Soviet Invasion Decree

(November 1, 1942)


Moscow, November 1, 1942

Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the formation of an Extraordinary State Committee for the ascertaining and investigation of crimes committed by the German-fascist invaders and their associates and damage caused by them to citizens, collective farms, public bodies, State enterprises and institutions of the USSR:

Having treacherously attacked the Soviet Union, the German-fascist invaders and their associates commit monstrous crimes on Soviet territory temporarily occupied by them-they torture, torment and murder peaceful residents, forcibly abduct hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens to foreign slavery, plunder the urban and rural population wholesale and carry away to Germany the private properties of Soviet citizens built by their honest labor, also the property of collective farms and of the State, destroy the monuments of art and culture of the peoples of the Soviet Union and ransack the artistic and historical values, destroy places of religious worship and loot their utensils.

For all these monstrous crimes which are being committed by the German-fascist invaders and their accomplices and for all material damage they have caused to Soviet citizens, collective farms, cooperative and other public bodies, State enterprises and institutions of the Soviet Union, the criminal Hitlerite Government, the German Army Command and their associates bear the full criminal and material responsibility.

For a full registration of the villainous crimes committed by the Germans and their accomplices and the damage caused by them to the citizens, collective farms, public bodies, State enterprises and institutions of the USSR; for the unification and coordination of the work already being done by the Soviet State organs for the registration of these crimes and the damage caused by the invaders; for the definition of the damage caused by the German occupationists and their associates to the citizens of the Soviet Union and for establishing the size of possible compensation for personal damage; for the definition on the basis of documentary data of the extent of the damage sustained by the Soviet State, collective farms and public bodies, and subject to compensation in conformance with the just demands of the Soviet people; for the identification in all cases where it will be possible of the German-fascist criminals guilty of the organization or perpetration of the crimes on occupied Soviet territory, with the object of the prosecution of these criminals and their strict punishment, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resolves:

(1) To form an Extraordinary State Committee for the ascertaining and investigation of the crimes committed by the German-fascist invaders and their associates and the damage caused by them to citizens, collective farms, public bodies, State enterprises and institutions of the USSR;

(2) To charge the Extraordinary State Committee with the investigation of crimes committed by the German-fascist invaders, with the collection of documentary data, their verification, and the preparation of all material concerning the crimes committed by the Hitlerite criminals and the material damage caused to Soviet citizens, collective farms and the State as a result of the occupation of Soviet territories by the armies of Hitlerite Germany and her associates. With this end in view, the Committee must conduct as fully as possible the registration of: (a) the facts of the murder of peaceful citizens and the outrages perpetrated by the occupationists upon defenseless persons, women and children and old men, as well as the facts of the abduction of Soviet people to German slavery; (b) the damage caused by the Hitlerite invaders to the Soviet population by the destruction of houses and other buildings, the pillage and destruction of implements, food-stocks, cattle and poultry, household articles, and also by the exacting from the population of indemnities, fines, taxes and other levies; (c) the damage caused by the invasion and brigandage of the German-fascist occupationists to collective farms, cooperatives, trade unions and other public bodies through the ransacking and destruction of building structures and equipment: serving the needs of production and cultural or material needs, stocks of raw materials, food-stuffs and commodities, sowings of agricultural crops, forest tracts, fruit and other plantations, as well as other collective farm and cooperative property; (d) the damage caused by the occupationists to State enterprises and institutions of the Soviet Union, through the destruction and looting of plants, factories, power stations, mines, oilfields, various industrial structures and equipment, railways, highways, bridges, canals and hydrotechnical structures, railway stations and harbor structures, sea- and river-going ships, automobiles and horse-drawn vehicles, communication facilities; also forests, agricultural lands, harvests, perennial plantations and other national property; (e) the damage caused by the Hitlerite invaders through the ransacking and destruction of the artistic, cultural and historical values of the peoples of the USSR, the destruction of museums, scientific institutions, hospitals, schools, establishments of higher education, libraries, theaters and other cultural institutions, also buildings, equipment and utensils of religious worship; (f) damage caused to the population and the Soviet State by the evacuation of citizens, industrial enterprises, property of collective farms and other public bodies to the interior of the USSR;

(3) To authorize the Extraordinary State Committee to charge the appropriate organs with the investigation and interrogation of victims, the gathering of testimonies of witnesses and other documentary data relating to the violence, atrocities, plunder and destruction and other criminal actions of the Hitlerite occupationists and their associates; to bind the local organs of the Soviet Government to render the Extraordinary State Committee every assistance in its work.

(4) To appoint the following members of the Extraordinary State Committee for the ascertaining and investigation of the crimes committed by the German-fascist invaders and their associates and the damage caused by them to citizens, collective farms, public bodies, State enterprises and institutions of the USSR:

N. Shvernik, President; Academician Burdenko, Academician Vedeneyev, P. Grizodubova, A. Zhdanov, Nikolai, Metropolitan of Kiev and Galich, Academician Lysenko, Academician Tarle, Alexei Tolstoy, Academician Trainin.

(5) To authorize the Council of People's Commissars to approve the status of the Extraordinary State Committee for the Investigation of Crimes Committed by the German-fascist Invaders.

Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Kalinin

Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Gorkin


Source: Information Bulletin, Embassy of The U.S.S.R., (November 10, 1942), ibiblio