Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: The film of Auschwitz is now ready for showing if the Court wish to see it now. A transcript was made of the German talking part of the film, and after cutting out certain parts of the commentary, all that is left is in the nature of explanatory matter.
I shall read an affidavit of one of the producers, who states, "I certify that the film entitled 'Auschwitz,' Rolls 1 and 2, shown to me on 12th October 1945 in the presence of Colonel T. M. Backhouse for the Prosecution, and Major Cranfield and the Defending Officers in the Military Court, Lüneburg, is an official documentary film, prepared by and for the Union of Soviet Republics, and published by them, and I was present when the filming was taking place at Auschwitz in Poland, and it is a true representation of the conditions there found. The filming began on the first day after liberation and was completed by the end of the investigation carried out by the Soviet War Crimes Committee. -Ilya Bachelis."
(The affidavit is marked exhibit 124, signed by the President and attached to the proceedings)
(During the showing of the Auschwitz film the Interpreter made the following commentary in English:)
THE INTERPRETER: Everywhere people are returning to their native lands, to their homes, to resume their personal, private lives. The Red Army has liberated those people who were sentence to death, and has given them back to life. But what lies behind them? - Buchenwald, Belsen, Dachau, Maidamek [Majdanek], Trecinsky [probably Treblinka] and Auschwitz. The town of Auschwitz lies near Kraków.
Here is a plan of the camp. This is a plan of a block. According to this plan the blocks have been built, and this is how the men of the Red Army have found them. Here people lived as long as this life could be endured. The motto above the gate says: "Work makes free". How true it is can be judged by the barbed wire entanglement which surrounds the camp. It is electrically loaded and regulated by a switchboard in a central tower.
Here you see Helena Jablonska aged 73. Stanislawer Reckons-Kawike, 54, Olga Rolnowskaja, 65. That is how according to the photographs found in the camp they came to Auschwitz. They came from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, France, Serbia, Romania, Belgium, and that is how the Red Army found them. The soldiers of the Red Army have cleared the Germans out of Auschwitz. They have said to the prisoners: "You are free". The prisoners could not believe it. They could not conceive the idea of freedom.
Are they unable to walk? Helpless old people? This man with the face of an old man in only 42. Wojana Tars from Yugoslavia; the little Katina Wert from Czechoslovakia. Those who are unable to walk are being assisted by army doctors. 2819 inmates have been liberated in this camp and amongst them the entire family of Dr. Antoni Mandic, a member of the Yugoslavian government, Olga, Navanka and Olek Mandic. Through a miracle they have escaped death. From all the blocks came prisoners.
All the liberated people were in need of medical assistance. They were taken to the hospital. Catherine did not live to see the dawn of liberation. She was shot by the Germans an hour before they left. On their retreat they took with them 58000 prisoners.
Among the 2819 liberated by the Red Army there were 180 children, 52 of them under 8. How did these children survive? They were selected amongst all others like guinea pigs for experiments. The camp doctors, Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Mengele, selected special categories. All those you see here are twins. They do not know their names. They have no families. They have only numbers, tattoo marks on their arms.
The camp was evacuated, but there were traces which could not be removed. The Germans left too hurriedly. This is where the bodies were burned, and behind this door is the gas chamber. Cyclon was the gas used. The men operating the gas chamber used respirators with an antidote. These are poisons for heart injections.
A War Crimes Investigation Team begins its work. On disinternment these people were found, not to have been shot or gassed, but to have died through starvation. This is a gallow. These people in prisoners clothes are scientists of European fame: Professor Henry Luzon, of the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France; Professor Berthold Einstein of the Nursery Clinic in Prague; Paul von Gieser-Mansfeld, member of the Hungarian Academy; Dr. Sigismund Fisch, specialist in Neurology, Prague.
Before people were killed they had their hair cut off. Piles of human hair, bags of 28 kilogrammes and 22 kilogrammes for the textile industry in Germany. A total of 7000 kilogrammes of hair coming from 140000 women. Human bones for the firm Strehlen & Co. Human hair for the mattresses and textile factories. In 35 stores these goods were piled up: dentures, gold fillings, spectacles, underwear and clothing; 514843 pieces of clothing; 43526 pairs of shoes; even used toothbrushes, clothes brushes and shaving brushes. Suitcases from all European countries, Poland, Hungary, France, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium and Greece.
The last tribute to the dead victims. The dead are being buried, but the living must be saved. Sometimes it is a hard struggle to save them. Here are cases of emaciation of the worst order, Simon Akoland from Romania. Children with frostbitten feet. This child was made to stand for 12 hours in the snow with bare feet for not having finished the daily task. Now our task is to get them all well again. This Czech girl has been made to stand in the snow from morning till night because she did not finish her task. This Czech boy, Paul Nazer, has been experimented on by the camp doctors. These young men have been castrated for the sake of experiments. This woman has been injected with various poisons. The Hungarian Paul and the Frenchman Vaurdy have been injected with Lepra [leprosy]. The young Wencel from Hungary has shared his bread ration with a hungry neighbour. For this he has been shot in the head.
This is Obersturmführer Tell, Arbeit Commissar and Lagerführer Behr. 4 million people were killed in this camp.
Those who have committed these crimes will be brought to justice by the combined efforts of the United Nations. Signed, Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not know if the Defence wish to recall any of the accused who have already given evidence with regard to the film which has just been seen.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I was going to raise that point. The Defending Officers are not quite clear where they stand with regard to the commentary which was given by the Interpreter. We understood on Saturday that all he was going to say was: "This is the plan. This is the avenue through the camp; this is a block" and so forth. As the Court has heard the Interpreter said other things, and we are not quite clear whether what he said is evidence against the accused. If it is evidence against the accused, then, of course, we shall have to obtain a German translation from the transcript and take instructions upon it. I do not think we could be in a position to ask any of the accused who have been called to go back into the witness box until we have taken instructions. The point that is worrying us at the moment is what the Interpreter said as the film was shown. Is it evidence?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Colonel Backhouse, how much of this are you tendering in evidence?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I cannot avoid tendering in evidence what I have put before the Court. What is given in evidence, as I said, was purely a translation of the commentary with the omission of certain parts which I thought ought to be omitted, and as such, of course, it is part of the document which was put in. We could have it run through in German as part of the document, but there would have been two obvious drawbacks; firstly, I am sure Major Cranfield would not have wanted some of it in (and I was prepared to delete it) and, secondly, the majority of the people here would not have understood what was said. It is obviously evidence. It cannot be anything else.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is not what is troubling the Defending Officers this, that the Interpreter, presumably interpreting what was contained in the film, gave figures and dealt with allegations of certain people being shot, and others standing in snow for hours, and so on?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes. One of the things which is specifically admissible under the Regulations by which these cases are tried is an official document. That is why I have endeavoured to prove this before we started, and what you have seen, as explained to you by your interpreter, was a Soviet Investigating Team actually investigating these cases.
THE PRESIDENT: I think the easiest plan would be for the Defence to be given by the Interpreter a translation of what he said. I think what has been seen and explained must be evidence because it has been put in. Therefore, having had the translation and discussed it with the accused you are representing, if there are any points you wish to raise on the matter the Court will hear them.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I am obliged.
The accused, Herta Ehlert is recalled on her former oath and is further examined by Major Munro as follows:
THE PRESIDENT: Major Munro, before you commence I should just like to make it perfectly clear to the accused what is happening. I want them to understand that we have been discussing was nothing in the nature of evidence, but merely a discussion as to the translation of what the Interpreter said of which they will each receive a copy.
MAJOR MUNRO: (To the witness) I am going to read to you paragraph 3 of the deposition of Miss Margit Weiss (No. 170). "About the end of February 1945 I was present when a Polish prisoner who had been put into the camp as a spy and was found wearing round her neck the photograph of an SS man. She was brought into a room where there were four SS women including the Rapportführerin, one S.S man and four Blockältesten who were prisoners. She was made to undress and was savagely beaten with a stick by the Rapportführerin and by one of the Blockältesten who was a Pole. The whole floor was covered with blood and she could not walk but had to be carried away. The name of the victim was Korperova. The name of the Rapportführerin was Gollasch, and the name of one of the other SS women was Ehlert. " What have you got to say about that? - I was told by prisoners that this woman Korperova, whose name is Koper, was acting as a spy and I was told that she used to beat prisoners very savagely in the kitchen and, apart from that, stealing food. I went into the kitchen only chance and there I saw Koper sitting and she was eating. She had no business to be in the kitchen at all. When I came in she did not get up and did not show any sign of discipline, so I slapped her face. She answered me that I was wrong doing that and wanted to explain to me, as she though I was doing her injustice, because she stated that she had permission to be in the kitchen. So I went to the man in charge of the kitchen and asked him whether it was true that he had given her permission to stay there. The man in charge of the kitchen told me in the presence of Koper that it was not true, that he had not given her permission. Therefore, as she lied to me I slapped her face for the second time. A day or two later - I am not sure whether it was a day or two - she came into my office and said she had been working already before in the Gestapo and that she was a very good agent and a good spy and she knows quite a number of people who still had some jewellery. At that moment when she was talking to me Criminal Secretary Speelmann of the Gestapo came into the room. Speelmann answered me: "All right, if she really knows some people take their addresses and let them come into your office and see whether it is true." In the mean time, Koper had spoken herself with Criminal Secretary Speelmann, and she brought me the name and number of one and later of the second and later of the third; three people, but she implored me not to tell anybody about the services which she was rendering me, because otherwise she would have to suffer. When I had these three names and numbers I gave orders that these people should come to my office. They did so and they had to undress and I examined them. I went then and really examined those three thoroughly, but could not find anything at all. Those prisoners were full of anxiety. They did not know why they were there and I, of course, did not want to tell them the reason because I did not find anything. In the meantime Koper came again and again with new names and numbers, so I told the prisoners to sit down and wait, and I went to the other office where the clerks and administrative personnel were. I told them: "Well, now a new time has arrived - gold, jewels and brilliants are being found in the camp." In this office where I was speaking about this new discovery of gold and jewels there were several prisoners who had some function in the camp, and they said: "Well, how do you know that?" so I said: "Oh, I cannot tell you now", but they answered immediately; "We know; there is only one woman who could have told you about such a thing and that is Koper." I asked them: "Why do you assume that it is Koper?" and they answered: "Oh, we have known before from Auschwitz. She has made the life very miserable for many people there by her spying on the others." Then I went back to my own office where those three prisoners were still waiting. I told them: "Just wait a little longer and you will hear more about it". Then one of the prisoners got up and told me: "Frau Aufseherin, we have an idea why we are here. Probably somebody reported us and that was Koper." I just said: "Wait a little longer" and at that moment Koper came into my office. In the moment Koper entered, and when she saw the three prisoners sitting there she became very pale - she immediately lost her colour.. I said to the three prisoners: "Well, here is the woman who reported you. Just take your reckoning with her." The three prisoners were sitting, Koper was opposite them, and I myself, stood in the door. One of the prisoners got immediately up and knocked her with her fist under her chin...
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Before the witness continues, I think she might be asked to put down whatever it is she is reading. If it is her translation of the affidavits, when my friend wants her to refer to one he can tell her to do so. At the moment she is reading between each question.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What has she got there?
MAJOR MUNRO: I do not know. I have not seen it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: (To the witness) What is the document you are reading? - They are some notes. (The witness hands document to interpreter). In this room after the blow I saw immediately blood pouring out, I do not know whether from her mouth or from her nose, but I was frightened to death and said: "Good gracious me" and I retired immediately into the farther corner near the door and thought: "Well, well; my God, my God". I was so frightened about all that that I left the room for a moment. When I returned I saw a terrific fight, because apart from those three prisoners who were beating Koper, suddenly a few more prisoners turned up into my office - I do not know where they came from - and apart from those I saw also Aufseherin Gollasch in my office. Then I tried to get near her, but it was very difficult because it was a proper fight that was going on, so I could not get near. I saw Gollasch hit Koper who was lying on the floor. I do not know whether she hit her head or back. I could not see that, but apart from those prisoners who were carrying on that hitting, Gollasch helped also in it. So I shouted: "Stop, stop," and really the fight stopped immediately afterwards. I thought: "Well, it is better to examine Koper herself to see what she has got - any jewels or gold on her". That happened immediately after the fight. The only thing we found on her was a little photo of an SS man. When we asked her who it was she said was her son, so we kept this photo because we wanted to look into that matter. Then Koper left the room. She was dressed, but she had some sort of clothing in her hand. Then she left the office and went along the corridor. She passed my window and I looked out and saw how the Koper passed the window and smiled to all the prisoners who were standing about. She smiled so much I thought: "Good gracious; this beating must not have hurt her very much if she can go around and smile". In that moment I saw Criminal Secretary of Gestapo Speelmann. I asked him into my office and told him about the result of these enquiries into the case of the three prisoners, and told him that we did not find anything but on Koper we found this photo of the SS man. He answered he would like to see her at once, because he would like to find out the truth about this photo of the SS man. Then, in the meantime, Aufseherin Gollasch and somebody else - I do not remember her name, another Aufseherin - also some functionaries of the camp went to the room of Koper to see whether they could find something in her own room, and really they came back with so many things that my big writing desk was entirely covered. They brought four loaves of bread; they brought about a pound or a pound and a half of bacon; they brought a tin of cheese, and three or four pounds of margarine and a glass of marmalade, and a few other small details. I asked several prisoners of the same block to make sure if they were all belongings of Koper or several other prisoners, but they all stated they belonged to Koper which, incidentally, later on she admitted. She said: "All that is mine, and all that was organised by me". So when I told Gestapo Secretary Speelmann about it he said, "Put in a report about all that with all details and, in the meantime, I shall see about this photo of the SS man because that interests me." Speelmann, who went to the room of Koper, told me: "I had better take Koper immediately with me and see about the truth of that." I went into my own office and suddenly somebody opened the door - I do not remember who it was - and started shouting: "For Heaven's sake Frau Aufseherin, come and see; Koper is being beaten to death." I went out and I could not say how many prisoners I saw all with sticks and pieces of wood, but at that moment when I came out apparently the troops were already lined between her and the prisoners, because she was unconscious and lying on the floor. The prisoners started shouting, "We want to kill her entirely because it is too much we have to suffer from her." I heard that her arm was broken as a consequence of this fight, and she was in hospital, and later on she had her arm in plaster. When she left hospital she was sent to prison for, I believe, three weeks. That is all I can say about this incident. I would like to add that the prisoners prepared a poster which had the words: "I am a the traitor who betrayed you". They wanted Koper, when she left the prison after three weeks to walk about the camp with this poster, but I was very much afraid that that would lead to unpleasantness and they might kill her so I prohibited it.
Will No. 46 stand up. (The accused Helena Koper stands up) Is that the woman? - Yes.
It has been said that you were very cruel; is that true? - I cruel? Well, of course, it depends what one understands under the word "cruelty." I admit I slapped the faces of prisoners, but only if there was a very serious reason for it. But of course I never slapped their faces with both of my hands, only with one.
Do you remember the two girls who said that you used to stand at the gate and beat prisoners as they passed while you were checking them? - Well, that is not true, that is so, but the reason is because they took their blankets, they put them round their shoulders, which was not allowed; they cut their blankets and made all sorts of pieces of clothing out of them, even shoes and, of course, that was prohibited. Then they had all sorts of parcels which they used to take out from the gate which was not allowed. If, of course, I caught one or the other doing that then I slapped her face.
MAJOR MUNRO: That concludes my examination.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Major Munro, the Court seem to have got a note of your evidence in regard to all incidents mentioned specifically by the Prosecution except with regard to the affidavit of Hilda Löffler, which was Exhibit 57, page 98 in the book.
MAJOR MUNRO: I left that one out because it referred to Herkovitz, and I thought that as that had been dealt with by the accused I need not put the other one.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Just as you like; it does not seem to be the same incident at all.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It is exactly the same incident, in the submission of the Prosecution. I think the Defence think so too.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: She was beaten by Ellers and was shut up in an air raid shelter for two weeks. The witness has already said she was shut up for two weeks, but she says she was not beaten.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.
Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: Do you think Koper is truthful? - No.
She is not mentally normal, is she? - I could not say so, but it is well known that if she opens her mouth she lies.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.
CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN NEAVE - I want to refer you again to your statement at page 193, paragraph 10. - Yes.
On Saturday you started to say, in German, that the whole paragraph was wrong; is that correct? - Yes.
How should the paragraph read then? - The first phrase, that Walter does not work in the kitchen; that is the first one.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I think we really must draw a line somewhere. It does not say anywhere in that paragraph that Walter does work in the kitchen, and really I think we must draw a line somewhere as to how we can ramble on with this same statement over and over again. She just said that Walter does not work in the kitchen are the paragraph does not say Walter worked in the kitchen. We are just getting nowhere by saying, "How should the paragraph read". She has not got a copy in front of her and she is asked how paragraph 10 of the statement should read.
THE PRESIDENT: She has got a copy. I am not quite clear what the accused is on, because it does not say that Frieda Walter is in the kitchen.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: The paragraph definitely implies that and, if it pleases the Court, the accused in the witness box on Saturday started to say something the "ganz" paragraph which, in my submission, means the whole paragraph. She started to say it was wrong, and then the learned Prosecutor broke in and said: "The difference seems to be between "set foot" and "work in", and the whole paragraph was then left.
THE PRESIDENT: So far as I could make out, the whole of the paragraph was agreed to except that Müller says that he would not continue to work in the cookhouse while these continued beatings and stealing went on. I think it is probably in the transcript.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: You did, but on page 17, half way down, the accused says: "and paragraph 10 is quite different", and she did not explain in what respect the paragraph was quite different.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I remember her saying that about paragraph 10. She discriminated between other paragraphs and then she said that paragraph 10 was different, because you will see later on I queried by saying: "I thought paragraph 10 was wrong", because I could not follow what everybody was saying. But I did get the impression that she was saying there was something wrong with paragraph 10.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It is quite clear. When she was asked whether she made a statement and whether it was correct, she said: "There are several paragraphs which do not show really either words or meaning of what I did say during the statement; and paragraph 10 is quite different". Then she went off on to various things, and apparently Major Munro was leaving it, and the President said: "Have you finished with this document?", and you, sir, drew Major Munro's attention to the fact that she had said paragraph 10 was different. She then had paragraph 10 in front of her and Major Munro asked her what was wrong with it. She then went into detail as to what was wrong. That is why I am saying that if it is put all over again she should have her attention drawn to the paragraph and asked what is wrong with it and not be asked to recite from memory about the paragraph.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: Then with your permission, sir, I will put each sentence in the paragraph to the witness and ask her whether it is correct.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: My friend is entitled to lead, and it would be much better if he asked her what he wants to know instead of having the document read over. If he wants her to say that Walter was not in the kitchen, then he should ask her.
MAJOR MUNRO: (To the witness) "Although I have not witnessed any beatings of prisoners by other SS I have heard that Ilse Förster and Frieda Walter used to beat internees to quite unreasonable extent". Is that what you said at the time? - Not true.
What did you say at the time?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: There is a wrong translation there. Will the Interpreter please put the question which was put by the Defending Officer, which was: Did she say it at the time. What was put to the witness was: Is that true or not?
THE PRESIDENT: I heard the question you asked: "Did you say that at the time?"
CATAIN NEAVE: Yes. (The question was repeated to the witness). - I have not said so.
"One young Rottenführer whose name I do not remember but who was at Belsen for three or four days told me on one occasion that he was on his way to complain to the Unterscharführer Müller that he could not continue to work in the cookhouse while the brutality of the beatings given by Ilse Förster and Frieda Walter was allowed to continue". Is that true?
THE INTERPRETER: Is the question: "Is that true?", or "Have you said so at that time?"?
CAPTAIN NEAVE: Is it true that she said that at that time. (The question is put to the witness) - No.
"I also found Ilse Förster myself, when visiting the cookhouse, with a very red face and in an excited state which she told me was due to her exertions in beating prisoners". Did you say that at the time? - No.
When you visited the cookhouse and you found Ilse Förster in a excited state, what did she tell you? - She told me that a young Rottenführer who had been working only for a short period in the kitchen just went to his superior officer, Müller, to complain and to tell him that he was not going to continue to work in the kitchen if the beating of the prisoners and the stealing did not cease.
Did Ilse Förster say to you that she had been beating prisoners? - Not on that day.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: My questions are concerned with the accused No. 37, 18 and 39. How many cookhouses were there at Belsen? - Five cookhouse for the prisoners and one for the SS personnel.
Were they numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5? - Yes.
Any were they always known by those numbers? - I was not so very clear about the numbers, but I do know exactly where the kitchens were situated.
Can you tell us which kitchen was which, which was numbered which? - No.
When you wanted to refer to a particular kitchen, how did you do it then? - For instance, if it concerned one kitchen in the women's compound, then I said, "Woman's compound, the first kitchen when you enter", or, "Women's compound, the second".
How many kitchen were there in the women's compound? - Two.
And were there two in the main camp street? - Yes, one for the SS personnel and one for the prisoners.
Where were the other prisoners' kitchens then? - In the men's compound.
Were they by the side of the road? - Yes, if you went in on the right side.
I want No. 38 to stand up. (Accused No. 38, Frieda Walter, stands up). Did you know that woman from Belsen? - Yes
Where did she work? - Kitchen in the Women's compound.
Which kitchen in the Woman's compound? - The second when you came in.
Is that the kitchen which is divided into two parts? - Yes.
Did you ever know that as Kitchen No. 3? - No.
Where did she work? - She worked in the men's cookhouse; that is the Aufseherin I was talking about.
That kitchen was divided into two parts. Did they work in the same part or in the opposite parts? - In different parts.
Will No. 37 stand up. (Accused No. 37, Herta Bothe, stands up). What was her job at Belsen? - In charge of distributing wood.
Was she ever in charge of the vegetables, as far as you know? - No.
When you were at Belsen, were there ever there a number of Dutch babies who were separately looked after? - There were children in the Men's compound, but I could not say whether they were Dutch babies of not.
Were all the babies in the Men's compound, whether they were Dutch or whatever nationality they were? - Part of the children were in the Men's compound and part in the Women's compound. Later on Kramer, I remember, gave an order that a part of the children of the Men's compound should be transferred into the Women's compound, but not all of them.
Cross-examined by LIEUTENANT BOYD: One general point first. Can you tell me how many Aufseherinnen there were at Belsen when the British came? - Approximately 39.
Will No. 41 stand up. (Accused No. 41, Gertrude Sauer, stands up). Can you remember whether there was another Aufseherin in Belsen who looked very like Sauer? - Yes, there was an Aufseherin with whom she had some resemblance. She was called Orlt.
Do you know if Sauer was ever at Auschwitz? - I was only for a short period in Auschwitz myself, only for a few weeks, and as far as I know she has not been there.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: There is no charge in respect of Auschwitz.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN MUNRO: I am going to ask a few questions about No. 43, Johanne Roth. Do you remember Block 199 at Belsen? - Yes.
Do you remember anybody called Ida Friedman? - Yes, she was a Jewess.
I am referring to the transcript, Day 12, at the top of page 15. It is an allegation by Helene Klein and is not in the Deposition at all. (To the witness): There has been a suggestion made that Ida Friedman was beaten until she died. Do you know anything about that? - No.
When did you last see Ida Friedman? - When we returned from Neuengamme to Belsen I remember that Friedman read the cards for me, she predicted the future out of cards for me.
When was that? - On the Saturday before the arrival of the British troops.
Do you know what happened to Ida Friedman. Was she taken to hospital, or what? - I remember she came to me and complained about being very hungry, so I gave her bread, butter, sausage and an egg, and although she looked very weak I could not say anything about her being taken to hospital; I do not know.
How long after that did the British troops arrive? - As far as I remember, on Sunday afternoon.
Cross-examined by LT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I will ask her some questions about the accused No. 46. Do you remember accused No. 46 from Ravensbrück (Helene Koper)? - No.
When you first meet Koper, was it at Belsen or at Auschwitz? - In the kitchen in Belsen, where I slapped her face.
What was her appointment there then? - I remember she had always a green armlet. I believe it meant "Camp Police". I saw her standing about near the kitchen with a stick in her hand.
When was it about, when you first met Koper first? - Beginning of March.
Do you know who appointed Koper as camp policewoman? - No.
Was she the only policewoman at Belsen? - I do not know.
Would you know what the duties of a camp policewoman were at Belsen? - I know their duty was to see that order is being kept in the camp.
What do you mean by "order"? - As far as I know that everything should be kept clean and tidy and that not so much stealing should be going on.
You said you saw the photograph of an SS man which belonged to Koper. What size was this photo? - Passport photo.
I am going to ask you more questions about this photograph. What rank was the SS man? - I do not know.
Did you never see this SS man in Belsen camp? - No.
You remember you said there was a search carried out in Koper's room for food and other articles? - Yes.
What was the number of this block? - I do not know the number of the block, because Aufseherin Gollasch and, I believe, another Aufseherin, accompanied prisoners.
You said you have seen different food articles found in Koper's room. Were those articles which the prisoners would receive as normal rations? - No.
So this foodstuff would not come from the prisoners' cookhouse, got Koper through stealing? - This foodstuff was available in the camp, but in smaller rations; not in big bulks.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I do not think she is understanding what you are getting at. You are rather suggesting, are you not, that this was not over rationed food at all.
THE INTERPRETER: The question is whether she could have stolen it from the kitchen.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: She answered my first question: The food articles were not those which the prisoners usually receive, so I asked her the next question: Therefore it was not stuff stolen from the prisoners cookhouse by Koper? The answer was not the answer I was getting at.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Put the question again.
You said today that Koper has been beaten on two occasions; one occasion was when she was beaten in your room and another one when she was beaten by prisoners outside in the camp? - Yes.
Did you see any Blockältesten taking part in this beating? - Yes.
How many Blockältesten? - Which one do you mean? In the office or outside?
Were the Blockältesten taking part in your office or in the camp? - In the office and also outside; half of the compound was collected around Koper at that time.
Was it possible for the prisoners to enter freely your office? - In my office only very few people were present, only those amongst the prisoners who had some function and who lived nearby, and then those three accused whom I had to interview.
Do you think the reason was because she gave false information? - I remember faintly that Speelman told me that the story which Koper was telling about the photo of the SS man was not true, but what really did happen or what the real reason was I could not say.
Do you know when she was put in the bunker? - I do not know.
Was it a short or a long time after she was beaten? - I remember only that she seemed to be alright; she had had her arm in plaster and the woman doctor certified her as fit for prison.
Did you ever hear of Koper having a miscarriage in hospital as a result of the beating? - No.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: When you were called up in November, 1939, were you given any option as to what duties you should take up? - No. I got a letter and the letter said I had to report on the 1st November, 1939, to the concentration camp at Ravensbrück.
When you got to Ravensbrück did you like it? - Well - like it? In the beginning I had nothing to do with the prisoners, but I had to change over altogether.
When you took charge of prisoners did you like it? - I had in Ravensbrück neither the responsibility for prisoners nor did I take charge of prisoners at Ravensbrück.
Were not you in charge of outside working parties? - Well, I want to be quite honest, I had never such a good life as in the beginning at Ravensbrück when I arrived.
I am not asking you about that; I am asking you about prisoners. Come to the time when you were in charge of outside working parties. Did you like it then ? - Well, whether I liked it - I cannot say that I liked it.
Did not you dislike very much the way prisoners were treated? - In the beginning I was only in charge, as I said before, of the civilians working in the camp, but later on when I was put in charge of working parties outside the camp then I passed very dark and heavy hours thinking about it.
Was it not because you would not ill treat the prisoners as other people did that you were transferred to Lublin? - Yes.
The prisoners were very badly treated, were they not? - It was terribly, terribly, severe. I must say the prisoners had everything they were entitled to; that is to say, food, beds or sanitation, washing facilities - all that was done for them - but, on the other hand, they were treated very, very severely; nobody was allowed to speak to them, anybody who had appeared to do so was punished himself and, of course, the prisoner would have to be punished very severely. I have been often blamed by the Kommandant because of my behaviour and he told me one day I should not forget that it was a concentration camp and not a convalescent home.
I am not suggesting that at Ravensbrück you did ill treat prisoners, but you saw a lot of it, did you not? - Yes, how they were treated I have seen.
You have told us that they got the food they were entitled to, but did you think that was enough to keep a prisoner healthy with the amount of work he had to do? - No.
Were not prisoners quite regularly beaten both by Kapos and by some of the guard? - I have never witnessed that in Ravensbrück which I saw in other camps. In Ravensbrück, for instance, you could never beat a prisoner publicly; for the slightest offence you had to make a report to the Kommandant of the camp.
When that report was made what happened to the prisoner? - They were properly put on a charge in front of the Kommandant. They were brought to the Kommandant who asked whether they admitted the offence they were accused of and if they were proved guilty they were put in detention, sometimes for shorter periods, and if the offence was grave then they were put on bread and water. If it was a light thing then they were put in for a few days and got quite normal food.
When you showed some consideration for the prisoners you were reproved for it? - And very much so; I was not highly esteemed for that by the Kommandant.
And as a punishment you were sent to Lublin? - I want to add that there were beatings at Ravensbrück, but that was done on orders of Himmler.
When there was a beating at Ravensbrück were the other prisoners paraded to watch it? - No.
Were you sent to Lublin as a punishment because you were considerate and reasonable to the prisoners? - I was too good towards them and, apart from that, I was caught doing several things which were not allowed.
What were the things that were not allowed? - For instance, I passed letters out of the camp, which was not allowed; I smuggled parcels into the camp, which was not allowed; then messages, that is to say to the parents or some other relatives, and I had quite a number of friends outside the camp who in the meantime became prisoners and they came into my camp as well so I had to take care and to try to help those.
When you got to Lublin was that camp a lot worse than Ravensbrück? - Terrible.
Were the prisoners were treated terribly there? - Yes.
Was the death rate very high indeed? - In my opinion, no.
Now let us come to when you arrived in Auschwitz - well, as you were there a very short time I will not worry about that. Let us come to the time when you came to Belsen...
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is this woman on a charge in respect of Auschwitz? I think she is.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, she is.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: When you same there was Plachau [Płaszów] administered by Auschwitz? - No.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: My note says that she was in Auschwitz from November to January 18th, 1945.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes in Plachau [Płaszów] which is one of the outside camps. In practice I propose to go straight to Belsen, rightly or wrongly. I frankly can see no point in going to Auschwitz at all.
MAJOR MUNRO: In that case I shall ask for her to be struck out of that charge.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: You can make a tremendous point hereafter that the Prosecutor cut out Auschwitz.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the witness) I want to come to the time you were at Belsen. You told us that you arrived there first and then went away again on duty for a time and came back again? - Yes.
What was the duty you went away on? - I had to go to Ravensbrück to fetch some prisoners for functionary duties, and who would continue those duties at Belsen, but apart from that a number of my own belongings were still at Ravensbrück and I wanted to get those to Belsen.
When you say "functionary", just what do you mean by that? - Functionary are, for instance, Blockälteste - senior in the block, who had some duties with the whole block, then arbeitsdienst, for working parties or distribution of work; then Kapos are under the same heading, and also Lager älteste responsible for the whole camp.
Who sent you to Ravensbrück to fetch them? - Kommandant Kramer.
About what date would that be? - In February.
At Belsen what was your actual employment when you first got there? - Clothing stores for the prisoners.
What did she appoint you to do? - She told me that many transports had arrived and so many Aufseherinnen did arrive with those transports who did not have any particular jobs, they were running about, and Gollasch told me that she herself was rather inexperienced in that type of work and she asked me to help her.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I am not quite clear what her appointment was yet.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am still trying to get it. (To the witness) You acted, did you not, as Oberaufseherin in charge of the other Aufseherinnen, and were yourself working under Gollasch? - Yes, one can say so.
And you tried to get some sort of order amongst the other Aufseherinnen? - I tried very hard, as far as I was able to do so.
Why - was it difficult? - No, one cannot say it was very difficult, but I myself did not have very much experience in it.
Until you did try and do this they were all doing more or less what they thought fit? - Yes.
Walking about the camp doing whatever occurred to them at the time? - Yes, particularly those - one cannot say all Aufseherinnen - but particularly those who had been already in Belsen before; they thought they were just the masters and could do whatever they liked, and there was hardly any possibility to tell them what to do.
Is it true that you have seen Gollasch beating prisoners? - Yes.
Did she beat them very heavily? - In my opinion, yes.
Using a walking stick, a piece of wood, or anything she could find ? - Yes, whatever she could lay hands on.
Did she hit them on the head, on the neck, and on any other part of the body? - She did not care at all where she hit the prisoners.
Have you seen her continue until blood came from their mouths and their noses? - I remember particularly one instance when she beat a prisoner so strongly and for such a length of time that she was bleeding out of her mouth and her nose.
Were some of these prisoners in a very weak state before they had a beating? - I cannot remember that.
You remember making your statement before Colonel Genn on oath, do you not? - Yes, I remember.
Was there not a shorthand writer present, a clerk, who took things down? - Temporarily; sometimes he was present - not always.
He was present to take down the statement, was he not? - Yes, I suppose so.
And you chose to give your evidence on oath, did you not? - No, I had not.
Did you not swear on the Bible before Colonel Genn as to the truth of your statement? - No.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: You will see it is a sworn deposition which is before the Court.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Lt. Colonel Genn certified that she was duly sworn beforehand.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That is four months ago, is it not? - I do not know exactly how long.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Would you clear up what she does say? We do not know whether she did or not.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Do you swear that you never took an oath at all? - At the end of the statement, when everything was ready, I was told: "Now take the oath." I did not know how to do it because I have never sworn before, so I simply repeated what the Colonel said before me.
That will, of course, be true. It is the normal way of preparing a deposition. Were not these people who were beaten by Gollasch in a very weak state before.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I do not think it can be held against the witness that she said she did not take the oath before; she has now agreed she did.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes. (To the witness) The statement was read over to you in German, was it not? - Yes.
And then you were asked to swear that what you said was true? - Yes.
And that is when you took the oath and swore it? - Yes.
I do not think we are very far apart because you did not quarrel with very much of this statement when your own counsel put it to you, but I want to just ask you again: were not these people, or some of these people, who were beaten by Gollasch in a very weak state before they were beaten? - I cannot really remember because I have seen Gollasch only twice or three times beating these prisoners and I was always saying that it should not be done and it is not dignified to hit a prisoner with a stick or with a whip.
Did you travel home with other prisoners last Saturday in the truck? - Yes.
Have you been with them over the weekend? - We are not all together.
Just let me read to you what you said on Saturday when you were asked about this by your own counsel. (It is page 17 of the transcript.) You were asked, were you not, by your own counsel whether there was anything wrong with this statement taken by Colonel Genn? - Yes.
In the statement these are the words, are they not: "The victims were in such a weak state that they would be very lucky to survive such beatings as I saw her give". (That is paragraph 5 on page 192 of the depositions.) On Saturday your complaint about that you said the weakness did not originate from the beatings but they were weak already? - Yes, I understand.
Why are you changing that over the weekend? - I want to explain I remember Gollasch only having beaten three times. I really cannot say that I have seen her beating weak or sick people. If I read my statement, however, then it reads as if Gollasch would have beaten also very weak and very sick people.
I want to ask you about paragraph 10 again, about Ilse Förster. In your statement to Colonel Genn, which was read over to you in German and which you swore as true, you said: "I have heard that Ilse Förster and Frieda Walter used to beat internees to a quite unreasonable extent." Is that true or not? Had you heard it or had you not? - No, not in this way.
Did you hear it about Frieda Walter? - Yes.
Why did you tell Colonel Genn that you had heard it against Ilse Förster if it were not true? - It must be that the interpreter did not understand me when I explained it to him.
Why did you swear it was true when it was read over to you afterwards? - I repeat it once more it has not been read over to me in that way as I am reading it now.
Did you mention Ilse Förster at all? - Yes.
Did you mention her in connection with the beatings? - Yes.
Did you say you had heard she had beaten anybody? - No.
Then why did you mention her name in connection with beatings at all? - I was asked again and again who was beating in the camp and I was repeating again and again the names of those persons whom I knew or whom I had seen beating people but the Colonel asked me again and again about Förster and he told me: "You must have seen her beating".
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I want to question the translation. I am told that the witness said that the Colonel said to her: "I have witnesses, out the truth".
THE INTERPRETER: She said: "He told me: 'I have witnesses, I know the truth, you had better tell me the truth'".
THE PRESIDENT: Was that what she said before?
THE INTERPRETER: She started to talk too much and I had to interrupt her as she was talking too fast, and I may have forgot.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am trying to get short answers. (To the witness). Do not make a speech. Listen to the question and answer it. Do you remember the young Rottenführer you have spoken of? - Yes.
Did you ever see or speak to him? - No, I do not know him and I have never spoken to him.
How do you know he was only at Belsen for three or four days? - Because Förster told me so.
When did Förster tell you about that? - On the day when I saw her in the kitchen.
She told you that the day that you saw her in the kitchen? - Yes.
Was that the day you went in and found her with a flushed face? - Yes.
Did she tell you that this Rottenführer had gone to complain to Unterscharführer Müller? - Not to complain but to ask whether or not some changes in the kitchen could be made.
Was that on the grounds that he could not put up with the beating and stealing that was going on in the kitchen? (A pause.) She either told you or she did not. Did she tell you that or did she not tell you that? - Yes.
Was that why she had a very red face and was in an excited state? - She told me she was angry because such a lot had been stolen.
Did she tell you she was angry because this Rottenführer was complaining about her beating? - She did not tell me that.
Did not this Rottenführer come to you and make a statement to you? - No, I do not know.
Look at page 18 on Saturday's transcript, at the top. Do you know on Saturday morning what you said was: "The sense of my statement in paragraph 10 is that the Rottenführer came to me and said he was going to complain to his superior officer (in this case Unterscharführer Müller) and tell him that he was not going to set foot in the kitchen any more with this continuous beating and stealing going on". That is the story you told on Saturday.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I do not think she did at all.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am reading from the transcript.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I think, if you read it again, it will appear that she is there merely repeating what is said in paragraph 10 and had she not been interrupted by you she would then have gone on to explain what she really did mean.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Major Munro asked her if there was anything else wrong and she said: "No". Major Munro is her own counsel and if he, on his instructions, takes no exception to that being in the transcript it may be taken as read.
MAJOR MUNRO: All I can say is that is what I understand it to mean myself.
THE PRESIDENT: Put the question again.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the witness) I put it to you again that you have changed your story since Saturday morning? - I have not changed it.
If this Rottenführer had just left Ilse Förster when you got to the cookhouse how could Ilse Förster know then that he was only staying at Belsen altogether for two or three days? - Ilse Förster did not say that this Rottenführer would stay two or three days at Belsen, but she said that he was only two or three days in the kitchen.
I might just before I leave this incident put it to you once more. In your statement to Colonel Genn you say this: "One young Rottenführer whose name I do not remember but who was at Belsen for three or four days told me on one occasion that he was on his way to complain to Unterscharführer Müller that he could not continue to work in the cookhouse while the brutality of the beatings given by Ilse Förster and Frieda Walter was allowed to continue". On Saturday when you were asked by your own Defending Officer about this particular statement and asked to tell the Court anything that was wrong with it you said: "The sense of my statement in paragraph 10 is that the Rottenführer came to me and said he was going to complain to his superior officer (in this case Unterscharführer Müller) and tell him that he was not going to set foot in the kitchen any more with this continuous beating and stealing going on". In the face of both those statements, both made on oath, do you now say that you never saw that Rottenführer and that you never heard of this woman, Ilse Förster, beating? - I swear that I did not say anything else on Saturday than that I was in the kitchen and that Ilse Förster told me that this Rottenführer had gone to his superior officer to talk about the beatings and the stealing in the kitchen. That is what I said and that is the truth and nothing else.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I now propose to turn away from this question so perhaps this will be a convenient moment to adjourn. I wonder if arrangements could be made that this witness should not mix with the other accused during the adjournment?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I will give instructions as to that.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: The next thing I wanted to ask you about was what were those notes you were reading from this morning? - The German translation of the indictment and of the accusation ...
What were the written notes that you were reading from? These answers were read word for word. - Only the statement of Koper which I had in front of me.
Leave the word "often" out. Is it true that you had heard that both those two people had beaten prisoners? - Yes.
Do you remember what you said about Bormann? - Yes.
Is it true that you often saw Bormann's dog? - Yes.
Is it true that you heard she used to let it loose on prisoners ? - I have not heard that.
Well, do you remember what you said in your statement: "I have often seen the dog which she had, and heard she used to let it loose on the prisoners"? - That is the reason why I did not agree with the statement, because the words did not exactly express what I have said.
Did you say to Colonel Genn: "Although I have not seen it I can well believe it to be true"? - No, it is not quite so.
Why did you not complain when the statement was read back to you before you signed it? - I cannot remember that it had been read back to me, otherwise I would have complained at once.
But you told us this morning it was read back to you just before you swore to it? - Yes.
Well, was it not? - Not in that way as you do it now, word by word.
Did you say: "I should like to add the Hilda Lisiewitz and Elisabeth Fritzner to the best of my knowledge and belief were always well behaved and treated the prisoners really decently"? - I have said that, and I mentioned even others whose names I cannot see now.
Did you say: "I believe that some of the prisoners are blaming us for things which were done by Aufseherinnen who preceded us at Belsen"? - Yes, I accept that.
Did you say: "For instance I remember that SS woman Sporn, who left Belsen about 20th February 1945 because she was pregnant, has on occasions punished numbers of prisoners by making them kneel with bricks or stones on their head and their hands above their heads for as long as three hours at a time"? - I have said that I have head about that.
Do you remember saying: "I can speak of this of my own knowledge since I saw it happen"? - No, I have said: "I have heard it from the prisoners." Then the question was asked: "Did you see it yourself?" I answered: "No, I did not."
Were you not asked by Colonel Genn: "Can you say this of your own knowledge or were you only told about it"? - No, he did not ask me in that manner at all. He asked me in a short way: "Have you seen that yourself?" and my answers was: "No, I have heard about it from prisoners."
Whereupon he immediately put down: "I can speak as to this of my own knowledge as I saw it happen", and it was read over to you and you signed it as correct, is that right? - They had it in English, but it was read to me in German and I have signed what was read to me. That is all I can say.
Is it not the truth of the matter this, that when you made this statement you thought that if you told the truth you might not be charged at all? - No, it was not my intention and it is not my intention today either to put myself in a better light than the others.
You have told us that you did regularly stand at the camp gate checking parties in and out? - Not only for that purpose, but also to see to it that every working party which was going out would get somebody who is being put in charge of them.
And you have agreed that you boxed people's ears, as you put it, or slapped their faces at the gate? - Yes.
I do not want to quarrel about terms, and I do not know what the German for "box your ears" is, but I suggest to you that you gave people severe beatings? - Well, it was really a beating because I certainly did not arrest them.
Now I want to ask you about one or two particular incidents. You did quite a lot of searching the blocks for jewellery, did you not? - I have never done it, not once, during my whole stay at Belsen. I only once, on orders of Volkenrath, made a search of the kitchen blocks, in the women's compound it was, because there they had such a great amount of meat and bread and sugar and better, and all sorts of things, that we could hardly carry it away in washbasins; we had to carry all this amount in washbasins away; and not only that but they had such a great amount of clothing which somehow they had smuggled into the camp that we had several trucks full of clothing which we had to carry away.
Did you beat the people responsible? - No.
Do you remember an affidavit of Katherine Neiger? - Yes.
Do you remember her saying that you used to search the blocks; if you found any food take out the girl responsible and beat her? - Katherine Neiger is quite unable to say anything about me because she has been working in Camp No. 2, she was Lagerälteste there, and I never met Katherine Neiger.
Do you remember the affidavit of Anita Lasker? - Not at the moment.
She said that you frequently beat women whilst you were at Belsen...
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I thought this one was not actually put in.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am so sorry. If it was not put in I will leave it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: No, it was not put in.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: She gave evidence in person.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Do you remember another girl Etyl Eisenberg? - Not the name, no.
She said about you that you used to deputise for Volkenrath. That is true is it not? - No, I have not. I have neither written nor a verbal order for that.
I will read what this girl says: "Elisabeth Volkenrath used sometimes to come into the block and take away clothes and food from the women. She was very cruel and made a habit of beating them and pulling their hair. Another SS woman, Herta Ehlert, used to deputise for Volkenrath is she was away and was also cruel and acted in the same way." - I must say that this Miss Eisenberg when she was shown the photos and could not find the real culprit and she saw my photo she thought, "Well, I might just as well take this woman."
That must be guess work, because you were not there. I want to ask you about this incident by the camp gate when Kramer beat a Russian girl who had escaped. First of all, who was waiting at the gate when that girl was brought in? - Nobody was really waiting, we just stood at the gate; Kramer, Volkenrath, Gollasch and myself.
Why were you standing there? - Because we had finished our work and we were just going home, it was slightly getting dark.
You knew this girl had been recaptured, did you not? - Yes, when I was standing then I heard about it.
And you knew she was being brought back, did you not? - I heard about it only when I was standing at the gate.
Did Volkenrath tell you? - I do not remember who told me. When we were standing at the gate suddenly we were told this girl had escaped and was being brought back, and all the Aufseherinnen who were still available had to stay behind until the case had been cleared.
Why had all the Aufseherinnen to stay behind? - I do not know, but It was always so if the Kommandant or SS men has something to do with women prisoners; one Aufseherin had to stay behind.
Why had all the available Aufseherin to stay behind? - I do not know.
Who brought the women back? - I do not know.
Did Kramer question the girl in front of you? - Yes, we were all together.
Did you not say to Colonel Genn : "I saw him kicking and shaking her"? - Yes, I said it and I see it still before my eyes even now. I saw Kramer question her, and I see even know how he got hold of her, started shaking her.
Did he kick her? - I did not see anything about kicking.
Then did you say to Colonel Genn: "and later hit her with a stick on her head and face and all over her body quite unmercifully? - No.
When the statement was read over to you and you swore it why did you not object to that passage? - It was never read to me.
Did not Kramer in fact beat her with a stick? - Even today I cannot say for sure whether he had something in his hand or not, because he took the girl away a rather bigger distance and it was getting dark; therefore even now I cannot truthfully say whether he had something in his hand or not.
Then you said to Colonel Genn: "As a result of this she gave the names of two girls whom she said had helped her to escape". Is that right? - Yes, that is true.
Did you hear the names? - No.
How do you know she gave them? - Because Kramer returned later with the girl and gave orders that those two whose names he pronounced should be fetched from the camp because they were helping the girl to escape.
Who did he send to fetch them? - I do not know.
And then did Kasainitzky take these two girls into a room? - I was still outside.
That was not what I asked you. Did Kasainitzky then take the girls into a room? - I have not seen it myself whether and how he took the girls into the room.
You were standing there, you saw the two girls brought and something must have happened to them. What happened to them? - I can only say I came into the office and I saw Kasainitzky with a walking stick and I saw the girl was bent and how he gave her five strokes.
I want you to apply your mind a little before that. You told us Kasainitzky came up and that he had a conversation with Kramer. So we have now got Kramer there, Kasainitzky there and you were there, Now what happened to the two girls and Kasainitzky? Did not Kasainitzky take them into a room? - I am talking about the office ...
I am going on to get an answer, because I do not believe you are stupid. I believe you will not answer. - What happened to the two girls outside when they were fetched from the camp I do not know; I was not standing there the whole time.
Let me read you what you have said to Colonel Genn: "Kramer sent for these two girls and instructed Kasainitzky to give each of them five strokes on the bare behind to make them confess." Is not that in fact what happened? - No, it is not so and I have not said so.
When you went in the room was one of the girls standing in a corner? - Yes, I remember well.
Was the other one being beaten by Kasainitzky? - Yes.
And she was given five strokes? - Yes.
And did you leave while the first girl was being beaten? - Yes, I asked for permission to go away and I was given that permission, I went home.
So the only two bits that Colonel Genn has got wrong are the two bits which might react against Kramer, are they? - I was asked by Colonel Genn who gave Kasainitzky the order to beat these girls and I said: "I do not know." I said maybe, because Kasainitzky spoke Russian or Polish, that Kramer wanted him as an interpreter. That is what I said.
Now I want to leave that incident and I want to go to the different one of the woman called Herkowitz. Is it true that you noticed a ring and a locket which Herkowitz was wearing? - Yes, she was brought to me.
Is it true that you took her to your room, where you made her undress and searched her for some more jewellery? - No.
Why did you not? - She was brought to me and in her handkerchief she had quite a lot of gold, a number of large gold rings, and ear-rings, and precious stones; all that was wrapped into a handkerchief.
That is still not an answer. I want to know why did you not take this girl, strip her and search her, as you did in the case of the woman Koper brought, and as you told us it was your duty to do? - I did not need to search her because she was brought to my office and all the gold and all the jewellery was already there. I was told she bartered that for all sorts of food from the kitchen.
I suggest to you that is precisely what you did, and that you beat her with a stick whilst she was undressed? - No. That is a lie. She told me that those jewels and the rings belonged to her parents, but I did not believe that.
Why did you not follow the normal practice of searching her to see if she had any more? - I did not need to search her.
I suggest to you that is precisely what you did, and that you beat her with a stick whilst she was undressed. - No, that is a lie.
Did she not tell you that the jewellery was her own and she had brought it with her to Belsen? - Yes, she told me that these jewels and the rings belonged to her parents.
Did you believe that? - No.
Was it not the normal practice when you thought a prisoner was lying to beat them till you thought you had got the truth out of them? - I am not such an animal who would beat a prisoner for such a reason; there was no real reason at all to beat her.
Did you slap her? - No.
Why did you not slap her, because you do not draw the line at that, do you? - I must say she was quite quiet and I said only: "Come with me to the Kommandant".
Then you have already told us that you do not remember but you may have ridden a bicycle? - It is possible, because I used it quite often.
Were they with you when you got to the Political Department ? - No, I was alone.
Is the Political Department run by the Gestapo? - No, that is criminal police; I have not seen Gestapo there.
Was there some other Aufseherinnen working there when you got there? - In the Political Department there is always an Aufseherin there, because other prisoners were working there.
Who was she? - Malschatzek.
I suggest to you that you stayed there whilst this girl was interrogated by two SS men in the Political Department. - No.
And that Gollasch and Volkenrath were also present? - Volkenrath was not in the camp at all. She was in hospital at that time. Where Gollasch was during that day I do not remember. I know exactly that I went there and reported to the Criminal Secretary of the Political Department and then I went.
You and Volkenrath and Gollasch were generally together, were you not? - Volkenrath, she was Oberaufseherin, and Gollasch was a Rapportführerin, and I myself I did all sorts of jobs in the whole camp. I was walking round and working everywhere.
You were the three senior women, were you not? - There are no ranks in our service.
Now I want to turn your mind to a quite separate incident again, and this is an incident when you took a young girl into the camp ältester's room. You remember the witness Hammermasch spoke of it. (It is the 8th day, page 19). - I do not remember about this incident in the room of the camp ältester.
I suggest to you that you and Volkenrath and a third woman, who may or may not have been Gollasch, I do not know, took a girl into that room, stripped her, searched and beat her. - No, that is completely untrue.
Now I want to ask you a little about what you were telling us today. This woman Koper. You have told us about Koper reporting these people as having jewellery. Of course, then you found that they had not any jewellery, did you not? - Yes.
Was it not when you found out that that you let the other prisoners beat her? - No, it is not true.
The first beating was done with your consent and encouragement, was it not? - Twice I myself slapped her face.
You then let the prisoners beat her, did you not? - No. I did not give permission to anybody. Of course I had no idea that it was going to be such a proper revolt.
You made it very clear to them who it was who said they had got some jewellery, did you not? - I confronted them and immediately one started beating her, as I told you this morning, in such a way that I was frightened.
And had you so little authority over the prisoners that you could not stop it if you had wanted to? - I stopped it immediately. At the first moment I was frightened, but I went back immediately and stopped it.
You went back immediately and stopped it? - Yes, I went back immediately and shouted "Stop" and even I received a blow.
I thought by that time that you found Gollasch had joined in and was beating Koper on the floor? - Yes, she must have entered from outside. I did not see her before and then I saw she was beating Koper.
Because it was a favourite trick of the SS, was it not, to make one lot of prisoners beat another? - No; the prisoners did not want to be ordered by us to beat other prisoners.
Did they do it without orders, do you mean? - They were very often fighting amongst each other.
Did the Kapos carry sticks as a rule? - I cannot say usually; some of them had a stick, but not all of them.
And is it not that how they kept order, by beating people with them? - Very often, yes.
Now you say after all this, after Koper had been lying on the floor and beaten on the floor she got up and went out smiling, is that right? - Yes.
However, she did not smile very long, because your friend Speelmann from the Political Department, turned up then, did he not? - She passed me outside; she was going in the direction of her block.
Then did you leave them and go to your own office? - No, I stayed in the office and he left it with Koper.
And did he take her to a room? - (The witness commenced a reply in German).
I do not want a lot of explanations. I merely want to know: Did he take her from the room? I am reading from the note of her evidence, and she said No.
MAJOR MUNRO: I have not got the transcript, but I am not certain whether she did say whether he took her to a room.
Did he take Koper with him? - Yes.
And there did they go into a room? - No, because he did not reach the Political Department. He left the hut where we were and just outside of the hut the accident occurred.
Then somebody came and fetched you from your office, did they? - Yes.
Where did they take you to? - (The witness commenced a reply in German).
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Where did they take you to is all I asked. I want to know where and I do not want another speech.
MAJOR MUNRO: Get the answer from the witness.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: We must draw a line somewhere.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I think the witness ought to say Yes or No to many of these questions, and if there is an explanation then she can give it after. We do not get on because the simplest question is not answered Yes or No.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Where did you go to when you were fetched? - I went out to the place where the accident occurred.
Where was that? That is what I want to know. - Outside, in front of the hut.
IS that where you found Koper lying unconscious and with her arm broken? - Yes.
Now let me put this to you. You have told us that you were very kind to the prisoners in Ravensbrück and that is why you were sent to Lublin? - Yes.
You learned your lesson then, did you not? - You cannot learn your lesson if it is not in your nature.
And when you came to Belsen, Gollasch, the one who you said did the beating at Belsen, chose you to assist her, did she not? - No. She said that because I was one of those who had been in camps for some time I might have the experience to help her.
I suggest to you that you made a very able assistant slapping and beating and ill-treating the prisoners yourself? - I leave it to you.
I suggest to you further that when you were at Belsen making your statement to Colonel Genn you spoke a lot of the truth, but that today you have been quite deliberately lying on point after point, and quite deliberately trying to cut down everything which you said about other people in your statement? - I have only told the truth, and I could only tell the things that were up to my conscience.
Just one last point: Ida Friedman. I suggest to you again that you are lying about that to try and help Roth? - No.
Klein has told us that about the end of March - it is day 12 of the transcript at page 14 - Ida Friedman was killed? - The Friedman I am talking about - but there may be more of that name - was slim, thin, black hair, and she always said she was a Jewess from France.
Then perhaps that is the explanation, because Helene Klein was talking about a Pole. - The Friedman I know was in Block 199.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Klein said the same block.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What I want to ask you is this. You have told us about how she was telling your fortune with cards the day before the British came into the camp; is that true? - Yes.
And you have told us that that day she was not looking awfully well you gave her some bread, some butter and sausage and an egg; is that right? - She was never looking well; she was always saying she was hungry and she asked me for some food again, and then I gave her bread, butter, a bit of sausage and a boiled egg.
Did you boil the egg for her? - It had been boiled before.
How many prisoners do you think died of hunger and thirst that day, whilst you were having your fortune told? - I cannot tell.
Hundreds? - I have no idea.
And you, who did so much for all these prisoners, and wanted to do so much, could think of nothing better to do than have your fortune told while they were dying; is that right? - I do not understand what you mean by this. It only took ten minutes to do that.
Do you remember saying to Colonel Genn: "I say that Kramer was responsible for the conditions, among other reasons, because on one occasion when I complained of the increasing death rate to Kramer he replied: 'Let them die, why should you care?"' - Yes.
And I put it to you that you took his advice ? - What could one individual person like me do with so many thousands of prisoners?
Re-examined by MAJOR MUNRO: You told us that you left Belsen and went back to Ravensbrück and returned again to Belsen. Did you bring back with you any of the accused in the dock? - Yes.
Did you have any belongings at Ravensbrück? - My property had come there from Auschwitz.
Did you bring those belongings back with you? - Yes.
Have you ever seen the accused Frieda Walter beating anyone with your own eyes? - No.
I want to ask you a few questions about the time when you made your statement to Colonel Genn. Who questioned you? - The Interpreter.
What happened when you gave your reply? - The interpreter told the Colonel in English.
Was the whole statement read over to you in German or not? - He had the English copy and translated it while reading it.
Was it translated at a slow speed or a fast speed? - It is difficult to say - it was not very fast, it was not very slow either.
When it was read, did you notice if there was anything wrong and which did not agree with what you had said? - No. The only thing I can tell was when he was talking about Gollasch he read out: "I saw she was bleeding out of nose, mouth and eyes", and I said: "Why, people cannot bleed out of eyes" and he said: "I will change it".
Did what was read appear to be correct or not? - Yes, I received the impression that it was what I had said.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Ehlert, when you were called up in 1939 to join the SS, what rank did you hold then? - Aufseherin.
If you ever had been promoted in the SS, what would have been the next rank to which you could have been promoted? - The title was always the same; it was always Aufseherin, but you received something on your sleeve, a bar or circle or something like that.
Did you always get the same pay while you were serving in the SS? - No, I got more.
How much pay were you receiving when you were sent as punishment to Lublin? - I think it was about 170 or 180 marks a month.
And how much did you get at Lublin? - The same. Some extra pay for or being in a foreign country.
Where did the punishment come in? I do not follow how you were punished by being sent to Lublin if you got more money? - Because the camps in Poland were not quite as cultivated as the camps in the German Reich.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I think the translation is wrong.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I think he meant "civilised".
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Do you mean that the living conditions for the SS were better in Ravensbrück than in Lublin? - No. They were better in the East, in Lublin.
I do not want to waste time, so I will just put it to you once again, and then I will leave it. I gather you performed the same sort of duties as an Aufseherin, you got the same pay and a bonus, and the conditions were no worse for you. Why did you say it was a punishment? - It is a punishment because you do not feel very well in such a camp.
THE PRESIDENT: Are there any questions on what the Court has put?
MAJOR WINWOOD: No.
(The accused leaves the place from which she has given her evidence)
MAJOR MUNRO: The two witnesses I had intended to call at this stage have only just arrived in Court this afternoon, and so far I have not been able to see them, having come into Court before they arrived. I would like, therefore, with the Court's permission, to postpone my examination of these witnesses until tomorrow.
THE PRESIDENT: How long do you want?
MAJOR MUNRO: I think if I saw them now for half an hour I could call them this afternoon.
THE PRESIDENT: I think that is what we had better do. I now make it 1620 and at, say 1650 you can call them.
MAJOR MUNRO: Yes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This witness will give her evidence in German, and she says that the oath she has taken is binding on her conscience.
MAJOR MUNRO: What is your full name? - Jutta Madlung.
What nationality are you? - German.
Where and when were you born? - In Hamburg on the 8th December 1921.
What is your present address? - No. 29 Hoch Allee.
Have you ever been in a concentration camp? - Yes.
Where? - At Ravensbrück.
When did you go there? - From the 9th September 1942 until 13th August 1943.
Why were you arrested? - Because of political jokes which I made, because I had a Jewish female friend, and because I had English records - discs.
While you were there did you know an Aufseherin Ehlert? - Yes.
Will you come down in the Court and look at the prisoners in the dock and see if you can see her? - Yes. (Witness indicates No. 8 Herta Ehlert)
What were Ehlert's duties? - She was in charge of our working squad which was working at Siemens.
How did she behave? - She was very good to us.
In what way was she good? - She did not beat us; she did not do us any harm and she was very nice to the Russians as well.
Was she good to you? - Yes.
In what way? - She gave me bread for my sister who was ill and she gave me apples and other things to eat.
Did you ever see her ill treat anyone? - Never.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.
CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
Cross-examined by LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Have you ever seen this accused in Ravensbrück.? (Indicating No. 46 Helene Koper) - No; I cannot remember.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Was it something rather extraordinary to find an Aufseherin who did not beat you? - Yes, you may say so.
MAJOR MUNRO: No re examination.
(The witness withdraws)
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This witness will give her evidence in German, and she says that the oath she has taken is binding on her conscience.
MAJOR MUNRO: What is your full name? - Inga Madlung.
What nationality are you? - German.
Where and when were you born? - In Hamburg on the 22nd June 1920.
What is your present address? - 29 Hoch Allee, Hamburg. District 13.
Have you ever been in a concentration camp? - Yes.
Where? - In Ravensbrück.
When did you go there? - From the 9th September 1942 until November 1943.
Why were you arrested? - Because I made political jokes, because I had a Jewish female friend; and because I had English records.
While you were there did you know an Aufseherin called Ehlert? - Yes.
Will you come down and see if you can see her? - Yes. (Witness indicates No. 8 Herta Ehlert)
What were her duties? - Aufseherin outside in working parties.
Did you work under her orders? - Yes.
How did she behave? - She was friendly towards the prisoners - all of us in the working party.
Did she ever beat anyone? - No.
Did you ever see her ill treat anyone? - Never.
Did she appear to like her work or not? - No, on the contrary, she told me several times she hated to see prisoners being ill treated.
(There was no cross examination by the remaining Defending Officers)
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Was there a lot of ill treatment of persons by other people? - Yes.
Were people beaten a lot? - Yes.
By both by the Kapos and the Aufseherin? - Yes.
Is it fair to say they were terribly ill treated whilst they were there? - Yes.
This woman was quite an exception was she? - The only exception.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Were you ever ill when you were in the camp? - Yes.
Did you leave the camp after your sister? - Yes.
MAJOR MUNRO: No re examination.
(The witness withdraws)
MAJOR MUNRO: That concludes my case.