The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others
IN THE MATTER OF WAR CRIMES AND ATROCITIES AT BELSEN
Deposition of Dora Almaleh (female), late of 19b Othos Peve Ganna, Salonika, Greece, sworn before Major Savile Geoffrey Champion, Royal Artillery, Legal Staff, No. 1 War Crimes Investigation Team.
1. I am 21 years of age and because I am a Jewess I was arrested on 1st April, 1942, and taken to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where I remained until I was transferred to Belsen in November, 1944.
2. I recognise No. 2 on photograph 22 as an SS woman at Belsen. I knew her by the name of Hilde. I have been told now that her full name is Hilde Lisiewitz. One day in April, 1945, whilst at Belsen, I was one of a working party detailed to carry vegetables from the store to the kitchen by means of a hand-cart. In charge of this working party was Lisiewitz. While I was on this job I allowed two male prisoners, whose names I do not know, to take two turnips off the cart. Lisiewitz saw me do this, and pushed the men, who were very weak, to the ground, and then beat them on their heads with a thick stick which she always carried. She then stamped on their chests in the region of the heart with her jack-boots. The men lay still clutching the turnips. Lisiewitz then got hold of me and shook me until I started to cry. She then said, "Don't cry or I'll kill you too." She then went away and after 15 minutes I went up to the men and touched them to see if they were still alive. I formed the opinion that they were dead. I felt their hearts and could feel nothing. They were cold to the touch like dead men. I then went away, leaving the bodies lying there, and I do not know what happened to them.
3. I recognise No. 1 on photograph No. 5 as an SS man at Belsen who was in charge of the bread store. I have now been told that his name is Karl Egersdörfer. One day in April, 1945, whilst at Belsen, I was working in the vegetable store when I saw a Hungarian girl, whose name I do not know, come out of the bread store near by carrying a loaf of bread. At this moment Egersdörfer appeared in the street and, at a distance of about 6 metres from the girl, shouted, "What are you doing there?" The girl replied, "I am hungry," and then started to run away. Egersdörfer immediately pulled out his pistol and shot the girl. She fell down and lay still, bleeding from the back of the head where the bullet had penetrated. Egersdörfer then went away and a few minutes later I went and looked at the girl. I am sure she was dead, and men who were passing by looked at her and were of the same opinion. The bullet had entered in the centre of the back of her head. I do not know what happened to the body.
Sworn by the said Deponent, Dora Almaleh, at Belsen, this 13th Day of June, 1945.
Sgd. DORA ALMALEH
Sgd. S.G. CHAMPION Major, R.A.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that, the said deponent not understanding English, this affidavit was translated in my presence to the said deponent before swearing, and I am satisfied that its contents were fully understood by the said deponent.
Dated this 13th Day of June, 1945
Sgd. S.G. CHAMPION Major R.A.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that I have translated this affidavit to the said deponent.
Dated this 13th Day of June, 1945.
Sgd. TRAUTE NEWMANN, Civilian Interpreter.
It appears to be a matter of medical evidence as to whether it is possible for a human body to have lost its warmth within 15 minutes, even where the man was in a weak state and have been savagely assaulted.
Sgd. S.G. CHAMPION Major, R.A.