Indictment against Kurt Schulz-Isenbeck for participating in the murder of at least 90 Jewish men in Lida

C.  The mass shootings of 7/5/1941 in Lida
In the forest camp Varina,  Kommandofuehrer Filbert ordered formation of a Teilkommando of about 15-20 men, which received the order to advance via Grodno and Lida to Vilnius and to “to a security & police overhaul” of those cities.  The Teilkommando consisted in first line of members of the security police and had 3 or 4 trucks.   It first reached Grodno, where 5 or 6 Russian political commissars are alleged to have been shot.  Further details of these executions could not be determined, in particular the participants could not be identified.

The Teilkommando, which to this point was most likely under command of the most senior junior officer, then went to the small Russian city Lida.  Apparently in cooperation with compliant locals, the Teilkommando immediately on arrival began registering a portion of the male Jewish population.

On the morning of 7/5/1941 the accused  & presumeably deceased SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Haupt arrived  in Lida.  Under their direction the registered Jews were hauled from their residences and businesses under the excuse they were to be forced labor or had to be registered.  According to testimony of Jewish witnesses Dow Gorfung and Kranin, the accused personally participated in the arrests in  so far as he, with a few members of the Teilkommando arrested 2 Jews known to them by name in an oil mill & took them away.  The Jews were collected in an open area near the Gymnasium and the Piarist Church in Lida.  They were then led into a room in the Gymnasium, where members of the Teilkommando interviewed them regarding their occupational training.  About 90 Jews who had completed studies or trade school were kept, while about 200 skilled workers and craftsmen were released home.  The 90 “intelligentsia Jews” were led to the execution site under guard by members of the Teilkommado.  This was a spot outside town, in which there were several bomb craters from a German aerial attack on a nearby gun powder factory.  The area, which was open and level, and only separated from the road by a thin border of shrubby weeds, was closed off for a distance of 400-500 meters.  The Jews were forced to arrange themselves in groups of about 5 men next to each other facing the bomb crates, where marksmen of the Teilkommando killed them with carbine shots from behind.   As there had been no measures taken to screen off the shooting site, the victims waiting right by the spot had to witness the deaths of their fellows.  In so far as the victims didn’t fall into the bomb crater, the subsequent victims were forced, just before their deaths, to toss the bodies of their fellow victims into the crater.   A group of 5 to 10 Jews was at first not killed, but forced to cover the dead.  When this task was completed, these Jews were shot at the rim of a nearby well and thrown into the well.

During the shooting, according to the witnesses Dr. Hanslmeier, Matz, & Ulmer two SS officers were present.  One of them was, according to the testimony of the witness Matz the accused, who allegedly stood out in that he urged his men on to particular speed during execution of the shootings.

D. Admissions of the accused

The accused admitted the following:

1. [vol I p 21ff, vol IV p 1 ff, vol VIII p 58ff] He was sent in May 1941 with several trainees of the higher services at the Border Police School Pretzsch/Elbe.  Here he had been informed that in the framework of his training he would be sent to the front.  Indication of the type of assignment and the future front location he did not receive.  It had however gradually sunk in, that confrontation with the Soviet Union might lie in the future.  He had concluded thus, because literature had been distributed dealing with the geographical, economic & political situation in Russia.  The political instruction had tended toward the Communist Party, Commissars of the Red Army & Jews as potential enemies.  There had never been any statements about an intended genocide of Jews.

Shortly before the war with Russia broke out, he had been assigned to an Einsatzgruppe led by Nebe.  Within this Einsatzgruppe, he was a member of Einsatzkommando 9.  With this Einsatzkommanod he had participated in the advance in Russia through the cities Vilnius, Polozk, and Vitebsk.

In a forest camp not far from the German-Russian border, which he now knows to have been by Varina, the then Kommandofuehrer Filberts had  undertaken to divide up the Commando with the SS-Fuehrer of officer rank.  Thereby Filbert had inquired as to the Wehrmacht ranks of the individual SS-Fuehrer and discovered that SS-Obersturmfuehrer Schneider & he had had Wehrmacht ranks of junior officers.  Thereupon Filbert had ordered Schneider to remain with the Kommando staff, while he had been assigned to be Liasion Director to the responsible Wehrmacht unit.

To carry out this duty, he’d been assigned a personal truck with a driver whose name he no longer recalled, and for his personal protection, a junior officer whose name he also did not recall.  In the following time he had taken up communication with Wehrmacht units, the posts of the Secret Field Police & Field Gendarmerie as well as the general army administration posts.  He had inquired of the current officer of Division Ic as to any events of importance to the Einsatzkommando & relayed these to the Kommandofuehrer by telephone or courier.  He had been almost constantly with the Wehrmacht staff and had visited his unit only to make reports or to receive instructions.  There had been times when the current Wehrmacht staff and EK 9 had been in the same place, for instance in Vilnius & Vitebsk.  In these cases, he quartered with EK 9.

Immediately after the talk at the forest camp Varina, Filbert had ordered him as Liasion Officer to the staff of a security division then in that area.  While EK 9 advanced that day or the next to a goal unknown to him, he hed remained with the guard assigned him & a driver for about 14 days to 3 weeks with the security division.  Thereafter he went to Vilnius and had there first learned, from stories told by his comrades, that EK 9 had killed Jews.

On his arrival in Vilnius, he became ill with dysentery and typhus & had been taken to the local Wehrmacht hospital for 8 to 10 days.  On his recovery, he learned that EK 9 had already advanced to Vitebsk, leaving behind a small Nachkommando [Aftersquad].  Thereupon he drove to EK 9 in a truck and had reported back to Filbert in Vitebsk.  He had sent him to a security division stationed in Polozk.  After some time he returned to Vitebsk and had there encountered EK 9.  In Vitebsk soon after, he heard that his reassignment was imminent.  As end of September or early October the order for his reassignment arrived, he began the return trip to Berlin via Smolensk, Minsk & Warsaw.

2. In consequence of his work as Liaison Officer  to the staffs of the then Wehrmacht units and other German services, he had not participated in any of the executions carried out by EK 9.  He had also never been assigned to be Teilkommando Leader.  Only in Polozk in late summer 1941 had he led for about 2 weeks an external commando of about 10 men.  As leader of this external commando, whoever, he had never lead an execution, nor heard that there were any in Polozk or the vicinity.

The accusation that he had been one of the 2 SS-Fuehrer of a Teilkommando  of EK 9 on 7/5/1941 in Lida, and had carried out a mass execution of at least 90 male Jews, he denied categorically.  He had during his assignment to EK 9 in 1941 never set foot in Lida.  He had not allowed Jewish citizens to be arrested in Lida, nor had he in any way participated in the ensuing mass executions of Jewish citizens.  In so far as witnesses believed to have recognized him as the SS Officer, who had arrested Jews in an oil mill in Lida and thereafter, along with another SS Officer led a mass execution before the city, these witnesses must surely be in error & therefore accused him falsely.

E. Evaluation of the admission

1. That in Lida on 7/5/1941 former members of EK 9 carried out a mass execution during which at least 90 Jewish men were victims is confirmed by Event Report USSR No. 21 of 7/13/1941 and by a field postal letter of the witness Dr. Hanslmeier, who wrote this from Lida on 7/6/1941 to his wife.

In the Event Report USSR No. 21 of 7/13/1941, it says, among other things:  “EK 9 in the first days executed 96 Jews in Grodno and Lida”.  It must be considered that according to the investigation, already before the execution on Lida, the Teilkommando shot 5 men in Grodno, who had allegedly been Polit-commissars.  In the report 2 executions were summed together.

To his wife, Dr. Hanslmeier wrote:  “Yesterday afternon I was witness to an experience that one will not be able to forget.  Execution of people.  I don’t wish to write more about it”.  The witness explained that the executions he had referred to had been the execution of Jews in Lida.  For security reasons he had written “execution of people” rather than “execution of Jews”.

2. The admission of the accused that he had during his service been in a field hospital in Vilnius  for dysentery and typhus is incorrect.  According to a sick report that has been found, the accused was only admitted to the field hospital in Vilnius on 7/6/1941 for “intestinal illness” and already released /8/1941.  As he had a personal truck at his disposal, and the leader of the executions in Lida, according to the testimony of the witness Ulmer, left the city immediately after the executions, it is easily possible that the accused could be admitted to a hospital in Vilnius, 60 to 70 km away from Lida, the day after the executions.  With such a short stay, there is no question that it could not have been a case of dysentery, let alone typhus.

3. The admission of the accused, he had by virtue of his work as permanent Liaison Officer to Wehrmacht unit staff and other German offices only been rarely with EK 9, can only be considered applicable, that the accused occasionally received assignments as Liaison Officer for Kommandofuehrer Filbert.  2 of the still living staff officers (Ia & Ic) recall that once Filbert himself, and perhaps occasionally another SS officer had come to the staff for information on enemy position, etc. [Vol VIII p 24 ff, Vol VIII p 47 ff].  They do not however recall that there was ever an SS Officer with the Division Staff for any extended time period.  If this had been the case, both witnesses are convinced they’d have remembered it.

This corresponds to the testimony of former Kommandofuehrer Filbert, who, in this proceeding, before his conviction, testified that he had never assigned one of his officers as Liaison Officer to the Wehrmacht Staff, but had always done that job himself.  It was not known to him that one of the officers of his Kommando had had quarters with a Wehrmacht post, to have constant contact with the Wehrmacht.  This had also not been the case with Teilkommandos.  Filbert had further stated that in regard to his general rule that every Fuehrer, Unterfuehrer and every person of any rank must participate in at least one execution, that the accused Schulz-Isenbeck, if he had been Fuehrer and Kriminalkommissar in EK 9, must have participated at least once in an execution.  Which tasks he had assigned the accused, he could no longer recall, as he had only a weak recollection of the name Schulz-Isenbeck. [Vol I p 62 ff]

In contrast to this, Filbert stated 7 years after his conviction, to the investigating judge, that he remembered clearly that he had entrusted SS-Obersturmfuehrer Haupt with the command of the Teilkommando sent to Grodno & Lida.  [Vol VII p 39, Special volume judgemenverdicts].  Possibly he had sent with him another SS-Fuehrer.  But he knew with certainty that the second officer hadn’t been the accused, because he’d assigned him to be permanent Liaison Officer for EK 9 to the Wehrmacht, though not already in Varina, but first in Vilnius.

This statement by Filbert to the investigating judge cannot exonerate the accused.  It is completely inconceivable that witness memories improve in 7 years’ time and are more reliable than earlier.  The belated almost verbatim confirmation of the admissions of the accused permit the attempt to shield him – at the cost of truth – to be discerned.

4. For the same reason, the statements of the former SS-Officer Schneider, are as little exonerating.  This witness, who has on account of his participation in mass shootings by EK 9 been sentenced to 4-1/2 years imprisonment, stated before his conviction that he could scarcely remember the accused, and didn’t know which jobs he’d done at EK 9.  [Vol I p 64 ff, Vol VIII p 15 ff, Special binder verdicts].  Seven years later, after serving his sentence, he stated to the investigating judge that the accused had already been assigned to be Liaison Officer by Filbert at the forest camp by Varina,  and that he thereupon left the Kommando.

This stands in contradiction to the statements of Kommandofuehrer Filbert, that he the accused was named Liaison Officer only in Vilnius and cannot therefore be correct.

5. Also the testimony of the witness True, a former member of EK 9, who was responsible for distributing the mail,  supports that the accused was Teilkommandofuehrer.  The witness namely stated that he remembered distinctly that incoming mail for the accused was always placed in the box for the Teilkommando [Vol III p 16].

6. Finally, the permanence of the rule that every member of EK 9 had to participate in at least one execution has been corroborated by almost all former Kommando members.  A few have added thereto, that Filbert had been a confirmed Nazi and strict Kommandofuehrer and had paid precise attention to this rule.  From this is to be concluded that the accused also must have participated in at least one mass execution, and that the entire circumstances, along with those in Lida on 7/5/1941, with his admission he had been liaison officer to the Wehrmcht and had therefore never participated in a mass execution, are to be considered refuted.

7. As far as the accused denies having ever been in Lida, this statement will be refuted by the testimony of the witnesses Gorfung and Kranin.  [Vol VII p 108, Vol VII p 120].

The witnesses Gorfung and Kranin picked out the accused in Israel from the slide collection shown them in Israel, and identified him as the officer who with his people arrested Jewish men in an oil mill and on Postowska Street & had them taken away. [Vol IX p 72]  During a line up before the investigating judge in Duesseldorf, these witnesses unhesitatingly picked out the accused as the officer who had been the active leader in Lida.

The witness Gorfung had testified further [ Vol IX p 76] that the men arrested in the oil mill had both been named “Cygielnitzki”.  After the shooting, farmers from the Lida vicinity had come and told, they’d seen that both Cygielnitzkis, whom they’d known, had been shot by solders.

There are no considerations gainst the credibility of these witnesses, even when one takes into account that the witness Kranin stated during his interrogation by the investigating judge that the accused had, as officer, worn a black uniform.  That contradicts the rule that during Eastern deployment all members of the Special & Einsatzkommandos were supposed to wear field gray uniforms.  It cannot be ruled out that the witness Kranin remembered the wrong uniform color because part of it was black or because the accused wore a darker one than those with him.  The accused himself had, on describing the uniform of those with him during his alleged service as Liaison Officer, admitted that uniforms had been far from uniform (“Actually, every one of us wore a different uniform”).

8. While the witnesses Dr. Schoeberlein, Dr. Hanslmeier and also the driver of the Teilkommando, the witness Ulmer, could only vaguely describe the appearance of the participants in the execution in Lida, the witness Matz immediately during his first interrogation on 2/28/1963 gave an exact and pertaining to the accused personal description.  [Vol II p 3 ff] On subsequently being shown a slide folder with photos of former members of DK 9, he had selected a picture of the accused, and also explained during his second interrogation on 11/13/1963 that, according to his recollection, he had directed the execution in Lida.  [Vol IV p 1 ff].  During a line up in July 1966, the witness Matz recognized the accused and designated him as the SS-Officer in command in Lida.

F. Legal evaluation
The mass shootings in Lida on 7/5/1941 were carried out in the framework of the “Final Solution to the Jewish question” envisioned by the national socialist rulers.  This organized physical annihilation of civilians in Russia fulfills the conditions for murder in section 211 StGB, old & new constitution.  Theoriginators of the annihilation concept and thereby the primary criminals were, above all, Hitler, Himmler, Goering, Goebbels, and Heydrich.  They acted premeditately and according to a well-considered plan, whereby they allowed themselves to be governed by a fanatic racial hatred.  Therewith the killing of these people occurred with premeditation and with motives that general social values set on the lowest step, as particularly unworthy, and are  therefore to be judged as with low motive in the sense of section 211 StGB.  In addition, the major perpetrators implicitly condoned that the killing of these people occur brutally, and with as little opposition as possible to their annihilation plan.

The murder of at least those Jews who had first to watch the shooting of their fellow sufferers before they themselves were shot were brutal.  The killing of the Jews of Lida was devious in that they were collected using the excuse they would be assigned to forced labor or to register, and their guilelessness and lack of defense exploited.

Therefore the primary perpetrators are to be regarded as murders and the accused as assistant of these murderes, because, in support of their annihilation plan –without the will to perpetrate – he participated in the premeditated and planned brutal and devious killing of at least 90 Jews in knowledge of all the circumstances surrounding the deed.

It cannot be ascertained that the accused himself acted from low motives.

Assistance in killing people with low motives that have only been attributed to the primary perpetrators has passed the statute of limitations, because such assistance to murder according to the new version of section 50 Abs. 2 StGB, which became effective on 10/1/1968, is to be used in favor of the accused, in connection with sections 211 old & new version, 44 Abs. 2  & 18 St. GB is only to be punished with 3 to 15 years’ imprisonment.  Their prosecution is therefore limited by section 67 Abs. 1 StGb AF to 15 years.  This period is waived for the accused, as the deeds of which he is accused were already in judicial hands[at the time the new law went into effect], so the limitation under section 68 StGB is in effect.  (first legal case, 7/20/1962, Vol I p 108).

No judicial nor extenuating circumstances are obvious, nor has the accused referred to any.

G. Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction of the Landgericht Duesseldorf is given according to Section 8 StPO.  My jurisdiction resutls from the RV of the Justice Minister of North Rhine –Westphaila of 9/25/1961 – 4010 – A. –97.

It is proposed, that the case be opened and that the proceeding be permitted to take place before the jury of the Landgericht.

Dr. Hesse
Sr. State Attorney

For the correctness of the transcription,
Dortmund 7/2/1970

Justice employee[female]

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