More on "[w]hy the "diesel issue" is ir
relevant": below are some extracts from the lengthy reports on the Krasnodar trial (July 14 - 17, 1943) which appeared in the Soviet War News ("PUBLISHED BY THE PRESS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOVIET EMBASSY IN LONDON")
In autumn 1942 the Germans began to use for the extermination of Soviet people specially equipped trucks, which became known among the people as "murderesses." They were closed five and seven-ton lorries painted grey and powered by diesel engines. These vehicles were lined with galvanised iron and equipped with a hermetically sealing door in the rear of the body. In the floor of the body there was a grate, under which passed a pipe with holes, joined to the exhaust pipe of the diesel engine. Exhaust gas from the diesel engine poured into the body of the lorry, killing the people inside."
- "Trial of the Traitors, Indictment" - Soviet War News, 16 July 1943, p.3 (the article filled almost two pages of the 4 page publication)
As a result of thorough medico-legal, chemico-legal and spectroscopic investigation, a committee of experts, consisting of the chief medico-legal expert of the People's Commissariat for Health Protection of the U.S.S.R., Dr. Prozorovsky, the chief medico-legal expert of the People's Commissariat for Health Protection of the Russian S.F.S.R., Assistant Professor Smolyaninov, the chief medico-legal expert of the Red Army, doctor of medical science Professor Avdeyev, the consultant of the Moscow Municipal Medico-Legal Experts' Board, Dr. Semenovsky, and the legal chemist Sokolov arrived at the conclusion that 523 of the person whose bodies they had examined had been poisoned by carbon-monoxide, and that 100 had died from bullet wounds inflicted mostly in the heads.
The committee of experts point out in their conclusion that carbon monoxide could undoubtedly have a fatal effect when the exhaust gas of the diesel
engine penetrated the enclosed space. The committee noted : "If the source of the carbon monoxide (including exhaust gas) is in an enclosed space, the concentration of carbon monoxide increases very rapidly, and can even cause death in from five to ten minutes."
- "Krasnodar Trial, The Accused Testify" - Soviet War News
, 17 July 1943, p.3 (the article filled almost two pages of the 4 page publication)
Incidentally, Prozorovsky, Smolyaninov, and Semenovsky all "signed" the 'Report of Special Commission for Ascertaining and Investigating the Circumstances of the Shooting of Polish Officer Prisoners by the German-Fascist Invaders in the Katyn Forest," dated January 24, 1944 (USSR-54, IMT v.39, p.290f, an English translation was published as a 12 page supplement with the 3 February 1944 editions of Soviet War News
and Soviet War News Weekly
"The defendant [V. I. Tishchenko] was asked about the vans specially equipped for the brutal murder of Soviet citizens. Tischchenko replied in detail, being obviously well-versed in the matter. These were motor vans of 7-8 tons with double walls and sham windows, which gave them the appearance of a motor-bus. In the rear part of the body there was a folding door which hermetically sealed the interior. Inside the van there was a grating over the exhaust pipe, so that exhaust gases from the diesel motor penetrated inside. When the engine was running, but the van was not in motion, death followed in seven minutes; when the van was moving—in ten minutes."
- Ibid., p.4
Having checked, it's clear that these reports on the Krasnodar trial (which also featured in the editions of Soviet War News
: 19 & 20 July 1943, and were compiled in the Soviet War News Weekly
, 22 July 1943) are translated from the same unattributed Russian source (almost certainly written by Alexei Tolstoy, whose name also appears on the aforementioned report on Katyn) which would later appear in an alternative translation as part of The People's Verdict : A full Report of the Proceedings at the Krasnodar and Kharkow German Atrocity Trials
, published in London during the latter half of 1944.