© Historical Review Press, 1988
War crimes trials are characterized by the assumption that rules of evidence are a technicality designed to enable the guilty to evade punishment. In fact, however, their purpose is to protect tribunals from errors in judgement.
Centuries ago, it was common to prosecute women for performing sexual acts with the Devil. These acts were described in minute detail in thousands of trials, in millions of pages of sworn testimony. It was established, for example, that Satan's ejaculatory fluid is cold.
Thousands of women stood fast in their confessions to the very foot of the stake, proving the truth of the matter stated; others recanted, proving the contumacy of the Tempter.
Thousands of men were burned for signing a Compact with the Prince of Darkness. This was a written contract, binding on both parties, the exact text of which was known to jurists for centuries; yet the original document was never found. Secondary evidence was accepted as to its existence and content.
Satan's existence was proven by his many appearances in the form of a cat or a goat; his failure to fulfil his contractual obligations was seen as a simple breach of faith.
Scientific experiments were performed. Women known to have participated in the Black Mass were found not have left their beds during the night, proving that transportation is spiritual, rather than physical.
Professional witnesses denounced thousands of people; defendants were condemned on the basis of ex parte affidavits signed by unknown persons; hallucinations and dreams were introduced into evidence in sworn statements.
Persons defending the accused could only be motivated by secret sympathy with Satan's conspiracy or Common Plan.
Respected people entered prison defiant, confident that God would prove them innocent; only to emerge a month later, prepared to confess publicly and be burned alive for kissing the anus of a goat.
Similar procedures and rules of evidence were used after the last war to convict Germans of killing millions of Jews in a toxicologically absurd manner, using an insecticide requiring 24 hours to kill moths.
It is characteristic of modern thought that man is held to be progressing in some manner, a concept which was foreign to the medieval world.
Carlos Whitlock Porter, Editor
As a "proven fact" protected by special laws not applicable to other "proven facts," the Holocaust must be considered as something of an endangered species.
All one need do to endanger the species a bit further... or perhaps even drive it into extinction... is to get the Nuremberg Trial transcript and read some of it.
If Germans gassed millions of Jews, did they also...
...Steam People To Death Like Lobsters In 10 Steam Chambers At Treblinka
The second building [at Treblinka] consists of three chambers and a boiler-room.The steam generated in the boilers is led by means of pipes to the chambers.There are terracota floors in the chambers which become very slippery when wet. Along the southern wall of the building runs a long platform where the bodies of the victims were piled up after execution...
All victims had to strip off their clothes and shoes, which were collected afterwards, whereupon all victims, women and children first, were driven into the death chambers. Those too slow or too weak to move quickly were driven on by rifle butts, by whipping and kicking, often by SAUER himself. Many slipped and fell, the next victims pressed forward and stumbled over them. Small children were simply thrown inside. After being filled up to capacity the chambers were hermetically closed and steam was let in. In a few minutes all was over. The Jewish menial workers had to remove the bodies from the platform and to bury them in mass graves. By and by, as new transports arrived, the cemetary grew extending in eastern direction\.
IMT XXXII - pp. 156-157.
...Zap Them To Death With Mass Electrical Shocks
In this same report, in the last paragraph on Page 136 of the document book, we may read that Camp Belsen was founded in 1940; but it was in 1942 that the special electrical appliances were built in for mass extermination of people. Under the pretext that the people were being led to the bath-house,the doomed were undressed and then driven to the building where the floor was electrified in a special way; there they were killed\.
IMT VII - p.576-577.
...Blast Them Into The Twilight Zone With Atomic Bombs
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And certain experiments were also conducted and certain researches conducted in atomic energy, were they not?
SPEER: We had not got as far as that, unfortunately, because the finest experts we had in atomic research had emigrated to America, and this had thrown us back a great deal in our research, so that we still needed another year or two in order to achieve any results in splitting of the atom.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The policy of driving people out who didn't agree with Germany hadn't produced very good dividends, had it?
SPEER: Especially in this sphere it was a great disadvantage to us.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I have certain information, which was placed in my hands, of an experiment which was carried out near Auschwitz and I would like to ask you [Albert Speer] if you heard about it or knew about it. The purpose of the experiment was to find a quick and complete way of destroying people without the delay and trouble of shooting and gassing and burning, as it had been carried out, and this is the experiment, as I am advised. A village, a small village was provisionally erected, with temporary structures, and in it approximately 20,000 Jews were put. By means of this newly invented weapon of destruction, these 20,000 people were eradicated almost instantaneously, and in such a way that there was no trace left of them; that it developed the explosive developed, temperatures of from 400 to 500 degrees centigrade and destroyed them without leaving any trace at all. Do you know about that experiment?
SPEER: No, and I consider it utterly improbable. If we had such a weapon under preparation, I should have known about it. But we did not have such a weapon\.
IMT XVI - p.529.
...Beat Them To Death, Then Carry Out Autopsies To See What They Died Of
BLAHA: I performed many autopsies on people either shot or beaten to death at their work, and made official reports on the cause of death.
HERR BABEL: You said, they were shot. Did you see such incidents yourself?
HERR BABEL: Then, how do you know that?
BLAHA: The bodies were brought to me from the place of work, and it was my duty to ascertain the cause of death; that the men had been beaten to death,for example, that the skull or ribs had been fractured, that the man had died of internal hemorrhage, or that he had been shot; I had to make an official report on the cause of death. Sometimes, but this was rare, when an investigation was conducted, I was called in as a witness.
HERR BABEL: Thank you\.
IMT V - p. 199.
...Force People To Climb Trees, Then Cut The Trees Down
I refer further to the report of the State Extraordinary Commission relative to the crimes in the city of Kiev. This report describes murders in the camps which will be also shown in the films today. I quote only one quotation from this report, which shows the methods of extermination of people in the SyretzkCamp. I quote Page 289, Paragraph 3, of the Russian text:
"Radomsky and Rieder used all kinds of devices for the extermination of Soviet citizens. For instance, they invented the following method of murder: Several Soviet prisoners would be forced to climb a tree and others had to saw it down. The prisoners would fall together with the tree and be killed."
IMT VII - p. 582.
...Kill 840,000 Russians At Sachsenhausen And Burn The Bodies In Four Portable Ovens
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I shall now present to the Tribunal evidence of the fact that besides the stationary crematoria, there existed also movable crematoria. The Tribunal already knows about the movable gas chambers. These were "murder vans." There were also created transportable crematoria. An SS member, Paul Waldmann, testifies to their existence. He was one of the participants in the crime perpetrated by the German fascists when 840,000 Russian prisoners of war in Sachsenhausen were annihilated at one time. The Exhibit Number USSR-52 (Document Number USSR-52) on Auschwitz has already been presented to the Court. I quote that particular extract from the testimony of an SS member, Waldmann, which mentions the mass execution in Sachsenhausen:
"The war prisoners murdered in this way were cremated in four movable crematoria, which were transported on car trailers."
IMT VII - p. 586.
...Bash People's Brains In With A Pedal-Driven Brain-Bashing Machine While Listening To The Radio, Then Burn The Bodies In 4 Portable Ovens
"One room was reserved for undressing and another for waiting; in one of them a radio played rather loudly. It was done purposely so that the prisoners could not guess that death awaited them. From the second room they went, one by one, through a passage into a small fenced-in room with an iron gridlet into the floor. Under the grid was a drain. As soon as a prisoner of war was killed, the corpse was carried out by two German prisoners while the blood was washed off the grid.
"In this small room there was a slot in the wall, approximately 50 centimeters in length. The prisoner of war stood with the back of his head against the slot and a sniper shot at him from behind the slot. In practice this arrangement did not prove satisfactory, since the sniper often missed the prisoner. After 8 days a new arrangement was made. The prisoner, as before, was placed against the wall; an iron plate was then slowly lowered onto his head. The prisoner was under the impression that he was being measured for height. The iron plate contained a ramrod which shot out suddenly and poleaxed the prisoner with a blow on the back of the head. He dropped dead. The iron plate was operated by a foot lever in a corner of the room. The personnel working in the room belonged to the above-mentioned Sonderkommando.
"By request of the execution squad, I was also forced to work this apparatus. I shall refer to the subject later. The bodies of prisoners thus murdered were burned in four mobile crematories transported in trailers and attached to motor cars. I had to ride constantly from the inner camp to the execution yard. I had to make 10 trips a night with 10 minutes' interval between trips. It was during these intervals that I witnessed the executions\.
IMT VII - p. 376-77.
...Study Bone Grinding In Special 10-Day Crash Course Seminars
I now quote from the record of the interrogation, which the Tribunal will find on Page 52 of the document book, Paragraph 2 from the top, Line 26. I begin:
"In the death factory of this camp special 10-day courses on corpse burning were organized, on which 12 men were employed. Pupils attending these courses came from the camps of Lublin, Warsaw, and others whose names escape me. I do not know the surnames of the pupils, but they were officers from colonels to sergeant majors, not soldiers from the rank and file. The instructor at these courses was the officer in command of crematories, Colonel Schallok. On the site where the bodies were exhumed and burned he explained the practical manner of their burning and how to set up the machinery for bone crushing."
IMT VII - p. 446.
...Whup Them With Special Spanking Machines
M. DUBOST: Who meted out punishments?
MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: The SS leaders, men and women.
M. DUBOST: What was the nature of the punishments?
MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: Bodily ill-treatment in particular. One of the most usual punishments was 50 blows with a stick on the loins. They were administered with a machine which I saw, a swinging apparatus manipulated by an SS. There were also endless roll calls day and night, or gymnastics; flat on the belly, get up, lie down, up, down, for hours, and anyone who fell was beaten unmercifully and taken to Block 25\.
IMT VI - p. 213.
...Make Pocket Books And Driving Gloves For S.S. Officers Out Of Human Skin
Q. Is there anything else that you would like to add about this experiment?
A. Yes. I can never forget the way RASCHER acted. RASCHER used to go for the prisoners personally and would bring them in at pistol point. He would casually shoot any who tried to make a break or any who did not move fast enough. Once herded into the room he would sneer and tell them that they had fifteen minutes to live and he would relax the prohibition of no smoking among prisoners and that they could have a smoke. The most disgusting part was that when the prisoners lined up, RASCHER would go along and make what he called a leather inspection. He would grab a man by the buttocks and or thighs and say "good." After the group had been killed, the skin from these bodies would be removed from these thighs and buttocks. I was in the office many times when human skin with blood still on it was brought into RASCHER. After the bodies had been carted away, RASCHER would inspect them carefully, holding them up to the light for flaws, and would pass on them before they were tanned. They were always stretched over small wooden frames when they came to RASCHER. I saw the finished leather later made into a handbag that Mrs. RASCHER was carrying. Most of it went for driving gloves for the SS officers of the camp\.
IMT XXX - P. 353.
...Bind Books In Human Skin
BALACHOWSKY: There were always tattooed human skins in Block 2. I cannot say whether there were many, as they were continuously being received and passed on, but there were not only tattooed human skins, but also tanned human skins - simply tanned, not tattooed.
M. DUBOST: Did they skin people?
BALACHOWSKY: They removed the skin and then tanned it.
M. DUBOST: Will you continue your testimony on that point?
BALACHOWSKY: I saw SS men come out of Block 2, the Pathological Block, carrying tanned skins under their arms. I know, from my comrades who worked in Pathological Block 2, that there were orders for skins; and these tanned skins were given as gifts to certain guards and to certain visitors, who used them to bind books\.
IMT VI - p.311.
...Make Saddles, Riding Breeches (i.e., Jodhpurs) Gloves, House Slippers, And Ladies Handbags Out Of Human Skin
"9. It was common practice to remove the skin from dead prisoners. I was commanded to do this on many occasions. Dr. Rascher and Dr. Wolter in particular asked for this human skin from human backs and chests. It was chemically treated and placed in the sun to dry. After that it was cut into various sizes for use as saddles, riding breeches, gloves, house slippers, and ladies' handbags. Tattooed skin was especially valued by SS men\.
IMT V - p.171.
...Shoot The Polish Officers At Katyn
I should now like to turn to the brutalities committed by the Hitlerites towards members of the Czechoslovakian, Polish, and Yugoslavian Armies. We find, in the Indictment, that one of the most important criminal acts for which the major war criminals are responsible was the mass execution of Polish prisoners of war, shot in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk by the German facist invaders.
I submit to the Tribunal, as a proof of this crime, official documents of the special commission for the establishment and the investigation of the circumstances which attended the executions. The commission acted in accordance with a directive of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union....
It would take too long to read into the record that precise and detailed document which I now submit to you as Exhibit Number USSR-54 (Document Number USSR-54), which is a result of the investigation. I shall read into the record only a few comparatively short excerpts. On Page 2 of the document, which is Page 223 in your document book, we read- this passage is marked in your file:
"According to the estimates of medico-legal experts, the total number of bodies amounts to over 11,000. The medico-legal experts carried out a thorough examination of the bodies exhumed, and of the documents and material evidence found on the bodies and in the graves. During the exhumation and examination of the corpses, the commission questioned many witnesses among the local inhabitants. Their testimony permitted the determination of the exact time and circumstances of the crimes committed by the German invaders."
...You will find the lines read into the record on Page 43 of Exhibit Number USSR-54 if you turn to the original document, or on Page 264 of your document book:
"General Conclusions: On perusal of all the material at the disposal of the special commission, that is, the depositions of over 100 witnesses questioned, the data of the medico-legal experts, the documents and material evidence and belongings taken from the graves in Katyn Forest, we can arrive at the following definite conclusions:
1. The Polish prisoners of war imprisoned in the three camps west of Smolensk and engaged in railway construction before the war, remained there after the occupation of Smolensk by the Germans, right up to September 1941.
2. In the autumn of 1941, in Katyn Forest, the German occupational authorities carried out mass shootings of the Polish prisoners of war from the above-mentioned camps.
3. Mass shootings of Polish prisoners of war in Katyn Forest were carried out by German military organizations disguised under the specific name, 'Staff537, Engineer Construction Battalion,' commanded by Oberleutnant Arnes and his colleagues, Oberleutnant Rex and Leutnant Hott.
4. In connection with the deterioration, for Germany, of the general military and political machinery at the beginning of 1943, the German occupational authorities, with a view to provoking incidents, undertook a whole series of measure to ascribe their own misdeeds to organizations of the Soviet authorities, in order to make mischief between the Russians and Poles.
5. For these purposes:
a. The German fascist invaders, by persuasion, attempts at bribery, threats, and by barbarous tortures, endeavored to find 'witnesses' among the Soviet citizens from whom they obtained false testimony, alleging that the Polish prisoners of war had been shot by organizations of the Soviet authorities in the spring of 1940\.
b. The German occupational authorities, in the spring of 1943, brought from other places the bodies of Polish prisoners of war whom they had shot, and laid them in the turned up graves of Katyn Forest with the dual purpose of covering up the traces of their own atrocities and of increasing the numbers of 'victims of Bolshevist atrocities' in Katyn Forest\.
c. While preparing their provocative measures, the German occupational authorities employed up to 500 Russian prisoners of war for the task of digging up the graves in Katyn Forest. Once the graves had been dug, the Russian prisoners of war were shot by the Germans in order to destroy thus all proof and material evidence on the matter\.
6. The date of the legal and medical examination determined, without any shadow of doubt:
a. That the time of shooting was autumn 1941\.
b. The application by the German executioners, when shooting Polish prisoners of war, of the identical method - a pistol shot in the nape of the neck -as used by them in mass murders of the Soviet citizens in other towns, especiallyin Orel, Voronetz, Krasnodar and in Smolensk itself."
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now recess.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
IMT VII p. 425-27
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Carlos Whitlock Porter|
|Title:||Made in Russia: The Holocaust, Excerpts from the Nuremberg Trial Transcripts|
|Sources:||Historical Review Press, Brighton 1988, 416pp|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 1995, 7 p.m.|