Babi Yar - information about the massacre, and the coverup

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Postby White Rose » 24 Oct 2004 06:51

Sergey Romanov wrote:Since Babij Jar topic came up again, I will post another comment about "revisionist" arguments.


I'm ashamed to say that my introduction to Babi Yar was from Ball's site, as that was the first I'd ever heard of it. It speaks volumes as the scope of the human tragedy of the Holocaust that the massacre of almost 35,000, and then the subseqent killings of another 70,000 are but a footnote in the overall scheme.

I'd like to compliment you on your refutaion of Ball's "analysis". I believe I've seen your work on other forums, as well as the alt.revisionism newsgroup. Keep up the good work. :)

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Postby White Rose » 24 Oct 2004 07:04

Konrad wrote:And besides all these testimonies by all these eyewitnesses, were their testimonies backed up by any excavations undertaken at the site after the war, or some core drillings, similar to those by Prof. Kola in Belzec, Poland?


I was hoping to hear something about this when I started this thread. It's not clear to me what the disposition of the remains are. They were dug up and burned, but as I'm not familiar with the geography of the area, I'm not sure if a river dispersal was possible, or if they simply scattered it around the area, or reburied it. If either of the first two were performed, then I doubt a forensic examination would turn up too much.

I've read a detailed account of the escape of some of the labourers, but is there an account of what was done with the remains after they were burned? (Excuse me if this is in one of the links already posted; I haven't read my way through all the threads, and don't mean to ask a question that has already been answered).

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Postby Sergey Romanov » 24 Oct 2004 10:10

SKs tell about that in their stories.
According to Budnik, they mixed the ashes with the soil.
According to Kaper they mixed the ashes with sand and poured the mixture on the roads to hide the traces.
According to Trubakov they also poured the ashes in different ogorody (kitchen gardens).
Although ashes were still incriminating, at least one couldn't establish from them the scale of the crime, the identities of those killed and the time when it was done. "Hey, maybe we burned the dead animals there! Prove that we did not."

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Postby David Thompson » 24 Oct 2004 12:39

There is another reference in a contemporaneous German document to the main Babi Yar massacre in "Operational Situation Report USSR No. 6" which is posted at: viewtopic.php?p=552687#552687

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Postby David Thompson » 25 Oct 2004 02:24

Here's another contemporaneous German document that mentions the largest Babi Yar massacre in passing, from Arad, Yitzak, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, The Einsatzgruppen Reports, Holocaust Library, New York: 1989. pp. 217 - 220:

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 128

The Chief of the Security Police and Security Service
Berlin,
November 2, 1941
50 copies
----------------
[50th copy]
(see distribution list)

OPERATIONAL SITUATION REPORT USSR No. 128
Einsatzgruppe C
Location: Kiev
...............
Execution activities

As to purely execution matters, approximately 80,000 person have been liquidated by now by the Kommandos of the Einsatzgruppe.

Among these are approximately 8,000 person convicted after investigation of anti-German or Bolshevist activities.

The remainder was liquidated in retaliatory actions.

Several retaliatory measures were carried out as large-scale actions. The largest of these actions took place immediately after the occupation of Kiev. It was carried out exclusively against Jews and their entire families.The difficulties resulting from such a large-scale action, in particular concerning the round-up, were overcome in Kiev by requesting the Jewish population to assemble, using wall posters. Although at first only the participation of 5-6000 Jews had been expected, more than 30,000 Jews arrived who, until the moment of their execution, still believed in their resettlement, thanks to extremely clever organization [propaganda].

Even though approximately 75,000 Jews have been liquidated in this manner, it is evident at this time that this cannot be the best solution of the Jewish problem. Although we succeeded, particularly in smaller towns and villages, in bringing about a complete liquidation of the Jewish problem, nevertheless, again and again it has been observed in the larger cities that after such an action, all Jews have indeed been eradicated. But, when after a certain period of time a Kommando returns, the number of Jews still found in the city always surpasses considerably the number of executed Jews.

Besides, the Kommandos have also carried out military actions in numerous cases. On request of the Army, separate platoons of the Kommandos have repeatedly combed the woods searching for partisans, and have accomplished successful work there.

Besides, prisoners-of-war marching along the highways were systematically overtaken [by the Kommandos of the EG]. All those elements were liquidated who did not possess identification papers and who were suspected, once set free, of [possibly] committing acts of sabotage against the German Army, the German authorities, or the population. In numerous cases, systematic searches for parachutists were carried out, with the result that approximately 20 parachutists were captured, among them a Russian who, at his interrogation supplied extremely important information to the Army.

Finally, it should be mentioned that prisoners-of-war were taken over from the prisoner assembly points and the prisoner-of-war transit camps, although at times, considerable disagreements with the camp commander occurred.

...............
Collaboration with the Wehrmacht and the Secret Field Police

This concerns the relation of the Einsatzgruppe and its Kommandos with other offices and authorities. Its relation to the Army is especially noteworthy.

From the outset, the Einsatzgruppe succeeded in establishing excellent terms with all Army headquarters. This made it possible for the Einsatzgruppe never to operate in the rear of the military zone. On the contrary, the request was frequently made by the Army to operate as far on the front as possible. In a great number of cases, it happened that the support of the Einsatzkommandos was requested by the fighting troops. Advance detachments of the Einsatzgruppe also participated in every large military action. They entered newly captured localities side by side with the fighting troops. Thus, in all cases, the utmost support was given. For example, in this connection, it is worth mentioning the participation in the capture of Zhitomir, where the first tanks entering the city were immediately followed by three cars of Einsatzkommando 4a.

As a result of the successful work of the Einsatzgruppe, the Security Police is also held in high regard, in particular by the HQ of the German Army. The liaison officers stationed in Army HQ are loyally briefed of all military operations, and, besides, they receive the utmost cooperation. The Commander of the 6th Army, Generalfeldmarschall von Richenau, has repeatedly praised the work of the Einsatzkommandos and, accordingly, supported the interests of the SD with his staff. The extraordinary success of the Kommandos was a contributing factor: for example, the capture of Major-General Sokolov, then information concerning a plan by parachutists to blast a bridge, and the transmission of other important military information.

Only with respect to the Jewish problem could a complete understanding with junior Army officers not be reached until quite recently. This was most noticeable during the taking over of prisoner-of-war camps. As a particularly clear example, the conduct of a camp commander in Vinitsa is to be mentioned. He strongly objected to the transfer of 362 Jewish prisoners-of-war carried out by his deputy, and even started court martial proceedings against the deputy and two other officers. Unfortunately, it often occurred that the Einsatzkommandos had to suffer more or less hidden reproaches for their persistent stand on the Jewish problem. Another difficulty was added by the order from the Army High Command prohibiting entry by the SD into the POW transit camps. (1) These difficulties have probably been overcome by now due to a new order from the Army High Command. This order clearly states that the Wehrmacht has to cooperate in the solution of this problem, and, in particular, that the necessary authorizations must be granted the SD to the fullest extent. However, it became evident in the past few days that this policy-making order still has not reached lower [military] authorities. In the future, further cooperation and assistance by the Wehrmacht authorities can be expected. As far as the province of the 6th Army HQ is concerned, Generalfeldmarschall von Reichenau issued an order on October 10, 1941, which states clearly that the Russian soldier has to be considered in principal to be a representative of Bolshevism and thus to be treated accordingly by the Wehrmacht.

No difficulties whatsoever resulted from the cooperation with the Secret Military Police. To be sure, it was noted that the Security Military Police preferred to handle matters concerning the Security Police only, evidently because of a lack of other duties; however, these defects were always eliminated following consultation. Besides, the latest order of the Chief of the Military Police has probably eliminated any remaining doubts. The exchange of informational material between the SD and the GFP took place without any disagreement. The original doubts whether the GFP would not retain some of the cases were not justified. Besides, it has already been ordered by Army HQ and its staff that matters concerning the Security Police have to be immediately transferred to the Kommandos.

As for the counter-intelligence offices in the rear, the work there is running smoothly. Counter-intelligence officers regularly visit [EK Hqts] and Kommandos in order to transfer files, as well as to receive orders.

Since the work of the Security Police has been carried out smoothly and has won high recognition, it can be assumed that this present relationship will also be maintained in the future.

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Postby David Thompson » 25 Oct 2004 02:55

Here's another one (bringing the total to six), from Arad, Yitzak, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, The Einsatzgruppen Reports, Holocaust Library, New York: 1989. p. 168:

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 101

Berlin, October 2, 1941
Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service
48 copies
-------------
(36th copy)
OPERATIONAL SITUATION REPORT USSR No.101
Einsatzgruppe C
Location: Kiev


Sonderkommando 4a in collaboration with Einsatzgruppe HQ and two Kommandos of police regiment South, executed 33,771 Jews in Kiev on September 29 and 30, 1941.

Einsatzgruppe D
Location: Nikolayev

The Kommandos continued the liberation of the area from Jews and Communist elements. In the period covered by the report, the towns of Nikolayev and Kherson in particular were freed of Jews. Remaining officials there were appropriately treated. From September 16 to 30, 22,467 Jews and Communists were executed. Total number 35,782. Investigations again show that the high Communist officials everywhere have fled to safety. On the whole, leading partisans or leaders of sabotage detachments have been seized.

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Postby David Thompson » 25 Oct 2004 03:48

Here are three participant accounts, taken from (ed.) Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen, and Volker Riess, The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders, Free Press, New York: 1991, pp. 63-68:

2. `It took nerves of steel'
The murder of 33,771 Jews in the Babi Yar ravine (29/30 September 1941)

Statement of truck-driver Hofer:

One day I was instructed to drive my truck outside the town. I was accompanied by a Ukrainian. It must have been about 10 o'clock. On the way there we overtook Jews carrying luggage marching on foot in the same direction that we were travelling. There were whole families. The further we got out of town the denser the columns became. Piles of clothing lay in a large open field. These piles of clothing were my destination. The Ukrainian showed me how to get in there.

After we had stopped in the area near the piles of clothes the truck was immediately loaded up with clothing. This was carried out by Ukrainians. I watched what happened when the Jews — men, women and children — arrived. The Ukrainians led them past a number of different places where one after the other they had to remove their luggage, then their coats, shoes and overgarments and also under-wear. They also had to leave their valuables in a designated place. There was a special pile for each article of clothing. It all happened very quickly and anyone who hesitated was kicked or pushed by the Ukrainians to keep them moving. I don't think it was even a minute from the time each Jew took off his coat before he was standing there completely naked. No distinction was made between men, women and

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children. One would have thought that the Jews that came later would have had a chance to turn back when they saw the others in front of them having to undress. It still surprises me today that this did not happen.

Once undressed, the Jews were led into a ravine which was about 150 metres long, 30 metres wide and a good 15 metres deep. Two or three narrow entrances led to this ravine through which the Jews were channelled. When they reached the bottom of the ravine they were seized by members of the Schutzpolizei and made to lie down on top of Jews who had already been shot. This all happened very quickly. The corpses were literally in layers. A police marksman came along and shot each Jew in the neck with a sub-machine-gun at the spot where he was lying. When the Jews reached the ravine they were so shocked by the horrifying scene that they completely lost their will. It

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may even have been that the Jews themselves lay down in rows to wait to be shot.

There were only two marksmen carrying out the executions. One of them was working at one end of the ravine, the other at the other end. I saw these marksmen stand on the layers of corpses and shoot one after the other.

The moment one Jew had been killed, the marksman would walk across the bodies of the executed Jews to the next Jew, who had meanwhile lain down, and shoot him. It went on in this way uninterruptedly, with no distinction being made between men, women and children. The children were kept with their mothers and shot with them.

I only saw this scene briefly. When I got to the bottom of the ravine I was so shocked by the terrible sight that I could not bear to look for long. In the hollow I saw that there were already three rows of bodies lined up over a distance of about sixty metres. How many layers of bodies there were on top of each other I could not see. I was so astonished and dazed by the sight of the twitching blood-smeared bodies that I could not properly register the details. In addition to the two marksmen there was a `packer' at either entrance to the ravine. These `packers' were Schutzpolizisten, whose job it was to lay

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the victim on top of the other corpses so that all the marksman had to do as he passed was fire a shot.

When the victims came along the paths to the ravine and at the last moment saw the terrible scene they cried out in terror. But at the very next moment they were already being knocked over by the `packers' and made to lie down with the others. The next group of people could not see this terrible scene because it took place round a corner.

Most people put up a fight when they had to undress and there was a lot of screaming and shouting. The Ukrainians did not take any notice. They just drove them down as quickly as possible into the ravine through the entrances.

From the undressing area you could not make out the ravine, which was about 150 metres away from the first pile of clothes. A biting wind was blowing; it was very cold. The shots from the ravine could not be heard at the undressing area. This is why I think the Jews did not realize in time what lay ahead of them. I still wonder today why the Jews did not try and do something about it. Masses kept on coming from the city to this place, which they apparently entered unsuspectingly, still under the impression that they were being resettled.


Statement of Kurt Werner, member of Sonderkommando 4a:

That day the entire Kommando with the exception of one guard set out at about six o'clock in the morning for these shootings. I myself went there by lorry. It was all hands to the deck. We drove for about twenty minutes in a northerly direction. We stopped on a cobbled road in the open country. The road stopped there. There were countless Jews gathered there and a place had been set up where the Jews had to hand in their clothes and their luggage. A kilometre further on I saw a large natural ravine. The terrain there was sandy. The ravine was about 10 metres deep, some 400 metres long, about 80 metres wide across the top and about 10 metres wide at the bottom.

As soon as I arrived at the execution area I was sent down to the bottom of the ravine with some of the other men. It was not long before the first Jews were brought to us over the side of the ravine. The Jews had to lie face down on the earth by the ravine walls. There were three groups of marksmen down at the bottom of the ravine, each made up of about twelve men. Groups of Jews were sent down to each of these execution squads simultaneously. Each successive group

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of Jews had to lie down on top of the bodies of those that had already been shot. The marksmen stood behind the Jews and killed them with a shot in the neck. I still recall today the complete terror of the Jews when they first caught sight of the bodies as they reached the top edge of the ravine. Many Jews cried out in terror. It's almost impossible to imagine what nerves of steel it took to carry out that dirty work down there. It was horrible... .

I had to spend the whole morning down in the ravine. For some of the time I had to shoot continuously. Then I was given the job of loading sub-machine-gun magazines with ammunition. While I was doing that, other comrades were assigned to shooting duty. Towards midday we were called away from the ravine and in the afternoon I, with some of the others up at the top, had to lead the Jews to the ravine. While we were doing this there were other men shooting down in the ravine. The Jews were led by us up to the edge of the ravine and from there they walked down the slope on their own. The shooting that day must have lasted until . . . 17.00 or 18.00 hours. Afterwards we were taken back to our quarters. That evening we were given alcohol (schnapps) again.


Anton Heidborn (Sonderkommando 4a) on the days that followed:

The third day after the execution we were taken back to the execution area. On our arrival we saw a woman sitting by a bush who had apparently survived the execution unscathed. This woman was shot by the SD man who was accompanying us. I do not know his name. We also saw someone waving their hand from among the pile of bodies. I don't know whether it was a man or a woman. I should think that this person was finished off by the SD man as well, though I did not actually see it.

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The same day work began to cover up the bodies. Civilians were used for this task. The ravine walls were also partly blown up.

After that day I never returned to the execution area. The next few days were spent smoothing out banknotes belonging to the Jews that had been shot. I estimate these must have totalled millions. I do not know what happened to the money. It was packed up in sacks and sent off somewhere.

In Kiev, difficulties that arose during the execution of a major action of this type – particularly with regard to registration – were over-come by the use of posters announcing that all Jews were to report for resettlement. Although it was initially thought that the action would only involve some 5,000 to 6,000 Jews, more than 30,000 Jews reported, who as a result of extremely efficient organization still believed they were going to be resettled right up until the time they were executed.

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Postby David Thompson » 25 Oct 2004 04:08

Here's a seventh contemporaneous German document, from Arad, Yitzak, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, The Einsatzgruppen Reports, Holocaust Library, New York: 1989. pp. 164-165:

The Chief of the Security Police and Security Service
Berlin,
September 28, 1941

48 copies (36th copy)

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 97

Einsatzgruppe C
Location: Kiev

Vorkommando 4a [operates] directly with the combat troops in Kiev since September 19. Einsatzgruppe HQ came up on September 24. Office Building NKVD, October 24th street, assigned and commandeered as seat of Einsatzgruppe HQ. Building evacuated this morning to move into emergency quarters in the one-time Tsar's castle. Town almost destroyed upon entry of troops. Numerous barricades and tank traps put up in main street. In addition, other strong defensive installations in the town area. On September 20, the citadel blew up and the Artillery Commander and his chief of staff were killed. On September 24, violent explosions in the quarters of the Feldkommandatur; the ensuing fire has not yet been extinguished. Fire in the center of the town. Very valuable buildings destroyed. So far, fire-fighting practically without any effect. Demolitions by blasting being carried out to bring the fire under control. Fire in the immediate neighborhood of this office. Had to be evacuated for this reason. Considerable damage done in and around the building by blasting. Blasts continuing. Also, fire breaking out. Up to now, 670 mines detected in buildings, according to a mine-laying plan which was discovered: all public buildings and squares are mined, among them, it is alleged, also the building assigned to this office for future use. Building being searched most assiduously. In the course of this search, 60 Molotov cocktails of explosives were detected and re-moved. In the Lenin Museum, hundredweights of dynamite dis-

-164-

covered which were to be touched off by wireless. It was repeatedly observed that fires broke out the moment buildings were taken over. As has been proved, Jews played a pre-eminent part. Allegedly 150,000 Jews living here. Verification of these statements has not been possible yet. 1,600 arrests in the course of the first action, measures being evolved to check the entire Jewish population. Execution of at least 50,000 Jews planned. German Army welcomes measures and demands drastic procedure. Garrison commander advocates public execution of 20 Jews. A larger number of NKVD officials, political commissars, partisan leaders and partisans arrested. According to reliable information, demolition battalion of the NKVD and considerable number of NKVD men in Kiev. This morning, enemy plots detected. Contact established with German Army and authorities. Participated pre-eminently in setting up town administration. Informants posted. Vorkommando of the Higher SS and Police Leaders arrived. Detailed reports to follow.

-165-

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Postby White Rose » 26 Oct 2004 04:05

Sergey Romanov wrote:SKs tell about that in their stories.
According to Budnik, they mixed the ashes with the soil.
According to Kaper they mixed the ashes with sand and poured the mixture on the roads to hide the traces.
According to Trubakov they also poured the ashes in different ogorody (kitchen gardens).


So, it appears as though they dispursed the evidence, rather then burying it. Makes sense, and complicates any forensic analysis.

Sergey Romanov wrote:Although ashes were still incriminating, at least one couldn't establish from them the scale of the crime, the identities of those killed and the time when it was done. "Hey, maybe we burned the dead animals there! Prove that we did not."


I'm wondering if there would be a way to prove ashes were human. (DNA? Another technique?) Of course, the minimizing of the evidence helps to erase the chain of evidence needed to prove the crime, so that makes sense.

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Postby Erik » 26 Oct 2004 22:21

White Rose wrote:
So, it appears as though they dispursed the evidence, rather then burying it. Makes sense, and complicates any forensic analysis.
[...]
I'm wondering if there would be a way to prove ashes were human. (DNA? Another technique?) Of course, the minimizing of the evidence helps to erase the chain of evidence needed to prove the crime, so that makes sense.


Have you ever wondered why it made no sense, in the end? I.e., the complicating and minimizing efforts?

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Postby White Rose » 27 Oct 2004 01:36

Erik wrote:White Rose wrote:
So, it appears as though they dispursed the evidence, rather then burying it. Makes sense, and complicates any forensic analysis.
[...]
I'm wondering if there would be a way to prove ashes were human. (DNA? Another technique?) Of course, the minimizing of the evidence helps to erase the chain of evidence needed to prove the crime, so that makes sense.


Have you ever wondered why it made no sense, in the end? I.e., the complicating and minimizing efforts?


Why did this make no sense, if I'm understanding your question correctly?

The Nazi's saw the effect that the discovery of Katyn had, and they didn't want to feed the propoganda machine. The work gave them "plausible deniability", whereby they had a defence if they lost the war.

For muder trials, they had erased the cause of death, the forensic remains, and the scale of the crime. While criminal actions don't always make sense, the criminals are always trying to erase evidence of the crimes.

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Postby Erik » 27 Oct 2004 02:42

White Rose:

The Nazi's saw the effect that the discovery of Katyn had, and they didn't want to feed the propoganda machine. The work gave them "plausible deniability", whereby they had a defence if they lost the war.

For muder trials, they had erased the cause of death, the forensic remains, and the scale of the crime. While criminal actions don't always make sense, the criminals are always trying to erase evidence of the crimes.


Thank you for your answer.

Of course, there is no end to questions!

The Nazi’s discovered the Katyn, and published the discovery. What did they eventually learn from the ”effect”?

They did not get the effect they wanted, did they?

Why wasn’t their propaganda machine feeded to their ”taste”?

What ”plausible deniability” from the erasing of evidence of the crimes could they possibly have used to their defence, when they had lost the war?

For murder trials, they had erased the cause of death, the forensic remains, and the scale of the crime.


To what effect?

What would have been different at the murder trials, if they had refrained from any such effort?

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Postby White Rose » 28 Oct 2004 06:32

Erik wrote:Of course, there is no end to questions!


There always are. :)

Erik wrote:The Nazi’s discovered the Katyn, and published the discovery. What did they eventually learn from the ”effect”?

They did not get the effect they wanted, did they?

Why wasn’t their propaganda machine feeded to their ”taste”?


Well, the shock discovery of a massacre is always good for outrage. No, their propoganda on the effect didn't have the desired effect of dividing the Allies against themselves. I think it did feed their propoganda machine, but didn't have the overwhelming effect; it did cause some outrage, and continues to be a sore point to post-war governments.

Erik wrote:What ”plausible deniability” from the erasing of evidence of the crimes could they possibly have used to their defence, when they had lost the war?


Well, Katyn had only been thousands, and they had been from the Polish Army. (I think the actual figure is much higher, but this is what was presented by the Nazi find). Finding tens of thousands, maybe a hundred thousand Civilians... that would be a great defeat, both for morale and for enemy propoganda. And it would preclude any chance of a negotiated peace (not that there was much hope of that, but it was there).

Erik wrote:
For murder trials, they had erased the cause of death, the forensic remains, and the scale of the crime.


To what effect?

What would have been different at the murder trials, if they had refrained from any such effort?


Having the bodies would give an exact scope of the crimes. The method of death could be determined, and the manner. An estimate of the timeframe of the killings. Identifying the victims would allow their origins to be traced, and consipracy to commit murder could implicate all of the various persons involved in the killings, including the persons rounding up, transporting, and the actual shooters.

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Postby Erik » 28 Oct 2004 15:17

Erik wrote:
For murder trials, they had erased the cause of death, the forensic remains, and the scale of the crime.



To what effect?

What would have been different at the murder trials, if they had refrained from any such effort?



Having the bodies would give an exact scope of the crimes. The method of death could be determined, and the manner. An estimate of the timeframe of the killings. Identifying the victims would allow their origins to be traced, and consipracy to commit murder could implicate all of the various persons involved in the killings, including the persons rounding up, transporting, and the actual shooters.


IOW: The erasing of ”the cause of death, the forensic remains, and the scale of the crime” in this "sucessful" manner, has made murder trials against the Nazis impossible?

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Postby Askold » 28 Oct 2004 19:14

I would figure this would be one of the larger mass killings in Russia


- one of larger mass killings in Ukraine, not Russia. Time to get the geography straight.

Aside the point - why would Soviets try to cover up the crime after the Germans? If am not mistaken, plans were to build a stadium on top of the grave site.


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