Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'

Thirteenth Day Monday, 1st October, 1945

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Dr BendelDOCTOR CHARLES SIGSMUND BENDEL is called in and having been duly sworn is examined by Colonel BACKHOUSE as follows:

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: This witness does not appear in the summary but I have passed up copies of his statement.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This witness will give his evidence in French, and he states that the oath he has taken is binding on his conscience.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the witness) What is your full name? - Charles Sigsmund Bendel. I am a doctor.

What is your address? - 2, Rue Merlhac, Paris.

What is your nationality? - Romanian.

In 1943 were you living in Paris? - Yes.

How long had you live in France? - Ten years.

When were you arrested? - On the 4th November, 1943.

Why were you arrested? - Because I did not wear the Star of David, the Jewish Star which I was forced to wear.

Where were you sent to when you were arrested? - In a camp called Drancy, in the vicinity of Paris.

Were you eventually sent to Auschwitz? - Yes.

When were you taken to Auschwitz? - On the 10th December, 1943.

How were you employed when you came to Auschwitz? - I arrived in a part of Auschwitz called Buna and there I worked as a stone mason.

Were you later transferred to the main camp of Auschwitz? - Yes.

On what date did you go to that camp? - On the 1st January 1944.

How long did you stay in the main camp? - To the 27th February 1944.

Where were you transferred to then? - Into the Gypsy camp in Birkenau.

How were you employed there? - I worked as a doctor there.

Was there an SS doctor there? - Yes, the senior doctor was called Dr. Mengele.

What was he doing there? - He was in charge of the whole medical side of the camp and particularly for infectious diseases, in which were Professor Epstein from Prague and myself assisting.

Was Dr. Mengele engaged on any research? - Not in the camp.

Where was he engaged on his research? - In the crematorium.

What was the nature of the research? - Injections.

Will you tell the Court what you know about those experiments? - They were injections which were supposed to produce instantaneous death. In the Gypsy camp Dr, Mengele worked mainly on research on tests against twins. Dr. Mengele was mainly interested in the case of twins, and he continued to favour those twins and make all sorts of tests on them; but it was not enough. He wanted to see them dead to see what they looked like when they were dead.

How many people were there in the Gypsy camp when you first went to it? - 11000 Gypsies.

What eventually happened to those 11000 people? - At the end of the month of July 1944, 4300 had gone to the crematorium.

What happened to the remainder of them? - Before these 4300 had been sent to the crematorium there was a selection and 1500 were selected for working parties. All the others, the whole of the rest, have died of natural causes or any sort of death in the camp.

When you say they were sent to the crematorium what happened to them there? - Those who went to the crematorium never left it alive. They were gassed.

In June, 1944, was your employment changed? - Indeed it was changed. Dr. Mengele gave me the honour to attach me to the crematorium.

Who worked in the crematoria? - Men who were called Sonderkommando - special kommando - worked there. The number was 900 and they were all deported people.

Were there any SS in charge of them? - Yes, just as there existed a Sonderkommando amongst the prisoners so there was a Sonderkommando also amongst the SS They enjoyed special privileges; for instance, in alcohol, and were completely separated from the other SS

How many SS were there in the special kommando? - About 15; three for each crematorium.

Where did the two Sonderkommando's live - prisoners and SS? - Amongst the prisoners the Sonderkommando lived in the camp in two blocks which were always locked. They were not allowed to leave these blocks. Some of the SS of the Sonderkommando were on night duties and the others did their duty in rotas. They were always relieved by the others.

Where did you live yourself? - In the beginning I lived in the camp with the other prisoners. Later on I lived in the crematorium itself.

When was the first occasion that you actually worked or went into one of the crematoria? - In the month of August 1944.

Was anyone gassed on that occasion? - No.

What happened on that occasion? - On that occasion 150 political prisoners, Russians and Poles, had been shot.

How were they shot? - They were led one by one to the graves and there, one by one, they were shot.

When did you first see the gas chamber in action? - After two days - two days later.

On what shift did you work? - I was attached to the day group.

Was there a night shift also? - Yes.

Who was being gassed at that time? - On that occasion it was the ghetto at Łódź. 80000 people were gassed.

Would you describe to the Court just what happened that day, or the first day in the gas chamber? - I came at 7 o'clock in the morning with the others. That was the time when my duty started, and I saw still, white smoke rising from the trenches. I should add that this white smoke rising from the ditches indicated that a whole transport was liquidated or finished off during the night. Those were still the last remnants burning.

What do you mean by ditches and trenches? - I am going to explain just what I mean by those trenches. In the Crematorium No. 4 the result which was achieved by burning was apparently not sufficient. The work was not going on quickly enough, so they devised another system. Behind the crematorium they dug three large trenches 12 metres length and 6 metres wide. After a period it was found that the results achieved even in these three big trenches were not quick enough, so they devised another system. In the middle of these big trenches they built sort of tubes or canals through which the human fat or grease should seep so that work should be continued in a quicker way. The capacity of these trenches was almost fantastic. The Crematorium No. 4 was able to burn a thousand people during the day, but this system of trenches was built to deal with the same number - a thousand - in one hour.

You were telling us about the first day you actually worked in the gas chamber. You told us you arrived there and the smoke was still coming up. Will you describe the day's work to the Court? - At 11 o'clock in the morning the chief of the Political Department arrived on his motor cycle to tell us, as always, that a new transport had arrived. The trenches which I described before had to be prepared. They had to be cleaned out. Wood was to be put into the trenches and petrol spread over this wood so that it would burn quicker.At about 12 o'clock the new transport arrived. The number might have been from 800 to 1000. These people had to undress themselves in the Court of the crematorium. They were promised a bath and they were promised hot coffee after the bath. They were given orders to put their things on one side and all the valuables on the other. They entered a big hall and there they had to wait until the gas arrived. This big hall served during the winter time so that people should undress there and not in the Court of the crematorium. Five or ten minutes later the gas arrived and the strongest insult to a doctor and to the idea of the Red Cross was that this gar arrived in a Red Cross ambulance. Then the door was opened and the people were sent into the gas chambers. They were crowded in. These chambers gave the impression that the roof was falling upon the heads of the people. It was so low. With sticks and with blows from different kinds of sticks they were forced to go in and stay there, because when they started to realise that they were going to their death they tried to come out again. Finally they succeeded in locking the doors. One heard cries and shouts, and they started to fight against each other. They knocked on the walls. This went on for two minutes and then there was complete silence. Nothing more. Five minutes later the doors were opened, but it was quite impossible to go near to the gas chambers until twenty minutes after. Then the Special Kommando's started work. When the doors were opened a crowd of bodies fell out, because they were compressed so much. They were quite contracted and it is almost impossible to separate one from the other. One got the impression that they fought terribly against death. Anybody who has ever seen a gas chamber filled to the height of one and a half metres with corpses will never forget it. At this moment the proper work of the Sonderkommando's starts. They have to drag out the bodies which are still warm and covered with blood and their own excrements, but before they are thrown into these ditches they have still to pass through the hands of the barber and the dentist. I say barber because the barber cuts the hair off these corpses and the dentist has to take out all the teeth. Now it is proper hell which is starting. The Sonderkommando tries to work is fast as possible. They drag the corpses by their wrists to which they attach something. They drag them along in furious haste. People who had human faces before I cannot recognise again. They are like devils. A barrister from Salonica, an electrical engineer from Budapest, they are no longer human beings, because even during the work blows from sticks and rubber truncheons are being showered over them. During the time that this is going on they continue to shoot people in front of these ditches - people who could not be brought into the gas chambers because they were overcrowded. After an hour and a half the whole work has been done and a new transport has been dealt with in Crematorium No. 4.

Who was the Kommandant at Birkenau at this time? - It was Kommandant Kramer.

Have you ever seen Kramer near any of the crematoria? - I have seen him several times.

What was he doing there? - It was at the occasion when one man who worked as a Sonderkommando and tried to escape was brought back, killed.

Have you seen any SS doctors at the crematoria? - Yes.

Who? - Dr. Klein.

What have you seen him doing there? - One day when gas was brought by this Red Cross ambulance, which I mentioned before, it was Dr. Klein who comes out from the ambulance from the seat near the driver.

Is that the only time you have seen him there? - I have seen him several times.

Do you remember the 7th October, 1944? - I remember the 7th October, 1944. It was the day when 300 [this must be a typing or translation error as he goes on to say 500 in the next statement] of this Special Kommando should be going away as they were told to work somewhere else, but it was clear enough to us that they were going to their death.

What happened on that occasion? - They did not want to go away. On that day 500 from this Special Kommando were killed; 100 in Crematorium No. 1 and 400 in Crematorium No. 3.

How were they killed? - In Crematorium No. 3 they were killed one by one. They had to undress themselves naked and then they were killed with a fatal shot in their neck from a gun. The other 100 were put in rows in lines of five and one single SS man passed by and gave them a shot in the neck.

Who was the Kommandant at the time? - It was Kramer.

Was he present when these killings took place? - Yes.

Do you remember an occasion when four girls were hanged? - Yes, I remember they were hanged in the month of December, 1944.

Where were they hanged? - It was Auschwitz.

Whereabouts in the camp? - It was in the women's compound in Auschwitz.

For what were they hanged? - They were accused that they passed on dynamite to us for the purpose of exploding the whole crematorium. They were working in a munition factory, these girls. The name of the factory was "Union."

Were they hanged publicly or privately? - Publicly.

Who ordered their hanging? - It was Hössler who was the commandant of the camp at Auschwitz.

Will you come down here and see if you can recognise any of the three people you have spoken about, Kramer, Klein and Hössler? (The witness descends into the Court) - I do not know Hössler, Kramer is No. 1 and Klein No. 2.

Just see whether you do in fact recognise anybody else. - No.

Cross-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD - Who was the head doctor at Auschwitz when these experiments were carried out with twins? - I have spoken about Birkenau, and the senior doctor was Dr. Mengele.

Do you know who was the head doctor in the whole of Auschwitz was? - Dr. Wurtz, and his rank is Standarzt.

Did Dr. Mengele receive his orders from Dr. Wurtz? - Special orders, or any orders?

Any orders. - I could not say that; I do not know.

Did you yourself take part in these experiments? - The doctors amongst the prisoners did not participate in these experiments.

Under whose authority was the Sonderkommando? - It was Hauptscharführer Moll.

To whom was Moll responsible? - In the camp it was only Kramer who was above Moll.

Is it not true that the Sonderkommando was under a Political Department of the Auschwitz camp? - It is true.

Is it not true that this Political Department was the Gestapo? - I do not know.

Do you know from where the instructions came to the Sonderkommando? - From the political department; from the political section.

Is it true that the orders did not come from the Kommandant of Birkenau? - I only know that they came from the Political Department of Birkenau; that is all I can say about it.

On 7th October, is it not true that the crematorium was set on fire? - Yes, we ourselves on the day of the revolution, on the 7th October, set fire to Crematorium No. 3.

How many people took part in this revolt? - 500.

Had these people who revolted got hold of firearms, rifles and grenades? - Yes, there were firearms in Crematorium No. 1, but because of a misunderstanding these firearms could not be used because the people of No. 1 saw No. 3 burning but too late, only an hour later it was too late.

Do you know who was the Kommandant of the whole of Auschwitz on 7th October, 1944? - I know only that in Birkenau it was Kommandant Kramer. About the whole of Auschwitz I could not say.

You mentioned that a lot of these people from the Sonderkommando were shot. Was there any senior SS officer present? - There were quite a number of SS present during these killings. A whole company of SS people came, particularly from Auschwitz. I do not know about higher or senior ranks, but the main killer was Rottenführer Barewsky.

Is it not true that Hauptsturmführer Baer, who was the Kommandant of Auschwitz arrived with that company of SS men? - I do not know him, and I do not know anything about that.

You misunderstand the question. Hauptsturmführer Baer was the Kommandant of Auschwitz, not the head of the company, and he came with that SS company? - I do not know Baer and therefore I could not say whether he was present or not.

Cross-examined by MAJOR MUNRO - I would like to ask you about the occasion when four women were hanged. Were these four women accused of providing explosives to the Sonderkommando? - That is what I have been saying before.

Do you know whether these explosives were in fact supplied to the Sonderkommando? - I could not say exactly, because those people who allegedly had some dealings with these women when I arrived at the crematorium, these people were already killed.

Were the explosives used during the attempted escape? - No, nothing at all.

Do you know whether these four women were brought to trial by the Germans? - I have no idea about that.

Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD - Was the crematorium kept a secret? - It was not a secret as a crematorium, but it was tried to be kept as a secret what happened inside.

Were the Sonderkommando housed separately from the rest of the camp staff? - They had been housed in those two blocks and held quite separately. They were locked in and had no possibility or permission to leave those blocks.

When a party arrived for the gas chamber was it brought down by one of the doctors? - Where would such a transport come? Do you speak about a transport from the station? I do not understand the question.

The question is: when a party arrived to be gassed was it accompanied by one of the camp doctors? - No, there was no doctor; there was one SS in front and one SS at the back, behind, that is all. I would not know which purpose would be served by the presence of the doctor.

Did these parties usually arrive in trucks? - It was different; I had seen prisoners arriving who marched in, on the other hand, sick people arrived in trucks. These trucks were so constructed that they could be thrown out, tipped over, and the drivers of these trucks found amusement in that by tipping the trucks over and throwing these sick people out.

The parties coming from Auschwitz camp as opposed to those coming from the railway station - did they usually arrive in trucks ?-Yes, it is true.

CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.

CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN CORBALLY - I think you said that when the gas chambers and the crematoriums were going to start working and a new transport had arrived for gassing, the chief of the Political Department came to the Sonderkommando to give them their orders; am I right? - He did not arrive to give orders; he arrived only to account, to report the arrival of a transport.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: According to my note what he said was: "At 11 o'clock the chief of the political department arrived on his cycle to tell us as always that a new transport had arrived".

THE INTERPRETER: That is his answer now as well.

CAPTAIN CORBALLY: Do you know what rank this chief of the political department was? - He was Oberscharführer.

CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.


LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.

CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.

Cross-examined by Lieut. JEDRZEJOWICZ - You said that what was happening in the gas chamber was kept secret. Have you ever heard in Auschwitz Concentration Camp of anybody being released from the gas chamber? - During the time I was there I have never heard about it; it was impossible.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No re-examination.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE - How many crematoriums were there? - There were four proper crematoriums and one which was called the "bunker" which was eventually a gas chamber.

How many gas chambers were there? - Generally in each crematorium there were two gas chambers.

Were all these crematoriums in Birkenau? - Yes, in Birkenau.

When you went to this Sonderkommando for duty what sort of duty were you supposed to perform as a doctor? - In case somebody had a wound amongst the people of the Sonderkommando. I remember one case when one was working and he burned both his feet in this human searing fat which was so hot; then my duty was to give him a dressing or to bandage him.

Your duty was to look after the personnel of the Sonderkommando? - Yes, it was.

THE PRESIDENT: Has any Defending Officer any questions on the points raised by the Court?

(No response)

(The witness withdraws)

ROMAN SOMPOLINSKI is called in and having been duly sworn is examined by Colonel BACKHOUSE as follows:

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This witness will give his evidence in Polish and he syas that he wishes to be sworn on a Christian Bible and that the oath he is now taking will be binding on his conscience.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What is your full name? - Roman Sompolinski.

Where did you live before the war? - In Łódź.

What is your nationality? - Jewish.

When were you arrested? - In 1939.

Why were you arrested? - Because I am a Jew.

I think you worked in a number of camps and then eventually went to Auschwitz? - Yes.

When did you go to Auschwitz? - In the autumn of 1943.

Did you remain there until you were transferred to Belsen? - Yes, when the Russian troops were coming nearer.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: There was no cross examination of the last witness whatsoever with regard to the procedure in the gas chamber. That being so I do not propose to take this witness through the second paragraph of his statement. (To the witness): Come down here into the body of the Court and look carefully at the people in the dock. Take your time and see if there are any you recognise and point out if there are any. (The witness goes to the well of the Court) - No. 1, Kramer; No. 5, Hössler; No. 30, Schlomoivicz; No. 32, Antoni ; No. 47, Antoni Polanski, a good friend of mine; No. 17 I am not sure; I do not remember his name but I think his name is Ladislaw Gura, but I am not sure. I remember his face but I am not sure of his name.

Do not worry about the name if you remember his face. - No. 4; he was in the stores in Belsen. I saw one man amongst the photographs who is not here. He was in Camp No. 3 in Belsen.

THE PRESIDENT: You are only being asked to recognise those accused who are now standing in the dock. That is all. I will just check them up. No 1, Kramer; No. 4 in the stores at Belsen, No. 5, Hössler; No. 17 I am not sure but it might be Ladislaw Gura...

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I understood him to say he remembered his face but was not sure of his name but he thinks his name is Ladislaw Gura.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. No. 30, Schlomoivicz; No. 32, Antoni and No. 47, Antoni Polanski, a good friend of mine.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes, that is right. (To the witness): Of those people you have pointed out take Kramer first. Who was he? - Kramer was the camp commandant in Auscwitz and in Belsen.

Did you have any personal dealing with him? - Yes, in Belsen.

What happened then? - Three days before the liberation of the camp I went to the cookhouse to fetch soup for my friends and there were some rotten potatoes lying on the ground. So I went with my friends to the cookhouse and I noticed these rotten potatoes laying on the ground. We started picking up some of these. Kramer took off his pistol and started shooting at us; he killed two of us and wounded me in my arm. I have a mark on my arm from thi wound.

Will you show the Court the mark on your hand? (The witness does so)

THE PRESIDENT: Does any Defending Officer want to see it?

(No response)

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What can you tell the Court about No. 4 (Georg Kraft)? - When there were thousands of bodies lying on the ground in Belsen this accused was the man leading the workers dragging the corpses to their graves.

How was he behaving to the people who were doing the dragging of corpses? - As a murderer; he beat the people working with a rifle and he shot at them; when the men were unable from exhaustion to continue to work he was kicking them, beating them, and shooting at them.

You told us when you recognised him that he was in charge of the store. What store was that? - It was near the stores Block No. 9.

How did he behave to the internees when he was in charge of the store? - He hid himself in his special hut and was watching prisoners who from starvation tried to cross the barbed wire in order to pick up a turnip and when he noticed anybody doing so he shot at them.

Did he hit them? - He did not hit anybody; he killed all of them.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not think it has been translated properly. (To the witness): I did not mean strike anybody. When he shot at anybody did the bullet hit anybody? - Yes, he did because it was from a very short distance, about two or three metres.

What happened to the people who he scored against? - They fell down and lay down there and were left there.

The next person you recognised was No. 5 Hössler. What can you tell us about him? - He was my Kommandant Crematorium No. 1.

Where was that? - It was in Autumn, 1943, we arrived at the railway station, I and my two brothers, and Hössler approached us. We were formed up in fives and I tried to keep a firm grip on my two brothers to stick together with them when Hössler asked me "Who are these two?" and I said: "My brothers" and he sent them to the crematorium.

Did you later work at the crematorium yourself? - Yes, I did.

You told us that Hössler was in charge of you there. What work were you doing whilst you were there? - I was employed in the gas chambers in cleaning the gas chambers, in undressing the dead bodies and in taking the bodies away and loading them into the lorries.

Who had commanded your party before Hössler? - Hauptscharführer Moll.

The next person you recognised was No. 17 whom you said you thought his name was Gura but you are not sure. What can you tell us about him? - He transported the bodies to the graves.

Where? - In Belsen.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I am a bit behind with my notes. Would you repeat that please? - He lead the transports of the bodies to the graves.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: When you say he lead the transports of the bodies to the graves at Belsen, I would like you to describe in a bit more detail just what you mean? - It was three days before the arrival of the British troops and the prisoners in the camp were assembled by Kramer and told to start dragging bodies into the graves.

Just exactly what did No. 17 do? - The accused No. 17 was in charge of the kommando working on dragging the bodies into the graves. I myself did not do the work and I noticed myself, I saw it myself, that the accused No. 17 was killing the prisoners at the rate of 20 per hour.

How was he killing them? - With the butt of the rifle, and he was beating them and kicking them and so on.

Why was he doing that? - Because all the prisoners were sick; they could not go themselves, and the accused tried to chase them to make them work quicker.

The next person you recognised was No. 30 Schlomoivicz. - Yes, I know him from Belsen and from Auschwitz.

Taking Auschwitz first; what was his position there? - He had no particular function at Auschwitz.

Had he any particular function at Belsen? - He arrived at Belsen I think eight days before the arrived of the British troops, but I am not sure, and three days before the liberation of the camp our Blockälteste in Block 12 died and the accused took over this function.

What had he done before he took over that function? - He was a prisoner the same as everybody else.

How did he behave to other prisoners? - At the time he was Blockälteste?

Yes. - Very well.

The next person you recognised was No. 32? - Yes.

What can you tell the Court about him? - This accused lived together with me in Block No. 12 and at that time it was starvation in the camp and from this starvation the people were so exhausted that they were unable to come to the cookhouse to fetch the food for us and it was the accused and myself because we were a little stronger who went to the cookhouse and brought the food for all the other inmates of this block, and we had to fight our way back against all the other people who attempted to get food from our containers.

The last person you mentioned was, I think, No. 47, Polanski, a very good friend of yours? - Yes.

Apart from his being a very good friend of yours is there anything else you want to tell the Court about him? - Yes, I would like to.

What would you like to tell them? - He arrived in Belsen seven days before the liberation of the camp from Hannover.

What position did he hold in Belsen? - He had no function at all.

What block was he in? - He was in Block No. 12 together with me.

What function did the last man you mentioned, No. 32 - he was in Block No. 12 too - perform in Block 12? - He had no particular function; he was only leading us to fetch the food and was looking after it because there were many people who from hunger tried to get their food and deprive the others of the food and he was trying to distribute the food in a fair way.

Cross-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD: What were the name of the two friends whom you allege were shot by Kramer? - I do not know their names; they were Hungarians; they arrived a few days before the arrival of the British troops.

When did you first mention this story to anybody? - For the first time here in the Court.

When did you first think of this story? - When I was wounded myself.

I put it to you that you first thought of the story about five minutes before you mentioned it? - This is not true.

Would the accused No. 4 stand up (The accused No. 4, Georg Kraft, stands up). Was he at Belsen? - Yes.

In which camp? - There were three compounds, No. 1, 2 and 3, and he was in the stores near to compound No. 2.

I am not talking of compounds. In which camp? - That is what I mean.

THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean by which camp?

MAJOR WINWOOD: No. 1 or No. 2.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: He says he was in No. 2 compound, well, that is in Camp No. 1. Camp 2 is a totally different thing. We call it Camp No. 2 but I am afraid the internees do not know that.

MAJOR WINWOOD: Was he in the camp which had hutted accommodation or were you where the barracks were? - The barracks.

How long was he there?

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What does he say? I really do not know what we call No. 1 Camp or No. 2.

MAJOR WINWOOD: I think he said No. 2.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think he did. I understand it to be No. 2 camp.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Was he in the Grenadier Barracks or in the concentration camp; that is the easiest way to put it, I think.

MAJOR WINWOOD: Was No. 4 in the Grenadier Barracks or in the concenration camp a few kilometres away? - In the concentration camp. I saw him in the concentration camp. It is possible that he was also in the other place, but I saw him in the concentration camp.

When did you first see him in the concentration camp? - Seven days before the arrival of the British troops.

I put it to you that he was never in the concentration camp? - I can tell you only that much, that you are his defender but what you are saying is not true; you are trying to deceive me because he tries to do it with everybody.

THE PRESIDENT: Tries to do what?

THE INTERPRETER: Tries to do it with everybody.

THE PRESIDENT: Tries to do what?

THE INTERPRETER: I don't know.

THE PRESIDENT: Tell the witness it is not up to him to criticise the Defending Officer. The Defending Officer has a perfect right to test his credibility before the Court and you will answer politely and properly if questions are put to you by the Defending Officer.

THE WITNESS: I swore, and I am telling the truth.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not think the witness was trying to suggest the Defending Officer was trying to deceive him; the suggestion was that Kramer was trying to deceive him.


MAJOR WINWOOD: Do you know when he arrived at Belsen - No. 4? - I do not know.

If he arrived three days before the British came your story is a lie, is not it? - I do not know when the accused arrived in Belsen, but I do know that I saw him leading the Kommando's dragging the bodies to the graves.

Cross-examined by MAJOR MUNRO: You have told us about how you were separated from your two brothers at this railway station. Did you see for yourself what happened to these two brothers after they were separated from you? - I have not seen it at all, but I know all the people chosen by Hössler on this particular occasion were sent to the crematorium.

Did you see for yourself where they went? - I did.

Will you explain what you saw? - All the people chosen by Hössler were made to go to the other side of the square. The lorries arrived; they were loaded into the lorries and taken away.

You have told us that you worked for a period in the crematorium. WIll you tell us when that was? - It was in the autumn of 1943 when I first arrived in Auschwitz.

How long did you remain there? - Two months.

Did you in May of this year make statements to a British officer? - Yes.

I am going to read from these statements, which are pages 140, 142 and 143. The second from the last sentence of paragraph 2. "The SS man in charge of my party on this job was Oberscharführer Moll." Did you make that statement? - Before I was transferred from my previous Kommando to the Sonderkommando, Oberscharführer Moll was in charge of the Kommando.

I will now read from page 143, paragraphs 1 and 2. "Referring to my deposition and further deposition both sworn on 24th May 1945, I desire to make a correction in regard to Oberscharführer Moll. I was wrong in saying he was in charge of my party. I was told at Auschwitz that he had been in charge before I was employed at the gas chamber and crematorium." Did you make that statement? - Yes, I did.

Paragraph 2: "Whilst I was working at the gas chamber and crematorium SS man Hössler was in charge. I identify him as No. 1 on photograph 9. I am quite certain that this is the man - there is no doubt whatever." - Yes.

If you were in no doubt about Hössler's identity why did you name Moll as your Kommandant? - I said to begin with I said that my Kommandant was Hössler, but I was given the question: "Who was before him", and then I said: "It was Moll", but I do not know when Moll arrived.

Was the first statement you made read over to you? - No.

Did you sign it then without reading it or having it read over to you? - I knew myself what I said. At the time when I was making my statement everything was read to me and therefore I knew what I was saying.

You have told us once that the statement was not read over to you and now you tell us that it was read over to you. Which is the truth? - I said that in belsen what I said was read to me, but later on there was nothing read to me.

When you finally signed your statement was it read over to you? - As I said before to Major Champion in Belsen; I made my statement, it was read over to me and I signed it.

Is that the statement in which you said: "The SS man in charge of my party on this job was Oberscharführer Moll"? - Yes, it is.

I now read from page 142, paragraph 4. Did you also say in a statement: "Except for Oberscharführer Moll and Obersturmführer Schwarz, I do not know the names of the other members of the German staff at Auschwitz"? - Yes.

What would you say if I told you there was never any such thing as a Kommandant of the gas chamber? - In Belsen or Auschwitz? [I find this a strange reply, there was no gas chamber in Belsen]

In Auschwitz. - The Kommandant of the Crematorium was Untersturmführer Hössler.

I put it to you that there was no such thing as the Kommandant of the crematorium or gas chamber. - It is true that the Kommandant of crematorium No. 1 was Hössler. May be it was not so in the other crematorium, but I know for sure he was the Kommandant of crematorium No. 1.

Do you know anything about an SS Sonderkommando? - That was my work for two months.

Was not there also a Sonderkommando consisting only of SS? - I do not understand the question.

Was there a small party of SS in charge of the Sonderkommando's? - Yes.

Is it not the case that Oberscharführer Moll was in charge of that party? - Before I came.

I put it to you that Hössler was never at any time in charge of the crematorium or gas chamber? - He was the man who brought all the transports when they arrived to the crematorium and to the gas chamber and handed them over to some high ranking people.

Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: I want to ask you about the gas chamber at Auschwitz first. When the parties arrived for the gas chamber were they accompanied by an SS doctor, such as Dr. Tauber? - Yes.

Now I want to ask you about Belsen. When the food was issued at Belsen did the internees fight for it? - Yes.

In order to see that everyone got a fair share was it necessary to use force to restrain them? - Sometimes, yes.

In each block compared with the number of internees were there very few persons such as Aufseherinen and Ältesten to control the internees? - Yes.

Did you think it reasonable for these Aufseherinen and Ältesten to have sticks to help to control the internees? - No.

CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN BROWN: You have said about two separate men in the dock "He was leading the Kommando taking bodies to the graves." Would you explain what you mean by that? - They looked after the prisoners in order to see that this work was done as quickly as possible.

Will No. 17 stand up. (Ladislaw Gura). This is one of the men you recognised as doing that job? - Yes.

Where was he when he was carrying out these duties? - He used to go from the block in camp No. 2 to the graves and back, and so on.

I think you said that you saw this from your block? - Yes.

Was your block near the place where the bodies were being taken from? - Yes, the whole square was in the vicinity of our block.

Are you certain that you could see the whole road between that block and where the grave was along which the bodies were being taken? - No, I could not see the whole road to the graves, but I could see a portion of it about 200 metres long.

Could you see the graves? - The first time that I saw the graves was when the British troops arrived at the camp.

But you have just said within the last two minutes that you saw this man accompanying these bodies from where they were taken right to the graves. - I have not seen the graves. I said only that I saw the accused leading the Kommando which was employed on taking the bodies from the ground and taking them to the graves.

I am going to tell you that this man was not even at Belsen during the three days you have described, and I am going to suggest to you that you are mistaken in having recognised him at all - It is impossible, because I saw him.

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN CORBALLY: You have told the Court that at Belsen you were in Block No. 12. Which compound is block No. 12 in? - In camp No. 2 there were 20 blocks, and that was one of these.

Did you spend all your time at Belsen in compound No. 2? - Yes.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN NEAVE: You recognised the accused No. 30 (Ignatz Schlomoivicz). - Yes.

How long did you know him at Auschwitz? - One year.

You have told the Court that he was appointed Blockälteste on 13th April for block No. 12. Did you hear him speak to the internees in block No. 12 that day? - It was on the 12th - I do not remember the exact date; it was about three days before the arrival of the British troops. He was all the time with the prisoners and he was treated like a prisoner.

THE PRESIDENT: I think he is muddled. I do not think he in fact mentioned the date. According to my note he said three days before, and I think your having given a date is probably muddling him.

CAPTAIN NEAVE: I will put it another way. When Schlomoivicz was appointed Blockälteste did he parade all the internees in block No. 12 and speak to them? - No.

Do you remember when he got typhus? - Yes.

Can you remember the date when he got typhus? - I cannot give the exact date, but it was a short time after the liberation of the camp, about seven or eight days after the arrival of the British troops.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Do you remember these statements which you made after the liberation to a British officer? - Yes.

Were you shown some photographs? - Yes.

How many? - Ten.

How many people were on each photograph? - Five or six.

What were you asked about these photographs? - Whom I was able to recognise from Auschwitz or from Belsen on these photographs.

Did you recognise anybody? - Yes.

What were you asked then? - What were these people like and what was their attitude towards the prisoners.

Did they ask you whether any of you had seen these people ill treating other people? - Yes.

Did you say anything, or were you asked whether you could say anything in favour of these people? - Yes.

Did you say anything in favour of any of these people? - Yes.

And did you say certain things against other people? - Yes, I did.

Were all these things written down? - Yes.

LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.

CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.

Cross-examined by LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Have you known No. 47 (Antoni Polanski) in Auschwitz? - No.

Whilst in Belsen had he been bringing and distributing soup in Block 12? - Yes, Polanski was helping in bringing food and distributing the food, and he saved thousands of people.

Did you ever see him with a stick in his hand? - No, never.

Would he ever have had a rubber truncheon? - No.

When did the dragging of corpses start in the morning? Was it before or after the Appell? - At this time no morning roll call parades were held. We started our work at 7 o'clock and all the prisoners were included in the working parties.

Now a question about Auschwitz. Do you know if the wire surrounding the different compounds at Auschwitz was loaded with electric current night and day, or during night only? - At the day time no prisoners were present in camp, and therefore the barbed wire was not charged. They started charging the barbed wire at night when the prisoners came back from their work.

Re-examined by Colonel BACKHOUSE: You told us that Hössler was in command of the people who worked at your crematorium? - Hössler was the Kommandant of the crematorium but he did not work in the crematorium himself.

Why did you think he was Kommandant of it? - Because Hössler used to bring each transport that was sentenced to death into the crematorium.

You told us that you worked in Crematorium No. 1. Whereabouts was that? Which compound was it nearest to? - It was in the vicinity of the camp Birkenau.

Can you be a little more precise. Birkenau was a large camp and was divided into compounds. Can you remember which compound it was nearer to? - The crematorium was situated in such a way that it was visible from the Gypsy camp and from camp No. C.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: You had typhus in Auschwitz, did you not? - After two months working in the crematorium I fell ill with typhus.

And you had about four months in Belsen; is that right? - I came to Belsen on the 5th February.

Do you consider you were one of the strongest people in your hut then ? - I was not the strongest; I was in the same state as all the other prisoners.

I thought you said you went to get the soup and had to fight to bring it back. Is that right, or did I mistake you? - I did not say that I fought for it. I said only that I went to bring it because I knew there were many cases that the people with containers on the way back from the cookhouse to the blocks were attached [attacked] by thousands of prisoners and I wanted to do it for my pals.

Were you strong enough to do this? - No, I had not been strong myself, but we were only looking after the whole thing and trying to prevent the prisoners from other blocks who wanted to come and get the food from our containers.

ANITA LASKER is called in.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The witness, Anita Lasker, says she is a German Jewess and will give her evidence in English. She is taking the oath on the Jewish Bible.

ANITA LASKER, having been duly sworn, is examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE as follows:

What is your full name? - Anita Lasker.

Where did you live before you were arrested? - In Breslau, Street S.A.69.

After you were arrested were you eventually transferred to Auschwitz? - No, I had been in prison.

When did you go to Auschwitz? - I had been one and a half years in prison and I left for Auschwitz.

About what date would that be? - December 1943.

Why were you in prison? - I was considered as a political prisoner.

Which block did you live in when you reached Auschwitz? - I was living in block No. 12, with the band.

Did you see any selections for the gas chamber? - Yes, I saw many selections.

Did you see any in the hospital? - Yes, one.

Who made the selection which you saw in the hospital? - Hössler and Dr. Klein.

How was the selection made? - People had to get up from the beds and pass by a few SS people. Among them was Hössler and Dr. Klein. The ones who did not look all right they put them to one side, and after a few days the lorries came and picked the selected people up and brought them to another block, block No. 25.

How is it you saw so many of these selections? - I used to play in the camp band, and they made us play at the gate. The gate was just opposite the station. At the station arrived the transports and we could observe everything. The transport arrived, the SS people did the selections, and we have been just about 50 yards away.

Was it or was not it well known what these selections were for? - It was well known what the selections were for.

Was the existence of the gas chambers known in the camp? - Yes.

Who was the Kommandant of the camp? - Kramer.

Have you seen him at any selections? - Yes.

What part did he take? - He was standing by the people and just showing the people who could go into the camp where to go, or where to go to the gas chamber.

Do you remember some Hungarians coming into the camp? - Yes.

When was that? - That was 1944; they started about May 1944.

What happened to them? - There was so many people coming to the camp that nearly every night a queue was standing for the crematorium waiting their turn. Most of them went into the gas chamber.

How were the bodies disposed of? - I have observed that when these transports came to the crematorium it was not big enough and they made big fireplaces beside the crematorium and I watched them throw bodies into these fireplaces.

Were you eventually taken to Belsen? - I was taken to Belsen in November 1944.

What was Belsen like when you first got there? - When I came to Belsen there were only tents with very few people in. No huts had been established.

What were the conditions like there? - Very bad conditions, because it was in the winter. It was very cold and the tents leaked. It was raining and the water was running in the tents. We also had to wash outside whenever there was water - which was only about half an hour in the day. It was very cold and we all felt ill.

Who was the Kommandant then, do you know? - I do not know. I saw him a few times and he left very soon. I never heard his name.

How did the SS behave to you then? - We saw mostly one or two Blockführers and they all had sticks in the hand, and to keep order they kept beating us.

Did you have appels there? - Very few in the beginning. The Appell started only when Kramer came into the camp. Then appels started every day.

About when did Kramer come? - He came about December 1944.

Did that make any difference in conditions? - Yes, because when he came he started these appels and we had to stay hours and hours in the winter, and he brought the Auschwitz order with him in the camp which meant beating and very strict discipline.

You talk about bringing in the "Auschwitz order". What had conditions been like in Auschwitz, apart from the gas chamber? - It was very strict discipline in Auschwitz, and during an Appell everybody had to stay. Ill people had to get out and stay in the cold.

You have told us that conditions went worse after Kramer arrived, but what happened towards the end just before the British arrived? Did that make any difference in the conditions? - Yes, just a few days before they arrived the SS people started to wear arm bands with Red Cross on them. For instance, Dr. Klein started to tell us that he will treat the people, and everybody had to be very kind with the ill people, but nobody believed him because we knew him from AUschwitz. He was obviously anxious.

Did the approach of the British troops have any effect on the SS women? - Yes, Irma Grese, for instance, told me a few days before liberation that we must be very strong now - "It will soon be the end and we will be liberated". She obviously tried to mix herself with us.

How had the SS women behaved before that? - They behaved very badly. For instance, I know that Irma Grese used to carry a revolver or a whip, and the others as well have beaten and behaved very badly.

Would you come down into the Court here and have a look at the prisoners in the dock and tell us which of them you recognise and who they are? (Witness does so). - No. 1 is Kramer; No. 2 is Dr. Klein; No. 5 is Hössler; No. 6 is Bormann; No. 7 is Volkenrath; No. 8 is Ehlert or Elase - I am not sure which - No. 9 is Grese; I recognise No. 10 but I do not know her name; I recognise No. 11, Hilde; No. 40 (Gertrude Fiest) I do not know her name; No.41 (Gertrude Sauer) I do not know her name; I recognise No. 46 Koper, and i recognise No. 48 Stania.

You have already told us about Kramer, Klein and Hössler. What can you tell us about No. 6, Bormann? - Bormann used to have a dog with her always. When she came into the camp we were always frightened. I have never seen her doing anything, but I know that everybody had a right to be frightened of her.

No. 7, Volkenrath; what about her? - She used to be the camp commander in Belsen. I have not seen her beating, but she was as well a member of the people who were responsible for the conditions in Belsen camp.

Did you ever see her at Auschwitz at all? - Yes.

What was her position at Auschwitz? - When I was there she worked in the parcel store; it was a place where all the parcels arrived.

The next one you recognised was No. 8 (Herta Ehlert). - She was second commander. She used to work together with Volkenrath in Belsen camp.

How did she behave towards the internees? - I have not seen her beating but she was always standing at the gate looking for something people were carrying which they were not allowed to, and she did her job very well. She was the right hand of Volkenrath.

What about Grese, No. 9? - I know about her that she used to carry a revolver in Auschwitz and a whip in Belsen, and I have heard about her that she has done a lot of shooting, but I have not seen it.

What about No. 10 (Ilse Lothe)? - I do not know anything about her, and I do not think she merits sitting amongst these criminals here.

No. 11 (Hilde Löbauer)? - I know her. I know that she was a collaborator with the SS

And No. 40 (Gertrude Fiest)? - I have seen her ill treating people when they were very hungry and tried to steal turnips. She made them kneel down in the snow eating them as dirty as they were, and to beat them together.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is this Belsen or Auschwitz? - Belsen.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No. 41 (Gertrude Sauer)? - I have seen her very often beating people with a whip as well. SHe was in charge of the kitchen; when she caught people stealing turnips she used to beat them.

No. 46, Koper? - I have seen her very often i Auschwitz. She was known as the camp spy. Everybody has been frightened of her.

Did you see her at Belsen? - She was there as well, but I did not see her there. I knew only that she was there.

And No. 48 (Stanisława Starostka)? - She used to be the Lagerälteste in Auschwitz and Belsen as well. She was a notorious collaborator with the SS and we have been much more frightened of her many times than the SS people.

How did she behave to other internees? - She was very strict and the people have been very frightened to address themselves to her. She was just like the SS

What did she do to them? - For instance, when she saw you doing anything wrong - speaking with men or things like that - she would have gone and denounced that to the SS

Cross-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD: Was there an orchestra at Belsen? - No, only at Auschwitz.

MAJOR MUNRO: No cross-examination.

Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: Did you go to the crematorium at Auschwitz yourself? - I passed once.

Have you heard of the Sonderkommando at Auschwitz? - Yes.

Was that accommodated separately from the rest of the camp staff? - They had a special block, but they had not been separated. Just a block of their own.

Before the British troops arrived at Belsen did not a number of the SS go away? - Yes.

Can you say approximately how many? - I could not; I know there were very many.

Would it be more than half? - I think so, yes.

Was there anything to stop the remainder leaving? - I do not know about that. I think so, because I heard that a few SS people who had gone already came back again and we heard that they could not go on as something must stop them, but we never heard about that exactly.

Were you ever beaten at Belsen? - I was.

Were you ever beaten at Auschwitz? - Yes, as well.

Why were you beaten? - In Auschwitz there was no reason at all. We left Auschwitz to go to Belsen and we had been in the bath house and an SS woman just beat us without any reason with a big stick. In Belsen I have been late once and an SS man has beaten me.

I want you to think of the most severe beating you ever had at either Auschwitz or Belsen? - Belsen.

With what were you hit? - With a wooden stick.

Was it a walking stick? - No, just a stick.

Did you go to hospital as a result? - No.

CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.

CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.


CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.


Cross-examined by LIEUTENANT BOYD: Were you ever in women's compound No. 2 at Belsen? - No.

You recognised No. 41 (Gertrude Sauer) as working in one of the kitchens? - Yes.

Which kitchen? - I think it was No. 2.

Do you know how often she worked there? - Until the last time she worked there.

The last two or three days? - No, two or three weeks perhaps.

Did she work everyday during the last two or three weeks in that kitchen? - I cannot tell exactly. I did not observe if she came everyday, but I think she did.

You have said that you saw her using a whip to beat people? - Yes.

I suggest you were mistaken and that she only used her hand? - It may be that sometimes she used her hand but I saw her as well using a whip.

Do you know if there was another SS woman very like her at Belsen? - I cannot remember now.

Is it possible that there was? - I cannot say yes and I cannot say no. I am not mistaken when I recognise her.

CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No re-examination.

(The witness withdraws)

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: Before the next witness is called I would like to have the numbers removed and No. 22 to change place.


GERIA ZYLBERDUKATEN is called in and having been duly sworn is examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE as follows:

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This witness will give evidence in Polish and she says that the oath she has taken on the Jewish Bible is binding on her conscience.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What is you full name? - Geria Zylberdukaten.

What is your address? - Warsaw, Wolska Street, number 83.

How old are you? - 21.

What is your nationality? - Jewish.

When were you first arrested? - In April 1943.

Where were you prior to that? - In Lublin - Midane.

Were you eventually transferred to Auschwitz? - Yes, after three months.

How long did you stay there? - Sixteen or seventeen months; I do not remember exactly.

Then did you go to Belsen? - Yes.

Do you remember what date you arrived in Belsen? - In July or August 1944.

When you first arrived at Auschwitz had you any of your family with you? - Yes, my mother.

What happened when you first arrived there? - When we first arrived in Auschwitz we were taken to a bathroom and we were beaten by a German Kapo with a stick, who is not amongst the accused. Then we were issued with some ration clothes and the clothes we had with us had to be given away. After that we got a small amount of soup and on leaving the bathroom one quarter of a loaf of bread.

Did you attend any selections whilst you were at Auschwitz? - Yes, I did.

Did your mother attend any? - Yes.

What happened to her? - At one of the selections my mother was taken from me and this selection was carried out by Hössler.

What happened to your mother? - It is quite evident she was taken to the crematorium.

When you got to Belsen where were you employed? - At first I did not perform any duties. Later on I was attached to the Kommando that distributed the food to the respective blocks in the camp.

Come down into the body of the Court and see if you can recognise any of the accused. Take your time and point out who you can recognise. (The witness descends into the Court). - No. 1, Kramer; No. 2, Dr. Klein; No. 3, Blockführer; No. 4, Hössler [No. 4 is Georg Kraft]. No. 6 (indicating Juana Bormann) is the woman who used to walk with a dog; I do not remember her name. No. 7, (indicating Elisabeth Volkenrath) I remember her face, but I do not remember her name. No. 8 (indicating Herta Ehlert) was upper aufseherin in Plaszow. No. 9, Grese; a well known person. No. 11 (indicating Hilde Löbauer) I do not know anything particular about her, but I know her by sight. No. 16 (indicating Karl Flrazich) was the chief of the cookhouse, and I have many opportunities to get in touch with him.

THE PRESIDENT: Chief of the cookhouse where? - It was the cookhouse C when the British troops arrived. No. 34 (indicating Ida Förster) I do not know anything particular about her; I know her face. No. 30 (indicating Ignatz Schlomoivicz) I know him only from the time when the British troops arrived in the camp, and he was very good; his behaviour at the time was very good.

THE PRESIDENT: This was after the British troops arrived? - Yes, after the British troops arrived. No. 38 (indicating Freida Walter) was the aufseherin in the cookhouse C and D after the British troops arrived.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I think by that she means those were the letters of the cookhouses after the British troops arrived? - Yes. No. 46, Koper, informer. No. 47 (indicating Antoni Polanski) I know him only from the time after the arrival of the British troops; he was very good at the time. No. 48, Stania (indicating Stanisława Starostka) Lagerälteste.

THE PRESIDENT: I will just check that up. No. 1 Kramer; No. 2 Klein; No. 3 Blockführer; No. 5 Hössler;. No. 6 a woman who had a dog but she does not know her name; No. 7 knows by sight but not by name; No. 8 aufseherin in Plaszow; No. 9 Grese; No. 11knows by sight, nothing else. No. 16 chief of the cookhouse at Belsen; No. 30 knew after the British troops arrived when his behaviour was good; No. 34 recognises her face; No. 38 aufseherin in cookhouse C and D; No. 46 Koper, informer; No. 47 again after the arrival of the British troops, and No. 48 Lagerälteste.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Now No. 5, Hössler. Is that the Hössler of whom you have already spoken? (Accused No. 5 Hössler stands up). - Yes, he is the same one.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not propose to go through what she knows about them all. If the Defence want to ask any particular one they can.


MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.

Cross-examined by MAJOR MUNRO: You told us about the parade on which your mother was taken away. Was Hössler the only SS man or doctor present on this parade? - Yes, there were some other men present.

Who were the other men? - There were several SS men present, doctors, and I do not known the names, but one of them was called Mengele.

MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.

CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.

CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.


CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.


LT BOYD: No questions.

CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.


COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No re-examination.

(the witness withdraws)

THE PRESIDENT: Do the Defending Officers still wish the numbers to remain off the accused?

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: Yes, I would prefer them to be off.


SYNCHA ZAMOSKI is called in.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The witness Zamoski is going to give his evidence in Polish and is being sworn on the Jewish bible, and he says that will be binding on his conscience.

SYNCHA ZAMOSKI, having been duly sworn, is examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE as follows:

What is your full name? - Syncha Zamoski.

Where did you live before the war? - In Kozenziche.

Where is that? - In Poland.

What is your nationality? - Polish.

When were you arrested? - In 1941.

Why were you arrested? - Because I am a Jew.

Where were you first taken when you were arrested? - To Skarżysko.

Where were you taken from there? - To Buchenwald.

And from there? - To Dora.

When did you arrive at Dora? - I do not remember exactly.

How long were you at Dora? - One year.

Where did you go from there? - To Bergen-Belsen.

How long were you at Belsen? - Two weeks.

Do you know the man who was in charge of the bath houses at Dora? - Yes, it was an SS man.

Did you see him anywhere else after you left Dora? - No, never.

Come down and have a look at the people in the dock and see if there is anyone you can recognise. (The witness descends into the Court). Take your time and look carefully at every person and then tell us if you recognise them. - No. 19, I do not know his name. I do not recognise anybody else. (The witness indicated No. 19 Otto Kulessa).

THE PRESIDENT: No. 19, by sight.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Where did you first see No. 19? - In Dora.

What was his position there? - I do not know.

Where did you next see him? - When we arrived at Bergen-Belsen.

Did he travel with you from one to the other? - Yes, he did; he came with the same transport.

What was his position? - He was in charge of the transport and we had no food and water. I asked him for some water and he told me: "You can get some water with my pistol".

How long did the journey take? - Seven days.

Did you have any food at all on the way? - No, we had no bread and no water. It was, however, an SS man with us who had his private store of bread and butter and he could not see us suffering and he distributed his own food amongst 150 men.

How many people were there in your truck? - In a wagon there were 190 men.

Were they all alive when you reached Belsen? - No.

How many had died? - More than 50 per cent.

What happened to the bodies? - They were left abandoned in the wagon when we arrived at the platform.

You recognised the accused, No. 19. Did you speak to him about the bodies at all on the way? - The accused was walking along the train and he saw the bodies and I asked him for some water and bread for me, but he told me that he could give me some water with his pistol.

Did you have any speech with him about the bodies? - Yes, I drew his attention to the fact that the bodies are taking some space and he could throw the bodies away and we could gain space, but he said: "Yes, you want to throw away the bodies, but you are going to die very soon too, so there is no difference".

What happened when you got to Belsen? - When we arrived at Belsen we lay in the open for a long time and then we were sent to respective blocks, 200 men to each block, and the accused was standing at the block I was sent to with a piece of iron in his hand and was dealing out blows.

Who was he beating? - He beat a friend of mine who, as a result of this had to go to the hospital and stay there and he beat me and I had to stay in bed for the next three days.

What did he beat you for? - Without any reason; because he wanted to do so because I was a Jew.

Who was the friend of yours who he beat? - Maidan.

After he was taken to hospital, what occurred to him? - After a few days he died. I went to see him and I brought some turnip for him, but the sister of the hospital informed me that he was dead.

Did he beat anybody other than you and your friend? - He beat everybody in the camp whenever he had opportunity to do so.

MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.

MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.

MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.

CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN BROWN: Can you say approximately on what day you arrived at Belsen? - I cannot say; I do not remember.

You have said that it was approximately two weeks before the British arrived; is that about correct? - Yes.

Would No. 19 stand up? (The accused No. 19, Otto Kulessa, stands up.) You have recognised this man as having been in charge of the train from Dora to Belsen and then having been at Belsen? - Yes, I did.

I suggest to you that you have made a mistake in identity and the man that you are thinking of was a man called Oberscharführer Hartwich? - I am not mistaken; I know this man and I am talking about this man.

In what block were you put when you arrived at Belsen? - 79. [info: MB79, Belsen Barracks]

How many prisoners were put in that block? - I do not know how many were put in the block as a whole, but I know how many were put into my room.

How many were put in your room? - 39.

Was this man, No. 19, in charge of that block? - No, he was only in charge of sending the prisoners on the new transports to respective blocks; after his work was over he would go to another block.

Do you know what block he went to? - He went to many blocks after he finished with my block; the other prisoners were sent to one or the other block.

Did I understand you to say that you were told by a sister in the hospital about your friend? - Yes, I went there a few days and I was told that my friend had died.

Which hospital was this? - It was a hospital in the camp and it was established after the prisoners arrived because there were many sick people among the prisoners.

When was this hospital opened? - When the prisoners arrived the hospital was already open.

You speak of Belsen camp do you mean a camp which contained stone built buildings? - Yes, there were concrete blocks there.

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.


CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.


LIEUTENANT J. M. BOYD: No questions.

CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.


COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No re-examination.

(The witness withdraws)

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I propose to prove tomorrow a diagram of the camp at Auschwitz and I think it would be of convenience to the Court to have copies of it tonight. I will hand them in now. I have supplied copies to the Defence. It has been drawn by a witness who will prove it tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we might as well have them in now.

(Copies of diagram are distributed to the members of the Court)

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