War Crimes in Zaludok

This testimony was sent to the World Jewish Congress as part of a search to locate witnesses to war crimes committed in the Lida area, so that the perpetrators could be brought to trial in Germany.  The records of this search are now preserved at theJacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati OH in File C210, boxes 3, 4 & 5.  Translation by Irene Newhouse

Several letters in these files concern the attempt to local Szolim ZAGIER & Salomon EHRLICH in Uruguay.  They  are the only survivors from Zaludok  whom the World Jewish Congress  could identify.  Unfortunately, there's no evidence in  these materials that the search was successful.  In a letter  of 5 February 1965, on pp 101-102 of file 3,  from Dr. O. Karbach of the World Jewish Congress in New York to Dr. Nella Rost , his counterpart in Montevideo,  Dr. Karbach describes what  was known about the mass murder in Zaludok:

"Particularly sought is information regarding the alleged murder of about 1500 Jews in Zoludeck on 9 May 1942.  A few days prior to the murders, a mass grave had been dug, under orders of the Polish mayor of the town, whose name is unknown, in the forest near the Jewish cemetery.  As was customary, before the execution, a small number of able-bodied workers were selected before the execution, and left alive.  Windisch, vice Regional Commissar, Chief of Staff & Director of Jewish Affairs, has admitted to being there on that day, but claims only to have seen the mass graves & bodies.  However, he has also admitted that during his presence, a search of the forests was conducted for Jews who'd "fled" & that they were shot on sight.    The witnesses  ZAGIER and EHRLICH are the only identified survivors, and their evidence is very important".

On page 45 of file 5, begins a long letter, dated 14 Sept 1964 from the prosecutor in Mainz, to whom the case against Windisch & Werner was referred in 1964, because this court had jurisdiction due to the current residences of the co-defendants, asking for the World Jewish Congress' help regarding a number of points which need further clarification to obtain a guilty verdict.  On pages 67 & 68, he refers to war crimes in Zaludok.    

"...These witnesses are particularly important because I have been able to find practically no survivors who came from Zoludeck, or who were there during the war.  We have these facts to go on:  Presumeably on 9 May 1942, in the course of the morning, approximately 1500 Jews were shot in 2 mass graves in a spruce forest next to the Jewish cemetery.  The mass graves were dug by local workers, under orders of the mayor of Zaludeck, name unknown, who was under the direct supervision of the Regional Commissariat Lida.  Prior to the execution there was - as in other places - a selection of able-bodied Jewish workers.  The collected Jews are alleged to have been called by name from a list, a small number were then held back, and the majority shot.  The accused Windisch was in his capacity as representative Regional Commissar, Chief of Staff & Director of Jewish Affairs in Lida, according to his own testimony,  present in Zoludeck "on assignment from the Regional Commissar in regard to this matter" to determine "what was up" in Zoludeck.  He alleges that on his arrival, he saw the two mass graves with bodies. The execution squad was still combing the woods for "escaped" Jews, "catching" a few & shooting them in the graves.  We have been able to elucidate no further details".

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