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

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Trieger, Edith)

(87) DEPOSITION OP EDITH TRIEGER (Slovak, aged 20)

2. At Auschwitz I knew an S.S. woman by the name of Grese and I identify her as No. 2 on photograph Z/4/2. I have now been told that her full name is Irma Grese. Grese was at Auschwitz from about June, 1942, until 31st October, 1944. Until May, 1944, Grese was in charge of working parties of women, but from that date onwards until she left the camp she was a Rapportführerin. I also saw Grese in Belsen after I left Auschwitz.

3. In August, 1944, I saw this S.S. woman Grese at Auschwitz shoot a Hungarian Jewess who was aged about 30 years. I saw this incident from my block. At this time a transport of prisoners was arriving at the camp by train, and when prisoners arrived all prisoners in the camp were confined to their blocks. The Hungarian woman stood outside the block watching the transport arrive, when Grese approached the woman on her bicycle. She stopped and got off her bicycle about five metres away from the woman, and shouted to the woman, "Get in your block." Then, without giving the woman an opportunity to go to her block, Grese produced a revolver from a holster she was carrying, aimed at the woman and fired. The woman fell to the ground and stayed there unconscious. Grese rode away on her bicycle, leaving the woman there. I saw all this occur from the distance of about 50 metres. After about a quarter of a hour the transport passed by and Grese disappeared from view. I then went to the woman who had been shot and found that she had a bullet-hole through the left breast. I pulled her clothes open and saw the hole where the bullet had penetrated and left the body. There was a pool of blood on the ground and the woman’s clothing was soaked in blood. The woman was dead. I am quite certain of this, as I put a mirror to the woman's mouth to test whether she was breathing and it did not cloud over. After satisfying myself that the woman was actually dead I returned to my block. No one else came to see the body at that time as we were still confined to our blocks. The body lay in the road for another hour and then other prisoners came out and carried the body away to a spot behind a hut and covered it with a blanket. I did not see the body after that.

4. One day in the beginning of October, a selection to choose people for the gas chamber was made inside the block in which I lived. Selections were sometimes made outside and sometimes inside the block. The selectors were Kommandant Kramer, Dr. Mengele, S.S. woman Drechsler and S.S. woman Mandel, Dr. Mengele was in charge of the selection. The woman Grese was present, moving about the block in the passage and round the door of the block. All the women in the block had to undress. I was excused as I was a Block Leader. Those selected were taken to my room to await removal to the gas chamber and I was ordered to keep those selected in my room. Drechsler stood near to me all the time and I was made to stand in front of the doorway of my room with my hands outstretched. The selected persons endeavoured to escape by passing under my arms and between my legs. When an opportunity occurred I let them do so and they ran out into the street. Grese saw this. One or two got away, but Grese caught the majority, and beat them with her hands and kicked them until they were forced back into the room. All the girls were naked.

5. I saw many selections in Camp C at Auschwitz and Grese was invariably present. At the smaller ones I have seen Grese sort out the weaker women and send them off for removal to the gas chamber. I have also seen Grese beating women prisoners at the camp every day, sometimes with her hands, sometimes with a rubber stick and sometimes kicking them.

6. I recognise Hilde Lohbauer, who I know by name, as No. 3 on photograph Z/4/2. This woman was at Auschwitz from March, 1942, and was still there when I left. I later saw her at Belsen. Lohbauer was a German Aryan who had been arrested as an undesirable element. At first this woman used to work as an assistant supervisor to parties of women prisoners going out of the camp to work. Later she worked in the camp selecting prisoners for working parties. I have frequently seen this woman beat other women prisoners, sometimes with her hands and sometimes with a wooden stick. Beatings by this woman occurred daily. She would beat women for not lining up quickly on parade or for any trifling offence. Sometimes she would beat other women for no reason at all except that she did not like them. She was very sadistic. During the daytime Lohbauer, after selecting working parties, patrolled the camp as a police guard, striking women for small of offences or because they did not satisfy her. I have seen Lohbauer beat women across the head, shoulders and body, often making them bleed. I did not see her kill anyone or knock anyone unconscious but I have been told by other prisoners that some of the victims had to be taken to hospital for treatment as the result of injuries inflicted on them by this woman. I cannot recall any particular incident, as beatings by this woman were a daily occurrence.

7. I recognise Elisabeth Volkenrath, who I know by name, as No. 6 on photograph 22 . I have seen Volkenrath at Auschwitz frequently beating women prisoners on all parts of the body with a rubber stick. At selection parades for the gas chamber I have seen Volkenrath make selections herself of persons who were to go. I myself was picked out by Volkenrath on a selection parade for the gas chamber, but managed to escape at an opportune moment. Others selected by Volkenrath were sent to Block 25 of Camp A for transfer to the gas chamber. Persons so selected and sent to this block were not seen again.

8. I identify No. 2 on photograph 37 as an S.S. supervisor of Kitchen No. 2 at Belsen. I have now been told that her name is Frieda Walter. I have seen this woman beating women prisoners who approached the kitchen, practically every day. I have seen her beat prisoners, usually over the head and face, with her hands, with a hosepipe or anything handy at the time, and sometimes kick them. I did not see anyone killed or rendered unconscious by this woman.

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Trieger, Edith)