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U.S. Embassy in Russia Studies Report of Nazi Massacres of Jews, Russians in Ukraine

January 8, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Officials of the American embassy in Soviet Russia today studied detailed figures on the mass-executions by German military authorities in the Ukraine of some 100,000 civilians, the majority of them Jews. The figures are contained in an official note submitted to the embassy yesterday by Vyacheslav Molotoff, Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs.

The note, which will be transmitted to Washington, describes how thousands of Jews and Russians were massacred by the Nazis in Kiev, Odessa, Kamenetz-Podolsk, Maruipol and other Jewish-populated cities in the Ukraine. It also estimates that some 6,000 civilians, mostly Jews, were executed by the Nazis in the Polish city of Lwow after the Soviet Army was compelled to give up this city to the Germans. Declaring that the slaying of the victims was accomplished by "hanging, shooting, knifing, suffocation and by explosives," the Soviet Foreign Commissar emphasizes in his note that the Soviet Government "will demand retribution and will attain it." The Soviet memorandum also confirms that thousands of civilians, especially Jews, were rounded up in the Ukraine by the Germans and assigned to forced labor at the front. They were stripped of their clothing and were not given any food, the report charges.

Describing the massacre in Kiev (reported by the JTA on Nov. 16) and estimating that 52,000 victims were killed and tortured to death in that city alone in the course of a few days, Soviet Commissar Molotoff says in his note that the mass-execution of Jewish men, women and children there was carried out on the grounds of a Jewish cemetery where the victims were herded together. "All of the victims were stripped naked and beaten. The first group of people selected for shooting was forced to lie on the bottom of a ditch faces down, and were shot with automatic rifles. Then the Germans threw a little earth over them. The next group of people awaiting execution was put on top of them in a second layer and shot, and so on."

Similar murders took place in Dniepropetrovsk where 10,500 were executed, in Kamenetz-Podolsk where 8,500 were massacred, in Odesse where some 8,000 were killed, in Kerch were the number of massacred civilians is given as 7,000, in Mariupol where 3,000 were slaughtered and in seven other cities in the Ukraine. "The Soviet Union will never forget and never forgive these atrocities," Molotoff states in his note.

[Editor’s note 2011:  This article refers to the 1941 massacre known as Babi Yar.]

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