Latvia & Lithuania: Semion Shustin & Alfons Noviks

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Grellber
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Latvia & Lithuania: Semion Shustin & Alfons Noviks

Post by Grellber » 09 Feb 2008 14:50

This guy, Semion or Semjon Shustin seem to have played a major role together with others, such as Alfons Noviks.

Short on Semion / Semjon Sustin / Shustin (From web: http://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/ministry/4265/4299/#1-28)
Semion Shustin, Deputy Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR), and Commissar of the State Security of the LSSR since April 1941, who was sent to Latvia from the USSR to head persecutions. This odious person had no connection with the Latvian Jews. He was a cynical careerist, who had turned his back to his nationality and ad­vanced himself in 1937.

I have not succeded in finding out what happened to him later on though. Anybody who knows?

On Noviks there is substantially more info. Short on Noviks (From http://www.trial-ch.org/en/trial-watch/ ... s_678.html):
In 1940, as the USSR had just annexed Latvia, he became People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs of Soviet Latvia. As such he was the head of the State Security and of the NKVD (formerly KGB).

Between 1940 and 1953, he is believed to have been actively involved in numerous deportations carried out on behalf of the USSR. Over 100’000 Latvians are believed to have been deported to Siberia, and around 150’000 Lithuanians and Estonians have been forced to exile by this policy.

While acting as Commissar of Internal Affairs, Alfons Noviks has allegedly signed many deportation orders. It is alleged that he was the mastermind of the 1949 to 1953’s deportations, of which he personally ordered 41’544 in 1949 only. Overall, he is believed to be responsible for tens of thousands of deportations. He received the Red Flag medal for the 1949 deportations, military decoration given for acts of valor on the battlefield. He retired from the KGB in the 1950’ as a Major-general. Until his arrest in March 1994, he had resumed a normal life in Riga.

He was indicted under a 1993 Latvian law on genocide for having signed deportation orders. During the trial, he acknowledged being responsible for the deportations, but only insofar as he was following orders. On December 13, 1995, a Riga District Court found him guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. The Court also found him guilty of ordering the torture and execution of political prisoners, and of personally taking part in torture, property confiscation and other crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison. Alfons Noviks lodged an appeal against his conviction on January 30, 1996. He died in prison on March 12, 1996.
Last edited by Grellber on 09 Feb 2008 23:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Shustin

Post by Grellber » 09 Feb 2008 19:50

Some more re. Shustin, from the book Latvians and Jews Between Germany and Russia, by Frank Gordon:

page 38-39:

Stalin and Beria crowned all that with a Machiavellian decree, appointing a Russian Jew, Semion Shustin, as people’s commissar (minister) for state security in the Latvian SSR. Many of his assistants, especially in the KGB, were local Jews, who knew both Russian and Latvian. In May 1941, when the German–Soviet war had not yet started, Shustin ordered the shooting of my schoolmate, the very young son of the MEDFRO pharmaceutical plant owner
Fronckïviãs, for alleged treason. Against which country? On June 26, 1941, while preparing to flee from Riga, Shustin took the time to sign order no. 412, the death sentence for 78 Latvians. He used red ink, misspelling the Russian: “Considering the social danger they represent, all must be shot.” What, one must ask, is “social danger”? Is it any wonder that the Latvian leader of the infamous “ArÇjs group,” which shot Jewish civilians in July 1941 to oblige the Germans, was called “Shustin” by the group’s members?

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 09 Feb 2008 23:46

Image

Alfons Noviks - Born 1908 -nothing special in the early years - was jailed between 1933 and 1938 . Was commissar of internal affairs of Lativain SSR from 08.25.40 to 02.26.41 then commissar for State Security for the same republic 02.26.41- 31.07.41 Chief of Lativian section of NKVD-NKGB between 10.41 to 11.30.43 chief of Operative group of NKGB in Latvia 30.11.43 to - 03.44 Minister of State security of Latvia 03.44-03.03.53

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Re: Shustin

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 09 Feb 2008 23:55

Grellber wrote:Some more re. Shustin, from the book Latvians and Jews Between Germany and Russia, by Frank Gordon:

page 38-39:

Stalin and Beria crowned all that with a Machiavellian decree, appointing a Russian Jew, Semion Shustin, as people’s commissar (minister) for state security in the Latvian SSR. Many of his assistants, especially in the KGB, were local Jews, who knew both Russian and Latvian. In May 1941, when the German–Soviet war had not yet started, Shustin ordered the shooting of my schoolmate, the very young son of the MEDFRO pharmaceutical plant owner
Fronckïviãs, for alleged treason. Against which country? On June 26, 1941, while preparing to flee from Riga, Shustin took the time to sign order no. 412, the death sentence for 78 Latvians. He used red ink, misspelling the Russian: “Considering the social danger they represent, all must be shot.” What, one must ask, is “social danger”? Is it any wonder that the Latvian leader of the infamous “ArÇjs group,” which shot Jewish civilians in July 1941 to oblige the Germans, was called “Shustin” by the group’s members?
http://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/ministry/4265/4299/#1-28

also - http://www.memo.ru does not list anybody but Noviks as head of Latvian NKVD.

that is a strange contrast with a source you've listed before
However, there were few Jews among the leading staff of the occupation regime. Out of the 100 members of the so-called ��People��s Saeima,�� which voted for the incorporation of Latvia into the USSR, there were only two Jews. Out of the 35 members in the Central Committee of the CPL there was only one Jew, but there were no Jews among the puppet People��s Com­mis­sars of Soviet Latvia.

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Feb 2008 02:11

Thanks, Oleg.

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Post by michael mills » 10 Feb 2008 04:22

Let's have a look at the fuller context of the passage quoted by Oleg Grigoryev from the publication by the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I have bolded certain interesting passages.
September through October of 1939 Latvian Jews were very upset by the news of persecution that had been carried out by Nazi occupants against Jews in German-occupied Poland. They were horrified at news of mass evictions of Jews, confiscation of their property, and the killing of their intellectuals. The inhabitants of Latvia had no information about the Molotov���Ribbentrop (Stalin���Hitler) Pact, and many people, therefore, considered military co-operation with the USSR desirable in order to prevent the possible aggression of Germany against Latvia. Jewish left-wing strata happily welcomed ���the Mutual Assistance Pact and the sta­tioning of Soviet troops in the territory of Latvia,��� which was forced upon the country in October of 1939. Many Jews, who had not much liking for communism at all, considered it a favourable temporary solution. There was still hope that the fate of Latvia would finally be decided by the victory of the Allies on the Western Front. 1940 was met in this at­mosphere.



Under the Hammer and Sickle

The fast military victory of Nazi Germany over Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium, the fall of Paris and the capitulation of France in June 1940 caused alarm and fear among all inhabitants of Latvia. Jews were particularly worried. Thus, on the morning of June 17, 1940, many felt relieved upon hearing the news on the Riga radio ��� Latvia had ac­cepted the ���proposal��� of the USSR to let into its territory ���additional contingents��� of the Red Army. Young people of a left-wing disposition went out on the streets to welcome the army as friends and rescuers. Many of them were still not aware that the occupation of Latvia and the loss of its independence had begun.

The conservative and Zionistic Jewish strata understood the situ­ation, yet they cherished the hope that Stalinism would not be so mer­ciless in the Baltic countries as in the USSR and that democracy, which was forbidden after May15, would at least partially be renewed. The illusion rapidly disappeared when the occupants openly forced the incor­poration of Latvia into the Soviet Empire. Yet, even under these con­ditions the Jewish citizens chose to obey the new power. They con­sidered it better to lose property under Soviet occupation than to be­come doomed death inmates of the ghetto under the yoke of Nazi occupation.

The activists of ���Agudat Israel��� and ���Mizrahi��� behaved with reserve toward Soviet occupants. They regretted the lost presidency of Kārlis Ulmanis and trusted neither A. Kirhenšteins nor V. Lācis, seeing them as mere puppets. The Jewish youth organisation ���Betar��� immediately deve­loped its underground network and sought to continue the propagation of Zionism.

The shutdown of Zionist and Jewish conservative and religious socie­ties, clubs and educational institutions started as early as July 1940. The destruction of the Jewish community was taking place. This de­struction was completed in the spring of 1941, when the ���Society of Jewish Culture in Latvia��� was closed on March 23, and the society ���Bi­kur Holim��� was closed on April 14. The agricultural farm ���Jaunklinči,��� where people who wished to emigrate to Palestine were trained, was also liquidated. The fact that Jewish communists and Komsomol mem­bers also took part in the liquidation commissions does not change the essence of the matter. Jews were deprived of the main supports for their national identity.

In 1940 the left-wing Jews actively participated in the formation of the administrative apparatus. They were appointed as employees of com­­missariats, managers of nationalized enterprises, functionaries of the Party and Soviet bodies and political workers. However, there were few Jews among the leading staff of the occupation regime. Out of the 100 members of the so-called ���People���s Saeima,��� which voted for the incorporation of Latvia into the USSR, there were only two Jews. Out of the 35 members in the Central Committee of the CPL there was only one Jew, but there were no Jews among the puppet People���s Com­mis­sars of Soviet Latvia. Among top officials was the Jew Semion Shustin, Deputy Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR), and Commissar of the State Security of the LSSR since April 1941, who was sent to Latvia from the USSR to head persecutions. This odious person had no connection with the Latvian Jews. He was a cynical careerist, who had turned his back to his nationality and ad­vanced himself in 1937.
The publication by the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the very obvious apologetic purpose of defending Latvia and the latvian people from the charge of anti-Semitism and wartime collaboration with Germany. That apologetic purpose is perhaps the cause of some dubious claims made in the statement, such as that the inhabitants had no information abour the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (couldn't latvians read the newspapers at the end of August 1939), or that Semion Shustin had turned his back on his Jewish nationality (how do they know that?).

Neverhteless, it shows that the Jewish minority in general, even those who were not favourable toward Communism, supported the Soviet occupation of Latvia, if only because it was preferable to coming under German rule. It also shows that the left-wing element among the Jewish minority (and it makes no comment about the size of that element) collaborated enthusiastically with the Soviet occupation, welcoming the Red Army and filling positions in the middle and lower ranks of the occupation regime.

The fact that there were few Jews at the very top of the Soviet occupation regime is not all that important. The ordinary Latvians judged the Soviet regime by its representatives with whom they dealt with on a day-to-day basis, and as the statement shows, may of those representatives were jewish.

It was the very visible Jewish presence in such actions as the welcoming of the Red Army by leftists, or among the leftists who staffed the middle and lower ranks of the Soviet occupation regime, that gave rise to the impression among the ethnic Latvian population that that regime was Jewish in nature, and that the Jewish minority as a whole was collaborating with and benefiting from it.

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Feb 2008 07:10

Michael -- You wrote:
Neverhteless, it shows that the Jewish minority in general, even those who were not favourable toward Communism, supported the Soviet occupation of Latvia, if only because it was preferable to coming under German rule. It also shows that the left-wing element among the Jewish minority (and it makes no comment about the size of that element) collaborated enthusiastically with the Soviet occupation, welcoming the Red Army and filling positions in the middle and lower ranks of the occupation regime.

The fact that there were few Jews at the very top of the Soviet occupation regime is not all that important. The ordinary Latvians judged the Soviet regime by its representatives with whom they dealt with on a day-to-day basis, and as the statement shows, may of those representatives were jewish.

It was the very visible Jewish presence in such actions as the welcoming of the Red Army by leftists, or among the leftists who staffed the middle and lower ranks of the Soviet occupation regime, that gave rise to the impression among the ethnic Latvian population that that regime was Jewish in nature, and that the Jewish minority as a whole was collaborating with and benefiting from it.
This collective overgeneralization about Latvians may have some fascination for the "Judaeo-Bolshevik bankers' conspiracy" set and Latvian anti-semites who'd like to think their personal obsessions were widespread, but I don't see that it is supported by the quotation preceding your comments. It just indicates that, in 1940-1945, the general population of Latvia contained criminals -- both Latvian and Jewish-Latvian. This is true not just of Latvia, but of all countries. Some folks are asocial, some will do anything for money, some are psychopathic, and some are obsessed by monomania. Unfortunately, such people appear in every population group, without regard to ethnicity, religion, race or geographic location. That's why nations have prisons.

Now let's get back on topic -- biographical details about Semion Shustin and Alfons Noviks.

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Shustin

Post by Grellber » 10 Feb 2008 11:13

Few hits in english, but here is one.
Source: http://www.eajc.org/program_art_e.php?id=19

Quotet: "However, the Declaration did not become a basis for consolidation of the society, and in politics of the 1990s there appeared frequent appeals to estimate role of Jews in Soviet retaliatory agencies carrying out reprisals against the population of Latvia (and frequently it was declared that exactly against the Latvians) and statements that Latvia won’t be responsible for acts of V.Arajs and his accomplices (Viktors Arajs – leader of voluntary subunit (so called Arajs team), which was created under the SD, and actively murdered Jews and “other unreliable elements” in Nazi-occupied territories of Belarus and Latvia in 1941. After the war Arajs hided in Western Germany, where he was identified, convicted and died in 1979.), as Israel does not account for the acts of S.Shustin."

Does it imply that Shustin emigrated to Israel? Anybody who knows?

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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 10 Feb 2008 12:36

From what I have been able to find on the Internet on Shustin, then:

Semen Mateveevich Shustin (1908-1978). Different sources has him as People's Commissar of Internal Affairs NKVD Latvia SSR (11.09.1940-26.02.1941) or People's Commissar of State Security NKGB Latvia SSR with the tank of Captain of State Security. However like Oleg I have been unable to verify other than Novik in these positions. So it would seem likely to me that Shustin was Head of the Main Directorate of State Security GUGB within the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs NKVD Latvia SSR for the Period (11.09.1940-26.02.1941), as we know that the People's Commissariat of State Security NKGB didn't come into existence until 26.02.1941. Other source also claims that he served as Deputy People's Commissar of Internal Affairs NKVD Latvia SSR. Anyhow how it seems that he continued his career, at least he served as Head of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs NKVD in Kirov Region 1941-42 and ending as a Colonel. He apparently served as Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs MVD in Amur Region following the war. He also served as Deputy Head of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs NKVD of Krasnoiarsk Area at one point during his career.

There seems to be an entry on him in Politika Okkupatsionnykh Vlastei v Latvii 1939-1990: Sbornik Dokumentov by E. Pelkaus from 1999. ISBN: 9984675041

Perhaps someone has access to this work?

This is put together from different sources on the Internet and Google Books.

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Shustin, Noviks and Citrons

Post by Grellber » 10 Feb 2008 16:08

I´ve lost the link, but in a pdf "book" covering the terrible year/the ghastly year of Latvia, a troika was referred to, consisting of not only Shustin and Noviks but also a Moses Citrons. Should we extend this topic with that guy?

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Re: Latvia & Lithuania: Semion Shustin & Alfons Noviks

Post by AAA » 27 Feb 2008 18:01

Shustin.

http://vip.latnet.lv/LPRA/sustins.htm :
The Office of the Latvian Prosecutor-General filed charges against Shustin on 8 February 1996 for Criminal Codex para 68-1 (Crimes against humanity-Genocide)

.....

The investigation had trouble locating Shustin. It was popularly rumored (including among former KGB agents) that he had emigrated to Israel and died there in the 1970's, but this rumor was not substantiated. However, there was found a letter that he had written to Alfons Noviks dated 12 July 1968, where Shustins address was in Kolpino (presumably the town near St. Petersburg). The Prosecutor General requested help from Interpol. The Moscow Interpol bureau reply 05 march 1997 denied that Shustin had ever been registered at the Kolpino address, nor had they any other information about him. A repeated request from the Prosecutor-General with a copy of Shustins letter attached did however recieve a reply : Shustin had lived in Kolpino from 1960 until 1972, and died 03 August 1978.

Due to the death of the accused the case was therefore closed on 30 June 1997.

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Re: Latvia & Lithuania: Semion Shustin & Alfons Noviks

Post by David Thompson » 27 Feb 2008 22:48

Thanks, AAA.

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Re: Latvia & Lithuania: Semion Shustin & Alfons Noviks

Post by Sergey » 29 Feb 2008 16:48

Shustin Semyon Matveevich.

http://www.uvd.kirov.ru/history/chiefs/
ШУСТИН Семен Матвеевич
капитан госбезопасности, начальник Управления НКВД по Кировской области,
1941 - 1942 годы
Captain Shustin was a head on NKVD in Kirov area (about 1000 km NE from Moscow). 1941-1942. Apparently just after his Latvian appointment.

I have 'googled' Семен Матвеевич Шустин and found a fragment of a book (that unfortunately is unavailabe). But it appears (from the fragment) that Semyon Matveevich Shustin was born in 1908 in Tver region (200 km NW from Moscow). Btw, Shustin is a typical Russian surname and names Semyon and Matvey (name of his father) are very common among Russians. For example

http://www.history.tver.ru/book/book.ph ... im=50&ch=1
ШУСТИН Анатолий Матвеевич. род. 1901, Спировский район. Призван в 1941. Начальник политотдела, Пропал без вести , октябрь 1941.
Shustin Anatoliy Matveevich was born 1901 in Spirovsky district [of Tver region]. In the Red Army from 1941. Was a head of politotdel (politdepartment), missed October 1941.

It is possible that he was a brother of Semyon Shustin. So I strongly doubt that Semyon Matveevich Shustin was Jewish. Likely Latvian nationalists were confused by his Jewish-looking name or intentially invented the version about his Jewishness to approve pogroms.

Anyway I failed to find any primary source that is able to prove that Shustin was Jewish. It is unknown where Semyon Matveevich Shustin was born exactly. Who were his parents and grandparents.

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Re: Latvia & Lithuania: Semion Shustin & Alfons Noviks

Post by michael mills » 01 Mar 2008 03:18

It is always possible that Semen Matveevich Shustin was a pseudonym.

It was quite common for Bolsheviks to adopt pseudonyms, and even a falsified ethnic identity, in order to conceal their origins. Such procedures were particularly common among Bolsheviks of Jewish ethnic origin, if only to hide the presence of the relatively large number of such persons in the Bolshevik ranks, which if known would have discredited the revolutionary movement in the eyes of a Russian population that was in the main strongly anti-Jewish in outlook.

A prime example of such falsification of ethnic origin is Vladimir Dekanozov, the Soviet ambassador in Berlin in 1940, who claimed to be a Georgian. His claimed Georgian identity was well known to be false, and some claimed that he was actually Armenian. However, it is most likely that his real name was Ivan Vasilievich Protopopov, and that he was born in Estonia to a Russian father and a mother from an assimilated Jewish family; that was the claim made by Liudas Dovydenas, a Lithuanian writer who knew him.

The interesting thing about Bolsheviks who adopted false identities is that they not only changed their own names, they also changed the names of their fathers by adopting fictitious patronymics.

So Shustin's true ethnic origin cannot be known until his real identity is discovered.

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Re: Latvia & Lithuania: Semion Shustin & Alfons Noviks

Post by Grellber » 20 Feb 2019 10:44

Tried to copy in a picture here, but it does not work

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