Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'
JOSEF KRAMER is recalled on his former oath and is re examined by MaAJOR WINWOOD as follows:- You were asked yesterday if you believed in god? - Yes.
Do you believe in Germany? - Yes.
Where you also asked yesterday if it was part of the doctrine of your Party to exterminate the Jewish race? - It was not part of it.
Was your Party the Government of Germany? - Yes.
Did that Party come into power in 1933? - Yes, on the 30th January.
Did that government remain in power until the end of the European war? - Yes.
Was that Government recognised by all the civilised countries in the world? - I believe so.
Was Adolf Hitler the head of that government? - Yes.
Was Heinrich Himmler a member of that government? - Yes.
Was Himmler entrusted with the internal security of Germany? - Yes.
Who was head of the Waffen SS? - the highest Kommandant of the Wehrmacht was also head of the Waffen SS Himmler was the head inside Germany.
In your humble position which you held in Germany, what was your opinion of an order from Himmler? - As I said already yesterday, Himmler was my highest chief, and any order emanating from him had to be naturally executed. Any other opinion simply did not exist, and not to execute a military order was quite out of the question.
You said yesterday in answer to the Prosecutor that transports were coming in in the summer of 1944, for a short period of approximately a fortnight, day and night? - Yes.
Where did they come from? - From Hungary.
This question was put to you: Did you prefer to be a party to wholesale murder rather than be arrested yourself? - Yes.
Have you heard of the atomic bomb? - Yes, lately from the papers.
THE JUDGE ADVOATE: What have we to do with the atomic bomb, Major Winwood?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Nothing. (To the witness) We heard yesterday of the strength return which was produced by the prosecution giving a list of the numbers of the women internees at Belsen? - Yes.
To what office were the strength returns sent? - To Oranienburg.
Where were the strength returns for the male internees sent? - Also Oranienburg. Two separate strength returns for the internees, one for men and one for women. They were sent to Oranienburg.
It was put to you that you never did anything to help these people in the camp with regard to food and other conditions. - Yes.
Did you ever do anything against the regulations to get food for the internees? - I said already yesterday that I tried with several private firms to get more food supplies. I know that all these letters and also the answers to these letters were amongst my private correspondence, and I know that they are now in the hands of the military authorities. I know it because during my interrogation at Celle prison I saw one of these letters in the hands of the British interrogating officer.
It was put to you yesterday that you should have gone to the General at the Wehrmacht barracks and put the whole position to him and ask him to help. - Yes.
Will you tell the Court what difficulties, if any, there were in a Hauptsturmführer in the SS going and visiting a General in the Wehrmacht in March or April of 1945? - I do not think there would have been any particular difficulties in seeing him. I should have let myself be announced, and I do not think he would have seen me. But if I would have mentioned any sort of request for food supplies, his answer would have been in the negative, because these food reserves in the stores of the Wehrmacht were destined only for members of the Wehrmacht; and even if there had been some sort of possibility of help, I am rather in doubt if they would have helped me.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Josef Kramer, I think you have been connected with concentration camps for about ten years; is that right? - Yes.
From your experience did you form the view, at any rate, in the war years that, for instance, a sick or infirm Polish Jew was bound to die as part of the policy of the German Reich? - No.
Of what use to the German Reich was a sick or infirm Polish Jew or Jewess ? - I do not know; I had nothing to do with the reasons why these people were sent into my camp. I was there and I received them. Why they were sent to me I do not know. It had nothing to do with me. Whether it was a political enemy or a Jew or a professional criminal had nothing to do with me at all. I received the bodies that was all.
When you were told that Belsen was to become a camp for sick Jews, did you realise unless it was properly fitted up the sick Jews who went there must inevitably die? - It was not only a question for the camp for Jews; it was a question of sick prisoners, and when in January Lolling came to inspect my camp I told him that if this camp should become a camp for sick prisoners, I should need more doctors, more medical supplies, more beds, blankets and so on. In my report from the 1st of March I pointed out that I needed help because otherwise the people under those existing conditions would inevitably die.
When a Jew was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz, was any official record made in the records of the country of that person's death? - I do not know; I do not think so, because all these things were done in Auschwitz No. 1 - done by the Political Department of that camp. Therefore, I cannot say.
When a Polish Jew died at Belsen was any record made - any official documents recording his death? - Yes, it was done until the day when I got orders that all the official documents had to be destroyed. Then it was not done anymore. I did not know many details, but I tried to get at least his or her name and the very most important facts. That had been done until the day this order arrived.
In Belsen if anybody died did you have enquiries made how they came to die? - Not I, but it was the doctors who did. They had to see the reasons for that person's death and had to certify through his signature.
While you were serving did you receive any rewards or promotions for your service to the Reich? - Before the war I held the rank of Obersturmführer which, I believe is the equivalent to a Lieutenant, and during the war I was promoted to Hauptsturmführer - in 1942 - and that, I believe, is a Captain. The decorations which I received were the Kriegsverdienstkreutz, 1st and 2nd class.
Is that one decoration or two? - Two.
When did you get them? - The Kriegsverdienstkreutz 2, which is the lower one, in the summer of 1942 and the Kriegsverdienstkreutz1, on the 30th January 1945. This Kriegsverdienstkreutz 2 I got when I was Lagerführer and also the promotion. Then when I was camp Kommandant I was not promoted anymore, but I got this decoration Kriegsverdienstkreutz No. 1.
A MEMBER OF THE COURT: Can you tell us what was the normal system of rationing at concentration camps apart altogether from any emergency that may have arisen in March and April? - I do not know the exact ration system, but I can say that compared with the rations of the civilian population it was approximately three-quarters of the amount a civilian got.
Did camp authorities put in indents for their requirements? - Yes.
To whom did they put them in? - To the Wirtschaftsamt at Celle,and they gave me the ration cards for them.
Were the camp authorities those responsible for making the contracts for food supplies? - The firms with whom we had to deal were already giving through the Wirtschaftsamt. They put those firms on to us, and there were firms who were delivering already in former times to the camp, and that was carried on.
THE PRESIDENT: Major Winwood, have you any further points to raise on that?
MAJOR WINWOOD: No.
THE WITNESS: I would like to add one single word about the question of supplies.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
THE WITNESS: In March on my own responsibility I distributed more potatoes than the ration system would have allowed me to do. I gave orders that these potatoes should be added to the normal food so that the food should be stronger and more nourishing. But at the end of the month of March I had to cease with this practice because there were not more potatoes.
And now I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Defending Officers for what they have done for me and the others, and I am sure it will enable the Court to give a just and fair judgement.
(The accused, Josef Kramer, leaves the place from which he has given evidence)
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This witness will give her evidence in German and she informs me that the oath she has taken will be binding on her conscience.
MAJOR WINWOOD: (To the witness) What is your full name? - Rosina Kramer.
Are you the wife of Josef Kramer? - Yes.
When did you marry Josef Kramer? - On the 16th October 1937.
Since that time have you been with him in his duty? - With short intervals I have been always with him. Of course, when he was on duty he was in the camp.
Did you ever go inside the concentration camp? - Yes, but it was sort of off duty, on Sundays.
Were you with him when he went to Auschwitz in 1944? - Yes, I arrived two weeks afterwards.
Do you know who was the Kommandant of Birkenau before your husband took over? - Sturmbannfuhrer Hartjenstein.
Did you have any conversations with Hartjenstein before your husband went to Birkenau? - Not before, but three days after my husband took over that happened at Natzweiller.
What did he say to you? - I asked him why especially my husband was chosen for Auschwitz. His answer was because the rank of my husband was Hauptsturmführer and Hartjenstein was Sturmbannfuhrer, a higher rank, so in Auschwitz as he would perform the duties of second in command, therefore the rank of Hauptsturmführer was right.
Why could not have Hartjenstein with the rank of Sturmbannfuhrer remained at Birkenau? - It was a general change of commands. It was a policy of Berlin that every two years commands had to be changed over.
Who became Kommandant of Auschwitz No. 1? - Bayer and Obersturmführer Hoess, the Standardältester. Obersturmführer Hoess was also sent to Auschwitz and he was responsible for the transports, I suppose, the gas, or something like that.
Do you know of your own knowledge why Hoess was sent to Auschwitz? - I believe for the incoming transports.
Did your husband ever talk to you about what happened in Auschwitz? - Later on he spoke to me. One evening he said " Those who are responsible for the lives who are being destroyed now, I do not think have very easy sleep" or "do not sleep lightly".
Did you go eventually to Belsen? - Yes, four weeks later.
When did you arrive at Belsen, in which month? - On the 30th December.
Did you ever go into Belsen Camp? - One Sunday afternoon I went into the weberi [Weberei], into the place where they were weaving, and my husband told me with great pride about the beautiful orchestra which was playing. He wanted to show me that.
Was there in fact a camp band at Belsen? - Yes, there was a band, but they had no instruments, so in the meantime my husband wanted that the instruments from Auschwitz should be sent to Belsen, and then he asked the SS people in Belsen to lend their instruments so that these girls should at least be able to play something.
Will you answer my questions and not run on? - Yes.
Did the SS lend their instruments to the camp? - Yes.
Did a girl called Anita Lasker play in this orchestra? - I do not know any names.
Did your husband ever speak to you about the food in Belsen? - I was present at a conversation between my husband and Vogler, the official who was responsible for the food, and I remember that my husband said, "What those people get is not enough to live on and too much to die."
Did he ever speak to you about the hospital or medical supplies or doctors? -Yes. I remember one evening about half past 11 he came home. It was just after an air raid alarm he was walking, pacing up and down, always asking: "Why, why, why", and then he said, "Now the truck or railway wagon which I was expecting for the last three months, I just hear that it has been bombed to pieces in Hannover and I have not a bit of bandaging material or dressing material."
Did that wagon, as far as you know, contain medical supplies? - Yes, it was mainly dressing material and it was meant for the hospital.
Did your husband have any social contact with the Wehrmacht in the barracks? - No, he had no time, anyway, because he was on duty day and night.
Have you ever heard of your husband ill-treating anybody while at Belsen? - No.
Did you know what your husband's opinion was about his duty to the internees at Belsen? - Yes. He told me his duty was to take care of them and this is what he has been doing the whole time, night and day. I remember he came once between duty hours and spoke with me and my children, that was his all, his own treasure, and he said: "If I could find anything so that those people should not lie on the bare floor", and then he gave orders to see that some fern plants should be collected so that these people should have something.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.
CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No questions.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: You have told us the reason why Hoess was sent to Auschwitz for the incoming transports? - Yes.
What transports were these that you were talking about? - ? - I believe these were the transports which were destined for the gas chambers.
You knew about the gas chambers then, did you? - Everybody in Auschwitz, the whole area, knew about it.
And you think that Hoess was sent there to command the whole camp because these transports were coming? - Yes.
Why did you think your husband was sent there, then? - Because of his rank being only Hauptsturmführer.
And the camp that he went to command had all the gas chambers in it, did it not? - Yes. He did not know that before.
You told us that your husband told you one night that those who were responsible for the lives which were being destroyed could not have a very easy conscience? - Yes.
He realised it was very wrong, did he not? - It was his order.
That is what I am asking you. Your husband realised that it was very wrong that these people should be killed, did he not? - Yes, naturally.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No re examination.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Where was your private residence in Belsen in regard to the camp? Was it nearby or was it some distance away? - About 50 metres from the entrance to the camp. It was a barrack.
(The witness withdraws)
MAJOR WINWOOD: That closes the defence of accused No. 1.
Dr. Klein was, I think, introduced to the Court by the Prosecutor as a Romanian, but in fact he was a German living in Romania, part of a small minority who always felt themselves to belong to Germany.
He practiced as a doctor and eventually became a doctor in the Romanian army. German doctors in the Romanian army did not apparently have a very good time and were not very popular, and when the new regime came into Germany Dr. Klein went to Germany and, as he said in his statement, he volunteered for the SS
He eventually found himself at Auschwitz in company with a considerable number of other doctors, and his duty there, as he says in his statement and to which he will adhere, was to select people from those incoming transports.
They were selected as follows, those capable of work and those incapable. He will tell you that there was no question of not carrying out that order; there were lots of other doctors there who would have done it if he had refused and been sent to a gas chamber himself.
He will also tell you that he did his best to deal with the border line cases and give them the benefit of the doubt and send them to the capable of work party.
He will tell you he took no part in any experiments at Auschwitz at all. He will tell you he went to Belsen to take the place of Dr. Schnabel for a short time, and Dr. Schnabel told him that he was to carry on as Dr. Schnabel had been carrying on. Later Dr. Klein became second doctor to Dr. Horstmann, and he was told by Dr. Horstmann that his duty was to look after the administrative SS and the guards at Belsen camp, and that Dr. Horstmann himself retained responsibility for the internees.
On the 12th or 13th April, many of the SS left under the terms of the armistice, and as Dr. Horstmann was a younger doctor it appears that he thought he might be sent to the front or go on taking part in the war, and so Dr. Klein was left, if I may say so colloquially, holding the baby which had been conceived by Dr. Horstmann, Dr. Schnabel and Dr. Lollinge. That is the reason why Dr. Klein stayed there.
When Dr. Klein did take over, although it was at the time when everybody knew the British were coming, and he did everything in his power that he could for the internees. You will appreciate that it was a very short time he had at his disposal, but he did all he could.
Now I would like to call Dr. Fritz Klein.
The accused, Fritz Klein takes the stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence, and having been duly sworn is examined by MAJOR WINWOOD as follows: What is your full name? - Fritz Klein.
Where were you born, in what country? - Born in Zeiden, near Kronstadt in Romania.
What was your nationality? - At that time it was Austria, the Austrian Hungarian monarchy.
When were you born? - On the 24th November, 1888.
Did you always remain a Romanian? - When I was born I belonged to the Austria-Hungarian monarchy. After the first world war I became a Romanian citizen until now. I still remain a Romanian citizen.
Did you live in Romania in a German community? - Yes, the majority in the town of Zeiden, where I lived, was German; about two thirds German and one third Romanian.
Did you feel yourself to be German or Romanian?...
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No. This is getting very much too leading now.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Are you objecting to the question?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am just reminding my friend that I think it is time to stop leading.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the question you want to put?
MAJOR WINWOOD: The question I was putting when I was interrupted was: "Did you feel yourself to be a German or Romanian?"
THE PRESIDENT: What you want to put is what nationality he considers himself?
MAJOR WINWOOD: No. I know he is Romanian. The question I put was: "Do you consider yourself a German or a Romanian?"
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
THE WITNESS: I am a Romanian subject of German nationality. My mother tongue is German and all my schools, elementary schools and the higher schools, were all done in the German language.
Where did you practice as a doctor? - In three places, all near Kronstadt. The first was Rossbach, the second Brendorf and the third called Zeiden. Then another place where I practiced my profession was called Dava which is on the line between Kronstadt and Arad, about 50 kilometres on that line.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Where did he qualify as a doctor?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Where did you qualify as a doctor? - In Budapest.
THE INTERPRETER: He said all his schooling was in German. Now the university at Budapest is not German, but Hungarian. He said his university years were in German and his qualification at Budapest is again in Hungarian.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I think it is quite clear to the Court what he means. He was one of a German minority, he had his own schools and he was brought up there. When he went to Budapest he would have to take it in Romanian.
MAJOR WINWOOD: Did you practice all the time as a civilian doctor? - Yes.
Did you do any service in the Romanian army? - Yes. The last three years I was in the Romanian Army partly because of the troubles which were there always, and partly we were stationed at the Romanian - Russian frontier.
When did you leave the Romanian Army? - I did not leave the Romanian Army, but in the summer of 1943 there was a sort of treaty between the German and Romanian Governments that all those appertaining to the German minorities should continue their service in the German Army.
What part of the German Army did you join? - The SS formation. It was impossible to join the proper German Wehrmacht because one had to have German nationality for that.
Where did you go in December, 1943? - On the 15th December I went to Auschwitz.
Who was the Kommandant at Auschwitz when you arrived? - Hoess.
And how long did Hoess remain there? - I do not know exactly, but only for a short time.
Who was the senior doctor? - Dr. Wirtz.
Did Dr. Wirtz give you any instructions when you first came to Auschwitz? - No particular instructions. He only told me in which part I have to do my duty, where.
To which part were you detailed? - I started with my duties in the women's compound in Auschwitz, continued then in the gypsy camp and then in the Jewish family camp, mixed camp, and then I continued in Auschwitz No. 1.
How many doctors were there in Auschwitz? - Seven or eight.
In your statement you mentioned about selections. Will you tell us what happened on these selections? - The first time it was Dr. Wirtz who gave me these orders when the first transport arrived. He gave me the orders to divide the transport into two parts, those who were fit to work and those who were not fit to work. Amongst the instructions concerning those unfit to work were his explanations, unfit to work, are, for instance, those who because of their age cannot work, or who are too weak or whose health is not very good, and then also children up to the age of 13, 14 or 15.
Who was it actually doing the selecting? - The selecting was done exclusively by doctors.
Was each person selected individually? - It was not a proper examination which took place; they were not undressed for instance, but one looked at the person and if she looked ill one asked a few questions: "What is the matter?", and if the person was healthy then it was decided immediately.
What happened to those people who were selected as capable of work? - The doctor had only to make the decision. What happened to them afterwards was nothing to do with him.
Did everybody pass before a doctor before they were divided into capable to work and incapable? - Yes. The doctor would have to look at everybody and he decided whether they were fit or unfit for work.
What happened to those people who were selected as capable of work? - The doctor had only to make the decision whether they were fit or not fit. What happened to them afterwards was not up to him. He sent them away, but whether they went to Arbeitskommandos, to working parties, or whether they had to stay in the camp for a short time he did not know.
What happened to those people who the doctors selected as unfit for work? - The doctor had made his selection, but he had no influence upon what was going to happen to them, but I have heard and I know that part of them were sent to the gas chambers and the crematorium.
Did you ever take part in any other selections except when the transports came in - selections for anything? - I have heard much talk in this Court about selections in the hospitals, but there were no real selections in the hospitals. The only thing that was done was that the doctor was ordered to produce lists with the names of people who would be better in two, three or four weeks, and people who had no chance to become better and that was the only thing that was done, but it was no real selection.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I am not quite sure if I have got the sense of that. Would this be what you think he said: "In the hospitals there were no real selections done; the only ones selected were those who would not be fit in three or four weeks". Is that the substance of it?
THE PRESIDENT: Doctors made lists.
MAJOR WINFIELD: Yes.
THE WITNESS: Very often these people who were put on the lists remained in the hospital for a time, sometimes they were removed to another department in the hospital, and sometimes they left the hospital. At one time it happened that several cases of scabies were reported. I made a selection and put all the people with scabies in a separate room.
Going back one moment to the selections when the transports came in, was your work completed when you had divided the transports into fit for work and unfit for work? - Yes.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Before you continue, sir, there is a question of whether you would release the prosecution witnesses. I have discussed it with my friends and I understand the defence have no objection. I have made it clear to them that I can give no guarantee to bring them back because I know that some at least are anxious to go their homes.
THE PRESIDENT: These are really all the Polish witnesses?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Displaced persons.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that will be all right.
MAJOR WINWOOD (To the witness): Did you ever go down to the gas chamber yourself? - Yes, I once had a look at the crematorium and gas chamber. It was not working at the time.
Did you have any duty to perform down at the gas chamber? - No, not at the gas chamber.
What was your personal opinion about this gas chamber business? - I did not approve but I did not protest because that was no use at all.
Do you know anything about any experiments that took place at Auschwitz? - Yes, I heard that experiments were made at Auschwitz but I had nothing to do with them myself, other doctors were doing that. It happened in a special block but I have never been in that block.
From where did the orders come about the selections? - I do not know; I always received a message by telephone then I went down to the station on the platform by Red Cross car and that is all I know about it.
When did you first go to Belsen? - For the first time I came to Belsen at the end of January, 1945.
Who was the doctor at Belsen when you first arrived? - Sturmbannfuhrer Schnabel.
Did you and Dr. Schnabel both remain at Belsen? - No, Dr. Schnabel went away after a few days and he said he would be coming back in a short time, he said everything was in running order, the Red Cross orderlies knew their work so that my duties would only be very light. I had to go to the camp every day; if there was anything special I had to do something about it but not very much was expected and, furthermore, I had to sign some papers.
Were there any hospitals in the camp ? - Yes, it was rather primitive.
Who looked after the hospitals? - The doctors chosen from the prisoners.
Did you come back to Belsen? - I came back to Belsen in the middle of March. Dr. Schnabel was not there but Dr. Horstmann was. In the first two days Dr. Horstmann took me round the camp, showed me everything, and I gained the impression that this was a lost post. It was working a very ungrateful work - it was a thankless job.
Did Dr. Horstmann give you any instructions? - Dr. Horstmann did not give me part of the camp to work in; he said: "You will only stay here for two weeks so you had better look after the SS troops". Dr, Horstmann took me with him into the camp very often and I always said to him: "You had better be very careful, you had better make as many reports as you can because the situation is deteriorating every day." I told him if I was responsible for this camp I would write to Berlin every day telling them all about the bad conditions so that nobody could accuse me that I did not warn higher authority.
A MEMBER OF THE COURT: Did he mean the situation in the camp or the situation of the war?
MAJOR WINWOOD: When you talk about the situation, do you mean the situation in Belsen? - In the camp.
Did anybody from Berlin visit the camp in the month of March? - Yes, Pohl came and sought to save whatever could be saved; I hoped that through his visit things would improve.
Did anybody come with Pohl? - Yes, with Pohl came Obergruppenführer Hoess and Dr. Lolling.
Did you have any conversation with Dr. Lolling? - Yes, I had a conversation and I did not need to point out very much to these people because they had seen with their own eyes how bad the situation had became.
What was the position with regard to medical supplies at this time? - At that time I did not have the proper insight into the question of medical supplies because at that time I was not doing that duty, but about three days before the British troops entered the camp and when I took over I was surprised about the comparatively huge amount of supplies which were there.
Did Horstmann go away by himself? - No, he went away with the majority of the people because only a small minority stayed on in the camp.
Did you have any conversation with Kommandant Kramer after you took over the camp? - Yes, when I went to the camp I was very deeply impresses about the tragic circumstances I saw there and when I returned I met Kramer and I told him about those terrible impressions I had. I told him that the first thing to be done was to get rid of all the bodies which were lying about in the camp, then the second very important or most important question was the question of water because in my opinion I believe they were suffering more under thirst than under hunger.
What was the first thing you did yourself as senior and only doctor? - I called a meeting of all the internee doctors. There was a large number, about 80 to 100. I told them we would try to do what could be done, but in fact nothing much could be done. I added, however, about this rather huge amount of medical supplies, that they should make out a list of all their requirements and said that they would be met because those supplies need not last for long while the British troops were going to arrive very shortly. On the same day I took over from the stores a huge amount of milk, tins of milk, tins of meat and also some tins of cake or biscuits. I told the doctors that these should be distributed among the children, women and sick prisoners, who really did require it. I told also the doctors and orderlies who seemed to be also very much in need of nourishment - they were badly undernourished - that they should take for two of them a tin of each of these enumerated things. In my opinion, however, this distribution of these tins of milk and biscuits and so on was not much use; it could not improve the situation very much. The main question was water and water and nourishment and food for the whole community. This little thing was like a drop. The worst thing in my opinion was the terrible overcrowding of the camp, people did not know where to lie down, how to lie down; there were no beds, no blankets, no paillasses; there was no water, no sanitation, because at that time nobody thought of all these necessary things.
How often had you been into the camp while Dr. Horstmann was in charge? - I went about about five or six times with him. He usually took me with him - Dr. Horstmann - into the compound. Whenever he met me he said: "Just come along with me, we will go into the compound". Apart from that I went on my own about two or three times into the compound because I took over, without having been detailed to do so, the so-called Belladonna Camp, which was a camp with Turkish people, Spanish people, all sorts of mixed nationalities; it was called the Belladonna Camp.
When Dr. Horstmann left did he hand over to you any lists or reports or papers? - Nothing, only the camp.
At that time had you any idea how many people were suffering from what disease? - Yes, I had an approximate idea, but I could not say for sure. In fact Dr. Horstmann and myself had to rely on the internee doctors for any sort of strength return of numbers of disease or how many suffered from which disease.
When the British troops took over the camp did you have a conversation with a Brigadier? - I do not remember.
Did you receive any instructions from any British officers about anything? - No.
Did you carry out any medical duties after the British came in? - On the first day I went still around and was still interested but it cannot be really be called duty or service any more.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.
CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
Cross-examined by LIEUTENANT BOYD: Would No. 42 stand up? (The accused No. 42, Hilde Lisiewitz, stands up) Do you remember when this woman had typhus? - I do remember. I am not quite sure whether it was typhus; she had a high temperature but I am not sure whether it was typhus.
Can you remember when that was? - I cannot remember exact dates but it must have been in March or April.
Can you remember how long she was ill? - I do not know exactly but I should think for a long period.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No questions.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Dr. Klein, you are an educated man and were educated at a non German university; is not that true? - Yes.
When you went to Auschwitz and found these transports of people being taken to the gas chambers and killed did you not realise that that was murder? - Yes.
Am I right in saying that the SS treated these internees purely as animals or cattle? - (No answer)
Those who were not fit for work were simply destroyed; is not that true? - Yes.
Those who were fit to work were beaten to their work, starved and overworked until their turn came to go to the gas chamber; is that not true? - I have not seen it happen, but if it did happen it was not right.
Have seen many people beaten by the SS whilst you have been at concentration camps, have you not? - No, I have not seen that myself, but I have received in the hospital people who had been beaten by the SS, but the majority were beaten of the patients I received were beaten by the Kapos and other inmates.
Did you complain to the Lagerführers about it? - Yes, I did. As a matter of fact, when I got these people who were beaten I made a report to the Lagerführer with the names of those who had given beatings. I must add that sometimes kapos of SS Führers who were beating these people asked me not to report them, and then because I was asked not to do so I did not report them, so I cannot say that I reported every beating.
Now I want to turn back to the transports when they used to arrive at the station. You went down in a Red Cross car to meet them, did you? - Not always a Red Cross wagon; sometimes on a bicycle and sometimes I walked there.
Who was in charge of the prisoners when you got there? - An SS guard was there whose duty it was to see that they did not get away. That is at least what I believe; I am not sure.
Well, you were there. Can you not tell us? - Somebody in charge of the transport handed the prisoners over to somebody who was in charge in Auschwitz.
Who were the people from Auschwitz who took charge of them? - I was never very much interested, therefore I do not know exactly, but I suppose an SS Führer .or an SS Unterfuehrer. The Kommandant of Auschwitz, he will be able to tell exactly who was in charge there.
Have you seen SS women on these parades? - Yes.
I suppose you as the doctor divided them, those who were to live on one side, those who were to die on the other, and the SS marched them off; is that right? - Yes.
Did none of them ever try to escape? - Sometimes they tried to get from that part where those fit for work stood, and when they were sent to the other part, to those who are unfit, they tried to get over the other side, but if they were caught they were sent back to those unfit for work..
You have told us you went down yourself to have a look at the gas chamber; that you were not on duty, but you went down to see it? - Yes.
Having taken part in the earlier stage of the murder did you want to see how it was carried out? - I did not look at them for that reason; I simply wanted to see them.
You told us that there were experiments carried out at Auschwitz. Was there a Dr. Weber there? - I cannot remember that name.
Was there a Dr. Schumann? - Yes.
Was he experimenting on the sterilisation of women? - I could not say what sort of experiments he was doing, but I know that he carried out experiments.
Was there a Dr. Glauber? - Yes.
And a Dr. Gebel? - Yes.
Were they carrying out experiments together? - Gebel and Glauber, those two were always together.
Were they carrying out experiments on electric sterilisation of women? - I know only that they were carrying out experiments. What sort of experiments I do not know.
Was Dr. Wirtz carrying out experiments too? - I do not know.
Did all the doctors live together? - With the exception of Glauber, Wirtz and Dr. Fischer and Gebel, who lived out, the other doctors lived together.
To turn back to the selections, I want you to tell me more about the selections that took place in the hospital. You have told us that you had to make lists of people who might get better in a certain period and people who would not? - Yes.
What happened to the people who would not? - It was always different. These lists were asked for very frequently, and sometimes after having handed in the list nothing happened at all, they simply stayed on. Sometimes again lists were asked, for instance, for all the patients suffering with tuberculosis, and suddenly those people were taken away.
What happened to them - the gas chamber? - We never knew where they went. They were fetched in trucks and where they went I do not know.
Do you remember the Hungarian transports coming? - Yes.
Was the gas chamber working day and night then? - They might have been working night and day; transports were arriving the whole time and if they were sent to the gas chambers then the gas chambers must have been working day and night.
Were they not sent to the gas chamber? - I do not know exactly. I believe so. I understand it is so, but I am not sure, but it might have been.
Let us turn to Belsen now. What did Kramer say to you, what was his attitude, when you told him the crying need for water and the need to remove the corpses that were lying about the camp? - He told me: "You cannot give me orders".
Were there corpses lying all round the camp? - Yes.
You have told us about this meeting of internee doctors that you saw? - Yes.
Until you called this meeting had there been any proper organisation of the internee doctors at all? - Yes, there was an organisation and each block had the doctors, and there was a duty rota.
Where did you find this huge supply of medical stores? - There was a chemistry in the camp itself.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: There was - what? - A chemists shop.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Medical stores. (To the witness) Until you distributed them had medical stores been short in the camp? - In the stores or in the camp?
In the camp. Had the hospitals been short of medical stores? - Yes, they were short of medical supplies.
The internees at Belsen, the prisoners, were they the same type of people that you had had at Auschwitz? - Their physical condition in Auschwitz was better; they were healthy and strong.
I was not concerned with their physical condition. I mean the types of persons who were there. - I believe they were the same. I did not notice any particular difference. They were political prisoners, there were Jews, there were Aryans, just as any other concentration camp.
At Auschwitz if they were unfit for work they went to the gas chamber, did they not? - Yes, probably.
Do you seriously think then that the SS had any intention of using Belsen as a convalescent camp? - In the beginning there was some talk about the camp being some sort of exchange camp for prisoners, but later on it did not give me that impression at all; it was not a camp for sick people, it was a death camp, a torture camp. With your permission I would like to add something.
THE PRESIDENT: To that question? - It is a general thing I would like to add.
THE PRESIDENT: No, you cannot.
Re-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD: Did the people who came down to the camp from Berlin know the conditions? - Yes. They came, they saw and they knew, and in my opinion they were wholly responsible for these conditions, because they were sending thousands and thousands of people into that camp without providing them with anything which they needed.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Dr. Klein, you said that medical supplies were found in the camp shortly before the British came. Could you give the Court any indication as to the quantity? - Only approximately.
Approximately will do. - The least we had was dressing material. All the other things would have been sufficient for a period of five days to a week if we had distributed them very carefully.
Do you mean there were medical supplies to cover the camp for five days? - Yes.
I think the Court are rather interested in this, so we had better go into it a little closer. You had how many people requiring attention in the camp at that time, approximately? 1000 or 10000? These are simple questions; I do wish you would get on. How many sick people were there requiring attention in the camp? - 3000 to 4000. I speak only about those who were in need of medicine or any medical stuff. There are still quite a lot of people who do not need at the moment medicine.
Now about the other stocks of milk, meat, biscuits. Can you give the Court any idea of the quantity, in weight or in number, or any indication as to the amount of stock there was in hand of that kind? - These tins were packed, of course, and they filled a room in the length of four metres and approximately in the height of five metres.
Where was this room? - First it was in the food store, and then I fetched it and put it into a room in the vicinity of this drug store which I mentioned before.
Could you tell from looking at the tins whether they had come from Red Cross parcels or whether they were the kind of tins which would be issued by the German authorities to the Wehrmacht or to the concentration camp? - I did not look myself, but I was told that all that amount came from the Red Cross.
A MEMBER OF THE COURT: You have told us the width of the room where these parcels were kept, and the height, but what about the length? - Four metres long, width five, height three.
ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE COURT: I want to ask you a question about the selections at the station. Would you give the Court a detailed description of exactly how they were done. Were they simply done as the people marched by, or did they stop and ask them questions, or how was it done? - They were standing on the platform, generally in fives, and then I looked at them, sometimes asked them a few questions about their health, and sent them to one side or the other. I was always standing and it was they who were moving.
THE PRESIDENT: Major Winwood, have you any further questions?
MAJOR WINWOOD: No, Sir.
The accused PETER WEINGARTNER takes the stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence, and having been duly sworn is examined by MAJOR WINWOOD as follows: What is your full name? - Peter Weingartner.
What is your nationality? - Yugoslav.
Where were you born? - In Putinci, Yugoslavia.
In what year were you born? - 4th June 1913.
What profession did you take up? - Carpenter.
How long did you work as a carpenter? - About three years.
Were you called up for service in the army? - Yes.
Which army was that? - In 1935 I was serving for nine months in the Yugoslav Army.
What did you do when you came out of the army? - Then I carried on with my work as a carpenter.
What did you do when war broke out? - Three times I was called in for manoeuvres; every time four to six weeks.
What did you do when Germany attacked Yugoslavia? - I took part in the war against Germany.
When was that? - From the 12th March until the end of April 1941.
What did you do after the German - Yugoslav war was finished? - I was captured by the Germans and then released and I went home.
How long did you stay at home? - Until 19th October 1942.
What happened on that date? - On that day I had to go to Germany to the SS
Did you go as a volunteer? - No.
Where did you go to in Germany? - Auschwitz.
What did you do when you first got to Auschwitz? - Weapon training.
How long did the training last? - Three months.
And then what did you do? - Then we were detailed as guards.
What sort of guards did you do? - Guards of the concentration camps.
What was your next employment? - I was on guard duty until 22nd November 1943.
Were you always in the camp itself or did you go outside? - Inside; I mean not inside the proper concentration camp but inside the whole camp area.
Did you go outside the camp with working parties? - Sometimes, yes.
Have you heard of the Arbeitskommando Webere? - Yes.
Did you have anything to do with that Kommando? - Yes.
When did you start having anything to do with that Kommando? - At the beginning of December 1944.
How long did this employment last? - Until Christmas.
What did this Kommando do? - Digging trenches for the regulation of the river.
How many people were employed on the work? - 1000 women.
Who as in charge of the thousand women? - I.
Were there guards as well as yourself? - Yes.
How many guards? - Approximately 30 men.
Who was in charge of those 30 men? - One officer of the military police.
What was your job with this Kommando? - I was to supervise them and to see to it that they were working.
Was there anybody else to help you guarding the women? - On the working site apart from me, nobody.
Did they work hard all the time? - I cannot say.
Were you always satisfied with the way they worked? - Yes.
Did you ever beat any of the women? - No.
Did you ever have any dogs under your command? - Yes.
What kind of dogs were they? - Wolfhounds.
Were these women entitled to extra rations? - Yes.
Who was responsible for seeing that they got them? - I was.
Did they get them? - Yes, with the exception of some of them.
Who did not get them? - Those who did not finish a certain type of job which was asked of them to finish.
Were you authorised to withhold the extra rations from them? - Yes.
Do you know the witness Glinowieski who was in this Court? - No.
May I remind you that he is the one who broke down when giving his evidence in that very box? - Yes.
Did you ever see him in Auschwitz? - I cannot remember.
Do you remember his brother? - No.
Do you remember the story he told about his brother? - Yes.
Is that story true or untrue? - Untrue.
When you say it is untrue do you mean the whole story is untrue or part of it? - I do not know of anything.
Did you do any other duty at Auschwitz? - I was Blockführer.
In which compound? - In the women's compound.
As a Blockführer what were your duties? - I was on telephone duty; that is all I did during the whole year.
Was that before you went into the Kommando Webere or after? - Before.
How long did you stay at Auschwitz? - Until about 19th January 1945.
Then where did you go? - For two days we were marching from Auschwitz and then we were loaded into open train wagons. It was winter. Then we arrived at Ravensbrück. The prisoners remained at Ravensbrück. but I, myself, went to Berlin.
Where did you go from there? - From Berlin I was transferred to Bergen-Belsen.
When did you arrive at Belsen? - I cannot say for certain, but I believe in the beginning of February.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Are you now leaving Auschwitz?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes, I have left Auschwitz.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Are you not going to put to him the allegations made against him at Auschwitz?
MAJOR WINWOOD: I think I have.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: There is a whole lot of accusations made by Sunschein at Auschwitz. I do not know whether you want to deal with it or not, but I want you to know for the purposes of summing up whether you are accepting that or not.
MAJOR WINWOOD: I put that to the witness, I think.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I may not have heard you, but Sunschein said quite a lot. She said she was put into the river with water up to her knees, and that Weingartner treated people badly, beat them, etc.
MAJOR WINWOOD: I put that to the witness as to whether he had beaten anybody or not.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Very well; if you think that is sufficient well and good.
MAJOR WINWOOD: (To the witness) What employment did you take up when you got to Belsen? - I reported to the Kommandant of the camp, Kramer, and asked him to be put in charge of the blocks as Blockführer, and he said "That is all right" and I was Blockführer in the women's compound.
How long were you Blockführer? - Until the British troops arrived.
What were your duties as Blockführer in the women's compound? - I was responsible for the strength of the whole camp. I had to know that everybody was present or if anybody was missing.
Did you have anything to do with Arbeitskommandos in Belsen? - I had nothing to do personally with them, but I had to stand at the gate and count those outgoing and incoming prisoners and see that the figures tallied.
Did any of your duties ever call you away from the gate? - Yes, telephone duties.
Where was the telephone? - It was in the vicinity of the gate, about five metres from the gate, in a small telephone box.
Do you remember an occasion when the personnel of one of the kitchens was changing over? - Yes.
Will you tell the Court what happened? - It was a working party to which many prisoners wanted to belong, because firstly they had more to eat in the kitchen and, secondly, they had the possibility after work to taking something away from the kitchen. It was in the middle of the night - between three and four o'clock - instead of the 100 or 150 required prisoners for the work squad about 600 Or 700 were assembled and they were not queuing in a proper and orderly manner, but were pressing on. I tried to quieten them down in the beginning with words, and then later on when I had no results I tried to find something and I found a rubber tube, and I hit the Kapo, who should have been responsible for the orderly behaviour of that working squad, five or six times with it.
Did the Kapo say anything to you? - I heard it from the other side that that Kapo had to go to hospital and have his wound dressed and I heard it that he had to stay there for a fortnight. That is a lie.
THE PRESIDENT: (To the Interpreter) I am not clear about this Kapo. You said "him".
THE INTERPRETER: I am sorry; it is a woman.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is this in connection with Sunschein?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes. (To the witness) Did you have any difficulty in controlling these internees who were crowding round the cookhouse? - That was not in the neighbourhood of the kitchen, it was near the gate.
Did you ever carry a rifle? - No, a pistol.
Did you ever have to use that pistol to control internees? - Once in self-defence to keep them away from me, and those were shots in the air.
When was that occasion? - At the end of March or the beginning of April.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is this still at the gate or is he talking about another incident?
MAJOR WINWOOD: This is still at the gate, I think. Actually I thought it was at the cookhouse. I am trying to get him back to the incident. I do not know whether it is the same. (To the witness) At the time you had to use your pistol was that the same time that you had the trouble with the Kapo? - No, it is not the same incident. It is another one.
Apart from this occasion when you hit the Kapo with a piece of rubber tubing did you ever hit any other internees with anything? - No, it may be with my hand.
How often did you possibly hit people with your hand? - Once or twice in a month.
Did it ever do any harm? - No.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN CORBALLY: You said that you were at Auschwitz in the autumn of 1942. Was this the Birkenau camp or another part of the Auschwitz Camp? - I was in Birkenau.
Would you say that you knew the other SS men who were working in the Birkenau camp? - Some of them I have known, but those have gone to the front or somewhere else; I do not know.
Was that man working with you as part of the staff of Birkenau in the autumn of 1942 (Indicating No. 26 Heinrich Schreirer)? - No.
THE PRESIDENT: Not all of the Defending Officers appear to be present.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I think they have been called out to see witnesses. Captain Neave told me that he had no questions, nor has Mister Boyd.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I think somebody should be here to say on behalf of any accused that there are no questions.
THE PRESIDENT: You are answering for them?
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Yes.
CAAIN ROBERTS: Major Cranfield asked me to say that he has no questions.
THE PRESIDENT: I realise that there are witnesses arriving at unexpected moments but somebody must be here to say on behalf of the accused that there are no questions so that is on the record.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I have no questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: When you were in charge of this Kommando how far from the camp was the work? - About four to five kilometres.
What sort of a road was it? - It was a very bad road and it ran between fields.
Did you have a steep hill to go up? - Yes.
What time in the morning did your women have to go out there? - From the camp at half past seven.
Did they have anything to eat before they started? - Yes.
What? - Bread and coffee and apart from that two kilos per week additional food.
How long did they stay out at work? - They were working until 1500 hours, then it was tidied up and they went home.
Did they have anything to eat whilst they were out there working? - They were only preparing some tea.
Did they have anything to eat between the time they left at 7.30 in the morning until after they had marched back in the evening to the camp? - The prisoners took their evening rations as haversack rations with them. They ate it during the lunch time and when they came home they had their warm cooked lunch for dinner.
You mean there was nothing provided for them at midday, but they kept something back of what they should have had the night before to provide themselves with something? - They got once per week 4 lbs of bread more. They could keep that and use that, and apart from that they changed over. They ate their lunch at night and they kept their portions, their rations, for the evening for the next day.
You told us they boiled tea whilst they were out there. Were did they get tea in December, 1944? - The firm where the prisoners worked they provided the people with tea.
Do you remember the witness Sunschein who gave evidence? - Yes.
Was she a forewoman in that gang? - I cannot remember; I believe yes.
Did you not remove her from that position? - I cannot remember.
Was not that because she refused to beat other prisoners? - I had strictest orders from the Kommandant to beat nobody; anyway to beat anybody was quite out of the question.
Will you agree with me that if you did beat people that was not in obedience to superior orders or anything of that kind? - I never beat anybody, but of course if I had done so then it would have been not in obedience with the orders of the superior officer.
When you were marching your squad out to this work, did some of them straggle behind? - No, we were marching so slowly that nobody was straggling behind because everybody could keep up that pace.
Did nobody ever have difficulty going up the hill? - It might have been difficult for some of them, but we were waiting until everybody was there.
How many dogs had you under your command? - The dogs and their guards anyway did not concern me at all, but there were about three or four dogs.
You know in answer to your own Defending Officer you said: "I had some dogs under my command". Now how many of them had you under your command? - Three to four; more than four, never.
And I suggest to you that you set those dogs on the women when they were going up the hill? - The dogs did not concern me at all. They were not under my command, and I had nothing to do with the dogs or with the guards. My responsibility was the women.
What were the dogs actually used for? - For security reasons.
What were they actually used for? - They were posted round the working site in a distance of 200 metres, one from the other. There they stayed the whole time until at night the prisoners went home.
Were some of these women working up to their knees in water? - No.
What were they doing? - Digging.
Digging what? - Digging trenches for irrigating the river.
How deep were the trenches? - It was about 20 metres large, and during those weeks I was in command there they went down about half a metre down in depth.
In the middle of December did no water collect in that trench? - They could avoid these spots with water; they could stand on the earth where it was dry. There was no need for them to be in the water.
Now you have told us that you do not remember Glinowieski. Do you remember two carpenters working in the women's camp whilst you were Blockführer there? - I do not know, because there were about 20 or sometimes 50 carpenters working there, so I cannot remember those two.
Do you remember a time when you found a man with some Russian golden roubles and a ring on him? - No.
Well I suggest to you that you took that man Glinowieski and that you beat him until he died the following day? - I do not know anything about it.
You were in this women's lager for how long? - 12 months.
How many selections for the gas chamber did you see during that time? - I had nothing to do with all that. I do not know anything about selections. I have heard that people were selected for work, but I do not know anything about it.
How many selections did you actually see yourself for the gas chamber did you see? - None.
Where did you spend all your days during this year? - In the barracks at the phone.
Did you never come out? - Sometimes I went into the room where I slept.
Were you in Lager A or Lager B of the women's camp? - A.
Was not the Blockführer's room quite near the camp gate? - Yes, it was directly there.
And was not the ramp where these selections for the gas chamber took place running from the main gate down the main street of the camp just near your Blockfuhrer's room? - Yes, there was a Blockführerstube there, but it was not mine. I was living in another Blockführerstube, not in that one.
Where was your room?
THE INTERPRETER: He cannot explain. Shall I give him something?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Never mind. (To the witness) Do you know where crematorium No. 1 was? - I know where the crematoria are, but I do not know where No. 1, 2 or 3 is.
Were not the people who were selected taken down the road right along the side of the women's camp where you were working, to get to any of the crematoria? - Yes, I have seen people there, but whether they went to the bath - house or whether they went to the crematorium I cannot say.
Now let us turn to Belsen. One of your duties, you have told us, was to stand at the gate and check the working kommandos in and out; is that right? - Yes.
Do you remember Helene Klein giving evidence? - No.
She was the girl, if you remember, who said you stood at the gate checking people in and out and beating them as they. Is that not true? - It is not true.
Was the Kapo who you beat in Belsen, when you beat her with this rubber hose, Sunschein? - Yes.
Whereabouts did you hit her? - On the back.
Where did you find your piece of rubber hosepipe? - That was lying about in the vicinity of the gate.
What length of hosepipe was it? - A bit longer than half a metre.
Were there quite a lot of pieces of hosepipe about that length lying about at Belsen? - I do not know. I know only about this one which I had at the time and which I kept.
It was singularly lucky, was it not, that the only day you ever beat anybody you happened to find this length of rubber tubing of just the right length lying just where you wanted it? - Yes.
What did you keep it for? - That it should be preserved and should not be ruined outside lying about.
Do you know Hilda Löbauer, No. 11? - Yes.
Is she not speaking the truth when she says in her statement that of the SS men she has seen with her own eyes beating and ill treating prisoners you are one of the ones who should be punished? ...
MAJOR CRANFIELD: I have not had an opportunity of cross examining the affidavit, because that is not possible, but I think it ought to be known now that in due course ...
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not know that my friend has any right to interfere in my cross examination to tell us what will happen in due course.
THE PRESIDENT: What is you objection?
MAJOR CRANFIELD: In due course I shall say that the quotation which the Prosecuting Officer is making now is a wrong translation of the statement made by Löbauer.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The affidavit is in, is it not?
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Yes. I cannot object to the question, but I think everybody ought to know that in due course I shall say that.
THE PRESIDENT: I have the point you are making. You are in due course going to say this was not a correct translation, but in the meantime the Prosecutor is raising a point on the affidavit which has been put in.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Yes. I have not had the opportunity of cross examining.
THE PRESIDENT: I entirely agree. Will you put the question again, Colonel Backhouse? Perhaps the shorthand writer had better read it.
(The shorthand writer reads the following question: "Is she not speaking the truth when she says in her statement that of the SS men she has seen with her own eyes beating and ill treating prisoners you are one of the ones who should be punished?"
THE WITNESS: I admit it that I have beaten.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No re examination.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Will you explain what you mean by the last answer you gave, "I admit it I have beaten"? The Court are not clear what you mean. - I have been beating Sunschein as I admitted and on several occasions, when internees were crowding in and closing in towards me and I could not help myself then I have beaten several internees. I could not help myself alone against 1000 women.
(The witness withdraws)
THE PRESIDENT: Are you making any preliminary statement in regard to Kraft?
MAJOR WINWOOD: No, I am just calling him.
The accused, GEORGE KRAFT, takes his stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence and, having been duly sworn, is examined by MAJOR WINWOOD as follows: What is your name? - George Kraft.
What is your nationality? - Romanian.
When and where were you born? - On the 16th December, 1918 in Rode.
What profession or employment did you take up? - Miller.
Up to what date? - Until I was called for military service on the 15th November, 1939.
How long were you in military service? - I have served in the Romanian Army from the 15th November, 1939, until the 30th April, 1943.
What happened to you when you came out of the army? - After I left the Romanian Army on the 30th April, 1943, I went home and I stayed there for three months.
What happened at the end of that three months? - During that period all the Germans in Romania had to go to the SS and they left for Germany between the 11th June and the middle of July.
Did you go as well? - Yes, I had to.
Did you want to go? - Not as a volunteer; I had to go.
Where did you first go to when you went to Germany? - We first went to Vienna, all of us, and after eight days I went to Buchenwald.
In what month did you arrive in Buchenwald? - I arrived at Buchenwald between the 5th and the 8th August.
How long did you stay in Buchenwald? - We had about three weeks training in Buchenwald; then I went to Dora.
How long did you stay at Dora? - From the beginning of September until the 5th January, 1945.
What kind of work did you do there? - In the first five months I had my duty in the company, afterwards I went to the cookhouse.
Where did you go from Dora? - From Dora I was posted to an outpost working party that belonged to the same camp but it was in a place called Kleinbodungen.
Where did you go to from Kleinbodungen? - From the 5th April we had to evacuate the camp at Kleinbodungen. We marched away. We did not know where we went.
Where did you eventually get to? - On the 11th April we arrived at the military training ground in Bergen-Belsen.
When you got to this place what employment did you take up? - In the first days I did no duty at all, I simply reported and on the next day I was told what duties I was going to do.
What did you do? - On the 12th and the 13th April the guard company from Belsen went away. I wanted to go with them but Obersturmführer Hössler and another Obersturmführer told me I had to stay because they had no administrative personnel.
When did you first go into the main concentration camp at Belsen? - The first time I entered the main concentration camp at Belsen was on the 22nd April under British guard.
Were you ever in Auschwitz? - I have never seen it.
Have you ever ill-treated in any way any internee? - I cannot remember such a case.
Have you ever shot anybody? - No.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN ROBERTS: Would No. 14 stand up? (The accused No. 14 Oscar Schmedidzt, stands up). Was this man ever in the SS as far as you know? - I do not think so because he joined us quite naked when we were already in prison.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: We did not get that. Would the shorthand writer read the answer? (The shorthand writer does so).
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I do not quite follow. I thought the question was: "had he been in the SS" Is that the answer you want?
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: I am quite satisfied with that answer.
CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN FIELDEN: Do you know who was in charge of the bath house at Dora? - There were several SS men in charge of it; it was a moving bath house on wheels; I know one of the people in charge of it called Wilhelm Putscko.
Would No. 22 stand up. (The accused No. 22, Ansgar Pichen, stands up) Was No. 22 (Ansgar Pichen) ever in the bath - house at Dora? - I have been in Dora for thirteen months but never saw him.
If No. 22 had been in the bath house at Dora would you have seen him? - I certainly would have seen him passing from the kitchen going to the bath house.
I want to ask you some questions about after you left Kleinbodungen. Did you leave Kleinbodungen with a transport of internee prisoners? - All the prisoners and all SS people left Kleinbodungen the same day.
Were you in a particular transport that left Kleinbodugen on the 5th April? - No, I was not with the actual transport. I was with a column of trucks that carried the food and other things.
What was your immediate destination when you left Kleinbodungen? - We had received orders to march to Herzberg [Herzberg am Harz] and there we had to go in railway wagons.
Did you get on to the railway when you arrived at Herzberg [Herzberg am Harz]? - I was one of the earliest to arrive at Herzberg [Herzberg am Harz] because I came by truck; about half an hour afterwards there was an air raid and nothing was left of the station; no trains were leaving the station any more.
What happened to the transport after that? - In the afternoon Stöfel arrived on his motorcycle. He saw it was impossible to go by train so he decided to march on across the railway.
How many internees were there in the transport at this time? - In all there were 610 plus 13.
Did you get to Osterode [Osterode am Harz] that night? - On the 5th April at 22 hours.
What was the next town you called at? - The prisoners marched off at six o'clock in the morning; we had to wait because we had no trucks. When we arrived at Zeesen [Seesen] they were already there.
Are you able to name the towns or villages at which the transport stayed at night before you eventually arrived at Bergen-Belsen? - Yes.
What are they? - Osterode [Osterode am Harz]; the second was Zeesen [Seesen]; the third was Salzgitter; the next was Rüningen; the next was Ohof; the last was Gross Hehlen.
Do you remember if there were any unusual incidents at any of these places you have named? - In the last place, Gross Hehlen, we were just distributing our food and then the front troops came and chased us away.
Were those troops SS or Wehrmacht? - SS front soldiers.
Why did they chase you away? - It was too near the front, it was only six kilometres from Celle and the Allied troops had entered Celle already. I do not know the exact distance, it may be between three and six kilometres from Celle.
Was there any shooting at Gross Hehlen? - Their front troops came under the command of an officer. They fired shots in the air, took the prisoners out of the place they were getting their food, lined them up and marched them off. They guarded the prisoners themselves.
Do you know if any of the internees were killed as the result of the interference of this SS unit? - I had to stay behind with the food trucks, so I do not know if any of the prisoners were killed.
To whom was the transport handed over when you arrived at Bergen-Belsen? - I arrived in Belsen half an hour after the transport and found that the transport had gone into the camp or block already. I do not know who took them over. They went into the blocks of the military training ground.
What happened to the SS men who had been guarding the transport? - They were were also billeted in a block, but separately from the prisoners.
Did you ever see that man shoot any internees on the march from Kleinbodungen to Belsen (No. 25 Franz Stöfel)? - I have seen no shooting at all.
Do you know to which place it was originally intended you should have gone to when you left Kleinbodungen? - It was not publicly told, but I heard that we were going to Neuengamme.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: It would help if the Defending Officers would indicate on whose behalf they are cross examining, so we can get our books in order.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN CORBALLY: I propose to cross examine this witness on behalf of the prisoner Dörr, No. 27. (To the witness) How many trucks did you have with you on this march? - We did not have trucks of our own, but in every place that we stayed we asked for trucks from the Bürgermeister, and we always received two trucks.
Did you carry any of the internees on your trucks who were lame and could not walk? - Some of the prisoners were taken in one of the trucks, but I could not tell whether they were lame or not able to walk.
Is it true that you were asked by one of the SS guards to take certain prisoners on the truck with you? - Yes. They did not ask me, but the other man who was with me, and not only prisoners but also SS men who could not walk.
You said just now that the SS men who could not walk went in the trucks. Would you make quite sure that you answer this question truthfully. Was not it also the case that the prisoners whom you had on the truck were prisoners who could not walk? - Some of the prisoners could not walk, but some of the prisoners belonged to the cookhouse personnel, and they stayed behind to help with the loading of the truck.
You have said that at the village of Gross Hehlen the prisoners were hunted out on to the road after they halted there and that they were chased out by SS troops from the front line, who shot in the air. Were there any other occupations, as far as you know, when the prisoners were shot at by SS people? - I was not with the transport during the journey. I was only with them when they stayed during the night.
Were there any occasions at night time, apart from Gross Hehlen when the internees were shot at or shot by the SS guards? - I have not heard anything like that.
Again, excluding Gross Hehlen, do you know of any of the prisoners having been killed on this journey? - I do not know anything about it.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No questions.