About execution of political prisoners of the Orel prison

April 12, 1990 Mountains. Moscow

Military Prosecutor of the First Division of the Office of the Chief Military Prosecutor for Rehabilitation Lieutenant Colonel of Justice Zybtsev, having considered criminal case No. 1-89, –

I did:

September 5, 1941 in accordance with the instruction of the People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR L. P. Beria and his deputy, B. Kobulov. 3. 1st Special Department together with the prison department of the NKVD of the USSR for the signatures of the heads of these departments Bashtakov L. F. and Nikolsky M. I. made a list for 170 people of prisoners previously convicted of counterrevolutionary crimes and serving their sentences in the Orlov prison of the GUGB of the NKVD of the USSR. The list summarizes the policy data for each prisoner and in respect of 76 people it is stated that, while in prison, they allegedly conduct anti-Soviet agitation.
September 6, 1941 Beria addressed to the Chairman of the State Defense Committee of Stalin I. V. for ref. № 2583/6 sent a letter and submitted a list of 170 prisoners with a request to apply the capital punishment – shooting, indicating that, in connection with the military actions between the USSR and Germany, listed in this list, people are carrying out defeatist agitation among the prisoners and are trying to prepare escapes to resume subversive work. Consideration of the so-called “materials” was proposed to be entrusted to the military board of the USSR Supreme Court.
The same day, September 6, 1941 Stalin signed a decree № GKO-634ss on the application of capital punishment – shooting at 170 prisoners simultaneously convicted of terrorist, spy-sabotage and other counter-revolutionary work. Consideration of materials, as noted in the decision, was entrusted to the military board of the Supreme Court of the USSR.
On September 8, 1941, on the basis of the mentioned decision, without initiation of criminal case and carrying out of preliminary and judicial proceedings, the military board of the Supreme Court of the USSR under the chairmanship of Ulrich V. V. (members of the board of Kandybin D. Ya. and Bukanov V. V.) passed a sentence in respect of 161 prisoners, according to which they were sentenced under Art. 58-10, part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to the highest punishment – shooting:

1. Adam Ivan Karlovich, born 1886;
2. Ajoyan Amayak Gurgenovich, born in 1891;
3. Alexander Aikhenwald, born in 1904;
4. Aliyev Musseib Aghali oglu, born in 1890;
5. Amelian Arshak Hambardzumovich, born in 1890;
6. Anni Voldemar Gustavovich, born in 1891;
7. Georgy Apressov, born in 1890;
8. Valentin Volfridovich Arnold (aka Valentin Vasilyev), born in 1894;
9. Anatoly Grigorievich Artemov, born in 1917;
10. Beymut Gustav Gustavovich, born in 1898;
11. Belfort-Birkenhauer Erich Wilhelmovich, 1903 Christmas;
12. Sergey Alexandrovich Bessonov, born in 1892;
13. Vasily Alexandrovich Bondarev, born in 1880;
14. Willie Augustovich Bondarev, born in 1907;
15. Bolkvadze-Melcharskaya Galin Bronislavovna, born in 1906;
16. Walter Oscar Vikentievich, born in 1875;
17. Joseph Franzevich Butkus, born in 1896;
18. Vezirov Jamil Ismail oglu, born in 1888;
19. Vilenkin Yuda Izrailevich, born in 1884;
20. Nikolai Volkov, born in 1916;
21. Boris G. Vorovich, born in 1894;
22. Vyn Do Kui, born in 1917;
23. Geller Tadeusz Leonowicz, aka Wallerstein Richard, born in 1899;
24. Gernstheim Elka Markovna, born in 1896;
25. Gow Ming Zong, born 1909;
26. Guzin Christian Jakimovich, born in 1915;
27. De Lazar Vincenzo Candidovic, born in 1906;
28. Timofey Borisovich Dzasokhov, born in 1868;
29. Sergey Ivanovich Ezhov, born in 1904;
30. Dmitry Fyodorovich Yerofeyev, born in 1879;
31. Zharskaya-Matsinovskaya Sofya Petrovna, born in 1893;
32. Georgy Vladimirovich Zibold, born in 1897;
33. Izmailovich Alexandra Adolfovna, born in 1878;
34. Imam Verda is the son of Imam Guli, born in 1896;
35. Kameneva Olga Davydovna, born in 1883;
36. Vladimir Vasilyevich Karpenko, born in 1880;
37. Korhonen Veli-Aimo-Vaina-mo Laurovich, born in 1918;
38. Kasparova Varsenika Dzhavadovna, born in 1888;
39. Kata-Oka-Kentaro (aka Tanaka Simaki Chi Kimura Jamburo), born in 1909;
40. Keller Valentin Georgievich, born in 1862;
1. Kim Deng Man, born 1909;
42. Nina Alexandrovna Kitnovskaya, born in 1901;
43. Ivan Ivanovich Klepfer, born in 1875;
44. Koval Ivan Kirillovich, born in 1878;
45. Anatoly Sergeyevich Kozlovsky, born in 1897;
46. Artur Kolman, born in 1902;
47. Vladimir Kondrashechkin, born in 1904;
48. Nikolai Nikitovich Kravets, born in 1910;
49. Kruger Andrey Andreyevich, born in 1877;
50. Krieger-Kreuzburg August Alfredovich, born in 1892;
51. Iosif Krilyk-Vasilkov, born in 1898;
52. Kushimbetov Antmukhan, born in 1911;
53. Larin Alexander Mikhailovich, born in 1916;
54. Leman-Yonni Otto Ottovich, born in 1897;
55. Sergey Alexandrovich Leonov, born in 1907;

56. Friedrich Gustavovich Lidtke, born in 1896;
57. Lynquist Hilda Andreyevna, born in 1898;
58. Li Qiang Ying, born in 1896;
59. Li Jun, 1905 Christmas;
60. Logvinov Peter Tikhonovich (Efimovich), aka Shirokov Mikhail Ivanovich, born in 1914;
61. Lysova-Mukhotdinova Evdokia Alekseevna, 1896 of birth;
62. Luy Kai Lu, 1903 of birth;
63. Maak Edita Ernestovna, born in 1898;
64. Maas Genach Gottfriedovich, born in 1890;
65. Ilya Andreyevich Mayorov, born in 1890;
66. Mamed Kuli Sattar oglu, born in 1904;
67. Ludwig Iosifovich Marer, born in 1896;
68. Anton Semenovich Matikainen, born in 1882;
69. Pyotr Ignatyevich Matskevich, born in 1916;
70. Mikeladze Shalva Antonovich, born in 1884;
71. Vasily Afanasievich Minkin, born in 1879;
72. Mirjon Rie Zode, born in 1914;
73. Mironchik Maxim Korneevich, born in 1878;
74. Mozhin Franz Ivanovich, born in 1891;
75. Mariam Hasa-novna Muzafarova, born in 1906;
76. Musaev Sultan Musa oglu, born in 1915;
77. Mizin Pantelei Timofeyevich, born in 1878;
78. Anatoly Sido-rovich Mylnikov, born in 1922;
79. Naka Kaichiro, born in 1913;
80. Yakov Yakovlevich Neugebauer, born in 1883;
81. Grigory Abramovich Nestroyev-Tsypin, born in 1877;
82. Neter Fritz Maximilianovich, born in 1884;
83. Georgy Illario-Novich Nikiforov, born in 1882;
84. Alexey Dmitrievich Nikologorodskiy, born in 1880;
85. Nixresht Hasan Mamedovich, born in 1900;
86. Oxus-oghly (Oxus-oghly) Mu-stafa Omerovich, born in 1867;
87. Olga Stepanovna Okudzhava, born in 1888;
88. Ortman-Gavatina Riki Meer-rovna, born in 1886;
89. O-Seng-Chen, aka O-Hoi-Giri (O-Hoi-Chen), born in 1896;
90. Pallonbert Jan Janovic, born in 1909;
91. Parshkov Mikhail Ivanovich, born in 1887;
92. Pyotr Nikolayevich Parshkov, first-born, 1892;
93. Petrovsky Pyotr Grigorievich, born in 1898;
94. Pletnev Dmitry Dmitrievich, born in 1872;
95. Carpenters Sergey Pavlovich, born in 1882;
96. Nikolai Stanislavovich Podgursky, born in 1892;
97. Pomogoyev Ivan Ivanovich, born in 1893;
98. Ponomarev Ilya Stepanovich, born in 1890;
99. Sold Nikolai Grigorievich, born in 1905;
100. Konstantin Alexandrovich Savitsky, born in 1913;
101. Valentina Sergeyevna Sedova, born in 1908;
102. Semyonov Evgeny Pavlovich, born in 1922;
103. Serikova Ekaterina Ivanovna, born in 1885;
104. Sin-Du-Shun, 1888 year of birth;
105. Mikhail Egorovich Skleva, born in 1892;
106. Viktor Ilyich Solovyev, born in 1904;
107. Maria Alexandrovna Spiridonova, born in 1884;
108. Mikhail Stepanovich Stroilov, born in 1899;
109. Souppala Saima Karlovna, born in 1891;
110. Sung Zun In, born in 1888;
111. Sun-Si Yuan, born 1907;
112. Evgeny Timofeev, born in 1885;
113. Torchinovsky Andrey Dmitrievich, born in 1906;
114. Julius Trossin, born in 1896;
115. Tun-Shuang Xiang, born in 1895;
116. Tukhar Fyodor Stepanovich, born in 1921;
117. Tian Fu Gui, born in 1921;
118. Olga Aleksandrovna Ugarova, born in 1896;
119. Christian Georgievich Rakovsky, born in 1873;
120. Rau Yegor Yegorovich, born in 1880;
121. Reuters Wilhelm Ivanovich, born in 1887;
122. Reinbach Arnold Andreyevich, born in 1902;
123. Repel (aka Zuderman) Yakov Aronovich, 1883 Christmas;
124. Rosenbach Fritz Karlovich, born 1904;
125. Maria Dmitrievna Radionovskaya, born in 1908;
126. Ronkomiaki Kalle Abrahamovich, born in 1907;
127. Nikolai Egorovich Rudakov, born in 1900;
128. Faustman Franz Simonovich, born in 1909;
129. Ferner Willie, born in 1909;
130. Finkweiser Julius Vasilyevich, born in 1880;
131. Fokin Zakhar Davydovich, born in 1907;
132. Juan Sin-Sen, born in 1913;
133. Hauer Bela Jakovlevich, born in 1884;
134. Ashurbek Khusravbekov, born in 1879 (1876);
135. Zipperek Gustav (Julitz) Gustovich, born in 1902;
136. Chaikin Vadim Afanasievich, born in 1886;
137. Pavel Petrovich Chernov-Marushak-Vievsky-Okhramenko, born in 1908;
138. Victor Chernykh, born in 1899;
139. Zhang Di Shui, born in 1881;
140. Chizhikov Onisim Lukich, born in 1891;
141. Ching-Moon Shen, born in 1878;
142. Chumburidze Bagrat Spirido-Novich, born in 1880;
143. She-Kui-Syan, born in 1908;
144. Samuil Zelikovich Shimshelevich, born in 1883;
145. Schleider Hans Hansovich, born in 1904;
146. Raisa Petrovna Shlihting-Pastukhova, born in 1892;
147. Schneider Gottlieb Kasparovich, born in 1893;
148. Eichenwald Fritz Moritzowicz, born in 1901;
149. Eckertz (aka Gramatsky) Theodor Gotlibovich, born in 1899;
150. Erdman Joseph Nikolaevich, born in 1900;
151. Georgy Yakovlevich Jung, born in 1884;
152. Victor Antonovich Yulsky, aka Panhas Kivovich Buxhorn, born in 1894;
153. Jakkonen Toivo Einarovich, born in 1909;
154. Yakovleva Varvara Nikolaevna, born in 1885;
155. Yachmenev Andrey Stepanovich, born in 1914;
156. Tablash, aka Bikfolvi Joseph Josephovich, born in 1880;
157. Sun-Tin-Tan, born in 1905;
158. Aliyev Hankishi Bala Kishi oglu, aka Poly oglu, aka Bec Ali oglu, born in 1881;
159. Ivan Ivanovich Zdunkovsky, born in 1911;
160. Fyodor Nikolayevich Yefimov, born in 1912;
161. Fyodor Yefimov, born in 1912; 161. Tokhtamyshev Rustam, born in 1902.
On September 11, 1941, 157 convicts were executed in the Medvedevsky forest near the town of Orel. Four of those sentenced to the capital punishment are Semenov E. P., Schneider G.K., Korhonen V.L., Lysova-Mukhotdinova E.A., who had been transferred to other places of detention by that time, were shot at their place of detention from 13 to 18 September 1941.
The present criminal case was initiated on January 18, 1989 by the USSR Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with a private resolution of the USSR Supreme Court Plenum No. 40-88 of June 13, 1988 in the case of Pyatakov Yu. L., Radek K. B., Arnold V. V. and others, convicted by the USSR Supreme Court Military Collegium of January 30, 1937.
During the consideration of this case, the plenum of the USSR Supreme Court found that during the period of serving the sentence of January 30, 1937, Arnold was sentenced in absentia on September 8, 1941 by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court under Art. 58-10, Part 2 of the RSFSR Criminal Code to the highest penalty – execution. According to the same verdict of September 8, 1941, without initiation of criminal proceedings and without conducting a preliminary investigation and trial, 160 more people who were serving their sentence in Orlovskaya prison were sentenced.
Due to the fact that the circumstances related to the legality of the sentence needed to be checked and, if necessary, to be investigated, the Plenum of the USSR Supreme Court decided to transfer the materials related to the judgment of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court dated September 8, 1941 to the Prosecutor General of the USSR for a decision based on the law.
The criminal case, initiated by the USSR Prosecutor’s Office, was submitted to the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office under the jurisdiction of the Prosecutor General of the USSR. The above circumstances of the wrongful decision made by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court on September 8, 1941 during the preliminary investigation were confirmed by the following evidence collected on the case.
Thus, from the testimony of L. F. Bashtakov, the former head of the 1st Special Department of NKVD of the USSR, it can be seen that the list of 170 prisoners held in the Orlov prison was made by the 1st Special Department on the instructions of Kobulov and with his direct participation. It was Kobulov who made various notes on the list and determined the fate of each prisoner. According to Bashtakov, the 1st Special Department did not receive any materials about anti-Soviet activities of prisoners during their stay in the prison, and on the basis of what data is indicated in the list, he is not aware (v1, pp. 36-37; v2, pp. 13-17).
Bashtakov’s testimony is consistent with the attached list of 170 prisoners in the Orlov prison, printed on letterhead on September 5, 1941, in which handwritten notes are made opposite each surname. With regard to the 76 people listed in the list, it is reported that, while in prison, they are conducting anti-Soviet agitation (v. 7, p. 6-51).
M. I. Nikolsky, the former head of the NKVD prison department of the USSR, who signed the list for 170 prisoners, confirmed that it was compiled by the staff of the 1st special department on special instructions from the management. At the same time, as Nikolsky noted, by mistake, the list included the names of those prisoners, who at the time of its preparation were no longer held in Orlov prison, as they had died or been released in connection with the revision of their cases. As it follows from Nikolsky’s explanations, the NKVD of the USSR did not have any materials testifying to the anti-Soviet activities of the prisoners (Vol. 1, pp. 38–47, 48-53). According to the competent authorities, there are no materials confirming the anti-Soviet activities of the prisoners in Orlovsky prison. During the investigation no information about it was also not revealed (Vol. 2, pp. 6, 41).
Former head of the Orlov prison Yakovlev S. D., explaining the circumstances of the execution of the convicts, said that about a month before the capture of the city of Eagle by the Nazis, an operative group arrived from the NKVD USSR to perform a special task – the execution of a group of prisoners in prison. According to the list of the group members, the prisoners were taken out of town and shot in specially equipped cars within one day. None of the prison staff was involved in this operation (v. 1, pp. 54-58).
Being interrogated on the fact of execution of the sentence, the former head of UNKVD in the Oryol region Firsanov K. F. showed that the order of the chairman of the military board of the Supreme Court of the USSR Ulrich on execution of the sentence came at the time when the evacuation of the prisoners in the prison was underway. The city, in connection with the offensive of German troops, was subjected to frequent and heavy bombardment. He and the representative of the public prosecutor’s office had the task of preventing the substitution of convicted persons and to exclude any evidence of mockery. Together with the prosecutor, explained Firsanov, they studied the personal files of prisoners and the data available in them were compared with the information received during the survey of convicts.
Firsanov said the following about how the procedure for declaring a convicted person’s sentence proceeded:
“They were taken to a special room where specially selected members of the prison staff put a cloth gag in the convict’s mouth, tied him up with a cloth so that he could not push him out, and then announced that he was sentenced to the capital punishment of execution. After that, the convict was taken into the prison yard and put in a covered car with bulletproof sides…”
For the enforcement of the court decision and the burial of the executed, as Firsanov further showed, the place of kilometers 10 from the city of Eagle towards Mtsensk and Bolkhovo, in the so-called Medvedevsky forest, was determined. He knows about it from the report of his subordinates – employees of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Oryol region Chernousov K. A., Slyunyaev N. I. and Terebkov G. I., who were members of the commission to enforce the sentence. According to Firsanov, he himself was not at the scene of the shooting.
Noting the secrecy and thoroughness with which the operation was conducted, Firsanov pointed out:
“…With the persons who were to be shot, there were still about 200 convicts in the cells. This was done in order to disguise the upcoming action … Then these 200 convicts were evacuated the day after the execution of their cellmates …”.
From Firsanov’s explanations it follows that the trees, which were in the forest at the burial site, were preliminary dug out with roots, and after the burial the shot were planted in their places. Up to October 3, 1941, i.e. the capture of the Eagle by the German fascist troops, as noted Firsanov, they were repeatedly sent to the place of execution of subordinates under the guise of mushrooms to check the condition of the burial site. According to their reports, the situation at the burial site was not disturbed (v. 1, 274-281).
During the investigation of this criminal case, the persons who carried out the execution of the sentence and the place of burial of the executed were identified, but it was not possible to find the participants of this action and the place of burial of the convicts.
Assessing in aggregate the evidence collected in the case, it should be concluded that the persons involved in the execution of the sentence of September 8, 1941 on the execution of 161 convicts could not have been aware that this judicial decision of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR was illegal and therefore their actions did not contain any elements of any crime.
As for the criminal activity of Beria and Kobulov, who were the initiators of the decision to shoot 170 convicts detained in Orlovskaya prison, both of them were sentenced to the highest punishment – shooting (v. 2, p. 193-197) by the Special Judicial presence of the Supreme Court of the USSR on December 23, 1953 for the crimes committed, including these acts.
Thus, the investigation established that the sentence of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR of September 8, 1941, passed in the following composition: presiding Ulrich V. V., members of the Collegium of Kandybin D. Kandybin. Ya. and V. V. Bukanov in respect of 161 prisoners is illegal and groundless, which raises the question of his appeal.
Since this court decision was made on the basis of the decision of the State Defense Committee, the highest state authority at that time, the actions of Ulrich V. V., Kandybin D. V. and Bukanov V. V. Ya. and Bukanov V. V. do not contain any criminal elements.
On the basis of the above, and in accordance with the paragraph. Art. 208 para. 1 and Art. 209 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR, –
1. The criminal case against Ulrich Vasil Vasilievich, Zmitser Yakovlevich Kandybin and Vasil Vasil Vasilievich Bukanov should be stopped on the basis of para. 2 of article 5 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR for lack of corpus delicti.
2. 2. A copy of the decision should be sent to the Chief Military Prosecutor.
The military prosecutor of the first division of the Department of the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office for rehabilitation
Lieutenant Colonel of Justice V. Zybtsev

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