War Crimes Trials - Vol. II The Belsen Trial. 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'

The Trial (Defence - Evidence for the Defendant Franz Hoessler)


FRANZ HOESSLER, sworn, examined by Major MUNRO - I am of German nationality, was born in Oberdorf in Schwaben [Comment: This could be Obersdorf or Marktoberdorf in Schwarben] on 4th February, 1906, and am a photographer by profession. I was out of work in 1931, and on 30th January, 1933, on the day Hitler came to power, I volunteered for the S.S. For three months I stayed at home in Kenten doing nothing, and after this period I was sent to Dachau, where I was a member of the S.S. police force. I came to Auschwitz in June, 1940. At that time it was a very small camp; there were only three blocks surrounded by barbed wire, and the number of prisoners was altogether about 400. I left in November, 1940, and returned to Birkenau in July, 1943. I stayed in Auschwitz until 6th February, 1944, during which period I was Lagerführer in the women's compound.

When you came back to Birkenau did you find that Auschwitz camp had changed? - It was very much larger. When I returned in 1943 there was a Kommandant in Birkenau called Hartjenstein and he told me that the camp had been subdivided into Auschwitz No. 1, the original camp, Auschwitz No. 2, Birkenau, and Auschwitz No. 3, Buna, where the works of the I.G. Farben were. The Kommandant of the whole camp was Obersturmbannführer Hoess.

How did you find conditions in Birkenau? - When I first came to the women's compound I was more than surprised to find conditions not very pleasant. There were very many sick people; typhus and other diseases were rampant. The first thing I did as Lagerführer was to go to the camp doctor, Dr. Rohde, and ask him how it was that there were so many sick people. He said that it was high time there was a Lagerführer so that we both could get the camp into proper shape. I made a report about the special delousing block and the conditions in my women's compound to the Kommandant, Hoess. I asked him why I had been sent to the camp, and he told me so that I could tidy up things just a little, and that if I needed anything I was to go to the Kommandant, Hartjenstein, or to the senior doctor, Dr. Wirtz. This I did, and Dr. Wirtz came with me and saw the special delousing block. He promised me new machinery, and in both parts of my camp the delousing machine was put in order.

Did you do anything else to improve conditions? - Yes, I heard that a bunk which was really for three people had six or seven women sleeping in it. I reported this to Hartjenstein and new bunks arrived, enough for six blocks. I also got the broken ones repaired. Obergruppenführer Pohl came from Berlin with Glücks, and I showed them the wash - houses, the lavatories, the streets and squares in front of the blocks where the prisoners had to attend roll-call, and afterwards these were improved, although not much could be done as we were very short of material. I built five new huts, and radically changed the so - called scabies block. It was very difficult to do anything because these changes were not in the official building plan. I had to take the materials with the help of Kapos and other functionaries amongst the prisoners away from building sites in other parts of the camps and smuggle them into my own compound.

Did you have to attend selections for the gas chamber? - Yes, I attended these selections because 1 had to guard the prisoners. I did not make selections myself, and there were no selections without doctors.

What did you think when you were told to attend a selection parade for the first time? - When they told me for the first time, in summer 1943, I did not know even what it meant I only thought I had to see that the people got out of their wagons and came into the camp.

Did you later learn the real purpose of these parades? - Yes, I heard about it and did not think that that was right. Once when Hoess arrived in his car I asked him if it was all right what was going on, and he just told me to do my duty. I received the order to go on selection parade personally and verbally from Hoess.

Will you explain exactly what happened when transports arrived in the camp? - The transport train arrived at the platform in the camp. It was my duty to guard the unloading of the train and to put the S.S. sentries like a chain around the transport. The next job was to divide the prisoners into two groups, the women to the left, the men to the right. Then the doctors arrived, and they selected the people. The people who had been selected by the doctors and found to be fit for work were put on one side, the men and the women. The people who were found to be unfit for work had to go in the trucks, and they were driven off in the direction of the crematorium. After everything had been unloaded the train departed from the platform. I had to go with two soldiers to the front and see that no prisoner succeeded in getting out by smuggling himself into the train.

Do you remember the witness Sompolinski saying that he thought that you were the Kommandant of the crematorium because you came with the transports? - I have never been Kommandant of the crematorium. He may have thought this because I used to walk up and down the platform. I very often came to the crematorium and even into the courtyard.

A large number of witnesses say that you took an active part in the selections and that you did individual selections yourself. Is that true? - It is not true. Only doctors could make selections, and selections could only be made on orders of higher authorities.

What happened to those prisoners who were put on one side for retention in the concentration camp? - They were taken into the camp, got a bath, their number was tattooed on their arm, and then they were billeted in blocks. I know all about it but had nothing to do with it.

Tell us something about the selections which were made in the camp? - The Senior Camp Commander came to me and told me there was going to be a selection in my camp but only for Jewish women. I had to take them to the bath - house and then they were shown to the doctor, who in the meantime had arrived. I was present but did not select people. I had to stay there and do guard duties because in the morning my Blockführer and Aufseherin had received their orders for daily work and had gone on duty, so I was the only one left to do this job.

Did you attend any of the selections in the hospital? - Yes, I had to. I attended three altogether, but only because I was responsible for discipline. I did not make any selections myself.

When did your duties finish? - I stayed there until all the women had finished the march past the doctors, then those who were selected - those who were too sick or too weak-had their numbers taken by a woman clerk.

Do you remember that the witness Helen Klein said that she was selected for the gas chamber and that she pleaded with you to be let off and that you told her she had lived too long? - I say it is completely untrue. She arrived in November, 1943, and was at this selection in January 1944. I maintain if somebody arrives in a strong healthy condition in November, it is quite impossible that in two months' time she should become so weak and so ill that she should have been really selected for the gas chamber.

Do you remember the witness Litwinska saying that you took her out of the gas chamber? - Yes, but it was someone else whom I took out from the gas chamber. Those who had been selected were in trucks and went down in the direction of the crematorium. I was on the road when one of these trucks passed by, and I saw a woman whom I recognised in the back of the truck. Suddenly two women came and implored me to save her. I saw a motor cyclist near the block facing me, and I told him to go and fetch the woman and take her to the hospital, which he did. She had not been inside the gas chamber.

Do you remember the witness Sunschein saying that you found a pyjama at the door of the block, came in, and there and then held a selection and sent certain people to the gas chamber? - That is quite untrue. What happened was that there were Kommandos working in a squad called "Union," and sometimes I got reports that several members did not work satisfactorily or that they did something wrong. Then I made selections by taking people who were reported that way out from that Kommando and sent them into Compound A, into quarantine. Quarantine blocks were where those who did not work were put. These blocks were for new arrivals who were put into quarantine until some sort of job had been found for them.

Did that mean that they were to be sent to the gas chamber? - No, but I believe that the witness must have thought that those people would come into this banned Block 25, which really did lead into the gas chambers.

What did happen to those people you sent into quarantine? - I sent them there so that they should recover their strength and be able to work somewhere else.

Were parades for the gas chamber selections the only parades held at Birkenau? - There were other parades as well. If, for instance, I got an order to prepare a larger working squad - say 100 or 200 women - I could not take them from one single block, so I gave orders that in this quarantine area all the blocks should parade and then I chose and selected the strongest and healthiest ones for that particular job. They were sent into Camp B where the working people were. There were other parades, for instance, for those who were infected with scabies. Dr. Klein had the order to be present there and to make a selection amongst those who afterwards were sent to the block for people with scabies.

Were prisoners from Birkenau ever transferred to other camps? - Yes, there were parades and the people who were selected were prepared and sent away. I was in charge of those selections. They did not come back again.

Did you do anything to prevent people from being sent to the gas chamber? - Yes, very often young girls came to me and implored me, saying that their sister or their friend or somebody else they liked was in this Block 25 and I should try to save them and I have done so. I asked for their numbers and wrote a little chit saying that those numbers should be released from Block 25. I saved several hundreds.

How did you manage to conceal that from Kommandant Hoess? - These numbers were compiled into a nominal roll of numbers and names, and they were then given to the Political Department of the camp. The Political Department, for reasons which I do not know, sometimes crossed I out a few amongst those who were on the list so what I did was I checked these numbers which were given to me by those people who wanted to save their relatives and compared them, and when I found these numbers I crossed them out.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the Court about your activities at Birkenau? - I would like to add that through these actions, by liberating these people from the gas chambers, I think I brought sufficient evidence that I did not agree with the policy of liquidation of the Jews, and that I did something which might have been very dangerous for me if it had been found out. I believe I would have been punished very severe - perhaps with a death sentence.

When did you leave Birkenau? - At the end of January, 1944, and I left Auschwitz on 7th February when I was transferred to Dachau. I returned to Auschwitz No. I as Lagerführer about the middle of June 1944.

Do you remember the witness Hammermasch, who said that you had ordered and officiated at the hanging of four girls? - Yes, I remember, but I did not give any orders. I did not act as executioner.

What have you to say about this evidence? - One afternoon the Kommandant of Auschwitz, at that time Baer, rang me up and told me that when all the working squads had returned to camp an execution would take place and that I would receive a letter from the Political Department the contents of which I would have to read out to the whole camp. I told him on the 'phone that he could not do that because it was not right to hang women in front of women. I was afraid that such an incident would produce cases of fainting women, and apart from that, such a measure would rather increase trouble in the camp than improve it. He did not agree, and said, " Orders are orders," and then he rang off.

What did you do then? - About half - past five in the afternoon I was handed a letter which contained also a copy of the judgment concerning those four women. I do not know whether it was a copy or the original; I had never seen one before. In this judgment the four women were condemned to be hanged, because of the theft of ammunition which was passed on to prisoners working at the crematorium so that a big fire was caused and the crematorium destroyed.

Did you execute these four women? - Yes, the execution took place at the end of November or the beginning of December, 1944, and this revolt which I was talking about before took place, I believe, in October, 1944.

Did you read out publicly the judgment which you had been given? - Yes. The execution took place and all the prisoners were paraded. I was standing a bit higher so that everybody could hear what I had to say. I read out the judgment, and I told them to be careful and to leave their hands off such things so that such a spectacle as we had to attend now should not take place again.

The affidavit of a Jewess called Adelaide De Jong states that on 29th August, 1943, she was sterilised against her will by an internee doctor, Dr. Samuel, and that the orders were given by the Kommandant named Essler. What do you say about that? - First, I do not know anything about this man Dr. Samuel. Second, I have never been Kommandant of Auschwitz. Third, I have never given any orders for sterilization of women; and fourth, I never knew that any sterilization had taken place in that camp.

Kalderon, in her deposition, says that she has seen you, amongst others, repeatedly administering savage and brutal treatment to half - starved internees? - That is not true; I have never beaten anyone.

When did you leave Auschwitz? - On 18th January, 1945. I went to Dora camp, where I stayed from the end of February until the 5th or 6th April, 1945.

Under what circumstances did you leave Dora? - Dora camp was evacuated. The prisoners were loaded into railway wagons, but about 900 or 1100 of them stayed in the camp because they were too weak and were not certified by the doctor as strong enough to undertake such a journey. They were to go to Neuengamme, but apparently that camp did not accept them as the train was directed to Bergen-Belsen. I was in a car with some other members of the administration staff and arrived at Bergen-Belsen before the prisoners.

What did you do when you arrived? - I went and reported to the Kommandant, Kramer, and told him that I had met prisoners on the road because their train had been dive - bombed and I wanted him to take them into his camp to give them some food, which he did. I told him that my transport was on its way, and he said that he knew about it and expected part of the transport on the same day. I asked him if he could take my prisoners into his camp, and he said that it was not possible because his camp was too full already. This was on 8th or 9th April. Kramer told me he could not take my prisoners, and I asked him what I was going to do. He told me to go and see Colonel Harries, who was in charge of the Wehrmacht barracks. I saw Colonel Harries, who gave me accommodation in part of the barracks area. This in itself was all right, but there was no food, and as a result of bombardments there was no water. I saw that the prisoners would be hungry when they arrived, so my first thought was how to get food for them.

What did you do to get food? - I went back to Kramer and saw him in his office and asked him if he could give me some food for my prisoners, but he said he needed all his food for his own prisoners because his camp was overcrowded, that there was typhus and many other sick people. I told him I was glad that my prisoners were not coming into his camp because they were not sick and they had no lice. I went back to Colonel Harries, told him that Kramer could not give me any food, and that my prisoners would be arriving very soon so that I needed help urgently. He said that I could get some of his food from his stores, and he sent me to his paymaster with another officer. Then I got some dried vegetables and other food, and I received from Kramer potatoes and turnips that were stored near the station. I told Colonel Harries that I needed water, and he told me to take a water-cart which was in the camp. That was all I could do, because I was alone and had to wait for my prisoners to do some more work. In the afternoon the first transport of prisoners arrived.

In his deposition, Josef Hauptmann states that there were still nine persons alive in an ambulance wagon when they arrived at the station and that you gave instructions for those nine persons to be shot? - That is not true. It is correct that I was on the platform when the train arrived. I saw nobody shot at all while I was at the station.

Were any orders to shoot anybody brought to your notice? - No. I have given no such orders, and there were no orders giving anybody instructions to shoot prisoners.

Did you ever go into what is now known as Camp No. 1 at Belsen? - No.

Did you have anything to do with its organization or administration? - No.

Cross-examined by Major CRANFIELD - In your camp at Belsen were there any women? - No.

Had Grese a dog at Auschwitz? - No.

Will you give your opinion of Grese's work as an Aufseherin? - Grese worked in the camp post office, but in the evening, when the working parties returned to camp, she had, just as all the other staff who were in the administration, to help the Blockführerinnen during their Appelle. It was part of my duty to see whether they were trustworthy enough and efficient, and I must say that Grese was very good. Whenever I gave her any job to do I was quite sure she would do this job and fulfil it to my entire satisfaction.

You have heard the accusations made against her in this court, that she shot prisoners with a pistol and treated prisoners with savage cruelty. What do you, as her Lagerführer, say about that? - I have to say that, in my opinion, Grese particularly is quite incapable of even loading a pistol or firing a shot. As to the accusation that she had beaten prisoners, any Blockführer, Lagerführer or Aufseherin who tries to keep things in order will have some prisoners who will say that she is right to do that and some who will say she is not right in doing it.

The witness Szafran stated that at a selection, at which you were present, two selected girls jumped out of the window and Grese shot them twice while they were lying on the ground. What do you say to that? - I do not agree with that at all, because I do not remember that I made any selections. The prisoner could not have jumped out of the window because in Camp A, Block 9, the windows are made in such a manner that they cannot be opened, so if she had done it she must have jumped through the glass of the window. If Grese had been shooting in front of the block it would have been my duty to go out and see what it was all about, but I never heard any shots fired in Camp A.

Were selections made by prison doctors at all? - Yes.

We have been told that selections were made for the gas chamber, for working parties, and some for other purposes. Were all these selection parades formed up in the same way? - No, it depended for which purpose these selections were made. For roll - calls for counting purposes, they had to stand in fives, or if there was room enough, even in tens; but for roll - calls for selections for working parties, it was not necessary that they stood in fives, they could stand in fours.

Is it not true that the duties of the Aufseherin at selection parades where a doctor was present were to maintain order? - Yes.

If any Kapos were present were not their duties the same? - A Kapo on such an occasion would be under the orders of the Aufseherin and would have to do what the Aufseherin told her.

Cross-examined by Captain ROBERTS - When did you first see this man (indicating No. 14, Schmitz)? - I believe on 11th April in Camp No. 2 at Belsen.

What was he? - He was a prisoner and was wearing prisoners clothing.

Did you subsequently see him after the British arrived? - Yes. I was already a prisoner myself at that time, but when I saw him he was only in underpants. I was imprisoned with the others in a room, then suddenly guards threw this man in, and in such a haste he was only clad in underpants, so I asked him where he came from and he said that he had had a fight - I do not know with whom, but I think with another prisoner. Then we gave him a pair of trousers and a tunic, and in the meantime the guard was changed over so that when in the evening he wanted to return to his own block, the other guard, thinking that he belonged to us, did not let him go, and since then he became an S.S. man. I must add that at that time he really wore S.S. uniform and the guard could not know that he was not a proper S.S. man.

Cross-examined by Major BROWN - Do you remember No. 17 (Gura) from Auschwitz? - Yes, he was a driver.

Was he ever, to your knowledge, a Blockführer? - No.

Was he put under arrest while you were at Auschwitz? - Yes, he went away in company with other people who were under arrest before I left on 18th January, 1945.

Cross-examined by Colonel BACKHOUSE - You have been in the concentration camp service for about ten years now? - Not quite ten years.

And in all that time you have never seen anybody beaten in a concentration camp? - I have never seen anybody ill-treating prisoners.

Did you have your eyes shut all the time? - No, not at all.

So that all these prisoners who say they have been beaten and your own guards who have admitted in their statements that they have beaten people are wrong? - I cannot say that at all; the question was whether I had seen it.

Were you in and about the camps during the last ten years? - Oh, yes, quite a lot.

You have given us an account of three different kinds of selections; first, when the prisoners arrived at the camp; second, in and about the camp ; and third, in the hospital. At each of these selections was there a doctor present actually saying, "You this side and you that side" ? - Yes, very often there were several doctors.

That was when there were a lot of people to be killed, I suppose? - No, I do not want to say that.

What S.S. were there present? - There were S.S. troops who had to guard the transport; secondly, there were several Blockführer and thirdly, some administrative personnel. I am speaking now about the transports arriving at the station.

Was there an ordinary Lagerführer in charge of the S.S.? - The Lagerführer was responsible for the security. He was the senior S.S. man there, with the exception of the doctors and, of course, of the Kommandant himself if he was present.

Sometimes did the Kommandant come too? - Yes.

When the doctor had put the people on either side, who gave the order for those not going to the gas chamber to march off to the camp? - The official of the Political Department when he had finished counting told the appropriate Blockführer to take them away. It was the same for those who were going to be gassed.

Who actually loaded them into the trucks? - The Blockführer There were some steps leading up and the people went up.

Did the prisoners always go quite happily and willingly to their death? - No, I should not think so.

Did nobody ever try to run away? - I have never seen that.

Did no one ever have to use force to load them? - I have never seen that.

Did you ever see any Aufseherinnen on these parades? - No.

Who marched them away to see they went in the right direction? - The Blockführer, under the command of the Lagerführer, and those of the S.S. troops who were available.

Are you surprised that the witness Sompolinski should think you were in charge of the people who took transports to the crematorium? - I have not said that I was surprised, but he said that I had been the Kommandant of the crematorium.

Were not the accounts of the witnesses as to what you had been doing at the selection in the hospital very fair ones ? - Not quite that.

Who was the woman that you say you saved from the gas chamber? - I do not know her name, but it was not the woman who sat here and shouted "That is the murderer."

Why do you think that this woman should make up a story that you saved her life if it was not true? - I am astonished.

You knew, of course, that it was a very wrong thing to gas these women and children and yet you were prepared day after day to take charge of these parades ? - I did not do them every day.

How many thousands were killed there? it must have been millions? - I do not know.

What sort of food do prisoners get in concentration camps during war time? - In 1939, 750 grammes potatoes per person, 750 grammes vegetables, and 500 grammes peas or beans or something like that. I am not sure whether each prisoner got one-third or one-half of a loaf of bread, nor do I remember the ration of fats and so on. The caloric value per day was about 1800.

What was the food like when you were at Dora? - In the morning one litre of coffee, at noon one litre of soup, and 500 grammes of bread per day. I am not sure about margarine or sausages.

Did you think that was enough for the prisoners to live on? - No.

Did Bormann have a wolf-hound? - She had a brown dog, but it was not a wolf-hound; it was a very big dog.

Did these S.S. women, Grese, Bormann, Volkenrath and Ehlert, perform their duties entirely to the satisfaction of the S.S.? - I cannot say that. Grese, Bormann and Volkenrath were working under me. Bormann was working outside on a Kommando, but I have never heard anything against her.

You said that you were obliged to go to a selection in the bath - house because all your Aufseherinnen had gone out to their particular jobs. If that had not been so, would it have been the duty of one of the Aufseherinnen to have been present? - Yes, I would have detailed somebody else and would not have been present myself.

When there was a selection for the gas chamber in the camp was it usual for there to be Aufseherinnen present if women were being selected? - Yes, in the beginning when I was there there was an Aufseherin in the bath - house.

I put it to you that you attended a selection along with Dr's. König and Enna when about 3000 women were all paraded in front of Block 4 and the witness Litwinska was taken to the gas chamber? - Block 4 was a hospital and that would have been impossible because the total number of ill people in the hospital area at that time was 4500. They were Jews and Aryans and it is therefore quite impossible that 3000 of them were Jews.

The witnesses were right then who said that only Jews had to parade for the selections? - Yes.

Was the Kleinbodungen transport one of the transports that marched from Dora to Belsen? - Yes.

Was Stofel in charge of that particular transport and were Dorr and Kraft two of the men in charge also? - Yes, Kraft was the cook.

When that transport got to Belsen did you hear that some of the prisoners had been shot on the way? - No.

Do you remember saying this in your statement, "did hear from prisoners in the camp that several people in the transport who walked from Dora camp were shot"? - That was not quite correct. I heard from prisoners that during the march prisoners had been shot, but it was told to me in the room where I was a prisoner myself after the British troops had arrived.

Did you not go on to say, with regard to Stofel and Dorr, "I mentioned the shooting to these two men, but they both denied all knowledge of it"? - No, that is not quite in the way I said it. During the morning a prisoner came into the room and said to Dorr, "Tell me, who was the man who ordered the shooting of prisoners?" After that man left the room I asked Dorr what had happened and he said he did not know anything about it, and Stofel said the same.

Did No. 19 (Kulessa) travel on the transport that came by train? - Yes.

How many prisoners died on that journey? - I cannot say exactly. There were transports with 20, 25 and 30 dead, and I remember that this man told me in the gaol at Celle that his transport had 40 people dead.

Had there been a truck for the sick in tow at the back? - Yes, the last wagon of the train was a supply wagon in which a doctor or medical orderlies traveled and they had medicine. If people fell ill during the journey we had to take them to that wagon.

I suggest to you that when the transport arrived at Belsen station you ordered the nine people still alive in that wagon, who could not walk up to the camp, to be shot? - No, it is not true. When the train arrived I ordered everybody to take their blankets, mess tins and spoons, line up and then march to the camp. The prisoners marched off, carrying the sick people who could not walk to a truck that belonged to Kramer. I do not know where they went.

With regard to feeding and housing of No. 2 Camp at Belsen, when you asked Obesrt Harries for accommodation, food, water and transport, you got it? - Yes.

When you got Kulessa in, was his job to keep the road cleaned up and to see his men into a block? - Yes.

Do you seriously tell the Court, and stick to it, that you have never seen a prisoner beaten or ill-treated in your ten years of service in a concentration camp? - I have never seen S.S. people beating prisoners, but I heard several times from the doctors that prisoners had been wounded through fights or because they had been beaten, but whether they had been beaten by S.S. people or by other prisoners I could not tell.

By the JUDGE ADVOCATE - On any selection at which you were present were you usually the senior S.S. Officer there? - Yes, except the doctors.

Suppose a woman shrieked and kicked and fought, and absolutely refused to do what she was told, was force used to make her obey the orders? - No, but two other female prisoners had to go to her and make her quiet.

Who would give the other prisoners the orders? - If I had seen it I would, otherwise perhaps the doctors.

Major MUNRO - I had intended to call another witness for the accused, named Schopf. She came along to the Court and I saw her, but she has since disappeared, I understand after having talked with certain of the Prosecution witnesses. However, she originally offered her evidence by postcard, and I propose, with the Court's permission, to put in that postcard as evidence, and to ask the Court to bring in the witness later, if she is found.

The JUDGE ADVOCATE - Far more important than the absence of a witness is the fact that witnesses are not going to testify because they have been in conversation with witnesses for the Prosecution. If that be the case the Court will have to do something about it. I do not know whether the Defending Officer is in a position to substantiate his assertion.

Major MUNRO - I cannot substantiate it positively, it is a mere suspicion. I should like to assure the Court that I am making no reflection on the Prosecution. If this has happened it is just an accident and something over which the Prosecution had no control.

The PRESIDENT - All your suggestion really comes to is that it may possibly have been that a Prosecution witness had a conversation with witness ?

Major MUNRO - Exactly, that is the case.

Colonel BACKHOUSE - I think that is a very different proposition to the one my friend put at first. If, in fact, it is merely his case that that might have been the position, then it is something that should not have been said and should be unreservedly withdrawn, because if it is not a reflection against the Prosecution, it is a backhanded reflection against the Prosecution witnesses which should not have been made.

The PRESIDENT - With regard to this postcard, was it sent by this witness volunteering to give information?

Major MUNRO - That is correct. It was received addressed to the Court in Lüneburg, and marked in pencil on top "Defence" and passed to me. I asked the witness to come along to the Court and she did so.

The JUDGE ADVOCATE - I will read this postcard to the Court: "Translation of the postcard written by Erika Schopf of Schulz, Burgdorf, L/Hanover [Hannover], Spitalstrasse No. 12 C/Mohle, dated 4th October, 1945. My dear Court people, I have read in the papers about the Belsen and Auschwitz trial, and I have to inform you of the fact that Hoessler is unguilty. He has not made selections and when Jews were sent to the gas chamber Hoessler has always tried to get them out of this. I have been for three years in Auschwitz and I have worked in the Mason Kommando that was established by Hoessler. I know also the female Dr. Enna. She is a very bad type and has been very cruel to prisoners. Please tell me when I am able to come to Lüneburg With kind regards, Erika Schopf." (Exhibit No. 123.)

The Trial (Defence - Evidence for the Defendant Franz Hoessler)