KUIBYSHEV (Dec. 9)
The Jewish anti-fascist Committee today made public an eye-witness account of the mass-killing of 10,000 Jews in the city of Mariupol, in the Ukraine, given by a Jewish radioman, Arkadi Sorokin, who was one of the few Jews who escaped the massacre and succeeded in reaching the Russian lines. This is Sorokin’s story:
“After the Nazis had been in the city for some time, they ordered all Jews to assemble at military headquarters. All told, there were about 10,000 people. We were then jammed into barracks built to hold a few hundred persons. Here we were left for three days without food or water. On the fourth day we were herded out of the barracks and were told that we were being taken to a neighboring village. Ablebodied men were forced to walk while the women, children and aged and sick persons were loaded onto trucks.
“Our tragic caravan proceeded for some miles until we reached our destination – which was not the village but a large anti-tank pit on the outskirts of the town, which we ourselves had built in an attempt to check the Nazi advance. when the trucks halted at the pit, shrieks and cries filled the air as the people realized why they had been brought there. At a barked commend from a German officer we were told to take off all our clothes and to get into the pit. Those who did not undress were cruelly beaten, while others who were slow in climbing into the ditch were unceremoniously flung into it.
“Then the Nazis turned their machineguns on us. A hail of bullets literally rained down. I saw my wife and child fall dead before my eyes. to this day I do not know how I escaped being killed. After the shooting stopped the Nazis ordered those of us who were still alive to climb out of the ditch. We were driven into a pig sty and left there, with only our underwear to protect us from the cold. After a few hours a few of us determined to risk escaping. We broke the door of the sty and fled. Several kilometres away I encountered farmers who were digging potatoes. One of them gave me his coat after I told my story. After 34 days of travelling by sideroads and paths to avoid the Germans, I reached the Soviet lines.”