Russian war correspondents attached to the armies that are advancing along the front from Moscow to the Sea of Azov are reporting almost unbelievable details of the evidences of Nazi terror against Jews discovered in the liberated towns and villages. The cold-blooded systematic murder of tens of thousands of Jews by fire, electricity, poison, machineguns and the noose is revealed in authenticated stories appearing daily in the press here and elsewhere throughout the Soviet Union. The following accounts are merely a “sampling” of hundreds of similar reports:
In Remontnoye, in the Rostov district, which was wrested from the Germans only a few days ago, one correspondent was told how the Nazis placed the entire Jewish population of the town, mainly refugees who had fled from the Ukraine, in a specially constructed barbed-wire enclosure at the out-skirts of the town. Scores of old men, women and children were forced to walk over strands of the wire which had been electrified and were electrocuted on the spot. When some of the prisoners asked for something to drink, they were given poisoned water, which killed most of them. Those who still survived were machine-gunned. In Remontnoye the Nazi score was 300 dead.
In Elista, all the Jews were loaded on trucks and taken to open fields outside the town, where all the adults were shot. The children were given poison. Here the Nazi score was 93 families, comprising more than 300 individuals. The official account even includes the names of many of the victims. In another small village, Zhutovo, in the Stalingrad district, hundreds of Jewish evacuees from the Ukraine, were driven into lethal gas chambers and suffocated. The bodies of the victims, including many children, were flung into a ravine three kilometers from the village. Here the number of dead is unknown.
In the village of Zaventoye, however, it is known that the Nazis killed 200 Jews, after first harnessing them to carts and forcing them to drag heavy loads. In this village many Jews were locked in a large cellar where they were kept without food and water for several days before being executed. In Shenfold, in the Stepanov district, a group of S.S. men killed sixty Jewish women, after first raping the younger women and girls.
In Novel, a fairly large town adjoining Velikie Luki, a detachment of Gestapo men broke into the town in the middle of the night and drove hundreds of half-dressed Jews outside the town, beating them as they went along. Other Gestapo men plundered the houses of Jews and non-Jews alike. When a crowd of nearly 2,000, mostly Jews, had been lined up against the walls of the famous Navel sanatorium, they were ordered to undress. Hesitant girls and women were prodded with bayonets until they obeyed. Then they were ordered to lie face downward on the ground and the Nazis beat their naked victims with rods and iron bars. When they tired of this sport, the Germans lined up the survivors in front of a large ditch and several machineguns were turned loose on them. The cries of the massacred women and children could be heard for miles.
In Stavropol, on the Volga, during the several months that the village was under Nazi occupation, the entire Jewish population was exterminated by stabbing, hanging and shooting, with the exception of a few who were enabled by Russian neighbors to flee to the woods and join guerrilla bands and others who joined a band of young people who hid in the towns all during the occupation, constantly harassing the Germans.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.