The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others
IN THE MATTER OF WAR CRIMES AND ATROCITIES AT DRANCY PRISON, PARIS AND BELSEN
Deposition of RENÉE ERMAN (female) late of 80 Rue des Menilmonarte, Paris, sworn before Captain Alfred James Fox, General List, D.A.P.M. 86 Special Investigation Section, C.M. Police.
1. I am 31 years of age and was arrested in Paris in April 1943 by the Germans because I was a Jewess. I was then taken to Drancy Prison in Paris and on 20th July 1943 I went to Auschwitz. I was transferred to Belsen on 25th January 1945.
2. Whilst at Drancy prison there was an SS man Brenner in charge. This man was responsible for many deaths. In my presence I have seen him beat, kick and throw stones at prisoners for no apparent reason apart from the fact that they were Jews. I know that two prisoners at whom this man threw stones dies as a result of the injuries they received. I called at the hospital on one occasion to see some friends and I was told by them that prisoners admitted the day before, suffering from head wounds inflicted by this man, were dead. I cannot state whether they were men or women who had died. It was not an unusual occurrence to see persons severely wounded by this man's brutality.
3. On arriving at Auschwitz I worked as a nurse in the experimental laboratory in Block 10. I was present on many occasions when SS Dr. Weber experimented by taking the blood from women for soldiers at the front. This process was often repeated until the person became very weak. He also took blood from a woman of one blood group which he injected into a woman of a different blood group. This often caused serious illness. In one case a woman died in the laboratory due to this operation. This doctor also carried out experiments in rheumatism and I know that one woman had 45 injections, the doctor measuring the change of her heart. This made her very ill. Persons coming into Block 10 were always the fittest and sometimes up to 300 were in this block. They were kept whilst a course of experiments was carried out and then sent away. I should state that the camp in which this experimental block was situated was a men's camp and women were only brought there for experimental purposes. When they left this block they were sent to Birkenau where a selection was made to find those fit for work. Most of the people who left this experimental block were not in a fit condition for work. I have been told by friends that these sick people were always sent to Block 25 which meant that they subsequently went to the gas chamber.
4. I also know a Dr. Schumann (?Schulmann) who experimented on young Greek girls (virgins) for sterilisation. These girls were taken to another block where they were subjected to very strong X-rays which resulted in their sexual organs being dried up. These operations did in fact sterilise these girls and many of the weaker ones died as a result of them. Those that survived were brought back in batches of 10 to 12 for inspection. They were again operated on and the female sex organs removed, which resulted in their deaths in 4 or 5 days. I did not myself see the actual operations performed but I did see the results as it was my duty to dress the wounds of the women. The girls who had these operations carried out on them only came to Block 10 after the operation, the operations were carried out in a different block. I saw 4 Greek girls die as a result of operations by this doctor.
5. There was also an SS Dr. Wirths. He used to experiment on women between the ages of 40 and 50 who were having their menopause, apparently looking for a kind of cancer, i.e. fibrum. He used to take part of the womb out for examination under the microscope. The women became very ill as a result of this. I did not see any of these operations carried out but heard of them from patients who had been experimented on, and nurses who were present at the operations. These operations were carried out in Block 10 but not in my part of the block. Similar operations were carried out by Dr. Samuel, a prisoner.
6. There was also another SS doctor by name of Prof. Globerg who carried out experiments. This man was a famous doctor from Berlin. I have been present during his experiments and have seen him inject something into the womb of women and then place an electric plate on their stomachs. The current was then turned on. This was done while the patients were still conscious and no anaesthetic was used. This experiment did not take long but must have caused a great deal of pain to the person experimented on because I have heard them shout and cry in pain. Many found it impossible to walk afterwards and had to go to bed. None of these people died in hospital as a result of these experiments, but as I have said before it is certain that when they went to Birkenau they went to the gas chamber as I am sure they could not work. Many prisoners who were in this block were very sick but tried not to show it as they knew they would sent immediately to Birkenau and then to the gas chamber. Those that remained in the block had this experiment made on them two or three times. Four or five injections were also given to the prisoners by this doctor. The object, according to Prof. Globerg was to sterilise, but I cannot say whether it did in fact result in sterilisation. Most of the doctor’s experiments were carried out on the younger and more beautiful women so that when photographs were taken the best results were obtained. The photographs were of the lower part of the trunk and it is natural that from an experimental point of view they would be better on the young than on the old. These photographs were taken 24 hours after the experiment.
7. Prof Globerg was assisted by SS Doctor Goebel in these experiments, Geobel was also responsible for carrying out similar operations.
8. In the summer of 1944 I witnessed the public hanging of four women under the supervision of SS man Hössler whom I identify as No. 1 on photograph 9. At this time Block 10 had been moved from the men's camp to a women's camp nearby and renamed Block 1 women’s camp. Hössler was in charge of this camp. The persons hung were accused of assisting other persons to destroy the crematorium. Some explosives had been stolen from a store outside the camp and the four girls were the persons in charge of this store. They were therefore held responsible for the loss and were hung.
9. In Prison Block 11 at Auschwitz were kept political prisoners including women and children. I myself have seen on many occasions batches of about 100 taken out naked and put against the wall and shot. The shooting was done by SS guards on the orders of Kommandant Schwarz.
Sworn by the said deponent Renée Erman at Belsen this 26th day of May 1945.
(Signed) Renée Erman
(Signed) A.J. Fox, General List, Captain.
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 26th day of May 1945.
(Signed) A.J. Fox, Captain.
I hereby certify that I have accurately translated this affidavit to the said deponent. Dated this 26th day of May 1945.
(Signed) Charlotte Duschenes.
The said deponent Renée Erman was at Belsen this 31st day of May 1945 examined by, and re sworn before me, paragraph 10 having been added [There is no paragraph 10 in this document].
(Signed) Renée Erman.
(Signed) S.G. Champion, Major, R.A., No. 1 War Crimes Investigation Team.
I certify that I accurately interpreted at the examination by Major S.G. Champion 31/5/45.
(Signed) Traute Neumann, Civilian Interpreter.