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Written Testimonies

The report of Johanes Becker, witness from Wehrmacht headquarters:
... About fourteen days after we came to Rēzekne, the SS appeared. They belonged to the “famous” Security Police. They had SD initials on their sleeve. We, from local garrison headquarters, lived right across from the city [town] prison. We could, after the arrival of the SS, observe in detail the happenings that took place in the prison. At first the Jews from Rēzekne and the vicinity were brought together. There were people of all ages, the gray ones and babies. Among them were also women and children. The people were pressed together like sardines in a can. They were so closely compressed that nobody could topple over.
One day, it was about 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., we were awakened by shots. We ran outside and then to the headquarters. From there we went to the place from where the shots were coming. We saw there that people had dug a pit (a huge grave), and that people had to kneel before the ditch. Then they received a pistol shot from the SS in the back of their heads. Those that were not dead the Latvian soldiers had to finish off with rifle shots. The people were killed by the SS with pistol shots. As we found out, the people were subordinated directly under the Reichssicherheitshauptamt in Berlin.
I did not see the number of the dead in the pit. At the side of the ditch, there were still some fifty living people. They were gradually pushed by the SS men to the pit.
Finally, about ten victims were left. They had to shovel up the ditch, and then were brought back to the prison. There they told the other inmates about the killings. This brought on an intolerable wailing ....
From Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia 1941-1944: The Missing Center, Washington, 1996, pp. 282-283.