THE PEOPLE’S VERDICT: A Full Report on the Proceedings of the Krasnodar and Kharkov German Atrocity Trials.
Hutchinson and Co., Ltd.; London, New York: 1944.
(Op Cit, pp. 7-9, Emphasis Added.)“THE TRIAL
“In the case of the Fascist Invaders and their Accomplices in KRASNODAR and Krasnodar Territory
“July 14 to 17, 1943
“On 14 July, 1943, in the city of Krasnodar, in the North Caucasus, the trial was opened before a military Tribunal presided over by Justiciary Colonel N. Y. Mayorov, President of the Military Tribunal of the North Caucasian Front, of the case of the atrocities perpetrated by the German fascist invaders and their accomplices in the area of the city of Krasnodar and the Krasnodar Territory during the period of their temporary occupation. Justiciary Major General L. I. Yachenin acted as State Prosecutor.
“The defendants in the case were: I. Kladov, I. Kotomtsev, M. Lastovina, G. Misan, Y. Naptsok, V. Pavlov, I. Paramonov, N. Pushkarev, I. Rechkalov, V. Tischenko and G. Tuchkov. They were charged with committing crimes covered by Articles 58-1a and 51-1b of the Criminal Code of the R. S. F. S. R., i.e., treason to the country.
“The accused were defended by Advocates A. I Nazarevsky, V. I. Yakunenko and S. K. Kaznacheyev as appointed by the court.
“The morning session on the 14th was taken up with the preliminary formalities. At the afternoon session the indictment was read and before the court there was unfolded a frightful picture of the wholesale murder of innocent Soviet citizens who were killed in thousands by the German fascist invaders during their temporary occupation of Krasnodar Territory.
“The preliminary investigation, the indictment stated, had revealed that all these acts of murder, outrage, violence and plunder were committed by the punitive units of the German 17th Army, commanded by Colonel General Rueff.
“The immediate supervision and execution of all these acts of brutality were vested in the Krasnodar Gestapo, headed by the German Chief of the Gestapo, Colonel Christmann.
“The Gestapo had under its command a special punitive unit of the Secret Police called the Sonderkommando SS-10-a, which was immediately responsible for the perpetration of all atrocities.
“The investigation revealed that persons under arrest were tortured and that prisoners confined in the cellar of the Krasnodar Gestapo were burnt to death: that patients in the Krasnodar Municipal Hospital, at the Berezansk Medical Colony and also in the Territory Children’s Hospital at Tretya Rechka Kochety Farm, in the Ust-Labinskaya District, were killed wholesale.
“Lastly, the investigation revealed that many thousands of Soviet citizens were put to death by asphyxiation by means of carbon monoxide in motor vehicles specially equipped for this purpose, known as ‘murder vans.’
“The Sonderkommando SS-10-a was a punitive unit of the Gestapo, numbering about 200 men. The head of this Sonderkommando was Colonel Christmann, a German, Chief of the Gestapo. His immediate assistants in the work of exterminating Soviet citizens were the German officers: Rabbe, Boss, Sargo, Salge, Hahn, Erich Meier, Paschen, Winz and Hans Münster, the German Army Surgeons in the prison and the Gestapo, Herz and Schuster and also officials of the Gestapo, the interpreters Jakob Eicks and Scherterlan.
“Furthermore, the following traitors, now before the court as defendants in the case, were recruited by the Gestapo and participated in the perpetration of all the aforementioned atrocities: V. Tischenko, G. Tuchkov, I. Rechkalov, M. Lastovina, N. Pushkarev, G. Misan, J. Naptsok, I. Paramonov, I. Kotomtsev, V. Pavlov and I. Kladov.
“The investigation revealed the following definite cases of atrocities perpetrated by the German fascist invaders in the Krasnodar Territory:
“Soon after the occupation of Krasnodar, the cellar of the Krasnodar Gestapo was crammed with prisoners as a result of systematic raids upon and the wholesale arrest of the peaceful inhabitants. No investigation whatever was made into the cases of the hundreds and thousands of innocent people thus arrested. The latter were subjected to the most brutal violence and torture. Their fate was decided arbitrarily by Colonel Christmann, Chief of the Gestapo, who personally issued the orders for their physical extermination.
“In the autumn of 1942, the Germans began to utilize specially equipped motor vehicles, which the population called ‘murder vans,’ for the purpose of doing away with Soviet citizens.
“These ‘murder vans’ were covered five-ton or seven-ton grey-painted motor trucks, driven by Diesel engines. The interior of these vans was lined with zinc-plated sheet iron. At the back they had double doors which closed hermetically. The floor consisted of a grating, beneath which their was a pipe that was connected with the exhaust pipe of the engine. The exhaust gas from the Diesel engine, which contained a high concentration of carbon monoxide, penetrated the interior of the van, causing the rapid poisoning and death from asphyxiation of the prisoners confined in it.
“Several times a week, and in January, before the Germans retreated from Krasnodar, two and three times a day, the ‘murder vans’ were filled with people confined in the cellar of the Gestapo, which was situated in 61 Orjonikidze Street. The loading of the vans was usually supervised by Captain Rabbe, Deputy Chief of the Gestapo and Governor of the Gestapo prison. Before being dragged from the cellar the prisoners were stripped of their clothing; then they were bundled into the ‘murder van’ 60 to 80 at a time. The doors of the van were then hermetically closed and the engine started. After standing with the engine running for several minutes, the van would drive to an anti-tank trench which had been dug outside the Measuring Instruments Factory on the outskirts of Krasnodar. As a rule, the murder vans were escorted by a convoy of police from the Sonderkommando SS-10-a. By the time the vans reached the anti-tank trench the people were asphyxiated by the gas. The bodies were flung into the trench and buried. Men, women and children were bundled into the van without discrimination.
“In the course of time, in spite of the efforts the Germans made to keep this fiendish method of exterminating Soviet citizens a secret, the inhabitants living in the neighbourhood of the Gestapo premises, and through them, the entire population, learned of the use to which these vans were being put.
“The prisoners in the cellar of the Gestapo also learned of the purpose of the ‘murder vans,’ and on being loaded into them they offered resistance. At the time of loading the courtyard of the Gestapo premises echoed with their shrieks and wailing. Owing to this they were seized and dragged into the van by force. Soon after the engine was started the shrieks of these unfortunate people gradually subsided as they succumbed to the gases….”
Of course, diesel engines NEVER produce "a high-concentration of carbon monoxide," EXCEPT in the very fertile imaginations of Greuelpropagandists.