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The Extraordinary State Commission - fully: "Extraordinary State Commission for ascertaining and investigating crimes perpetrated by the German-Fascist invaders and their accomplices, and the damage inflicted by them on citizens, collective farms, social organisations, State enterprises and institutions of the U.S.S.R.[1]“ (Russian: Чрезвычайная Государственная Комиссия - TschGK), was a commission formed by the Soviet authorities, officially aiming at "investigating and punishing for the Crimes of the German-Fascist Aggressors" and their allies. The commission was established on 2 November 1942, by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. The commission had the responsibility to investigate the Nazi war crimes and collect materials which would confirm crimes and losses caused by the invaders. According to its own data, 32,000 organization men took part in the work of ChGK and around 7,000,000 Soviet citizens had participated the collection of materials and evidence.

The 27 reports of the ChGK were the lion's share of Soviet evidentiary material in Nuremberg process and the Japanese war criminals' process. The reports appeared in English in the daily publication Soviet War News issued by the Press Department of the Soviet Embassy in London. The first report, Protocol on the plunder by the German-Fascist invaders of Rostov Museum at Pyatigorsk, was published in June 28, 1943[2] and the last report, Statement on "Material Damage caused by the German-Fascist invaders to state enterprises and institutions, collective farms, publich bodies and citizens of the U.S.S.R" was published in September 18, 1945[3] A complete collection of the 27 communiqués issued by the commission appears in the Soviet Government publication, Soviet Government Statement on Nazi Atrocities.[4]

Contents

Members of the Commission

The decree issued by the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R on November 2, 1942 confirmed the appointment of the following members of the commission:

Reports submitted at Nuremberg

The Soviet prosecution introduced 31 reports from the Extraordinary State Commission as Exhibits for the prosecution at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.[5]

  • USSR-1 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on atrocities in the Stavropol region
  • USSR-2 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the destruction of industry, etc. in the Stalino region
  • USSR-2(a) Report of a special commission on crimes in Stalino
  • USSR-4 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on causing death by spreading epidemic of typhus
  • USSR-5 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the "Gross-lazarett" in the town of Slavuta
  • USSR-6 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in the Lvov region
  • USSR-7 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on atrocities in Lithuania
  • USSR-9 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on atrocities in Kiev
  • USSR-29 Joint Polish and Soviet report of the Extraordinary State Commission
  • USSR-35 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on losses sustained by State enterprises and establishments
  • USSR-37 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in the city of Kupiansk
  • USSR-38 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on German crimes in the city of Minsk
  • USSR-39 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on atrocities in Estonia
  • USSR-40 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission concerning destruction and atrocities in the Pushkin Reservation of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Science
  • USSR-41 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in Latvia
  • USSR-42 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in the town of Krasnodar and vicinity
  • USSR-43 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in Kharkov and vicinity
  • USSR-45 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in the town of Rovno and vicinity
  • USSR-46 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in Ore1 and vicinity
  • USSR-47 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on atrocities in the city of Odessa and vicinity
  • USSR-49 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission dated 13 September 1944: destruction of works of art and art treasures
  • USSR-50 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the destruction of monuments in Novgorod
  • USSR-54 Report by a special Soviet commission, 24 January 1944, concerning the shooting of Polish officer prisoners of war in the forest of Katyn
  • USSR-55 Report of special Soviet commission on crimes in the city of Krasnodar and vicinity
  • USSR-56 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on atrocities committed in Smolensk and vicinity
  • USSR-63 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in Sevastopol and other cities
  • USSR-246 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union concerning destruction of ecclesiastical buildings
  • USSR-248 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission concerning the destruction of Kiev's Psychopathic Institute
  • USSR-249 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on German atrocities in Kiev
  • USSR-279 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes in the city of Viazma and others in the Smolensk region
  • USSR-415 Report of the Extraordinary State Commission on crimes committed against Soviet prisoners of war in the camp of Lamsdorf

Only one of these reports, USSR-54 (in German) concerning the Katyn massacre, appears in the English version of the NMT "Blue Series" collection of exhibits. An editor's note states that "the absence of a Soviet editorial staff [made] it impossible to publish any documents in Russian". As a result, of the 51 Soviet prosecution exhibits included in the document collection all are written in either English or German.[6]

Controversial communiquées

Some of the reports prepared by the commission are now considered falsifications. Particularly, the first report of the commission was published on August 24, 1944 with the title "Finland demasked“. This report claimed that Finland had put the whole Soviet population of the occupied territories into Concentration camps in East Karelia during the Continuation War, where 40% had died according to the commission's data

On 24 January 1944, a communiquée about Katyn massacre was published titled "The Truth about Katyn". This lengthy document affirmed with "irrefutable clarity", that the mass shootings of the Polish prisoners had been done by the Germans. (See: Katyn_massacre#Actions taken by the Soviet Union) The Soviet pathologists were said to have found numerous 'proofs' that the crime was committed by the Germans:

pathologists who examined the bodies in 1943 concluded that they could not have been dead longer than two years. Furthermore, documents were found on some of the bodies which had obviously been missed by the Germans when they doctored the evidence. These included a letter dated September 1940, a postcard dated 12 November 1940, a pawn ticket receipted 14 March 1941 and another receipted 25 March 1941. Receipts dated 6 April 1941, 5 May 1941, 15 May 1941 and an unmailed postcard in Polish dated 20 June 1941. Although all these dates pre-date Soviet withdrawal, they all postdate the time of the alleged murder of the prisoners by the Soviet authorities in the spring of 1940

etc.[7]

References

  1. ^ Decree issued by the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. on November 2, 1942. Published in Soviet War News, November 5, 1942. No. 405
  2. ^ Soviet War News, June 28, 1943. No. 597
  3. ^ Soviet War News, September 18, 1945. No. 1257.
  4. ^ Soviet Government Statements on Nazi Atrocities, Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers), Ltd, 1946, pp 77-317
  5. ^ Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, 1949, Volume XXIV "Exhibits of the Soviet Prosecution", pp. 170-186
  6. ^ Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, 1949, Volume XXXIX "Documents and Other Material in Evidence", Editor's Note and pp. 241-555
  7. ^ Ella Rule The Katyn Massacre

Literature

  • Alexander E. Epifanow: Die Außerordentliche Staatliche Kommission. Stöcker, Wien 1997.
  • Stefan Karner: Zum Umgang mit der historischen Wahrheit in der Sowjetunion. Die "Außerordentliche Staatliche Kommission" 1942 bis 1951. In: W. Wadl (Hg.): Kärntner Landesgeschichte und Archivwissenschaft. Festschrift für Alfred Ogris. Klagenfurt 2001, Seite 508-523.
  • Marina Sorokina, People and Procedures. Toward a History of the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in the USSR. In: Kritika. Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 6, 4 (Fall 2005), 797 - 831.
  • Joachim Hoffmann, Stalins Vernichtungskrieg 1941-1945. Ch.8 Sowjetischen Untaten werden den Deutschen zugeschrieben.
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