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

The Trial (Defence - Evidence for the Defendant Helena Koper)


HELENA Koper, sworn, examined by Lieutenant JEDRZEJOWICZ - I am married, and was born on 24th February, 1910, in Ploki [Płoki], Poland. I have two sons and before the war I was at home. On 24th June, 1940, I was arrested by the Gestapo for possessing anti-German leaflets and was imprisoned in Cracow [Kraków] till 15th October, 1940, when, along with 28 others, I was sent to the concentration camp in Ravensbrück. I was sent to Auschwitz on 21st October, 1942, and remained there until 20th December, 1944. I have my number tattooed on me.

What were you employed on in Auschwitz? - For two weeks I was in a normal job, and then I was reported by the Lagerführer and went to the Strafkommando where I remained until my departure for Bergen-Belsen. I was not treated too badly because I had some experience in concentration camps and knew what I should do and not do. The Strafkommando was the hardest possible job anyone could get in a concentration camp.

Where did you go from Auschwitz? - I went to Bergen-Belsen and arrived there on 27th December, 1944. At first there were tents, but the wind destroyed these and we were transferred to wooden barracks, where I was in Block No. 27. This was only temporary, and when Kramer arrived we were transferred to another part of the camp, and I went into Block No. 205.

Did you hold any position in Block 27? - Yes, I was assisting the Blockälteste. It was not an official appointment, but as she knew me she asked me to help her and I agreed. After four days we were transferred to Block No. 205, and Rapportführerin Gollasch appointed me as Blockälteste because the Blockälteste from Block 27 had been transferred to another block. After three weeks we were transferred to Block 224 in Compound No. 2 because of an outbreak of typhus, and there I remained a Blockälteste until 15th February.

What happened then? - I asked the Lagerältester several times to remove me as I did not consider myself suitable for this work because I was too nervous, and after a few days I went to the Rapportführerin and she appointed me as camp police.

How long were you in the camp police? - Until the 1st March, 1945 when I got a beating from Oberaufseherin Ehlert and went to prison until 25th March, 1945. I returned to Block No. 224 completely exhausted and ill.

How many internees did you have in Block No. 224? - 850.

What were you responsible for as Blockälteste? - For parades, distribution of food, and maintaining order in the block. There were no parades for Block 224 at the time I was there because the percentage of sick people was very high, and I asked the Lagerältester to stop them. There were parades in Block 205.

Do you remember Hanka Rozenwayg saying that in March, 1945, she saw you chasing after and beating a girl who had asked for some more soup? - At that time I was in prison, but apart from that I was already in the camp police and had nothing to do with food then.

Regina Bialek says that when you were assistant Blockälteste Block 27 you deprived the women of their proper share of what food there was because you kept more for yourself than you were entitled to have, and that when they came and asked for more food you beat them across the head and all parts of the body with a wooden stick? - At that time I was not an official in the block, and even if I had been it was forbidden, and I would have been punished. I have never beaten anybody with a stick, and only used my own belt which was a narrow one that women used to wear on their dresses, made of the same material as the dress. It was an oil-cloth belt, and it was black.

Fürstenberg says that you beat prisoners during Appell because either they would not hurry enough or they hurried too much before the Appell was finished to get back into the block? - I admit that I beat so prisoners during parades in Block 205, although very seldom, but never in Block 224. I shouted more than I beat.

She also says that you have beaten several other women who subsequently died? - That is an absurdity. I had too much heart for the prisoners.

She says you forced a woman of 45 to kneel down on the ground for half an hour, and that when an S.S. woman came and asked why, you said that she had to learn to stand on Appell? - This incident took place but in quite a different way to that described here. She was my Stubenälteste, Güterman.

She alleges that a sick Jewess missed her food and when she went to ask you for it you beat her again and again with a leather strap, that the woman remained unconscious for an hour and then kept lapsing into unconsciousness, and died three or four days later? - That is not true because the victim of this incident is Koppel, the same witness as came here in the court to give evidence.

Will you tell the Court how this incident about Güterman happened? - She was my assistant in the block, and during my absence there was a distribution of jam. Instead of giving jam to the prisoners she gave them water, and when I came back I wanted to undermine her prestige, and ordered her to kneel. Rapportführerin Gollasch happened to pass by at that time and enquired why this woman was kneeling. I told her, but of course I could not say to Rapportführerin Gollasch that I was giving orders there because I was only a cog in the machine, and the real masters were the Germans. She told me to dismiss the woman from the function she held in the block, and the next day Güterman became an ordinary prisoner and was transferred to another block. I think she knelt for about 20 minutes.

Güterman alleges that a woman called Fischer was forced to kneel down because she did not go to work as she had not got any shoes. She then goes on to say that Fischer got a high fever and after three weeks she died? - Fischer is still alive and lives in Block G.B. 13 in Belsen. All, the prisoners in Belsen had shoes.

She also alleges that a sick Polish woman suffering from swollen legs was forced by you to attend a parade; that you beat her so that she fainted, and was forced to lie down on the ground; and that she was taken to hospital where after three days she died? - That is a lie because in Block 205 were only fit workers and there were no weak or ill women. Apart from that I never forced anybody to go on parade because I knew what it meant not to allow people to stay in the blocks when they were unable to go out.

The witness, Singer, told the Court that while you were Blockälteste you were very unjust in the way you allowed a girl to stay in a block and not attend parades, and that you always allowed healthy women to stay in whilst the sick were forced to attend? - There were no parades in Block 224 when I was Blockälteste there, and it could not have happened in Block 205 because, although Aufseherin Gollasch was very bad, she gave us permission to leave the weak and sick persons in the block and she made the roll-call parades inside the block.

Singer says there was a woman from Leipzig with swollen legs who was forced by you to attend an Appell where she fainted, and you did not allow her to go into the block, but finally agreed to a chair being brought out where she could sit. The girl was taken to hospital and died three days later? - That is not true because there were only five women from Leipzig who came from my block and they only spent one night there with their children before being transferred to a special block.

Koppel said that you beat her one night when she came and asked for food which she had missed through being in hospital, and that she was unconscious the whole night? - She came to my room about 2200 hours and demanded soup. I told her that as she knew very well the distribution took place at 1800 hours and there were 850 prisoners in the block, and we were unable to remember all the people who did not attend. I promised to give her a double ration the next day, but she behaved very aggressively, and I had to resort to beating her with my belt. I was told the next day that she really had fainted, but for quite a different reason, namely, that when she had left my room, whilst an air raid was on, she put a light on and the guard outside shot in the direction of the block.

Cross-examined by Major MUNRO - Did you sign your statement before or after you were arrested by the British authorities? - After. I was arrested on 8th June, and after I was interviewed in my room by a British Captain and asked how long I had stayed in Auschwitz, in which camps I had been before, and whether I knew any S.S. people in the camp.

Did you know at the time that you had been accused yourself? - Yes.

Why did you not defend yourself in your statement? - Because the Captain told me that I did not need to speak about myself, that I should be brought before a fair trial and given an opportunity to say everything I knew.

Did you not make accusations against some of the S.S., nor, try to help yourself? - Nothing of that kind.

Do you know about the reputation you had as an informer? - Yes, I was an informer, but I was informing only the truth.

Is it not true that you were the bearer of false information? - No.

Do you remember Halma Fürstenberg saying that you had given information to the S.S. that some people were in possession of jewellery, even though they were not? - That is not true.

You were put into prison after receiving a beating? - Yes, by the Political Department.

Was that after other prisoners had beaten you? - During my stay in concentration camps I was never beaten by a prisoner from the camp. It happened only once when I was in a Strafkommando.

Fürstenberg said that she had been told that Blockältesten had beaten you because you had given false information? - I have not been beaten by any Blockälteste.

I put it to you that you were, in fact, set upon by other prisoners because you gave false information about them? - That is not true.

I suggest that was a favourite habit of yours and that your whole statement is a pack of lies from beginning to end? - Unfortunately my evidence although the truth is not the whole truth; if I had to tell everything that I had endured I should have to write it down for months and months.

Cross-examined by Major CRANFIELD - Did this very severe punishment you experienced in the Strafkommando at Auschwitz affect your health? - Yes.

Did you sign one statement or more than one? - Only one.

In your statement you say that you knew Grese in Ravensbrück in 1941. Grese said she did not go there until the summer of 1942. Do you say that is untrue? - That is not true.

Do you say that Grese was in charge of the Strafkommando in Auschwitz from 1942 to 1944? - Yes.

I suggest that Grese did not come to Ravensbrück until the summer of 1942, and did not come to Auschwitz until March, 1943? - And I still maintain that I remember Grese in Ravensbrück from 1940 when she was walking with her riding-whip and carrying out parades in front of Block No. 10.

I suggest that at the time you say she was a Blockführerin Camps A and B, she was in fact on telephone duty in the Blockführerstube? - No, in Auschwitz no female prisoners [personnel] were employed on telephone duty.

Where is the sand-pit you describe in your statement? - About six kilometres from Auschwitz in the direction of Budin [Budy]. There was some water in the vicinity and we were building a dam.

Do you say that Grese was in charge of this Kommando for seven months? - Grese was Kommandoführerin and Herschell was Stubendienst [Sturm Arbeitsdienst]. There was only one Aufseherin, Grese, the senior Kapo, ordinary Kapos, four women [forewomen] and about thirty guards - there were 700 to 800 women in this Kommando.

You describe how women were shot because they did not understand the challenge of the guards. The challenge of a German guard is "Halt." Are you suggesting that any of these women if they were told to halt and were covered by the rifle of a German guard, would not understand that they had to stop? - Yes, but these guards did not challenge, they shot at once unless they were Slovaks or Volksdeutsche.

Who was the accused in the enquiry which you describe as having taken place in the Political Department at Auschwitz No. 1? - An S.S. guard of Slovak descent who refused to fire at the girl.

Who made the accusation? - Grese.

You and four other female prisoners were present? - Myself and three other women prisoners.

Was the S.S. man brought in handcuffed? - Yes.

Are you asking the Court to believe that the Aufseherin could have an S.S. man charged and the S.S. man be brought in handcuffed in the presence of four female prisoners? - Yes, because he was not real S.S., but of Slovakian descent.

If, as you say, on this working party 30 prisoners a day were killed, do you not think it would be known in the camp? - Yes, everybody knew about it and Grese got the Kriegsverdienstkreutz.

You say you wrote a letter to the son of one of the prisoners who was killed in this way? - To my son, not to her son. I told him that this woman, Güterman, was killed.

Ehlert said that you came into her office and told her that you before been working in the Gestapo and were a very good agent and spy. Then she said that you brought her the name and number of three people and asked her not to tell anybody about the service you were rendering because you would have to suffer, and that afterwards the clerks in her office said that they knew there was only one woman who could have told Ehlert such a thing and that was you. They said that they knew you from Auschwitz and that you had made life there miserable for people by spying. Is that true? - I admit that I was a spy, but you should try to find out what kind of spy.

You spent all your time in concentration camps reporting your fellow prisoners to the Germans, did you not? - It was not my only job, but when I saw that a German prisoner would exploit the other prisoners I thought it was just to go to the German authorities and tell them about it so that the man would be sent to the Strafkommando.

Your statement is full of accusations against your fellow officials? - I accused only German S.S. and German prisoners with black and green triangles.

Have you at any time been a Professor of Music? - I suppose the defending officer had told you to find out that I was.

Cross-examination by Captain ROBERTS - When you came back from prison did you still carry on your duties as camp policewoman? - No, from the time I left the bunker to the arrival of the British troops I was an ordinary prisoner. I helped with everyday duties in the block and went to fetch food from the cookhouse myself.

You told us that Block No. 205 was a block for fit women. Was it not, in fact, a maternity ward? - No, the maternity block was the so-called Sturmlager, and Block No. 205 was a block for working parties.

When you say in your statement that you saw Francioh shoot repeatedly at the internees, did you see all that from your block? - Yes.

I put it to you that you could see neither of the entrances to either cookhouse from Block No. 224 and you never saw Francioh shooting repeatedly at the internees? - Good gracious, how many times I have to repeat it; he did not shoot really, he was mad; he was shooting and did not know what was going on - all the time repeatedly like in a trance.

Was it usual for pregnant women to go to collect food from the cookhouse? - It was not a normal occurrence in the camp, but that was just before the British troops arrived and there was complete chaos. The S.S. men were shooting all the time without any reason.

You say that you saw him shooting repeatedly at the internees, many of whom fell down and were flung on to a heap. Whereabouts was this heap of corpses? - About 15 yards from the part of the cookhouse which was opposite Block No. 224. The corpses were taken to the mortuary very soon after.

I put it to you that all these accusations against Francioh are untrue, and that you have only made them because he would not give you extra food when you went and asked him for it? - I have never asked him for any food. He himself knows very well that I have told the truth.

Cross-examined by Captain FIELDEN - Do you know the accused, Otto, No. 23? - Yes, I know him very well from Auschwitz.

Did you hear that he had ever beaten anyone? - Never. He was the only S.S. man who was very good to the prisoners.

Cross-examined by Captain CORALLY - Before you made your statements were you shown a photograph of accused No. 26 (Schreirer) and asked if you could say anything about him at Auschwitz? - I was asked if I knew him as Blockältester, and I said that he was no Blockältester but Oberscharführer Hanzig from Auschwitz. I was not able to swear to that because I saw the man only on a photograph and asked to be given an opportunity of seeing him personally.

Were you not brought face to face with this man before this statement was made? - No, I refused to swear to this statement unless I had seen him personally.

On the very same day on which you first saw this photograph, and only a few hours afterwards, was the accused Schreirer brought into the office of the War Crimes Investigation Team where you saw him before you made your statement? - I signed and took an oath for my statement after I had seen the accused personally.

Are you prepared to swear that accused No. 26 is the same person as Oberscharführer Hanzig whom you knew at Auschwitz two years ago? - Yes.

Did you know him when you were in the Strafkommando? - He was only once in charge of the guards in the Strafkommando, but later on I met him also in prison. He had to come to my cell every day because he was in charge of it.

Did he talk to you a lot? - Yes, very frequently, on various subjects, mainly music.

Did he bring a violin for you to play to him in the cell? - Yes. Sometimes he spent an hour or two in the cell.

Were there any Americans at Auschwitz? - There was one American well known in the whole camp, named Jacoe. He was a prisoner of the concentration camp who was employed on special duties in the prison, bringing food for the prisoners.

Forty-second Day - Saturday, 3rd November, 1945

HELENA Koper, cross-examination by Captain CORBALLY, continued - How long had this American been at Auschwitz? - Two or three years.

Did be tell you that he was an American? - Yes.

In what circumstances did you see this Oberscharführer Hanzig at Belsen? - As an S.S. man.

Are you quite sure that it was the same man? - It seemed to me so.

Why were you not prepared to swear from the photograph that that was the same man? - Because he looked very miserable on this photograph and he was in quite a different uniform.

I put it to you that if you could recognise all these other people from their photographs, as you have done, there is no reason whatever why you should not have been able to recognise Hanzig from that photograph which I have shown you? - I had lived with these other people for years, whereas with Oberscharführer Hanzig I spent only 12 days in the bunker and a few occasions in other camps. I recognised him from this photograph, but I was not sure and asked to be given the opportunity of seeing him.

Is this story which you tell about Hanzig and yourself going to bury papers and ammunition in Belsen true? - Yes. I showed the British officers the place where these boxes were placed and from where they had been taken away. It was not far from the crematorium, but in the women’s compound. We buried the boxes towards night.

Did he tell you to come along with him? - No, I asked to be allowed to go with him because I was interested, and we went along together.

Were you not afraid to ask an S.S. Oberscharführer to take you alone and show you the place where he had buried secret papers? - He was not a reliable man and I did not ask him about it at all. He told me spontaneously about it.

When you were at Belsen were you not frightened of him? - I was afraid of him because I knew he was a sadist and a degenerate man. He said in the prison when we were there that he hated women and he loved men.

Are you saying that accused No. 26 said that to you? - Certainly.

Cross-examined by Captain PHILLIPS - Did you at Belsen ever know a woman called Luba Triszinska, a Russian Jewess? - Yes.

Do you know if she was ever acting as a nurse? - No, because if she were a nurse she would not have lived in Block 205. I am certain she was not a nurse because I knew her very well.

Cross-examined by Colonel BACKHOUSE - When did you arrive in Belsen? - 20th or 25th December. I was the only Christian woman who came with the Jewish transport.

When did Güterman arrive? - Güterman, Bialek, Singer and all the others came in the same transport.

What happened when you arrived the first day at Auschwitz? - It was a transport of 1000 women. We went to the camp, had our bath, hair cut, our numbers tattooed, and were detailed to our respective blocks.

What were you put into the Strafkommando for? - When I came first to the camp I met a gentleman friend of mine and wrote three letters to him and these letters and some cigarettes were found by the Lagerführerin.

Why were you left in the Strafkommando so long? - Because I was a political prisoner and apart from that I was caught on a few occasions during my work in that Kommando smoking cigarettes.

How soon after you were sent to that Kommando did Grese come and take charge? - About six or seven weeks.

Were any of the other accused in that Kommando? - Lohbauer and Lothe. The latter was a Kapo.

In your statement you say that Grese used to amuse herself by sending prisoners to walk to places where they were not allowed so that they would be shot by the guard. Is that true? - Unfortunately the sincere truth.

Did a lot of people die in that Strafkommando? - Very many.

Even in ordinary Kommandos was it quite usual to see people at the back carrying one or two bodies with them into camp? - To the Strafkommando it was customary to send special ambulances because of the great number of dead bodies, but so far as the ordinary Kommandos were concerned usually some of the girls working in them would be ordered to carry the bodies back to camp.

On a number of occasions did you have to load the bodies of the people who had been killed or who had died in your Kommando on to one of the little railway wagons you were pushing at the end of the Kommando? - Grese took special pleasure in selecting me for this ghastly job which consisted of taking the bodies from the spot where they were shot by the guards and bringing them to a kind of gauge railway and writing down the numbers of the women who were dead.

When you arrived had Starostka already been there for some time? - Yes, she was Blockälteste in my Block No. 1, and afterwards, she became Lagerälteste.

Had Bormann really got a dog at Auschwitz? - She had a dark brown dog with light spots at Ravensbrück and in Auschwitz.

She says she did not have it with her in Auschwitz because she lent it to somebody whilst she was there? - That is a lie. She was always walking about with this dog.

In your statement you told about two separate instances of Bormann setting a dog on people - once on yourself. Is there any possibility of you mistaking Bormann for an Aufseherin called Kuck? - I knew both of them very well and would not mistake one for the other.

When Bormann set the dog on you was it quite deliberate? - Yes.

With regard to the other incident, was the woman you spoke of badly hurt? - She was dead, and the Leichenkommando took the body to Block 25. There were about 30 girls in that Kommando.

Was their sole job to take bodies to the mortuary each day? - Yes, that was their permanent and sole job.

When Bormann set her dog on you and you went into hospital, did you get another beating for the same offence of having cigarettes when you came out? - Yes. She made a written report and I got 12 days in prison.

Did you see Volkenrath attending selection parades at Auschwitz? - It was only once and I suppose it was a selection for the gas chamber.

In your statement you said that she and an S.S. Rapportführer called Tauber between them made all the selections? - Yes.

Apart from the fact that most of those Aufseherinnen had some permanent job, in addition were they expected to take their turn on camp duties? - It was only Volkenrath who had a permanent job in the parcels department, whereas all the other Aufseherinnen had some duties every day in a different place in a different job.

As working parties came in from outside, at the gate were the ones who could not keep up sometimes picked out? - Yes, sometimes these women were taken to Block No. 25.

If a prisoner was feeling ill or weak and felt unable to march, did they sometimes hide in the camp rather than go out with the working parties in order to avoid that selection? - Certainly.

While these working parties were out, did the S.S. sometimes make a search through the camp and round up any of those sick people they found who should have been out with the working parties, put them on the parade, and send the whole lot to Block 25? - Yes.

You must have had a very hard time indeed being in the Strafkommando practically the whole time? - Yes.

Did the Kapos beat the people in the Strafkommandos with their sticks whilst the S.S. looked on and encouraged them? - Yes.

When you asked to see Schreirer to make sure he was the right man, did you talk to him? - Yes, for about an hour. I recalled all our common experiences.

Did Schreirer talk to you? - Yes, he gave me answers.

What language did you talk in? - German at first, but gradually we switched over into Polish.

When you took the British officers to the place where Schreirer had told you he had buried the boxes, had the boxes gone? - Yes.

It was about three weeks before the British came when Schreirer buried these things, told you he was going to make his escape, and showed you his false papers? - Yes.

Were the cells that you were in at Auschwitz managed by the Political Department? - Yes.

That is where you found Schreirer working, is it? - Yes.

Did the Political Department do all the interrogations in the camp? - Yes, any important cases.

Were the Political Department ever gentle in their methods of interrogating? - Usually they would start with persuasion. if they could not achieve anything in this way they switched over to beating.

When you got to Belsen you helped the Blockälteste and then after a few days Gollasch made you a Blockälteste? - Yes.

That was a very big improvement on a permanent position in the Strafkommando? - Certainly.

You remained a Blockälteste until you were made the camp policewoman? - Yes.

Could people go from your compound to Compound No. 2 fairly easily if they wanted to? - Yes, until Compound No. 2 became the compound for people suffering from typhus, when it became more difficult.

Were ordinary prisoners allowed to walk from one compound to the other as and when they pleased? - A chaotic state prevailed in Belsen and nobody really took notice of it.

When you were Blockälteste did you pick your block staff yourself? - Yes.

They seem to think that you behaved very badly. Do you think they were making all these stories up about you? - It is quite obvious that they themselves were in positions of authority in the camp and therefore preferred to adopt this attitude in order to save their own skins, to accuse me rather than to be arrested themselves.

Was camp policewoman a very difficult job? - No.

There were rather a lot of people clamouring about the kitchen trying to steal bits of turnip and potato peelings, and Francioh and Jenner had to keep running out with sticks to beat them off. When you were there did you have any difficulty at all? - I had only one duty as camp policewoman and it was to inform the respective blocks that the soup in the cookhouse was ready, and nothing else.

 Had you nothing to do with preventing the thefts of things from the Cookhouse that you were standing outside? - No. There were four other women to do this, but they were very lenient.

Were you quite a different type of policewoman? - I told Gollasch and Stania that I was a weak woman and did not want to have anything to do with beating prisoners or doing harm to them, and that was why I got this job with only one duty.

As Blockälteste had you found that you had to beat women? - Yes, it was my painful duty to beat them from time to time in order to prevent them doing the things which would bring harm to the whole block. If someone did something wrong the German authorities administered collective responsibility, and as a punishment the block would get no food for a whole day, and the next day all the Blockältesten and the Lagerältesten had to make sport with the inmates.

I only wish to go into one or two of the allegations of beatings against you. You did beat Koppel and she did faint immediately afterwards, did she not? - Yes, I hit her once with a belt, but she did not faint because of the beating but because of the guard firing at the block.

Did you not make the woman Fischer kneel in the snow? - I have never ordered anybody to kneel because I myself had to do it so many times when I was a prisoner and I knew what it meant.

After two years in the Strafkommando did you not find it rather fun to be in charge of a lot of other women? - That is not true. I would never get over treating people like that. I suffered enough and I knew what it meant to be a prisoner. I was too human.

I suggest to you that all along you had been regularly informing and that was the main reason why you stayed in the Strafkommando so long but were not beaten? - I would not say regularly, only on these occasions when I was affected myself, when I considered that I was treated unfairly.

And you managed to survive two years in the Strafkommando without being beaten? - To begin with I was beaten very frequently, but I went to the authorities and complained and therefore they stopped it. I said that I was working very well and there was no reason for beating me.

Were the German authorities always so reasonable when people went to them to say they did not like to be beaten because they were working very well? - If a prisoner lodged a complaint against another prisoner to the Lagerführerin she would punish the accused person.

And if they complained about a Kapo? - That applied to senior Kapos, Kapos, Lagerältesten and Blockältesten.

Although the S.S. stayed and looked on and laughed while the beating took place, if you complained about it the person who was beating was punished? - Yes.

 Do you know an S.S. man called Svistl? - Yes, I met him in Belsen. He was a guard in the watch tower.

You were on good terms with quite a few S.S. men? - No.

You had some quite happy conversations with Schreirer? - He was the man in charge and I had to obey his orders.

You told us that Hoessler came into the women’s compound to collect some German women. When was this? - Five or six weeks before the arrival of the British troops. He chose them for a brothel, but I do not know where the women were sent to.

You knew him quite well? - Certainly, he was my Lagerführer in Birkenau.

What I am suggesting to you is that when you first went to a concentration camp you had a very bad time. Then at Auschwitz you bought yourself out of the beatings by spying on other prisoners for the S.S., and that when you got to Belsen you were given the job of Blockälteste, and there you beat prisoners? - I said already that beating was the last resort. If it was necessary I had to do it, and I am quite sure I can say it with a clear conscience that the beating was harmless.

I suggest that your beating was very severe, and that some women in their weakened state died from it, and that you then became camp policewoman to keep people away from the kitchen because of the fact you had been so severe as Blockälteste? - That is not true, and it is a perfect exaggeration.

And that you remained camp policewoman until all the other Blockältesten could not stand you any longer and Ehlert let them beat you up? - That is not true. I have never been beaten by Blockältesten and I was beaten by Ehlert only because I was found in possession of leaflets that had been dropped by British aeroplanes, and because I had the photograph of Roman Svistl.

Had you reported someone to Ehlert for having jewellery? - No.

Did quite a few prisoners have some jewellery or, gold hidden away? - I do not know, I have not caught any. Prisoners in my block were very poor people.

Where did Jenner work? - Jenner worked in Cookhouse No. 4, opposite the bathhouse. Later on he left the camp and went to the front. I do not know whether he came back again.

Jenner was in No. 3 Kitchen, was he not, and was arrested by the British authorities and is still in prison? - I do not know, I only saw Francioh there, but it is quite possible that Jenner was also there.

Did you see Francioh shooting people there? - He seemed to be in a fit of insanity with a pistol in his hand.

What happened to the bodies of these people who were shot? - They  were taken together to a heap and I think that the relatives later on came and tried to find their own people and to bury them.

By the JUDGE ADVOCATE - Can you play a violin? - Yes, a violin and piano. I am a graduate from a music high school in Cracow [Kraków], and have a certificate.

Does that certificate make you a Professor of Music? - From the Conservatoire.

By a Member of the Court - Was the Political Department run by the S.S. or Gestapo? - The S.S.

The Trial (Defence - Evidence for the Defendant Helena Koper)