Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Before we go on to the next witness there is a matter I would like to mention. It was brought to my notice that yesterday, while the last witness was giving evidence, four of the prosecution witnesses who had already been called were in the public gallery taking notes. I think the Court knows the position of these witnesses. I understand it is not against the regulations for them to be here, but it does seem to us that on the question of identification only it is useless taking numbers off the accused if the word gets to the witnesses' room as to what has happened.
Our application is that the prosecution witnesses should be excluded from the Court until the case for the prosecution is closed.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I have no real objection, but my only point is the underlying suggestion. Once a prosecution witness has given evidence, of course, normally they do remain in Court. It seems to me if what my friend is frightened of is that they are acting as spies, taking notes of the numbers and so on, it would be just as easy for somebody who is not a witness to do it on their behalf, but that is neither here nor there. I think the real answer is to exclude the whole of the general public.
THE PRESIDENT: I would point out that on the first occasion when the numbers were removed, I did ask the defence whether they would like the accused to change about in the dock so that there would be no specific order of seating.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I realise that, sir, and an application to that effect will be made. It is intended to make it today for the first time.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: There is a Rule of Procedure number 81 which says: "During the trial a witness other than the prosecution or accused ought not, except by special leave of the Court, to be in Court while not under examination, and if while he is under examination a discussion arises as to the allowance of a question or the sufficiency of his answers, or otherwise as to his evidence, he may be directed to withdraw"> That Rule of Procedure is one which affects General Courts Martial and it does not apply to Field General Courts Martial and therefore not to a Military Court, but the spirit, I think, does remain, and it is entirely a matter for the Court.
(The Court confer)
THE PRESIDENT: The Court is prepared to uphold the application. We will not have the prosecution witnesses in Court after they have given their evidence.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I am obliged. There is one other application I should like to make. It has been arranged with the Prosecuting Officer that a witness for the Defence be interposed at this stage. The witness is Major Smallwood of the Judge Advocate General's Department who took a number of the affidavits in the summary. He will be called by Major Winwood.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Subject to the Court's approval I have not objection. Major Smallwood should more properly have been described as late of the Judge Advocate General's Department having now been demobilised. He was brought over from England yesterday and I have no doubt he is anxious to go back to his lucrative practice at the Bar.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
MAJOR WINWOOD: There is no need for this witness's evidence to be translated into German or Polish.
In April of this year what was your appointment or employment? - At that time I was a member of the staff of the Judge Advocate General's Department.
Did you about that time receive any instructions? - Yes; very shortly after Belsen was liberated I was put in charge of a small team to go up and start making investigations at Belsen into the alleged atrocities. That team consisted of Major Bell of the Judge Advocate General's Department, Captain Fox of the S.I.S., a Sergeant-Major of the S.I.S., myself and two Staff-Sergeants.
What date did you arrive at Belsen? - I myself went there on the Sunday after the liberation. That, I think, would be about the 23rd, and we started on the following Wednesday or Thursday.
Will you tell the Court how you started work and the procedure you adopted? - When we got there, there was no fixed plan. There had been some investigations already made by members of the Military Government, but they had not taken any very definite statements. Statements had been taken, but no sworn affidavits or anything like that. So the first thing was to get interpreters. None of us spoke any Czech or Polish, and very little German and perhaps a little French. With the aid of the Military Government we got hold of some interpreters and two girls who were extremely good. They were both ex-internees, Czech Jewesses aged about 25 or 26 respectively. One had been interned for four years and the other for five years in different camps which included Auschwitz and Belsen. They had only just come to Belsen ten days before the liberation and they escaped the full horrors and were therefore in pretty good health. With their aid we started to take statements. Of course, there were thousands of people there and it was difficult to know where to begin. To start with we got them themselves to bring in their friends who were in a fit state to give evidence, and gradually the circle grew. With the aid of the Military Government we got various members of different nationalities to send people along if they could give statements that might be helpful. The procedure at first was that the witness was brought in and we explained to the interpreters, who understood the position very quickly, that what we wanted was evidence of definite acts committed by definite people on, as far as possible, definite dates. We did not want a whole series of people coming along to say that SS guards were brutal and cruel, because one knew that already. We gave these instructions to the interpreters and we got a whole lot of statements from various witnesses. The procedure, speaking for myself, was that I took rough notes as we went along and the witness went away and I put those notes into ordinary affidavit form. The witness then came back and the affidavit was read out to her and translated in my presence by the interpreter. Sometimes small alterations were made then the witness was sworn and signed it.
Over what period were you carrying out those investigations? - I was there for about three weeks.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: Were a number of the affidavits framed from statements taken by other persons and handed to you? - Certainly.
Who were these other persons? - They we the members of the S.I.S., because after a bi we got reinforcements from frantic appeals and we had sent some sergeants of the S.I.S. in a week's time, and in the end we had a few more.
Am I right in saying that after a time you devoted yourself exclusively to framing affidavits from statements taken by other people? - I would not say exclusively, but substantially, yes.
Had these S.I.S. Sergeants any legal qualifications? - Technically, no, but I think I am right in saying that every member of the S.I.S. had been a member of the police force in ordinary life, and most of them have been detectives. Certainly the Sergeant-Major was a member of the Warwickshire Constabulary.
The interpreters you mentioned are Traute Neumann? - Yes, for myself.
The Court will see that she was the interpreter who translated the affidavit on page 40, and Charlotte Duschenes? - Yes, she acted for Major Bell.
Were there other interpreters? - Yes; to start with we had to rely on as many members of the internees we could get hold of. That was the case in No. 1 camp although I went there practically every day and sat outside the kitchen while the interpreter went in. There were interpreters down there who the S.I.S. used who were still working in No. 1 Camp and who had not had permission to leave.
Would you say that these two were the best? - We thought they were; that is why we took them for ourselves.
They were both internees, were they not? - Yes, they had been.
So far as the translations from Polish and German were concerned, you were entirely in their hands? - Polish and Czech, quite entirely. I got to learn a very few words of German.
I think you told us that they themselves brought in a number of prospective deponents? - Yes.
As regards the procedure by which these prospective witnesses were obtained, am I right in saying that what was asked for were people who could speak about atrocities? - Yes.
Was any effort made to obtain people who would speak in defence of the accused? - No, but I think I am right in saying that on two occasions - as far as I remember it was only two - a witness did volunteer when shown photographs that so and so was kind to them. There was certainly one Frenchman who did and I think there was someone else.
At this time were the accused themselves in custody, were they not? - They were.
And your task broadly speaking was to find evidence against them? -Yes.
I want to make it perfectly clear; were all prospective deponents told quite clearly that what you wanted was a specific charge against a specific person whom they could identify? - Yes.
If they could produce such a charge then you were prepared to take it down? - I do not know that I told them that; in fact I did take it down.
I do not want to embarrass you Major Smallwood, or be offensive to anybody, but of all the officers taking these affidavits, Is it not true to say that you had in practice at the Bar by far the most experience? - I do not really think I can say that.
I believe you have practiced at the Bar for nearly twenty years? - Yes.
Were you succeeded by Colonel Genn? - Yes, and he had with him a Major Champion.
Am I right in saying that Colonel Genn forsook his practice at the Bar for the stage some time before the war? - I am not certain about that. Of course, he is very well known as an actor, and I think it would be difficult for him to combine both professions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN ROBERTS: You told us how these affidavits came into existence. Is it true that there was never any question of an affidavit being drafted immediately, that you always made some draft notes of the interview and then made the affidavit from those? - I would not like to say always at this distance of time, but substantially, yes. There may have been exceptions in the very first ones we took on the spot.
Did you type them down straight away as an affidavit or did you take notes and then make the affidavit? - Always notes first, I think, then affidavits.
CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN FIELDEN: If it appeared from a statement that some other person might be in a position to corroborate the statement, were any efforts made to obtain such corroboration? - Yes, always if possible.
By whom? - We used to send the witness out herself or the interpreter to find the other person who was named.
Was it stressed to the person making the first statement that it was very important that corroboration should be obtained? - No.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN NEAVE: If a prospective accused had heard statements being made and taken down against him, was he then given an opportunity of making a statement himself? - None of the accused was ever present when these statements were made.
If, at a later date, affidavits against an accused had been made, was any accused given an opportunity of making a statement? - I can only speak for myself and the answer is no. What happened after that I do not know.
If an accused had made a statement, would that statement have been preserved in the same way as the affidavits? - I think so, because just about the end of my time Captain Fox did go to Celle prison and did begin taking statements from accused and I imagine they are before the Court now.
If an accused had made such a statement and it could not be found today, could you give us an idea where it might have gone? - I have not the faintest idea.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: With regard to photographs, was the procedure that the people who were making the statement were shown the photograph first or did they make the statement first and then see the photograph? - We did not have any photographs at all for the first five days, but after I got them and the procedure was when they came into the room I used to hand them the whole lot of photographs and get the interpreter to say, "Look at those and tell us if you recognise anyone in those photographs who has done a particular act or more than one particular act."
Was the set of photographs confined to either members of the SS or people employed by the SS? - We had photographs of the whole lot who were in custody at Celle Prison and, I think I am right in saying, they were all members of the SS
There was not included among them any person you knew to be innocent or probably innocent? - No; what happened was we got the official photographer from 2nd Army to come down from Lüneburg to Celle prison and take photographs of all the SS who had been placed in custody there by the British when they liberated Belsen.
So whoever a witness picked out as recognised must inevitably have been in Belsen? - I think so, yes.
LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No questions.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: You have been asked about your own experience and other people's experience. I think, in fact, that Major Bell has been rather longer at the Bar than yourself? - I think that is quite likely.
And Colonel Genn was, of course, employed on the SHAEF Court of Inquiry making this type of inquiry before he went to Belsen? - Yes.
I think he was in charge of No. 1 War Crimes Investigation Team? - Yes.
Were the members of the S.I.S. who were supplied to you were all senior N.C.Os. I think? - Yes, sergeants or above.
How long have you been in the Judge Advocate General's Department? - About four and a half years.
Have you regularly had dealings with the Special Investigation Branch of the C.M.P.? - Yes, I have.
Have you found you can rely on statements taken by them? - Yes.
So far as the affidavits you took are concerned - of course one knows you had to work through interpreters, particularly with Polish and Czech - can you remember what languages the various people gave their evidence in? - I should say the majority were Poles and Czechs; a fair amount of German and some French. We took it from practically all nationalities, some Greeks, French, Belgians, Poles, Czechs and Germans.
Did you find it fairly difficult to control the flow at times? - Yes, very difficult.
I suppose in taking the affidavits you had to take down the parts which you thought were important and leave out the parts which you did not? - Yes.
If you had started to take down everything you were told, how long would it have taken? - A very long time indeed. That actually was part of my trouble with the S.I.S., if I can criticise them at all; they were rather apt to take down perhaps too much rather than too little.
And you selected the more important incidents? -Yes.
It may well be that a lot of those witnesses knew of a great many things that happened in these camps which were never included in their affidavit. In fact, looking at the average length of an affidavit it must be quite obvious that people who had been interned for one, two, or three years must have known of incidents not included in the affidavit? - Yes, and I think I can say this without any prejudice to the accused. There was a man called Hertzog who turned out to be worse, and after ten days we just did not bother to take any more evidence against him, because we thought we had enough.
It may well be that where you have one of the worst offenders, quite lot of the statements do not include evidence against them, because you already found you had enough? - Perhaps I might be allowed to say of one woman here, Volkenrath, we stopped taking evidence against her after about ten days.
Does that also apply to Irma Grese? - I cannot remember at this stage.
With regard to the actual taking of the affidavit, did you find considerable difficulty in tying witnesses down to dates, and so on? - Yes, very much.
Did you find as a result that these internees who had been in for a considerable time could not remember dates? - Not unless there was something like, say, Christmas, to bring it to their minds.
Did you also find they found it difficult to tell which year it was in which something had happened? - Yes.
You said that your interpreter Neumann was in fact a Czech? - Yes.
Did she speak Polish fluently? - As far as I can tell, yes. She seemed to be able to. She seemed to be speaking Polish as the Poles themselves, and that is saying a good deal.
Some of those affidavits I take it might have some details which are perhaps not entirely correct? - That might be so.
So far as the actual occurrence and identification of persons are concerned, did you insist that these were correct before you passed the affidavit? - I tried to; as far as identification is concerned I could check that myself. I could look at the photograph the same time as the witness and I got her to point out the particular person.
You took the greatest care not to put forward an affidavit unless, so far as it was humanly possible, you could satisfy yourself of the accuracy of the witness's recollection? - Of course, as I say, I had to do all my work through my interpreter, but is far as I could see she was extremely good. She was very intelligent and I could check her in this way to some extent, I did understand a little French and the statement I took from the French witness I could check more or less, and she seemed to be doing it completely honestly.
In other words, just as this Court is in the hands of the interpreters, so were you? - Yes.
I know you have sat as Judge Advocate on a considerable number of occasions and you are fairly used to interpreters - I only wish the interpreters I had when sitting as Judge Advocate were half as good as the interpreters at Belsen.
Although perhaps you can tell us the general system when one of these witnesses recognised somebody on the photograph, did she always know the name of the person? - Oh, no.
In the affidavit one finds the name mentioned. - I am afraid I put that in myself. What happened was she was shown the photographs - we, of course, knew who the people were - and I used to put in the name and the number, which I identified immediately afterwards. They sometimes knew the Christian name. I do not know whether he is alive or in the dock, but one was well known to them as Otto.
How many thousands of people were there still in Belsen when you were taking those photographs? - I do not know at all accurately; there were certainly over 20000.
How many of them altogether were there available to take statements? - How many of us?
Yes. - To start with four, and it increased to about eight or nine.
Is it right to say that all you could do was to take statements from those persons who presented themselves to you, in effect? - Yes, and those who were brought in by the interpreters.
Out of the whole body of persons there? - Of course, when we first got there a very large number of people were quite incapable of making statements at all; they were still in the most appalling condition.
Re-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD: When you took these statements, was it known that there was going to be a trial later? - Well, I certainly assumed it.
What steps were taken to keep these witnesses available for the trial? - As far as I know, none, because the condition of Belsen was extremely fluid then. The policy was, if possible, to shift out the fit ones, and certainly with regard to the French and Belgian nationalities to get them back to their own countries as soon as possible.
How many affidavits were really made, do you know? - I do not know at all. I think I myself - speaking purely from memory - at a rough guess, took about thirty probably.
Would it not have been possible to have kept the numbers of those who had actually made the affidavits; there were not very many? - It might have been, but that was nothing to do with me at all.
When you took the statements and framed the affidavits, did you impress upon the witnesses the importance of being on oath? - I do not know if I did in so many words, but naturally I explained to them that we did want the truth and said they had to be prepared to stand by what they said.
Do you agree that due to the great difficulty there was in taking the affidavits very great experience was most desirable? - As far as taking the statements was concerned, I think any experienced police officer could have done it. For putting them into the form in which they are now, some sort of legal knowledge was no doubt necessary.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE - Major Smallwood, you have not made it clear to me exactly what the machinery was in taking the affidavits with which you were concerned. Am I right that in some of the cases some Sergeant would take a statement from the internee first? - That is so, yes.
And would that statement be written down by the Sergeant? - Yes.
Would it be in English? - Yes.
Having been translated from some other language? - That is so.
Was that statement supposed to be made on oath? - No.
And it was read over to the deponent at that time or not; do you know? - I do not know. I should think probably it would be , but I do not really know.
Was it a typed statement usually? - No, nearly always in manuscript.
Sort of rough notes, was it? - Well, it was in the form that the police take their statements in their notebooks.
That document was passed to you, was it? - It was.
And then what did you do? - Then I read it. It nearly always contained a vast amount of stuff that was useless, so I then took out what I thought were the salient parts of it, put them into more or less legal shape in the form of an affidavit.
You had it typed, did you? - I had it typed.
Without anybody being there but yourself? - Yes.
Working simply from this note? - From the note, yes.
Then did you call the Deponent before you? - Yes, or sometimes went to see her.
Then was the typewritten statement translated to her? - Yes, read out and translated to her in my presence.
Then if she agreed with it she signed it? - Yes.
And that became the affidavit which is now before the Court? - That is so. You will see, if you look at some of the originals, there are alterations probably in my own handwriting which was made at the time.
That is substantially what was done in regard to all affidavits with which you are concerned? - That is so.
What sort of an oath did you administer? - The ordinary witness's oath, slightly adapted to suit the case. What I actually said was: "I swear by Almighty God that the statements I have made in this affidavit are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
(The witness withdraws)
THE PRESIDENT: Just before the Prosecution continues calling the Prosecution witnesses, I want to be quite satisfied in my own mind, together with the rest of the members of the Court, that you have explained and made quite clear to those who you are representing that that was evidence called entirely on these affidavits and not evidence against any particular accused. That has been done has it? I shall assume it has unless you say you have not explained it to the accused.
MAJOR MUNRO: It has not been done yet, but I propose to do so during today's proceedings.
THE PRESIDENT: I regard it as most important that they should understand that was not evidence being given against any of them at all; it is merely evidence as to how these affidavits, which various witnesses for the Prosecution have signed, were taken.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Before the next witness is called, may I apply for the numbers to be removed?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Before I agree to that, are there any other Defending Officers who wish to change the position of the accused in the dock?
THE PRESIDENT: I am not quite clear why the accused should take certain places. There is no specific reason for wanting the accused to sit in particular places?
THE PRESIDENT: What is it you want?
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: I would like No. 22 to move.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I would like No. 48 to move.
THE PRESIDENT: (To the Interpreter): Tell the accused first to take off their numbers. (The accused do do). Tell No. 9 to go and change places with No. 33; tell No. 10 to change places with No. 43; tell numbers 16 and 22 to change places, and tell No. 48 to change places with one or other of the women accused in the centre block. (The accused change places in the above manner)
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: (To the accused): This witness will give her evidence in Hungarian. She is being sworn on the Jewish bible and she declares that this evidence will be true and that the oath she takes will be binding on her conscience.
ILONA STEIN is duly sworn and examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE as follows: What is your full name? - Ilona Stein.
Before you were arrested, where did you live? - In a town in Hungary called Gyöngyös.
How old are you? - 21.
When were you arrested? - On the 8th June, 1942.
Where were you taken to? - To Auschwitz, Birkenau.
For what were you arrested? - Because I am a Jewess.
Did you remain at Birkenau until you were transferred to Belsen? - I stayed in Birkenau until the 1st January, 1945.
When you left Auschwitz where did you go? - To Bergen Belsen.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Could the witness come down and look at the accused and tell the Court any whom she recognises?
THE PRESIDENT: As she recognises any particular person, tell her to point to them so that it is perfectly clear.
THE INTERPRETER: Yes.
THE WITNESS: The first one on the left.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Could we have which kitchen?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: But she said "in the kitchen". I have at some time to sum up this case in relation to Auschwitz and Belsen.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What I propose to do is what I have done with every other witness, that is, when she gets back into the witness box ask her to explain. I think it is simpler than giving evidence in the centre of the Court.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Very well.
THE WITNESS: The woman in grey near the man in uniform.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I think the only thing is to ask her to say who she is.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Yes.
THE WITNESS: I do not know her name but I know her from Auschwitz.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: We must have some note as to who she is. The best thing would be for her to produce her number after she has been recognised.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
THE INTERPRETER: That is No. 11.
THE WITNESS: The first one here, from the kitchen in Belsen (indicating No. 16, Karl Flrazich). Grese (No. 9). I believe I know the woman next to Grese, but she looks very bad now, but I think I know her.
THE PRESIDENT: That is, by sight? - Yes. From the kitchen in Belsen (indicating No. 34, Ida Förster). The fourth from the left from the kitchen in Belsen (indicating No. 39 Irene Haschke); I do not know her name. The woman called Stania (indicating No. 48 Stanisława Starostka). That is all.
THE PRESIDENT: I would just like to check that up by numbers, as she has not mentioned certain names. I make it that she recognised No. 1 by name as Kramer; numbers 3, 11 and 16 she recognised by sight, but No. 9 she recognised by name as Grese. Numbers 34 and 39 she recognised by sight and No. 48 she recognised by the name of Stania.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That is right.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I do not suppose it matters, but you are two years out and it does make a difference whether she was in Auschwitz three years or one year.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I will try and clear that up. (To the witness): How many years were you in Auschwitz? - I was in Auschwitz for a year or a year and a half, until the 1st January, 1945.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That really means that it is probably 1943.
THE INTERPRETER: That is what she is saying, 1943 or 1944.
THE WITNESS: I came on the 8th June, 1944 to Auschwitz.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: She did say at the beginning of her evidence 1942.
THE INTERPRETER: That is what she said.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I think it is perhaps the safer thing if we take it on the period she was there, for a year or 18 months. (To the witness): What happened to you when you first arrived at Auschwitz? - It was a very bad camp when I arrived in June. There was hardly and water at all; we had to drink from the water which was lying about in the roads, and even that was only allowed through the influence of others; that was a proper treat for us, to be allowed to do so.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I would just like to make sure that she understood my original question. I said: When she arrived in Auschwitz. (The Interpreter repeats the question to the witness).
THE INTERPRETER: Yes, she understood.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Did you see any selections? - I did not stay in Auschwitz for very long, because I went to work in the kitchen in camp C, but I have seen these selections.
What were these selections for? - We did not get very clear news why these selections were made, but from those inmates who were longer there we knew that the younger ones were taken to labour camps to work and the others which we thought to the crematorium.
Can you remember any particular selection? - I do remember that a friend of mine told me about the case where a mother wanted to remain with her daughter, but the daughter was warned with these words: "Do not go with your mother, because the place your mother goes is a very bad one", and both of them and I myself we understood perfectly clearly what it meant.
Have you seen any selections yourself? - Yes, I have seen one myself, and it was partly done regarding the youth of the people and partly regarding their health and strength. They lifted their clothes and looked at their legs, whether they seemed to be strong enough. They undressed them. I forgot to tell the Court that was one method of selection, but mostly we were completely undressed until we were quite naked.
Where did the selection take place? - These selections took place in front of the different blocks whose turn just came, be it block No. 10 or No. 5. We had to stand in front of the blocks, whether it was cold or wet, always quite naked.
How did the people who were selected behave? - Those who had been selected were sent immediately to a block, an empty block. Guards were put round this block and later on they were taken away.
Did anyone ever try to escape? - Not only one, but quite a number of those who were still strong enough to try to escape, because they knew what is expecting them.
What happened to people who tried to escape? - In almost every case they were caught again, those who tried to escape. If they were too far then they were quite simply shot. If, however, they were reached they were beaten terribly until they bled all over the place and so that they could hardly get up again, and then they were simply put into their lines where they had escaped from.
Have you seen any persons in the dock taking part in either that beating or shooting? - Yes, I observed from a window of the kitchen that during one selection when some of the prisoners tried to hide, Grese saw that, observed it, and told somebody else about it and so these people who hid were shot.
Can you give the Court any particular instance of this, or name any particular person who was shot? - I do not remember the exact date of this particular incident, but it must have been at the end of the month of August 1944, and I remember having observed it through the window of the kitchen.
What happened to the person shot? - I remember myself that at one of these occasions I had to help to collect those who were shot to put them on a stretcher and to put them into the ambulance, and then later they were collected and taken away.
Were they alive or dead? - One died; I myself remember that I had to help collect that man. Another had still a flicker of life in him, it depended whether he was lucky enough to live or not.
Passing from the selections. Was the camp divided into different parts? - Yes.
How was it divided? - There were smaller blocks where the prisoners lived.
But Auschwitz itself was a very large camp. Was that divided into various camps? - Yes, it was divided into smaller camps, and the names were F.L.K. compound, then C and B and E3.
Could the internees pass freely from one camp to another? - Nobody without an armed guard was allowed to pass from one compound to the other.
How were the compounds separated from each other? - There was a hut, a sort of police hut, at the entrance of the small compounds so that everyone who went from one to the other had to pass through that and had to get a pass from them and also a guard, warder, who went with them.
Were the compounds enclosed? - All these compounds where prisoners were living were surrounded with barbed wire which was electrified.
Were people allowed to talk to each other over the wire? - Naturally it was prohibited and if somebody was caught doing it he had to pay very heavily for it.
Do you remember any particular incident of this kind? - Yes, I do remember a special incident. A mother wanted to talk to her daughter who was in the neighbouring compound. She did so but unfortunately Grese saw it and very quickly Grese arrived on a bicycle before the mother had time to run away, and this woman was beaten up so severely that she had to be taken away in an ambulance.
Who did the beating? - This mother was beaten up until she bled by Grese.
What part of the woman's body did she beat? - I cannot say exactly where she was beaten because I was a bit further away, but I did see that she was beaten here, down over her breast. I was in the kitchen at that time.
Did the woman who was beaten remain standing or did she fall to the ground? - No, she fell to the ground, and even when she fell she was still kicked.
Have you seen Grese take part in any other beatings? - Yes, I do remember having seen her in Auschwitz often beating people with her riding whip.
Now to take the other people you recognise. I think the first one was Kramer? - Yes.
What can you tell the Court about Kramer? - I did not see Kramer very often because he had the highest command over the camp. Still he came sometimes in his car around the different parts of the camp, and on those occasions I did see him.
The next person you recognised was No. 3 (Peter Weingartner). What can you tell the Court about him? - I do recognise him. He was working in Belsen in Kitchen No. 2 I believe, I am not sure, and I have seen that when people came into the vicinity of the kitchen to try to get some potato pealing or any sort of left vegetables he went against them with a riding whip or with a rubber truncheon and beat them until they were covered in blood. I saw some taken away by the ambulance. With the permission of the Court I would like to add about Kramer that I have seen him on several occasions at those selections, and particularly I remember one selection when he was with Grese. There were several hundred of people in that particular block and when they started crying he himself pushed them up to these trucks, and if they were not quick enough he himself hit these people with his stick, a wooden stick; I cannot say exactly what sort of stick, because I was in the kitchen and I observed this through the window.
The next person you mentioned was No. 11 (Hilde Löbauer). What can you tell the Court about her? - I remember her from Auschwitz. She was in these work kommando's as a supervisor and she was just as bad as the other supervisors, because at any opportunity when we came in and we did not march properly to attention she beat us and hit us. Or in the camp during roll call if anything seemed wrong to her she continued immediately to beat us at every opportunity.
What did she use to beat people? - I do not remember exactly, but I am sure she had a stick in her hand.
The next person you mentioned was No. 16 (Karl Flrazich). What can you tell the Court about him? - I remember him from Belsen, I believe in Kitchen No. 2. He, before the British troops liberated our camp, went around always with his gun, and I myself I saw him using this gun and shoot people.
Can you remember the name of any particular person whom he shot? - At that time when it happened I wanted to know the name and I got to know it, but today I have forgotten it again.
Can you tell the Court about that particular incident? - I remember it was a few days before the British troops liberated the camp. I do not remember exactly the day. This particular incident I am referring to happened when my friend and also myself went towards the kitchen and carried an empty sort of container with us. Then this man whom I recognised came out of the kitchen and started shooting. I did not look very much but ran away. A few minutes later this friend of mine with whom I went towards the kitchen was brought to the block, which was not very far away, and she was dead. It can only be that this man had shot her, because he was the only one about there who did the shooting.
Did you see any other shooting on that day? - Not only on that day did I hear shootings but on any other days. My own friend was shot through her arm near her shoulder and two others were taken away by ambulance.
The next person you recognised was No. 9, Grese. Do you wish to tell the Court anything more about her than what you have already told them? - Grese took part nearly always with Dr. Mengele at these selections I was talking about. Apart from that she was the one who beta and hit the prisoners nearly always very severely. That is why I know her quite well. With the permission of the Court I would like to add that it was Grese's responsibility when during roll call - for instance, if somebody was missing, that he was sick or that the count was not right, or for any other reason, she let us stand for whole hours and hours without any food, whether it was cold or snow or rain. As it is still the case of Grese I must add that at those times when there were many sick people in our camp it was her orders that whether the patient was dying or not he had to come to roll call. Sometimes he had to be brought there. There he had to wait in rain or in snow, and there was not the slightest consideration even if he died in our hands.
THE PRESIDENT: That would be at Belsen?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Was that at Belsen or Auschwitz? - In Belsen.
The next person was No. 34. (Ida Förster) What do you say about this woman? - I remember, because I have seen it myself, that this woman whom I know from Belsen, in Kitchen No. 2 I believe, on one occasion when a prisoner came near the kitchen to get some food or some remnants of it she ran out from the kitchen with a sort of rubber tube and started hitting this prisoner so badly that she had to be carried away by ambulance.
Was that the only occasion on which you saw her beat anyone? - That was the usual procedure of this woman whenever she saw somebody approach the kitchen for some remnants, but this special incident which I mention is one which stands out in my memory.
The next person you mention was No. 39 (Irene Haschke). - I remember this woman from Belsen, also I believe Kitchen No. 2. She took part in these beatings as well, and whenever a prisoners got a few drops of soup then she knocked it over, poured it out, and hit that prisoner until hardly he could get up.
The last of the persons you recognised was No. 48 (Stanislawa Starostka) - I do remember this woman from Auschwitz and Belsen. I cannot talk so much about the beatings in Auschwitz because she did it so frequently that it is hardly worth while to mention it. She was just as bad as one of the worst supervisors. I myself got a very severe thrashing from her when we went for a bath parade. I myself was a few inches outside the line. When she saw that she came to me and beat me so badly that my nose was bleeding very hard. I remember her from Belsen. Just as she was Lagerälteste in Auschwitz she had the same position in Belsen. One special incident which I remember very well is I believe somebody tried to organise something, which means to get something in an unlawful way, and to punish us for 24 hours we did not get even that little food which we ought to have got - even for more than 24 hours. Then it was raining very hard and she let us stand during the morning roll call for four hours. I must add, with the permission of the Court, that even sick people who had a temperature of 40 degrees had to come to these appels, those parades, roll calls, and particularly in Auschwitz also they came to the roll call, or if they could not they were sent away to the crematorium.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That concludes my examination.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The evidence relates to Belsen with regard to which there is no charge?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: None of these incidents relate to Belsen?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Can you explain to the Court why they should accept that evidence?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I put these charges as a series of incidents or part of a series and in my submission any evidence of offences in that series are plainly admissible.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: A systematic course of conduct?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes, on the part of all these accused.
Cross-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD:- How many selections did you see while you were actually engaged in working in the cookhouse in ? - At the period at the end of August and September, I believe, there were so many selections that I can hardly remember - sometimes there were two or three in one single day.
How many selections did you see through the kitchen window? - I did not see the selections themselves through the window because the blocks were further away, but I saw all those crowds who were taken there.
Would the accused No. 3 stand up? (The accused No. 3, Peter Weingartner stands up) Do you swear that you saw this man in the cookhouse in Belsen? - I might have mistaken him; I believe now I have seen him in Auschwitz, in a Kommando called "Wiesel". That is the name of the kommando where I had seen this man.
Why did you say that you saw him in cookhouse No. 2 in Belsen? - I thought that man is very much like the man who was working in the same kitchen where this No. 16 (Karl Flrazich) had been working; if it is not the same man then he was very much like him. I know No. 3 from Belsen as well because he helped during the roll calls for the count. I remember him.
Does that mean that the allegation you made against No. 3 in the cookhouse is completely untrue with regard to him? - If it is not the man I saw in the kitchen then the accusations do not concern him at all.
Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: Do you remember an incident you described of a woman being shot when trying to escape from a selection parade? - I do remember, it happened in Auschwitz.
Was the woman who was shot Hungarian? - She was.
Do you remember the incident when Grese arrived on a bicycle? - I do remember.
You allege that she then beat another woman; is that right? - Yes, I said so.
Did she beat her with her belt? - I do not know exactly what was in her hands because the kitchen is a bit further away, but I did see that she had something in her hands with which she beat this woman. I do remember, however, that I have seen Grese taking off her belt and beating prisoners with it; whether she did it at that particular incident I do not know.
The ambulance which arrived after this, was it a horse ambulance or a motor ambulance? - On this occasion no ambulance came at all but two girls took her to the C.R.S., or ambulance, but no vehicle came on that occasion at all.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I do not know what your note was, sir, but I was under the impression she said an ambulance arrived on this occasion, also later on at Belsen.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: My note was this: "I saw a mother talking to her daughter in another compound. Unfortunately Grese saw it as she was coming along on a bicycle before the mother could get away, and the mother was beaten so severely by Grese that she had to be taken away on an ambulance. I cannot say where she was beaten but she was beaten over the breast. Grese kicked her when she was on the ground"> That is my note; you can accept it unless you choose to disagree with it.
THE PRESIDENT: My note is almost exactly the same, that she was taken away in an ambulance.
MAJOR MURTON-NEALE: I was under the impression that the incident to which my friend was referring was the incident when the Hungarian girl was killed.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I have left that.
THE PRESIDENT: I thought we were on the incident now of the mother who tried to talk to the daughter.
MAJOR MURTON-NEALE: I do not think the witness understood that.
THE INTERPRETER: It is my mistake because when she said "Ambulance" she meant C.R.S. It is called "Ambulance"; it is a sort of expression but not a vehicle or ambulance car; she had to be taken to the ambulance, to the dressing station.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think the question arises. If the interpreter used the word "Ambulance" as being C.R.S. I doubt whether it matters if a horse or motor ambulance arrived.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Of course the point is that there was no ambulance. (To the interpreter) Could you ascertain fro her whether she now wishes to withdraw the statement that there was an ambulance?
THE INTERPRETER: She never said it.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think she ever said that. The interpreter said he made a mistake in his translation.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: There is another occasion when an ambulance at Belsen was mentioned, later on. Was that also a mistake?
THE INTERPRETER: Which occasion, then I can explain it to her?
MAJOR CRANFIELD: She said later on an ambulance arrived at Belsen to take away some bodies. Was that also a mistake? (The question is interpreted)
THE INTERPRETER: If she talked about an ambulance it was my mistake; she meant C.R.S., Camp Reception Station; not a vehicle but a dressing station.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: (To the witness) What fetched away the body? Was it a stretcher carried by hand or was it a thing on wheels? - When somebody died, which happened in very many cases, then he was simply dragged away; he was put into a blanket or part of a blanket and dragged away.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Major Cranfield, I am getting completely muddled. Before we go on I would like to clear it up. When you asked the question of the witness whether someone was a Hungarian, what incident were you referring to then?
MAJOR CRANFIELD: It is on page 144.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: You were referring to the affidavit, were you?
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Yes, it is an incident which appears in the affidavit and was described in evidence by her this morning.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: My trouble, and I expect the Court is having the same trouble, is to make note of it. I have one incident at Auschwitz when the witness is looking through the window and she talked about some people trying to hide, that Grese saw those, and saw someone else and as a result they were shot. She said that was August, 1944. She said she had to help those who were shot and put them in an ambulance and then they were taken away. One died and she herself had to collect that man. That is one incident.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Yes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Then there is another one dealing with a mother and daughter. Those are the only two incidents I have got.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: It was the second incident, and what I asked the witness was: "was the woman a Hungarian", and she replied "Yes, she was".
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Very well.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: (To the witness) Now let us turn to the beatings. Have you ever been beaten by Grese yourself? - I myself have been working in kitchen "C" from almost the very beginning and there Grese had not very great opportunity to beat me, but what I said I have seen about Grese beating others of them is true.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: The answer is "No"?
THE INTERPRETER: Yes.
THE WITNESS: I do remember now that once when a working party was out for work one member of this working party asked me some questions about relatives. When Grese saw that she jumped immediately and started beating me. That is an occasion which I do remember.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I think the time has come, sir, when it would be advisable, if you agree, that you might address some remarks to this witness and ask her to pay very careful attention to the question which is being asked. It is quite impossible to record it otherwise. When a clear question is put to the witness: "Have you ever been beaten". If two minutes afterwards she is going to say she was it is quite impossible for me to keep my note up. I suggest these people should be told to consider the question and take any time they like to answer it and then give the answer in the light of that consideration.
THE PRESIDENT: (To the interpreter); Just explain this to the witness. She was first of all asked whether she had been beaten by Grese and she then went on to elaborate about other people being beaten. She then whilst that answer is being translated substituted another answer and says: "Yes, I have myself been beaten". It is quite impossible to know which to believe.
(The interpreter explains the President's remarks to the witness)
THE WITNESS: I do remember this incident, which I mentioned before.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: (To the witness) Was the reason why you were beaten on that occasion because you were doing something you ought not to do? - As I mentioned before, it was not allowed to talk through the barbed wire and when this woman asked me about some relatives of hers I answered and then Grese came immediately and started beating me.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: The answer to the question is "Yes"?
THE INTERPRETER: No, that was not the case. The answer was: "It was not allowed to speak through the barbed wire. One of the working party asked me some question about her relatives. I answered her, Grese saw it, came, and beat me".
MAJOR CRANFIELD: (To the witness) Do I understand from you that at both camps you have seen Grese beating a great many people a great many times? - I saw her more frequently doing this in Auschwitz than in Belsen.
Was the reason you only had this one beating from her because you behaved yourself well? - We had not very great contact with her because working in the kitchen we were rather separated; we did not live in the normal blocks with the others, therefore Grese had not so many opportunities to beat me as the others.
If you had your ears boxed would you call that a beating? - I would call that nothing at all compared with the way how she used to beat people.
Do you agree that quite a light blow will cause your nose to bleed? - I do not agree to that, and apart from that it was very rare that small blows were distributed; the general procedure was a real proper beating.
When you were liberated from Belsen were you in a state of extreme emaciation caused by starvation? - After the liberation it was just the time after my period of illness at that time and I tried and succeeded in getting a little bit more food than the others and therefore I did not look as bad as the others.
Have you any scars resulting from the injuries you received at Auschwitz or Belsen? - I have no scars.
I suggest to you that the account which you have given of these beatings is exaggerated and embroidered? - Whatever I said it was the truth.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN ROBERTS: Did you work in the kitchen at Belsen? - I did not work in the kitchens at Belsen; I was in the camp at Belsen, but not in the kitchens.
Did you ever go into the cookhouses at Belsen? - Even if anybody even approached the kitchen that was enough to get a beating either from the man in charge or from the supervisor or the offizierin.
So you were never in the cookhouses there? - I went sometimes to the kitchen either if I was on a working Kommando carrying things from the kitchen or to the kitchen or even sometimes if I tried to get a few more drops of soup.
Do you remember that you made an accusation against No. 16 (Karl Flrazich) this morning and you started your story by saying that together with a friend you were carrying an empty container to the cookhouse? - I remember that I spoke about it. I remember that myself, and also my friend went with an empty container towards the kitchen.
What was your friend's name? - I remembered at that time her name, her sister was there as well, but today I do not remember; there are so many names in my head.
Did No. 16 start shooting at you? - He shot in the direction of the people who were standing about there.
Standing about where? - Round the kitchen, in front of the kitchen, or at the side of the kitchen, but anyway in the vicinity of the kitchen.
How far away were you? - I was about 16 metres away from the man who started the shooting and my friend was about the same distance away.
You said that you then turned and ran away. Did your friend do the same thing? - I myself was only concerned in getting away as quickly as possible, I did not look round to see whether my friend ran away or not, but later on I knew what happened to her.
So you never saw with your own eyes what did happen? - I did not see during the moment when the shooting happened, but a few minutes later, two or three minutes later, my friend was brought to the block and as she was with me when the shooting occurred it is quite clear to me who killed her.
Were there not a number of SS cooks working in these cookhouses? - There is only one man in charge of the kitchen and that was this man whom I recognised. I have no doubt that it was he whom I saw coming out from the kitchen and start shooting.
Bearing in mind the fact that you never went into the cookhouse on this occasion and that you never approached nearer than six metres to it, can you swear that of your own knowledge there was no other SS cook or SS guard in or near that cookhouse? - I was not six metres from the kitchen but I was six metres from the man when he came out from the kitchen door and I can swear to it that it is this man who did come out from the kitchen door.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Captain Roberts, I do not want to stop you, but do you think it is worth pursuing this? I shall tell the Court in my summing up that this woman is not swearing that she ever saw No. 16 fire a shot which killed anybody; she is merely setting out certain facts and saying in her opinion it must have been No. 16, but I shall definitely tell the Court that this woman has never deponed on oath that she saw No. 16 fire and kill anybody.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: (To the witness) I think you said no other incidents of this nature took place on the same day; is that correct? - I do not remember whether I said that no further incident of this nature took place on that date; I mentioned one incident when a girl was hit in her arm near the shoulder. That might have been on the same day because this man came quite frequently out from the kitchen door and started shooting.
You also referred to two other girls who were shot. You did not see those shot either, did you? - I have seen both women I have mentioned, one who was hit in her arm near her shoulder. The blood started pouring out immediately and she was taken by two other women to the dressing station, and I remember the second case as well. It was he who started shooting, this man shot into the crowd, and it is only by very good luck it hit her in her arm and not in her heart.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Your question was : did she see these girls being shot?
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: That is what I am trying to get at.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Would you repeat the question?
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: Did you see these girls being shot? - I have seen with my own eyes both incidents because I was not far away from either of them.
Where were you at the time these other shootings took place, those last two shootings you have told us about? - Not too far away from them; about 10 or 12 metres.
So you were not in the kitchen at any rate? - Not in the kitchen, but in the vicinity of the kitchen with the other friend.
I want you to listen to what you have already stated and sworn to concerning these incidents. With reference to the first shooting you say, "I myself saw the shooting and the girl die"? - I am speaking in this case about the incident which I mentioned when my friend came towards the kitchen with an empty container; I am speaking about that incident.
And with regard to the other - I imagine that is what it is - incidents you have just described, you say: "The same day whilst I was in the kitchen I saw him shoot two girls with his revolver as they went past the kitchen." Will you now tell me why the story you are telling today in Court is so different from that which you told on this other occasion when you made this statement? - I could not have said anything else at that time as I say today, but there was no Hungarian interpreter there as I speak only very moderately German so this misunderstanding might have been caused by that translation.
CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN NEAVE: How were you employed at Belsen? - I worked only on smaller working parties at Belsen. For instance, there were working parties on, let us say, carrying tables throughout the whole day, but I did not work at a bigger job.
You said this morning that you recognised this woman. (No. 34 (Ida Förster) stood up). You said that she had changed. Are you sure you recognise her? - I am quite sure that I recognise her. She was in the kitchen, No. 2 or No. 3, I am not quite sure, at Belsen.
When did you first see her at Belsen? - She has changed quite a lot since I saw her last - I must say that - but I remember because in the month of March, 1945, when I saw her at Belsen.
How many times did you see her at Belsen, roughly speaking? - I cannot say exactly really how often I saw her, but certainly several times.
Did you know what this woman did at Belsen? - She was in Belsen as Aufseherin, supervisor, in the kitchen.
Was that the kitchen from where you got your food? I just want Yes or No. - The same kitchen.
Now you have spoken of one special incident were you say you saw this woman striking a prisoner. Where were you standing when you saw that happen? - In was just in front of the kitchen when I saw the incident I described before.
Can you remember the date of that incident? - I am afraid about dates. I am not quite sure; I cannot remember.
Did you know the woman who you say was struck? - There were so many cases of beating that in my memory I cannot remember who was at that special occasion the victim, because it was too frequently done.
What were you doing in front of the kitchen? - Just as everybody, I was hoping to get a job in these essen Kommandos. That means carrying the food from the kitchen to somewhere else, because that job gave one the probability of a drop more soup. I was waiting for that.
Had this woman been stealing food from the kitchen? - There was no reason. It was not the reason that they had stolen something from the kitchen; they were standing about and that was enough. To be near the kitchen and to wait there that was quite sufficient.
That means then that you have been standing outside the kitchen so often you must have been beaten very often? - It is true I have been often in front of the kitchen trying to get that sort of job which would assure me of a few drops of more soup and maybe a little improvement of the conditions, and it is also true that I was beaten several times near the kitchen.
Did you say this woman had a rubber truncheon?
THE PRESIDENT: A rubber tube she had taken from the kitchen is what she says.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: I just want to clear it up.
THE WITNESS: Yes, a rubber tube.
Did she always strike people with this rubber tube? - I do remember on that special incident which I described before it was certainly a rubber tube, but the other times when she beat people I do not know whether she had always a rubber tube in her hand, but it was always something she had in her hand. She never hit with her hands alone.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Will No. 39 stand up (The accused does so). (To the witness) You told the Court something about this woman? - Yes, I did.
Are you perfectly certain that you have not confused her with somebody else? - I am certain.
When did you first see her? - I do not remember exactly the date, but the British troops came on 15th April to liberate us, and she had been there for at least a month or two before that day.
What was her job; what was her work there? - She was supervisor, Aufseherin, and apparently her job was to beat the people.
You said this morning that No. 39 took part in these beatings as well. Which beatings do you refer to? - I speak about the incidents when she again, the same way as the other, with a rubber tube or rubber hose or whatever it was, came out from the kitchen and started beating people round the kitchen, and when somebody fell down then she continued to kick him with her feet. One of the last incidents I remember was on the day when the British troops really entered our camp. I was in the neighbourhood of the kitchen trying to get some potato peels and she saw me an started to come against me again with the rubber tube as usual, but in that moment she saw apparently the British troops and she did not dare to move on that day; she left her arm in the air.
Did she ever beat you? - Several times she did beat me , but sometimes I was quick enough in running away.
Why did she beat you? - Sometimes because I tried to get a few peels of potatoes or some remnants of turnip, but even without that it was sufficient that I was standing only in the vicinity that I got my beating.
Did you spend a lot of your time hanging around the cookhouse trying to get extra food? - It is true whenever I had the time I got out from my block where I live, full of lice and full of dirt. I went into the fresh air if possible I tried - I admit I tried - near the kitchen to get some of these remnants of the vegetables.
I think the answer is Yes. Were there not a great number of other prisoners doing the same thing all day long? - It is true we were always a crowd, because I would have never dared to go there when only a few people were there. In a crowd there was still hope to get away and not to be beaten.
What nationality are you? - I come from Hungary.
Are you Hungarian? - Yes, I am.
Cross-examined by Lt. BOYD: Which block did you sleep in at Belsen? - My place was Block No. 119, [this block number does not exist] but it was so terribly dirty that I tried to get another place to sleep and I managed to sleep in 220, and for that privilege to sleep in a cold corridor, I had to clean and wash the place there.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
How long were you together? - After the liquidation of the camp C. - I mean after its inhabitants having been dispatched to the crematorium, I was transferred to this part of the camp F.K.L. which I mentioned before. There I stayed from the end of September until, I believe, about the middle of December.
Were you also working in the kitchen in F.K.L. lager? - I did not work in the kitchen. I worked at a working Kommando, working party, and I know her because she was a Lagerälteste.
You said once this morning that the accused Grese kept prisoners for hours during the roll calls because one of them was missing, and then you said that the accused No. 48 did the same. Do you mean there was no difference between the power of the accused Grese and the accused No. 48, though the accused No. 48 was a häftlinge? - Yes, there was a great difference, but unfortunately this No. 48 forgot all about it that she had been an internee herself. On the contrary on that occasion which I mentioned this morning, when somebody, as to call it, organised something, it was she who betrayed us to the different Aufseherin and we could thank her for all the punishment which we got on that day.
You stated while on oath this morning that sick prisoners with a temperature of above 40 degrees were forced to attend roll calls. How could you know so exactly at this time that the prisoners had a temperature of above 40 degrees? - I speak about my own experience. One friend of mine a girl in the same block as I, she was so hot that she was glowing all over her face. I touched her, I touched her pulse, and I am quite certain in my mind that she must have had 40 degrees of temperature, but nevertheless she had to go on this roll call.
Do you agree that instead of generalising your statement should have been, "Prisoners sick with temperature", instead of, "Sick with temperature of above 40 degrees"? - It is true I had no thermometer at my disposal, but from my own experiences I saw that all these people with temperature had to go to the roll call, and even if they sat in the snow water they had to be there on the place. May I add that quite a number of people fainted during these roll calls. When they did so then with some water they were brought to life again, and they had to carry on to stand there during the whole roll call. I would like to add that sometimes these prisoners, who had only a very thin sort of dress, they were shivering so badly that they dared to take a blanket round their shoulders. If ever they were caught at that by the Lagerälteste they got a very severe thrashing for it and the blankets were taken away.
You said that No. 48 was forcing prisoners to go to work. Is that so? I would like the question to be answered Yes or No. - Yes; she forced not only the healthy ones but also the sick ones.
You said also this morning that there were only two issues to a prisoner, either to go to work or to go to the gas chamber through the hospital? - It is true if she went to work it was all right, but if she stayed in camp and reported sick or went to hospital then the probable issue was the gas chamber.
Suppose you were a Lagerälteste, would you prefer to report your sick prisoners to the hospital or would you prefer to send them to work? - If I would have been Lagerälteste I would have known that a certain percentage of the prisoners were allowed to be sick, that they were accounted for, and in the case of a selection I would have always said that those sick people, for instance, had this job or they had another job. I would have always tried to find a certain job for which this percentage of the sick prisoners could have been enrolled officially, and through this I would have tried to avoid the great number being sent to the gas chambers.
I am not prepared to believe that it would be an easy thing for a Lagerälteste to place great numbers of sick prisoners every date on the same functions without the German SS staff being aware of what was going on.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: You can put that to the Court in the address which you will be allowed to make hereafter. I do not think the Court are really very interested in how this woman would have behaved if she had been a Lagerälteste. I do not want to stop you because I know your difficulties, but what you are bringing out now is really a matter of argument, is it not? It is hypothesis.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Yes. (To the witness) You said the prisoners once had succeeded in organising something for which they had their food withheld for 24 hours. What was this thing they organised? - I only know about the possibility of organising either a potato deal or a turnip deal. I cannot imagine any other sort of organisation. That is the only thing I know about.
Can I take it that you do not know the reason for which the food was withheld? - We were never told really about the reason why food was withheld for 24 hours or why we had to stand for hours on end during the roll call, but that was the rumour in the camp that that was the reason.
Can I take it also that the fact that what you have said that No. 48 (Stanisława Starostka) withheld the food was also known to you from a rumour? - When I did say we did not get food for 24 hours, I speak about my own experience and not about a rumour.
THE PRESIDENT: That is not an answer to the question. Put the question again.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Do you know from a rumour also that No. 48 (Stanisława Starostka) was the one who withheld the food? - I know only that she had been always together with the Aufseherin, and I heard it myself, when she saw one of the girls getting a turnip, shouted at her: "Wait; you all will pay for this." That is why I think that she must have been responsible for that.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No re-examination.
(The witness withdraws)
CAPTAIN BROWN: Before the next witness is called there is a matter I should like to mention. I refer to an application on behalf of the Defending Officers this morning that witnesses for the prosecution might be kept out of the Court. During the time when this last witness was being cross examined, a witness for the prosecution whom I am informed is Hanka Rosenberg was standing in the doorway of the Court waiting and listening to the proceedings.
THE PRESIDENT: I gave instructions that no witness would be allowed into the Court before he or she had been called. I want it made quite clear that no witness for the prosecution can come through that door until they are called.
MAJOR WINWOOD: Before the next witness is called I should like to have the accused's numbers removed.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you want them shuffled about?
MAJOR WINWOOD: I just want Number 3 to be somewhere else.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: Could No. 29 also be moved elsewhere?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, let them change their seats.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This witness is going to give evidence in Polish and says, having sworn on this Jewish bible, that he will tell the truth.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What is you full name? - Glinowieski, Abraham.
Where did you live in Poland before you were arrested? - Płońsk.
When were you arrested? - In 1942.
Where were you taken to? - To Auschwitz.
How long did you stay there? - Nearly three years.
When did you leave? - In 1944.
What month? - Either October or November.
After you left Auschwitz were you in one or two other places and eventually in Belsen? - Yes.
How long before the Allies liberated the camp did you arrive in Belsen? - Two and a half months.
I want you to come down here and look at these people and see if there is anyone whom you can recognise. (The witness does so) - That is Camp Kommandant Kramer; that is Grese; this person is Hilde (No. 11); the third man is Weingartner (No. 3). The last person is Stania (No. 48).
Will you tell us what you know about No. 1, Kramer? - Kramer caught me once when I was in possession of a small piece of bread and a little margarine. Also I had collected a pair of Czech boots that ad come in a transport, and for this I received 25 strokes.
Where was this, at Auschwitz or Belsen? - Auschwitz, Birkenau.
About what period? - Towards the end of either October or November 1943.
What do you know about Weingartner? - Weingartner I know because I worked with my brother in the F.K.L. as a carpenter for a period of about two years. As there was a great requirement for food, my brother received ten roubles and a signet ring for which he obtained 240 cigarettes. My brother was in the process of taking these 240 cigarettes to the woman when, because my brother was in the women's block which was not permitted, Weingartner arrived on the scene together with the Blockführer. Weingartner called up my brother, searched him, and found on him 240 cigarettes, ten gold roubles and the signet ring. This took place in the Blockführer's room and the Blockführer was told to go out, and my brother received 75 strokes. I was not present but when my brother left the room (he was kicked out of the room by Weingartner) he could hardly stand.
Were you present when your brother came out of the room? - I was waiting for my brother some distance away until he came out.
Were you present when your brother went into the room? - I was; I stayed some distance away watching where he was going.
You have just told us when your brother came out he could hardly walk. What happened to him then? - Together with a friend we helped him along to the block where he lived and stood him up against the wall; he could not stand and had to sit down.
Did he tell you what had happened to him whilst in the room? - He told me that he was bent over a chair and a knee was applied to his neck to keep his head down and he was beaten.
What happened to your brother after you took him back to the block? - After work we went back to the block. He was not able stand during roll call and so we took him to the hospital.
Did you later visit him in hospital? - I did, and I spoke to the doctor and offered him a reward for looking after my brother when he got better.
Did you see your brother? - No, I was not allowed in.
Did your brother recover? - The next day at lunchtime I went to the hospital, brought a little bread, white bread, and some margarine, to be given to my brother and asked if I might see him but I was not allowed to do so.
Did your brother ever recover? - I visited the hospital again and asked how my brother was. I was told that there was a chance that he might recover.
Did he in fact recover? - He did not recover. I came a third time. I was not allowed to see him but I was told he was very ill.
Did he die? - I was told by the doctor later that he had died.
What was your brother's full name?
(The witness breaks down and leaves the Court)
THE PRESIDENT: It is quite obvious that this man is not fit to be brought before the Court again now because he will only have another breakdown, so the Court will now adjourn. The Court will assemble at 1000 hours again tomorrow but after that the Court will assemble in the morning at 0930 hours.