The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others

Exhibit 35 Affidavit of Wilhelm Grünwald


DEPOSITION OF WILHELM GRÜNWALD (male) late of Košice, Czechoslovakia, sworn before Major Savile Geoffrey Champion, Royal Artillery, Legal Staff, No. 1 War Crimes Investigation Team.

1. I am 27 years of age and as a Jewess [Jew] was arrested in May, 1944. I was taken to Birkenau concentration camp which I left on 18th January, 1945, and after passing through several camps arrived at Belsen on 14th February, 1945.

2. About 10th April, 1945, whilst at Belsen I saw two prisoners crawl through a hole in the wire surrounding Kitchen No. 2. They were attempting to steal some carrots piled up there. Before the two prisoners could reach the pile I saw an SS man, whom I recognise as No. 3 on photograph No. 3 shoot at them with his pistol and the prisoners fell. I have now been told that this SS man's name is Fritz Mathes. About twenty minutes later I saw other prisoners collect the two prisoners who had been shot and were lying on the ground and carry their bodies away to a pile of corpses. I have no doubt that the men were killed by Mathes.

3. I recognise No. 5 on photograph 25 as an SS woman at Belsen. I have now been told that her name is Herta Bothe. Between 1st and 15th April, 1945, I saw several very weak female prisoners carrying a food container from the kitchen to the block. As it was filled and very heavy the women could not stand the weight and put it down to rest. At that moment I saw Bothe shoot at the two prisoners with her pistol. They fell down but I cannot say whether they were dead or wounded, but as they were very weak thin and under-nourished I have no doubt that they died.

4. I recognise No.5 on photograph Z/4/3. He was Lagerältester at the Gross Rosen labour camp, about 70 km from Auschwitz, before coming to Belsen. I have never seen him beat or kill other prisoners, but I have been told by other prisoners that he has beaten them. I am now told his name is Stanislaw Kacyska.

Sworn by the said deponent Wilhelm Grünwald at Belsen this 4th day of June 1945.

(Signed) Wilhelm Grünwald

Before me

(Signed) S.G. Champion, Major. R.A.

I hereby certify that, the said deponent not understanding English, this affidavit was translated in my presence to the said deponent before swearing and I am satisfied that its contents were fully understood by the said deponent. Dated this 4th day of June 1945.

(Signed) S.G. Champion, Major. R.A.

I hereby certify that I have accurately translated this affidavit to the said deponent.

Dated this 4th day of June, 1945.

(Signed) Traute Neumann, Civilian Interpreter.

Josef Hauptman

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