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

The Trial (Prosecution - Closing Speech)

Fiftieth Day - Tuesday, 13th November, 1945


Colonel BACKHOUSE - Whatever may be the legal position, I think that the Court would agree that with regard to Gura, having been away for so long, it would quite obviously be improper to arrive at any finding in his absence, and I ask the Court in his case to arrive at no finding and to report to the convening officer that they are unable to arrive at a finding because he was ill and away, and it was not practicable to adjourn the case. Some of the specific names set out on the charge-sheet are not supported by the evidence, and the Court cannot find any of the accused guilty in respect of Anna Kis, Sara Kohn, Glinovjechy and Maria Konatkevicz.

May it please the Court. It is my duty purely, and simply to put before the Court the case the Prosecution presents, and to review the facts quite shortly. The law in this case has been argued very fully, and the Court have had the advantage of hearing the law not only argued by the defending officers but also by Colonel Smith, who came out here specially to argue the legal position, and Colonel Smith is, as we are all aware, a Professor of International Law. Colonel Smith's first point was: Does this charge disclose any war crime? It was significant that Colonel Smith never referred to the charge itself. It is quite a simple charge that when they were members of the staff of the camp, responsible for the well-being of persons who were interned in that camp, in violation of the laws and usages of war they were concerned as parties in the ill-treatment of those persons, and those persons were Allied nationals. Nor did Colonel Smith read to you the definition of a war crime in the Regulations. The Regulation says: "'War Crime' means a violation of the laws and usages of war committed during any war in which His Majesty has been or may be engaged at any time, since the 2nd September, 1939." The only question you have to ask yourselves on this point is: Is it a violation of the laws and usages of war to ill-treat Allied nationals when they are committed to your care as guards or when you are concerned in the management of the internment camp in which those Allied nationals are imprisoned?

The next thing we must do is to turn to the laws and usages of war and see how enemy subjects held by a belligerent should be treated if they fall into the belligerent's hands one way or another. An Allied national, I submit, can only come into the Germans' hands either as prisoners of war, or as persons living in Germany who were interned, or as inhabitants of occupied countries overrun during the war by the Germans. What do the laws and usages of war require from a person who interns such people or holds them in a camp? If prisoners of war, then the Geneva Convention, Article 46, says: "All forms of corporal punishment, confinement in premises not lighted by daylight and, in general, all forms of cruelty whatsoever, are prohibited." What is the position of a civilian who is interned? That civilian is entitled to precisely the same treatment as a prisoner of war. That is not a new doctrine or an arbitrary doctrine which has been made up for the benefit of this type of case, because there is a ruling of the Judge Advocate General in 1918 on the subject against the British Government in respect of Germans interned in England, making it quite clear that they had precisely the same rights and were to be treated in precisely the same way as a prisoner of war. If the enemy decides that he must make prisoner a civilian, then that civilian is certainly entitled to no less favourable treatment than a soldier who had been fighting against him, as laid down in the Hague Convention.

Supposing, on the other hand, they are to be treated not as persons interned or prisoners of war, but inhabitants of occupied countries, then the remarks which I made in opening this case will apply. It is also made very plain in the Hague Convention, which is also at paragraph 383 of the Manual: "It is the duty of the occupant to see that the lives of the inhabitants are respected, that their domestic peace and honour are not disturbed, that their religious convictions are not interfered with, and generally that duress, unlawful and criminal attacks on their persons, and felonious actions as regards their property, are just as punishable as in times of peace." All that the Court are considering is whether if Allied people were taken and interned in Belsen and were ill-treated and the accused were the persons who did that, that would be a war crime. It is quite obvious from the Geneva Convention, from the Hague Convention, from the rulings which I have quoted, that if persons are ill-treated, then the position is precisely the same as if it were a prisoner of war who had been ill-treated, and quite obviously, the ill-treatment of a prisoner of war is a war crime, because that is the commonest crime tried by Military Courts.

No one surely can suggest that if a member of the armed forces is put in charge of prisoners and ill-treats them that is not a war crime, and if, because of the man-power situation, a civilian is put in charge of them instead and ill-treats them it is not a war crime. The thing is manifestly too absurd. The whole difficulty arises from the fact that when the Hague Convention was written a military body like the S.S. and so on was not thought of, and it was taken for granted that only a member of the armed forces would be in a position to ill-treat the inhabitants of occupied countries. The point becomes completely academic when one considers the evidence. Kramer said, "We were members of the Wehrmacht; as soon as war broke out we became members of the Wehrmacht, and I am a member of the Armed Forces of Germany." The S.S. in the dock are on their own evidence members of the Armed Forces of Germany. The women Aufseherinnen followed the Armed Forces around.

The next point that Colonel Smith makes is that the crime must be connected with war, which I quite agree, and he argues that as this ill-treatment of Jews was going on before and continued afterwards, or would have continued afterwards, therefore it was not connected with the war. I would suggest that this is nonsense, because what is being complained of here is ill-treatment of Allied nationals during the time of war. That was not happening before the war and would not have gone on after the war. Allied nationals are entitled to protection by their Government. The Court are not concerned with what Germans do to Germans during the war, but are concerned with the protection of Allied subjects from what Germans do to Allied subjects during the war. The mere fact that those people came into the hands of the Germans by the operations of war and were interned by them as the result of operations of war, and that their countries were occupied by the Germans as the result of operations of war, is quite sufficient to turn that into a war crime, and is precisely the type of war crime that is aimed at by the Convention; otherwise the Convention and Regulations themselves would become nonsense. When a prisoner of war is ill-treated by one of his guards, maybe due to sadism, and if that person is an Allied subject who has come into his hands by operations of war, then that is a war crime of precisely the type that the Convention was made for.

There were two reasons for interning these people. One was the deliberate destruction of the Jewish race with the object of strengthening the home front and preventing what happened in the last war. The destruction of Poland was another; again, an avowed war aim. The gathering into Germany of persons from every country that Germany overran was done with the deliberate intention of weakening that country in its effort to resist Germany. What greater war aim than that? These people were used to free German man-power in the factories, on the land, for the benefit of the war. That is apart from those directly employed on war weapons and so on. These people were brought into the Reich in furtherance of the German war aim, and if they chose to ill-treat-them, in so far as they were Allied subjects, then that is a plain and obvious war crime which is entitled to punishment.

Colonel Smith takes the point that the State and not the individual is responsible in International Law. That, I think, is a bad point, because he admitted that a war crime is one of three exceptions, the other he spoke of being piracy and rum running. Under the Versailles Treaty, at the end of the last war, which is still in force, it was laid down: "The German Government recognises the right of the Allied and Associated Powers to bring before military tribunals persons accused of having committed acts in violation of the laws and customs of war." Even tried by German law it was said that if an individual broke one of the laws and customs of war he could properly be tried, and in fact he was in some cases convicted by the Germans for breaches of these agreements.

Colonel Smith's main point was whether these people were Allied nationals. His argument, as I understood it, applied only to Czechs and Poles. It has quite obviously no application to any other nationality where the Germans made no pretence of annexing the country. His point was that Poland had been annexed and that therefore they were German nationals as far as we were concerned. That again, even if his facts were right, would be an absurdity. Surely nobody in Germany thought that the war was over in 1944, and the gassing of the Hungarian transports started about the same time as "D" Day. If one is going to suggest that, then one can merely say, "All right, we have annexed the country," and then the Convention does not apply at all. But the Germans never did say that. The only part of Poland which the Germans ever declared annexed was that part which they said was German, namely, the little piece of Silesia which was taken from them in the last war by the Poles, and that is the only part that they did intend to incorporate into the Reich. The rest of Poland was merely occupied territory and nothing more. I say that before you can annex a country you have got to finish the war, and that whilst the war is still going on the citizens of that country are entitled to the protection given under the Convention.

Even if the accused did not know that these persons were Allied nationals I would still not agree with Colonel Smith's argument, because before you start ill-treating somebody or assaulting them you must find out, you must not presume things. He gave three instances of what he was suggesting. But an assault on a policeman or on a girl under a certain age has no defence in that you did not know that he was a policeman or that she was under a certain age: it is a matter for you to find out. If you steal public property it is no good coming and saying you did not know it was public property, because you would still be convicted under Section 18 (4) of the Army Act. If you want to assault somebody you must find out what you are doing before you do it: it is no good saying: "I did not know."

Major Cranfield asked the Court to say that if one strikes out the named persons from the charge, then the charge would be bad for vagueness. I must entirely disagree. In the case just recently tried in Hamburg, the case of the submarine sinking the S.S. Peleus, one did riot know the names of the victims and so could not put their names on the charge-sheet. That is common to the majority of this class of case. In the case of the Llandovery Castle, which the Germans tried themselves, the names were not put in because certain boats were sunk by cannon fire by a submarine and nobody knew who was in the boats. No names of victims could be given, and the charge was the usual charge of Allied nationals.

I come now to the legal point of superior orders. A defence of superior orders is one for the Defence to set up and prove; it is not for the Prosecution to disprove. Providing I prove to your satisfaction that certain people were ill-treated, then if my friends wish to rely upon the fact that it was done on the orders of a superior and that that exempts them from responsibility, that is for the Defence to set up and prove. That is rather an important thing in this case, because with the exception of the gas chamber, every accused has said it was forbidden to ill-treat the people, although various defending officers have set up the plea of superior orders. If the defending officers put up a point it must be supported by their, accused, and the accused absolutely refuse to take that point. The accused have said that ill-treatment of prisoners and beating of prisoners was forbidden, and they say, "We did it against orders." So far as the gas chamber is concerned, the accused themselves say they were acting on superior orders, but in order to succeed in that defence the accused must satisfy you that they did not know that what they were doing was wrong, and there is not one of them who has dared to go into the witness-box and say that. To succeed in the defence of superior orders they must, even in German law, not realise that what they are doing is wrong, or in fact by any other law.

It has been argued by Colonel Smith that a note in the Manual is wrong; it has been argued by Captain Phillips that even if the note is right then they would be entitled to rely on this defence of superior orders. The note says: "The fact that a rule of warfare has been violated in pursuance of an order of the belligerent Government or of an individual commander does not deprive the act in question of its character as a war crime; neither does it, in principle, confer upon the perpetrator immunity from punishment by the injured belligerent. Undoubtedly, a Court confronted with the pleas of superior orders adduced in justification of a war crime is bound to take into consideration the fact that obedience to military orders, not obviously unlawful, is the duty of every member of the armed forces and that the latter cannot in conditions of war discipline be expected to weigh scrupulously the legal merits of the order received. The question, however, is governed by the major principle that members of the armed forces are bound to obey lawful orders only and that they cannot therefore escape liability if, in obedience to a command, they commit acts which both violate unchallenged rules of warfare and outrage the general sentiment of humanity."

Captain Phillips rightly says that there can be no dispute that the gassing of these millions of innocent people in gas chambers has outraged the general sentiment of humanity. Can this Court for one moment believe that the persons engaged in that did not know that what they were doing was wrong and contrary to every law and custom of war? It has been suggested that it was legal under German law. Colonel Smith was quite unable to produce any authority whatsoever to suggest that those gas chambers were legal under German law, and fell back on a most extraordinary contention. He fell back on a Decree, of June or February 1934 or 1935, which gave absolute power to the competent authority, so that any order that Himmler gave automatically became law. An examination of the Decree, which is before you, shows that it is absolutely nothing of the kind whatever. What that Decree did say was that cases against certain privileged bodies which were brought in the courts would not be tried in the ordinary courts but would be tried in the Courts of those privileged bodies, and that is all. It gave the S.S., amongst others, immunity from trial in an ordinary court matters for which they considered to be matters of politics, and left them to be tried in S.S. courts. That would give absolute legislative power to Himmler, so that every word he said became law, and that Decree did give the S.S. the privileged position by which, if they committed crimes against German law, they could not be tried in these courts. Therefore, if the crime was one which Himmler himself was condoning, in all probability they would get off, and that is the highest you can put it. It is very like the kind of legislation one finds coming from a Minister. The Minister is empowered to make Regulations, and any appeal from any Tribunal held under the Regulations comes to the Minister. It is quite true that the officials of that Ministry can do very much what they like, but to say that that gives the Minister power to write a letter to somebody and everything he says in that letter would become law is an absurdity.

Colonel Smith says: "If you ask me to produce a law book legalizing the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Belsen, of course I could not. Every one of them knew gassing was wrong." Now how can this be said to be done even under cover of authority when it was kept secret even in Germany, when they were forbidden to talk about it, and when records that were kept were covered by the words "Special treatment"? Is that something legal? In my submission, there was no pretence at legality about it, and it was kept quite deliberately secret from the German public as well as from the world. Documents were not forged, but were created so that there was no record of these murders that were going on daily, and everybody in that camp knew that it was wrong, including Kramer, Klein and Hoessler. Mrs. Kramer said her husband knew it was wrong. Klein agreed that he was a murderer. There was no pretence that this had any part in German law; it was something that was going on outside the law in secret, in places from which the population had been removed, and every possible means were taken to keep it secret. Kramer was specifically pledged not to speak about it, and he took the view that that excuses him for committing perjury when he first made the statement in this case about it and denied the existence of these gas chambers at all. Therefore any suggestion that this was done in course of law has completely failed. All the accused knew that it was wrong, and unless they thought it was legal and unless in fact it was legal, then, in my submission, that defence offers them no protection.

Colonel Smith may think himself that the Manual should not have been changed, and he may be living in the days of Colonel Edmunds and Oppenheim. But that amendment in the Manual was made to bring it in line with almost every writer, on the subject, including Professor Lauterpacht himself who wrote it, and Professor Brierly. The suggestion that Colonel Smith made that that was done when war crimes were being considered in 1944, to get the matter straightened out, is not quite accurate. It was, in fact, made in consultation with the American judge Advocate General, and is in line with American law, as set forth in America, as opposed to the American Manual, which has not yet been amended.

Captain Phillips is quite right when he says that the Prosecution puts this case that all these accused in the dock were parties to a general conspiracy - conspiracy, concerted action, joint action, unit, anything you like - conspiracy, which is the simplest word to use, to ill-treat the persons who were under their care. I do not, of course, suggest that the girl Hahnel is here because she once hit a girl in a bath with a whip. She is here because she is one of a body of people who were habitually ill-treating the persons under their care, and the fact that she hits someone is merely brought in to show that she was taking an active part, however small, at some time, and was not standing apart. If the Court convicted her on that, then the extent of the punishment would be an entirely different matter. If they thought she was guilty of an isolated incident of ill-treatment, or merely a party to it, naturally they would not want to visit on her any great wrath, whereas if, on the other hand, they thought she was a party to the extent of wholeheartedly joining in on this conspiracy, they would take a different view as to the amount of her responsibility. So far as the general conspiracy is concerned, a lot of people were asked if they ever planned with so and so. Proof of a conspiracy is almost always a matter of inference to be deduced from the criminal actions of the parties to the deed done, and a conspiracy may very well arise between persons who have never seen each other and never corresponded together. In The Attorney-General v. Murphy, 8 C.A.P. 287, it is stated: "It is not necessary for the persons to have concocted the scheme the subject of the charge nor that they should have originated it. If a conspiracy is formed and a person joins in afterwards he is equally guilty as the original conspirators," and it has also been held that these principles apply even though the indictment does not specifically allege a conspiracy, if the act amounts to a conspiracy. It is not suggested for a moment that some of these minor figures in the dock went with Kramer into his office and hid behind cloaks and arranged some Guy Fawkes Plot. What is suggested is that finding themselves in the S.S., and finding this conspiracy to ill-treat the persons who were interned, they joined in, and assisted it and were parties to it.

Captain Phillips suggests that you should not convict unless the person was in control of the situation. He argues that if this girl Hahnel, for example, had not ill-treated someone it would not have made any real difference. The actions of any one man in a mob lynching would have very little effect on that lynching, but if the whole mob did not do the lynching the victim would not die, and each person who takes part in it, however small, cannot excuse himself by saying that it did not make any difference him being there. With regard to the gas chamber selections, Klein said: "My only part in the matter was to say this man is fit, this man is unfit, so I ,am not responsible." The S.S. man says: "I know I was there, but I was not responsible because the man who did the selecting was Klein," and so on. If a number of people take part, whatever that part may be and however small, they are parties to the whole. The question of the degree of their responsibility is a matter of punishment, but not a question of whether they are guilty or not.

In the ordinary way it may be a little absurd to suggest that it is a war crime for these Polish accused to be beating other Poles in concentration camps, but the position is this, if you believe the evidence, that these people, from whatever motive, accepted positions of responsibility in the camp under the S.S. and they beat and ill-treated prisoners acting on behalf of the S.S. They have identified themselves not with their own country but with the Germans, the S.S., as opposed to the prisoners they are beating. If they allow themselves to be made the agents of the S.S. to ill-treat prisoners then, in my submission, they are precisely as guilty as the S.S. themselves. If you accept the fact that these Polish prisoners who are here in the dock, and Schlomoivicz, who is an Austrian, sold themselves to the S.S. and then acted on behalf of them in ill-treating other prisoners then, for precisely the same reasons that one is entitled to punish the Germans, you are entitled to punish them for ill-treatment of people.

I would like to read a little of the article by Professor Brierly which I read in opening because I suggest that it sums up the position in the whole of this seemingly intricate but really simple matter of what is a war crime and what can be properly punished. He says: "For there is one dear and absolutely fundamental principle running through the laws of war which enables us if not to define war crimes or to make an exhaustive list of them at any rate to recognise one when we see one. This is the principle that the only kind of injury to the person or the property of an enemy that the existence of war legally justifies is one which serves some military purpose. All wanton injury, injury which does not appreciably advance the military object of war, which is victory, is forbidden by the laws of war, and he who commits such injury commits a war crime. Clearly that leaves open a lot of border-line cases, but most of this difficulty disappears if we imagine the sort of question which a Court will have to answer: Can this killing which would normally be murder, this injury which normally would be unlawful wounding, this taking of property which would normally be theft, be justified, as an act of war? If not it will be a war crime." That is the question which I ask the Court to ask themselves in relation to the facts as they, eventually will find them.

The regulations for the trial of war criminals, under which this is taken, have provided something which is not usual in criminal cases in England, and that is that the Court have power to consider evidence, hearsay evidence, written evidence, statements, documents, oral statements, affidavits and so on, which would not normally be admissible in criminal cases. That was because in any case of this kind many of the witnesses would not be procurable. When Belsen was overrun its existence as a concentration camp was quite unknown. It was thought to be a transit camp, as it previously had been, and everyone was quite obviously out to do the best they could for the internees. There was then no organization for the investigation of war crimes in 21 Army Group, and a team was created consisting of Major Smallwood and Major Bell, both very experienced members of the Bar, reinforced by Captain Fox and a number of his N.C.O's They got to Belsen to find one or two Military Government officers trying to take some form of statements, and they settled down to get what evidence they, could whilst it was still available. They found some good interpreters, particularly Neumann and Duschenes. We realised the responsibility that was upon us in making a document which could not be cross-examined on in court, and you have heard of the care which was taken to ensure that statements were as accurate as they could be. Both Major Smallwood and Colonel Champion have told the Court of the care that was taken but of the difficulty which arose whenever anybody came to mention dates. The internees had no calendars. They knew they were in there for years and had no hope of getting out. There was no point in counting time, and any attempts to get the right time was obviously hopeless. Koper, Güterman and Singer, for instance, all agreed that they came on the same transport together and they gave the date as July, November and December. They did not know even whether it was summer or winter. You could not pin these internees down to a date, and that must be borne in mind in considering these affidavits.

The only proper way of looking at these affidavits is to consider each one much as you would consider a witness in the witness-box, then having read them and from your knowledge of the other evidence in the case say you are prepared to accept it or reject it; or you may say you accept some of it as correct. I suggest that if you look at these affidavits carefully you will find over and over again internal evidence of the care which was taken in making them. There have been criticisms of the affidavits and there are some which you may think are uncorroborated in places, but I ask the Court to say that most of these affidavits have been corroborated in quite extraordinary factors by small points. Some matter which sounded really nonsensical at first were corroborated later by actual evidence given. For instance, when it was said that so many people escaped from the wood Kommando that they took even sick girls and made them go out to do this very heavy work it sounded ridiculous at first, but you suddenly find one of the accused saying that they took 200 girls from a compound to work with the wood Kommando because so many kept escaping, and that is from the compound where the sick people were. Little points like that keep cropping up, and I would ask the Court to think a long time before they reject the statements which have been made on oath and which, before being sworn, were tested as far as could be by an impartial and experienced member of the Bar. Apart from certain phrases which were objected to by Ehlert and by Lohbauer, there is not one single instance where an accused has suggested that there was the slightest impropriety in the way in which these statements were taken.

With regard to the witnesses themselves, Major Cranfield divided them into three classes: some he accepted unconditionally, others with suspicion, and others he rejected as being unreliable and exaggerating their stories. The Court have seen them all and must have formed their opinions at the time they gave their evidence either to accept their evidence, or part of it, or not. It was suggested that a lot of these little girls who were here had got together and made up their stories and were unreliable, had exaggerated them. But do you not get precisely the same thing from the witnesses for the Defence as from those for the Prosecution, and yet they quite obviously have not been in collusion? It has been suggested that I may not try and discredit the Defence witnesses on some point and accept them on others. I reject that submission entirely. I am perfectly entitled to say that a Defence witness is reliable on some point and exaggerates on others: that is a matter for the Court to decide. Time and again it has occurred that the best evidence of the general conditions in the camp has been given by a witness for the Defence who has not been in court and heard the other evidence, and they gave you precisely the same story as that of the Prosecution witnesses.

The way I invite the Court to look at the facts is this. I suggest to you that first you should come to a conclusion as to what really went on at these two camps, Auschwitz and Belsen, that is the general picture of what was happening there, and then consider how the individual persons fit into that general picture.

There is only one general picture of Auschwitz. Here was a camp in Poland, in a place where even the S.S. objected to being posted, and you have seen the type of place it was from the film supplied by the Russian Government and heard what went on there from a variety of people. Can the Court have the slightest doubt, first of all, about the gas chamber or the selections which were made It is freely admitted that there were in the camp Birkenau five gas chambers attached to the crematoria, and that when they were really busy the latter could not keep up, so that they had in addition to dig pits where bodies were thrown and burned by oil or petrol being poured upon them. People were gassed night and day. We have been told that these gas chambers could carry 1000 people at each gassing and that during some periods people were saved up until there were 1000 in order to save wasting gas. In the busy period the Sonderkommando was working so that there was a gassing every hour and they were working in double shifts day and night. You heard that utterly foul picture painted by Dr. Bendel. Can you have any doubt about it? The persons who were being put into these gas chambers were not people who had committed any crime or offence, they were not people who had been submitted to any trial; they were pure and simply persons who were no longer fit to work for the Reich, and although Kramer would not admit it to me in cross-examination, when it was put to him in re-examination he said: "It was a doctrine of my party to destroy the Jewish race." Whatever other places may also have been used in the course of this destruction, in Auschwitz alone literally millions of people were gassed for no other reason than that they were Jews. The people who were gassed were the old, the weak, the pregnant women, and children under 14. Those were the people who were being selected and put into these gas chambers and quite blatantly murdered. No one could for a moment believe that that was anything but murder and an obvious crime against humanity. Many of the people who were gassed were Allied nationals who came into the hands of the Germans because they were scattered round the various countries.

Here was something going on which completely defeats the imagination. Dr. Bimko said that from records which had been secretly compiled by men working in the Sonderkommando there were no less 4000000 people taken through the crematoria in Auschwitz. The selections were made on a variety of occasions. In the early days there was a ramp near the gate, later extended down the main road, and the transports came in there and the selection took place on the ramp as they came out of the trucks. A doctor attended the parade, and although the doctors really did the selection, various S.S. men and women took part in the actual selection. The doctor did attend and decide those who were to live and to die, and the ones who were to die were sometimes marched to the nearest crematorium, or more often put into trucks and taken to it, taken direct there and never went into the camp at all. We have had a lot of evidence as to who was on duty on these occasions, and the Court will consider the different witnesses who have given evidence with regard to it and the statements of the accused, but I would suggest that it is quite clear that the Lagerführer, as a rule, was there and that some Blockführer were present, whichever happened to be on duty. It is quite clear that there was a Blockführer on duty at the gate and there were two or three Blockführer on duty walking about the camp, not attached to one particular block like a barrack warden, but rather as leader of blocks than a leader of a block. And there were obviously men from the guard company who had come in with the train.

It is my submission that all people who took part in these selections, knowing what they were, were equally guilty, whether it be the doctor who says "This one to live, this one to die," or the man who pushes them into one particular compartment or the other, or the man who leads them, or the man who gasses them. When people take part in a murder by poisoning it is not necessary for them to do the actual deed in order to be convicted. The man who buys the poison and hands it to the murderer, knowing what it is going to be used for, is equally guilty, and the man who brings the victim to the tea-table knowing that the poison is going to be administered there, is equally guilty. I would submit most strongly to the Court that any of these people who took part in these parades, knowing what they were for, have made themselves a party in one degree or another to the murder of these persons who were taken straight from that parade and murdered.

The second class of selections which took place were those in the hospital. What happened was that periodically a doctor, accompanied by the Lagerältester apparently most of the time and, in the case of women, by an Aufseherin, went round the hospitals and all the sick Jewesses were paraded naked, and those who were obviously not going to recover were piled into a truck and driven to Block 25, where they were detained until there were sufficient people for the gas chamber. There again I ask the Court to say that any person who took part in that, whether it be the doctor, the Aufseherin, or the Lagerführer, is equally guilty of the murder of these people, because he or she knew precisely what they were selecting, what was going to happen and where those chosen were going.

The third type of selection was that which took place in the camp, and here for the first time there is a certain amount of dispute as to what really happened. Most of the witnesses say that only Jews paraded in the general selection in the camp, but latterly the Polish accused and witnesses have maintained that that was not so. Starostka said that if only Jews were ordered to turn out everybody knew what was happening and, therefore, there was utter chaos and confusion, and that it was the practice to turn out the whole camp with the Jews on one side and the Aryans on the other and only Jews selected. Although a lot of people have tried to pretend that they did not know what these parades were for, is it not obvious from the body of evidence that everyone knew what they were for? You have had an account of it from Starostka, and I would ask the Court to accept all Starostka's evidence except for her own part. She was the Blockälteste and later on Lagerälteste. She knew what was happening, and says quite frankly: "I attended these parades; I took down the names of the prisoners." Is not what really happened that these people lined up knowing perfectly well what the parade was for, knowing perfectly well that if they were weak or sick they would go to the gas chamber? Do you really believe that all these people stood still and there was no screaming, no shrieking when children were selected or when mothers of children were selected, knowing they were going to die? Can you for a moment believe the suggestion that there was no need to use force? Some of the accused say that, but others are more outspoken and say that of course there was screaming, people trying to avoid it and people who ran away. Grese made no bones about what she did - she went after them with a whip, brought them back and whipped them. Witness after witness gave you an account of the beatings, and were they not telling the truth?

The last type of selection was the general selection, first mentioned by Starostka and agreed by the last one or two witnesses. It became the custom for some people at the camp gate to be selected. As they came back in the working party they were made to double at the last bit and those who fell out were selected. Naturally, those who knew they were in a weak state of health and would not be able to pass the selection at the gate began to hide in the camp. Then the S.S. started to hold a parade of everybody left in the camp when the working parties had gone out. They were marched up and lined outside Block 25, and only those who could give a proper account of themselves escaped the gas chamber. These are the types of selections.

What were the duties of the various people It was the doctor's duty to make the selection. Hoessler says it was the duty of the Aufseherin at the selection parade to maintain order, and the Kapos were under her orders and did what she told them to do. The Lagerälteste had told us herself that she took down the names of the persons on the selection, and that all the Aufseherinnen who happened to have camp duty that day, together with the Blockführer, had to attend. Although an attempt was made to suggest that it was impossible to tell the purpose of these parades, there is overwhelming evidence from the accused and their own witnesses that that is not so. Hoessler said that parades were formed up in different ways, depending for which purpose the selections were made. The witnesses were right when they said only Jews had to parade for these selections. Lothe said that whenever a selection was made all Kapos were concentrated in one block and strictly prohibited from leaving during that time. Lohbauer said there were definitely different orders for the selection for the gas chamber. The witness Schopf said it was quite easy to tell when a selection was for the gas chamber because only Jews were paraded, and she was the least intelligent of the girls who have given evidence. Do you seriously think that Volkenrath, who had enough intelligence to become an Oberaufseherin, did not know? Everybody knew that Block 25 was kept specially for people who were going to the crematorium. The Blockältester took them there after they had been selected, and from there they went to the crematorium. If a woman tried to escape, Schopf said the Blockältester gave her a hiding and put her back.

We have been accustomed in the last eight weeks to talk quite airily about selections and we have got quite used to the words "gas chamber." We have lost the horror we had when it was first mentioned. We have spent the last thirty days in dealing with what I might call the minor matters, that is from the general issue of this case. We have been discussing details as to whether this person did this or that, and now we want to get the case back into proper perspective. That is why I want to bring back to your minds the evidence with regard to the horrors of the gas chamber. I again submit that every person who took part in these parades, knowing what they were for, took part in a deliberately, carefully organised murder, not of one person but of a whole race - an attempt to destroy the whole Jewish race, an attempt to destroy the strength of Poland, one of our Allies, and an attempt to destroy, by fear many other people. That martyrdom of the Jews, in so far as it concerns Allied nationals and was employed on those persons who came into the power of the Germans and into the power of the personnel of Auschwitz, was a war crime which has never been equalled.

It has been suggested by Kramer that the persons who were in those camps were the dregs of the; ghettos. That is manifestly untrue from the evidence. The people who were going through this gas chamber, were going through without regard to class or ability; without regard to anything at all, except for the fact of their religion, their race, or that they could work no longer as slaves. That is why they went through the gas chamber.

What was the position in Auschwitz apart from the gas chamber? Witness after witness spoke of the beatings there and the practice of setting dogs on people. Witnesses have spoken of the general treatment and conditions at Auschwitz. When they arrived at Birkenau there was no drainage, sanitation, light, water or anything, and they slept on shelves without any beds. What was their introduction to Auschwitz? If they were Jewish they went on a selection; if they were not Jewish they did not, but the subsequent treatment was the same. First they went to the bath-house, where they were beaten. They were handed prison clothes. Everything of their own was stolen - and they were people who were entitled to their property, not people who had been convicted by a Court. Even the hair was shorn from their heads and put into sacks to make felt. They were tattooed, and from then onwards beatings camp were regular. I want to rely more on the witnesses for the Defence than on those for the Prosecution, because criticisms of the latter have been made. Lothe said that people were beaten by all the Aufseherinnen and, if necessary, by the Kapos. If she or others relaxed for a moment on working with the outside Kommando, the Aufseherin came and beat her. When asked if that was a regular practice, her reply was very illuminating: "Naturally; that is how concentration camps are carried on." It was part of the system to force Kapos to beat prisoners. Even Gura said that he had seen Blockältesten and S.S. beating at Auschwitz. You will remember when I suggested to one of these girls that she might have been hit back the astonishment she displayed. It could not be so.

The whole place was ruled by force and ill-treatment. If a person knows that he will ultimately die without being released from his prison, that his only escape can be death in the gas chamber and until that time hours of heavy work, then is not serious ill-treatment necessary as the only way of compelling him to go on? He must be made to be frightened of something worse than death. Starostka told us what happened to somebody who complained. She complained about the way one of the S.S. men was not giving food to his gang. What happened? The S.S. man promptly walks in and gives her thirty-five strokes for complaining about it. All the accused say precisely the same thing, that beating was the natural thing at concentration camps, and Mr. Le Druillenec said that blows were the language of the concentration camp. Some attempt has been made to suggest that these blows were not serious. Is it not quite obvious from the evidence of the witnesses for the Prosecution and the Defence that at Auschwitz, just as in every other concentration camp, almost all the Blockführer carried sticks and other weapons? Starostka says, "Some of the Aufseherinnen had sticks; some had whips, and some had dogs. Prisoners in Auschwitz were beaten on every occasion. They had to work very hard. Accommodation was very bad, and they had lice and other diseases, and dogs were set on them."

I asked Koper about the people whose job it was to drag corpses to the mortuary, and she said that there were thirty people whose sole employment that was. Does not that give about as clear a picture of what was going on as anything? Even Dr. Klein said that he had people in the hospital as a result of beatings. The whole treatment of prisoners both in the camp and in the outside Kommandos was such that a Muselmann - a phrase coined by the prisoners - was a regular thing. Some attempt was made to suggest that the whip Grese carried was only a paper toy, but she would have none of it. She said, no it was meant to hurt and it did hurt when she used it. She said that she had a stick too, and when she found things disappearing from the kitchen at Auschwitz she told the Aufseherin to wait for them and if she found them to give a good thrashing.

You have heard about the Appelle and how they lasted for hours. Grese said in evidence at first that they did last several hours, but later she changed that to three hours. She told the Court how she gave orders to the Aufseherinnen to go on counting and counting until everybody was there. Is it to be wondered at that when people were kept for four hours on a winter's morning, not having had a proper breakfast, they fell and died? I do not suggest that the roll-call was ill-treatment, but carried on as those Appelle were, they were ill-treatment. Also, Grese has never made any bones about the fact that she made people kneel as she thought fit, and, in fact, there are few allegations which have been made against her which she did not frankly admit.

That, I think, is a reasonably fair picture of life at Auschwitz. On arrival you were beaten and sent to a block that was overcrowded. You were fed on food that would barely sustain existence. You were overworked and often as you did work you were severely beaten. You remember that wretched Vistula Kommando which went out eight kilometres in December, along a filthy road up a steep bill, chased by dogs, and then made to work.

Most Aufseherinnen came from Ravensbrück, and that is why other camps have been brought into this case, because it was quite obvious that it would be suggested that Belsen was an exception, the conditions there being due to a breakdown of transport and so on. Therefore it was necessary to show that these conditions prevailed at all other concentration camps. Have you not got precisely the same picture at Ravensbrück, Dora, and the others? It is not a picture of people having their ears boxed and being slapped in the face, but of people receiving severe thrashings whenever they were caught doing anything wrong, with the definite intention of making an example of them: pictures of collective punishment where a whole block was made to go without food because one of them had committed an offence: pictures of Kapos being dismissed from their position because they were not ill-treating prisoners sufficiently. Is not that your general picture of Auschwitz?

I want now to turn from Auschwitz to the general position at Belsen. It is plain that towards the end at Belsen there were obvious transport difficulties, and there must have been obvious difficulties in organization and feeding; but what the Prosecution say is that no attempt whatever was made to cope with those difficulties, and that the situation at Belsen was the result of a deliberate and the grossest conceivable neglect. At Auschwitz anybody unfit to work was sent to the gas chamber. Do you really believe that there was ever any intention of setting up a convalescent depot in December, 1944, for the sick people from the North-West when these sick people were being gassed at Auschwitz? Is not the truth of the matter that in December, 1944, it was becoming very apparent that Auschwitz was going to be untenable, and the first transports already were beginning to go away to Belsen? They were not sick people. Güterman and Singer said that the transports were leaving Auschwitz for Belsen shortly after Kramer arrived there. Is it not obvious that he was sent as forerunner of the new Auschwitz removed from the threat of the Russian advance? Dr. Klein said that there was some talk of the camp being some kind of exchange camp for prisoners "but later on it did not give me that impression at all. It was not a camp for sick people. It was a death camp; a torture camp." Was there the slightest attempt ever made to make that into a camp for sick people? The camp, I would suggest, was to take the place of Auschwitz.

I would not ask the Court to say that there is evidence on which they can properly find that any actual gas chamber was in the course of construction. But do you doubt that there would have been? The gas chambers at Auschwitz were being demolished and were being taken down, stone by stone. Where were they going? Was not the obvious place to take them where all the sick people were being collected together? Nobody would suggest that the Nazi mind is not logical. It is quite inconsistent that in the one place they should collect the sick people and kill them, and in the other, where there were precisely the same people, the same Jews and Poles, etc., they should care for them in a convalescent camp.

There was never the slightest attempt to improve conditions there, to bring medical supplies, beds or anything else that one would naturally require to build a convalescent camp. There was not the slightest attempt to provide diet, nor to make provision for the sick when they arrived, by the staff who were there. You have the picture of Belsen with more and more people coming in and no serious attempt being made to organise it. You have these girls coming in one transport after another, and being put into the kitchens with nothing to do. Grese was going round arranging the decorations outside the kitchen with little white stones, whilst thousands of people were dying around her. Can you imagine that situation with any normal and sane people in charge, quite apart from any complaints they may or may not have sent to Berlin? Surely they would be working day and night to get the place straight and help these people by organizing it. I submit that the attitude is summed up in Kramer's words: "Let them die. Why do you care?" Was not that a continuation of the general situation in Auschwitz? What was the attitude of the Aufseherinnen, the Blockältesten and the Kapos? If they were honest people, do you not think that their attitude would be one of concern for these sick and dying people? Do you not think they would be trying to help them sympathetically instead of boxing their ears or slapping their faces?

If you teach people to gas 4000000 victims you cannot expect them thereafter to be very gentle with lives in other ways. If you have been used to sending a transport of a thousand human beings an hour to a gas chamber, shooting an odd person cannot be a very serious matter - nor can a beating. If you have been used to guarding a Kommando all day and coming back at night with one or two dead bodies being carried behind, people who have died through exhaustion or beating, you cannot expect to be very gentle when you get back. It has been rather suggested that all the people did was to chase an internee with a stick, and if an internee came to the kitchen you ran out, gave him a smack, and went back . That is not the case. You may well think that when a crowd gathered round the kitchen out came the Aufseherin and those prisoners who could stumble would stumble away, but those who could not were left there and they were the ones who received the beatings as an example to the others.

You will remember that Schlomoivicz was sent to Gross Rosen in a transport of 500 and at the end of about eighteen months there were seven still alive, and that was not due to any gas chamber but was caused through exhaustion, beating and ill-treatment. That was the picture in a concentration camp, and that was the picture in Belsen. I am not going to say that in individual cases an odd Aufseherin or S.S. man. may not have treated an internee well: even the worst of people have their good spots, and you may well think that some of those women had their favourite. A great deal of criticism has been leveled at some of the affidavits on the ground that people only speak of one isolated incident, and if they speak of more than one it has been criticised as being too general. In fact, you will find that a general allegation is followed by a specific allegation. I do ask the Court to say that where they are satisfied that one of these accused has taken part in this system, they will take all these various beatings that they found went on in Belsen, make up the composite picture of what was happening, and then try and see how this particular man's evidence fits into the scheme of things.

Let me take the kitchens. In Kitchen No. 1 those who admittedly were there were Pichen, a man called Joseph, Ilse Forster, Hahnel, Lisiewitz, and Fiest in the peeling department for four days. When you look at the evidence against an one of these people, remember that they were in the same kitchen together. For instance, Pichen says, "There was no beating in my kitchen," but then look at the evidence against Forster, Hahnel and Lisiewitz and see what they say about it. In No. 2 Kitchen you have Hoess and Wessel, not before the Court, Hempel, Haschke, Sauer, and Walter for a day or two only. To complete the picture of what was really happening do not look at each person individually. You must, of course, do that later, to see how they fit in, but get first a picture of what happened in that kitchen. You must also apply that to Kitchen No. 3, where Ida Forster was. Cookhouse No. 4 has been rather a mystery cookhouse because it was outside the camp. The S.S. Kitchen is another semi-mystery, and all we know of that is that Mathes cooked there for some time.

You have to consider also what attempt was made with regard to feeding. It looked as if Kramer was really saying that owing to the breakdown in supplies he did not get enough food for these people, but then Müller said that the prisoners got all they were entitled to apart from bread. You have heard what the people in the blocks and in the kitchens thought of that. Is it not quite obvious that these people were being starved, and if they were not being deliberately starved, at least there was not the slightest care as to whether they were starved or not? There was no attempt to organise the feeding of the weak, and the food went to the strong. You have this extraordinary position that in this camp, which is alleged to have been for the sick, it was the strong who were given extra rations. If Zoddel is to be believed, he had no difficulty, and if short of rations he asked for more and got them. One after the other the accused have said that they looked after their party and gave them double rations. If you accept that, it simply leads you to deliberate starvation if that story is really true that double rations were being given to the healthiest and single rations to the weakest.

Brigadier Glyn Hughes said that the conditions in this camp were indescribable, that no description nor photograph could bring home the horrors that were to be seen outside the huts, or the frightful scenes inside which were very much worse. "There were piles of corpses lying all over the camp of varying sizes, some outside the wire and some in between the huts. The compounds themselves had bodies lying about in them. The gutters were full and within the huts there were uncountable numbers of bodies, some even in the same bunks as the living." Colonel Johnston, in his affidavit, said: "The prisoners were a dense mass of emaciated apathetic scarecrows huddled together in wooden huts." Captain Sington said: "I should say when we entered, when the S.S. were still in control, there was an atmosphere of terror about the place, and the people were behaving like terrified animals." You have the photographs, you have the film showing the general state of the camp. In spite of this, you have people coming into the witness box and saying that they never noticed bodies or the smell, and that the camp was clean and tidy. How can you place any reliance on the words of these people? There were 13000 corpses lying unburied when the British arrived, quite apart from the number which had been buried in these last three days. You have heard of the appalling sanitation conditions from Brigadier Glyn Hughes and that the internees suffered from some form of gastroenteritis. Of Block 208 he said: "There were dead women lying in the passage, which was so full that no women could lie out straight; the main room on the left of the passage was one mass of bodies. You could not get another one into it. The conditions of the inmates of the hut were those of extreme emaciation, women dying frequently." These were the conditions which they found, yet you have people who say: "Well, we knew conditions were bad, but we never smelt anything, we never saw any bodies, and we never saw anybody beaten." If you believe that those conditions were caused by neglect on the part of the staff, and if you believe that these persons in the dock individually were on that staff and took part in this general neglect and that they did not care, then they are plainly guilty.

If, of course, you are satisfied that this was due to a breakdown in organization, then a different situation arises. But the evidence you have to fall back on is that of Müller, who produced some figures from a mixture of indents, receipts, and various other things to show that the internees got what they were entitled to. That is his opinion. Kramer says he sent Müller to Celle and Hanover imploring the depots to do something and putting the responsibility on them. Müller denies this. Dr. Klein says that he went to the camp for ten days in January as a locum and was told that his duties would be very light. He was the only doctor in that camp who should have been organizing everything. This is what he said: "In the first two days Dr. Horstmann took me round the camp, showed me everything, and I gained the impression that this was a lost post. It was a very ungrateful task - it was a thankless job." When asked about medical supplies he replied that when he took over three days before the British arrived he was surprised about the comparatively huge amount there was. Any decent doctor would have been working day and night. When those two doctors arrived from Dora and had a talk with Dr. Klein, he never even mentioned it. There was no attempt to get medical supplies or anything. There were no blankets, water, or sanitation because nobody thought of these necessary things. That is the evidence of Dr. Klein and not of one of my witnesses. Then you get his words: "It was not a camp for sick people; it was a death camp." Is not that a true picture of Belsen? Nobody worrying, nobody caring, nobody trying, just carrying on as though nobody was dying: Kommandos going out to work in the Kommandant's garden: Arbeitsdienstführerinnen wandering around picking flowers: another putting rock gardens round the kitchen where the corpses were lying: other girls doing nothing. There was a complete lack of care: nobody cared in the slightest what happened to those internees.

What happened on the 12th? All the Aufseherinnen and doctors disappeared together to Neuengamme, leaving the prisoners to their fate. Eventually they came back again, but nobody apparently cared what happened to the prisoners. Is not that typical of the attitude which was being displayed by all these accused? Is not it also because from the very word go they have joined in and accepted this theory that the prisoners are cattle, and that they are not to be treated as human beings? Is not it that they have accepted the theory that prisoners' lives are worthless, and that it does not matter if they killed them when taking a Kommando? They expected to come back with a corpse or two after the day's work. They expected to see bodies lying around and employed 30 people to carry them away. That is the attitude which was joined and adopted by all these people when they arrived, because it was the attitude they had before they came. They came from other concentration camps where precisely the same thing was happening. The difference at Belsen was that there was the last stand. You find them all pouring into the place which housed not the dregs of the ghettos of Europe, but the dregs of the S.S. Here were the guards scuttling away from the Russians and British, securing themselves in Belsen. Those were the people who took themselves to Belsen, and those were the people who were responsible for the internees. It is some of those people, in my submission, that you have in the dock to-day.

Now I want to turn to the reasons why I say that each of those accused took part in this offence. If the Court have accepted the general condition then Kramer is so obviously right in it, both at Auschwitz and Belsen, that it is unnecessary to spend very much more time on it. He joined the Nazi Party in 1931, the S.S. in 1932, and from 1934, he has been in the concentration camp service. He served at Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen, Auschwitz, Dachau again, Natzweiler, back to Birkenau, and then Belsen, and from 1942 onwards he has been the Kommandant of a concentration camp. He served his apprenticeship in gassing people at Natzweiler, where he constructed the gas chamber and gassed people literally himself. He transferred from there to Birkenau at the same time with Hoess, who went to Auschwitz to manage the gassings of the new transports that were coming in when the big rush started in May, 1944.

The Prosecution say that Kramer was sent there for precisely the same purpose, being a person who could be relied upon to do the dirty work that he was required to do with the utmost secrecy, and was made Kommandant of Birkenau, where all five of the gas chambers were situated and where all the gassings took place. Have you any real doubt that he was chosen for that particular position? It has been said that he had written orders saying that the gas chamber was not his concern, but apart from his word there is no other evidence whatsoever of this. So far as his conduct in Belsen and Birkenau is concerned, he says himself that he was always in the camp until the Appelle was finished, and he admits freely that he watched and saw the selections in the camp, but, like everybody else, took no part in it, though people say that he was, in fact, present regularly. Other witnesses say that he took an active part in the selection parades in that he loaded people into the trucks, beat them, and on the gate selections was there pointing the way. I particularly rely on the witness Dr. Bimko. She, in my submission, is a particularly reliable witness, a professional woman who did magnificent work in Belsen, and, we are told, is still there at the hospital, and her evidence I would ask you to accept.

Can you believe that if Kramer is there present in a camp where he is responsible for the security, he would not take an active part if he saw people refusing to get into the trucks, and so on, when you have the position that he himself has taken part in these gassings? He had done it be went there, and was not squeamish. He said that he interfered when he found confusion on an Appelle and took it himself. Do you really believe he did not interfere in a similar way when he found confusion in his camp at a selection parade? So far as beating at Auschwitz is concerned, do you really believe it was possible for him to be in and about the camp, followed by his chauffeur, who was an experienced member of the Sonderkommando before, and that he did not know what was happening? There is the evidence of actual beatings by Kramer himself.

Have you any doubt at all that Kramer was right in it at Belsen? Ehlert said that he had told her, "Let them die, why should you care." You have heard what Klein said about it "I am not taking orders from you." You have heard that his attitude when Brigadier Glyn Hughes and Colonel Johnston arrived was absolutely callous to the whole thing. You have the individual beatings he has given in Belsen. Sunschein said that the whole block was made to kneel in the rain and deprived of food for 24 hours by him because some Russian girls had stolen bread. There is the story by Bimko and Hammermasch of him beating a Russian, who was building a shelter, until he was unconscious, and kicking him on the ground. You have the story of the Russian girl who escaped, told by Ehlert, Volkenrath and some Prosecution witnesses, and I ask the Court to accept Ehlert's original statement as it relates to these matters.

Ehlert tried to water down that statement afterwards, and there were certain passages to which she took exception. Is not the real truth that when Ehlert was given the opportunity of making a statement soon after the liberation, while she was still at Belsen, she told the truth about quite a lot of things and that by the time she got here, and had talked with the other prisoners, a great many of these things were withdrawn? Have you any real doubt at all that the account of beating that Russian girl is quite true There was this little group waiting for this girl to be brought back, and then Kramer begins to beat her, shake her, and kick her until she eventually confesses the names of her two confederates. He then sends for them, and they are each of them given five strokes. Ehlert gives you a full account of the matter, and I ask the Court to accept that account. That is the way Kramer was running his camp, and the witness Sompolinski, the man with the bullet wound in his hand, said that Kramer was actually shooting in that camp towards the end.

These are the main points that I want to put before you. There are others, but I have merely selected a few to show you what is Kramer's attitude throughout, that he is in this right up to the neck. He knew exactly what was happening; he accepted the responsibility of the beatings; he accepted the responsibility of killing people there. He was concerned in the killing of people both at Auschwitz and Belsen. He has been in one concentration camp after another and, in my submission, he was deliberately chosen for Birkenau. He was again quite deliberately chosen for Belsen, when Belsen was going to accept the same people as were being sent to Auschwitz.

You have heard Kramer in the witness-box and you have heard the evidence against him. In the first statement he made on oath he said: "I have heard the allegations of former prisoners at Auschwitz referring to a gas chamber; the mass executions and whippings ; the cruelty of the guards, and that all this took place either in my presence or with my knowledge. All I can say to all this is that it is untrue from beginning to end." There are one or two other things in that statement which I would suggest shows the utter hypocrisy of the man. "If a case could have arisen in which a woman would have committed one of the crimes for which a man would have been beaten, I would have pointed out to the women guards that corporal punishment could not be administered to women?" You have heard the evidence of Lohbauer and the Prosecution witnesses. Have you any doubt that corporal punishment was administered to women, both organised and un organised? Can you really accept a word of what he says? Of course he knew that these things were happening, because he says himself: "I thought and I asked myself, 'Is it really right about these persons who go to the gas chamber, and whether that person who signed for the first time these orders will be able to answer for it? - I do not know'."

I do not know what view the Court have formed about the letter alleged to have been written by Kramer to Glücks. Are you satisfied that the letter was ever written and sent at the time? If it was, how did the top copy come to be still in Mrs. Kramer's possession? How is it that the top copy was only initialed? That ought to have been in the file signed by Kramer. How is it that when asked to produce documents he said that they had all disappeared, but that one mysteriously appears? He says he kept it because it was a private document, but you have only to look at it to see that it is not. I suggest that this is not a genuine document at all. Even supposing this was a genuine document there was the fact that Kramer accepts 35000 as being a suitable and proper number of internees in that camp. Brigadier Glyn Hughes said that there were 41000 when he went in and there were ten people where there should have been one, and everyone has heard of the overcrowding and disgraceful conditions.

With regard to Dr. Klein, he has made no secret whatever of the fact that be attended these selections, that he selected people on them, and that he knew that it was wrong and that it was murder. He agreed that those who were not fit to work were simply destroyed. I put the actual words to him: Did he realise it was murder, and he said, Yes, he did. Klein says, frankly, that when he got to Belsen in January his duties were, so he was told, going to be light, just going to the camp every day but not very much was expected. He says that when Dr. Horstmann showed him round he then realised that it was murder. The only time he really ever did anything in that camp was when he knew the British were coming in, and then he buckled to and did something. He called for the first time a meeting of internee doctors, distributed extra food, medical comforts which were available, and extra medical supplies. For the first time he suggested to Kramer that something should be done about the bodies, but that is when the truce came and not before. The evidence plainly shows that he was content to neglect the camp completely, and when other doctors like Schmidt and Kurzke became available, not only did he not ask for help, he did not mention the situation - and for a medical man that was the grossest criminal neglect. The fact that Dr. Horstmann was there is no excuse for Dr. Klein.

The accused Peter Weingartner agrees he went to Auschwitz as long ago as 1942. He was a Blockführer in the women's compound and eventually commanded the Kommando Vistula. He came to Belsen as one of the earlier people from Auschwitz and again became a Blockführer. There has been a lot of evidence against him, the principal witness being Glinowieski, who broke down in the witness-box, and whose brother was said to have been beaten to death. The point was made that he did not see Weingartner do the beating. What he does say is that he saw Weingartner catch his brother, and take him into a room, and when his brother came out of the room he told him exactly what had happened inside - that he was bent over a chair, a knee applied to his neck and he was given 75 strokes by the accused. Glinowieski took his brother to the hospital, where he died. Have you any doubt that that story is true?

The Vistula Kommando was obviously an extremely unpleasant one, and Weingartner has been quite frank about it. Sunschein, who was a very good type of girl and who gave her evidence well, says that she was actually removed from her post by Weingartner because she was not prepared to beat and ill-treat the other prisoners. She says that the accused beat them with a stick and that he, and the guards under him, set dogs on these women going up the hill. Is that not entirely consistent with what you have heard about the way these camps were run? Weingartner agrees there were dogs with his party when they came to this hill. Have you any doubt that these women were run up the hill with dogs behind them? Sunschein said it was quite a good Kommando until Weingartner came to it, and after that many people were taken to hospital daily. She says he deprived people of bread, and, of course, bread was an extra ration for the heavy work they were doing. You have heard of the hours they had to work and the journey they had to make, and if you believe that these extra rations were stopped you may well think that that in itself was the greatest conceivable ill-treatment under the circumstances.

Nobody has suggested that Weingartner ever attended or took part in a selection, and although he was Blockführer of Lager A he says he never even was one or knows anything about it. Lager A was just exactly where the transports were coming along the side of the Lager. Can you believe that that man never even saw a selection and knew nothing about it? I suggest that he is obviously a man who cannot be believed if he is prepared to exculpate himself in that way.

Consider the situation at Belsen. Again he was Blockführer in the women's compound, and it is said that he often beat sick people. He was the only prisoner who admitted freely to the use of a rubber hose. He says it was purely accidental, that he happened to find one near the gate just at the time he felt he would like to beat, and he kept it to preserve the piece of rubber hose from the weather. Can you possibly believe that? He says that except for the one instance, when he beat the Kapo, Sunschein, he only used his hand. Do you think that that was an isolated incident? I would ask you to say that Weingartner is quite obviously in all business from the beginning, both at Auschwitz and at Belsen. Kraft says that apart from his training at Buchenwald, he was at Dora, Kleinbodungen and Belsen, and that he never was at Auschwitz, as alleged by Bialek in her affidavit. There seems to be little doubt that he arrived at Belsen with the party commanded by Stofel, together with the two young women and Dorr. The allegation against him at Belsen is that when the corpses were being dragged away in the last two or three days, Kraft was taking part in the supervision guarding the bread and ration store, and that as the starving prisoners tried to crawl through the wire, he shot them. His defence is a complete denial, and he says that he was never in that camp at all but was in Hoessler's. He was directly recognised by the witness Sompolinski, who said that was what he was doing. In these last few days. after all the able-bodied men had gone, was it not plainly a question of all hands to the pumps? Kramer told everyone that there were 25000 corpses to be carried away and buried in the course of the next two or three days, and unless that was done food for the whole camp would be stopped. Do you think that the S.S. men were really left idling in Camp No, 2, where there were only 15000 prisoners, or do you think they all came and took their share? There was not much cleaning up to be done in Camp No. 2 because they had only been there for a short time. There were not these piles of corpses about, but there was a tremendous amount to be done in Camp No. 1. The regular S.S. men had gone, and all that was left was the administrative staff and the people who were in Camp No. 2, and were not these people from Camp No. 2 taken in to act as guards over these Kapos who were, in fact, running the cleaning up of the camp?

The next accused, Hoessler, is, like Kramer, one of the old guard. He joined the S.S. the day Hitler came to power, and was at Dachau until he came to Auschwitz in June, 1940. Like Kramer, he was there when it was being built, and he left in November, 1940, and returned to Birkenau as Lagerführer in July, 1943, where he remained until February, 1944. He went to Dachau for a short time, returned to Auschwitz and remained there until it was evacuated.

Hoessler admits he attended all three types of selections, and that as Lagerführer he was responsible for security and for the Blockführer who were on parade acting under his orders. He admits that he knew that this business was very wrong, and there is very little difference between the Prosecution and the Defence as to his part in these selections. Dr. Bimko, Hanka Rozenwayg and Helen Klein all say he took an active part. You have heard the story that he said to a girl "You have lived long enough, my child, come along." Does not that fit in with the evidence? He is quite prepared to do these things oblivious of murder. One does not dispute that there were occasions when he got some girls out of the gas chamber. He said himself that young girls came to him and asked him to do so, but that does not affect the general position at all. You will find over and over again that the cruellest people, who are prepared to commit the worst crimes, may well have a soft spot for some people and may be kind to children. You have, of course, the fact that at other times he was quite different. If you accept his own evidence with regard to these gas chamber selections, he is as guilty as can be. He had ten years' service in concentration camps altogether, and he says that in all that time he never saw an S.S. man beat a prisoner. He was in command at Dora, and various people have given their accounts of what that camp was like. He comes to Belsen, and when he met the train at Bergen on which there were some surviving sick, he ordered them to be shot. In Camp No. 2 they had not had time to get anything like so bad as in Camp No. 1, but it was overcrowded and it became dirty in an incredibly short time; four men were in a space fit for one.

The accused Bormann admits that she joined the S.S. as a volunteer to make money. She became an Aufseherin in charge of women at Ravensbrück, and trained there from 1939 to 1943. That is where the Aufseherinnen were trained to set dogs on to people, and it was whilst she was there that she acquired a dog in June, 1942, so it was not so much of a pup in the autumn of 1943. She went to Auschwitz in May, 1943, and remained there until December, 1943, before she went to one of the outside Kommandos.

How can you believe this woman? She says that she never had her dog with her at Auschwitz and that she lent it to Hartjenstein within a fortnight of her getting there, and did not get it back until the following February. Would that woman ever have parted from her dog? The only time she has shown the slightest emotion in this court was when the fate of her dog was mentioned. The witnesses, both for the Prosecution and many of the accused themselves, say she was inseparable from her dog when she was there. Others in their affidavits all refer to her dog as well. There was some attempt to suggest that he was mixed up with another woman named Kuck; but could Kuck, a young woman in her twenties, be mistaken for this woman who confesses herself to be over 50?

That Bormann's behaviour was already famous in the camp is shown from Ehlert's statement. While Ehlert says: "I have never seen Bormann set her dog on anybody," she says: "I have heard about it and I can quite believe it, having worked with her." You have no less than five different occasions spoken to when she set that dog on different people. Have you any doubt that that happened? Bormann was also seen several times on selection parades, and even brought her dog too. You may remember the evidence of Jonas, who said she was not content merely to stand there when she was the Aufseherin on duty but pointed out to the doctors: "This one looks quite weakly, she can be taken, away as well." It is significant that these different people go on selections and say the selection was done by the doctors, and that is what I suggest the S.S. men did. She says that she never even saw the selection and yet she was one of the Blockführerinnen on block and camp duties. You have evidence of her beating people frequently, but she says: "I have never seen an Aufseherin beat at all." Can you accept the word of woman who says that during all the time she was in concentration camps she never saw a selection and never saw an Aufseherin beat anyone?

Volkenrath went to Auschwitz in 1942 and was there probably longer than almost anybody else. The allegations against her are numerous, and although there was some suggestion she might have been mixed up with her sister, called "Weinniger," in my submission she could not be. Josephine Singer says she beat many people in the tailoring shop and threw a Czech woman down the steps. Volkenrath was in the tailoring shop, and the only people who were employed there were Czechs and old women. She became supervisor of the parcel store, and Sunschein says she saw her frequently beating people there. This she admits, but with, of course, "the hands." Were these simply slaps on the face or were they not something more than that?

She admits that she was present on selection parades and that those selected were sent to Block 25, but she says she had no idea what they were for. Even the most unintelligent of the internees knew what they were for, and yet poor old Volkenrath did not understand, a woman who was made Oberaufseherin. She says that everybody stood quite quiet and orderly, never any screaming, never any trouble. I would suggest to you that that woman is an obvious liar, and that her demeanour in the witness-box showed it. You have heard a number of witnesses who said she was on the selection parades, and you may remember the affidavit of Kaufmann who says that during selections she saw Volkenrath throw women to the ground, throw them against a wall, trample on them and beat them with a stick or rubber truncheon, and that was how she behaved. You have the affidavits of many who say that those were not merely beatings with the hand but were beatings with sticks, rubber truncheons, beatings till the victim became unconscious and sometimes died, and kicking. All she can say with regard to that is it is true she slapped their faces but she never did anything else.

Why did that woman become Oberaufseherin and why, when she got to Belsen, did she immediately get appointed Oberaufseherin there? Was it not because she was right in it up to the hilt and was a woman who could be relied upon to carry out that policy? What is the position in Belsen? Again you have evidence that she continued her beatings, and you have the story of her depriving the 600 women of their food and water for three days because two of them escaped. You have to remember that almost all of these Kapos say that collective punishment was very much in vogue. You have heard about the kneeling and beating from Löffler. You remember the occasion when Ehlert is supposed to have caught a young Russian and stripped and searched her, looking for jewellery. You have the occasion when Kramer was present when they are supposed to have taken part in a beating. She agrees that she was present when Kramer slapped the girl. Ehlert's account of that was that that was a good thrashing and kicking. I suggest that Volkenrath is one of the old gang, both at Auschwitz and Belsen, and is in it up to the neck.

The next accused is Ehlert, who is one of the oldest in the concentration camp service and started in Ravensbrück. There she behaved reasonably well, and two girls were called to say that she was the only Aufseherin who did not beat people. This was something extraordinary at Ravensbrück, so what happened? As a punishment that woman was transferred to Lublin - put on a draft. She stayed at Lublin until eventually she came back via Cracow [Kraków] to Auschwitz, where she was out at the Kommando Raisko. So far as Auschwitz is concerned I have no evidence against her.

Then she comes to Belsen in the beginning of March and becomes assistant to Gollasch, who took over while Volkenrath was away. Ehlert has originally begun to tell the truth in this case, and she has told us quite a lot about the beating that went on at Auschwitz, like Gollasch beating prisoners very heavily. In the original statement she gave away almost everybody, and she tried to cut that down later in the witness-box. The evidence comes from Sunschein, Hammermasch, Helen Klein, Neiger, Herkovitz, Löffler, Koper and Weiss, of beating people standing at the gate, beating people as they went for small things, for instance like wearing a scarf. Ehlert admits she was there but only that she slapped their faces. The same story again. You have the story of her searching the blocks for food and regularly beating people there. Klein described her as one of the worst in the camp. There are the two incidents in which she is concerned with Volkenrath of stripping and beating the young girl in the Lagerälteste's room. On every occasion when you have Gollasch, Volkenrath and Ehlert working together, you find then concerned - the three old hands who have been in the service for a very long time and who started together in Ravensbrück.

Herkovitz says in her affidavit that she was caught with a ring and a locket and was beaten with a stick, and had to run behind the bicycle to a room where S.S. men beat her with a rubber truncheon. She was also three weeks in the cells, and when she came out she was put on emptying latrines for three weeks. The first sort of inkling we get that that might be true was from Volkenrath, who says: "I think Ehlert told me something about an incident of this kind," and then you get the position from Ehlert: "Well, something very like it happened without my doing anything: it was somebody else. I do remember the incident about the locket; I may have gone on a bicycle, I do not remember it; if I did I went slowly so she could have walked comfortably by me. I did not beat." Why did she not strip and search her? Is it not quite obvious that she would when all the way through you come across the same thing that "all other people did these things but never myself?" Have you any doubt that she did beat that girl, and then took her along to get her official punishment afterwards, which is what so often happened?

Then you have that extraordinary Koper incident. The Court have heard the thing from various people and have, no doubt, formed a very definite view about it. The incident starts by Ehlert being annoyed by Koper and slapping her face because she found her, sitting in the kitchen. Then Koper replied by saying: "I am employed by the Gestapo," and started to produce evidence to prove it - again I am taking Ehlert's story - and it proved to be untrue. Have you any doubt that Ehlert would have quickly beaten her? During this, why did Gollasch come in and join in? It is always the unfortunate Gollasch, the only woman who does not appear in the dock. All the beatings alleged to have been done by Ehlert are always blamed on Gollasch, who is not here, and you have the beautiful picture of poor Ehlert standing in the corner frightened to death whilst these people are beating Koper. Is it not quite obvious what happened?

The next accused, Grese, is a curious woman, who is quite frank about almost everything which is alleged against her. She was trained at Ravensbrück, and says she was conscripted into the S.S. If she was conscripted into the S.S., why do you think her father thrashed her and turned her out of the house? Grese's sister says that when they were children they both wanted to be in the Bund Deutscher Mädchen but their father would not let them, but Grese had ambitions to be in the Nazi Youth Movement before she ever went away to work, and when she comes back dressed up in the uniform of a concentration camp guard her father gives her a thrashing and turns her out of the house. It is one of two things - either she was taken against her will, or she told him what things were happening and what she was doing.

She graduates from Ravensbrück to Auschwitz, and her first job, according to herself, was telephone duty in the Blockführer's room, although Koper said that they never did employ women on that duty at all. She admits being in charge of the Strafkommando for two days, Because, I submit, Volkenrath had already said so. Koper says that she was in charge of this Kommando for some seven months. You will remember the story of sending Jewesses to fetch things beyond the wire and Koper's story of the enquiry which resulted. Can you imagine Koper making up such an extraordinary story? Then she is in charge of the gardening Kommando, and you have the stories of her riding about on a bicycle with the dog. She denies ever having a dog, and says that although she had a bicycle she never used it as Aufseherinnen were not allowed to. You have the stories of Rozenwayg, Watinik and Triszinska, of her being in charge of this Kommando, with Lothe as a Kapo, and setting a dog on them. Then she came back to camp duties and went to the post office. It is plain from Hoessler's evidence that she also had to help the Blockführer in the morning when the working parties came in, and here again you have a number of incidents which are said to have occurred whilst she was acting as Blockführerin. Then, quite suddenly, this young girl is put in charge of the Aufseherinnen in Camp C, the camp where the gassings of the Hungarians are about to begin. She is put in charge of 30000 people. You have heard about the cellophane whip which, she says, was made to hurt. In Camp C there were long Appelle which sometimes lasted three to four hours. She said: "I carried a stick and if people ran away from these selections I went and dragged them back and whipped them." She is quite frank about it, and on her own admissions alone I would suggest that at Auschwitz there is ample evidence to show she was ill-treating, beating and prolonging Appelle.

Then she comes to Belsen and is made Arbeitsdienstführerin, and again you have the stories as to how she beat people. She stood at the gate beating them, she beat girls working in the kitchen, and she beat people and made them do sport. She says: "Although I carried a whip and beat people at Auschwitz, for some reason I never did it at Belsen. I always used my hands at Belsen, although at Belsen the prisoners were so horrid I did not like touching them." So far as that girl is concerned, her sister said that when she was a child she was a frightened child and a little coward who ran away, and she adopted this doctrine of Nazism which turns the coward into the bully. She went to Ravensbrück and there she found her courage, because people dared not hit back. At Auschwitz she had her revolver and cellophane whip, and at the age of about 21 she finds herself in charge of 30000 women. She makes no secret of it. She beat them, and when she came on to Belsen can you doubt that she carried on in precisely the same way?

I next come to Lothe and Lohbauer who are in quite a different position to those we have had up to now. Lothe was a prisoner and was sent to Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Neuengamme and Birkenau, and she was treated very badly. I do not deny that, but I do suggest that when she eventually became a Kapo she was from then on on the other side. She worked with the S.S. and against the prisoners. There is incident after incident as to what she is alleged to have done, various beatings and so on. She denies everything, although she agrees that she was treated very badly at Ravensbrück and says that all the Aufseherinnen there had pistols. If it is untrue that she did anything bad, why, did Volkenrath promptly make her a Kapo again at Belsen and put her in charge of the vegetable Kommando?

Lohbauer was another Kapo of the same type and went through very much the same process as Lothe at Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, coming together with the rest of them to Belsen. You have endless allegations of beatings against this woman; probably more than against anyone else. You also have the story of the pushing of people into the ditch with another Kapo whilst the S.S. stood by and watched. She says: "I admit carrying a stick at Auschwitz, and I admit using it." Eventually she agreed that one of her, duties was to see that Kommandos inside the camp did their work. Have you any doubt at all that that woman became just as much one of the party as the other S.S. women?

There is very little evidence against Klippel. One deponent who worked in the kitchen says that he frequently beat women there and twice shot Jewish women who approached the kitchen in search of food. The defence is a complete denial, and he called a lot of evidence to show that he came on a transport from Dora and was never in the camp. You may think it is questionable to convict him on one affidavit of that kind.

The evidence against Schmitz is quite simple. The deponent Jecny said that on 14th April a group of prisoners were standing opposite Kitchen No. 1 when Schmitz appeared on a bicycle and fired his pistol into the crowd several times and then cycled on. Schmitz's story is that he never was in Camp No 1. One does not doubt that he in fact lost his clothes somewhere, and suddenly appeared outside the S.S. quarters trying to get in, and that inside these quarters there was a uniform which fitted him very well. You may think that if an S.S. man was in any event going to be arrested, once he had been recognised, even if he was running around in his underpants, the safest place for him would be in his own room with a British guard outside. I suggest that there is nothing in that story which is the least inconsistent with Schmitz being a member of the S.S.

You remember that he was arrested in Vienna in January, 1940, as a deserter, and was not sent to a concentration camp but to a prison for deserters at Emsland where he stayed until March, 1944, when he was sent to Vienna. Is it a coincidence that Vienna was where S.S. recruits apparently were being sent? He tells us that he was sent off with a transport of Hungarian Jews after being held in Vienna for a week. Do you not think that he may very well have been sent as a guard? In evidence he said that when he was in Tettenborn as a Lagerältester a motor cyclist came and brought him an order to evacuate the camp. When asked about that he said that it did not mean that the order had been handed to him but to an Unterscharführer who was there. Similarly, he tells a story about going down to Dora to get medical supplies, but when it was pointed out that that was rather unusual for a prisoner, he replied that an Unterscharführer took him. My suggestion is that he made two very bad slips there. Having arrived at Belsen he apparently instructs Hoessler as to the running of Camp No. 2. Can you accept that if he was really a prisoner, a Lagerältester over 28 prisoners, he should suddenly become in charge of 15000 people and tell Hoessler how to run the camp? What is very much more likely is that he came as an S.S. man, and, like the other S.S. men in Camp No. 2, in these last few days he cycled down to Camp No. 1 to guard and to supervise the cleaning up of that camp.

Against Francioh there are many allegations. Quite obviously he tried to set up an alibi, and openly said that he was in gaol during the relevant periods in April. It is true that he was in gaol, but that was not during the period in question but before that time, when he said that he was doing nothing. On the evidence of the people from his own kitchen he is an obvious liar. A number of different shootings are alleged against him. Some criticism has been made of Dr. Bimko's evidence, and I particularly mention that one because in her affidavit she mentioned a man prisoner and in court she said: "I never said a man, I have throughout said a woman." The answer to that is this. The German for ""prisoner" is "Häftling," which is a male word, and whether man or a woman it is "Häftling." If you want to make it into a woman you use some different word. The woman who was acting as interpreter was not a German woman. If Dr. Bimko used the ordinary German word "Der Häftling" that would be quite applicable to a male prisoner or to a woman, because in the German language the article takes its gender from the word and not from the person represented by the word. I merely put that as a possible explanation because I would ask you to regard Dr. Bimko as undoubtedly one of the most reliable witnesses in this case. Francioh, of course, was let down by the members of the staff of his kitchen. Is not it plain that he was not only unpopular with the prisoners, but also with his own staff? He is the only one upon they have turned round in this way.

There are three different affidavits against Mathes of the same type, namely, shooting people trying to steal from the kitchen. Witness after witness has been called to say that Mathes was always in the bath-house, but do you really think that he was left in the bath-house these last three days playing cards when they were frantically trying to clean up the camp before the British arrived? Who were these people who were guarding the kitchen? The guard company had gone away, and there were S.S. people about that camp guarding. Is it not quite obvious that that is the time when Mathes, who had been a cook in the kitchen, when was brought out to do the guarding, and that that is when he started to do the shooting? Sauer, who was the woman in charge of the bath-house, said that she was sent out to do duties in the compound, and have you any doubt that Mathes was sent out to do the same? You will remember the letter which was sent by a woman in Holland, who said that the accused was employed in the cookhouse. She never mentioned that he was employed in the bath-house, but she said that although not originally a member of the S.S., he was bombarded into joining it, which he did not like. According to him, however, he joined the S.S. ten days after he left the kitchen and went into the bath-house.

Kulessa was a sergeant in the last war, and on being conscripted in May, 1944, he went to Strutthof [Stutthof] Concentration Camp for training and then to Mittelbau. He was there transferred to the S.S., although you may wonder, what he was doing on the concentration camp staff at Strutthof [Stutthof] if he was not in the S.S. You will remember the allegations against him with regard to the transport. He agrees he was in a coach by himself, but says he was not in charge. Perhaps not, but he was obviously the senior N.C.O. on that train. On that transport you had various allegations made against him of shooting prisoners on the way, and that there was no food or water on the journey for the Jews and very little for the Christians. Zamoski, when he asked for water, was told: "You can get some from my pistol." You have the allegations of shooting prisoners at Belsen station, and of beating them when ordered to clear up the roads. Have you any doubt about these stories? Hoessler himself says that he ordered him to get out and clean up the roads, and here you have a direct conflict between Hoessler and the accused. With regard to the water situation on the train, you have this extraordinary story about getting hot water out of the engine. Kulessa says that you could not get water, and yet Dr. Schmidt says: "There was no difficulty about getting water, and there was not a single complaint about it." Do not you come back to the old trouble that, having put the prisoners into the carriages, nobody cared whether they got food or water? That is why transport after transport came into Belsen with people dead and dying in it.

Burgraf is one of the Polish accused, and the evidence against him is that he behaved badly at Dritte, and when he came to Belsen he continued to do so. He became a functionary in Block 19, where, it is alleged, he was armed with a table leg. It is strange that at Belsen he should be described as having a table leg since at Dritte he is described by quite different witnesses as having had a square thick stick. He admits that he was a foreman at Dritte and that he did beat people if he had grounds, but he says that no Kapo beat anybody unless he had grounds and that he was not a Kapo. Ostrowski said that men from Camp No. 1 came and chased the fit men out of Block 19 to drag corpses but Burgraf, who was an apparently fit man himself, says that he was not required to do so. The procession went past and he was standing outside the door, but he says he never saw a soul beaten in that procession. Can you believe that? I suggest to the Court that it is quite true that Burgraf did, in fact, accept the function, and did, in fact, beat prisoners in that block with that stick.

Egersdorf is one of the old hands from Auschwitz, where he had been for four or five years. In Belsen he was in charge of the food store, and Almaleh in her affidavit says that when a girl came out of the bread store Egersdorf asked what she was doing, and she said she was hungry and ran away. Thereupon he pulled out a revolver and shot her. Egersdorf says he dismissed the girl because she did not work properly, and that he only went to the bread store once. How reliable he is is perhaps seen by the rest of his evidence. He never saw a single case of beating at Belsen. He remembers the procession dragging the corpses; it came past his bread store, but he never saw any prisoners beaten. When a man lies like that, can you believe him when he is speaking about himself?

The JUDGE ADVOCATE - That is the only concrete evidence, as far as I know, of an allegation of ill-treatment. The point raised by the Defence was that the evidence goes to show that the ill-treatment was not of an Allied national, but in connection with a Hungarian girl. I should like to know what view you take of that?

Colonel BACKHOUSE - I have said throughout that the only reason for putting these particular incidents to any of these people is to show that they, having joined this staff, accepted and joined in this ill-treatment of persons in the camp. The fact that the individual person whom he is actually seen ill-treating is Hungarian or German would not, in my submission, matter if the Court believe that he is taking a part in this systematic ill-treatment which is going on. This man was one who came to Belsen, who joined the staff and accepted what was going on, and added his little bit to the whole. The fact that the particular person he killed in Hungarian is neither here nor there if you are satisfied he is, in fact, one of the people who came and engaged in this practice of shooting prisoners at Belsen.

There is a great deal of evidence and there are many witnesses against the accused, Pichen, and really the only point I want to make to the Court in regard to him is his change of appearance. A considerable point was made by the Defence that Litwinska failed to recognise him although she gave evidence of an incident which clearly referred to him; quite a lot of people failed to recognise him, and that was why I drew attention to his changed appearance. He himself agreed that at Belsen he wore his hair long, and if one looks at a photograph of him at Belsen, there is a difference, and you may think a substantial difference, in his appearance now from that at Belsen. There is a great deal of evidence against him and as to what went on in his kitchen. There is the account of shooting on the day of the S.S. parade; his story is that he never came back at all, and they say that he did and that he shot at and killed people. It really does not matter, in the least whether Pichen was ever in the bath-house at Dora or not, nor is there the slightest evidence that he was not there. The Defence have made a strong point on this question. I really do not mind whether he was there or not, but I do suggest it has not been proved that he was not there.

The evidence against Otto, the electrician, is very slight and simple, and the question is: Do you believe him or do you not? The allegation is that he caught Stojowska taking a bed from outside Block 213 and a day or so later he came into Block 201, where she lived, and found that the other Blockälteste had also got a bed, and he beat them both. He says that he never went near the place, but at the beginning of March he put the dentist's place right in Block 209 and he did repairs also to the lighting in Blocks 195 to 203. This man was undoubtedly round about that part of the camp, and was it not the practice of an S.S. man, if he saw something irregular, to take action there and then? A great point has been made that Block 213 was never empty and therefore there were never beds outside it. We have heard that this block became the men's typhus camp and a part of it was scrubbed out. Do you not think that when the place was being changed from a women's hut to a men's hut and it was having the floor scrubbed out, it is precisely the time when the Blockälteste's bed would be put outside?

I propose to deal with Stofel and Dorr together, because it is quite obvious that they are bound up together. I suggest from the outset that Stofel and Dorr knew they were coming to Belsen, although they said in the box that they did not know where they were going except that it was either to Herzberg, Neuengamme or Belsen. The two girls produced by the accused said that they were told they were going to Belsen. Have you any doubt that that is where they were going from the start? A great point was made that the first night was spent in Osterode in barracks and not in the stable as the affidavits say. Osterode was, of course, part of Dora - one of the outside camps. Have you any doubt that when the witnesses speak of the stable on the first night, and it being near Osterode, the position is that they remember the stable the first night after they left barracks? They have no doubt talked about it on the journey and been told they stayed the first night at Osterode, and that is why you get a description of Zeesen and the stables there. They thought they stayed the first night away from the concentration camp in Osterode, whereas, in fact, they were still in the concentration camp area. It is quite obvious it was Zeesen where the shootings took place, because the first day's march was to Osterode and the next day's march, a very different proposition, to Zeesen. The people who fell out were put on hand-carts and the next day they were to be put on the ration lorry, but on the next day no ration lorry came to Zeesen and that is why they stayed the extra night there, although they were ready to move off.

With regard to the extraordinary affair at Gross Hehlen, I have never suggested that these people were not turned out of the village by someone who came and told them that they were right in the line and were to move up. What I do turn down is the suggestion that the prisoners were moved off down the road by the guard of the fighting S.S. whilst the real guards finished their packing up and watched the prisoners go, and that it was the Waffen S.S. who did the shooting as the they went. There are too many things to go wrong in that story. You have the story of the S.S. in a barn some 50 yards away from the prisoners washing and shaving. On the other hand, you have the two girls saying: "Nothing of the kind, we were all together." You have the story of Dorr and Stofel of these people rushing up chasing the prisoners out of the barn, firing as they go. You have the other story, that the prisoners fell in. Steinbusch says that Stofel gave the order to the S.S., and the S.S. guards gave the order to the prisoners and the prisoners fell in. The Bürgermeister, with no interest one way or the other, said that he knew nothing about it except that he saw them all fall in and wait there. Now, if Stofel's story is true, that never occurred: these people were chased down the road out of the barn, and it was utter chaos. You have the story of Dorr's that he was left by himself in the courtyard shaving when everyone had gone, but Neumann said that Kraft and Kunz, the two cooks, stayed behind all the time. Can you believe the ridiculous suggestion that these Waffen S.S. not only chased the prisoners down the road to this wood where they stopped, but actually accompanied them the whole way to the aerodrome six kilometres away? Would fighting troops do this when their own guards were there? It is obvious that they were told to clear out, and that Stofel fell them in and, as the woman from the public house said, they moved away in good order and at a normal pace. Why was there not a single wounded man and why were these corpses shot in the side of the head? This is quite consistent with the allegation that Dorr shot each straggler along that route as the transport went along. There is also the fact that when Hoessler asked for an explanation they said that no shooting had occurred.

The next accused is Schreirer. Diament identified him from photographs as an S.S. man at Auschwitz. She knew nothing about him but had been told by male prisoners that he was extremely cruel. Kurowicki recognised him and remembered him as being at Auschwitz as a Blockführer. Koper is merely corroborating these two, and she says that for a time he was in charge of the cells at Auschwitz, and that when she saw him again in Belsen he had become a member of the Political Department. His defence is a complete denial and that he was nowhere near there. Koper may be a liar and unreliable, but she cannot be a diviner. How could she know before seeing him in custody that his nickname was "Hanzie," and that all his girl friends called him that? How did she divine that he spoke many languages before she ever spoke to him? He answered me in English before he realised it had not been interpreted, and he agrees he speaks Rumanian and German, and it is obvious that his mother speaks excellent Polish. How did Koper know that he was interested in music before she had the interview with him? He agrees that he is.

There are a number of coincidences. This man is recognised by Kurowicki and is said to be an S.S. man although he is wearing a Wehrmacht jacket, and S.S. trousers and boots. When one looks in his pocket there is a photograph of him dressed in S.S. uniform. When his wallet appears, although he says he was never in Linz in 1945, you find this theatre ticket with the photograph of the girl Christl. Then you find a letter, which makes it clear he has seen Christl reasonably recently, that is, according to him, another Christl. Then you find a photograph with the inscription on the back, "In memory of a happy night in Saltau [Soltau]." Of course, Saltau [Soltau] is just 45 kilometres or so from Bergen-Belsen. With regard to the card which he produced, why does the doctor put an S.S. rank after his name? Is that not just the type of slip that a man who is making out a false card and has been in the S.S. might make? Instead of putting the army rank he puts the S.S. rank. How is it that he is wearing S.S. trousers and boots that fit him? He says they, were taken from a wounded man. Can you have any real doubt at all that this man was in fact a member of the S.S., and that the uniform he was wearing was really his and that he was stationed in Belsen when he took that girl out in Saltau [Soltau]?

The only allegation against Barsch is that he was kitchen chief of Kitchen No. 1, whilst the whole of the evidence goes to show that he was not and that he was the medical orderly in Camp No. 2. I would not ask the Court to say on this evidence that he was ever at Belsen at all.

With regard to the Lagerältester, Zoddel, there is affidavit after affidavit about him, he admits carrying a stick regularly, and admits freely what his duties were as Lagerältester. I do not propose to dwell on this beyond saying that Zoddel accepted the responsibility as one of the senior prisoners of the camp and that he abused that position, as all the S.S. did, and identified himself completely with the S.S. in the camp.

Schlomoivicz was in a number of camps before he came to Belsen and it is said that he regularly beat people. You may think that the affidavits are very moderate against him. He was one of the oldest Kapos and he says that he admits slapping people in preference to reporting them to the S.S., but that he only used his hand and never a stick.

Ostrowski was also a Kapo - or, rather a functionary - and was at Gross Rosen, Dora and then in Belsen. I suggest that his own witnesses made it quite plain that the allegations against him at Dora were true. In Belsen he was in Block 19 and insists he was never a functionary at all. He says that there were no parades in that block, and that no one was made to go out and drag corpses, but then he forgets when he says that that he has already said that men from No. 1 Camp chased people out to drag corpses. He says that all this time he was ill in bed with tonsillitis. Can you imagine that when this procession was going on, when the events Mr. Le Druillenec told us about were taking place, that he was really allowed to lie in bed because he had tonsillitis? It is an extraordinary thing, of course, that if he was not a functionary at all he had some function in this block and that in fact he was engaged, as the various witnesses say, in beating people and in various ill-treatments.

The next accused is the little man, Aurdzieg, who says he never had a stick in his hand in a concentration camp, had nothing to do with making prisoners go out to work and absolutely denies that he did any beating at all except, of course, with the hand when distributing food and somebody tried to get a double ration. He is the man who made a full confession to Captain Pipien of the French War Crimes Investigation Team, and you heard his extraordinary story of how that was alleged to have been obtained from him, how he was made to sign at the pistol point. I suggest that what he alleged Captain Pipien did is taken from a perfectly normal punishment in a concentration camp, with which he was familiar, but with which very probably Captain Pipien was not. Can you possibly believe that extraordinary statement as to how that evidence was obtained from him? He called a witness, who is at present serving 15 years for having beaten up a woman, to say that the beating of the Russian was done by the man Adam and two gipsies while the accused was sweeping the floor, at the other end of the block. Do you think for a moment that if somebody was being beaten to death you would take any notice of where a man was sweeping? Why do you think those boys got away from Belsen as fast as they could go?

Now you come to the two Forsters, Opitz, Klein, Bothe and so on, this collection of young women who almost invariably obtained their training in Langenbielau, and I do not propose to go through the evidence separately. Two other women were trained at Ravensbrück and two at Strutthof [Stutthof], but all these women have been at various times at Belsen all have been working in factories and all their efforts to put their arrivals late are curious. You get the impression that there was no discipline of any sort or kind - some suggest they just went off home and others went off to see various people. They all arrived at various times and practically all of them did an odd night's duty in the bath-house, from which they graduated to one or two days' duty about the camp, finally getting a position either in charge of the wood Kommando, the vegetable Kommando, or in one or other of these kitchens. Against every one of these women there is evidence of beating persons who carne to try and steal food, and these beatings are not alleged to be slaps on the face or boxing of the ears. The view which I invite you to form on the evidence is that what these women were doing was not merely running up and chasing somebody but that it went far further than that; it was the dragging of somebody in and beating hand beating her hard. Is it not quite plain that these women were going far beyond merely chasing people away from the huts? You have the body of evidence of girls who were employed in the various kitchens, and with regard to almost every one of these women you find exactly the same kind of allegation made by different people in different parts of the camp, and that is why I ask the Court to say that they are satisfied that these women were in fact beating in a way which went far beyond the mere slapping of faces and of chasing people away from the kitchens.

I asked a number of them had they not seen beating in the camp? - No. Had they seen corpses lying about the camp? - No. Had anyone heard of it? - No. Never mentioned it, never, talked about that sort of thing. Of course, all these women realised that they were in the camp, that they had all been doing it. They arrived in the camp, and instead of settling down to help these wretched people, they carried on as they had done in the factories where they had been and in the concentration camps where they had been trained. In my, submission the evidence against each of these women is virtually the same and I do not propose to go through it again.

Johanne Roth is a different type; she was a Stubendienst. Rosenzweig, Rormann and Helen Klein all made allegations against her of regular beatings of old and young women with wooden sticks or with the lath of a bed, and serious beatings which led in more than one case to severe injury and in some cases death. You have this quite extraordinary story, by this woman, who is alleged to be an Aelteste and who has been in Ravensbrück, Auschwitz No. 1, Birkenau, Budy, and in one or other of the Auschwitz camps since 1942, who says that she has never seen any beating, never seen a selection or a transport. She is the woman who says that prisoners played with Bormann's dog. She says she never saw Volkenrath or Ehlert or Weingartner, who was the Blockführer of her camp. The only time she ever beat anybody was with her hand or a small leather belt for overcrowding or trying to get a second helping. If ever there was a woman who, as a prisoner, has identified herself absolutely with the S.S., not only in the camps she has been in but also here in the dock when she gave evidence, I do suggest it is this woman. She has identified herself completely with the S.S. and not with the prisoners at all.

The only evidence against Hahnel is that she beat a woman in the bath-house, but you must remember, that she, according to Ilse Forster, was in Guben and that she should have arrived in Belsen early in February. You are left with one affidavit only, and as practically every Aufseherin spent a night in the bath-house you may think Hahnel was there and did beat a girl.

The Court may well think that Koper is one of the most extraordinary characters in this case. She is obviously a woman of intelligence, and most of the things that she has said have turned out to have a little more truth in them than the others. Is it not plain that Koper safeguarded herself at Auschwitz as an informer? She admits that she was two years in a Strafkommando, a month in which was generally enough for anybody, without being beaten when everybody else was. She says that was because she knew her rights, but you may well think she was a known informer and kept as such. At Belsen she was made a Blockälteste almost at once and then became a camp policewoman. Koper was obviously hand in glove with Starostka, and have you any doubt at all that throughout she was playing hard with the S.S. right from the word go? She stayed in the Strafkommando as an S.S. spy, and when she came to Belsen and got a job as a functionary, you may think that it was only because she got too big for her boots that on 1st March she was alleged to have been beaten up. She was obviously a woman who was not liked by the other prisoners, and they were only too pleased to beat her up when they got the opportunity. There are many allegations while she was Blockälteste, and she admits beating people with her belt and her hand. Then she puts up a rather extraordinary proposition; that when she was a policewoman she did not have a stick at all and did not beat anybody, that her sole job was standing outside the cookhouse when the soup was available and shouting. Ehlert says she was standing outside there with a stick in her hand. Then you have a story of Koper inside the block selling food - unfair distribution - anybody who gave her something got more from her, and a S.S. man was visiting her, and bringing her presents. That is Koper - with the S.S. all the way. All the time she was in that camp she was prepared to act as an informer of the S.S. and finally she had to beat women on their behalf as a Blockälteste keeping order in the compound.

With regard to Polanski, the witnesses say that he was an assistant Blockältester in Block No. 12, that he behaved extraordinarily badly, that he beat prisoners out of the block to bury the dead, and that he was one of that gang who were forcing people out of the block early in the morning. His answer is that during his whole stay in the camp he never had any function at all, never beat anyone, and himself was dragging these bodies. The Polish officer who gave evidence on his behalf said that Polanski visited him in Compound No. 1 and that you could not walk to Compound No. 1 unless you were a functionary. Polanski says he was never a functionary, but I submit that it is quite clear that he was engaged not in dragging corpses but in driving others to do it. There was some suggestion that his case had been enquired into by some Polish committee and they had nothing against him, but you will remember that when he was arrested he tried to run away when he was recognised by Engel and Fuchs. You may think that the reason was to save his own skin because he was acting on behalf of the S.S.

The last of the accused, Starostka, has set up a curious defence. She has in effect said: "I admit almost every allegation you made against me. I admit that within a very short time of coming into a concentration camp I became a Blockälteste. I admit I beat people in the blocks. I admit that a very short time after that I became a Lagerälteste. I admit that I gained the confidence of the Germans. I admit that I did that deliberately. I admit I went on selection parades. I admit I went round with the numbers of the persons. I admit that I beat them. I did not beat them after l became Lagerälteste, but I admit that I had to try and keep in with the Germans, and that was what I was trying to do. What I was trying to do was a sort of Underground Movement in the camp. I took the view that if l could get this position I could help the prisoners against the S.S. I was doing a sort of Scarlet Pimpernel. I was intending to work for the S.S. and no doubt the prisoners thought that, but I was looking after their interests."

If you accept that, naturally she would be entitled to an acquittal. But can you conceivably accept that? Do the witnesses bear that out, quite apart from the witnesses for the Prosecution? Szparaga says, "She created an atmosphere of fear in the whole block, Block No. 26," quite apart from the ones who say she was denouncing people to the S.S. and that she was regularly beating people in the block. Starostka says there was one German, one Jewish and one Polish Lagerälteste, but her first two witnesses quite definitely say that that is not true, and that apart from her, the other two Lagerältesten were German. In other words, she was the only Polish woman who would accept the position, and she played for it and got it. The little girl Wojciechowska was supposed to have been saved from the gas chamber by Starostka, as Starostka said that she had particularly protected her and sent her to the hospital. But Wojciechowska says: "I had no shoes, and when I got some I went off to work with my working party." The witnesses Janicka and Komsta both said that everybody was bad except Starostka, but in almost the same words they said that they were warned that Block No. 7 was a very bad place to go to because Starostka was a very bad woman, and that when they got there they found that it was not so. The answer is that they were both Aryan Poles, and they were favourites all the way through. The game was given away by the witness Nowogrodzka, who started off by saying that Starostka did her best, but when asked very searching questions by the learned Judge Advocate she eventually made it quite clear that Starostka did nothing whatsoever for anybody but Aryan Poles, and that what she did was to put Aryan Poles in a favourable position and not to pay the slightest attention to the others. She was a reasonably educated and not unattractive woman who found herself in that concentration camp and made herself indispensable to the S.S., and she accepted any position which was given to her. She went the whole way; and is there the slightest evidence to support her story that she was doing this not for her own benefit but for the benefit of other people? When she came to Belsen she accepted the same position, and disappeared from the camp before the British arrived. There is considerable evidence of her having beaten people and made them kneel, which she admits, with one curious exception, namely, that she will have it that she never beat anybody as Lagerälteste - although everybody has said she did. Could she possibly have preserved her position in the camp with the others who were doing the beating without taking part in it herself?

I do not put this case as individual cases against the accused, and whilst you must, of course, examine individual cases to whether you believe the witnesses and to satisfy yourselves beyond a reasonable doubt that each one of these people took part in this joint offence, the way in which the Prosecution puts its case is that there was existing in Germany during the period covered by these charges an organization which quite deliberately murdered and ill-treated a great number of Allied people. In my submission, any person who took part in that ill-treatment or in those murders, however early or late they may have joined the conspiracy if you are satisfied that they in fact did join it and took part in the ill-treatment of Allied nationals either at Auschwitz or Belsen, then, although their part may be small they had joined in a conspiracy and they must bear their responsibility within the law. I ask you to say, having regard to what was found at Auschwitz, that any person in this dock who took a part, however small, in the ill-treatment of prisoners at Auschwitz must bear their responsibility in the face of that dreadful set-up; that any person who took part in these selections, however small that part, and knowing the purpose of these selections, is guilty of murder, and the fact that their part was small is neither here nor there. Nor is the fact that they were working under orders. If they knew that what they were doing was wrong, and if they did it, knowing it was wrong, merely because they were prepared to fall in with the scheme, then I say they have got to stand up when evil is proposed to them or they must take the consequence of doing the evil which is put before them. At Belsen you have not the gas chambers, but you have conditions created there which may well have been worse. You have people dying in very drawn-out agony, which was not thought of in Auschwitz. In my submission, it is immaterial whether that was deliberate, because these people were no longer fit to work for the Reich and therefore they were to be left to starve, or whether it was the result of gross neglect by the persons who were placed in charge. If persons take part in such an enterprise, whether they join it early or late, if they were the head of it, as Kramer was, or if they were the tail of it, as were some of the Kapos who joined possibly to save their skins, they cannot evade their responsibility. I say if you are satisfied that they did take a part, however small, in it, then they are guilty of the crime.

This Court is doing justice, and if you have any reasonable doubt in the case of any of the accused, quite rightly you will acquit them. If, on the other hand, you are satisfied in respect of all or any of these persons that they knew what was happening, that they realised that these people were dying of neglect, and they took part in it, then, in my submission, there can be only one verdict on whichever charge it may be, and that is that they are guilty. This case started, by a singular coincidence, on the Jewish Day of Atonement. It is a very long time ago, and if the Court are satisfied of the guilt of any of these prisoners they have only one duty, and that is to declare them guilty.

The Trial (Prosecution - Closing Speech)