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

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Wiesner, Dr. Zdenek)


Kramer used to be leader in another camp named Natzweiler. I was sent here from Auschwitz as a doctor to deal with an outbreak of typhus. There were between 400 and 500 cases of typhus. I am a specialist in typhus. Kramer was not the Kommandant of this camp when I arrived here. I have forgotten the name of the former Kommandant. It is difficult to keep count of time, so that I do not know exactly on what date Kramer actually took this camp over. I gave certain patients what treatment I could, but I had no vaccine, and my treatment was mainly confined to strengthening the heart. In many cases I saw injections of petrol and creosol being given by the S.S. orderlies. In some cases big lumps were caused by these injections being given by untrained men. I was called in to operate on these lumps in three cases. As a doctor I can positively say that the liquid with which these persons were injected was petrol or creosol. Furthermore, on one occasion a bottle of petrol was lost and I was personally threatened with an injection of petrol, as it was thought that the loss of this petrol was due to sabotage. I was also asked on another occasion by the Lagerführer (who was the Camp Leader appointed by the Kommandant) whether I would take part in these petrol injections. Dr. Jaeger, an S.S, doctor, was the head doctor at that time. Later on, Dr. Jaeger left and was succeeded by Dr. Klein, who was in the camp when the camp was taken.

After the outbreak of typhus there was an outbreak of erysipelas in which I again was asked to finish off injected persons by these injections. There were about 10 to 15 cases. Another doctor, a Russian named Larion Michailowski, of Kiev, was present when I received this request. I only dealt with men, I had nothing to do with women.

I cannot give an estimate of the deaths that occurred during the whole year I was here, as conditions grew worse and worse as other camps were evacuated into this camp. I estimate that during the last three months there were 25000 deaths. In many cases half of the prisoners were dead in the railroad carriages that brought them here. I am afraid the figure of deaths as given for the last three months is even too low, considering the increasing mortality rate which towards the end was between 500 and 1400 per day. There was a gradual increase of typhus, but the majority of deaths was due to hunger. During the last 12 days we had no bread, but only swedes boiled in water. Before that there was a period during which we had only a ration of 50 grams of bread per day.

On one occasion, I think it was in January or February, 1945, at any rate during the winter months, a transport arrived from another camp, I think Natzweiler, containing about 2000 prisoners. These 2000 were in quarantine for typhus and put in one building and not allowed out. This building had a concrete floor and holes in the roof, and I personally saw prisoners lying on that floor without bedding of any sort. I do not think that there were any survivors of these 2000 prisoners. I personally accompanied a Dr. Horstmann, who used to be in Sachsenhausen or Oranienburg, and protested to him about these conditions.

Owing to the prevailing hunger, many people tried at night to get into the stores to get potatoes or swedes and were shot. I personally saw the bodies lying on the ground and it was said in the camp that the shooting was a sport enjoyed by the guards and that Kramer himself took part in it. On one occasion there were said to be 52 bodies, but I personally saw only 45.

I personally witnessed many floggings, and the number of strokes varied from 25 to 50. Deaths occurred as a consequence of these floggings. I personally have seen about 20 bodies with either the ears, the liver or other intestines or the scrotum or the penis cut out by a knife. This was strictly forbidden, but I actually saw a man produce from his coat a human liver and eat it. Some people were caught and shot for this. The liver was the part usually cut out.

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Wiesner, Dr. Zdenek)