The Pittsburgh Press (August 6, 1943)
Reds charge blinding of many in Caucasus
Moscow, USSR (UP) –
An extraordinary Soviet committee investigating German atrocities charged yesterday that thousands of patients had been dragged from Soviet hospitals to be murdered in mobile gas chambers and that hundreds of other “absolutely guiltless citizens” had been shot or tortured to death in the Stavropol region of the Caucasus.
Basing its charges on excavations of bodies in the last two months and upon the testimony of eyewitnesses, the committee, headed by academician Aleksey Tolstoy, charged that Nazi occupation authorities and German medical chiefs ordered the “mass exterminations” with carbon monoxide gas in “murderess” vans.
Citing an example of German terrorism, the committee said that before retreating from Georgiyevsk on Jan. 9 and 10, 1943, on the order of the chief of German hospitals, Baron von Haimann, methylated spirits and oxalic acid were sold by German soldiers to Soviet citizens instead of alcohol and baking soda.
The committee said:
A mass poisoning of the town took place. Out of 714 cases, 214 were poisoned by methylated spirits and 50 persons were blinded. Many citizens were gravely poisoned by the so-called “soda” which they mixed into dough for baking bread.