KILL the German!
by Ilya Ehrenburg
Before Stalingard the Germans captured a wounded Russian—Junior Sergeant Petrov, a Guardsman. They tried to make him talk. "You'll answer us!" they yelled. But Petrov remained silent. A German officer cut off his ear with his dagger, but still the Red Army man remained silent. The the Germans cut off his nose. But they did not make him speak. He shook his head slowly, his head streaming with blood.
In the Tver forests there used to live an old Russian peasant, Ivan Mikhailovich Volkhov by name. He was 66. The Germans captured him and started to question him. Volkhov remained silent. The Germans beat him, hacked him with knives, but the old man would not speak a word. Then they shot him.
There used to be a school in Zheleznitsa village. The Germans arrived. They seized Nadya Stolyarova, a pupil in Class I. She was only nine years old. They did not "interrogate" her. They only beat her up, and then murdered her with a rifle-butt.
In Semyonovschina village the Germans threw four young children into a well. Their mother cried, but the Germans told her "We don't need the well. We've enough water without it."
In Shchelkanovo village the Germans tied a 90-year old peasant woman, Smirnova, to the saddle and whipped the horse on, so that she was battered to death. In the village of Sklyayevo the Germans caught a 17-year old girl, raped her, disfigured her, cut off her breasts and slashed open her stomach.
Such are the chronicle of every day. The record of these crimes fills volume on volume. They are perpetrated not by individual scoundrels, but by the German Army. They are part of the official plans of German strategists, and are encouraged by the Nazi authorities. They are planned in Berlin. The whole of Germany is answerable for these crimes.
"If even a single shot is fired in a town or village the place must be razed to the ground, and the greatest possible number of citizens captured and shot. This must be the invariable rule."
"If we desire to secure peace it is necessary to act radically, to follow up the war against armies by the complete extermination of the hostile peoples. After the final defeat on the battlefield, it is necessary to start warring against women and children. When the physical strength of the people has been completely exhausted, the vanquished race will disappear for good."
These lines were penned 43 years ago, in 1899, by General Weidergeher. Von Kleist, Von Bock and Guderian had worthy predecessors. There is no need for the Germans to blame Hitler for everything—for half a century they have been learning how to cut off ears and fling children into wells.
They are cannibals by conviction. The destruction of women, the devastation of peaceful villages, the murder of infants in arms are for them military science and State wisdom.
Fighter! Guardsman Petrov, smothered in blood, was your comrade, your friend, your brother. Fighter! You are the judge and you are the executioner. Before you stands a German—before you stands one of those who tortured Petrov. Do not delay. Kill the German.
Fighter! The body of the old woman Smirnova, trampled by the horse's hooves, is the body of your mother! Quitely she lived out her years. In toil and sorrow she reared her sons and grandsons. On a cool autumn day she liked to sit on the bench and gossip with her neighbours. She gave birth to you, fighter! Avenge her!
Fighter! The Russian girl whom they raped and killed used to sing merrily every morning, before the Germans came. She had grey eyes and golden hair. She had loved ones.
She may have been your beloved. Her honour has been violated, her young life has burned out like a match in the wind. She was tortured, she was murdered! Fighter! Her violators stand before you. The unprotected girl was helpless before them. But you have a rifle and hand-grenades. Make them pay!
Nadya Stolyarova was a schoolgirl with ink stained fingers. She was a good, merry child. She was murdered. Even a turtle-dove becomes ferocious when its young are killed. Even a deer defends its young. Fighter! Avenge your daughter!
In 1899 the Germans decided to destroy the peoples. In 1914 they started to rehearse. They tested the first gallows, they tested the skill of the incendiaries. They destroyed millions, but that was not enough for them. They found a worthy leader, Hitler, and they attacked us. They did not attack the army, but the people, the villages, the women, young and old, the babes in arms.
Fighter! Close your eyes. Guardsman Petrov, half-dead, stands before you, shakes his head. He did not waver. Neither did old man Volkhov. Neither has Russia wavered—she remains silent, waiting. She awaits judgment.
The German criminals, too, await judgment. Fighter! You are the bearer of the judgment of the people! Do not retreat! Advance and bring judgment!
THE GERMANS CAME TO MURDER US. THEY MUST AND WILL NOT ESCAPE—NOT ONE OF THEM. KILL THE GERMAN FOR HIS DEEDS! KILL HIM QUICKLY!