Soviet Union: "Naked women were nailed through their hands"

Published: 1988-01-01

At the edge of the town, on the left side of the road, stands the large inn 'Weisser Krug' ... In the farmyard further down the road stood a cart, to which four naked women were nailed through their hands in a cruciform position. Behind the Weisser Krug towards Gumbinnen is a square with a monument to the Unknown Soldier. Beyond is another larger inn, 'Roter Krug'. Near it, parallel to the road, stood a barn and to each of its two doors a naked woman was nailed through the hands, in a crucified posture. In the dwellings we found a total of seventy-two women, including children, and one old man, 74, all dead... all murdered in a bestial manner, except only for a few who had bullet holes in their necks. Some babies had their heads bashed in. In one room we found a woman, 84 years old, sitting on a sofa... half of whose head had been sheared off with an axe or a spade...

We carried the corpses to the village cemetery where they lay to await a foreign medical commission... In the meantime, a nurse from Insterburg came, a native of Nemmersdorf, who looked for her parents. Among the corpses were her mother, 72, and her father, 74, the only man among the dead. She also established that all the dead were Nemmersdorfers. On the fourth day the bodies were buried in two graves. Only on the following day did the medical commission arrive, and the tombs had to be reopened. Barn doors were set on blocks on which to lay the bodies so that the commission could examine them. This foreign commission unanimously established that all the women, as well as the girls from eight to twelve years and even the woman of 84 years had been raped. After the examination by the commission, the bodies were again buried.


Alfred M. de Zayas, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Expulsion of the Germans from the East, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London. 1988. p. 63-64


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Author(s): Alfred M. De Zayas
Title: Soviet Union: "Naked women were nailed through their hands"
Sources: Alfred M. de Zayas. "Nemesis at Potsdam". Third Edition, University of Nebraska Press, 1988, Pages 63f.
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Published: 1988-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 1995, 7 p.m.
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