KLOOGA, Estonia, Oct. 2 (Delayed) Foreign correspondents were shown today the scene of the German executions on Sept. 19 - an act that demonstrated most conclusively that the Germans are in full scale retreat and are capable of cold- blooded slaughter even when it will serve little, if any, military purpose.The head of the Associated Press in the USSR, Eddy Gilmore, filed this report, which similarly described the bodies of children with bullet holes in the backs of their heads. Gilmore had previously filed this report concerning Babi Yar. Photographs taken at Klooga were published in Life magazine on October 30th, 1944, and can be viewed here.
Here at the Nazis’ Klooga labor camp, built originally to house the last survivors of the Vilna Ghetto, I have seen and counted recognizable parts of 438 complete and partly burned bodies of men, women and children, including one child who could not have been more than three months old, but whose skull had been shattered by a bullet and who lay on the arm of her dead mother in cold, bleak country in the midst of a pine forest. I have seen three huge funeral pyres that first were built of pine logs by prisoners whose captors then shot them and burned their bodies. Near these piles, now almost completely reduced to ashes, I counted recognizable parts of at least 215 bodies. and an unknown number of other skeletons that had been reduced to bone ash by a hot fire made by burning pine logs and bodies soaked in gasoline. In a field nearby...were the bodies of a dozen other persons who had tried to escape but were cut down by bullets.
Prisoners Burned in Barracks
I have seen the charred remnants of a barracks building into the eight rooms of which the Germans crowded an estimated 700 persons, who were shot. The barracks then was set afire and destroyed, crematíng the bodies that remained inside. Alongside this building there was a row of at least 150 bodies, some of persons who obviously had been cut down while attempting to escape from the building.
Some bore little marks of fire, but others were merely charred, shrunken skeletons of men and women. Inside the barracks great piles of bone ash mixed with wood ash testified to the large number of other persons who had died in the building. In the central part of the camp itself there was one other ghastly scene. In a courtyard I counted the bodies of sixty-four persons, including men, women and children and it was there that I saw the young baby, dressed in a red sweater, white woolen panties and a blue shirt.
These were the bodies of persons who had been machine-gunned to death inside one of the central barracks, but which the Germans, in their anxiety to flee before the approaching Red Army, did not have time to burn.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Human Remains Seen By American Journalists at Klooga and Babi Yar
Author: Jonathan Harrison
On October 6th, 1944, the New York Times published this report from Klooga that had been filed by W.H. Lawrence four days earlier. The report began: