The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others
IN THE MATTER OF WAR CRIMES AND ATROCITIES AT BELSEN
DEPOSITION OF MEVROUW NETTIE STOPPELMANN late of Roldershaat 14, Assen, Holland, sworn before me, Major Geoffrey Smallwood, Major (Legal Staff) Judge Advocate General's Office.
1. I am 27 years old and have been in concentration camps since October 1942. My only crime was being a Jew. My husband died in a concentration camp with me on 10th January 1944. I came to Belsen about January 1945.
2. All the time I have been at Belsen I have been what is known as a Block chief. There were at times as many as a thousand women in a block.
3. A woman called Milham, whose married name was Volkenrath came to Belsen as Oberaufseherin, that is the head of the women’s section at Belsen. She had held that position at Auschwitz.
4. She frequently used to come to my block and take away our cigarettes, clothes and bread and other foods.
5. It was a habit of hers to get girls to go to her house or office where the women chiefs lived and compel them to 'make sport.' (Sport machen). This meant exercises and took the form of making the girls run round fast and fall down, get up again and repeat the process. This lasted from half an hour to an hour. I myself was made to do this three times in March 1945 for no reason at all. It made me ill each time.
6. There was in the camp a girl we knew as Stania who was a prisoner and acted as chief of the camp among the prisoners. She was friendly with all the SS women and especially with Volkenrath. She was, I think, about 27 years of age, although it is difficult to tell ages in camp, very tall, slender and dark haired. She was suffering, I think, from T.B. About the beginning of April she drank something that made her ill but said that she had been poisoned by cakes sent from the kitchen. As a result the chief woman cook, her sister and a kitchen hand were shot. They disappeared and their dresses were sent back to their room, which was the custom when women were shot.
7. The chief of the kitchen at No. 1 Camp was a man whose name, I think, was Traur. In the last week before the English [British] came I saw three women asking him for drinking water which was very short in the camp. They were in a very weak condition. I myself saw him take them one by one and drown them in a large sort of stone tank near the kitchen. They were too weak to resist and he was strong.
Sworn by me the above named Nettie Stoppleman this 2nd day of May 1945 at Belsen Camp.
Signed Nettie Stoppleman.
Before me the said Major Geoffrey Smallwood.
Signed Geoffrey Smallwood.
Certified that I have accurately translated the evidence of the said Nettie Stoppleman as recorded in my presence.
Signed Traute Neumann.