance with the plan of the Soviet Prosecution presented to the Tribunal and with the permission of the Tribunal, we shall start presenting evidence on that section entitled, "The Destruction and Plunder of Cultural and Scientific Treasures, Cultural Institutions, Monasteries, Churches, and Other Religious Institutions, as well as the Destruction of Cities and Villages."
The evidence on this section will be presented by State Counsellor of Justice of the Second Class, Raginsky.
STATE COUNSELLOR OF JUSTICE OF THE SECOND CLASS M.Y. RAGINSKY (Assistant Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): May it please Your Honors, among the numerous and grievous war crimes committed by the Hitlerite conspirators -- crimes enumerated in detail in Count Three of the Indictment -- crimes against culture occupy a definite place of their own. These crimes expressed all the abomination and vandalism of German fascism.
The Hitlerite conspirators considered culture of the mind and of humanity as an obstacle to the fulfillment of their monstrous designs against mankind, and they removed this obstacle with their own typical cruelty. In working out their insane plans for world domination, the Hitlerite conspirators, side by side with the initiation and prosecution of predatory wars, prepared a campaign against world culture. They dreamed of turning Europe back to the days of her domination by the Huns and Teutons. They tried to set mankind back.
It is unnecessary to quote the numerous pronouncements of the fascist ringleaders on this subject. I shall permit myself merely to refer to one pronouncement of Hitler's quoted on Page 80 of Rauschning's book, and already presented to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution. "We," said Hitler, "are barbarians and we wish to be barbarians. It is an honorable calling."
On behalf of the Soviet Prosecution, I shall present to the Tribunal evidence of how the defendants put into practice these orders of Hitler, which found concrete expression in the wrecking of cultural institutions, the looting and destruction of cultural treasures, and the suffocation of the national cultural life of the peoples in the territories temporarily occupied by the German armies, that is, the territories of the U.S.S.R., Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
I shall present to the Tribunal evidence of the Hitlerites' preparations and planning for the looting of cultural treasures; how, long before the treacherous attack on the U.S.S.R., the so-called Einsatzstab Rosenberg prepared for pillage, how the predatory activity of the Defendant Rosenberg was co-ordinated with Goering, Heydrich, and the Supreme Command, and how this pillage was disguised.
It is now generally known to what monstrous lies and provocations the Hitlerites resorted in the camouflaging of their crimes. While annihilating millions of people in the extermination camps they had set up, they spoke, in their orders, of "filtration" and "cleansing." While destroying and plundering cultural treasures, the fascist vandals sought shelter behind the terms "collection of materials" and the 'study of problems," and shamelessly referred to themselves as "bearers of culture."
The Hitlerite conspirators endeavored to change into serfs, bereft of all their rights, the peoples of the territories seized; and, for this purpose, they destroyed the national culture of these peoples.
The destruction of the national culture of the Slav peoples and particularly of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Bielorussian cultures, the destruction of national monuments, schools, literature, and the compulsory Germanization of the population, followed the German occupation everywhere, in obedience to the same criminal principle which governed the ensuing pillage, rape, arson, and mass murders.
I omit, Mr. President, the end of Page 3 and Page 4 of my presentation, and I proceed to the presentation of Section 2, Page 5.
As I have already indicated, the destruction of the national culture of the peoples in the occupied territories was a fundamental part of the general plan for world domination established by Hitler's conspirators. It is difficult to determine whether destruction or plunder was the prevalent factor in these plans. But there is no disputing the fact that both plunder and destruction were aimed at one goal only -- extermination; and this extermination was carried out everywhere, in all the territories occupied by the Germans, and on an enormous scale.
Article 56 of the 1907 Hague Convention laid down, I quote:
"The property of municipalities, of Church institutions and establishments dedicated to charity and education, arts and sciences, even when belonging to the State, shall be considered as private property. All premeditated seizure of, and destruction or damage to, institutions of this character, to historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden and should be made the subject of legal proceedings."
The Hitlerites consciously and systematically scoffed at the principles and demands laid down in article 56. All the conspirators are guilty of this, and the Defendant Rosenberg in the first place.
Rosenberg had an organization with widespread ramifications for the plunder of cultural treasures and with numerous staffs and representatives. The Einsatzstab Rosenberg and Rosenberg's chief of staff, Utikal, were the central point of the network co-ordinating the criminal activities of many predatory organizations inspired and directed by the Hitlerite Government together with the German Supreme Command. Rosenberg was officially placed in charge of plundering the cultural treasures in the occupied territories by a decree of Hitler of 1 March 1942.
I have in mind Document Number 149-PS presented to the Tribunal on 18 December of last year by the United States Prosecution and accepted by the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USA-369. With your permission, Mr. President, I shall quote only two paragraphs of this document. You will find this document on Page 3 of your document book. I quote:
"His" -- Rosenberg's -- "Einsatzstab for the occupied territories has the right to investigate libraries, archives, and every other kind of cultural establishment for corresponding materials, and to confiscate these materials for the realization of the ideological aims of the National Socialist Party. ..."
I omit one paragraph and quote the last paragraph of this document:
"The regulations for the co-operation with the Armed Forces are issued by the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces in agreement with Reichsleiter Rosenberg.
"The necessary measures for the eastern territories under German administration will be taken by Reichsleiter Rosenberg in his capacity as Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories."
This decree of Hitler's was issued, as is clear from the document quoted, to all departments of the Armed Forces, the Party, and the Government.
But it is not 1 March 1942 which should be considered as the beginning of Rosenberg's predatory activities. I shall submit several excerpts from a letter of Rosenberg to Reichsleiter Bormann in confirmation. The letter is dated 23 April 1941. This document was presented to the Tribunal on 18 December 17945 by the United States Prosecution, and it was accepted by the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USA-371 (Document Number 071-PS).
This document -- which Your Honors will find on Page 4 of your document book -- is interesting also for the fact that the plunder, referred to as "confiscation" in the letter, was carried out by the Defendant Rosenberg in close collaboration and contact, based on a written agreement, between the departments of Rosenberg and Himmler. I cite extracts from Page 1 of the Russian translation of this letter:
"I have" -- wrote Rosenberg -- "transmitted to you a photostatic copy of my agreement with the Security Police (SD), concluded with the express approval of GruppenFuehrer Heydrich."
And further -- you will find this on Page 5 in your document book:
"Questions bearing on works of art" -- as stated in this letter -- "were considered of secondary importance. Of primary importance was the Fuehrer's directive regarding the twice-issued order from the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, for the occupied territories of the West, to the effect that all archives and all scientific property belonging to our ideological opponents, be placed at my disposal. This, too, was carried out on a wide scale and in close co-operation with the SD and the military leaders."
The importance attached by the Hitlerite conspirators to Rosenberg's predatory staffs is shown in Goering's special circular of 1 May 1941, addressed to all Party, Government, and military institutions, which had been ordered to co-operate with the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. This document was presented by our American colleagues on 18 December of last year and accepted by the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USA-384 (Document Number 1117-PS).
Even at that time the scale on which the pillage was conducted was already enormous. As Rosenberg stated in his letter of 23 April 1941, at that time, that is, in April 1941, 7,000 cases of looted works of art had already been dispatched to Germany.
To conclude with this document I shall, with your permission, read one further brief quotation into the record. It consists of one paragraph only. You will find this paragraph on Page 6 of the document book:
"And thus" -- wrote Rosenberg -- "these problems practically solved themselves and the work has followed its own course. Here I would like to ask for a confirmation that these decisions, already adopted in the West, should, in the present circumstances, be rendered valid in the other occupied territories, or in those which are to be occupied."
This document in which pillage is referred to as "work," proves that Rosenberg's criminal activities were carried out in close contact with the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces; and, finally, that as early as April 1941 plans were being made for plundering the territories about to be occupied.
The speech of the Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R., General Rudenko, and the speech of the representative of the United States Prosecution, Mr. Alderman, defined what Rosenberg meant in his letter by "territories about to be occupied" at that time. That was the period of the practical realization of the evil Hitlerite schemes, planned in the so-called Plan Barbarossa, the period when the German fascist hordes were hurled against the frontiers of the Soviet Union, the period of the attack on the U.S.S.R.
Lastly, it is necessary to point out that, in April 1941, the Defendant Rosenberg placed Utikal at the head of all operational staffs, "the creation of which may become necessary during the course of this war." In this connection Rosenberg referred to the "successful work" and to the "experience gained" by his operational staff in the western occupied territories and in the Netherlands.
This fact is confirmed by a certificate issued to Utikal, dated 1 April 1941, and signed by Rosenberg. The authenticity of this document -- which bears Document Number 143-PS -- was confirmed by Rosenberg at his interrogation on 26 September 1945. I present this document to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-371.
In reporting on the organization for the looting and destruction of cultural treasures, it is necessary to indicate yet another department which combined diplomacy with pillage. I have in mind the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R., General Rudenko, in his opening speech pointed out that the general pillage in the occupied regions of the U.S.S.R., carried out on the direct orders of the German Government, was directed not only by the Defendants Goering and Rosenberg and by the various "staffs" and "commands" subordinated to them; the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, headed by the Defendant Ribbentrop, also participated through a "special formation."
The creation of such a formation -- the so-called "Ribbentrop Battalion" -- and its practical activities in the looting of cultural treasures in the territory of the U.S.S.R. are testified to in a written statement of 10 November 1942 by ObersturmFuehrer Dr. Forster, who was captured by Red Army units in the region of Mosdak. In this statement Forster likewise indicated the task of Rosenberg's staff in the plunder or, as he expressed it, in the "withdrawal" of museum treasures and antiques. A certified photostat of this statement I present to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-157 (Document Number USSR-157).
It is stated in Forster's statement, I read:
"In August 1941 while in Berlin, I, with the assistance of my old acquaintance from the University of Berlin, Dr. Focke, then employed in the press section of the Foreign Office, was transferred from the 87th Tank Destroyer Division to the special purpose battalion attached to the Foreign Office. This battalion had been created on the initiative of the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop, and was under his direction. The officer commanding the battalion is Major of the Waffen-SS, Von Kunsberg.
"The task of the special purpose battalion was to seize and to secure, immediately after the fall of large cities, their cultural treasures and all objects of great historic value, to select valuable books and films, and finally to dispatch them all to Germany.
"The special purpose battalion consists of four companies. The first company is attached to the German Expeditionary Corps in Africa, the second company to Army Group North, the third to Army Group Center, and the fourth to Army Group South. The first company is located at present in Italy, in Naples, awaiting possible deployment to Africa. Battalion staff headquarters are in Berlin, Hermann Goering Strasse, Number 104. The confiscated material is stored in the premises of the Adler firm, in the Hardenbergstrasse.
"Prior to our departure for Russia, Major Von Kunsberg transmitted to us Ribbentrop's order, thoroughly to 'comb out' all scientific establishments, institutions, libraries, and all the palaces, to search all the archives, and to lay our hands on anything of a definite value.
"I heard from my comrades that the second company of our battalion had removed valuable objects from the palaces in the Leningrad suburbs. I myself was not there at the time. At Zarskoje Selo the company seized and secured the property belonging to the palace-museum of the Empress Catherine. The Chinese silk draperies and the carved gilt ornaments were torn from the walls. The floor of artistic ornaments was dismantled and taken away. From the palace of the Emperor Alexander antique furniture and a large library containing some 6,000 to 7,000 volumes in French and over 5,000 volumes and manuscripts in Russian, were removed.
"The fourth company, to which I was attached, confiscated the Klev laboratory of the Medical and Scientific Research Institute. The entire equipment, as well as scientific material, documents and books, was shipped to Germany.
"We reaped a rich harvest in the library of the Ukrainian Academy of Science, treasuring the rarest manuscripts of Persian, Abyssinian, and Chinese literature, Russian and Ukrainian chronicles, the first edition books printed by the first Russian printer, Ivan Fjodorov, and rare editions of the works of Schevtchenko, Mickiewicz, and Ivan Franko.
"From the Kiev museums of Ukrainian art, Russian art, Western and Eastern art and from the central Schevtchenko museum numerous exhibits which still remained there, including paintings, portraits by Repin, canvases by Vereschagin, Fedotoff, Goe, sculptures by Antokolsky and other masterpieces of Russian and Ukrainian painters and sculptors were dispatched to Berlin.
"In Kharkov several thousand valuable books in de luxe editions were seized from the Korolenko library and sent to Berlin. The remaining books were destroyed. From the Kharkov picture gallery several hundred pictures were secured, including 14 pictures by Aivasovsky, works by Repin and many paintings by Polienov, Schischkin, and others. Antique sculptures and the entire scientific archive of the museum were also taken away. Embroideries, carpets, Gobelin tapestries, and other exhibits were appropriated by the German soldiers.
"I also knew" -- testified Dr. Forster in his statement -- "that the staff of Alfred Rosenberg used special kommandos for the confiscation of valuable antique and museum pieces in the occupied countries of Europe and in the territories of the East. Civilian experts were in charge of these kommandos.
"After the occupation of any big city, the leaders of these kommandos arrive, accompanied by various art experts. They inspect museums, picture galleries, exhibitions, and institutions of art and culture, they determine their condition and confiscate everything of value."
I omit the last paragraph of this statement.
With your permission, Your Honors, I shall read two more excerpts into the record from a letter of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Territories, dated 7 April 1942, and signed by order of the Minister, by Laibrandt, closest assistant of the Defendant Rosenberg. This letter, Your Honors, is in your document book, on Pages 12 and 13, and was submitted on 18 December last year by the United States Prosecution as Exhibit Number USSR-408 (Document Number USSR-408).
This document is very revealing in that it indicates the scale of the projected pillage and disguises this pillage which, in the document, is shamelessly referred to as "the preservation of objects of culture, research material, and of scientific institutions in the Occupied Eastern Territories."
This document is also characteristic in that Rosenberg, fearing that he might miss some of the booty, established his own monopoly to plunder and only made concessions to the quartermaster general of the Army, in conjunction with whom -- as the letter reveals -- Operational Staff Rosenberg carried on its "work."
I read the first excerpt of this letter. I quote:
"I have entrusted the Einsatzstab Rosenberg for the Occupied Territories with the listing and detailed handling of all cultural valuables, research materials, and scientific work in libraries, archives, research institutions, museums, et cetera, found in public and religious establishments, as well as in private houses. The Einsatzstab, instructed once again by the Fuehrer's order of 1 March 1942, begins its work jointly with the quartermaster general of the Army immediately after the occupation of the territories by combat troops and executes this work after the establishment of civil government, in co-operation with the competent Reich Commissioner, until such time as the task is completed. I request all the authorities of my department to support, as far as possible, the representatives of the Einsatzstab in the execution of these measures and to supply them with all essential information, especially in connection with the registration of objects in the occupied territories, whether or not they have been removed, and if so, where this material is located at the present time."
As you see, Your Honors, the looting of libraries, archives, scientific research institutes, museums -- both public and private -- and even of church treasures, was already being planned.
The fact that this is not a question of preserving cultural treasures, but of plunder, is revealed by the following excerpt from the letter mentioned. You will find it on Page 12 of your document book. I quote:
"Insofar as seizures or transports have already taken place contrary to these provisions . . . Reichsleiter Rosenberg's Einsatzstab, Berlin-Charlottenburg (2), Bismarckstrasse 1, must be informed without delay."
I shall not burden you by enumerating the many addresses to whom copies of this letter were sent. I shall merely name some of them: OKH, the Reich Minister of Economics, the Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, the Reich Commissioners for the Baltic regions, the Ukraine, et cetera. Thus this document reconfirms that both Goering and Funk, as well as the representatives of the OKH, actively participated in this pillage.
The priceless works of art plundered in the occupied countries were removed to Germany, now transformed by the Hitlerites into a robber's den.
The Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union established that, in January 1943, the Commander of the 1st Tank Army, Cavalry General Mackensen, in the presence of the head of the propaganda department of the 1st Tank Army, Muller, removed from the Rostov Museum of Pictorial and Plastic Art, which had been evacuated to the town of Piatigorsk and which was then on the premises of the Lermontov Museum, the most valuable canvases of Ribera, Rubens, Murillo, Jordaens, Vereshtshagin, Korovine, Kramskoy, Polenov, Repin, Lagorio, Ayvasovsky, and Shishkin, sculptures by Donatello, and other exhibits.
This statement, Your Honors, has already been presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-37 (Document Number USSR-37). With your permission I should like to read into the record only one paragraph on Page 5 of this document. The quotation is on Page 18 of your document book. I quote:
"The Rostov Museum of Pictorial Art had been looted and its contents carried off into Germany by the commander of the 1st Tank Army, Cavalry General Mackensen, and by the chief of the propaganda section of the 1st Tank Army, Muller.''
From the affidavit of the Plenipotentiary of the Polish Government, Stefan Kurovsky, it has been established that the Defendant Frank, in looting the cultural treasures of the Polish State, was also striving after his own personal gain. Pictures, porcelain, and other works of art from the plundered museums of Warsaw and Krakow, particularly from Vavel Castle, were transferred to the estate of the Defendant Frank.
The affidavit to which I referred is an appendix to the report of the Polish Government and is presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-302 (Document Number USSR-302). This document, Your Honors, is to be found on Pages 19-20 of your document book.
In this document registered under Document Number 055-PS, which is a letter from the head of the Political Leadership Group P 4 of the Reich Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories, dated 14 September 1944, there are indications as to where the looted treasures were taken and stored. This letter, addressed to the "Reich Minister through the Chief of the Political Leadership Staff" is headed, "Objects of Art Evacuated from the Ukraine." This letter is to be found in your document book on Page 21. I present this letter as documentary evidence and submit it as Exhibit Number USSR-372 and I quote the text. I read:
"The Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine has stored the objects of art and the pictures evacuated from Kiev and Kharkov, in the following shelters in East Prussia: 1. The Richau family estate, near Wehlau; 2. Wildenhoff Manor (owner, Count Schwerin)."
I read further from the text of this letter:
"There are 65 cases, the exact contents of which are enumerated on the attached list. As to the other 20 cases, 57 portfolios, and one roll of engravings, their inventory has not been taken to date. Among the pictures there are a great number of very ancient icons, works by famous masters of the German, Italian, and Dutch schools of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, as well as the works of the best Russian masters of the 18th and 19th centuries. On the whole, this property consists of extremely valuable works of art, which had been removed from public Ukrainian museums and whose value, even at a rough estimate, amounts to a sum of many millions. In addition, this is the sole collection of such international value on German territory...."
I omit the last paragraph of this letter since it has no material bearing on the subject, and will continue by quoting an excerpt from Page 2 of Rosenberg's letter, of which I have already read one quotation earlier in the day. You will, Your Honors, find it on Page 5 of the document book. I quote. Rosenberg wrote:
"In the process of these confiscations we have, of course, found also many other works of art. Among them there are some of great value and, in order to preserve them, the Chief of the High Command of the Army, at my request and in accordance with the Fuehrer's directives, ordered me to draw up a catalogue of these works of art and to keep them for the Fuehrer."
You have heard, Your Honors, of Hitler's attitude towards the property of the people and the works of art in the countries seized by the Germans.
This episode is to be found in the Czechoslovakian Government report, presented to the Tribunal; excerpts from this report were read yesterday into the record. Therefore, I consider there is no necessity for reading it into the record once more. However, it is necessary to note that not only Hitler but Goering was an ardent adherent of this policy of "acquisitions." You also heard, Your Honors, yesterday how Goering acquired valuable Gobelin tapestries in France. However, Goering did not acquire Gobelin tapestries only. He wrote in one of his letters to Rosenberg -- I refer to Document Number 1985-PS, which I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-373, and which is in your document book on Pages 156 to 158 -- Goering wrote that he "by means of purchases, presents, bequests, and barter owns perhaps the most important private collection, at least in Germany, if not in Europe." The document presented is a copy of a typewritten letter and includes a series of corrections and notes in ink, evidently in Goering's own hand. This copy was captured, together with Goering's other correspondence, by units of the American Army, a fact which was confirmed and in due time presented to the Tribunal by our American colleagues.
This document, Your Honors, reveals, to a remarkable extent, the nature of the "acquisitions" effected by Goering and also confirms Ribbentrop's part in the "preservation" of cultural treasures in the occupied territories. For this reason, I shall, with your permission, read a few extracts from this document.
I read the extract from the first page of this letter. I quote:
"After prolonged search" -- wrote Goering to Rosenberg -- "I was much gratified that an office was at last charged with the collection of these things although I want to point out that other departments are also claiming the authority of the Fuehrer. First of these was the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, who, several months ago, sent a circular to all departments, in which he, inter alia, stated that he had received full authority for the preservation of cultural objects in occupied territories."
I now read an extract from Page 2 of the letter, the last paragraph: "In order to avoid misconceptions regarding these articles, part of which I want to claim for myself, part of which I have purchased, and part of which I wish to acquire, I want to inform you as follows:
"1. I have now obtained by means of purchase, presents, bequests, and barter, perhaps the greatest private collection in Germany at least, if not in Europe."
I omit one paragraph and I read Subparagraphs 2 and 3 of the next one. Subparagraph 2 enumerates the objects which Goering would like to acquire. It refers to a very extensive and highly valued collection of Dutch artists of the 17th century, while Subparagraph 3 mentions "a comparatively small though very good collection of French artists from the 18th century, and finally, a collection of Italian masters."
You have heard, Your Honors, what was meant, in practice, by "the personal material interest of soldiers in the war." All this established irrevocably that the Hitlerites engaged in pillage and brigandage and that everybody, from the privates to the criminal leaders of Hitlerite Germany, participated in the plunder. The same must be said regarding the destruction of cultural treasures. Decrees and directives concerning the destruction of cultural treasures came from the leaders of Hitlerite Germany and from the highest ranks of the Military Command.
I shall refer, as evidence, to the order of the Commander of the German 6th Army, signed by Field Marshal Von Reichenau, approved by Hitler and entitled, "On the Behavior of the Troops in the East." This order was presented to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-12. This document, contrary to the usual Hitlerite custom, contains direct and entirely undisguised instructions for the destruction and suppression of culture in the occupied territories.
With your permission, I shall quote just one paragraph of this order. It is on Page 161 of your document book. I quote:
"The Army is interested in extinguishing fires only in such buildings as may be used for Army billets...."
All the rest to be destroyed; no historical or artistic buildings in the East to be of any value whatsoever.
I shall quote one more document which establishes that the destruction and pillage of cultural treasures, universally carried out by the Hitlerites in the territories occupied by them, was inspired and directed by the Hitlerite Government. I refer to the diary of the Defendant Frank, extracts of which have already been submitted to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-223. In the first volume of Frank's diary, on Page 38 -- Page 169 in your document book -- there appears an entry dated 4 October 1939 which reads as follows:
"Berlin. Conference with the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer discussed the general situation with the Governor General and approved the activity of the Governor General in Poland, particularly in the demolition of the Warsaw Palace, the non-restoration of this city, and the evacuation of the art treasures."
I consider that the documents, now submitted and read into the record, are fully sufficient to enable us to draw the following conclusions:
(a) The pillage and destruction of the cultural treasures of the peoples in the German occupied territories were carried out in accordance with previously elaborated and carefully prepared plans.
(b) The fascist Government and German High Command directed the pillage and destruction of cultural treasures.
(c) The most active role in the organization of the pillage and destruction of cultural treasures was taken by the participants in the conspiracy, the Defendants Rosenberg, Ribbentrop, Frank, and Goering.
I pass on to the next section of my presentation, entitled, "Destruction and Pillage of Cultural Treasures in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia."
I reported to the Tribunal on the general plans of the Hitlerite conspirators for strangling national cultural life in the countries occupied by them. I now pass on to report on the actual materialization of the criminal plans of the Hitlerite conspirators in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia.
I shall refer only to such irrefutable proofs as the official reports of the Governments of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia, already submitted to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution. I shall read into the record a few parts of the relevant sections of these reports directly concerning the theme expounded by me, which have not been quoted by my colleagues.
I begin by quoting extracts from the Czechoslovak Government reports. These excerpts, Your Honors, are to be found in your document book, on Pages 81 to 88. I quote from Page 81:
"K. H. Frank, who was appointed Secretary of State and Deputy to Reich Protector Von Neurath in March 1939 and in August 1943 became Minister of State and head of the German Executive in the Protectorate, said, 'The Czechs are fit to be used only as workers or farm laborers.'
"K. H. Frank replied to a Czech delegation which, in 1942, requested the Czech universities and colleges to be reopened, 'If the war is won by England, you will open your schools yourselves; if Germany wins, an elementary school with five grades will be enough for you.' "
The Germans seized all colleges and hostels for students.
I pass to a quotation on Page 83 of the report:
"They immediately seized the most valuable apparatus, instruments, and scientific equipment in many of the occupied institutions. The scientific libraries were systematically and methodically damaged. Scientific books and films were separated and taken away, the archives of the Academy Senate (the highest university authority) were torn up or burned, the card indexes destroyed and scattered.
"Suppression of Czech schools..
"K. H. Frank, in November 1939, personally ordered the closing of all Czech higher educational institutions.
"Such university students as were still at liberty were forbidden to exercise any intellectual profession and were invited to find manual occupation within 48 hours, failing which they would be sent to labor camps in Germany.
"The closing of the universities was aggravated by the closing of the great scientific libraries and of all institutions capable of offering intellectual sustenance to the students expelled from the universities. The library of the University of Prague was henceforth accessible to Germans only.
"Suppression of all scientific activities:
"The closing down of Czech universities and colleges was merely a preliminary step towards the complete suppression of the entire Czech scientific life. The buildings of scientific institutions were converted either into German universities and colleges or placed at the disposal of the German military and civil authorities. The Germans removed all scientific instruments and books and even complete laboratories to Germany, on the pretext that the Czechs would no longer need them. The number of works of art, pictures, statues, and rare manuscripts stolen from the library of the University of Prague and from private collections cannot be calculated, nor can their value be estimated. Scientific collections were also given to German schools, provided they had not been stolen piecemeal."
I pass on to the excerpts on Page 86 of the Czechoslovakian report:
"Hundreds of Czech elementary and secondary schools were closed in 1939, and so rapid was the systematic closing of Czech schools during the first year of the war that, by the end of 1940, 6,000 of the 20,000 Czech teachers were unemployed.
"By September 1942 some 60 percent of the Czech elementary schools had been closed by the Germans.
"All Czech books published during the republican regime have been confiscated, and the glorification of Greater Germany and its Fuehrer became the basis of all teaching at Czech elementary schools. In 1939 the number of pupils permitted to enter Czech secondary schools had diminished by 50 percent as compared with 1938. About 70 percent of the Czech secondary schools had been closed by the end of 1942. Girls have been entirely excluded from the secondary schools.
"Nursery schools for children between 3 and 6 were completely germanized and employed only German teachers.
"Other crimes in cultural spheres.
"In many towns the 'Masaryk Houses,' which for the most part contain libraries, halls for the showing of educational films, and for the performance of plays and concerts, have been confiscated and transformed into barracks or offices for the Gestapo. The statues they contained, sometimes of great artistic value, were spoiled and broken.... A number of monuments in Prague, among them Bilek's 'Moses' and Mardjatka's 'Memorial to the Fallen Legionaries,' have been melted down....
"A decree of the autumn of 1942 ordered all university libraries to hand over all early printed Czech works and first editions to the Germans. The collections in the National Museum were pillaged; and the Modern Art Gallery, containing a unique collection of Czech art of the 19th and 20th centuries with some precious specimens of foreign (mainly French) art, was closed.
"The crown jewels of the ancient Czech kings had to be handed over to Heydrich.
"Translations of works by English, French, and Russian authors, both classic and modern, were withdrawn from circulation. The severest censorship was applied to the works of modern Czech authors. The Germans liquidated many leading publishing firms."
THE PRESIDENT: This is a good opportunity to adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY:
"The entire political literature of the free republic, as well as the works of the participants in the Czech revival of the 18th and 19th centuries, were withdrawn. The books of Jewish authors were prohibited, as well as those of politically unreliable writers. The Germans withdrew the Czech classics, as well as the works of the 15th century reformer John Hus, of Alois Erassek, the author of historical novels, the poet Victor Dieck, and others."
Thus the Hitlerites destroyed the national culture of the peoples of Czechoslovakia, plundered and pillaged works of art, literature, and science.
In Poland, as in Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the German fascist invaders carried out a large-scale liquidation of national culture with exceptional cruelty. The Hitlerite conspirators destroyed the Polish intelligentsia, closed educational establishments, prohibited the publication of Polish books, looted works of art, blew up and burned national monuments.
I am reading into the record relevant extracts from the Polish Government report, which was submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-93 (Document Number USSR-93). These excerpts, Your Honors, are on Pages 197-200 of the document book:
"Annihilation of the Polish intelligentsia:
"In the incorporated regions the intelligentsia were deprived of all means of livelihood. Many of them, professors, teachers, lawyers, and judges, were interned in concentration camps or murdered.
"In the Government General about 80 percent of the intelligentsia were deprived of all means of subsistence. Owing to the liquidation of the press, journalists and writers were unable to earn a living. The publication of new books was prohibited.
"Four universities and twelve schools of the university type ceased to exist. Their average attendance before September 1939 reached 45,000.
"There were about 550 secondary schools in the German occupied territory. Their closing was ordered. In the incorporated territories they were completely closed down. In the Government General they were allowed to continue their activity, but in November 1939 an order was issued to cease teaching. The only schools which were allowed to continue work were commercial or trade schools. Educated Poles were not needed; the Poles were to become artisans and workmen. Such was the official line of policy.
"In the incorporated territories Polish schools were completely abolished. They were replaced by German schools. Polish children were educated in the German tongue and German spirit.
"On the eve of war there were about 2,000 periodicals published in Poland, among them 170 newspapers. By order of the Germans the press was almost entirely eradicated.
"The publication, printing, and distributing of Polish books was prohibited as early as October 1939.
"On 5 November 1940 the German Verordnungsblatt published the following decree:
" 'Until further notice, the publication, without exception, of all books, pamphlets, periodicals, journals, calendars, and music is prohibited, unless published by the authority of the Government General.'
"Theaters, music, and radio:
"The principles of German policy in Poland were outlined in a circular of a special branch of national education and propaganda in the German Government General. It read as follows:
" 'It is understood that not a single German official will assist in the development of Polish cultural life in any way whatsoever.'
"The sole purpose which was to be followed, in the words of the circular, was to 'satisfy the primitive demands for entertainment and amusement, all the more as this was a question of diverting as far as possible the attention of the intellectual circles from conspiracy or political debates which encouraged the development of an anti-German feeling.' "
I skip the last paragraph and pass on to the next page:
"Looting, spoliation, and carrying away of works of art, libraries, and collections from Poland."
The excerpts are on Pages 207 and 208 of the document book.
"On 13 December 1939 the Gauleiter of the Warthegau issued an order that all public and private libraries and collections in the incorporated territories were to be registered. Upon completion of registration, libraries and book collections were confiscated and transported to the 'Buchsammelstelle.' There special experts carried out a selection. The final destination was either Berlin or the newly constituted State Library (Staatsbibliothek) in Posen. Books which were considered unsuitable were sold, destroyed, or thrown away as waste paper.
"The best and largest libraries of the country were victims of the organized looting in the Government General. Among them were the university libraries in Krakow and Warsaw. One of the best, though not the largest, was the library of the Polish Parliament. It consisted of about 38,000 volumes and 3,500 periodical publications. On 15 and 16 November 1939 the main part of this library was transported to Berlin and Breslau. Ancient documents, such as, for instance, a collection of parchments -- the property of the central archives -- were also seized.
"The Diocesan Archives in Pelilin, containing 12th century documents, were burned in the furnaces of a sugar refinery.
"The first art treasure removed from Poland was the well-known altar of Veit Stoss from the Krakow Cathedral. It was taken to Germany on 16 December 1939. The Defendant Frank issued a decree concerning the confiscation of works of art."
I skip a few paragraphs and pass on to the last paragraph on Page 221:
"Three valuable pictures were removed from the galleries of the Czartoryski in Sieniawa. Frank seized and kept them until 17 January 1945, and then transferred them to Silesia, and thence, as his personal property, to Bavaria."
"In the process of destroying everything that was connected with Polish history and culture, many monuments and works of art were destroyed and demolished.
"The monument of the eminent Polish King, Boleslaw, the Valiant, in Gniezno, was first wound round with ropes and chains with a view to throwing it off its pedestal. After an unsuccessful attempt, acetylene was used: the head was cut off and the pedestal broken in pieces. The same fate befell the monument of the Sacred Heart in Posen, the monuments to Chopin, the poet Slowacki, the composer Moniuszko, the Polish national hero Kosciuszko, President Wilson, the greatest Polish poet Mickiewiecz, and many others."
To the report of the Polish Government is attached a list of public libraries, museums, books and other collections sacrificed to plunder and looting. These lists of objects are available on Pages 254 and 255 of the document book. In the first list we find the names of 30 libraries and in the second 21 museums and collections of works of art which were plundered and destroyed. I shall not read these lists in full, but shall mention only some of the museums and collections which were a subject of national pride and constituted the treasure of the Polish State.
The following objects became the booty of the fascist vandals: The treasure house of the Wawelski Cathedral in Krakow, the Potocki Collection in Jablonna, the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow, the National Museum in Krakow, the Museum of Religious Art in Warsaw, the State Numismatic Collections in Warsaw, the Palace of King Stanislaw-August in the Lazienkowski Park, the Palace of King Jan Sobieski in Willanow, the collection of Count Tarnowski in Sukhaya, the Religious Museum in Posen, and many others.
The Hitlerite invaders also plundered monasteries, churches, and cathedrals. On Page 43 of the report of the Polish Government, corresponding to Page 223 of the document book, there are final notes by the Polish Primate, Cardinal Hlond. They concern a written communication from Cardinal Hlond to Pope Pius XII. I shall read into the record only two paragraphs of these concluding notes. I quote:
"Monasteries have been methodically suppressed, as well as their flourishing institutions for education, press, social welfare, charity, and care of the sick. Their houses and institutions have been seized by the army of the Nazi Party.
"Then the invaders confiscated or sequestrated the patrimony of the Church, considering themselves the owners of this property. The cathedrals, the episcopal palaces, the seminaries, the canons' residence, the revenues and endowments of episcopates and chapters, the funds of the seminaries, all were pillaged by the invaders."
I omit the end of Page 29 and pass on to Page 30: Yugoslavia.
The destruction of the national culture of the peoples of Yugoslavia was carried out by the Hitlerites by various means and. methods. I shall not, Your Honors, enumerate them in detail. These means and methods are already known.
In Yugoslavia the same thing occurred as in Poland and Czechoslovakia. We need only stress that, in the destruction of the culture of the peoples of Yugoslavia, the German fascist occupants showed great ingenuity and utilized the vast experiences acquired in other countries occupied by them. The system of destruction of the national culture of the peoples of Yugoslavia starts with attack and pillage and ends with mass murder, camps, and the ovens of the crematories.
In the report of the Jugoslav Government, presented to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-36, there are quoted a large number of facts and documents which establish, without any possibility of doubt, the criminal deeds of the defendants. But even these numerous facts quoted in the report do not exhaust all the crimes committed by the Hitlerites. The report of the Yugoslav Government quotes only typical cases as examples. I shall cite a few excerpts from this report. These excerpts, Your Honors, are on Page 303 of the document book. I quote:
"Immediately after the invasion of Slovenia, the Germans started to fulfill their plans, thought out long beforehand, to germanize the 'annexed' territories of Slovenia."
And further, on Page 307:
"The occupiers closed all the schools in Slovenia, exiled all the Slovene teachers, destroyed all Slovene libraries and books, and forbade the use of the Slovene language, which was considered as an act of sabotage."
The German barbarians destroyed and plundered not only schools and libraries, they also destroyed universities and broadcasting stations, cultural establishments, and sanatoria. On Page 23 of the report, corresponding to Page 278 of the document book, we find, for instance, the following facts concerning Belgrade. I quote:
"Without any military need, the Germans premeditatively destroyed and burned a great number of public buildings and cultural institutions, such as the New University, the People's University 'Koloraz,' the first high school for boys, the second high school for girls, the ancient royal palace, the broad casting station, the Russian Home of Culture, the sanatorium of Dr. Jivkovich, and so forth. In the university building valuable and highly important collections of scientific works and research matter were destroyed."
As is established by the report of the Jugoslav State Commission which is Document Number J-39(a), and which I submit under Exhibit Number 364, Page 313(a) of our document book -- the Hitlerites razed to the ground the National Library in Belgrade and burned hundreds of thousands of books and manuscripts, which constituted the basic stock of Serbian culture. They completely destroyed 71 and partially destroyed 41 scientific institutes and laboratories of Belgrade University. They razed to the ground the State Academy of Art, and they burned and looted thousands of schools.
I omit the end of Page 31 and pass on to Page 32. Your Honor will find this passage on Page 303 of the document book.
During the 4 years of German domination, the people of Yugoslavia experienced great sufferings and sorrow. The Germans looted the economic wealth of the country and caused great material damage. But the damage they caused to the culture of the people of Yugoslavia was even greater.
In concluding this chapter of my report, I consider it essential Your Honors, to quote yet another excerpt from the diary of the Defendant Frank. I have in mind the calico-bound volume of the diary entitled, "Conferences of the Leaders of Departments of 1939-1940," which contains an entry regarding the conference of the departmental leaders of 19 January 1940 in Krakow. This excerpt is on Page 169 of the document book. I read:
"On 15 September 1939, I was entrusted with the administration of the conquered eastern territories, and received a special order pitilessly to devastate this district regarding it as a combat zone and a prize of war, and to reduce its economic, social, cultural, and political structure to a heap of ruins."
To this statement of Frank's, we need only add that the Defendant Frank zealously performed this task in Poland and that the Reich Gau, and other leaders acted with equal zeal in the occupied territories of the U.S.S.R., Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
I am now going to present, Your Honors, proof of crimes committed by the defendants against the culture of the peoples of the Soviet Union.
We have heard in this court what brutality was used and on how vast a scale the Hitlerites conducted the destruction and spoliation of the cultural wealth of the peoples of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia. The crimes perpetrated by the Hitlerite conspirators in the occupied territories of the U.S.S.R. were graver still. The criminal organization, known as the Hitler Government, aimed not only at plundering the people of the Soviet Union, at destroying their towns and villages, and at extirpating the culture of the peoples of the U.S.S.R., but also at enslaving the people of the Soviet Union and of transforming our native country into a fascist colony of serfs. In the second part of my statement I have proved how the destruction of the cultural monuments of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. was planned and perpetrated.
In the note of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs V. M. Molotov, dated 27 April 1942, which was presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-51(3) (Document Number USSR-51(3)), documents and facts are quoted which establish beyond dispute that the destruction of historic and cultural monuments and the vile mockery of national feelings, beliefs, and convictions constituted a part of the monstrous plan evolved and put into practice by the Hitlerite Government, which strove to liquidate the national culture of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. Later I shall refer again to this document, but at present I wish, with your permission, to read into the record the following excerpt which is on Page 321 of your document book. I omit the first and quote the second paragraph:
"The desecration and destruction of historical and cultural memorials in occupied Soviet territories, as well as the devastation of the numerous cultural establishments set up by the Soviet authorities, are a part of the monstrously senseless plan conceived and pursued by the Hitlerite Government which strives to liquidate Russian national culture and the national cultures of the peoples of the Soviet Union, forcibly to germanize the Russian, Ukrainian, Bielorussian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and other peoples of the U.S.S.R.
"In Order Number 0973/41, General Hodt, commander of the German 17th Army, demands that his subordinates thoroughly assimilate that misanthropic notion so typical of the thickskulled fascists, that the 'sound feeling of vengeance and repulsion towards everything Russian should not be suppressed among the men but, on the contrary, encouraged in every way.'"
True to their custom of destroying universally recognized cultural valuables, the Hitlerites everywhere on the Soviet territory occupied by them, devastated and mostly burned libraries, from the small club and school libraries up to and including the most valuable collections of manuscripts and books, containing unique bibliographical valuables.
21 Feb. 46
I omit a paragraph and continue the quotation:
"The Hitlerites looted and then set on fire the famous Borodino Museum, the historical exhibits of which related to the struggle against the armies of Napoleon in 1812, particularly dear to the Russian people. The invaders looted and set fire to the Pushkin House Museum in the hamlet of Polotnyany Zavod.
"In Kaluga the Hitlerites assiduously destroyed the exhibits in the house-museum in which the eminent Russian scientist K. E. Tsiolkovsky, whose services in the field of aeronautics enjoy world-wide fame, lived and worked.
"The fascist vandals used Tsiolkovsky's portrait as a target for revolver practice. Extremely valuable models of dirigibles, together with plans and instruments, were trampled underfoot. One of the museum rooms was turned into a hen coop and the furniture burned. One of the oldest agricultural institutions in the U.S.S.R., the Shatilov selection station in the Orel district, was destroyed by the invaders, who blew up and consigned to the flames 55 buildings of this station, including the agrochemical and other laboratories, the museum, the library containing 40,000 volumes, the school, and other buildings. Even greater frenzy was shown by the Hitlerites when looting the cultural institutions and historical monuments of the Ukraine and of Bielorussia."
I omit two paragraphs and pass on to the last paragraph of this quotation:
"There was no limit to the desecration by the Hitlerite vandals of the monuments and homes representing Ukrainian history, culture, and art. Suffice to mention, as an example of the constant attempts to humiliate the national dignity of the Ukrainian people, that after plundering the Korolenko Library in Kharkov, the occupiers used the books as paving stones for the muddy street in order to facilitate the passage of German motor vehicles."
The German vandals treated with particular hatred these cultural monuments which were most dear to the Soviet people. I shall quote several instances:
The Hitlerites plundered Yasnaja Polyana, where one of the greatest writers, Leo Tolstoy, was born, lived, and worked.
They plundered and despoiled the house where the great Russian composer, Tschaikovsky, lived and worked. In this house Tschaikovsky created the world famous operas Eugen Onegin and The Queen of Spades.
21 Feb. 46
In Taganrog they destroyed the house where the great Russian writer Chekhov lived; in Tikhvin they destroyed the residence of the Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov.
As evidence, Your Honors, I shall read into the record an excerpt from the note of Foreign Commissar Molotov, dated 6 January 1942. This document has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Document Number 51(2). This excerpt is on Page 317 of the document book. I quote:
"For a period of 6 weeks, the Germans occupied the world-famous property of Yasnaya Polyana where Leo Tolstoy, one of the greatest geniuses of mankind, was born, lived, and created. This glorious memorial to Russian culture was wrecked, profaned, and finally set on fire by the Nazi vandals. The grave of the great writer was desecrated by the invaders. Irreplaceable relics relating to the life and work of Leo Tolstoy, including rare manuscripts, books, and paintings, were either plundered by the German soldiers or thrown away and destroyed. A German officer named Schwartz, in reply to a request of one of the museum's staff collaborators to stop using the personal furniture and books of the great writer for firewood and to use wood available for this purpose, answered, 'We don't need firewood; we shall burn everything connected with the name of your Tolstoy.'
"When the town of Klin was liberated by the Soviet troops on 15 December, it was ascertained that the house in which P. I. Tschaikovsky, the great Russian composer, had lived and worked and which the Soviet State had turned into a museum, had been wrecked and plundered by fascist officers and soldiers. In the museum building proper, the Germans set up a garage for motorcycles, heating this garage with manuscripts, books, furniture, and other museum exhibits, part of which had in any case been stolen by the German invaders. In doing this, the Nazi officers knew perfectly well that they were defiling one of the finest monuments of Russian culture.
"During the occupation of the town of Istra, the German troops established an ammunition dump in the famous ancient Russian monastery known as the New Jerusalem Monastery, founded as far back as 1654. The New Jerusalem Monastery was an outstanding historical and religious monument of the Russian people and was known as one of the most beautiful specimens of religious architecture. This did not, however, prevent the German fascist vandals from blowing up their ammunition dump in the New Jerusalem Monastery on their retreat from Istra, thereby reducing this irreplaceable monument of Russian church history to a heap of ruins."
21 Feb. 46
I omit the next paragraph and close this quotation.
Acting upon directions of the German Military Command, the Hitlerites destroyed and annihilated the cultural-historic monuments of the Russian people connected with the life and work of the great Russian poet, Alexander Sergeivitch Pushkin.
The report of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union, the original copy of which is now submitted to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-40 (Exhibit Number USSR-40), reads as follows:
"To preserve the cultural and historical memorials of the Russian people connected with the life and creations of the gifted Russian poet and genius, Alexander Sergeivitch Pushkin, the Soviet Government, on 17 March 1922, declared the poet's estate at Mikhailovskoye, as well as his tomb at the monastery of Svyatogorsky and the neighboring villages of Trigorskoye, Gorodischtsche, and Voronitch, a state reservation.
"The Pushkin reservation, and especially the poet's estate at Mikhailovskoye, was very dear to the Russian people. Here Pushkin finished the third and created the fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters of Eugen Onegin. Here, too, he finished his poem Gypsies, and wrote the drama Boris Godunov, as well as a large number of epic and lyrical poems.
"In July 1941 the Hitlerites forced their way into the Pushkin reservation. For 3 years they made themselves at home there, ruined everything, and destroyed the Pushkin memorials."
I shall omit the beginning of Page 1 of the report.
"The plundering of the museum had already begun in August 1941."
I shall also omit the next paragraph. I read on:
"In the autumn of 1943 the commander of the Pushkin Military Kommandantur, Treibholz, urged Director K. V. Afanassiev to prepare for the evacuation of all the museum valuables. All these valuables were packed into cases by the German authorities, loaded into trucks, and sent to Germany."
I omit the next paragraph and read on:
"At the end of February 1944 the Germans turned Mikhailovskoye into a military objective and into one of the strongpoints of the German defense. The park area was dug up for combat and communication trenches; shelters were constructed. The cottage of Pushkin's nurse was taken to pieces and next to it, and partly on its former site, the Germans constructed a large dugout, protected by five layers of timber. The Germans built a similar dugout near the former museum building.
21 Feb. 46
"Prior to their retreat from Mikhailovskoye, the Germans completed the destruction and desecration of the Pushkin estate. The house-museum erected on the foundation of Pushkin's former residence was burned down by the Germans and nothing remained but a heap of ruins. The marble plate of the Pushkin monument was smashed to pieces and thrown onto the pile of ashes. Of the other two houses standing at the entrance to the Mikhailovskoye estate, one was burned down by the Germans, the other severely damaged. The German vandals put three bullets into the large portrait of Pushkin hanging in an archway at the entrance to the Mikhailovskoye park; then they destroyed the archway.
"After their retreat from Mikhailovskoye, the fascists bombarded the village with mine throwers and artillery fire. The wooden stairs leading to the River Soret were destroyed by German mines. The old lime trees of the circular alley leading to the house were broken down; the giant elm tree in front of the house was damaged by shell fire and splinters."
I omit the end of this page and pass on to Page 41 of the report:
"In the village of Voronitch the wooden church was burned down which dated back to Pushkin's times and where Pushkin had a requiem sung on 7 April 1825 to commemorate the death of the great English poet, Byron. The churchyard near the church where V. P. Hannibal, one of Pushkin's relatives, and the priest, Rayevsky, close friend of the poet, lay buried, was cries-crossed by trenches, mined, and devastated. The historical aspect of the reservation, in which the Russian people saw a symbol of Pushkin, was disfigured beyond all recognition by the Germans.
"The sacrileges perpetrated by the Germans against the national sanctuaries of the Russian people are best demonstrated by the desecration of Pushkin's tomb. In an attempt to save the Pushkin reservation from destruction, the units of the Red Army did not defend this district, but withdrew to Novorzhev. Nevertheless, on 2 July 1941 the Germans bombarded the monastery of Svyatiye-Gory, at the adjoining walls of which is Pushkin's tomb.
"In March 1943, long before the battle line approached the Pushkinskiye hills, the Germans began the systematical demolition of the Svyatiye-Gory monastery."
I omit the rest of this page, and I pass on to Page 42:
"The poet's tomb was found completely covered with refuse. Both stairways leading down to the grave were destroyed. The platform surrounding the grave was covered with refuse, rubble, wooden fragments of icons, and pieces of sheet metal."
21 Fel3. 46
I omit a paragraph and quote further:
"The marble balustrade surrounding the platform was damaged by fragments of artillery shells and by bullets. The monument itself inclined at an angle of 10 to 12 degrees eastwards, as a result of a landslide following the shelling, and of the shocks caused by the explosions of German mines.
"The invaders knew perfectly well that, on entering the Pushkinskiye hills, the officers and soldiers of the Red Army would first of all visit the grave of the poet, and therefore converted it into a trap for the patriots. Approximately 3,000 mines were discovered and removed from the grounds of the monastery and its vicinity by the engineers of the Soviet Army...."
The destruction of works of art and architecture in the towns of Pavlovsk, Tzarskoe Selo, and Peterhof, figure among the worst anti-cultural crimes of the Hitlerites. The magnificent monuments of art and architecture in these towns, which had been turned into "museum towns," are known throughout the civilized world. These art and architectural monuments were created in the course of 2 centuries. They commemorated a whole series of outstanding events in Russian history.
Celebrated Russian and foreign architects, sculptors, and artists created masterpieces which were kept in these "museum towns" and, together with valuable masterpieces of Russian and foreign art, they had been blown up, burned, robbed, or destroyed by the fascist vandals.
I read into the record Exhibit Number USSR-49 (Document Number USSR-49) which includes a statement of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union dated 3 September 1944. The excerpts which I shall quote, Your Honors, are on Pages 330-332 of the document book.
I omit the end of Page 43 and the whole of Page 44 of this statement, and begin my quotation in the middle of Page 45:
"At the time the German invaders broke into Petrodvoretz (in Peterhof) there still remained, after the evacuation, 34,214 museum exhibits (pictures, works of art, and sculptures), as well as 11,700 extremely valuable books from the palace libraries. The ground floor rooms of the Ekaterininsky and Alexandrovsky Palaces in the town of Pushkin contained assorted furniture suites of Russian and French workmanship of the middle of the 18th century, 600 items of artistic porcelain of the late 19th and 20th centuries, as well as a large number of marble busts, small sculptures, and about 35,000 volumes from the palace libraries.
21 Feb. 46
"On the basis of documentary materials, the statements and testimony of eyewitnesses, the evidence of German prisoners of war and as a result of careful investigation, it has been established that: Breaking into Petrodvoretz on 23 September 1941, the German invaders immediately proceeded to loot the treasures of the palace-museums and in the course of several months removed the contents of these palaces.
"From the Big, Marly, Monplaisir, and Cottage Palaces, they looted and removed to Germany some 34,000 museum exhibits, among them 4,950 unique items of furniture of Italian, English, French, and Russian workmanship from the periods of Catherine the Great, Alexander I, and Nicholas I, as well as many rare sets of porcelain of foreign and Russian manufacture of the 18th and 19th centuries. The German barbarians stripped the walls of the palace rooms of the silks, Gobelin tapestries, and other decorative materials which adorned them.
"In November 1941 the Germans removed the bronze statue of Samson, the work of the sculptor Koslovsky, and took it away. Having looted the museum treasures, the Hitlerites set fire to the Big Palace, created by the famous and gifted architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli.
"Upon their withdrawal from Petrodvoretz" -- I have skipped a paragraph -- "the Germans wrecked the Marly Palace by delayed action mines. This palace contained very delicate carvings and stucco moldings. The Germans wrecked the Monplaisir Palace of Peter the Great. They destroyed all the wooden parts of the pavilion and of the galleries, the interior decorations of the study, the bedroom and the Chinese room.
"During their occupation, they turned the central parts of the palace, that is, the most valuable from the historical and artistic viewpoint, into bunkers. They turned the western pavilion of the palace into a stable and a latrine. In the premises of the Assembly Building the Germans tore up the floor, sawed through the beams, destroyed the doors and windowframes, and stripped the panelling off the ceiling."
I skip one paragraph and quote the last one on this page:
"In the northern part of the park, in the so-called Alexander Park, they blew up the villa of Nicholas II, completely destroyed the frame cottage which served as billet for officers, the Alexander gates, the pavilions of the Adam fountain, the pylons of the main gates of the upper park and the Rose Pavilion."
21 Feb. 46
I skip one paragraph on Page 47:
"The Germans wrecked the fountain system of the Petrodvoretz parks. They damaged the entire pipeline system for feeding the fountains, a system extending from the dam of the Rose Pavilion to the upper park.
"After the occupation of New Petrodvoretz, units of the 291st German Infantry Division, using heavy artillery fire, completely destroyed the famous English Palace at Old Petrodvoretz, built on the orders of Catherine II by the architect Quarenghi. The Germans fired 9,000 rounds of heavy artillery shells into the palace; together with the Palace they destroyed the picturesque English park and all the park pavilions."
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has appreciated the successful efforts which the other members of the Soviet Delegation have made to shorten their addresses, and they would be glad if you could possibly summarize some of the details with which you have to deal in the matter of destruction and spoliation and perhaps omit some of the details.
That is all for this morning.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
21 Feb. 46
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: The looting and destruction of historical and artistic palaces in the town of Pushkin (Tzarskoe-Selo) was carried out with malice aforesight by order of the highest German authorities.
I omit the end of Page 47 and the beginning of Page 48:
"A considerable part of the Catherine Palace was burned down by the Germans. The famous ceremonial halls, 300 meters long and designed by Rastrelli, perished in the flames. The famous antechambers" -- waiting room -- "decorated by Rastrelli were likewise ruined."
I omit one paragraph and continue:
"The Great Hall -- outstanding creation of the genius of Rastrelli -- presented a terrible spectacle. The unique ceilings, work of Torelli, Giordano, Brullov, and other famous Italian and Russian masters, were destroyed."
I omit another paragraph.
"Equally ruined and pillaged was the Palace Church, one of Rastrelli's masterpieces, famous for the exquisite workmanship of the interior decoration."
I omit one more paragraph.
"In January 1944 the retreating German invaders prepared the complete destruction of all that was left of the Catherine Palace and adjoining buildings. For this purpose, on the ground floor of the remaining part of the palace, as well as under the Cameron Gallery, 11 large delayed-action aerial bombs were laid, weighing from 1 to 3 tons.
"In Pushkin the Hitlerite bandits destroyed the Alexander Palace, constructed at the end of the 18th century by the famous architect Giacomo Quarenghi."
I omit a paragraph.
"All the museum furniture, stored in the basements of the Catherine and Alexander Palaces, items of artistic porcelain, and books from the palace libraries were sent to Germany.
"The famous painted ceiling, 'Feast of the Gods on Olympus,' in the main hall of the Hermitage pavilion was removed and shipped to Germany."
I omit two paragraphs:
"Great destructions were caused by the Hitlerites in the magnificent Pushkin parks, where thousands of age-old trees were cut down.
"Ribbentrop's special purpose battalion and the Kommandos Staff Rosenberg shipped to Germany from the Pavlovsky Palace extremely valuable palace furniture, designed by Veronikhin and by the greatest masters of the 18th century."
I omit the end of Page 49 and the beginning of Page 50 of the report.
"During their retreat the fascist invaders set fire to the Paul's Palace. The greater part of the palace building was entirely burned down."
I omit the next two paragraphs and quote the last paragraph, which concludes this document:
"The Extraordinary State Commission established that the destruction of art monuments in Petrodvoretz, Pushkin, and Pavlovsk was carried out by the officers and soldiers of the German Army on the direct instructions of the German Government and the High Command."
Many large towns were destroyed by the German fascist invaders in the occupied U.S.S.R. territories. But they destroyed with particular ruthlessness the ancient Russian cities containing monuments of ancient Russian art. I quote as an example the destruction of the cities of Novgorod, Pskov, and Smolensk. Novgorod and Pskov belong to these historical centers where the Russian people laid the foundation of their state; here, in the course of centuries flourished a highly developed and individual culture. It left a rich heritage which constitutes a valuable possession of our people. Thanks to the survival of numerous monuments of ecclesiastic and civil architecture, murals, paintings, sculpture, and handicraft, Novgorod and Pskov were rightly considered thereat of Russian history.
The Hitlerite barbarians destroyed, in Novgorod, many valuable monuments of Russian and foreign art of the 11th and 12th centuries. They not only destroyed the monuments but they reduced the entire city to a heap of ruins.
By way of proof, I shall read into the record some excerpts from the document presented to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-50. You will, Your Honors, find these excerpts on Pages 333 and 334 of the document book. I read:
"The ancient Russian city of Novgorod was reduced to a heap of ruins by the German fascist invaders. They destroyed the historical monuments and dismantled some of them for use in the construction of defense fortifications....
"The German fascist vandals destroyed and obliterated, in Novgorod, the greatest monuments of ancient Russian art. The fascists destroyed the vaults and walls of the Saint George Cathedral tower of the Yuryev Monastery. This
cathedral was built in the early part of the 12th century, was decorated by 12th century frescoes.
"The Cathedral of Saint Sophia, built in the 11th century, was one of the oldest monuments of Russian architecture and an outstanding monument of world art. The Germans destroyed the cathedral building....
"The Hitlerites robbed the cathedral entirely of all its interior decorations; they carried off all the icons from the iconostasis and the ancient chandeliers, including one which belonged to Boris Godunov....
"The Church of the Annunciation on the Arkage, dating back to the 12th century, was converted by the fascists into a fortified position and barracks."
I omit one paragraph.
"The Church of the Assumption on Volotov Field, a monument of Novgorod architecture of the 14th-15th centuries, was turned by the Germans into a heap of stones and bricks."
I omit one sentence.
"The Church of the Transfiguration of our Lord, in Ilyin Street, was destroyed. It was one of the finest specimens of Novgorod architecture of the 14th century, particularly famed for its frescoes, painted in the same period by the great Byzantine master, Theofan, the Greek."
I omit the rest of this page and pass on to Page 54, of my report.
"Over 2 years of Hitlerite rule in Novgorod brought about the ruin of many other wonderful, ancient monuments of Russian architecture.... By order of the commanding general of the 18th German Army, Generaloberst Lindemann, the German barbarians dismantled and prepared for removal to Germany the monument to 'a thousand years of Russia.' This monument was erected in the Kremlin Square in 1862 and represented, in artistic images, the main stages of the development of our native land up to the sixties of the 19th century....
"The Hitler barbarians dismantled the monument and smashed the statuary. They did not, however, succeed in shipping it off and melting down the metal."
Citizen Youri Nikolaievich Dimitriev, in his affidavit, gives a very detailed account of the barbarous destruction by the Germans of the monuments of ancient Russian art in the cities of Novgorod and Pskov. Dimitriev, since 1937, was the custodian of the Ancient Russian Art Section of the Russian State Museum in Leningrad. He began the study of the historical monuments of Novgorod and Pskov in 1926. As a great expert in this particular sphere of art,
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he was asked by the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union to participate in the investigation of the crimes of the German fascist invaders.
I submit to the Tribunal the original of Dimitriev's depositions, duly certified, in accordance with legal procedure in the U.S.S.R., as Document Number USSR-312 (Exhibit Number USSR-312). You will find it, Your Honors, on Pages 335 and 347 in your document book. In submitting his affidavit, I shall omit facts already known to the Tribunal from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission previously read into the record. I quote only a few short excerpts which will be found on Pages 336 and 339. Mr. Dimitriev stated as follows -- I read:
"The greater part of Novgorod is razed to the ground; only a few districts were left by the Germans and even these were in ruins. Pskov was also left in ruins by the Germans; during their retreat they blew up the buildings and monuments. Of 88 buildings of historical and artistic value in Novgorod only two buildings are without grave damages.... Only a few isolated monuments in Pskov were left undamaged.
"In Novgorod and Pskov the Germans deliberately destroyed monuments of historical and artistic value."
"The German Army, while destroying and damaging monuments of historical and artistic value, plundered and carried off works of art and valuable objects which formed part of, or were contained in, these monuments.
"At the same time the German troops profaned and desecrated several ecclesiastical monuments of historic and artistic value in Novgorod and Pskov."
Day by day for 26 months, the Hitlerites systematically destroyed one of the most ancient Russian cities, Smolensk.
The Soviet Prosecution has presented to the Tribunal a document as Document Number USSR-56, containing the report of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union. I shall not quote this document; but I shall only refer to it and endeavor, in my own words, to emphasize the fundamental points of this document, dealing with the reported theme now.
In Smolensk, the German fascist invaders plundered and destroyed the most valuable collections in the museums. They desecrated and burned down ancient monuments; they destroyed schools and institutes, libraries, and sanatoriums. The report also mentions the fact that in April 1943, the Germans needed rubble to pave the roads. For this purpose, they blew up the intermediate
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school. The Germans burned down all the libraries of the city and 22 schools; 646,000 volumes perished in the library fires.
I now pass on to Page 57 of my report:
"Prior to the German occupation Smolensk contained four museums with extremely valuable collections.
"The museum of art possessed most valuable collections, primarily of Russian historic-artistic, historic-sociological, ethnographic, and other valuables: paintings, icons, bronzes, porcelains, metal castings, and textiles. These collections were of international value and had been exhibited in France. The invaders destroyed the museums and took the most valuable exhibits to Germany."
I shall quote only one last paragraph on Page 57:
"The Einsatzstab Rosenberg for the confiscation and exportation of valuables from the occupied regions of the East had a special branch in Smolensk, headed by Dr. Norling, the organizer for the plunder of museums and historical monuments."
Such are some of the numerous facts of the crimes committed by the fascist barbarians. They demonstrate how the criminal schemes of the Hitlerite conspirators were actually materialized.
It is known how mercilessly the German fascist invaders carried out the economic plunder of the Ukrainian people. But destruction and plunder of Ukrainian cultural and historical treasures played no lesser part in the plans of the Hitlerite conspirators, and was carried out with the same savage zeal. In accordance with their criminal plans for the enslavement of the freedom-loving Ukrainian people, the Hitlerite conspirators endeavored to annihilate its culture. From the very first days of their invasion of the Ukraine the Hitlerites, in execution of their criminal designs, embarked upon the systematic destruction of schools, higher educational institutions, scientific establishments, museums, libraries, clubs, and theaters.
The historical and cultural treasures in the cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, in the Provinces of Stalino and Rovno, and many other larger and smaller cities, were subjected to plunder and destruction.
From the document presented by the Soviet Prosecution under Document Number USSR-32, containing the sentence pronounced by the military tribunal of the 4th Ukrainian Front between 15-18 December 1943, it is evident that the German fascist armies of Kharkov, in the Province of Kharkov, acting on direct instructions of Hitler's Government, burned, plundered, and destroyed the
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material and cultural treasures of the Soviet people. These excerpts, Your Honors, you will find on Page 359 in your document book.
I now proceed to the evidence of crimes committed by the Hitlerites in the capital of the Ukrainian Republic, Kiev. I quote one paragraph of the document presented by the Soviet Prosecution under Document Number USSR-248. You will find it on Page 363 of your document book. It is an extract from the records of the Extraordinary State Commission "about the destruction and plunder by the fascist aggressors of Kiev's Psychiatric Hospital." Among other destructions they -- I quote:
". . . burned the archives of the institute, priceless from a scientific point of view, destroyed the magnificent hospital library of 20,000 volumes, plundered the especially protected and priceless monument of the 11th century -- the famous Cathedral of Saint Cyryl situated in the institute grounds."
I next pass on to several excerpts from the Extraordinary State Commission's report which was presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-9 (Document Number USSR-9). The excerpts quoted are on Pages 365-366 of the document book:
"Before the German invasion, Kiev possessed 150 secondary and elementary schools. Of this number, 77 schools were used by the Germans as military barracks. Nine served as warehouses and workshops, two were occupied by military stabs and eight were turned into stables. During their retreat from Kiev, the German barbarians destroyed 140 schools."
I omit the next paragraph.
"The German invaders stole more than 4 million volumes from the book stocks of the Kiev libraries. From the library of the Ukrainian S.S.R. Academy of Science alone the Hitlerites sent to Germany over 320,000 various valuable and unique books, magazines, and manuscripts."
I beg Your Honors to note that Dr. Forster, SS ObersturmFuehrer, who served in the special purpose battalion, established on the initiative of the Defendant Ribbentrop and acting under his orders, testified to the plunder of the library of the Ukrainian S.S.R. Academy of Science, in his deposition of 10 November 1942, which I have already read into the record.
I omit one paragraph and pass on to a further reading from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission:
"On 5 September 1943 the Germans burned and blew up one of the most ancient centers of Ukrainian culture, the T. G. Shevtchenko State University in Kiev, founded in 1834. In
the fire perished the greatest of cultural treasures which for centuries had represented the scientific and educational bases on which the work of the university was founded; perished, the priceless documents from the historical archives of ancient manuscripts; perished, the library containing over 1,300,000 books; destroyed, the zoological museum of the university with over 2 million exhibits, together with a whole series of other museums....
". . . The German occupiers also destroyed other institutions of higher learning in Kiev; they burned and looted the majority of the medical institutions.
"In Kiev the fascist barbarians burned down the building of the Red Army Dramatic Theater..., the Theatrical Institute, the Academy of Music, where the instruments were burned together with the very wealthy library and all the equipment; they blew up the beautiful circus building; they burned down, with its entire equipment, the M. Gorki Theater for Juvenile Audiences; they destroyed the Jewish theater ....
"In the Museum of Western European and Eastern Art only some large canvases were left; the robbers had not had time to remove them from the high walls of the stairway shafts. From the Museum of Russian Art the Hitlerites carried off, together with all the other exhibits, a collection of Russian icons of inestimable value. They looted the Museum of Ukrainian Art; only 1,900 exhibits of the National Art Section of this museum were left of the original 41,000."
I omit the remainder of this page and pass to Page 62 of my report:
"The Hitlerites plundered the T. G. Shevtchenko Museum and the historical museum. They looted the greatest monument to the Slav peoples -- the Cathedral of Saint Sophia -- from which they removed 1412th century frescoes."
I omit one paragraph.
"By order of the German Command the troops plundered, blew up, and destroyed a very ancient cultural monument -- the Kievo-Pecherskaya Abbey....
"The Uspenski Cathedral, built in 1075-89 by the order of Grand Duke Svjatoslav, with murals painted in 1897 by the famous painter V. V. Vereshchiagin, was blown up by the Germans on 3 November 1941."
I omit the remainder of Page 62 and pass on to Page 63 of the report:
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"We cannot gaze without sorrow" -- states Nicholas, Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia, and member of the Extraordinary State Commission -- "on the heaps of rubble of the Uspenski Cathedral, founded in the 11th century by the genius of its immortal builders. The explosions formed several huge craters in the area surrounding the cathedral, and, beholding them, it would appear that the very earth had shuddered at the sight of the atrocities committed by those who no longer had a right to be called human beings. It was as if a terrible hurricane had passed over the abbey, overturning everything, scattering and destroying the mighty buildings of the abbey. For over 2 years Kiev lay shackled in the German chains. Hitler's executioners brought death to Kiev, together with ruins, famine, and executions. In time all this will pass from the near present to the far distant past; but never will the people of Russia and the Ukraine, or honest men all the world over, forget these crimes."
Mr. President, may I dwell, on two more documents?
The first, Document Number 035-PS, is entitled, "A Brief Report on Security Measures of the Chief Labor Group in the Ukraine during the Withdrawal of the Armed Forces." It was presented to the Tribunal by our American colleagues on 18 December 1945.
A characteristic peculiarity of this document is that it openly testifies to the looting. It is quite clear to all that reference is made to a gang of robbers, although the Hitlerites still persist in referring to robbery as work. They shipped the most valuable exhibits of the Ukrainian Museum to Germany as "miscellaneous textiles."
The report begins with the description of the creation of safe quarters for the Einsatzstab establishments, a purpose for which the inhabitants of an entire district were thrown out of their quarters. There then follows, in this document, a list of booty removed from the plundered museums of Kharkov and Kiev, from archives, and even from private libraries.
I shall quote one brief excerpt only from this document, dealing with the contents of the Ukrainian and the prehistorical museum of Kiev. You will find this excerpt on Page 368 of the document book. I quote:
"October 1943, materials of the Ukrainian museum in Kiev.
"On the basis of the general evacuation orders of the city commissioner, the following were sorted out by us and loaded for shipment to Krakow:
"Miscellaneous textiles; collections of valuable embroidery patterns; collections of brocades; numerous wooden utensils, et cetera.
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"Moreover, a large part of the prehistoric museum was carried away."
The second, Document Number 1109-PS of 17 June 1944, is headed, "Note for the Director of Operation Group P4," and is addressed to Von Milde-Schreden. I shall quote it completely because it is really a short excerpt which you will find on Page 369 of the document book:
"2. The removal of cultural property.
"A great deal of material from museums, archives, institutions, and other cultural establishments was in an orderly manner removed from Kiev in the autumn of 1943.
"These actions to safeguard the material were carried out by Einsatzstab RR, as well as by the individual directors of institutes, et cetera, at the instigation of the Reich Commissioner."
Here, Your Honors, I would point out that Einsatzstab Rosenberg in some documents is also referred to as the "Task Staff RR." These initials stand for Reichsleiter Rosenberg.
"At first, a great deal of the property that was to be evacuated was taken only to the areas of the rear; later on, this material was forwarded to the Reich. When the undersigned, towards the end of September, received the order from the cultural division of the Reich Come missioner to take out of Kiev the remaining cultural effects, the materials most valuable from a cultural point of view had already been removed. During October some 40 carloads of cultural effects were shipped to the Reich. In this case it was chiefly a question of valuables which belonged to the research institutions of the national research center of the Ukraine. These institutions, at present, are continuing their work in the Reich and are being directed in such a manner that at any given moment they can be brought back to the Ukraine. The cultural values which could not be promptly safeguarded incurred plunder. In this case, however, it was always a question of less valuable material, as the essential assets had been removed in an orderly manner.
"In October 1943 factories, workshops, plants, and other equipment were removed from Kiev by the order of the town commander, but where it was taken, I do not know."
This letter ends with the following sentence:
"At the time the Soviets entered the city there was nothing valuable, in this respect, left in the city."
May it please Your Honors, from the documents submitted by the Soviet Prosecution, the Tribunal has already learned about the
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criminal conspiracy between Hitler and Antonescu. As a reward for supplying Germany with cannon fodder, oil, wheat, cattle, et cetera, Antonescu's criminal clique received from Hitler's Government authorization to plunder the civilian population between the Bug and the Dniester. German and Romanian invaders plundered and destroyed many objects of cultural value, health resorts, and medical institutions in Odessa. The Hitlerites also plundered on their own account, as well as in co-operation with Antonescu's clique. To prove this, I shall now read into the record a few excerpts from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union, presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-47 (Document Number USSR-47). These excerpts are taken from Page 372 of your document book. I omit one paragraph and begin to quote from the penultimate paragraph on this page of my report:
"The German Military Command plundered the museums of Odessa, carrying away hundreds of unique objects."
Further, I here omit two paragraphs and quote the last line of Page 66:
"According to a plan, drawn up in advance, the German fascist invaders...blew up or burned 2,290 of the largest buildings of architectural, artistic, and historical value. Included in these were the house of A. S. Pushkin . . . the Saban barracks, built in 1827, and others, representing in themselves valuable monuments to the material culture of the beginning of the 19th century.
"In Odessa the German-Romanian invaders destroyed: The first hospital for contagious diseases, the second district hospital, the somatological hospital, the psychiatric hospital, and two children's hospital, a children's polyclinic, seven infant consulting centers, 55 day nurseries, two maternity homes, one dispensary, one leprosarium, six polyclinics, and research institutions for the study of tuberculosis, for studying conditions in spas and others. They destroyed 29 sanatoria located around Odessa."
The Hitlerites committed crimes on an exceptionally large scale in the Stalino Province. I omit the rest of this page and pass to Page 68 of my report. The report of the Extraordinary State Commission, presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit Number USSR-2 (Document Number USSR-2), relates an enormous number of facts. I shall not quote all of those, Your Honors; but I shall confine myself only to several excerpts from the above-mentioned document which have not yet been read into the record by my colleagues. They can be found on Pages 374 and 375 in your document book. I quote:
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"During their retreat from Stalino, the Hitlerites completely destroyed. . . 113 schools, 62 kindergartens, 390 shops, the winter and summer theaters, the Palace of the Pioneers, the radio theater, the Museum of the Revolution, the picture gallery and the Dzerjinsky Club of the city.
"Special Engineer detachments went from school to school, pouring incendiary liquid over them and setting them on fire. Such Soviet people who tried to extinguish the fires were immediately shot by the fascist scoundrels....
"Exceptionally severe damages were caused by the invaders to the medical establishments of the city."
I omit three paragraphs of the report, and I quote the penultimate paragraph on this page:
"The Medical Institute, a model scientific establishment for 2,000 students, was destroyed on the orders of Oberfeldarzt Roll, chief medical officer of Belindorf, and the chief medical officer of Kuchendorf.
"Of a total of 600,000 books on science and art, 530,000 volumes were burned by the Hitlerites....
"In the town of Makeyewka the German fascist invaders blew up and burned down the city theater, seating 1,000 persons; the circus, seating 1,500 persons; 49 schools, 20 day nurseries, and 44 kindergarten schools. By order of the Town Commander, Vogler, 35,000 volumes from the central Gorky library were destroyed on a pyre."
I shall not enumerate all the cities. These facts were mentioned in a document which, according to Article 21 of the Charter, provides irrefutable evidence. In agreement with the rulings of the Tribunal, this document will not be read into the record in full. I must, however, draw your attention to the fact that in all industrial towns of the Province of Stalino the Hitlerites burned down schools, theaters, day nurseries, hospitals, and even churches. Thus in the town of Gorlovka:
". . . they destroyed 32 schools, attended by some 21,649 children, burned down the town hospital, five polyclinics, a church, and the Palace of Culture....
"In the city of Konstantinovka the occupational authorities blew up and burned down all the 25 city schools, two cinemas, the central city library with 35,000 volumes, the Pioneers' Club, the children's technical center, the city hospital, and the day nurseries.
"Before their retreat from Mariupol the German occupational authorities burned down all the 68 schools of the city, 17 kindergarten schools . . . and the Palace of the Pioneers."
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I shall now quote a few excerpts from the document presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR 45 (Document Number USSR-45). These excerpts are found on Page 378 of your document book. The document deals with the Hitlerite crimes in Rovno and the region of Rovno. The city of Rovno was of special importance. It was the residence of Reich Minister Erich Koch, the closest collaborator of the Defendant Rosenberg. Numerous conferences of the Hitlerite leaders for elaborating their plan for the enslavement of the Ukrainian people took place in this city. The above-mentioned report of the Extraordinary State Commission established the following facts:
"The Hitlerites, on the Ukrainian territory they had seized, endeavored to establish a regime of slavery and serfdom and to annihilate the Ukrainian sovereignty and culture....
"The considerable material in possession of the Extraordinary State Commission, based on documents, testimonies of witnesses, and personal inspection by members of the commission, and their acquaintance with conditions prevailing in various cultural and educational establishments on Ukrainian territory liberated by the Red Army, leaves no doubt that the German fascist barbarians had for their aim the destruction of Ukrainian culture and the extermination of the best representatives of Ukrainian art and science who had fallen into their hands."
I omit two paragraphs, and I quote the penultimate paragraph on this page:
"The German fascist aggressors closed down nearly all the cultural and educational establishments in Rovno. On 30 November 1941 the closing down of schools in the General Commissariat of Volhynia and Podolia was officially announced in the newspaper Volyn."
I omit the end of Page 70, and I quote the last paragraph of this document on Page 71 of my report:
"The fact that all these crimes were committed in the residence of the former Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine, Erich Koch, serves as additional proof that all the crimes of the Hitlerite bandits were perpetrated in execution of a plan for the extermination of the Soviet people and the devastation of the Soviet territories temporarily occupied by the Hitlerites, a plan conceived and executed by the Hitlerite Government."
In Section 5 of his opening statement, General Rudenko, Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R., quoted an extract from a letter of the
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Commissioner General for Bielorussia, Kube, addressed to the Defendant Rosenberg.
This document is a typewritten letter, signed in ink by Kube. It has several notations in pencil, evidently by the hand of Rosenberg; and it has a stamp, "Ministerial Bureau," and is dated 3 October 1941. This document, identified as Document Number 1099-PS, I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-374 in evidence of the enormous proportions assumed by the plundering of historical treasures, carried out everywhere by the Hitlerites.
With your permission I shall now take the liberty of quoting some additional extracts from this document, which discloses the fact that not only were the plundered treasures sent to Germany but that they had also been stolen by individual generals of Hitler's Army. Kube's letter reveals at the same time the existence of a previously elaborated plan for the plunder of the cultural treasures in Leningrad, Moscow, and the Ukraine. The vandalism of the Hitlerites reached such proportions that even Kube, that hangman of the Bielorussian people, was roused to indignation. He was afraid of allowing a profitable deal to slip through his hands and sought compensation from Rosenberg. I quote the second paragraph from the beginning of the letter:
"Minsk possessed a large and, in part, a very valuable collection of art treasures and paintings which have now been removed almost in their entirety from the city. By order of ReichsFuehrer SS, Reichsleiter Heinrich Himmler, most of the paintings, some still during my term of office, were packed by the SS and sent to the Reich. They are worth several millions which were withdrawn from the general district of White Ruthenia. The paintings were supposedly sent to Linz and to Konigsberg in East Prussia. I beg to have this valuable collection -- as far as it is not needed in the Reich -- placed once more at the disposal of the general district of White Ruthenia or, in any case, to place the monetary value of these collections with the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories."
Kube, as well as the Defendant Rosenberg, was of the opinion that he had the right to monopolize the stolen treasures and complained -- I quote the second part of the second paragraph of this letter:
"General Stubenrauch has taken a valuable part of this collection and has carried it off to the area of military operations. SonderFuehrer, whose names have not yet been reported to me, have carried off three truckloads (without receipt) of furniture, paintings, and objects of art."
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Having, along with other fascist leaders, robbed the people of Bielorussia, and taken a direct part in the mass ill-treatment and extermination of the Soviet population, Kube hypocritically declared -- I quote the last paragraph of this letter:
"Bielorussia, already poor in itself, has suffered heavy losses through these actions."
And Kube recommended to Rosenberg -- I quote:
"I hope that experts will be appointed beforehand to prevent such happenings in Leningrad and Moscow, as well as in some of the ancient Ukrainian cultural centers."
That was the ultimate goal of their ideas. It is now universally known what meaning the Hitlerites attached to the word "measures" when applied to the occupied territories. It meant a regime of bloody terror and violence, of unrestricted plunder, and arbitrariness.
On breaking into Minsk, capital of the Bielorussian Republic, the German fascist invaders attempted to destroy the culture of the Bielorussian people and to turn the Bielorussians into obedient German slaves. As has been established by a special investigation, the Hitlerite military authorities, acting on direct orders from the German Government, ruthlessly destroyed scientific research institutes and schools, theaters and clubs, hospitals and polyclinics, kindergartens and day nurseries.
I am reading into the record an excerpt from the document which was presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit Number USSR-38 (Document Number USSR-38).
"For 3 years the German fascist invaders in Minsk set out to destroy, systematically, the scientific research institutes, institutions of higher education, libraries, museums, institutions of the academy of science, theaters, and clubs.
"The Lenin library in Minsk was a foundation more than 20 years old. In 1932 the work was completed by the construction of a special new building with a large and well-equipped depository for storing books. From this library the Germans carried off to Berlin and Konigsberg 1 1/2 million extremely valuable books on the history of Bielorussia...."
I omit the end of Page 73 of my report.
"In their attempt to eradicate the culture of the Bielorussian people, the German fascist invaders destroyed every cultural and educational institution in Minsk.... The libraries of the Academy of Science, containing 30,000 volumes, of the State University, of the Polytechnical Institute, and the medico-scientific library and the public library of the city, A. S. Pushkin, were carried away to Germany.
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"The Hitlerites destroyed the Bielorussian State University together with the Zoological, the Geological, and Mineralogical, the Historical, and Archaeological Museums as well as the Medical Institute with all its clinics. They also demolished the Academy of Sciences with its nine institutes."
I omit the remainder of this paragraph.
"They destroyed the State Art Gallery and carried away to Germany paintings and sculptures by Russian and Bielorussian masters.... They plundered the Bielorussian State Theater of Opera and Ballet, the First Bielorussian Dramatic Theater, the House of National Creative Art, together with the houses of the unions of writers, artists, and composers.
"In Minsk the fascists destroyed 47 schools, 24 kindergarten schools, the Palace of the Pioneers, 2 lying-in hospitals, 3 children's hospitals, 5 municipal polyclinics,.27 nurseries, and 4 children's welfare centers; the Institution of Infant and Maternity Welfare was reduced to a heap of ruins."
The Prosecution has at its disposal Document Number 076-PS which is a report entitled, "On Minsk Libraries," by a German private first class, Abel. This private had investigated all the libraries in Minsk and stated in his report that nearly all of them had been destroyed
I present this report as Exhibit Number USSR-375 (Document Number USSR-375). I consider, Mr. President, that it will be quite sufficient to read into the record individual excerpts from this report. There is no need to read the report in its entirety. It is stated, on Page 75 of my report, that:
"The Lenin library was the central library of Bielorussia. It is difficult to estimate the number of volumes, but the number of books is approximately 5 millions.... The depositories for storing books present a desolate picture...."
I omit two paragraphs of my report, and I quote further:
"The library of the Polytechnical Institute in the basement of the left wing, as well as a great number of laboratories, were devastated beyond hope and left in complete disorder."
The report concludes with the following sentence, which I quote:
"The purpose of this report" -- wrote the German private -- "can be achieved only if submitted to the Supreme Command and when the command will issue the necessary orders plainly forbidding the German soldier from behaving like a barbarian."
But such orders never followed and never could follow, since fascism and barbarism are inseparable; fascism, in fact, means barbarism.
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THE PRESIDENT: What were you proposing to do after the adjournment this afternoon?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: After the recess I shall present several written documents pertaining to the destruction of cultural valuables in the Lithuanian, Estonian, and Latvian Republics and later, with the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to present a documentary film, so that at the close of the session all presentation of evidence would be completed and my report finished.
THE PRESIDENT: How long will the film take?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: The presentation of the documentary film will take about 30 to 35 minutes.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you not think that after the vast amount of damage and spoliation to which you have drawn our attention in some detail it would be sufficient if you were to summarize by telling us the countries in which similar spoliation had taken place? It is difficult to assimilate all this vast amount of detail.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I have in mind, Mr. President, to present to the Tribunal a document which will serve as a summary and in which all the general totals will be given.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.
[A recess was taken.]
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I wish to draw the attention of the Tribunal for a few minutes to the fact that before presenting the conclusion of this document I should like to read into the record a German document referring to the subject.
Having occupied the Lithuanian, Estonian, and Latvian Soviet Republics, the German fascist invaders attempted to reduce the Soviet Baltic provinces to the status of a German colony and to enslave the people of these republics. This criminal design of the Hitlerite Government found its full expression in universal plunder, general ruin, violence, degradation, and in the mass murder of old men, women, and children.
In order to germanize the people of the Lithuanian, Estonian, and Latvian Soviet Socialist Republics, the Hitlerites destroyed, by all possible means, the culture of the peoples of these republics. I skip the remainder of Pages 76, 77, and 78, and from Page 79 I quote one paragraph only:
"The capital of Soviet Latvia, Riga, was declared by the occupational authorities as the capital of 'Ostland' (Eastern Territory) and the seat of Staff Rosenberg."
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In the documents presented to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution as Document Number USSR-7, Document Number USSR-39, and Document Number USSR-41, there are a number of facts which do not and cannot exhaust the crimes perpetrated by the German fascist invaders in the Soviet Baltic provinces. Among the monstrous crimes against the peoples of the Baltic provinces, the Defendant Rosenberg, the former Reich Minister, played a major part.
I read from Page 81. Even at the time when it was quite evident that the downfall of fascist Germany was fast approaching, when the hour of just and stern retribution was facing the Hitler criminals, the Defendant Rosenberg still continued in his plundering. As late as the end of August 1944, Rosenberg organized and executed the plundering of cultural resources in Riga and Reval, in Dorpat, and in a number of towns in the Estonian Republic.
I draw the attention of the Tribunal to Document Number 161-PS, dated 23 August 1944, entitled "Assignment" and signed by Rosenberg's Chief of Staff, Utikal. This document is submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-376 (Document Number USSR-376), which Your Honors will find on Page 400 of the document book. I quote:
"Order. On 21 August 1944, Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg requested HaupteinsatzFuehrer Friedrich Schueller from the Einsatzstab RR to report on the possibilities still existing for the evacuation of cultural treasures from the eastern territories. On the basis of this report the Reichsleiter has ruled that the most precious cultural riches of the Ostland could still be removed by his staff, insofar as this can be done without interfering with the interests of the fighting forces. The Reichsleiter specified the following cultural objects as having particular value:
"From Riga -- the city archives, the state archives (the major part of these were in Edwahlen);
"From Reval -- the city archives, the Estonian Literary Society, and small collections from Schwarzhaupterhaus, the town hall, Evangelical Lutheran consistory, and Nicolas' Church;
"From Dorpat -- the university library; collections evacuated to Estonian estates -- Jerlep, Wodja, Weissenstein, and Lachmes.
"HaupteinsatzFuehrer Schueller, in his capacity as acting director of the main working group of the Einsatzstab RR, is commissioned with the carrying out of the removal and shipment.
"He is advised to maintain special contact with Army Group North in order to co-ordinate the execution of this mission
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of the Reichsleiter, with the transportation requirements of the field forces.
"Utikal, chief of Einsatzstab"
I should like to draw the attention of the Tribunal to another peculiar circumstance. In this case, too, the looting was carried out by Rosenberg together with the High Command, and as late as the fall of 1944, "future chiefs" of Staff Rosenberg were selected.
An analysis of all these circumstances permits us categorically to reassert that the destruction and looting of cultural valuables was inspired, directed, and executed by a central organization, and that this central organization was the criminal Hitler Government and the High Command, the representatives of which, in the persons of all the defendants in this Trial, should suffer punishment in accordance with Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal.
May it please Your Honors, when we deal with a system of wholesale destruction and plunder, it is impossible, and scarcely necessary, to enumerate all the facts, even if these facts are, per se, of great importance. In the occupied territories of the Soviet Union the Hitlerites carried out precisely such a system of wholesale and manifold destruction and plunder of cultural treasures of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. At this moment it is not yet possible to draw up an exhaustive balance of the defendants' crimes.
But I shall, with the permission of the Tribunal, submit a document containing data which, although only of a preliminary nature, are absolutely accurate and bear witness to the tremendous damage inflicted by the Hitlerites.
I have in view the report of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union, submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-35 (Document Number USSR-35). This document is on Pages 404 and 405 of your document book. From this I shall only quote individual excerpts concerning the subject which I am presenting and which have not yet been read into the record:
"Destruction of Cultural-Social Institutions, Public Organizations, and Co-operatives.
"The German plunderers destroyed various establishments, clubs, stadia, rest homes, and sanatoria belonging to consumer and industrial co-operatives, trade unions, and other public organizations. . . in the occupied territory of the U.S.S.R. They destroyed over 87,000 industrial buildings belonging to co-operatives, trade unions, and other social organizations; 10,000 residential buildings and 1,839 cultural and social institutions. They carried off to Germany about 8,000,000 books....
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"Of the property of the trade unions the German invaders completely destroyed 120 sanatoria and 150 rest homes in which over 3 million workers, engineers, technicians, and other employees spent their annual rest leave. Of this total figure they destroyed, in the Crimea 59 sanatoria and rest homes. . . in the spas of the Caucasus 32 sanatoria and rest homes; in the Leningrad area 33 sanatoria and rest homes; in the Ukraine 88 sanatoria and rest homes.
"The German fascist invaders destroyed the buildings of 46 pioneer camps and children's convalescent institutions belonging to the trade unions. They destroyed 189 clubs and palaces of culture."
I omit one paragraph and quote the last paragraph on this page:
"In the territory of the Soviet Union which was occupied by the Germans, at the beginning of 1941, there were 82,000 elementary and secondary schools with 15 million pupils. All the secondary schools possessed libraries, each with from 2,000 to 25,000 volumes; many schools possessed auditoria for physics, chemistry, biology, and others....
"The German fascist invaders burned, destroyed, and plundered these schools with their entire property and equipment ...."
I omit the end of this paragraph.
I omit the next paragraph:
"The German fascist invaders entirely or partially destroyed 334 colleges at which 233,000 students were studying; they removed to Germany the equipment of the laboratories and lecture rooms together with the exhibits, unique of their kind, from the collections of the universities, institutes, and libraries.
"Great damage was inflicted on the medical colleges....
"The occupants destroyed or looted 137 pedagogical institutions and teachers' colleges.... They removed historical material and ancient manuscripts from special libraries, and stole or destroyed over 100 million volumes in the public libraries."
"They destroyed, on the whole, 605 scientific research institutes."
I omit the end of Page 85 of my report and the first paragraph of Page 86.
"Enormous damage was inflicted by the Germans on the medical establishments of the Soviet Union. They destroyed or plundered 6,000 hospitals, 33,000 polyclinics, dispensaries, and out-patient departments, 976 sanatoria and 656 rest homes."
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I omit the next three paragraphs.
"Destruction of Museums and Historical Monuments.
"In the occupied territories the German fascist invaders destroyed 427 out of a total of 992 museums of the Soviet Union."
I omit the end of this page and quote the beginning of Page 87 of the report:
"The Germans also destroyed the museum of the peasant poet S.D. Drozhzhin, in the village of Zavidovo, the museum of the people's poet I. S. Nikitin, in Voronezh, and the museum of the famous Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, at Novogrudka in the Bielorussian S.S.R. At Alagir they burned the manuscript of the national singer Osetij Kosta Khetagurov.
"The German fascist invaders destroyed 44,000 theaters, clubs, and so-called 'Red corners.' "
Now with the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to submit a documentary film and a certificate testifying to the documentary character of this film. The film is entitled, "Destruction of Art and Museums of National Culture perpetrated by the Germans on the Territory of the U.S.S.R." This film and the documents testifying to the documentary nature of these reels are submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-98 (Document Number USSR-98). In this film, besides documentary photographs taken between 1941-45, there are also extracts made in 1908, showing Yasnaya Polyana and Leo Tolstoy. Subsequent photographs show what the German invaders did to this cultural relic of the Soviet people.
May I proceed with the presentation of the film, Your Honor?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, of course.
[Moving pictures were then shown.]
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I must dwell, Your Honors, on one more category of crimes committed by the Hitlerites -- the spoliation and destruction of churches, convents, and other places of religious worship.
By destroying monasteries, churches, mosques, and synagogues and robbing their property, the German invaders sadistically mocked the religious feelings of the people. These blasphemous crimes assumed a general appearance in all the territories which were under German rule. Soldiers and officers organized bloody orgies in places of worship, kept horses and dogs in the churches, donned the church vestments, and made sleeping bunks out of the icons.
I shall not trespass on your time by reading all the numerous documents at the disposal of the Soviet Prosecution, and shall merely dwell on some of these, in particular on the documentary
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photographs, an album of which I present to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-99 (Document Number USSR-99).
With your permission, I should like to read a few more documents and particularly a short extract from the document which has already been presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-51(3) (Document Number USSR-51(3)). You can find this extract in your document book on the back of Page 321. I quote:
"The Hitlerite invaders do not spare the religious sentiments of the believing section of the Soviet population either. They have burned, looted, blown up, and desecrated hundreds of churches on Soviet territory, including several irreplaceable monuments of ancient church architecture."
I omit two paragraphs, and I quote the next one:
"The priest Amvrosy Ivanov writes from the village of Iklinskoye, in the Moscow region:
" 'Before the arrival of the Germans the church was in complete order. A German officer ordered me to take everything out of the church....At night troops arrived, occupied the church, brought in their horses.... Then they began to smash and break everything in the church and to build bunks. They threw out everything: the altar, the holy gates and banners, and the holy shroud. In a word, the church was turned into a robbers' den.' "
I omit the remaining part of Page 88, and I read Page 89 of the report:
"In the village of Gosteshevo, the Germans plundered the church, broke up the holy banners, threw the books about, robbed the Reverend Mikhail Strakhov and carried him off with them to another district. In the village of Kholm, near Mozhaisk, the Germans robbed and beat up the 82-year-old local priest. In retreating from Mozhaisk, the Germans blew up the Church of the Ascension) the Church of the Holy Trinity, and the Cathedral of Nicholas, the miracle worker. As a rule, before retreating, the Germans would drive part of the population of the villages destroyed by fire into the churches, lock them up, and then set fire to these churches."
I am now reading into the record a short excerpt from Exhibit Number USSR-312 (Document Number USSR-312), submitted to the Tribunal:
"In a north side-altar of the Znamensky Cathedral, the Germans set up a latrine for the soldiers living in the crypt of the cathedral.
"The Church of the Prophet Elijah on the Slavna was transformed into a stable.
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"Stables were built in the following Pskov churches: Bogoyavlenie on Zapskovie, Kozma and Demian on the Gremiatchy Hill, Constantine and Helen, and in the Church of Saint John the Evangelist."
The document which was presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-279 (Document Number USSR-279) describes facts of blasphemous mockery which took place in the town of Gjatsk where the churches were transformed by the Germans into stables and warehouses. In the Church of the Annunciation the Germans set up a slaughterhouse for horned cattle.
The document which I am now presenting to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-246 (Document Number USSR-246) is a report of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union and contains general data relating to the churches, chapels, and other institutions of religious worship which have been destroyed or damaged. This document states:
"The German fascist invaders completely destroyed or partly damaged 1,670 churches, 69 chapels, 237 Roman Catholic churches, four mosques, 532 synagogues, and 254 other buildings for religious worship."
Your Honors will find in the document, submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-35 (Document Number USSR-35), these general data on the subject. I will not burden the Tribunal's attention by reading the document into the record in full, but I should like to quote a few very short excerpts from it. I quote:
"The material responsibility by the Germans cannot make complete amends for the destruction of ecclesiastical buildings, and of the most ancient historical monuments; the majority of these can never be restored."
Omitting the remainder of the page, as. well as the first four paragraphs of Page 91 of the report, I read the last paragraph of this page:
"Many churches, historical monuments of antiquity, were destroyed by the German invaders in Bielorussia. Thus, in the city of Vitebsk, they destroyed the Church of the Nativity, an interesting monument of Bielorussian architecture of the 12th century. They completely destroyed the wooden Apostle and Saint Nicholas Churches, built in the 18th century.
"Almost irreparable damage was done to the Voskresenko-Zaruchjevsky Church, built in the 18th century. This church was an interesting example of the Bielorussian classic style of architecture. In the same area, in the city of Vitebsk, the Germans destroyed a Roman Catholic church built in the 18th century....
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"In the town of Dyesna, of the Polotsk region, the Germans burned a Roman Catholic church founded in the 17th century, after plundering its property.
"Timoschel Rudolf, German garrison commandant of the town of Rozhnyatov, in the Stanislav region, used three synagogues for barracks and later on destroyed the buildings after plundering the property contained therein."
I omit the next paragraph.
Before destroying buildings of various religious cults the Germans plundered and destroyed all their equipment. A great number of icons and church decorations were removed from ecclesiastical buildings to Germany.
"The Joseph-Volokalamsky Monastery was plundered and the ancient shrouds of the monastery, together with the personal belongings of Joseph Volotsky, founder of the monastery, have disappeared....
"In 1941 German soldiers and officers stole from the Staritzki Church all the vessels, altar crosses, crowns, miters, and tabernacles.
"In the town Dokshitza, in the Polotsk region, the Germans looted and took away all the property of the local mosque. The same fate was shared by nearly all the churches in the territories occupied by the Germans.
"Everywhere the Germans plundered Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues, mosques, and other buildings of religious worship."
The Hitlerite conspirators not only actually plundered, tortured, and murdered, but they also strove to humiliate the believers morally and to rob them of their spiritual treasures.
Such, Your Honors, is the conclusive evidence concerning the crimes against culture, committed by Rosenberg, Frank, Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel, and the other participants in the conspiracy. The crimes of the defendants against culture are terrible indeed in their consequences. Even though it be possible, by a tremendous effort, to rebuild the cities and villages destroyed by the Hitlerites, even though it be possible to restore the factories and plants blown up or burned down by them, mankind has lost for all time the irreplaceable art treasures which the Hitlerites so ruthlessly destroyed, as it has lost forever the millions of human beings sent to their death in Auschwitz, Treblinka, Babye-yar, or Kerch.
Having inherited the savage hatred of all mankind from the dim ages of the past, the modern Huns have far surpassed, in cruelty and vandalism, the darkest pages of history. While arrogantly challenging the future of mankind, they trampled under
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foot the finest heritage of mankind's past. Themselves without faith or ideals, they sacrilegiously destroyed both the churches and the relics of the saints.
But in this unparalleled struggle between culture and obscurantism, between civilization and barbarism, culture and civilization prevailed. The Hitlerite conspirators who had aspired to world domination, who had dreamed of destroying the culture of the Slavs and of all other nations, now stand in the defendants' dock. May a just punishment be theirs.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you continue until 5 o'clock?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: As you wish, Your Honor
THE PRESIDENT: Yes; will you go on until 5 o'clock?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I should only like to ask for a few minutes' interval in order to collect some documents. It will literally take only a few moments.
THE PRESIDENT: It would be hardly worth while if you want a short interval. We shall stop at 5 o'clock.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: It would perhaps be more convenient to begin again at 1000 hours tomorrow.
THE PRESIDENT: Then we will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 22 February 1946 at 1000 hours.]