Maidanek and Auschwitz camps served as a means of extermination only for those who really were sent to these camps. These two camps were not a direct menace for those people who were outside the walls of the camp; but, in the course of the war, having already suffered grave defeats, German fascism began to practice
new bestialities for exterminating peaceful citizens-thus, in Bielorussia camps of death, not only to exterminate the inmates of the camp itself but, first and foremost, to spread infectious diseases among the peaceful population
and the ranks of the Red Army. There were no crematoria and gas chambers in these camps
but these camps should in all justice be considered as among the most brutal concentration camps which were created by fascism for extermination of people.
I present to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-4 (Document Number USSR-4) the report of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union for the investigation of the murder of people by means of spreading typhus epidemics. Such evidence was not presented before, and I shall therefore quote several excerpts from this report. I begin the quotation on Page 454 of the document book, first column of the text, first paragraph; last paragraph on Page 266 of the Russian text. I begin the quotation:
"On 19 March 1944 advancing Red Army units discovered, near the settlement of Osaritchi
in the region of Polesskoy in the Bielorussian S.S.R., within the limits of German defense lines, three concentration camps in which there were over 33,000 children, women, and old men incapable of work
I interrupt my quotation, and I omit one paragraph.
"The camps were really open squares surrounded by barbed wire. The approaches to them were mined. There were no buildings whatever even of the most insignificant type in the camp grounds." I call the Tribunal's attention to the fact that all this happened in March, in Bielorussia, when it is really very cold there.
"The inmates were sitting on the ground. Many of them had lost their ability to move and were lying unconscious in the mud. It was forbidden to the inmates to build fires, to gather brush or branches for bedding. The Hitlerites shot Soviet people for the slightest attempt to violate this order.
"For concentration camps close to the nearest line of defense, the Germans, in the first place, selected sites in such places where they did not hope to retain their position. Secondly, they concentrated large masses of Soviet people in the camps, placing there primarily women, children, and old men unable to work. Thirdly, they placed in these camps thousands of typhus patients who were brought from various temporarily occupied regions of the Bielorussian S.S.R., especially for this purpose. They were kept together with the starved, weak inmates who no longer could serve as labor and who were living there under the most unhygienic conditions.
"Among those liberated from these camps were 15,960 children up to the age of 13; 13,072 women incapable of work, and 4,448 old men
I omit the next page and read Page 269 of the Russian text. I quote only one paragraph which reveals the methods used by the criminals to drive into the camps peaceful citizens from various regions of Bielorussia. Witness Mrs. L. Pikarskaya, who was liberated from the camp, testified before the commission:
"On 12 March 1944 late in the afternoon, we, the inhabitants of the city of Jlobin, were forced to assemble within half an hour at the station Jlobin South. Here the Germans selected all the young ones and took them away. Having herded us into railroad cars, the Germans closed the doors tightly. Where we were going we didn't know, but we all anticipated some evil....
"As we found out later on, we were taken along the Rudobelkovsky railway and unloaded late in the afternoon on 15 March. During the night, knee deep in sticky mud, we were driven into a camp. From this camp were driven into another one. On the way the Germans beat us, and those who lagged behind were shot. One woman was walking with three children. One of the children fell down. The Germans shot at him. Horrified, the mother and the two other children looked back; the monster soldiers shot them down one by one. The mother cried out in agony, but her shriek was interrupted by a direct shot. Another mother and son, the Bondarews, walked side by side. The child could not stand the tiring journey and fell down. The mother bent over him, she wanted to encourage him with a word; but neither the son nor the mother rose or saw the blue sky again; the Germans shot them."
I omit the next page of this document and I pass to the presentation of some evidence testifying to the fact that the Germans purposely concentrated in this camp the typhus-stricken people. I quote three paragraphs from Page 271 of this text:
"A. S. Mitrachovich, a resident of the village of Novo-Belitza who was liberated from the camp, testified:
" 'We who were sick with typhus were driven to the village of Mikul-Gorodok into a camp surrounded by barbed wire.'
"An inhabitant of the hamlet of Novogrudok, Z. P. Gavrilchik, testified:
" 'During 3 days typhus-stricken patients were brought in motor cars into camp, with the result that many who were healthy also became sick.'"
I omit the next two pages of the document and I pass over to what the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 254, on the reverse side, second column of the text, Paragraph 6. I quote:
"The German Army Command used to send their own agents to the camps near the front line to observe how the typhus was spreading among the inmates and also among the Red Army units."
Next there is the testimony of one of such agents, the traitor Rastorguev. I omit this quotation.
To conclude the presentation of evidence relative to this matter, I shall only quote a few excerpts from the findings of the medical experts of epidemical diseases. The Tribunal will find it on the back of Page 454, second column of the text. This is Page 274 of the Russian text. I begin the quotation:
"(a) The German authorities placed together in concentration camps both the healthy and the typhus-stricken Soviet citizens.
"(b) In order to expedite the dissemination of typhus in the camps, the Germans used to transfer the typhus patients from one camp to another.
"(c) On many occasions when typhus patients refused to go into the camp, the German authorities used force.
"(d) German aggressors used to move typhus patients from hospitals into the camps
and mixed them with the healthy camp inmates."
And the last paragraph:
"(e) The infecting of the Soviet population with typhus began in second half of February and was practiced to the middle of March."
The result of it was mass infection of the people interned in the camp, and the members of the Tribunal will find proof of this in the next paragraph where it is said that the Red Army Command sent 4,052 Soviet citizens to the hospitals, among them 2,370 children below 13 years of age, all liberated just from one hamlet of Ozarichi, in the Poless region