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

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Pinkus, Filo)

(97) DEPOSITION OF FILO PINKUS (Pole) (Not sworn)

On the day of my arrival in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, I made the acquaintance of the camp inmate, Antoni Aurdzieg, a Pole, who was overseer of block 12. I was amongst those assigned to his block. Aurdzieg received us with blows and hit us with stools, iron bars, rubber truncheons, etc. This was the usual thing in every camp.

The word "block" means a large building about 45 metres long and about 6 metres wide. Some 1200 prisoners were housed in one such block. Aurdzieg had a block like this and its inmates under his charge. I can clearly remember that on Thursday, the 12.4.45, it was about 7.30, the painter Grünzweig, a Pole from Vilna, did not want to do his work as he felt too weak. He remained in the block. Aurdzieg ordered Grünzweig to leave the block and to get to work. Aurdzieg had some object in his hand, what it was I am now unable to say, and beat Grünzweig with it until he collapsed and died. I was in the block at the time and saw the incident described above quite clearly. I can well remember that day, as I had several teeth knocked out by thee Camp Overseer with an iron bar. I had also several blows on my left hand.

On Sunday, the 15.4.45, about 8 o'clock, a Russian national, whose name I do not know, failed to report at Block 13 for work in connexion [connection] with the dead. He was passing by Block 12 and, in doing so, unintentionally brushed against Aurdzieg. The latter dealt him a blow, and the Russian hit back. Aurdzieg called his deputy and the orderlies of the room-service out from Block 12. All these persons then dragged the Russian into the block, where they fell upon him, beating him up with all kinds of things, until he lay lifeless on the floor. I personally witnessed this incident as I myself was in the block, at the time. The Russian’s dead body was removed to another block, where there were several other corpses. That other men besides were killed by Aurdzeig (I am unable to say), I saw only the two above-cited cases. I can fully guarantee the truth of my statements. I should like to add that on several hundreds of occasions I have seen, as an eye-witness, Aurdzieg beating his fellow-prisoners with (various) objects so that they were physically disabled. He was able to continue with this kind of thing unhindered, as none of the men in charge of the camp or on guard bothered about such things, but even tolerated them.

I should like to mention the following incident. On 10th April, 1945, in the course of the morning, I saw, when the hot soup was being served out by Aurdzieg, that the latter demanded of my fellow-prisoner, Lajwand, five Russian gold roubles, and also received them. Lajwand had asked Aurdzieg to give him a little more soup. After Lajwand had given Aurdzieg the rouble-piece and then asked for soup, Aurdzieg turned and beat Lajwand with a stick. I also know that Aurdzieg got a diamond out of the Polish Jew, Marxo (or Marzo), also an inmate of the camp, who wanted Aurdzieg to give a little more soup. However, he did not give him any, but beat Marxo, too, repeatedly. The only reason why I am giving these details is to convey some idea of what kind of person Aurdzieg is.

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Pinkus, Filo)