Kerch is a port city in the east of the Crimea Peninsula. Soviet media reported that German formations had committed a massacre outside of this city, near the village of Bagerovo. Photos of dozens of dead civilians littering the landscape were published alongside small pits with a few dead bodies, yet still it was claimed that 7,000 victims had been executed in an anti-tank ditch two kilometers long. Joseph Weingartner, who claimed to have survived the execution, claimed that the victims had to undress before the execution, yet all the photos show fully dressed persons.

During the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, the Soviets presented an “expert report” on this alleged massacre, in which they added that the Germans killed school children with poisoned pies, or by smearing a quick-acting poison onto their lips. While there is no way of verifying or refuting this story, its improbability points at the pure propaganda nature of this report. Yet because the report came from one of the Allied governments, the Tribunal had to accept it as incontestable evidence.

No German document attests to any massacre in Kerch, and certainly not of the claimed magnitude. In 1944, the Soviets compiled a list of wartime victims of the city of Kerch. It contains just over 1,200 names. Even if true, these would include victims of all causes – starvation, diseases, armed conflict, partisan activities etc.

This case shows how Soviet media and investigators turned wartime atrocity propaganda into legally incontestable evidence, thus polluting the historical record with forgeries.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2022c, pp. 715-720.)

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