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Thursday, 16 March 1961

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) . - A few days ago, in the course of an attack on me, Moscow radio saw fit to quote some ancient history and implied that Australia owed some gratitude to Russia and also that those who were antiCommunist were in some sense pro-Nazi. I rise to set the record straight. The House will remember, Sir, that the war which began in 1939 grew out of a Soviet-Nazi pact which was designed to produce war. It in fact produced war inside a week.

The House may be interested to recall a photograph that was then published of the two smirking war criminals, Stalin and

Ribbentrop, signing the pact which led to the war. Honorable members might care to refresh their minds by a glance at that photograph. As well as the open pact, there was a secret pact which was not revealed at the time but which b:cam known from captured German documents published subsequently by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, in London. That pact provided for the partition of Poland, the annexation of the Baltic States and the delimitation of Soviet and Nazi respective spheres of influence. It was a real alliance. It was an alliance between two criminals.

In furtherance of that pact, Russia and Germany in concert invaded Poland and the Baltic States. The behaviour of the Russian troops in their zone of occupation was abominable. I have here a publication by Mr. Swettenham who, as one of the control officers in Germany examining the records of displaced persons, is in a position to tell something of the truth. May I read some extracts to the House. At page 141 of his book, he states -

Of all things, however, the loss of life was the most serious. In one year of Soviet occupation the Baltic nations lost thousands of citizens.

He gives the figures of those losses as follows: Estonia, 62,000; Latvia, 64,000; and Lithuania, 65,000. He goes on to say -

It is not yet possible to say exactly how many people were murdered by the M.V.D. as the Bolsheviks managed to destroy many of their archives before leaving the country. The figures given above refer only to the number of bodies found in the hundreds of mass graves.

Nor, Sir, was that all. Deportations were planned on a massive scale. In one night, 9,730 persons were deported from Estonia, most of them workers, farmers, artisans, former businessmen and civil servants. The number included 1,944 children under nine years of age.

A reign of police terror was instituted. Let me read another extract from the book. It is as follows: -

The examination of arrested persons usually took place at night. Powerful lights were turned full on 'the victim's face. He was then questioned abusively and persistently, continuing throughout the night. If that failed, the questioning was resumed on the following night. The victim could not doze off during the day, for the prison guards had orders about that. It is well-known that deprivation of sleep is a most effective torture and greatly reduces the powers of resistance, and when that is combined with such fiendish methods as the tearing off of finger nails, driving pins into certain parts of the body, dislocation of the joints, torture of the victim's wife which he could see and hear, it is no wonder that many persons driven to absolute desperation committed suicide or confessed to crimes of which they were absolutely innocent.

During this period in 1940 the Russians and Germans were allied. Mr. Swettenham goes on to state -

At the time of the German invasion in June, 1941, executions of Baltic citizens were carried out somewhat more summarily.' Unable to evacuate the inmates of all prisons and concentration camps, the Bolsheviks killed the prisoners on the spot or executed them in nearby forests. The terrible thing is that they did not kill the prisoners outright but first tortured them in the crudest way. They cut strips out of their backs, tore out their tongues, gouged out their eyes, cut off their ears, noses and sometimes their genital organs and thrust them in the mouths of their victims. Photographs of the mutilated bodies, with the findings of the doctors who examined them, give proof of an insane bestiality which is impossible to describe.

That is what the Russians did in the Baltic States.

In support of the claim that the Russians were using those methods of torture, we find no less an authority than our friend Mr. Khrushchev, the present dictator of Russia, who, in his speech to the twentieth congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, referred time and again to the tortures and murders which Stalin employed against Russian citizens themselves. There are plenty of such instances described in Mr. Khrushchev's own words.

I turn now to Poland. There is no doubt that it was Russia that was responsible for the murders in the Katyn Forest which they subsequently endeavoured to attribute to the Nazis. I do not for one moment sa\ that the Nazis did not commit similar crimes. I say that the crime of the Katyn Forest was committed by Russians murdering Polish prisoners whom they could not take with them. For that, I cite the diaries of Lord Alanbrooke, from which I propose to read a passage. Lord Alanbrooke was describing a conversation that he had had with General Anders in Moscow. He said -

Anders then proceeded to tell me that, hunt as he might, he could not discover a large consignment of Polish prisoners which comprised most of the men of distinction in most walks of life. He had followed one clue halfway across Siberia and then it fizzled out. He said he was certain that they were either being liquidated in one of the Siberian convict camps or that they had been murdered. It turned out that he was correct. This was the batch of prisoners that the Russians murdered and that the Germans found later on.

I have been through the evidence in some detail, but I will not weary the House with it. I give the House the considered conclusion of Lord Alanbrooke in regard to it.

It is noteworthy that when an attempt was made to investigate this crime the Russians used the projected investigation as an excuse for breaking off negotiations with the legitimate Polish Government and installing in its place the creatures of Moscow. I have said these things in order to set the record straight. If ancient history is to be cited, let the facts be known.

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