ESC - War Crimes
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Extraordinary State Commission to Investigate and Establish War Crimes of the German-Fascist Invaders
The “Extraordinary State Commission to Investigate and Establish War Crimes of the German-Fascist Invaders” was set up by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. on 2nd November 1942, to investigate and document the atrocities that occurred during the German occupation of the Soviet Union. The Extraordinary State Commission (ESC) compiled testimonial information gathered from the evidence of neighbours, eyewitnesses, and survivors.  Republican, regional and district municipal commissions were created to assist in the work of the ESC, regional commissions contributed their reports to a centralised commission in Moscow. Both the central office, as well as the local offices of the ESC, were composed of statesmen (Communist Party members) and representatives of public research and cultural organisations, as well as of religious denominations.  Their duty was to collect and verify data, and draw up protocols on the atrocities of the German invaders and on the damage caused to the Soviet Union and its citizens. In this process a total of 54,784 such protocols were produced, of which a small number were submitted by the Soviet prosecutors in evidence for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity at Nuremburg at the end of World War II.

After the war these protocols were deposited in the Central State Archive of the October Revolution in Moscow (Tsentral'nyi Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Oktiabr'skoi Revoliutsii), which is now called the State Archive of the Russian Federation (Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii) or GARF.

Copies of the protocols were presented to Yad Vashem after the dismantling of the USSR.  They are available on line, still in their original Russian form, though many of the names have recently been added to Yad Vashem's list of victims often with spellings that makes identification complex.

The records are of both genealogical and historical interest because they contain numerous lists of Jewish victims as well as testimonies of witnesses and townspeople to the specific Nazi actions in a given locale. The documents relating to Kretinga are of a type titled, "Name list of Soviet Citizens executed (by firing squad), hanged, or tortured". The vast majority of citizens on these lists were Jewish and sometimes they are explicitly identified as such, while many others were local (Lithuanian) communists.

Though many of the victim lists used a standard form, in some cases they ran out of space. In these cases, either a substitute form was relabeled and used, or the column headers, title, and so forth were simply handwritten on a blank or lined sheet of paper.

Below the title was noted the administrative hierarchy for the town whose victim list is presented  - selo (town), sel'sovet, oblast, and raion.   If the list for a town  
ESC at Ponar in 1944
The protocol for Slobodka was investigated between March to April of 1944.  The protocol includes the names of 136 victims of the Nazis and their Lithuanian accomplices at Ponar.  As the information was based on evidence given by neighbours, the spellings are often mangled.  Still there is no problem in identifying the victims.  Victims from the family are marked in blue.
The Slobodka ESC Protocols
List of Soviet citizens Murdered by the German Occupiers in Slobodka Village, Braslav Region, Polotsk Oblast
Original GARF File: 7021-92-209  Yad Vashem File: M33, JM/20021, Item 5722665
The ESC Inspects the Death Pits at Ponar near Vilna
ends somewhere in the page, the list for the next town may begin directly after it. The main columns of information from left to right were: name (last, first, patronymic), year of birth, gender, nationality (often "ebp", cyrillic for evrei or 'Jew'), occupation, last place of work. The patronymic, occupation and last place of work are often omitted.

While the protocols contain vital information, they must be treated with care.  Neighbours often had good reasons not to reveal all the data they knew and many of the names contained are misspelled.  Furthermore, deciphering cyrillic handwriting is quite a challenge and best attempted together with a Russian speaker.

ESC-Slobodka 1
No Name
(as written)
Corrected Name Age
Occupation Place of Work
1 Dogovich, Samuil Shmuel Dagovitch 65 Male Baker Slobodka
2 Dogovich, Miria Sheine-Mirel Dagovitch 60 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Dogovich, Lyova Leibe Dagovitch 22 Male Son  
4 Dogovich, Shender Sander Dagovitch 20 Male Son Slobodka
5 Dogovich, Khasa Chasia Dagovitch 20 Female Housewife  
6 Dogovich, daughter Dagovitch 1 Female Daughter  
1 Amber, Savko   70 Male Tailor Slobodka
1 Gamfer, Yudel Yehuda Kanfer 53 Male Agriculturalist Slobodka
2 Gamfer, Khana Lea Chasia-Leah Kanfer 50 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Gamfer, Rakhil Rachel-Raizel Kanfer 18 Female Daughter  
4 Gamfer, Agsey Chaim-Shaike Kanfer 17 Male Son  
5 Gamfer, Aron Aharon-David Kanfer 22 Male Son  
6 Gamfer, Son   12 Male Son  
1 Damarin, Savko Zalki Tamarin 52 Male Butcher Slobodka
2 Damarin, Lyuba Liba Tamarin-Liff 44 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Damarin, Gabel Freddy Tamarin 12 Male Son  
4 Damarin, Fralya Tovki? Tamarin 13 Female Daughter  
5 Damarin, daughter Zelda Tamarin 10 Female Daughter  
6 Damarin, Iosif Mendel Tamarin 6 Male Son  
7 Damarin, Liza Tamarin 70 Female Mother  
1 Gafer, Shloyma Shlomo Kanfer 70 Male Butcher Slobodka
2 Gafer, Khana Nechama-Dvora Kanfer 70 Female Housewife Slobodka
ESC-Slobodka 2
No Name
(as written)
Corrected Name Age
Occupation Place of Work
1 Ganfer, Selik Zelig Kanfer 28 Male Butcher Slobodka
2 Ganfer, Sonya Sonya Kanfer 25 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Ganfer, daughter Kanfer 14 Female Daughter  
4 Ganfer, Aron Aharon Kanfer 12 Male Son  
5 Ganfer, son Kanfer 8 Male Son  
6 Ganfer, girl Kanfer 6 Female Daughter  
7 Ganfer Kanfer 1   Child  
1 Lior, Simma Sima Lior 50 Female Housewife Slobodka
2 Lior, Moisey Moshe Lior 22 Male Tailor Slobodka
3 Lior, Beylya Beila Lior 20 Female Daughter  
1 Bykov, Dovyd David Byk 60 Male Tailor Slobodka
2 Bykov, Khasa Chasia Byk 60 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Bykov, Meyer Meir Byk 23 Male Tailor Slobodka
4 Bykov, Gida Gilda Byk 20 Female Daughter  
5 Bykov, Tanya Tanya Byk 18 Female Daughter  
1 Amdur, Lazar Lazar Amdur 58 Male Chimney Sweep Slobodka
2 Amdur Freyda Freida Amdur 55 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Amdur, Elya Ella Amdur 25 Female Tailor Slobodka
1 Skop, Khasya Chasia Skop 45 Female Tanner Slobodka
2 Skop, Belka Bella Skop 14 Female Daughter  
3 Skop, daughter Skop 12 Female Daughter  
4 Skop, Belya Bella 70 Female Watchman Slobodka
1 Dogovich, Nokha Nachum Dagovitch 65 Male   Slobodka
2 Dogovich, Sonya Sonia Dagovitch 60 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Dogovich, Shloyma Shlomo Dagovitch 28 Male Tailor Slobodka
No Name
(as written)
Corrected Name Age
Occupation Place of Work
4 Dagovich Mariya Merka Dagovitch 25 Female Housewife Slobodka
5 Dagovich, Emiliya Emilya Dagovitch 35 Female Housewife Slobodka
1 Khatskel, Munya   25 Male Cobbler Slobodka
1 Selifman, Sora-Lea Sarah Leah Zelikman 70 Female Housewife Slobodka
1 Selifman, Slova Chava-Slova Zelikman 65 Female Baker Slobodka
2 Selifman, Riva Riva Zelikman 40 Female Baker Slobodka
3 Selifman, Rafail Raphael Folke Zelikman 28 Male Electrician Slobodka
4 Selifman, Yacob Yankel Zelikman 25 Male    
1 Vinokur, Khasya Chasia Winokur 70 Female Housewife Slobodka
2 Vinokur, Manya Winokur 40 Female Housewife Slobodka
1 Kvin, Samuil Samuel Kvin 42 Male Mechanic Slobodka
2 Kvin, Ida Ida Kvin 42 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Kvin, Belya Bella Kvin 8 Female Daughter  
4 Kvin Kvin 6   Child  
5 Kvin Kvin 3   Child  
1 Svortzman, Lyova Leib Swartzman 45 Male Farmer Slobodka
2 Svortzman, Manya Malca Swartzman (Zelikman) 45 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Svortzman, Mariya Mera Swartzman 18 Female Daughter  
4 Svortzman, Eda Eda Swartzman 8 Female Daughter  
1 Liv, Sodokh Zerach Liff 60 Male Tailor Slobodka
2 Liv, Liza Lisa Liff 18 Female   Slobodka
3 Liv, daughter Liff 16 Female    
1 Enden, Borkh Baruch Antin 23 Male Electrician Slobodka
2 Enden, Sulya Shula Antin 20 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Enden, Mera Merle Antin 2 Female Daughter  
ESC-Slobodka 5
ESC-Slobodka 3
No Name
(as written)
Corrected Name Age
Occupation Place of Work
1 Khasin, Khaim Chaim Chazin 70 Male Repairman Slobodka
2 Khasin, Model Mordechai Chazin 45 Male House-husband Slobodka
3 Khasin, Lyuba Luba Chazin 42 Female Housewife Slobodka
4 Khasin, Doyba Taube Chazin 14 Female Pupil  
5 Khasin, Beyne Beni Chazin 9 Male Child  
1 Kochelnik, Afseya   35 Male Repairman Slobodka
2 Kocheknik, Doyba   30 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Kochelnik, daughter   2 Female Daughter  
1 Belyak, Sonya Sonia Biliak 40 Female Housewife Slobodka
2 Belyak, Khaym Chaim Biliak 13 Male Son  
3 Belyak, Khaya Chaya Biliak 8 Female Daughter  
4 Belyak, Mera Mary Biliak 6 Female Daughter  
1 Kamerov, Salmon Zalman Gemrov 45 Male Farmer Slobodka
2 Kamerova, Khasya Chasia Gemrov 35 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Kamerov, Iosif Yosef Gemrov 3 Male Son  
1 Gens, Sofa Sarah Gans 65 Female Housewife Slobodka
1 Gendalis, Davyd David Hendeles 50 Male Cobbler Slobodka
2 Gendalis, Khasya Chasia Hendeles 45 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Gendalis, Fedya Feybush Hendeles 18 Male Son  
4 Gendalis, Khatzgel Yechezkel Hendeles 16 Male Son  
5 Gendalis Sarah Hendeles 12 Female Daughter  
6 Gendalis, Iosif Mendel Hendeles 8 Male Son  
7 Gendalis Hendeles 6 Male Son  
ESC-Slobodka 4
No Name
(as written)
Corrected Name Age
Occupation Place of Work
1 Geskin, Gilka Hillel Gaskin 55 Male Butcher Slobodka
2 Geskin, Sonia Sarah Gaskin 45 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Geskin, Mulya Mulka Gaskin 18 Male Pupil  
1 Dagovich, Semen
Shimon-Behr Dagovitch 58 Male Butcher Slobodka
2 Dagovich, Riva Chaya-Riva Dagovitch 58 Female Seamstress Slobodka
1 Dagovich, Khana Lea Chana-Leah Dagovitch 45 Female Housewife Slobodka
2 Dagovich, Sora-Bassa Sarah-Batya Dagovitch 20 Female Seamstress Slobodka
3 Dagovich, Mulya Shmelke Dagovitch 14 Male Pupil  
4 Dagovich, Mendel Mendel Dagovitch 8 Male Son  
1 Gens, Bentien (Abramov) Ben-Zion Gans 36 Male Tailor Slobodka
2 Gens, Abram Abram Gans 3 Male Son  
3 Gens, Fanya Fanny Gans 2 Female Daughter  
4 Gens, Fanya   1 Female Daughter  
1 Lir, Izrael Mendelevich Israel Liff 48 Male Tailor Slobodka
2 Lir, Rokhel Rachel Liff 48 Male Housewife Slobodka
3 Lir, Itzek Yitzhak Liff 16 Male Tailor Slobodka
4 Lir, Zelne Zelda-Mera Liff 12 Female Daughter  
5 Lir, Matlya Matle Liff 10 Female Daughter survived
6 Lir, Sholom Scholem Liff 7 Male Son  
7 Lir, Rokhel Rachel Liff 5 Female Daughter  
1 Khidekel, Abram Yankel Abraham-Yitzhak Chidekel 60 Male Glazier Slobodka
2 Khidekel, Khinda Hinda Chidekel 55 Female Housewife Slobodka
1 Binbat, Yaine Yona Bimbat 43 Male Worker Slobodka
2 Binbat, Khaidin Chaya-Dina Bimbat 40 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Binbat, Khasya Chasia Bimbat 1 Female Daughter  
ESC-Slobodka 6
No Name
(as written)
Corrected Name Age
Occupation Place of Work
1 Elman, Model Motel Edelman 25 Male Farmer Slobodka
2 Elman, Liza Leah Edelman 25 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Elman, Tzelya Tzila Edelman 8 Female Daughter  
4 Elman Edelman 2 Female Child  
1 Ruzhonik, Yakub Yankel Ruzonik 70 Male Glazier Slobodka
2 Ruzhonik, Liza Liza Ruzonik 70 Female Housewife Slobodka
1 Samovar, Iosif Abraham-Yosel Samovar 70 Male Butcher Slobodka
2 Samovar, Liza Samovar 40 Female Housewife Slobodka
3 Samovar, Lyuba Luba Samovar 25 Female Daughter  
4 Samovar, Khona Chone Samovar 23 Male Son  
The protocol for Braslav was investigated between March to April of 1944.  The protocol, written in part on pages ripped from an old ledger, includes the names of 747 victims of the Nazis and their accomplices.  Many others are named to the Yizkor volume for Braslav.  
The Braslav ESC Protocols
List of the Murdered, Hanged and Tormented Citizens of the USSR,  Braslav Town, Polotsk Oblast
Original GARF File: 7021-92-209  Yad Vashem File: M33, JM/20021, Item 5722696
Copyright © 2008 Jon Seligman.  All Rights Reserved.
Total 136

Chairman Slobodka
Signed Chevketov
Secretary (unclear)