TESTIMONY OF CHRISTER JAEDEELUNT (THROUGH GERMAN INTERPRETER
ECKHART VON HAHN)
Mr. Flood. What is your full name ?
Mrs. Jaederlunt. Christer Waldemar Oskar Jaederlunt.
Mr. Flood. What is your occupation at the present time?
Mr. jAEDERLf^NT. Joumalist and representative of the Swedish
newspaper, the Stockholm Tidningen.
Mr. Flood. Where were you born?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Viby, Sweden.
Mr. Flood. Are you still a native of Sweden, a Swedish citizen?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes ; I am.
Mr. Flood. When did you first come to Germany, representing your
Mr. Jaederlunt. 1928.
Mr. Flood. What is the name of the paper ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. The Stockholm Tidningen.
Mr. Flood. Did you represent that paper in April 1943?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes ; I did.
Mr. Fi.ooD. I now show you documents marked for identification
as exhibits 82 and 83 which are photostat reproductions of articles
from the paper you say 3^ou represented in 1913. Are they ^ Is that
Mr. Jaederltjnt. That is correct.
Mr. Flood. You wrote the stories that are reproduced in those
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes ; I did.
Mr. Flood. What is the date of the paper and the title of the story
dealing with Katyn?
Mr. Jaederlunt. The date of the newspaper is Sunday, A])ril 18,
191:3, and the article w^as written on the previous day. "Berlin welcomes
the corps of the Polish Red Cross about the Katyn case.*'
Mr. Flood. Were you in Berlin on that day ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes ; I was.
Mr. Flood. That information came to you as a result of your investigations
as a Swedish newspaperman in Berlin on that day?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Does the question apply to the heading of the
article or to the contents?
Mr. Flood. The whole story.
Mr. Jaederlunt. The heading is from official information on which
I received. The contents of the article are based on my personal experiences
and investigations in Katyn.
Mr. Flood. What was the attitude of the then German Government
toward the request of the London Polish Government to the International
Red Cross to intervene in the Katyn matter?
Mr. Jaederlunt. The then German Government welcomed this request.
Mr. Flood. Did you go to Smolensk?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes; I did.
Mr. Flood. Now, suppose, in your own words, you just take us on
your journey from the moment you left Berlin to Smolensk, describe
to us what you saw at the graves at Katyn, and, in general, give us
the details of the story that appeared under the byline in the Swedish
paper from Berlin on April 17, 1943.
Mr. Jaederlunt. I belonged to the first group of journalists \Yhicli
went to Katyn after the discovery of the mass graves. This happened
approximately in the second week of April 1943. I do not recollect
the exact date, but it could be ascertained, if necessary. In the preceding
weeks I had been to the so-called Atlantic defense wall on the
French coast. On the day when I returned to Berlin from France, I
received a telephone call and was asked whether I was prepared to
go to Russia the next morning.
Mr. Flood. Telephone call from whom ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. From the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin.
Mr. Flood. The German Ministry ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes, the German Ministry of Propaganda.
The reason for the journey to Russia was not disclosed, and the head
of this expedition was, as far as I recollect, a German officer from the
German supreme command. Not before we arrived in Smolensk the
next night did the officer who accompanied us give us the reason for
this journey, to be the effect that mass graves had been found. Whereupon,
we journalists looked at each other with long faces and all
agreed that if we had known that beforehand we w^ould never have
Mr. Flood. When you speak of journalists, who do you mean? Do
you recall some of them, their papers, their nationalities ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. I have been trying to recollect the names of the
others and who they were, but I can only remember one of them, a
journalist from Yugoslavia by the name of Milan Micasinovitch, and
T remember him better than the others because he was able to speak
Russian and, thus, he was rather helpful to all of us.
Mr. Flood. Were there other journalists from various countries?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes, they had been selected from neutral countries.
Mr. Flood. About how many?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Approximately 5 or 6. I do not recollect the
Mr. Flood. Very well.
Mr. Jaederlunt. The next day we were taken by car to Krasny-Bor
and to the forest and were shown the mass graves. In a large pit, we
saw dead bodies, clad in uniforms, lying in several layers. They were
sticking together like leaves. Certain dead bodies were taken out
of the pit in our presence and examined. They were in a good state of
preservation, probably owing to the nature of the soil—so to speak,
Professor Buhtz, director of the Criminological Institute and Institute
for Judicial Medicine in Breslau was in cliarge of the exluunations.
He requested us to select the dead bodies we wished to see
personally and those that we wanted to see ourselves. We did so, and
I was able to establish that the dead bodies had not been touched
before or ])erhaps brought there from some place else.
The young Russians working in the pit had trouble in getting the
dead bodies out because they stuck together so tightly. It liappened
at times that they only managed to extract a head alone.
Tlie documents and" papers found in tlio pockets of the clothes of
the dead bodies were also well preserved. Only part of them showed
traces of decay.
Mr. Flood. Do I understand that when these Russian workers were
removing the bodies that in some cases the bodies came apart when
they were trying to pull them out?
Mr, Jaedeklunt. No. I said that now and again a head came off
of the bodies, because they were sticking so closely. Many bodies just
formed big lumps.
I read through a great number of letters, documents, pay books,
diaries, and so forth, and I could also make out that many of these
papers carried stamps of a Russian prisoner-of-war camp, and that
no entry in diaries or pocketbooks bore a later date than April 20,
1940. I also established that the dead bodies I saw all came from the
prisoner-of-war camp Kozielsk.
The dead bodies were lying in the grave in tightly packed layers.
Many of them had their hands tied behind their backs and their
mouths were filled with sawdust and they all showed the typical shots
in the neck, and it was quite easy to gather an idea of how these
mass executions had taken place.
Mr. Flood. We are interested in this business of sawdust in the
mouths. Did you see any of the skulls or the open mouths of bodies
with sawdust in them yourself? Did you actually see that?
Mr. Jaedeklunt. Yes; there was a great number of dead bodies
which had been taken out where I saw this sawdust. Some of the dead
bodies had already been taken out the previous day, but we also
selected a large number of dead bodies in the pits and had them
Mr. Flood. Now, on those bodies that you yourself selected and had
removed from the pit in your presence, did you see unmistakable evidence
of sawdust in the mouths of any of those bodies ?
Mr. Jaedeklunt. At least in once instance.
Mr. Flood. Did that body have the hands tied behind the back?
Mr. Jaedeklunt. I do not recollect whether this i^articular body
had its hands tied behind its back, but, in several cases, I recollect
bodies which had sawdust in their mouths and the hands tied behind
their backs, as we presumed, for the reason that they had been resisting
prior to being shot.
Mr. Flood. The purpose for our interest is that this committee
heard testimony taken in Washington by an eyewitness to this shooting
who claims that he saw officers with their hands tied behind their
backs, and NKVD soldiers or officers forcing open their mouths and
forcing sawdust into the mouths and pushing them into the graves.
Did you notice any bodies with the hands tied behind their backs
that may have been tied with wire?
Mr. Jaedeklunt. "Wliat kind of wire ?
Mr. Flood. Any kind of wire.
Mr. Jaedeklunt. Yes ; several dead bodies were pointed out to us
whose hands were tied with wire.
Mr. Flood. On the other bodies with their hands tied behind their
backs, what was used to tie the hands in some of the other cases ?
Mr. Jaedeklunt. Ordinary hemp rope.
Mr. Flood. Will you demonstrate on the interpreter two things:
First, how the hands were tied behind the back, and, secondly, the
point of entry and the point of exit, as you remember, of any bullet
wounds you saw in the skulls ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. It is rather difficult for me because I am a layman
and not a physician.
Mr. Flood. All I want you to do is point how, if you remember,
where in the back of the head the bullet went in and, if he remembers,
where it came out.
Just show on the back of the head of the interpreter where you
remember the bullet entered.
Mr. Jaederlunt. Here [indicating].
Mr. Flood. And where it came out—in the front some place ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. I do not recollect.
Mr. Flood. Will you intlicate how the hands were tied behind the
Mr. Jaederlunt. I do not quite recollect where they were lower
down or higher up [indicating].
Mr. Flood. Where did you see these documents that you described?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Part of them was located in a wooden barracks
that had been erected near the graves, where the documents of the
previous day had been collected, and part of the documents came from
the pockets of the clothes of the dead bodies which we had taken out
of the pits.
Mr. Flood. You had seen these documents of various kinds removed
from the bodies you selected, and the documents were removed in your
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes, I did.
Mr. Flood. And it was from those documents that you concluded
the latest date was April 1940?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes ; that is corerct.
Mr. Flood. That wasn't from a lot of documents the Germans handed
to you from some place else?
Mr. Jaederlunt. No. We were the first, actually, to see these
documents, immediately after they had been taken out of the pockets
of the bodies.
Mr. Flood. What story did you hear, and from whom did you get
it, as to how the Germans first discovered the graves ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. I was told the story as follows: Two Poles had
been walking past this forest of Katyn
Mr. Flood (interposing). Wlio told you the story?
Mr. Jaederlunt. I do not recollect, but I recollect that we questioned
a few Russians later on and they confirmed it to us. We had
the opportunity of sta3dng in Smolensk and Katyn for several days
because, at that time, no plane was available to take us back at once.
Mr. Flood. Were these Russians you talked to Russians from the
area of Katyn and Smolensk ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes; that is so, and one of them related to us as
I shall say now : Two Poles were walking along there in that area and,
as the Poles usually did, asked the local people about other Poles.
Mr. Flood. What were Poles doing wandering around that area
Air. Jaederlunt. Probably some workers enlisted by the Germans.
So, one of these Poles asked one of the Russian inhabitants of that
region whether he knew anything about Poles having been in this
region, and the Russian said : "Yes, in Krasny-Bor, some Poles are
buried." And one of the Poles took a spade and went to the spot
that had been indicated to him by this Russian. He began digging
and discovered some dead bodies wearino- Polish uniforms. He then
closed np the hole a<2:ain, secured two pieces of timb?r and made a
rough cross over that and, as the Russian said, literally, he cui*sed and
wept, and then he walked awaj'. After this incident, I was told that
it took quite some time before these rumors started spreading and
getting to the ears of the Germans. Whereupon, the Germans decided
to start digging in the area and to investigate this matter.
Mr. Flood. Did you see or hear of any female bodies being found
in the graves at Katyn ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Personally, I did not see any, but I was told there
(hat one or two had been dug up.
Mr. Flood. Did you hear whether or not one of the female bodies
found at Katyn was in the uniform of a Polish aviatrix, female?
Mr. Jaederlunt. No, never.
Mr. Flood. Did you see or hear that the bodies of any chaplains or
clergymen of various denominations were found in the graves at
Mr. Jaederlunt. I do not recollect that, but I wish to point out that
I was in Katyn at a very early date when not many bodies had yet
been brought up from the pits.
Mr. Flood. About how many had been brought up?
JNIr. Jaederlunt. I do not recollect the number. A fair niunber.
Mr. Flood. What was the day, if you recall, that you got to Katyn?
Mr. Jaederlunt. As far as I recollect, but I am not sure that I am
right, it might have been around about the 10th of April. It is easy
to get the exact date from the authorities, because it was the first
commission of journalists that went there.
Mr. Flood. Now, the newspaper story that you printed in the Swedish
paper was dated, I believe, the I7th of April.
Mr. Jaederlunt. The report bears the date of the I7th of April, but
prior to that we had spent several days in Berlin and several days in
Mr. Flood. As a matter of fact, the newspaper article dated on the
I7th of April 1913 describes your experiences at Smolensk and Katyn.
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes, that is so.
Mr. Flood. And, in view of the fact that the official German announcement
of the discovery of the graves at Katyn did not occur
until the loth of April, then you actually were there even before the
official announcement was made?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes, that is so. That is c}uite correct, and I have
the im])ression that the then German Government wanted one of us
neutrals to see and confirm the matter before making it known to the
public at large, but, as I was told by mv newspaper a few days ago,
the editors of my paj^er kej^t back my articles for some time in order
to wait until the Germans would publish something about the matter
Mr. Jaederlunt. I walked about the whole Katyn Forest by myself
and without any escort, and owinf; to the fact that we were unable to
get a plane from Berlin to go back for several days, we spent several
days at Smolensk and went out for walks over the area, either alone
or two or three of us, without any German escort, and the captain of
the pro]5aganda company in that area actually lent me a horse and I
rode about in the whole area without ever being hampered or hindered
by anyone. I came across a good many soldiers standing at guard
duty at crossroads and other points, but whenever I addressed them
and asked them to direct me, they merely answered in Russian : "I do
not understand." They were Russians doing service in the German
Army. The local population was distinctly friendly and we went into
their houses on various occasions and they were always very friendly
and invited us to share their meals and to share the little they had at
that time, and among ourselves we talked and said : "Well, in view of
the fact that we have this opportunity of moving around for ourselves,
let's do it and find out as much as possible for ourselves." That was
before we saw the graves and we were skeptical because we thought
it was merely a propaganda story and we wanted to find out as much
as possible for ourselves.
Mr. Flood. In your conversations with any of the Russian natives
of the area did you inquire of them or did they volunteer any information
about any shootings in the Katyn area, cries and disturbances
and. if they did, when did those things take place ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Such statements came about the first time when
the Germans called for witnesses on the day we went to the graves.
These witnesses were called in from their houses and one of them,
who lived very close to the forest, stated that he had seen transports
of prisoners of war being brought in about April 1940, and possibly,
as far as I recollect, he might also have mentioned May 1940. He
also stated that the local population at that time had been strictly
forbidden to approach the forest, but he lived so near the forest that
he couldn't help passing very near the forest occasionally, and he had
actually heard shootings and. screams and shouts and he never noticed
any prisoners of war coming out of the forest again, and several of
these local peasants told the same story and they were very eager in
telling it and did not give any impression of having been coerced or
worked on in any way.
Mr. Flood. Did they mention anything about any GPU or any
NKVD Eussians in the area at the time these things took place?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes, they said the NKVD actually forbade the
local population to go near the forest. They also stated that there
was a house in this forest which was a recreational home of NKVD.
They further stated that if they went to look for dead bodies in that
forest, they would not only find these bodies of that specific time in
1940, but they would also find a number of bodies executed before the
war and in former times.
I might add another incident: The Germans told me when I was
there that only a few days after the exhumations had begun, a Russian
plane appeared over the forest and kept on circling over it for a long
time, evidently eager to see what the Germans were doing in that
forest—an observation plane.
Mr. DoNDERO. Did all of the bodies that you saw at Katyn have
their hands tied behind them ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. No; only single ones.
Mr. Dondero. Did you see any more than one ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Yes'; I saw several.
Mr. Dondero. Were they tied with rope or wire ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. Those, as far as I could see, were tied with rope.
Mr. Dondero. What was the color of it ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. I don't recollect.
Mr. Dondero. Was it flat or round ?
Mr. Jaederlunt. I must state that I went there as a journalist and
not as a scientist.