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the record. I am going to introduce these photographs because Mr.
Grantskalns was present when the acts and incidents which are re-
vealed in the photographs took place and knows of them personally.

]\Ir. Kerstkn. Well, I assume by your latter statement that they
can be further identified by this Avitness, and if there is any further
identification necessary, I see Mr. Jekste is in the hearing room. He
has already identified them in Washington, as you state.


Mr. McTiGUE. That is right. Mr. Grantskahis can also identify
them, particuhirly the incidents revealed in the photographs.

Will you identify youreelf, please, Mr. Grantskahis?

Mr. Grantskalns. My name is Atis Grantskahis.

Mr. Kersten. Will you spell it for us, please?

Mr. Grantskalns. The first name is A-t-i-s ; last name, G-r-a-n-t-

I was born on December 26, 1907 in Latvia.

Mr, Kersten. Where do you presently live ?

Mr. Grantskalns. My mailing address is R. F. D. 2, Box 4-2-0,.
Nixon, N. J.

Mr. Kersten. How long have you been in the United States?

Mr. Grantskalns. I came to the United States in March 1950.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you a judge of the Riga court in Latvia?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes. Before the Russians occupied Latvia, I
used to be a judge of the district court at Riga, Latvia.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you an examining judge of the court, which
is comparable in American jurisprudence to a district attorney?

Mr. Grantskalns. Something like that.

Mr, McTiGUE. Will you proceed, please, with your statement con-
cerning what happened after the Soviets left Latvia. Let me go back
a moment. Were you there when Latvia was seized by the Soviet?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. What did you do during the time it was under
Soviet control?

Mr. Grantskalns. When the Russians took over the control of free
Latvia I was fired as a judge and was most of that year unemployed;
only the last part I got a job as a truck driver.

Mr, McTiGUE. Tell us what happened after the Soviet left?

Mr. Grantskalns. The Soviets were driven out of Latvia 1st of
July 1941, And all of us that formed the Latvian Government —
employees, judges, and so on who were still alive and around — arrived
on the 1st of July. We went back to our jobs which we left a year
ago when the Russians, the Bolshevists came in, because we never rec-
ognized that Bolshevist regime and felt that we still are in our posi-
tions ; only temporarily we couldn't work.

So right on July 1 when the Russians left we came back and took
our seats again and stayed to organize administration in Latvia
again. That was the day when the Riga courthouse was surrounded
by thousands of Latvians who were very anxious to get some inf onna-
tion about their family members and relatives which were arrested
2 weeks earlier and deported to Russia, to Siberia.

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Grantskalns, what date are you talking about

Mr. Grantskalns. That is July 1, 1941.

Mr. Kersten. This was immecliately after the Soviets, the NKVD'
left, is that correct ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, that is correct.

Mr. KJERSTEN. And do I understand correctly that a short time
before, that is a few weeks before they left, and during that period up
to the time they left, a great many things were going on in Latvia,
such as deportations and murders ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is correct,

Mr, Kersten. Go right ahead.

52975— 54— pt. 1 8


Mr. Grantskalns. Latvians were in a state of terror at that time.
And so on July 1 they came to the courthouse of Kiga and were anx-
ious to get some information. The only thing we could do at that
time was we started to register or to put on a list all the people who
were missing since the deportations took place.

So that was where we started that big list which later was handed
over to International Red Cross in Switzerland. This list is now
printed in Sweden, in book form, which has the title, "Those Names

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Grantskalns, you were present during the first
year of Red occupation ?

Mr, Grantskalns. Yes.

Mr. IvERSTEN. And it was inunediately after the Soviets withdrew
that these lists were made, is that correct ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is correct. We started with those lists on
the first day after the Soviets left.

Mr. Kersten. Was this in the city of Riga ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That was in the city of Riga.

Mr. Kersten. How big is Riga ?

Mr, Grantskalns. Well, Riga had a population of about 350,000.

Mr, Kersten, You were a judge in that city ?

Mr, Grantskalns, That is right.

Mr. Kersten. Go right ahead.

Mr. McTiGUE. What happened on July 2, 1941 ?

Mr. Grantskalns. On July 2, 1941, I got information from an
employee from the Riga Sanitary Office that the surroundings around
the Riga central prison are filled with very heavy smells which comes
from the prison. So I went to the central prison and found that the
prison was totally abandoned ; it was empty, and there were no guards
and no jailed persons, no prisoners.

An investigation showed later that the prisoners were deported.
A couple of days before the Communists left they were all deported
to Russia, except for a small number who managed to escape in that
tumult, and so we could interrogate them later.

Well, in the prison yard, between the buildings, I found two places
■where the ground was disturbed and those places had that smell
which was characteristic of corpses. So I immediately founded a
commission which I headed. This commission had as a member 3
district attorneys, 2 court physicians, 2 examining magistrates, and
some technical assistants.

This commission started to open up those two pits between the
l)rison buildings. We discovered that those pits were filled with
corpses, with bodies.

Mr. McTiGUE. This photograph has already been identified by Mr.
Jekste in Washington. I hand you this photograph, Mr. Grantskalns,
and ask you if that is a photograph of the central prison yard in Riga ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is a photograph of the central prison yard
in Riga. This photograph was made in my presence.

Mr. McTiGUE. It was made in your presence ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is right.

Mr. KJERSTEN. When, what day? Do you recall the approximate-


Mr. Grantskalns. That was July 3 — yes ; I am sure July 3. Ex-
cuse me. We were there 2 days, so* maybe that picture was taken on
July 4. It was taken on one of those days.

Mr. Kersten. Does that photograph correctly represent the scene
that you saw at that time ?

Mr. Grantskalns, That is correct. That is a part of the prison
yard. It shows part of the corps he took out of the pit.

Mr. McTiGUE. This photograph, Mr. Chairman, which I would like
to introduce, has not yet been identified by Mr. Jekste.

Mr. Kersten. It will be received ; it has been identified now as cor-
rectly representing the scene that lie saw.

Mr. McTigue. 1 am referring to this one that I have in my hand.

Mr. Kersten. You mean the first one you referred to ?

Mr. McTiGUE. I am referring to this one I have in my hand now.
I am through with that photograph.

Mr. Kersten. May we mark this ?

Mr. McTiGUE. That has already been marked as an exhibit.

Mr. Kersten. The first photograph which you referred to, Mr.
Counsel, as showing the courtyard between the buildings of the prison,
has already been marked "Exhibit 6-DD."

Mr. McTiGUE. It has been marked "Exhibit 6-DD," and is also
admitted as part of this witness's testimony.


Mr. McTiGTjE. Mr. Grantskalns, I submit you a photograph. WiU
you identify that photograph 'i

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes. This photograph was taken also in Kiga
central prison yard and shows a couple of the workers, the assistants,
which are taken off the bodies. This particular person I can identify
because I know him. That was a doctor's assistant who used to work
all the time with my commission.

Mr. Kersten. Whom are you identifying on there, a live person
or a corpse ?

Mr. Grantskalns. A live person. The name of the particular
corpse I don't remember any more.

Mr. Kjsrsten. But the man in the picture who is stooping over
there is a person you recognize ; is that right ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Is he a doctor ?

Mr. Grantskalns. No, he isn't a doctor. He is a doctor's assistant,
something like an orderly.

Mr. McTiGUE. I ask that this be marked for identification and
entered as exhibit 7-A.

Mr. Kersten. So ordered.

(The photograph was marked "Exhibit 7-A," see p. 558.)

Mr. McTiGUE. Will you proceed, Mr. Grantskalns ?

Mr. Grantskalns. When we took out the corpses we counted them,
and in the first pit we found 62 bodies, and in other one 37; so,
altogether 99. We found in the pockets of the clothes on the bodies
some documents, some slips of paper, and so we could identify those
bodies. Then w^e notified the relatives of the victims, and the relatives
came in and recognized the bodies, and then they were buried.

Mr. McTiGUE. 'V\^io were some of the victims ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Well, we made up a nominal list of the victims,
and when we went over that list we could see that among: the victims


there were officers, army colonels, laborers, lawyers, doctors, business-
men; even the aide-de-camp of the Latvian Prime Minister, the di-
rector of the department of schools, and so on. That was a cross
section of the Latvian population which was compiled m that prison.

Mr. McTiGUE. I hand you a photograph, Mr. Grantskalns which I
will ask you to identify, if you can. . • • -,

Mr. Grantskalns. I know personally the person who is pictured
here in this photograph. That is the former director of the depart-
ment of Latvian schools, Arnold Chuibe. This is a picture of how he
looked when he was alive. And this is a picture taken of his body
which we took out of the pit. That picture was taken in my presence
in the prison yard.

Mr. McTiGUE. How did you identify that body ?

Mr. Grantskalns. I don't remember particularly how we identi-
fied Mr. Chuibe's body, but generally all of the bodies had in their
pockets some papers with their names. Then we asked the relatives,
the wives, the children that came in and recognized the bodies.

Mr. Kersten. That will be marked "Exhibit 7-B."

(The photograph was marked "Exhibit T-B," see p. 559.)

Mr. Grantskalns. A\Tien that work was finished in the prison
yard we went inside the prison office and looked over what was left,
what kind of documents we could see there. At that point we found
a nominal list of some, close to 100 Latvian citizens, and this list was
endorsed in red ink, dated June 26, 1941, signed by the NKVD Com-
missar, Schustin, which was in charge of the Latvian secret police.
That was endorsed with the following sentence in Russian, but trans-
lated in English that means something like

Mr. Keesten. Do you know the Russian word that was on there?

Mr. Grantskalns. The Russian text was

Mr. McTiGUE. Before proceeding, I will show you a photostatic
copy of 8i document, Mr. Grantskalns, and ask you if you can
identify it?

Mr. Grantskalns. Sure. That is a document we found in the
prison office.

Mr. McTiGUE. Have you seen the original of that document ?

Mr. Grantskalns. I have seen that original many times, and that
original is now outside of Latvia. It is in Germany. I know where
it is and who holds it.

Mr. Kersten. I might say for the record that recently in Germany
I saw the same original list. That is signed by NKVD officer Schustin,
and with an endorsement near his name of some Russian words
which in substance, as I recall, mean "To be shot."

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes. In view of the danger to the Socialist
system, all have to be shot. That is what is written here in Russian.

Mr. Kersten. Can you spell out the Russian word on there that
means "to be shot" ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, if you will return me that paper. I will
spell it out "To be shot." In Russian it is R-a-s-d-r-e-l-a-t-j. The last
letter is a Russian symbol, but it might be a "j."

Mr. Kersten. It means "To be shot" ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. How many names on that list?

Mr. Grantskalns. Well, on this list are, I think, a little bit over
100. I can't remember that exactly. But this list was made up not


very carefully, so at least four persons are listed here at least twice
in that list. It is interesting to look over this list, and each time the
reasons for it are marked down why the people are

Mr. Kersten. Let me understand you, Mr. Grantskalns. Did you
find the original of this list over there at that time ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Not I personally.

Mr. Kersten. Did you see it there?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, it was handed to me right after it was taken
out of the file cabinet.

Mr. Kersten. File cabinet where?

Mr. Grantskalns. In the Riga prison office.

Mr. Kersten. "VVho had been occupying that office just before the
Soviets left?

Mr. Grantskalns. Soviet prison guards.

Mr. Kersten. The NKVD or the prison officials ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Well, the prison officials were a part of the

Mr. Kersten. And was Schustin in charge ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Schustin was in charge of the People's Com-
missariat of National Security in Latvia.

Mr. Kersten. Is it his name that is signed to this document?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. As I understand it, there is a list of the names, a
hundred more or less, and opposite each name there is some informa-
tion as to the reasons why he was imprisoned?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, the reasons why he was arrested.

Mr. Kersten. After this notation on there, which means "To be
shot," was there some other endorsement on the order indicating that
it was put into execution ?

Mr. Grantskalns. No, there is no such order. Only later, a couple
of days later

Mr!! McTiGTJE. Before we get away from that, Mr. Grantskalns, I
hand you this copy of the document which purports to be a trans-
lation of the document which you just identified. Can you tell us
whether that is a translation of the document? AVill you compare
the two. please?

Mr. Grantskalns. Well, it would be difficult to go through the
whole document, but that is a translation of this document.

Mr. McTiGTJE'. What were some of the charges against these people
for which they were shot or executed ? Just give us 1 or 2 or 3.

Mr. Grantskalns. Well, this document contains the charges, and
some of them — as for instance here, the man who was arrested was
arrested because during the air raid he sought cover in the cemetery.

]Mr. McTiGUE. That was his crime?

Mr. Grantskalns. That was his crime.

Mr. Madden. Wliat w\as that?

Mr. Kersten. He sought cover in the cemetery, I understood you
to say.

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes. That is here listed under No. 45.

Mr. Kersten. "Wliat was his crime?

Mr. Grantskalns. Well, I will try to read this :

Accused of hostility towards the Soviet regime. During an enemy air raid
over Riga was found in a cemetery, violating military regulations. Committee
decree provided by paragraph 58.


That's all his crime.

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you have 1 or 2 others that you can pick out?

Mr. Grantskalns. I remember one here. The only crime is that
lie owned a baking shop and has hired help. I don't know the cor-
rect explanations in English.

Mr. McTiGUE. Exploiting labor?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is right.

Mr. McTiGUE. Because he owned a bakery shop and had some
hired help ?

JMr. Grantskalns. Yes, that was his crime. There is one person
whose crime was that he sang Latvian patriotic songs on the street.

Mr. McTiGUE. Is the name of Dr. Chuibe who you just identified
and whose photograph I hold up — is his name on that list?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, his name is here on this list.

Mr. McTiGTJE. He was Director of the Department of Education.

Mr. Kersten. How is Dr. Chuibe's name spelled ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That's C-h-u-i-b-e. That's the last name.

Mr. Kersten. The first name ?

Mr. Grantskalns. The first name is A-r-n-o-l-d.

Mr. Kersten. What, exactly, was he?

Mr. Grantskalns. He was the Director of the Department of

Mr. Kersten. Where ?

Mr. (JtRANTSKALNs. Ill Riga.

Mr. Kersten. All right, give us the infonnation about him, please,
the charges against the Director of Education.

Mr. Grantskalns (reading) :

Former Director of the Department of Schools, Fascist Latvia. During Ger-
man air raids signaled bombing squadrons for espionage purpose.

Mr. I^RSTEN. That's what they charged him with ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. For that he was executed ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. Did you know this Director of Education?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, I knew him.

Mr. Kersten. Had he been in office for some while, had he held that
office for sometime ?

Mr. Gr^vntskalns. He didn't hold that office under the Russians,
but before the Russians took over he was Director of the Schools, I
think for over 10 years.

Mr. Kersten. Was he well respected in the community?

Mr. Grantskalns. Very, very respected person.

Mr. Kersten. Was he a good educator so far as you know ?

Mr. Grantskalns. So far as I know, one of the best.

Mr. Kersten. He was selected by the people there, is that right ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is right.

Mr. McTigue. Before proceeding, Mr. Chairman, I would like to
have these documents marked for identification and entered as exhibits.

(The photostat referred to was marked "Exhibit 7-C," and the
translation was marked "Exhibit 7-C-l," see p. 560.)

Mr. McTiGUE. Will you proceed, Mr. Grantskalns ?

Mr. Grantskalns. A few days later I received many reports from
the various locations which were close to our capital at Riga about
other mass graves. So I continued my work as the head of that com-


mission, consisting of court officials and other specialists. We con-
ducted those examinations all that summer and fall of 1941. About
18 kilometers from Kiga, on the banks of Lake Baltezers, there is a big
summer house which belonged to a former industrialist in Riga. This
summer house was taken over by the NKVD Commissariat and used
as a recreation place for the NKVD soldiers.

They built a very thick and high fence around that property so
from the outside the people weren't able to see what was going on
inside that property. As the witnesses told me, during the Bolshevist
rule they heard, inthe afternoons usually, shots in that garden of the
■summer house, but they didn't pay much attention to those shots, be-
cause they were shooting on the banks of the lake outside the fence,
too, target shooting.

Mr. McTiGUE. Practicing ?

Mr. Grantskaljsts. Practicing. After the Bolshevists left I was in-
formed that in the summer house garden there were pits. I investi-
gated that, and we found in that garden about 10 pits, which each con-
tained about 10 or something bodies. Altogether in that garden we
took out of the pits 113 bodies.

We identified them all, and among them we found very-well-known
Latvian Government officials, army officers, police employees, and so
on — even a pupil.

Mr. McTiGUE. I hand you a photograph which I will ask you to
identify if you can.

Mr. Grantskalns. Well, this is Colonel Streips, and that's one of
the victims that we found in Baltezers.

Mr. Kersten. How do you spell that name ?

Mr. Grantskalns. S-t-r-e-i-p-s. That's the last name.

Mr. Kersten. The first name.

Mr. Grantskalns. The first name was — I am not so sure, but I
think it was V-a-1-f-r-i-d-s. As I say, I am not so sure, but that is
so far as I remember.

This is a picture of his body in Baltezers, taken in my presence after
we took out the corpses of the victims.

Mr. McTiGTJE. That will be marked for identification.

(The photograph was marked as "Exhibit 7-D," see p. 565.)

Mr. McTiGiTE. You mentioned a schoolboy whose body you dug up.

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes.

Mr. McTiGTJE, Who was the schoolboy ?

Mr. Grantskalns. The schoolboy's name was Franckevich.

Mr. McTiGUE. What was his crime ?

Mr. Grantskalns. In the pocket on his body we found two blood-
stained documents. One of them showed that he was tried the first
time and he was given 10 years' prison. And a short time later he was
tried for the second time, and the second time he was sentenced to

Mr. McTiGUE. What was he charged with ?

Mr. Gpiantskalns. The death sentence said no reasons given for
the death sentence. There was only a description of the person, of
his person, and that said that he has been a member of the 4-H Club.

Mr. McTiGUE. The 4-H Club?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, the 4-H Club. That is repeated in a very
great number of the death sentences as one of the offenses.


Mr. McTiGUE. That is like our 4-H Clubs here in the United States?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes. The same 4-H Club in Latvia was intro-
duced by our President Ulmanis who established it.

Mr. Kersten. I suppose that type of activity in 4-H Clubs in agri-
culture didn't exactly fit in with the collective farm idea of the Com-
munists, is that it?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes ; I know that. Most ; not most but a great
number of the death sentences belonging to the 4-H Clubs was some-
thing which was to be punished.

Mr. Kersten. How old was this boy, do you know ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That boy was 17 years old at the time he was
shot. He happened to be the son of a well-to-do industrialist. That
was mentioned in the death sentence, and in consequence it said that a
young man who is the son of a well-to-do father and who belongs to
a 4-H Club is a potential enemy to the Soviet system.

Mr. Kersten. That's enough to make a criminal in any Communist

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes ; that is right.

Mr. McTiGUE. I hand you a photograph and a photostat and ask
you if you can identify them ?

Mr. Grantskalns. That is a picture taken from the boy's body, and
this is the photostat of Ins death sentence which we found in his poc-
kets. It says that the sentence is final, can't be appealed; but only
during 72 hours it can be, well, appealed to the court that doesn't go
into the substance of the subject but only to see if legal procedures
have been correct.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you find some of the bodies with the hands tied
behind their backs ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes, in Balezer most of the bodies, if not all.

Mr. McTiGUE. May I interrupt a moment please? May we have
this marked for identification.

Mr. IvERSTEN. Which photograph?

Mr. McTiGUE. The photograph that refers to the murdered school

(The photograph was marked as "Exhibit 7-E," see pp. 566 and

Mr. Kersten. Would you give us the spelling of this boy's name?

Mr. Grantskalns. F-r-a-n-c-k-e-v-i-c-h.

Mr. Kersten. Do you know his first name ?

Mr. Grantskalns. I don't remember the first name.

Mr. McTiGUE. You were talking when I interrupted you, Mr.
Grantskalns. about finding certain bodies with the hands tied behind
the backs.

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes. In Baltezers most of the bodies, if not all,
that we found had their hands tied up on their backs.

Mr. McTigue, I hand you a photograpli and ask you if you can
identify the photograph ?

Mr. Grantskalns. Yes. Tliis is one of the photographs taken in
Baltezers which shows a body with the hands tied up. This particular
photograph is a photograph of the body of a former Latvian police-
man. He has still on the Latvian policeman's uniform, breeches.

Mr. MgTigue. May we have that marked for identification, Mr.

Mr. Kersten. Yes.

(The photograph was marked "Exhibit 7-F," see p. 568.)


Mr. Grantskalns. Each body had a hole in the back of the head,
and when we found some of the bullets in the head, our experts told
us that that was a bullet from the pistol. So the victims were shot
by a pistol.

Mr. Kerstex. Mr. Grantskalns, were you in Riga in June of 1940
when the Bolshevists first came ?

Mr. Grantskalns. No; I wasn't in Riga. I was in the city of

Mr. McTiGUE. Will you proceed, please, Mr. Grantskalns?

Mr. Grantskalns. But there is an interesting thing that in each
pit that had, say, 10 corpses, 8 had holes in the back of the head and
at least 2 had holes of the shots on the top of the heads. And those
tw^o bodies which had the holes on the top of the heads were always
on the very bottom of the pit.

So the only explanation we could make was that those two were
chosen to dig the pit and shot when they had finished their job and
were in the pit, and the rest of that transport were shot at the edge

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