I should tell you that on the first night they brought 300 people. I thought it was too many. The night was short and we could only work during the hours of darkness.
I saw all that horror. They came in and a few minutes later Blokhin [a junior NKVD officer] was wearing his special clothing–brown leather apron, brown leather gloves with cuffs over his elbows. This produced a horrible impression on me. I saw an executioner.
The mechanics of the killing were worked out by Blokhin together with the commandant of our administrative board, Rubanov. They covered the doors to the shooting cells that led to the corridor so the sounds of the shootings couldn’t be heard. Then the accused, well, let’s call them that, were brought through the corridor. They were brought into the cells to be shot.
I want to say the following: it was certainly a horrible business. Rubanov, for instance, went mad. Pavlov, my first deputy, shot himself dead. Sukharev, my driver, shot himself dead and even Blokhin shot himself dead.
— Dmitry Tokarev, on the murders he saw at the Ostashkov camp part of the Katyn Massacre
April 20, 2011, 3:06pm / 23