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Written Testimonies

From the testimony of R. Pfeifer, member of Einsaztkommando 12D, at the Pyatigorsk trial of the perpetrators of mass murders in the Stavropol region, 1968:
On August 30 Winz and I arrived in Mineralnyye Vody and held a meeting there at the military commander's office with the field gendarmerie and local police, at which we finally set the date and place of the execution - the anti-tank trenches near the glass factory settlement. It was a large trench, all the people from Mineralnyye Vody and Pyatigorsk worked on it all summer before our arrival: the ditch crossed the field right behind the air field, both the road and the railroad led to it; the place was open, flat, convenient for cordoning off and impossible to escape from....
In the meantime I was finishing the registration. It was important that right to the end people not be aware that all this registration and collection of people was only a fiction. That would avoid, both for us and for them, unneccessary complications. However, Winz and Noske worried that I would drag out the registration and not complete it in time. So I didn't leave my office for days. I summoned all the police and all the "auxiliary volunteers." I also summoned the most respected Jews and from them I established a "Jewish committee," which I treated in the most courteous manner. The "comittee" was also involved in the registration.
After that, all those who were registered were collected and taken to the fields outside Min[eralnyye]-Vody. The deadline was met.
On September 1 Mineralnyye Vody was cleansed [of Jews].
From Y. Arad, "The Annihilation of the Jews of the USSR during the German Occupation, 1941-1944: Collection of Documents and Materials" (Russian) Jerusalem 1991, pp. 241-242
From the testimonies of the schoolchildren Vladimir Rubtsov, Nikolay Beletskiy, Grigory Kurlenko, Boris Sorokin, Anatoly Kuznetsov, and Alexander Zimin at the Pyatigorsk trial of the perpetrators of mass murders in the Stavropol region, 1968:
On September 1 we went to school, as usual...Suddenly we heard dogs barking...and we ran to the railway.
A cordon was set up there with policemen from the settlement [the glass factory settlement] and policemen from Min[eralnyye] Vody, under the command of Tarasov and Zavadskiy...
Probably around 1 p.m., the railway flatcars arrived... from the direction of Mineralnyye Vody. On the open cars there sat, packed together, exhausted people with worn and dusty clothes, some were barefooted. It was clear that these people were prepared for a long journey... A private car arrived with German officers wearing black uniforms and with skull symbols on their uniforms. They announced over a loudspeaker that everybody had to get down since there was a broken bridge ahead and they needed to change trains.... The children jumped down but the adults didn't want to and refused to get down.
Than another command was given and all hell broke loose. Music [started to be heard] from the radio hut and the roof of the settlement's office and the Germans and policemen started to pull and push people down and to force them into a column. An ill woman could not get down. When she fell to the ground, they ... started to beat her....
When the children asked for a drink, we brought a bucket of water and cups, but the Germans grabbed the bucket away from us, spilled out the water, and gave us a kick. One woman with a baby embraced a German's feet and kissed his boots, begging for her baby's life, but he [shouted] at her: "Weg! Weg!" ["Get away" in German] and hit her with the butt of his rifle....
When all of people had gotten down,they started to shout that people should line up in rows of four. The people took each other's hands and moved forward. Of course, there was no column but a crowd of several hundred people. The women carried their babies in their arms, held their children by their hands, and [also] led the adolescents. All the policemen and soldiers surrounded the column on three sides and began to push them toward the ditch....
After they had walked 200 meters, the flatcars began to move, but not ahead toward the destroyed bridge, as they had been told, but back toward Mineralyye Vody while, from the direction of the ditches, policemen armed with sub-machine guns ran toward the people. It became clear that this was the end so people started to run in all directions across the field. The Germans in the car chased them and shot them down from sub-machine guns...
We made our way through the bushes very close to the ditch and saw this horror: the people were divided into groups of about 30, made to undress to their underwear...and forced toward the ditch. The adults and children [stood] in line along the ditch and were shot from point- blank range from rifles and sub-machine guns. The dead and the wounded fell into the ditch...and the rapid, deafening music kept playing.
In the evening, when it was all finished and the field was quiet, we moved close to the ditch. It was filled with those who had been shot... women, and old people, children, and men, lightly covered with earth and lime.
From Y. Arad, "The Annihilation of the Jews of the USSR during the German Occupation, 1941-1944: Collection of Documents and Materials" (Russian, Jerusalem 1991, pp. 243-244