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

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Erman, Renée)

(30) DEPOSITION OF RENEE ERMAN (French, aged 31)

3. On arriving at Auschwitz I worked as a nurse in the experimental laboratory in Block 10. I was present on many occasions when S.S. Dr. Weber experimented by taking the blood from women for soldiers at the Front. This process was often repeated until the person became very weak. He also took blood from a woman of one blood group which he injected into a woman of a different blood group. This often caused serious illness. In one case a woman died in the laboratory due to this operation. This doctor also carried out experiments in rheumatism, and I know that one woman had 45 injections, the doctor measuring the change of her heart. This made her very ill. Persons coming into Block 10 were always the fittest, and sometimes up to 300 were in this block. They were kept whilst a course of experiments was carried out and then sent away. I should state that the camp in which this experimental block was situated was a men's camp, and women were only brought there for experimental purposes. When they left this block they were sent to Birkenau where a selection was made to find those fit for work. Most of the people who left this experimental block were not in a fit condition for work. I have been told by friends that these sick people were always sent to Block 25, which meant that they subsequently went to the gas chamber.

4. I also know a Dr. Schumann (? Schulmann) who experimented on young Greek girls (virgins) for sterilisation. These girls were taken to another block where they were subjected to very strong X-rays which resulted in their sexual organs being dried up. These operations did, in fact, sterilise these girls, and many of the weaker ones died as a result of them. Those that survived were brought back in batches of 10 to 12 for inspection. They were again operated on and the female sex organs removed, which resulted in their deaths in 4 or 5 days. I did not myself see the actual operations performed, but I did see the results, as it was my duty to dress the wounds of the women. The girls who had these operations carried out on them only came to Block 10 after the operation. The operations were carried out in a different block. I saw four Greek girls die as a result of operations by this doctor.

5. There was also an S.S. Dr. Wirtz. He used to experiment on women between the ages of 40 and 50 who were having their menopause, apparently looking for a kind of cancer, i.e. fibrum. He used to take part of the womb out for examination under the microscope. The women became very ill as a result of this. I did not see any of these operations carried out, but heard of them from patients who had been experimented on, and nurses who were present at the operation. These operations were carried out in Block 10, but not in my part of the block. Similar operations were carried out by Dr. Samuel, a prisoner.

6. There was also another S.S. doctor, by name of Prof. Globerg, who carried out experiments. This man was a famous doctor from Berlin. I have been present during his experiments and have seen him inject something into the womb of women and then place an electric plate on their stomachs. The current was then turned on. This was done while the patients were still conscious and no anaesthetic was used. This experiment did not take long, but must have caused a great deal of pain to the person experimented on, because I have heard them shout and cry in pain. Many found it impossible to walk afterwards and had to go to bed. None of these people died in hospital as a result of these experiments, but, as I have said before, it is certain that when they went to Birkenau they went to the gas chamber as I am sure they could not work. Many prisoners who were in this block were very sick but tried not to show it, as they knew they would sent immediately to Birkenau and then to the gas chamber. Those that remained in the block had this experiment made on them two or three times. Four or five injections were also given to the prisoners by this doctor. The object, according to Prof. Globerg, was to sterilise, but I cannot say whether it did, in fact, result in sterilisation. Most of the doctor’s experiments were carried out on the younger, and more beautiful women so that when photographs were taken the best results were obtained. The photographs were of the lower part of the trunk and it is natural that from an experimental point of view they would be better on the young than on the old. These photographs were taken 24 hours after the experiment.

8. In the summer of 1944, I witnessed the public hanging of four women under the supervision of S.S. man Hoessler, whom I identify as No. 1 on photograph 9. At this time Block 10 had been moved from the men's camp to a women's camp near by, and renamed Block "1" women’s camp. Hoessler was in charge of this camp. The persons hung were accused of assisting other persons to destroy the crematorium. Some explosives had been stolen from a store outside the camp, and the four girls were the persons in charge of this store. They were therefore held responsible for the loss and were hung.

9. In Prison Block 11 at Auschwitz were kept political prisoners, including women and children. I myself have seen on many occasions batches of about 100 taken out naked and put against the wall and shot. The shooting was done by S.S. guards on the orders of Kommandant Schwarz.

10. I recognise S.S. Dr. Klein in photograph 9, No. 5. In my presence at Auschwitz he selected victims for the gas chamber.

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Erman, Renée)