The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others
IN THE MATTER OF WAR CRIMES AND IN THE MATTER OF THE DEATHS OF A NUMBER OF PRISONERS AT KLEINBODUNGEN AND IN TRANSIT TO BELSEN
DEPOSITION OF BOHUMIL GROHMANN, 6 Becova, Elice, Lipník nad Bečvou, Czechoslovakia, sworn before me Major P. Ingress Bell, D.A.A.G., an officer of the staff of the Judge Advocate General to the Forces.
1. I am 40 years of age and I am of Czechoslovakian nationality. I was arrested by the Germans on 28th April 1943 for refusing to go to work and after being in various prisons and working camps, I was sent to Kleinbodungen about July 1944. On 9th April 1945 I was sent to Belsen.
2. At the beginning of March 1945 SS man Rapportführer Wilhelm Dörr, whom I identify as No.6 on photo 7 caught two prisoners hiding in the cellar where potatoes were stored. He ordered three other prisoners to kill these two men with pieces of wood on the heads until they died. The bodies were buried in the factory grounds and I could point out the burial place.
3. On 5th April 1945 I was one of a party of about 650 prisoners of mixed nationalities who set out to march to Belsen. SS man Franz Stöfel whom I identify as. No. 3 on photograph 7 was in charge of the party, the second in charge was the said SS man Dörr. There were also about 40 other SS men. The march lasted, I think, until the 9th April and we travelled through Herzberg, Braunschweig, Peine and Celle.
4. On the evening of 5th April near a stable somewhere between Herzberg and Braunschweig I saw the said Dörr shoot two of six men who had escaped from a party of prisoners from Nordhausen. The bodies were buried near the stable.
5. Next morning the said Dörr shot the other four men and their bodies were left underneath some straw in the stable.
6. From that time onwards the said Dörr began to shoot all stragglers. All the prisoners had been able to keep the pace during the first two days but by this time some had trouble with their feet and they were being given lifts in hand drawn carts. Whenever the said Dörr caught them doing so or straggling behind he shot them, usually just off the road, in a wood or space and left the bodies where they were shot. I cannot remember exact details of each individual shooting but I saw him shoot at least 46 prisoners in all. The other SS men did not take part in the shooting nor did the said Stöfel, though he did see Dörr shoot the prisoners and made no objection. The only prisoner I can identify was a Frenchman named Marcelli, who came from Paris.
7. On arrival at Bergen station nine prisoners were caught in the act of stealing swedes. One of the men shot was a Pole named Ladislav Stelpe. The SS man was a Slovak, aged 22, 1.7 metres tall, medium build, long fair hair brushed straight back, fresh complexion, broad nose and blue eyes.
8. I calculate that some 65 men in all were killed during this march, 5 escaped. If I was taken along the route I followed I think I could point out the various places at which men were shot by Dörr and where their bodies can be found.
Sworn by the above named Bohumil Grohmann this 9th day of May 1945 at Belsen Camp.
(Signed) Bohumil Grohmann
Before me the said P. Ingress Bell.
(Signed) P. Ingress Bell.
Certified that the above is an accurate translation of the evidence given by the said Bohumil Grohmann in my presence.
(Signed) Charlotte Duschenes.