The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others
IN THE MATTER OF WAR CRIMES AND ATROCITIES AT VARIOUS CONCENTRATION CAMPS
DEPOSITION OF IRENE LÖFFLER (female) late of 1 Agnieszki, Kraków, Poland, sworn before Captain Alfred James Fox, General List, D.A.P.M. 86 Special Investigation Section, C.M. Police.
1. I am 24 years of age and because I am a Jewess I was ordered by the Germans in March 1941 to live in a Ghetto in Kraków. In January 1945 [Probably 1943, as Płaszów was not constructed until the summer of 1942 and became a KZ in 1943. However the Kraków Ghetto liquidation started March 1943] I was transferred to Płaszów labour camp, which later became a concentration camp. In October 1941 [1943 or 1944] I was transferred to Birkenau and in the same month to Auschwitz. In January 1945 I came to Belsen.
2. I recognise Herta Ehlert, (No. 5 on photo 22) as being an SS woman who was at Płaszów. On 14th May 1944 many of the children, sick and aged were being evacuated. I saw Ehlert on this day pick up a child of between on e and two years, grasp it by the calves of the legs and with all her strength stretch the child's legs apart. She did this two or three times and the child's legs were stretched far beyond any normal position. It is my opinion that no child could survive such treatment.
3. During my stay at Płaszów I saw Lagerkommandant Göth commit many murders details of which I now give. One day in March 1943 I saw the following incident. A friend of mine whose name was Olmer, aged 26, and whose home address was Miclec, was ordered by Göth to strip to the waist. Göth had two big dogs which he ordered to attack my friend Olmer. After Olmer had been bitten on the body for about two minutes Göth recalled the dogs and examined Olmer. Not satisfied Göth made the dogs attack Olmer twice more and carried out two more examinations. He then ordered Olmer to strip completely and turn round. When Olmer did this Göth took out his revolver and shot him in the back of the head. I then went to the delousing hut where I was employed. Five minutes later the clothes of my friend were brought in for spraying and delousing. This is what happened to all clothing taken from dead people. In January or February 1943 I was one of the labour detachment comprised of males and females employed in the arduous task of filling wheelbarrows with sand. A boy of about 18 years tried to help a girl to fill a barrow when Göth appeared on the scene. Without a word Göth pulled out his revolver and shot the boy in the back of the head. Nearby was an open grave about 15 metres long where there were already 9 people laying dead. Prisoners were ordered by Göth to carry the boy's body to this grave and the ten bodies were then burned with wood and petrol. A thin layer of earth was afterwards thrown over the bodies. A cousin of mine Estha Weiz aged 20 years, lived in the same quarters as me in Płaszów. The girl's mother lived about 10 minutes walk away in Kraków ghetto. One day in January or February 1943 the girl left the camp without permission to see her mother and it was discovered at Appell that she was missing. The following day the girl was brought back to the camp by the Kraków police. At 4 p.m. the same afternoon a special parade for all prisoners was ordered at which I was present. On the parade ground gallows had been erected. My cousin and another girl guilty of some offences were brought before the parade and in front of the gallows. Göth then told all the people the reasons for the two girls being there and said he was going to hang them. My cousin asked for mercy and when it was not forthcoming asked permission to be blindfolded. This request was refused. One of the prisoners employed as a camp policeman was ordered by Göth to put the nooses around the girls necks. The steps were then kicked away and the girls were hung. At the same time Göth shot them both with his revolver.
4. I recognise Karl Flrazich (No. 5 on photograph 1) as kitchen chief at Bergen-Belsen. One day in February 1945 I was passing the kitchen storeroom when a Russian girl in front of me stopped to talk from the outside with a girl in the kitchen. While she talking Flrazich shot the Russian girl. I was working in the hospital at the time and was present when the body of the girl was brought in. The doctor with whom I was working told me that the girl was dead. I do not know the girl’s name nor the name of the doctor.
Sworn by the said deponent Irene Löffler at Belsen Camp this 26th day of May 1945.
(Signed) Irene Löffler.
(Signed) A.J. Fox, Capt. Gen. List.
I hereby certify that, the said deponent not understanding English, this affidavit was read to the said deponent in my presence and its contents were fully understood by the said deponent. Dated this 26th day of May 1945.
(Signed) A.J. Fox, Captain.
I hereby certify that I have accurately translated this affidavit to the said deponent.
Dated this 26th day of May 1945.
(Signed) Charlotte Duschenes
The above deponent was at Belsen this 31st day of May 1945 examined by and re-sworn before me.
(Signed) S.G. Champion, Major, R.A., Legal Staff, No. 1 War Crimes Investigation Team.
(Signed) Irene Löffler.
I hereby certify that I accurately interpreted at the examination by Major S.G. Champion 31/5/45.
(Signed) Traute Neumann