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

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Basch, Arnost)


2. I was arrested by the Germans and have been at Laurahütte, Hanover [Hannover], and Belsen Camps. In all three camps I knew Ignatz Schlomoivicz, who was a Kapo. He has come into the room during my examination and I recognise him.

3. He treated the prisoners in a brutal manner. He frequently hit and beat people without cause. I have seen him hit at least ten men, some old and some young, and injure them to the extent of making them bleed. Schlomoivicz carried out beatings with a rubber cable, except that at Belsen he used a stick. The beatings at Laurahütte were towards the end of last year, at Hanover [Hannover] about February of this year and at Belsen about March and April, up to the time that the British liberated the prisoners.

4. It may have been necessary for the Kapo to use his hands to keep order, but the beatings with the piece of cable and with the stick were out of all reason, entirely unnecessary and quite unjustified.

5. When things were very bad at Belsen and a large number of prisoners were dying daily, Schlomoivicz showed great callousness, and on a parade of prisoners, said, "50 people died to-day; unless order is kept I will see that 100 die to-morrow." I have never seen anybody die as a result of beatings by Schlomoivicz, and this statement by him really had no meaning, but had a bad effect on the morale of the prisoners, which was already very low owing to the horrible conditions of the camp.

The following two paragraphs were not read out in Court due to an objection:

6. In Hanover [Hannover] about February last a Dutch boy was beaten and so injured that he had to be taken to hospital. I was employed in the hospital at the time. I was told that Schlomoivicz was the man who had beaten and injured the boy, but I did not see this. I do not know exactly what the boy’s injuries consisted of but I saw him carried in unconscious with a blanket over his body and was afterwards told by a doctor that he had had a bad beating and might not recover. Schlomoivicz came into the hospital after the boy had recovered consciousness and in my presence said to the boy, who was looking very bad, "You scoundrel, do you want to eat? You are going to die and I shall give your meal to somebody else."

7. I do not know whether the Dutch boy recovered, as two days later I left Hanover [Hannover] for Belsen.

Appendices (Affidavits & Statements - Basch, Arnost)