‘Unprecedented Torture’ – Russia publishes new details of Holocaust massacres of Jews

‘Jews were stripped naked and forced to wait in a blizzard for their turn to be shot.’

Susan Tawil, World Israel News

To commemorate this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, the former KGB (now the FSB) released new documentation of the Nazi genocide of Jews in the former Soviet Union during World War II.

The eleven documents from 1942 have been archived by the KGB for 82 years. They reveal horrifying details of the atrocities committed against the Soviet Jewish population and contribute further evidence to the record of this dark period of history.

According to the FSB, the newly disclosed documents contain information collected by the NKVD, the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs.

This Russian intelligence agency was tasked with compiling “documentary evidence of the Nazi atrocities against Soviet civilians and prisoners of war in the temporarily occupied territory of the Soviet Union.”

Much of the intel collected concerned German atrocities against the Jewish population of the area.

The material released contains graphic descriptions of the cruelty inflicted on Eastern Europe’s Jewish communities.

Accounts of numbers of Jews destroyed in scores of cities are accompanied by chilling narratives entailing the methodology of the murders.

For example: “The execution of Jews in Feodosia,” a port city on the southeastern Black Sea coast of Crimea, “was accompanied by unprecedented harassment and torture.”

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“Everyone was stripped, including babies, so naked Jewish people waited in the cold, during a blizzard, for their turn to be shot dead in the field.”

“The Jews were forced to lie down in the trench, then they were shot with machine guns, covered with a layer of earth, on which a new row of living people, naked, mad with terror, was placed, and they also were shot. All the children were poisoned in front of their parents with a poison administered by a hospital doctor.”

Other accounts are more succinct: “On December 27, 1941, in the Bereznyaki area, Germans murdered 350 Jews, of whom 120 were buried alive.”

The documents discuss the Nazi’s recruitment of local townspeople into an “auxiliary police” which assisted them in carrying out their nefarious plans.

“On August 26-27, 1942, in many western Ukraine towns, the Gestapo, with the active participation of Ukrainian nationalists, organized an ethnic cleansing. As a result, the local Jewish population was almost wiped out.”

German propaganda methods are described, such as spreading rumors and sending press releases blaming Jews for various accidents like office fires and explosions. In Kiev, this ploy ended with the shooting of some 30,000 Jews.

A letter from a Latvian soldier in Leningrad is included in the documents. In it, he jokes about his killing of 320 Jews. The shooting was excellent,” he writes.

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Other documents attest to the killing of Poles and Ukrainians who hid Jews—together with the Jews they sheltered, of course.

Other narratives are included, such as one in which the 700 Jews of Voroshilovsk are told to bring 30 kilograms of food and belongings for a three-day trip. On arrival, they are all murdered, with their valuables confiscated by the Nazis.

Alex Tanzer, a child of Holocaust survivors, reacted to the measured release of these documents.

He expressed outrage that Russia is “secretly…keeping details of the atrocities of the Nazis.”

“On behalf of the families of Holocaust survivors, I demand that President Putin releases all documents about the murder of Jews by Nazis. This can not only help research but also help many families find out what happened to their family members.”