I, Makar Evtropeevitch Kurganov, member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the year 1950, party card no. 06653176, work in the Volunteer Firefighters Organization of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania as a senior firefighting instructor on behalf of the deputy-secretary of party organization. I am a former prisoner of the Ninth Fort, “The Death Fort," member of the rebel committee, and afterwards a fighter in the partisan battalion “For a Soviet Lithuania."
I know Comrade A.G. Faitelson (inhabitant of the city of Kovno, Griunvaldo Street, 8, D. 17) since 1943, due to our being both imprisoned in the “death” camp at the Ninth Fort during the German occupation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. Comrade Faitelson proved to be an admirable and courageous fighter against the German conquerors.
At that time, there were sixty-four prisoners doomed to annihilation, whose end could come at any minute. These sixty-four prisoners were held in the fort in order to eradicate the traitorous traces of the beastly fascists’ acts. These men had to dig and burn in fires hundred of thousands of Soviet citizens who were shot in order to hide the actions of these fascist evildoers.
A.G. Faitelson was one of the prisoners in the fort, who was sentenced to torture and certain death. In the terrible conditions of the hard labor imposed by the fascists, he shared with all of us the hardships and the privations of the fort. At the same time, Comrade Faitelson, from the very first day of his arrival at the fort, dealt with the despotic regime of persecution and humiliation and began energetic preparations to take daring steps which had not been known until then.
On his initiative, an underground group of the Komsomol was set up and later on also a committee to incite and struggle against the fascist conquerors.
Led by Comrade A.G. Faitelson, these groups were involved in complex and the most dangerous activities in the “Death” Fort.
The committee of rebellion, led by A.G. Faitelson, conducted difficult and dangerous preparatory actions to save sixty-four souls, with the eventual aim, after achieving freedom, of telling about these bloodthirsty crimes to the whole of the civilized world as well as to carry on the struggle against the invaders.
This mission was brilliantly carried out by the committee of rebellion headed by A.G. Faitelson. On the night of December 25, all sixty-four of those who were sentenced to death, escaped. Much of the success of this act was due to Comrade A.G. Faitelson, who with organizing ingenuity gathered around him a fighting core. This core, which was made up of Communists and members of the Komsomol, carried out heroic work by preparing the prisoners for a dangerous step, by organizing an escape with the least possible hazard.
Some of the escapees were taken into the partisan battalions and carried on the struggle against the conquerors. Comrade A.G. Faitelson belonged to the underground organization in Kovno and conducted sabotage activities against the fascist invaders.
Comrade Faitelson is noted for his extraordinary courage and his dedication to an aim, to daring and to restraint expressed in conditions of decided subjection, [he] encouraged the rest of his fellow inmates by his personal example. To A.G. Faitelson, all of us, the former prisoners at the Ninth Fort, the “Death” Fort, we owe in fact, our success. Comrade Faitelson devoted, in the terrible conditions of the “Death” Fort, a great deal of health and energy to the welfare of his homeland.
(Signed) (M. Kurganov)
May 12, 1959
Signature of the Deputy Secretary P/A D.P.O. I confirm, Secretary of the Regional Soviet Committee of the Party in Vilna/ Signature/ I. Gnidenok/ M.P. Genuine Copy/ Signature/