Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal. Volume VII. Nuremberg: IMT, 1947. pp. 438-439
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All these monstrous crimes had a definite
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system of their own. There was uniformity in the murder methods: One and the same system prevailed in the construction of the gas chambers, in the mass production of the round tins containing the poisonous substances “Cyclone A” or “Cyclone B,” the ovens of the crematories are all built on the same typical lines, and one was the plan extending over all the camps of destruction. There was uniformity in the construction of the evil-smelling death machines, which the Germans referred to as “gaswagen” but which our people called the “soul destroyers”; and there was the same technical elaboration in the construction of mobile mills for grinding human bones. All this indicates one sole and evil will uniting all the individual assassins and executioners.
It became obvious that German thermo-technicians and chemists, architects, toxicologists, mechanics, and physicians were engaged in this rationalization of mass murder on instructions received from Hitler’s government and from the Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces. It was also evident that the “death factories” brought into existence an entire series of auxiliary industries.
But the unity of this will-to-evil was not only apparent there, where a special technique had been evolved to serve the purpose of very evil murder. The unity of this will-to-evil was also apparent from the similarity of the methods employed by the murderers, from the uniformity of type in the murder technique evolved as well as from the fact that, in cases where no special technique was employed, use was made of ordinary weapons of the German Armed Forces.
From the evidence which I shall submit later on you will see that the sites where the Germans buried their victims were opened up by Soviet legal doctors in the north and south of the country. These sites were separated from each other by thousands of kilometers, and it is quite evident that the crimes were perpetrated by perfectly different people; but the methods employed were absolutely identical. The wounds were invariably inflicted on the same parts of the body. And identical, too, were the preparations for camouflaging the gigantic graves as antitank ditches and trenches. Everywhere the unarmed and defenseless people, on their arrival at the execution ground, were ordered, in practically the same terms, to undress and lie face downwards in previously prepared pits. As soon as the first batch was shot, whether in the swamps of Bielorussia or the foothills of the Caucasus, the row was covered with quicklime and the second batch of unarmed and defenseless people, of people about to die, were again ordered by the murderers to undress and lie down on that corrosive, blood-soaked mass which covered the first batch of victims.