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Addendum to “Evidence for the Presence of ‘Gassed’ Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories, Part 2”

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By Thomas Kues

Below I present a number of additions to the survey material presented in the recently published “Evidence for the Presence of ‘Gassed’ Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories, Part 2”1 which did not make it to the deadline. The additions are presented in order of the sections to which they belong.

Section 3.3.18. “Tsetsilia Mikhaylovna Shapiro

The relevant passage from Shapiro’s testimony reads as follows:

In addition to the local Jewish population, Jews from other countries – France, Germany, and elsewhere – were transported to the Minsk ghetto. The Jews of each country were settled in the ghetto separately. Barbed wire separated these different ‘associations of compatriots’ one from the other. They were forbidden to have contact with each other or with the local Jews.2

Section 3.3.19. “Avraham Tory (Golub)

The Unknown Black Book provides us with the names of four additional camps in Lithuania with Jewish inmates:

Gerulyay – Jewish camp with women and children (p. 303, 306).

Kocheniski (Kotsynishki) – agricultural labor camp with Jewish prisoners located not far from Kovno (pp. 313-315).

Renyay – Jewish camp (p. 303).

Vishvyany – Jewish camp (p. 303).

This brings the total number of camps to 47.

Additional witnesses

3.3.20. Nikolayev Prilezhaev

Nikolayev Prilezhaev was a 75-year-old professor and member of the Belorussian Academy of Sciences who escaped (at an unclear date) from occupied Minsk with the help of partisans. Soon after his escape his account of the suffering of the Jews of Minsk was recorded by M. Grubian, a correspondent of the Yiddish-language newspaper Eynikait. In this we read:

Professor Prilezhaev says that not a trace remained of Minsk’s native Jews, and that a certain number of Jews from Lodz and Hamburg are still languishing in the ghetto, dying from hunger and disease.3

Any convoys of Łódź Jews to reach Minsk must have done so via the “pure extermination camp” of Chełmno.

3.3.21. Golda Vasserman

In an account of the Tulchin Ghetto in Transnistria, written in 1944 by the Romanian Jewess Golda Vasserman, we find the following passage:

In the autumn of 1942, there were more than three thousand Jewish families from Ukraine, Bukovina and Bessarabia in the Tulchin ghetto. […]. Every day, new shipments of Jews would arrive in the ghetto. They were in part people who had been hiding in the forests for a long time, had made their way to the partisans and had then fallen into the hands of the fascist cutthroats, and in part Jews from various countries in Europe that had been occupied by Hitler’s forces.4

According to mainstream historiography only Jews from Bessarabia, Bukovina and Romania proper were deported to Transnistria.

3.3.22. Regina Leshchinskaya

Regina Leshchinskaya (b. 1930) was interned in the Pechora camp in northern Transnistria. She states that “in 1942, many Jews from Romania, Poland and Bessarabia” were brought to this camp.5 Mainstream historiography is unaware of any transports of Polish Jews to Transnistria.

3.3.23. Nisim Anolik

Nisim Anolik and his brother Benjamin were deported to Estonia from Lithuania on 3 September 1943.6 After first arriving in the Vaivara camp they were transferred to one labor camp after another, until in early February 1944 they found thenselves in the Ereda camp:

Most of the people in the camp came from Kaunas and Vilno. There were also people from Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Riga, Brussels, and Paris. They lived separately from us, but we found out about them, since we would receive clothes with their names on them after they had been exterminated. All the prisoners wore numbers on the left side of their chests and on their right leg near the knee.7

At a noth further stated date in May 1944 the Anolik brothers were transferred again, this time to the Klooga camp.8 The first and only convoy of French Jews to reach Estonia – according to orthodox historiography – departed Paris on 15 May 1944 with Kovno and Tallinn as its destinations (cf. 2.3.3.). According to Estonian historian Meelis Maripuu the French Jews who did not disembark in Kovno on 20 May arrived in Tallinn on the following day, i.e. 21 May 1944, and that on the same day “about 60 of the weaker prisoners were sent to ‘work’ from which they never returned”; 60 more French Jews were sent “to work in the forest” on 14 July, while another group of “about 100 sick prisoners” were sent away on 14 August. All the remaining French Jews were kept in the Tallinn Central Prison; later three Jews who were suspected of attempting to escape were shot.9 Although Maripuu assumes that the Jews sent away from the prison on 21 May were shot, it is not out of the question that they were in fact transferred to a labor camp, and that the Paris Jews observed by Anolik in Ereda came from this transport. As for the Jews from Prague, Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna they may have arrived with the documented transports from Theresienstadt and Berlin to Raasiku in the summer of 1942 or indirectly via the Riga Ghetto. The presence in Estonia of Jews from Brussels, i.e. from Belgium, however, is anomalous from an orthodox viewpoint.

2 Joshua Rubenstein, Ilya Altman, The unknown black book: the Holocaust in the German-occupied Soviet territories, Indiana University Press/USHMM, Bloomington & Indianapolis 2008, p. 257.

3 Ibid, p. 247 (Original source: GARF f. 8114, op. 1, d. 961, ll. 337-337ob.)

4 Ibid., p. 149f. (Original source: GARF f. 8114, op. 1, d. 959, ll.194-196.)

5 Boris Zabarko, Holocaust in the Ukraine, Valentine Mitchell, London 2005, p. 163. No date is given for this testimony.

6 J. Rubenstein, I. Altman, The unknown black book, op.cit., p. 332.

7 Ibid., p. 333 (Original source: Stenographic record of a conversation with Nisim Anolik, GARF f. 8114, op. 1, d. 940, ll. 16-21.)

8 Ibid., p. 334.

9 Toomas Hiio et al. (eds.), Estonia 1940-1945: Reports of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity, Tallinn 2006, p. 717.

Written by Thomas Kues in: Chelmno/Kulmhof,Eye-witnesses,Holocaust | Tags: