Group VIII of the Censorship Office Berlin I.D. number: III/32[?] Date: Oct. 30, 1942
Re: Wehrmacht – Policy – Economy
To Central Censorship Office Berlin
Also to: Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories [R. M. Ost]
Wehrmacht High Command, Foreign I (?), for the attention of Colonel W. Kenschitzki or representative in office
Sender: Antonina Sidielnik
Bilosirka, Lunowtze, Dubno / Ukraine [Bilozirka, Lanivtsi]
Addressee: Raissa Sidielnik, Women’s Labor Camp
Date of letter: Oct. 13, 1942 Enclosures:
Registered Mail Wischnowitz 365 [Vyshnivets’]
Evaluation result: Original letter: postage paid, censored
Information about German measures in the course of the recruitment of labor in the Ukraine
Sender writes (translated from Ukrainian):
“On October 1 a new collection of workers took place, but this one can’t be compared to the one back then. I’ll describe for you only the most important part of what has happened. You just can’t imagine this bestiality. One has to have seen it to believe it possible. You surely remember what we were told under Polish rule about the Soviets; it’s just as incredible now too, and we didn’t believe it in those days.
The order came to provide 25 workers. People from the employment office [Arbeitsamt] came from Kremenetz [Kremenets] and specified the relevant people; recruitment cards were delivered to them, but no one came forward, they all had taken flight. Then the German Gendarmerie came and started setting fire to the houses of those who had fled. Svidrow’s [Svidrov’s?] house was set ablaze first, and right after it the Walouschas’ [Valushas’] house. The fire burned very fiercely, because it had not rained for two months, and in addition, the haystacks were standing in the yards. You can imagine what went on there. People ran up to put out the fire; they were forbidden to do so and were beaten and arrested. As a result, 6 farms burned to the ground. Here the flames are raging, and the Gendarmes go around setting other houses on fire. The people fall on their knees and kiss the Gendarmes’ hands, but the Gendarmes start beating them with rubber truncheons and threaten to burn down the whole village. I don’t know how it would have ended if Iwan Sapurkany [Ivan Zapurkany] had not intervened. He promised that workers would report by the following morning.
During the fire, the militia went through the adjacent villages, seized the workers, and took them into custody. Wherever they found no workers, they locked up the parents until their children appeared. Thus they caused havoc all night long in Bielosirka [Bilozirka].
The same thing took place in other villages too, such as Schuschkiwzi [Shushkivtsi], Molotjkiw [Molotkiv], Osnyky, Moskaliwka [Moskalivka], so that the fires continued day and night. The workers who had not yet turned up by that time were supposed to be shot. All our schools have been closed, and the married teachers are
being sent to work here, while the unmarried ones are being conscripted for work in Germany. Now they’re catching human beings the way dogcatchers used to catch dogs in earlier times. They’ve been hunting them for a whole week now, and they still haven’t caught enough. The workers who have been caught are locked up in the school, they’re not even allowed to go out to answer the call of nature, but have to take care of their needs in the same room, like pigs.
On a certain day, many people from the villages went on a pilgrimage to the Potschaew [Pochayiv] Monastery. They were all arrested, locked up, and will be sent off to work. Among them are lame and blind and elderly people, they’re just told good, good, and taken away. My God, what will come of this, a person can’t even go from one village to the next!
I’m writing all this to you, but am not convinced that it will reach you. You’re afraid to write how things are with you. Other people write, and the letters arrive. You can write me the truth, tell me where you’re working and at what, and for what kind of lousy grub. You write that you believe Herr Müller, who said at the meeting that the workers are being taken for a period of 5 months. I see now that nothing they say can be believed, they lie just as much as the Soviets and maybe even worse. The only people coming back home are the ones who are in the vicinity, who ran away. Your father drove home from Lahinzi [?] and took 3 workers along for part of the way; they told him it is out of the question that the workers would be released to their homeland. But those who come back, they told him, are terrible to look at, almost all of them are sick.