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

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Stein, Ilona)

(133) DEPOSITION OF ILONA STEIN (Hungarian, aged 20)

2. Whilst I was at Birkenau an S.S. woman named Irma Grese was responsible for many beatings, one murder and sending people to the gas chamber. I identify No. 2 on photograph Z/4/2 as Irma Grese. What I speak of I speak of to my own knowledge.

3. In July, 1944, I was working in the kitchen at Birkenau when I saw a woman, whose daughter was in an adjoining camp, go to the dividing wire in order to speak to her daughter. Grese, who was passing on a bicycle, immediately got off, took off her leather belt and beat the woman with it. She also beat her on the face and head with her fists, and when the woman fell to the ground she trampled on her. The woman’s face became swollen and blue. A friend of the woman’s daughter took her away and the woman was in hospital for three weeks suffering from the effects of the beating. I saw everything myself that Grese did to this victim.

4. Whilst at Birkenau I have seen Grese making selections with Dr. Mengele of people to be sent to the gas chamber. On these parades Grese herself chose the people to be killed in this way. In one selection about August, 1944, there were between 2000 and 3000 selected. At this selection Grese and Mengele were responsible for selecting those for the gas chamber. People chosen would sometimes sneak away from the line and hide themselves under their beds. Grese would go and find them, beat them until they collapsed and then drag them back into the line again. I have seen everything I describe. It was general knowledge in this camp that persons selected in this way went to the gas chamber.

5. Some time in August or September, 1944, at one of these selection parades, one Hungarian woman who had been selected tried to escape from the line and join her daughter in another line which was for those not chosen. Grese noticed this and ordered one of the S.S. guards to shoot the woman, which he did. I did not hear the order, but I saw Grese speak to the guard and he shot at once. In company of some nurses from the hospital I took the dead body to the mortuary.

6. I recognise No. 6 on photograph 19 as an S.S. woman in charge of a kitchen at Belsen. I have now been told that her name is Ida Forster. One day in march, 1945, I saw her beat, with a stick and with her fists, a woman because she tried to steal some food from the kitchen. The woman fell to the ground and she then commenced to kick her. I have seen her concerned with numerous such beatings.

7. I recognise No. 5 on photograph 1 as being an S.S. kitchen chief at Belsen. I have no been told that his name is Karl Flrazich [Francioh). About 12th April, 1945, a girl whom I know as Broche, Christian name, came into the kitchen whilst I was there, to bring back some empty tins. She did not try to steal anything and for no apparent reason Flrazich shot her in the chest and she died in the kitchen. I myself saw the shooting and the girl die. Other prisoners, friends of the girl, later took her to the big pit which acted as a communal grave. The same day whilst I was in the kitchen, I saw him shoot two girls with his revolver as they went past the kitchen. One was hit in the arm and the other in the leg. The two girls, whose names I do not know, were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Stein, Ilona)