Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'

Twenty Third Day Friday, 12th October, 1945

Previous Day | Next Day

BormannThe accused, Juana Bormann is recalled on her former oath and further examined by MAJOR MUNRO as follows: You told us yesterday that you arrived at Auschwitz on the 15th May 1943? - Yes.

Are you absolutely certain that that was the date? - Yes, I am certain.

What part of Auschwitz did you come to? - Birkenau.

What duties were you given when you arrived? - It was a kommando which went outside the camp and which was called Kommando Babetz. I worked there for three weeks.

And after that? - Then I took up duties inside the camp at Birkenau.

How long did you remain at Birkenau? - Until the end of December 1943.

Where did you go then? - Then I came to a detachment which belonged to Birkenau, a detachment named Budy, about an hour's journey from Birkenau.

Did you come back to Birkenau again? - No; then I went on gardening work.

Did you ever return to Birkenau? - No.

You were in Birkenau from the 15th May 1943 until the end of December 1943? - Yes.

It has been said that while you were at Birkenau you took an active part in gas chamber selections; is that true? - No, I never have been present at those selections.

Was it your duty to be present on other kinds of parades? - Yes, the morning roll call and night roll call.

Anything else? - No.

A large number of witnesses have said that they remember seeing you with a dog; did you have a dog? - Yes.

Was it a big dog? - (The witness indicates a height of approximately 24 inches)

Did you have it when you arrived? - Yes, I brought him with me.

Did you have it all the time you were at Birkenau? - No, I gave it to Sturmbannführer Hartjenstein who wanted to take him when he went hunting.

Did he ever give it back to you? - Yes, the dog went ill and he came into hospital. Then I asked if I could have him back so that I could see that he got all right again, and I got him back.

When was it that you gave the dog to Hartjenstein? - At the beginning of June.

When did you get it back again? - At the end of February or beginning on March 1944.

It has been said that you made this dog attack internees. Is that correct? - No.

Do you remember two girls who came into the Court, Dora Szafran and Ester Wohlgruch who both said that you made your dog attack a woman and made the dog bite her throat? - Yes.

What have you got to say about that? - No, it is not true. The prisoner said it was a Wolfhound and I never had a Wolfhound.

Do you remember the two girls saying that you boasted to a passing SS man of what you had done? - Yes.

What have you got to say about that? - The prisoners alleged that, but it is not true. I never urged the dog to attack prisoners, and I must add that at Birkenau I never had the dog.

I am now going to read to you the deposition of Mrs. Vera Fischer (No. 31) paragraph 4: "At Auschwitz an SS woman whom I identify as Bormann (photo. 19-3) used to be in charge of women prisoners working outside the camp. She used to have a large dog (wolfhound?) which she used to set on the women if they became weak and unable to work properly. Many of them were taken to hospital and died of blood poisoning. Many others were sent to Block No. 25 which always meant that they went to the gas chamber." What have you got to say about that? - It is not true. I never went with kommandos outside the camp. I was always working inside.

I am now going to read from the deposition of Helena Koper (No. 46) paragraph 4: "I identify No. 3 on photograph 19 as an SS woman who was at Auschwitz during 1943/4. I knew her by the name of Bormann and have now been told that her full name is Juania Bormann. She was the worst hated person in the camp. At first she was in charge of the clothing store and then in charge of labour. She always had with her a large dog which she set on to the prisoners. On one occasion when I was undergoing a minor punishment, it was in the summer of 1944 as near as I can remember, I was kneeling down with my hands in the air and I saw Bormann approach a prisoner, a female, who was going towards the offices. Bormann stopped the woman and took something out of the woman's pocket. She then hit the prisoner with her right hand and then clasping her by the hair threw the woman to the ground. Bormann was holding the dog by a strap in her left hand and when the woman was lying on the ground she let the dog go and it bit the woman severely. When the dog had finished the woman was a mass of blood and one of her breasts had been torn severely. A doctor SS, Obersturmführer Rodek [Werner Rohde?] came and examined the woman. He was a good doctor and behaved always well. There was no movement from the body and four prisoners were instructed to take the body away on a stretcher to block 25 which was notorious as the death block that is the block to which people were taken when they were dying or where they were lodged prior to be taken to the gas chamber". Paragraph 5: "In 1942 not long after I had been at Auschwitz, Bormann found some cigarettes and photographs in my bed. For this she beat me on the face with her hand and then set her dog on to me. I was bitten in the left arm near the elbow. Bormann walked me to the hospital and I was there for six weeks. I believe Bormann called off the dog only because she was a sadist and enjoyed doing that sort of thing. I received an official beating for having cigarettes when I came out of hospital. Bormann left Auschwitz in the summer of 1944". Are these statements made by Helena Koper true? - No, I was never in charge of the clothing stores and, secondly, as I said before in 1944 I have never been in Birkenau.

I am now going to read from the deposition of Keliszek (Exhibit 50, page 79) paragraph 2: " I recognise No. 3 on photograph 19 as an Aufseherin at Auschwitz and I knew her by the name of Bormann. I have now been told that her full name is Juanna Bormann. In the summer of 1944 I was one of the Strafkommando of 70 women whose punishment was to stand in the same spot all day and strike the ground with a pick. Bormann was in charge of the party and would appear on the job about four times a day. One day she was not satisfied with the work of a group of about ten girls, to which I and a friend of mine belonged. I only know my friend by the first name of Regina. She was aged 18 years. Bormann always had a big dog with her and on this day she ordered the dog to attack our group. I was the first to be bitten, on the leg, and Bormann then ordered the dog to attack Regina who was standing next to me. The dog bit her first on the leg and as she was very weak she fell down. The dog then started to bite and maul her all over the body starting with her legs and working up. Bormann urged the dog on and when Regina was bleeding all over and had finally collapsed she ordered the dog to leave off and left the working place. Four of the prisoners later carried Regina to the hospital. I used to visit her every day. She was very weak and there were open wounds on her body which were never dressed in any way. I believe that her body had become blood-poisoned because the rest of her flesh had turned a dark blue. During my visits she was deranged and never talked sanely. One day about a fortnight after the mauling, I went to see her but the nurse told me that she had died. I have no doubt that her death was due to the mauling received from this dog on Bormann’s orders". Did you do what this statement says you did? - I can only repeat that in the summer of 1944 I had never been in Birkenau, and that I never went out with kommandos outside the camp.

I will now read from the deposition of Dora Silberberg (Exhibit 79 page 134) paragraph 2: " I recognise No. 3 on photograph 19 as an SS woman at Auschwitz. I knew her by the name of Bormann. I have now been told that her full name is Juanna Bormann. On 15th June 1944, whilst at Auschwitz I was working with a working party outside the camp. Working with me was a good friend of mine named Rachella Silberstein aged 21 years, from Łódź, Poland. On this day she felt very sick and could not walk on her own to the working site. We had to assist her and on arriving at the working site she sat down because she was so weak and suffered from very severe pains. Bormann, who was supervising the party, ordered my friend to go to work immediately. Because my friend could hardly speak through pain I intervened and told Bormann that Silberstein was too ill to work. Bormann hit me in the face with her fist, knocking out two of my teeth and told me to go back to work. As I moved away she hit me all over the body with a thick stick which she carried. She then ordered a big dog which always accompanied her, to attack Silberstein who was sitting the ground. The dog grasped her leg with its teeth and dragged her round and round until she finally collapsed. Bormann then ordered the dog to let go of my friend. After about ten minutes Silberstein recovered consciousness but laid all day on the ground. I could see no open wounds but the leg which had been gripped by the dog became very swollen and blue-black in colour. I had the impression that it was blood-poisoning. When we marched back to the camp four girls had to carry Silberstein and on her arrival they took her to the hospital. On the following day I went to visit her and she was very weak. She could neither speak nor eat. When I went to see her on 17th June 1944 the Warden told me that she had died. He said that the dead body was in the yard and I went there and saw a corpse covered with blankets. I lifted the blankets and recognised my dead friend". Is all that true? - No, it is not true. I must repeat that in 1944 I was not at Birkenau and I never went out with working squads outside the camp.

Can you suggest any reason or explanation why these witnesses should give such evidence? - I do not know.

Were you the only Aufseherin in Birkenau with a dog? - No, there were several Aufseherinnen who had black dogs. My dog was not black.

Who were the other Aufseherinnen? - The names are Kuck [Friederike Kuck] and Westphal who also had dogs. I would like to add that those two Aufseherinnen had officially trained dogs. My dog was my own dog, not an official dog, and I was not allowed to set him on to prisoners. If I had done so I would have received severe punishment.

What did the Aufseherin whose name was Kuck look like? - She was very much like me. We were even mistaken one for the other as I heard later on from prisoners.

What did the Aufseherin whose name was Westphal look like? - She was also dark as I, but she was taller.

Do you remember the witness Hanka Rozenwayg who said that once you hit her on the face with your hand? - Yes.

Is that right? - No, certainly not.

You also remember the witness Lidia Sunschein who said that you beat people frequently. Is that right? - No.

A MEMBER OF THE COURT: Is the witness denying the charge or the fact that she does not remember the witness?

MAJOR MUNRO: I will clear that up. (To the witness). When Lidia Sunschein says that you beat people frequently, is it the case that you did beat people? - No, I did not.

Did you ever hit girls? - Yes, when they did not obey orders or when they did not do what they were told to do, then I hit their faces or boxed their ears, but never in such a way that I knocked their teeth out.

It has been said that you administered save [savage] and brutal treatment to half starved internees. Is that correct? - It is not true.

It has been said that you used to beat women with a rubber stick. Is that true? - I did not even know what a rubber stick is until in prison at Celle I saw it for the first time in the hands of British soldiers.

I now want to read from the deposition of Alexandra Siwidowa, paragraph 4 (exhibit 81 page 137). "I recognise Juana Bormann, No. 3 on photograph 19, as an SS woman who was at Auschwitz during the whole of the time I was there. I saw her beat many women prisoners for wearing good clothes. She would strip women prisoners and make them do strenuous exercises. When they became too tired to continue I have seen Bormann beat them with sometimes a rubber and at other times a wooden stick on the head, back and all parts of the body. Whilst on the ground she also kicked them". Did you do any of these things? - I may have taken their clothes away, because they tried to get them out of the camp and sell them to the civilian population, but I certainly did not beat them, and I had no right to make them do sport.

You have told us that you sometimes boxed the ears of girls. Did you consider it necessary to do so? - If it had not been necessary I would not have done it.

Did you find it necessary? - If they did not obey orders or if they repeatedly did things that were forbidden.

Were these girls easy to control? - No, it was very difficult. Birkenau was a very large camp and starting to control one side, the other people always did things that were wrong.

Did you eventually go to Belsen? - Yes.

When did you get there? - In the middle of February, 1945.

And did you remain there until liberation? - Yes.

What work were you given to do? - I was looking after the pig sty.

Was that inside the camp? - It was between the men 's compounds, and it had a fence around it.

Did you come into contact with the prisoners? - No, with the exception of my own 18.

Did you have the same 18 prisoners all the time you were there? - Yes.

Did you know all their names? - No.

Were they men or women? - Women.

Have you seen any of them in Court? - No.

I am now going to read from the further deposition of Peter Leonard Makar, exhibit 61, at page 104 of the book.

THE PRESIDENT: Paragraph 2?

MAJOR MUNRO: Yes. "I recognise Juana Bormann (No. 3 on photo 19) as being an SS woman usually in charge of a pig sty at Belsen. I saw her on two occasions in March 1945 beat women prisoners. On the first occasion she beat a girl, whose name I do not know, on the face and head with her fists because she had caught her stealing vegetables. The girl fell to the ground and was helped away by her friend. On the second occasion a girl tried to steal clothing from the clothing store so Bormann beat her on the face and head with her fist. When I walked away the girl, whose name I do not know, was still being beaten." Is that true? - No, it is a lie.

Did you ever try to leave the SS? - Yes.

When was that? - In 1943.

What did you do? - I sent a letter stating that I wanted to leave the SS

To whom did you send that letter? - To our Oberaufseherin, and she sent the letter on. I received it back with the notice that it was not granted.

Did you ever try again? - Yes. A factory wanted to have my assistance and they wrote me a letter telling me that I had to come, but it was not permitted.

MAJOR MUNRO: That concludes my examination in chief.

MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.

MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.

CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.

CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.

CAPTAIN FELDEN: No questions.


CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.


LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.

CATAIN MUNRO: No questions.


Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Were you very much worse than all the other Aufseherinnen in your treatment of the internees? - I do not know; I only wanted to keep order.

Did the other Aufseherinnen strike internees who did not do as they were told? - I have never seen any Aufseherin beating prisoners, it was strictly forbidden.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I think possibly there is a mistake in translation there, because I put "striking". I do not know if he has changed that into "beating". She said she did it and I want to know whether others did.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that clear; it is "striking"?

THE INTERPRETER: Yes. (The question is repeated to the witness) - I have never see other Aufseherin slapping or striking other prisoners.

Why did you do it? - It was as I said because I wanted to keep order.

You are a very small woman, are you not? - Yes, I think so.

Did you say that all the time you were at Birkenau you had not got this dog with you ? - No, I did not have the dog with me. I gave it to Hartjenstein.

Can you think why Kommandant Hössler and all the witnesses who have mentioned your name, every one of them think of you as a small woman with a very big dog? - Hössler knows me from Budy where I had my dog.

From where do you think all the witnesses have got the idea that you had a dog? - I do not know.

Did these other two women you mentioned, Kuck, and I forget the other woman's name, who had dogs set them on to internees? - I have never seen it, but I never left the camp with working parties and the other two did.

When you first went to Birkenau you were in charge of a kommando, were you not? - No, I merely had to control the blocks in the camp.

What is the Kommando Babetz you told us about when you started your evidence? - That was a camp for working Kommandos, and the prisoners stayed there.

How far from Birkenau is that? - I think it was about an hour's walking.

What were the prisoners there employed on? - It was a large estate, and the prisoners used to work in the fields there, but I did not accompany them when they went out, because they had their own SS guards. I only stayed in the block.

What was your work in Birkenau itself when you came into the camp? - I had to control the blocks to see if the beds were made all right, and if everything was clean, and I had to keep order to see that the prisoners were not out of their blocks too much of the time.

How many Aufseherin were doing that? - I was the only one.

How is it then that you never attended selections? - I did not have time to attend them, and I did not like the idea of attending them.

You were the person who was supposed to keep order in the camp, were you not? - Yes.

Did you remember seeing Hössler on quite a lot of selections? - I have not seen.

Did you never see any selections? - No.

Did you never see any transports arriving in the camp? - In my time transports arrived further away from the camp. The only people coming into the camp were people walking back from their work.

Did no new arrivals ever come whilst you were there? - Yes, only those who came there for working purposes.

Did you never see any parties come to the crematorium? - No.

The crematorium was only just outside the Lager you were working in, was it not? - Yes, I did see the crematorium.

And people were regularly being taken down either in lorries or marching down that main road to the crematorium, were they not? - I have seen trucks on the road, but I did not know where they went, because there were other parts of the camp near the crematorium and they may have gone there.

Was it your duty to see that the women did not stand about but got into their block? - Yes. The women had a certain time that they were off duty and they could walk about, but at the time they had to go into the blocks it was my duty to see that they went into them.

I do not want to put this incident to you at any great length, because it has already been put to you, but was it not on one of these occasions when a working party had just come back that you set your dog on to the woman that both Szafran and Wohlgruth have talked about? - I repeatedly said already that I did not have my dog in Birkenau.

You see, I must put this incident to you, because your counsel cross examined the witnesses it two ways about this incident: First that you were not there and then that you tried to save the girl...

MAJOR MUNRO: I would like to say that that part of the cross examination did not involve any questions in regard to this particular accused. I was very careful to say "the Aufseherin" or "the woman" at the time. It was directed solely to the credibility of the witness.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: If my friend does not suggest that, I will not go on with it. I am afraid I did not know when he was suggesting to the witness that this woman was trying to restrain the dog and that she merely made a report to an Unterscharführer and not boasting about it. I am sure the Court will not hold it against me if I do not go through all these incidents again when she keeps saying: I did not have the dog.

What I do want to ask you about is this. You joined the SS or you joined, as you prefer to say, the camp followers of the SS in 1938; is that right? - Yes.

And you told us that you were employed at a mission before that? - Yes.

What was your employment at the mission? - It was a lunatic asylum and I was looking after the sick there.

What were you paid for doing that? - 15 to 20 marks a month.

What were you paid by the SS when you joined? - 150 to 190 marks per month.

Where did you go first, when you joined the SS? - To Lichtenburg, Saxony.

What were you doing there? - In the kitchen.

How long did you stay there? - From 1938 until May, 1939, when the whole camp was evacuated to Ravensbrück.

How long were you at Ravensbrück? - From 1939 until 1943.

What was you employment at Ravensbrück? - One year in the kitchen; one year on outside Kommandos, and then I was transferred on a farm of Obergruppenführer Pohl, and I worked there on his estate.

When did you acquire your dog? - In June, 1942; it was a give [gift?] from a friend.

Did you have that dog with you when you were working on Pohl's estate? - Yes, I bought it on Pohl's estate; he was small at that time.

Were you supervising working parties on that estate? - Yes, there was a squad of 150 prisoners there.

Is that not where you first trained your dog to attack prisoners? - I said before that it was my private dog and I had no permission to train him for that purpose. I love dogs and that is the reason why I had him.

Was he an obedient dog? - Yes, very obedient.

Then if he did attack a woman there would be no question of him doing it without orders? - He never did that. On the contrary, the prisoners played with him, and apart from that I never trained him for that purpose, so he never knew about orders in that direction.

You know, counting the affidavits that my friend has read, and the witnesses who gave evidence in Court, there are no less than five different occasions which have been spoken to on which your dog has been alleged to have attacked different women on your orders. Do you say that all these are quite untrue? - It is not true. I can only repeatedly say that I did not have that dog in Birkenau, and anyway he never went against prisoners.

When you left Birkenau you told us you went gardening; where did you go? - First I went to Buty [Budy] and then this garden where I worked which was about half an hour from Birkenau.

You talked about going gardening and never coming back to Birkenau. As a matter of fact it was an outside Kommando of Birkenau, was it not? - It was a sort of detachment of Birkenau.

Within half an hour's walk of Birkenau? - Yes. I cannot say exactly, but about that distance.

And persons were regularly transferred from one to another, were they not? - No, it was a proper standing detachment of Birkenau.

Where did the prisoners come from? - From Birkenau.

Where were they returned to? - During the whole time I was there there were no changes; they stayed there during the whole time.

Had you got your dog with you there? - Yes.

Was not your dog in its behaviour a byword in the camp? - The prisoners played about with my dog.

Do you know Herta Ehlert, No. 8 in the dock? - Yes.

Do you remember what she said about you and your dog in the statement? - Yes.

Let me just read it to you: : "From my own knowledge of Juana Bormann and from working with her I believe that the stories about her brutality to prisoners are true although I have not myself witnessed it. I have often seen the dog which she had and heard she used to let it loose on prisoners. Although I have not seen it I can well believe it to be true." That is on page 193. What do you say about that? - It is a lie.

I will just turn very shortly to Belsen. You have told us that your pig styes were between the two men's camps; is that right? - Yes.

How many pigs had you there? - 52.

Were they still there when the camp was liberated? - No.

What happened to them? - As I have heard from those prisoners who worked with me, the prisoners took those pigs and slaughtered them during the night.

Which night would that be? - I am not quite sure whether it was the night from Saturday to Sunday, or from Sunday to Monday; anyway about the 14th or 15th April.

You mean after the truce had been signed and either the day the British came in or the day before it? - There were always SS guards night and day around this pig sty, and then when those guards were withdrawn for one night then, as I have been told - because I myself I have not seen it - the prisoners have slaughtered all the pigs.

What were you feeding the pigs on? - With the swill of potatoes and turnips.

And that was whilst the prisoners were starving, was it? - During the time I was there that was what we got for them.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Colonel Backhouse, I know it is very tiresome, but how are we to know which particular incidents - which have been deposed to at great length - are accepted by you and which are not?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I particularly asked the Court whether you wanted me to go through each of the incidents again. I put it in general terms and of course I will go through them if you think it is necessary. In my view it is quite unnecessary. I particularly asked the Court whether they thought it necessary and I understood them to say it was not.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I do not think it is necessary to go through every one, but are there any particular ones which hereafter you are going to say: I say that is true, and I say it because of so and so?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am going to say that each of the incidents which the witnesses for the Prosecution have spoken to are true. But with the witness who says: "I have never done any of these things; I never had a dog there", I do not think it is necessary to go through every one. If you think it is necessary then, of course, will do so.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: If incidents are put to the witness in examination and the witness says they did not happen, then if she is not cross examined it is usual to accept that answer, and if the Prosecutor has some specific mater outside the genera question which he wanted to put to her, or was going to make hereafter in his speech, he should put it to the witness. I realise it is rather a matter for the Defending Officer. He may object to what is said in the Prosecutor's final speech if it is something rather specific which has not been put to the witness.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I have on many occasions been in cases of considerable length - I admit I have never been in one of this length - where there are a number of incidents of this kind. I have then specifically said to the Court: "I will if you wish, and if I am required to do so, put every incident to the witness and give her a further opportunity of denying it". I have been frequently told that that is unnecessary and it will not be held against me that I have not done it. But I have every intention, if necessary, in my final speech, of relying on each of the incidents which have been spoken to by the Prosecution witnesses. I will solemnly go through them all with this witness if that will assist the Court. I do not myself see how it can possibly help.

MAJOR MUNRO: If the learned Prosecutor does not put these incidents specifically to the witness I will not make any point of it. There is an all round denial by the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: If the witness denies she had a dog there you merely have to repeat each instance and hear exactly the same answer.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That is the view I take. But I am prepared to do it if you think it will assist the Court.


Re-examined by MAJOR MUNRO: Did you have your dog in Belsen when the British troops arrived? - Yes.

Do you know what happened to it then? - No.

Was it taken from you? - No, I did not even know that I was going to be arrested. I left the dog in my room.

Where did this swill for your dogs come from? - From the kitchen.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Have you, while you have been interrogated in this case, ever been shown a photograph of Aufseherin Kuck? - No.

When you were at Birkenau, exactly what blocks were you concerned with? - With all block; there were several blocks.

What duties was Kuck performing at this time? - She was working with the Kommandos.

Outside? - I know that she was working inside; whether she had been working outside as well, I do not know.

Did you wear uniform? - Yes.

S.S. uniform? - The uniform which I am wearing now.

Did Kuck wear similar uniform? - We all had the same uniform.

When you say Kuck was like you, do you mean in your figure or your face, or both? - I have heard it from the prisoners that they sometimes mistook one for the other.

That is not what I want. Have you ever seen Kuck yourself? - I have seen Kuck and we were of the same size. Whether she was like me in her face I cannot say.

About what was her age? - She was younger than me. She was about in the middle of the 30's or the end of the 30's; I do not know.

I want to get this quite clear. Is the only similarity between you and she that you were both small women; is that all? - Yes, we are small and we have the same size, but about the faces I cannot say.

I am sorry to press you, but you should be able to tell the Court whether she looked like you in the face or not? - I cannot say.

Has a prisoner ever addressed remarks to you, obviously mistaking you for Kuck at any time? - No.

Do you say Kuck was at Birkenau during the period you were there? - We have seen each other several times. Whether she had been there during the whole period I cannot say, because she was also working in a detachment.

Was this woman in a detachment which was static and outside Birkenau at this time? - Yes.

So normally she would not have been at Birkenau; is that right? - For a time we were working together at Birkenau, and for a time she was working at a detachment outside of Birkenau.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: There is no photograph, I suppose, Colonel Backhouse, of Kuck?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No, this woman has not been in custody or anything else.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE:The Defence is going to be very largely here that the mistake might have been made by Kuck.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am afraid I cannot produce a photograph of an SS woman who was last seen in Auschwitz in 1943.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions on what the Court has put?


(The accused leaves the place from which she has given her evidence).

VokenrathThe Accused Elizabeth Volkenrath takes her stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence and, having been duly sworn, is examined by MAJOR MUNRO as follows: What is your full name? - Elizabeth Volkenrath.

What is your nationality? - German.

Where and when were you born? - On 5th September 1919 at Schonan in Silesia.

Are you married or single? - Married.

Have you any children? - No.

What did you do before the war? - I worked in a hairdressing saloon.

Were you called up for national service? - Yes.

When was that? - In 1939, and then in 1941 I joined the SS

Did you join the SS of your own free will? - No, I was conscripted to it.

Did you want to become a member of this organisation? - No, but I got orders and obeyed them.

When you were called up in 1939 what work were you given to do? - Munition work.

Did you remain at that work until 1941? - I cannot remember the exact dates, but I have returned again to my original profession, and then in 1941 I joined the SS

Were you transferred from a munition factory? - I got my freedom for a short time from this munition factory, but I had to be at the disposal of the authorities whenever they wished me.

Were you at the munition factory when you were transferred to the SS? - I was not at that time at the munition factory.

Where were you sent when you joined? - Ravensbrück.

What did you do there? - We were trained as supervisors, Aufseherin; we were told what we had to do in that job.

What was it you were told to do? - I was working in Ravensbrück with outside Kommandos. I was told I had to take care that prisoners do not escape and that they should do their work.

How long did you remain at Ravensbrück? - Till the month of March 1942.

Where were you sent then? - To Auschwitz.

Is that Auschwitz No. 1? - In the beginning it was Auschwitz No. 1.

What duties were you given then? - I was working in a sort of tailoring shop where we mended the uniforms of the prisoners.

Did you do that sort of work all the time you were at Auschwitz or did you get other work to do later? - No, later I got another job.

When was that? - At the end of 1942.

Was that at Auschwitz No. 1? - In August 1942 the women's compound was transferred to Birkenau, the whole camp. There I had some camp duties, and then I was taken to hospital; I was ill.

When did you come out of hospital? - At the middle or end of December 1942.

Were you sent to Birkenau then? - Yes, I took over the stores with the parcels - parcels store.

How long did you continue with those duties? - Up till September 1944.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What do you mean by "parcel store"? - I have heard it referred to several times.

MAJOR MUNRO: I am going to ask about that now. (To the witness) What were your duties in the parcel store? - All the parcels which came either from relatives of the prisoners or Red Cross parcels to distribute them to the persons in question.

Was it a kind of post office? - Not quite, because every parcel had to be controlled, opened.

Did you have to open these parcels yourself? - Yes, partly myself, but I had 25 to 30 prisoners working in that office.

What happened to these parcels after they had been opened? - The prisoners came there and received their parcels.

Did you do an other kind of work in this department? - Yes; it was also the distribution of bread in the same office.

Were you in charge of that? - Yes.

To whom was the bread distributed? - To the prisoners.

Did the prisoners come and get it themselves? - All the blocks came, and the Blockälteste fetched with one or two other prisoner the bread for his block.

How long did you continue in this department? - Several months.

You have told us, I think, that you remained there till September 1944? - Yes.

What did you do after that? - Then I was transferred to Auschwitz No. 1, where I was put in charge of a working camp.

When did you leave Auschwitz? - On the 18th January, 1945.

Did you go to Belsen? - Yes.

When did you get there? - On the 5th February.

Did you start work there right away? - Yes.

And did you continue working in Belsen until the liberation? - I started work right away, but I worked only for a few days, when I was taken ill, sent to hospital, and returned only on 22nd March.

What duties di you perform in Belsen? - I was Oberaufseherin and had to detail the Aufseherinnen in their respective duties.

It has been said that whilst you were at Auschwitz did you take part in gas chamber selections; is that correct? - I myself, no.

Were you ever on a gas selection parade? - When I took over in August 1942 the women's camp it was my duty to be in the camp, and through this I was present at these selections.

Did you make any selections yourself? - No.

What did you do on that parade? - My duties were to see that the prisoners kept quiet and kept order, that they did not run about.

It has been said that you used to make selections from prisoners as they returned to camp from outside work; is that correct? - That is a lie.

It has also ben said that after prisoners had been chosen to go to the gas chamber that you helped to load them on the transport; is that true?

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Will you indicate who said it, because we are trying to keep a note of these things.

MAJOR MUNRO: The witness who says she selected prisoners from outside working parties who returned to camp is Gertrud Diament, page 18, Exhibit 22. The question I have just asked relates to Zlata Kaufmann, page 76, Exhibit 48. (To the shorthand writer) Will you read my last question?

(The shorthand writer reads the following: It has also ben said that after prisoners had been chosen to go to the gas chamber that you helped to load them on the transport; is that true?)

THE WITNESS: Those prisoners had been sent away from the camp during the time when we, the Aufseherinnen, were not in the camp at all.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The witness said "those prisoners." The Court does not understand the answer.

MAJOR MUNRO: What do you mean by "those prisoners"? - When they were sent away I was not present.

Do you mean when prisoners were sent away to the gas chamber in lorries? - I was not there.

Have you seen prisoners being sent to the gas chambers on lorries? - I have seen them on the road, but that they went to the gas chambers I did not know.

Did you ever help to load any prisoners on to any lorries for any purpose? - No.

Do you remember a prisoner at Auschwitz called Edith Trieger? - I do not remember the name.

It is page 160, Exhibit 86. The paragraph concerned appears on page 161, paragraph 7: "I recognise Elisabeth Volkenrath, who I know by name, as No. 6 on photograph 22. I have seen Volkenrath at Auschwitz frequently beating women prisoners on all parts of the body with a rubber stick. At selection parades for the gas chamber I have seen Volkenrath make selections herself of persons who were to go. I myself was picked out by Volkenrath on a selection parade for the gas chamber but managed to escape at an opportune moment. Others selected by Volkenrath were sent to Block 25 of Camp A for transfer to the gas chamber. Persons so selected and sent to this block were not seen again." What have you got to say to that? - It is not true.

Do you know the accused Helene Koper? - Yes.

I am now going to read from her statement. (Exhibit 10, page 47, paragraph 7) "I recognise No. 6 on photograph 22 as an SS woman who was at Auschwitz. I knew her by the name of Volkenrath and have now been told that her full name is Elisabeth Volkenrath. She was responsible for selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz Camp from Block 18 where I lived. I attended seven selection parades and she and SS Rapportführer Tauber between them made all the selections. Volkenrath was not merely acting as a guard - she personally picked out victims for the gas chamber. On one occasion out of a block containing 1400 prisoners there were only about 300 left after the selections had been made. I left Auschwitz in November 1944 and next saw Volkenrath at Belsen in February 1945, when she said to me that Germany had lost the war and we should all be hanged." IS that true? - I personally have never selected anybody to be sent away.

It has been said by a great many witnesses and affidavits that you made a habit of beating women; is that correct? - It is true that I slapped the faces of women.

Do you remember a prisoner called Mrs. Vera Fischer, Exhibit 53, page 31? I am not going to read that. - I do not remember her name.

She says you once beat her so severely that she was in hospital for three weeks. Do you remember anything about that? - That is not true.

Now I will read from the deposition of Helene Herkovitz, Exhibit 39, page 44.


MAJOR MUNRO: This particular deposition refers to Belsen. Perhaps you would prefer me to take you through the depositions in respect of Auschwitz first and then go to Belsen afterwards?


MAJOR MUNRO: The deposition of Zlata Kaufmann, page 76, Exhibit 48. The witness, Zlata Kaufmann, says that during selections at Auschwitz during the years 1942 and 1943 she saw you throw women to the ground, throw them against a wall, trample on them, beat them with a stick or rubber truncheon, and many of them died after they had been beaten. Is that true? - No.

The next one, page 137, Alexandra Siwidowa, Exhibit 81, paragraph 3. "I recognise Elisabeth Volkenrath, No. 6 on photograph 22, as being an SS woman who was at Auschwitz whilst I was there. I saw this woman, who was in charge of all other SS women there, beat many women prisoners across the head with a rubber truncheon. On about 70 or 80 occasions I have seen Volkenrath beat women prisoners until they were unconscious. I have seen many of these victims carried away or into an air raid shelter dead. Volkenrath left them lying on the ground after beating them and kicking them unconscious. Many of these were carried away dead as a result of the injuries inflicted. I am certain that these deaths did occur as many of the prisoners so beaten were not seen again." What do you have to say to that? - It is not true.

Did you ever beat anyone at Auschwitz other than with your hand? - No.

When you came to Belsen did you beat anyone? - Only with my hand.

The deposition of Helene Herkovitz, page 44, paragraph 2: "About 7 weeks ago the SS woman Ellers noticed a ring and a locket I was wearing. I had previously hidden these. She took them from me and took me into her room, where she made me undress. She questioned me as to where I had got this jewellery but did not believe me when I said it was mine and I had brought it with me to Belsen. She beat me with a stick about the head and back until blood came from my nose and ears. I then dressed and was made to run behind the bicycle ridden by Ellers to the SS Headquarters. Whilst I was being interrogated by Ellers two other S. S. women were present and took part in the beating. Their names are Gollasch and Volkenrath. I was questioned in the presence of these three women by two SS men whose names I do not know but whom I could recognise. They beat me about the shoulders with a rubber truncheon. I was then put in a cellar in a house by myself and only given bread and water every three days. My sister managed to smuggle extra food to me. After three weeks and daily questioning I was taken out and made to work in the latrines. After six days I caught typhus and was in hospital when the camp was liberated. The conditions in hospital were very bad but there were no deliberate acts of cruelty committed against the patients though many died." Do you remember an incident like that? - No.

Is that statement then a tissue of lies? - During the time I was in Belsen a case like this did not occur and I do not know anything about it.

The next one is the deposition of Josephine Singer on page 136: " I name Elizabeth Volkenrath SS woman, whose photograph has been shown to me, No. 22 and who I identify as No. 6 on such photograph as being responsible for beating many women prisoners with her hands. In particular I recall that this woman threw down the steps of the workshops a Slovakian Jewess who came to these workshops to obtain work. The applicant was an old woman and she died immediately from her injuries." What have you got to say about that? - It is not true.

Do you remember an old woman coming and asking you for work? - Only old women did this work.

Did any woman fall down the steps of the workshops while you were there? - No, I do not know.

The next one is the deposition of Mevrouw Nettie Stoppelman on page 147: "All the time I have been at Belsen I have been what is known as a Block chief. There were at times as many as a thousand women in a block. A woman called Milhan, whose married name was Volkenrath came to Belsen as Oberaufseherin; that is the head of the women’s section at Belsen. She had held that position at Auschwitz. She frequently used to come to my block and take away our cigarettes, clothes and bread and other foods. It was a habit of hers to get girls to go to her house or office where the women chiefs lived and compel them to 'make sport.' (Sport Machen). This meant exercises and took the form of making the girls run round fast and fall down, get up again and repeat the process. This lasted from half an hour to an hour. I myself was made to do this three times in March, 1945, for no reason at all. It made me ill each time." Have you ever taken away food, water and cigarettes from prisoners? - Yes, but only if they had too much, and they were not allowed to have too much.

What did you do with the food, water and cigarettes, you took away from them? - I cannot remember taking cigarettes away, but the food, bread and other things, I took away and distributed amongst other prisoners.

Was that to make a fairer distribution? - The prisoners who were in possession of this food were working in the kitchen or in one of the stores and they received enough food there, but other prisoners did not get enough and that is why I distributed this food.

Was there a punishment known as "making sport"? - Yes.

What happened? - They had to do exercises.

What was the punishment for? - If they had done something wrong.

What do you mean by something wrong? - If they had done something that was forbidden; for instance, if they were in possession of something they were not supposed to have.

How long did it last? - It did not last very long; they had to do it several times, but I cannot say any time.

Did you make sport yourself on any occasion? - I have not seen any sport in Belsen at all.

The next one is the deposition of Miriam Weiss on page 172. "I recognise Elisabeth Volkenrath as No. 6 on photograph 22 and remember her as an SS woman at Belsen. On 16th April, 1945, (the day after the English [British] arrived) all the internees had been confined to their blocks, but I was allowed out to collect rations for my block. Whilst I was out I saw another prisoner who was in a very poor state of health and could hardly walk. Volkenrath approached this girl and asked her if she did not know that she was confined to her block. She then struck the girl very hard several times with her fist and the girl fell to the ground and did not move. Volkenrath then went away leaving the girl lying on the ground." Is that true? - No; after the allied troops had taken over the camp on the 15th April and had made known to us that we were not permitted to enter the camp I have not been into the camp any more.

Do you remember the witness Helen Hammermasch. (Transcript Volume 8.) Do you remember how she said that you were present when Kramer interrogated the girl who had escaped and was caught again? - Yes.

Do you remember how this witness said that you yourself took part in the beating? - Yes, I remember.

Was there an occasion of that nature? - As this particular prisoner had been brought back she was beaten by Kramer, that is true, but I did not beat her.

Were you present while the girl was being beaten? - Yes.

Why were you present? - It was in the evening, I knew that the prisoner had escaped, I knew she was being brought back, and that was why I was standing at the gate.

Did you hit the girl yourself? - No.

Do you remember the same witness describing another occasion when a woman was undressed and beaten by you, Ehlert and Gollasch? - I remember she said so.

Did that happen ? - The prisoner has been beaten but not by Ehlert or by me but by an SS man and we were in that vicinity.

Did you hit the girl yourself? - No.

Do you remember the witness Cecilia Frommer? - I do not know the name.

Do you remember how she said she was made to kneel down on the ground and was hit in the face? - Yes, I remember she said it.

Did you do that? - I certainly may have given her a slap in the face, I may have boxed her ears, but I did not make her kneel - I mean if this girl had done something which was forbidden.

Have you ever made anyone kneel on the ground? - No.

Do you remember making a statement which was read to the Court? - It was not a statement under oath; it was just a statement.

Have you received a German translation of your statement which was read in Court? - Yes, it was read through in German and then I told them that something had been put down differently; they told me it was going to be changed but now I have received the translation I see that it was not changed.

Which part of the statement is it to which you refer? - In a part of this statement on this question about sport they asked me about sport and I told them that the Aufseherin was not allowed to let the prisoners do sport without the permission of the Kommandant. Now I saw in the translation of the statement that it had been put down in a different way. I cannot exactly remember what it is.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not know what the German translation is, but I am quite prepared to accept the English translation of the actual statement, that it indicates to me what she says now - only on the orders of the Kommandant.

THE PRESIDENT: I read it that it was only on the orders of the Kommandant, that the Aufseherin were not allowed to do it without the orders of the Kommandant.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That is how I read it. I think it may be from the German translation she is not quite sure.

MAJOR MUNRO: (To the witness) Was there anything else wrong with your statement? - I cannot remember exactly now, but there was one paragraph which was put down differently from the way I said it.

What was the paragraph about?

THE PRESIDENT: Does a German copy of this statement exist?


THE PRESIDENT: She obviously cannot remember where in this statement it occurs and if there is a copy she could, during the lunchtime adjournment, examine it.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I have no objection to my friend putting it to her.

MAJOR MUNRO: I will read the second but last paragraph on page 221: " It is true that I have had to make prisoners on Appell hold their hands above their heads but it was always on orders from others, this happened in Auschwitz on instructions from Mandel and Drechsel." - I said it this way, that I had seen it but I did not order them to do it.

Did you ever make any complaint to anyone about the conditions at Belsen? - Several times I talked with the Kommandant about the conditions in Belsen.

What did you say to him? - I told him about what was going on in the camp; I asked him why the prisoners did not get more food, and I asked him why all these transports were coming in.

What reply did you get? - The Kommandant told me that the railways were being bombed and that they had no opportunity to get enough food to the camp.

MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.

Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: You know the accused, Grese? - Yes.

How long have you served with her? - I have never served with her together; our duties were never together.

Have you served in the same camp as her? - Yes, in Auschwitz.

For how long were you both at Auschwitz together? - Up to the evacuation of the camp; up to January.

Did you also serve with her at Belsen? - Yes.

Were you Oberaufseherin with Grese under your command? - For a few weeks at Auschwitz and during the time at Belsen.

Had Grese a dog? - When I saw her, no.

So far as you know was Grese ever in charge of a Strafkommando? - Whether she was in charge I do not know, but I have seen at the Strafkommando.

When was that? - When it was I do not remember, but this kommando was working inside the camp and I have seen her then.

Were there also Strafkommandos working outside the camp? - I believe so.

Do you remember an Aufseherin called Buchhalter? - Yes.

Do you remember when she was punished? - Yes.

What was the offence for which she was punished? - Because Aufseherin Buchhalter sent letters written by prisoners to their relatives in an unofficial way - not officially - and apart from that she had a love affair with a man prisoner.

Were you present when the punishment took place? - Yes.

Where did it take place? - At the house where we lived there was a dining-room and we had to parade, all of us, in the evening and that is where the punishment took place.

Was Grese also present? - Yes.

What was the punishment? - The Aufseherin was punished by the Reichsführer with 25 blows which had to be administered by the Aufseherin.

When you say blows, was it a beating? - It was with a whip.

Was the Kommandant Hoess? - Yes, he came and read out the judgment.

Did he say to all the Aufseherinnen that this woman was being punished by order of Reichsführer Himmler? - Yes.

Was she then put on a table and flogged with 25 strokes? - Yes, the Aufseherin had to bend over the table and the other Aufseherin had to administer the punishment.

Before a selection parade took place, did the Aufseherinnen know whether it was to choose the fit people or the unfit ? - No, the sign - the whistle - was sounded for parade and then the prisoners fell in. The doctor came and he decided who was fit and unfit.

I want to ask you about selection parades. Before a parade took place did the Aufseherinnen know whether it was to choose the fit people or the unfit people? - No. The sign, the whistle, was sounded for parade and the prisoners fell in; the doctor came and he decided who was fit and unfit.

Before a selection parade were any orders given to the Aufseherinnen as to the object of the parade, whether it was to choose a working party for a factory, whether it was to choose a party to go to another camp, whether it was to choose a party to go to the gas chamber or whether it was for some other purpose? - No, never; it had never been said before the parade took place for which purpose it was taking place.

CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.

CAPTAIN BROWN: No questions.

CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.


Cross-examined by CAPTAIN NEAVE: Would No. 33 stand up? (The accused No. 33, Ilse Förster, stands up). Do you remember this woman at Belsen? - Yes.

What was her job there? - During the time that I was there she worked in the kitchen.

Which kitchen? - I cannot say which kitchen.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Can you remember in which kitchen any of the Aufseherinnen worked? - I know that Aufseherinnen worked in all the kitchens where women prisoners were.

Would No. 38 stand up?(The accused No. 38, Frieda Walter, stands up.) Did you know this woman at Belsen? - Yes.

Do you know what her work was? - In the kitchen.

Can you remember in which kitchen? - I believe in the women's compound, but I am not sure.

What was the number of the kitchen in the women's camp? - I do not know.

How many kitchens were there altogether; can you remember that? - Five.

Were they numbered while you were there? - In the women's compound there were two kitchens, but whether it was number 1 and 2 or 3 and 4 I do not know.

Would No. 33 and No. 38 stand up? (The accused No. 33, Ilse Förster, and the accused No. 38, Frieda Walter, stand up) Did they work in the same kitchen or not the same kitchen? - I remember that No. 38 (Frieda Walter) was in the women's compound, but where No. 33 (Ilse Förster) worked I do not know; anyway, I do not think that they worked together because there was always only one Aufseherin at a time.

Cross-examined by LT BOYD: Would No. 40 stand up? (The accused No. 40, Gertrude Fiest, stands up.) Did this woman ever come to you about the overcrowding in Women's Compound No. 2 and see if anything could be done about it? - Yes.

Did she come once or more than once? - She came several times and she went also to the doctor who at least took our sick people and admitted them to the C.R.S.

Did she also come to see you about the shortage of medical supplies, beds, soap and things of that sort? - Yes.

As a result of that did she in fact get for that compound soap and other cleaning materials? - She did not get very much because there was not very much there, but what could be spared she did get from the administration.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: A Member of the Court would like to get this a little clearer, as to when and where it was.

LIEUTENANT BOYD: About what date was this? - It can only have been at the end of March or the beginning of April, during those three weeks I was at Belsen.

Do you know if working parties were ever chosen from Women's Compound No. 2? - Those Kommandos, those working parties which went outside and also those who worked in the administration, were always chosen from No. 1.

Would No. 42 stand up? (The accused No. 42, Hilde Lisiewitz, stands up.) I want to ask you about this woman. You told us, I think, this morning that you came out of hospital in Belsen in March, the 22nd? - Yes.

Do you know what duty Lisiewitz was doing in Belsen at that time when you came out? - I do not know.

Do you remember she was ill at Belsen? - I know that she had been ill for a considerable time but I do not know the date.

Was it after you came out of hospital? - Yes, during the period when I had been in Belsen.

Cross-examined by CAPTAIN MUNRO: Would No. 45 stand up? (The accused No. 45, Hildegard Hahnel, stands up.) I shall refer to Exhibit 82 and the transcript Volume 16 page 35. Do you know this woman? - Yes.

When did she arrive in Belsen? - In the first days of April, 1945.

Would it be the 5th or 6th April? - It is possible.

Was she ever in charge of the bath-house at Belsen? - No.

Between 4th April and the time the British arrived were there ever any bath parades at all for women in Belsen? - No, there were none; anyway there was no coal available; It was impossible.

I am going to read to you an allegation made against Hahnel: " I identify No. 4 on photograph 37 as an SS woman who was at Belsen. I have been told that her name is Hildegard Hahnel. During February, 1945, whilst at Belsen, I was in the bathhouse together with about 100 girls. Hahnel at that time was in charge of the bathhouse. Apparently the girls did not dress quickly enough for her and with a whip she was carrying, she beat some of the girls whilst they were naked. The beatings were very severe and I saw that she had drawn blood in many cases." Is that true or untrue? - I cannot believe it.

It has been alleged against Hahnel that during February, 1945, she was in charge of the bath-house at Belsen, and as a certain lot of girls did not dress quickly enough for her she beat them very severely. Is that true or untrue? - I cannot believe it.

Cross-examined by LIEUTENANT JEDZREJOWICZ: Would No. 46 stand up? (The accused No. 46, Helene Koper, stands up.) Do you remember this woman from Auschwitz? - Yes.

What Kommando was she working in? - When I saw her she was in the punishment Kommando.

Did you see her very often in the Strafkommando? - Not very often because I had nothing to do with these kommandos.

Was she a political prisoner? - Yes.

By what is it possible to recognise that she was a political prisoner? - She had a red triangle which meant she was a political prisoner.

Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: You got your training at Ravensbrück, did you? - Yes.

That is where practically all SS women were sent to get their training, was it not? - I believe so.

That was a camp entirely for women, was it not? - Yes.

Do you remember Dr. Rosenthal there? - Yes, he was an SS doctor.

Do you remember Dr. Tremmer there? - No.

Do you remember Dr. Treite there? - No.

Do you remember a woman doctor called Oberheuser there? - Yes.

Was the chief SS woman there called Thea Bins [Dorothea Binz]? - No.

Was there one called Bins [Binz] there? - Yes, she was also an Aufseherin.

Was there another one called Lehmann there? - I do not remember.

Was not the treatment of women at Ravensbrück almost worse than at Auschwitz? - The treatment was severe but not bad; I cannot call it bad.

Do you remember the gas chamber at Ravensbrück? - No.

Was it not in a wood about two miles from the camp? - I do not know anything about that.

Do you remember the experiments which were being carried out on women at Ravensbrück? - I never heard of one.

Was not Dr. Rosenthal, who I have mentioned to you, engaged in experiments on gas gangrene? -I do not know anything about it. I have never heard of it.

Were not internees at Ravensbrück being regularly used for experimental purposes? - I never heard anything about it.

I suggest to you that it was at Ravensbrück that SS women were taught to beat and ill-treat prisoners? - That is not true.

I suggest to you that at Ravensbrück you were taught that the only way to keep prisoners in order was to beat them and ill treat them until they were frightened to death of you? - That is not true.

Did you carry pistols at Ravensbrück? - Some of the Aufseherinnen carried pistols.

Now come to Auschwitz. You went there first, you say, in August, 1942? - March 1942.

At that time Auschwitz had not been divided into Auschwitz No. 1 and Auschwitz No. 2, had it? - No.

And you worked then in this workshop, tailor's shop, did you? - Yes.

Is it right to say that the majority of people employed in that workshop were elderly women? - Yes.

Is it right that to obtain employment in that workshop was one of the best ways for elderly women to avoid the gas chamber? - All old women were working there and nobody went away from that camp.

Did you not regularly strike prisoners with your fists in that workshop? - I had no reason to do that; the women were doing their work and everything was all right.

Was your sister at Auschwitz at that time? - Yes.

Where was she employed? - In the laundry.

Then it could not have been your sister who Josephine Singer was talking about when she was talking about the factory? - No.

At least when Josephine Singer says you were at the workshops she was right in that? - Yes, I was in the workshops.

It has already been put to you, but I will put it again, that you threw down the stairs or down the steps of the workshops a Slovakian Jewess who came to try and obtain work there? - That is not true; only Slovakian Jews were working there, but I never threw anybody down.

Do you remember any of them dying at that workshop? - I do not know; I could not know really everybody because there were 150 to 200 women working there and whether anybody died or not I do not know.

After you left the workshop it was about the end of 1942, was it, that you went to Birkenau? - Yes, in August, 1942.

Did you there become an Aufseherin in the hospital? - No.

What was your work in the hospital? - I have never been working at a hospital; I was ill in hospital until December, 1942.

What was the matter with you? - I had typhus.

How long were you ill with typhus? - Longer than three months I had been away; I was in hospital and then I had convalescent leave.

I suggest to you that for a time you were employed in the hospital? - That is not true.

You have been asked about Mrs Vera Fischer. You may remember she said that she was in the hospital in July, 1942. She was not very far out in time, was she, if you were there in 1942? - Vera Fischer could never have been in the same hospital where I was ill; I never worked in the hospital.

Then you took over the parcels store, did you not? - Yes.

And you also distributed bread from that store, did you not? - For a short period.

Do you remember Dr. Bimko giving her evidence? - Yes.

She was right when she recognised you as the woman in the parcels store? - I worked in the parcels store, that is true; whether she had known me from Auschwitz, I do not know.

Do you remember the witness Sunschein who gave evidence? - Yes.

Do you remember she said she was not sure whether your name was Volkenrath or Weinniger? - My name is Volkenrath. What she believes I do not know.

Is your sister called Weinniger? - Yes.

You see, some suggestion was made to some of these witnesses that they had mixed up the two sisters; that is why I want to get it quite clear. - Yes, I understand.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Colonel Backhouse, my note shows that the Defending Officer never put the Sunschein incident to the witness. I do not know whether that is right.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not know whether the Defending Officer did.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I do not think she has had this incident put to her specifically at all.

MAJOR MUNRO: That is correct.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the witness) You remember that Sunschein said although she was not sure of the name, she was quite sure that you were the woman she saw in the parcel store when she went to draw bread. You were the woman who was in that store issuing the bread, were you not? - Yes.

Do you remember her saying that she had frequently seen you beating people there? - Yes.

Is that true? - It was often necessary because prisoners tried to steal either bread or parcels which did not belong to them.

Then you beat them, did you? - Yes, I slapped their faces.

You have heard a great many of these affidavits read to you? - Yes.

I want to start with the selections for the gas chamber. There were three kinds of selections for the gas chamber, were there not? One when the transports first arrived; the second one in the camp outside the blocks or in the bath-house; and the third one in the hospital? - When the transports arrived I have never been there. No women were there at all, only when parades were held in the camp, then the Aufseherinnen had to be present.

When those selections in the camp took place and the Aufseherin was present, was it always the doctor who decided who were fit to live and who were to die? - The doctor made the selection - whether selections for life or death or anything like that, we we did not know, because we did not know the purpose for these selections being made.

Are you quite sure you did not know the purpose of these selections? - Yes.

Do you remember the statement which you made? - Yes.

Do you remember saying: "I have been present when selections were made from prisoners by the SS doctors, of those unfit for work. These people were all sent to Block 25 and to my knowledge they were never seen again."? - Yes.

Is that true? - I did not know these people personally, and when they were sent away I was not present so where they went I would not know.

Why did you say that then? - People whom I do not know, I do not know, and when they go and I do not see them, I do not see them any more, and I do not remember.

You knew perfectly well what these selections were for, did you not? - No.

Who took the numbers of the persons who were not fit for work? -The clerks of the hospital.

Were these women who were to be selected stripped naked? - No.

Were they just put back gently to bed again at the end of the selection? - I do not know anything about it.

You were there, were you not? - I did not go with them to the blocks. I had nothing to do in the blocks.

Which blocks did they go to? - It was Block No. 25 and it was strictly prohibited to us Aufseherinnen to go into the hospitals or into Block No. 25.

Everyone in the camp knew what Block 25 was for, did they not? - I do not think so, because it was August 1942, and it was just at that time when a wall was erected round this Block 25, and it was only in the beginning when people started to be placed into Block 25.

There are at least five witnesses who say that you were on these selections. I will just read to you the statement of Edith Trieger (No. 160): " I have seen Volkenrath at Auschwitz frequently beating women prisoners on all parts of the body with a rubber stick. At selection parades for the gas chamber I have seen Volkenrath make selections herself of persons who were to go. I myself was picked out by Volkenrath on a selection parade for the gas chamber but managed to escape at an opportune moment. Others selected by Volkenrath were sent to Block 25 of Camp A for transfer to the gas chamber. Persons so selected and sent to this block were not seen again."

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This was put to her this morning. Would it not be sufficient to remind her of it and then question her on it?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I had thought of that but I rather gathered that you did not consider it sufficient. I do not want her to be under any misapprehension.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: She only had it read to her this morning. I should have thought you could have put your question in terms of the affidavit and then get your answer from her that way.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the witness) You heard that said, did you not? - I remember.

Is that not true? - It's a lie.

Do you remember the deposition of the witness Kaufmann that was read to you this morning? - Also because of selections?

Also because of selections. - Yes, I remember.

What did you do on these selections if the women did not keep in an orderly manner? - Everything was quiet and orderly. Everybody was doing what he had been told to do, and everybody stood and there was no question about shouting or screaming.

These people knew they were being selected to die, did they not? - I did not know and the people could not have known either. Nobody knew why these selections were made.

Are you seriously asking the Court to believe that? - Yes.

Is it not right that it was quite easy to tell a selection parade because only Jews had to parade for it? - We never knew the reason of such a parade was. We were never told anything about it.

Is it right that on selection parades only Jews had to parade? - I believe so; but I cannot remember exactly.

It is not very difficult to remember, is it? - It is such a long time - years between - and anyway I had been only twice or three times present at those parades.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Are you talking about the hospital parades?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: She says the only ones she went to were in the camp, and those are the selections about which I am speaking. She does not distinguish very clearly between one or other. You will appreciate it was not a hospital but only some blocks. (To the witness) I suggest to you that when these women found that they were being put with the people in Block 25 they tried to escape, they tried to hide, they tried to get with the people on the other side, they cried, and they shrieked? - When I was present it never happened.

Take the ordinary morning Appell. Was it easy to get people to stand in an ordinary fashion in fives for that? - Not always.

Why then did these people suddenly become so quiet and so orderly like sheep before the slaughter? - During the counting parades the only impediment was the presence of the sick who could not get quickly enough to the parade ground. When these sick people went away everybody was all right. They stood calm and quiet.

I suggest to you that you kept order on these selection parades by beating people, by kicking them, and by ill-treating them in every way when they tried to escape, and that you did it yourself? - That is not true.

I put it to you that not only on selection parades but throughout your time in concentration camps you know perfectly well that discipline was kept by regular beatings? - If prisoners had their faces slapped - if they were slapped - then it was only their own fault. If they did not obey orders, well, it was their fault. If they were more intelligent then they did obey orders and everything was all right.

How often did you do face slapping with a rubber truncheon? - I never had a rubber truncheon.

Do you remember Siwidowa's affidavit today in which she said that on about 70 or 80 occasions she had seen you beating women prisoners until they were unconscious? - Yes, I remember.

Is that not true? - No; in that camp where the woman alleges that she saw what happened there, the Liefer [Leichen?] Kommandos did not exist at all - Kommandos to drag away bodies - they did not exist. It is simply not true.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I think that is the danger perhaps of asking the witness about an affidavit without reading it first. She is obviously on the wrong one. This woman did not mention that Kommando. (To the witness) Try and direct your mind, not to Kaufmann who talked about the people whom you beat and trampled on when they were taken away dead, but to Siwidowa. She was probably talking of a later period because you were Oberaufseherin just before you left, were you not? - Before I left?

Before you left Auschwitz? - On the 1st January 1945 I was promoted to Oberaufseherin.

This is the woman who says: "I saw this woman" - that means you - "who was in charge of all the SS women, beat many women prisoners across the head with a rubber truncheon? - That is also a damned lie - just as the other things.

There were five more affidavits and I do not propose to take you through them. Before we leave Auschwitz I want you to tell us about one or two people who were there. Do you remember No. 6 (Juana Bormann) at Auschwitz or Birkenau? - Yes.

Where was she? - For a short period she was in Birkenau and then she had an Aussenlager.

Did she have a dog or did she not? - She had a brown dog.

Was Kommandant Hössler right in describing it as a very big dog? - Yes, the dog was rather big.

Was not Bormann and her dog a by-word through the camp? - I do not know.

What was Ehlert's position in the camp? - She was in a detachment called Raisko - also a sort of gardening place.

What about Grese; you have told us she was with the Strafekommando for a time, but what other duties did she perform there? - For a time she was in the post office for censoring letters and later on in Camp C.

Camp C was the camp which was entirely liquidated, was it not? - I do not know. I had nothing to do with that part of the camp.

You never even heard it talked about? We have been told by Dr. Klein and by Hössler that Camp C was completely liquidated. They were sent to the gas chamber. Did not you ever hear about it at all? - Whether it had been liquidated and when it had been liquidated I do not know. I had my job in the parcel office and I had nothing to do with that part of the camp.

You have told us about this savage punishment of the SS women? - Yes.

For quite a minor offence? - From the point of view of high authority it was almost the worst offence one could commit.

What was so bad, the possibility of some knowledge of what was going on inside a concentration camp leaking out? - Part of the punishment of the prisoner was also that he was allowed only once per month to write. Well, if through illegal means he had the possibility of writing every day that was not allowed.

If such punishment was administered to an SS women why were you so gentle to the prisoners? - Gentle? Well, I was severe with my prisoners, but if they did what they were told to do I had no reason to punish them. Why should I have been bad towards them?

With regard to Belsen; you have been asked if you know several of the people who were at Belsen. I should like you to see how many other women you can tell us about. We got as far as Grese. Do you recognise the next woman, No. 10 (Ilse Lothe)? - Yes.

Who is she? - Who she is I have been told only now, but I know she was a Kapo in Belsen.

What was her particular job in Belsen, do you know? - She was in charge of a kommando working at vegetables.

The next woman? Do you recognise her? (Hilde Lobauer) - Yes.

Was she both at Auschwitz and Belsen? - Yes.

What was her position at Auschwitz? - In Auschwitz and at Belsen she was at the working parties to see if, for instance, 50 were required that 50 went out.

She actually worked in the camp did she? - Yes.

She picked the women for the working parties and deciding which should go with which party? - Together with a few others; not alone.

What did she do at Belsen? - The same work.

Who is the next woman, No. 34, Ida Förster? What was her position? - In the kitchen.

Do you know which kitchen? - No.

No. 35 (Klara Opitz) is the next. - Yes, I know her.

What was her position at Belsen? - She was only for two days at Belsen.

What was her work while she was there for two days? - I do not know.

You detailed the duties, did you not? - I cannot remember, because I have known her only for two days, and times were rather full of trouble, and therefore I cannot remember what she was doing.

The next is No. 36 (Charlotte Klein). What was this woman's employment? - Bread stores.

THE JUDKE ADVOCATE: Is that at Belsen?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes, this is all Belsen. (To the witness): No. 37 (Herta Bothe) is the next. - In charge of distribution of wood.

The next one, Frieda Walter, No.38. - In the kitchen.

Was she in Kitchen No. 2, do you know? - In which kitchen I do not know, but I believe ...

THE PRESIDENT: We have had her. I think you will find that she worked in the kitchen at Belsen.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: In the Women's compound.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: The next one, Irene Haschke, No. 39. - In the kitchen; I believe the Women's compound.

The next one is No. 40, Gertrude Fiest. I think we have had her already. - Yes.

Gertrude Sauer is the next, No. 41. - Together with Fiest in compound 2.

In the cookhouse? - I cannot remember.

No. 42 (Hilde Lisiewitz) I think we have had. - Yes.

No. 43, Johanne Roth; what was this woman? - I do not know her.

Who chose the Blockältesten and so on? - In Belsen they were already there when I arrived, and otherwise it would have been perhaps also my job or the Rapportführerin too.

The next woman, Anna Hempel, No. 44? - In the kitchen at Belsen.

Was she an Aufseherin? - Yes.

The next, No. 45, Hahnel, we have had. No. 46 (Koper) we have had. Next is No. 48 (Starostka) Do you remember this woman? - Yes, Lagerältester at Belsen.

Was she also Lagerältester at Auschwitz? - I believe so.

Now I want to ask you a bit about Belsen and your behaviour there. I have already suggested to you when you were talking about both Ravensbrück and Auschwitz that the being of prisoners was a regular and continual occurrence. That suggestion I make again in respect of Belsen. - It is not true.

Now I want to put one or two specific questions to you. The occasion that you were asked about, which Hammermasch told us about, when a young girl was stripped, searched and beaten, when Ehlert and you were both there? - I remember.

I gather you say the beating was by two SS men; is that right? - Not two, one.

By one SS man. Who was that? - Kasainitzky.

And you were present? - Yes.

And Ehlert present? - Yes.

What was this woman beaten for? - She was not naked.

However, you did beat the girl, did you? - Not I, the SS man.

May we get it quite clear that we are not mixing two incidents again. I am talking of an occasion when there was the girl who was taken by you and Ehlert to where the Lagerältester and the Arbeitsdienstältester lived, not far from the Blockführer's room? - I know about where it should be, but I do not know yet what happened.

It is suggested that you and Ehlert in the evening took a girl there and that you first of all stripped and searched her and that then you beat her? - No.

That is quite untrue, is it? - I cannot even remember such a thing.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I am sorry, Colonel Backhouse, but I am quite muddled over this. What my note says is that Hammermasch alleged two incidents. The first one she said was when she saw Volkenrath and Kramer beating somebody with a wooden stick, and Ehlert was there. Then she went on to say something about at Belsen she saw Volkenrath and two others undress a girl to search her and she was severely beaten, and she recognised No. 8 as being there.


THE JUDGE ADVOCATE:Those incidents were put by the Defence to this witness and the one I think Colonel Backhouse is not on is this, as I recorded it in my note in answer to the Defending Officer: "A prisoner had been taken by SS men and were in the vicinity. I did not hit her at all". Now I understand her to say the beating was by one SS man. That is a complete muddle. That is how I have recorded it up to now. I think the witness is trying to say: I do not know anything about this incident really.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am afraid I do not think she was; that is where we differ. I think we may be mistaking various incidents. I am trying at the moment to put the incidents that Hammermasch gave in evidence, which you will find in day 8 of the transcript at pages 24 and 25. I put the place very carefully to her; I have described the time as well as I can to her, and I have asked her about that. Now that is nothing to do with the incident when the young Russian was caught. She is inclined to say that when she said that an SS man beat a girl that was because she was muddled in the two instances and she was talking about the young Russian. I am trying to get the two incidents quite clear in her mind. They are two quite separate instances.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Could I have the answer to the last question?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: The last thing she said was: "I do not remember", and I am just going to ask her about that. Perhaps the shorthand writer will read the last few questions and answers.

(The shorthand writer reads as follows: "May we get it quite clear that we are not mixing two incidents again. I am talking of an occasion when there was the girl who was taken by you and Ehlert to where the Lagerältester and the Arbeitsdienstältester lived, not far from the Blockführer's room? - I know about where it should be, but I do not know yet what happened.

It is suggested that you and Ehlert in the evening took a girl there and that you first of all stripped and searched her and that then you beat her? - No. That is quite untrue, is it? - I cannot even remember such a thing.")

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the witness) When you say you cannot remember, by that do you mean that it did not happen or you do not remember whether it happened or not? - During the period when I was at Belsen, an incident where Ehlert and myself should have beaten the prisoner who was naked and who was searched simply does not exist.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Colonel Backhouse, the way I see it is this, that Hammermasch made two allegations and I think we are quite clear on what she said. There was a third allegation which was made by Herkovitz and it seems a very similar sort of incident, but it has not ben suggested one way or the other whether it is the same.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It is quite impossible to say whether it is the same or not.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: My note as regards to Herkovitz is this: "I do not remember anything about it; it is quite untrue and it never happened". It is quite clear as regards to the Kramer incident that she was saying that a prisoner was brought back from escape and Kramer beat her but she took no part in it. The third one, which is the one which is causing the trouble, was this, as I recorded it. They are rather cryptic words which I confess I did not understand at the time: "A prisoner had been taken by the SS man and we were in the vicinity. I did not hit her at all; the beating was by one of the SS men."

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not think that ties up with the same incident at all. It may do; it may be that I am wrong. I have never understood her to admit that this was done at all. I am quite sure she is denying it. I think she has always denied it, and I would not suggest at all that she has told two stories. I do not think the story about being caught by the SS man when they were in the vicinity has anything to do with this incident at all. That was in relation to the Russian girl who escaped, was caught by the SS man and was brought back. She has told us it was Kasainitzky who was there with Kramer and that was all, to my mind.

THE PRESIDENT: So that I can be absolutely clear, you are now referring to which incident?

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: My incident is the Hammermasch incident, and I understand she is saying it never took place at all. (To the witness): Let me turn quite deliberately from the Hammermasch incident so that there shall be no mistake, to the Herkovitz incident. Do you remember Ehlert catching a girl who was wearing a ring and a locket? - I do not know anything about it.

Was it forbidden for internees to take jewellery? - Yes.

Did a number of them, however, try to hide jewellery about their person? - Yes.

What I am suggesting to you that Ehlert having found a girl with this ring later took her to the SS Headquarters, where you were, and that with you there was another SS woman called Gollasch. - I know an SS woman called Gollasch, but I do not know anything about this story.

I am suggesting to you that on that occasion this girl Herkovitz was beaten by two SS men in your presence whilst she was being questioned - in your presence, in the presence of Ehlert and in the presence of Gollasch? - That is not true. Now I remember that I have heard about it, but it happened before I arrived in Belsen.

Now we are getting somewhere. Who told you about it? - Ehlert.

Did Ehlert tell you that she was present on this occasion? - I do not know any details, but she told me about the jewels which this woman had and about some sort of punishment which was meted out to her, but I cannot give any details.

What usually happened to a woman who was caught with hidden jewellery? - She was brought to the Political Department and they went into the question of where these jewels came from, whether they might not have been their own. Anyway, it was the Political Department's job.

Then this story of Herkovitz, which you heard read in the affidavit, sounds to be very much what you have heard from Ehlert, does it not? - Whether it was the name of Herkovitz I do not know; it might have been Herkovitz, and I heard something about jewels; but whether it is the same story I do not know.

Not let us turn to the other incident ( and this is quite a separate incident) about the young Russian girl who escaped and was recaptured. - I understand.

On this occasion, as I understand from you, that this girl escaped from a working party, was caught and you were waiting near the gate because she was going to be brought back; is that right? -Yes.

Was Kramer waiting for her too? - Yes.

Was Kasainitzky waiting there too? - He was in the Blockführer's room.

Was this four or five metres from the Blockführer's room? - Yes, it was near the Blockführer's room.

Who exactly beat this girl? - Kramer asked the girl about details about her escape. She lied and consequently she got her face slapped by Kramer

Was Herta Ehlert present? - I do not know; I had not seen her.

Let me read you her account of it and see if you agree with it. "Kramer, the Kommandant, questioned the girl in front of several of us SS women and I saw him kicking and shaking her and later hit her with a stick on her head and face and all over her body quite unmercifully." Is that right? - I have not seen that.

You were there, were you not? - Yes.

Did she eventually give the names of two girls who were said to have helped her to escape? - She said something about it and the women were consequently fetched.

Did Kramer order Kasainitzky to give each of these two girls five strokes with a walking stick? - I do not know about the order, but I know that in the hut Kasainitzky came and spoke with these girls - because I speak only German - and also after he had spoken to them he punished them with that beating.

Did he give them five strokes each on their bare buttock? - They were not naked, and whether there were five I do not know. I know only that he administered the punishment, that is all.

I put it to you for the last time: was not that a regular practice in a concentration camp? - No.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: My note says there was an affidavit by Katherine Neiger.


THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: There is an allegation of a serious nature made against Volkenrath. I do not think it has been put to Volkenrath.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I will put that if you like. It is page 111.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This is a very specific one, one of the very few specific ones.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the interpreter) Will you read to the witness paragraph 4 of that affidavit?

THE INTERPRETER: (To the witness) "On the day before the British arrived I saw SS woman Elisabeth Volkenrath, who I identify No. 6 on photograph 22 now shown to me ill-treating a girl internee. The girl had been caught taking some vegetables. She was very sick, pale and thin. The SS woman made her kneel down and hold the vegetables above her head. After about four hours the girl could no longer hold her arms up and this SS woman went to her and beat her on the head, back and legs with a rubber stick. The girl was not unconscious and no one was allowed to assist her. She lay there until nightfall and I do not know what happened to her afterwards. I would add that I have seen this SS woman often beating sick girls usually when Appell was on and on one occasion in March I was struck across the face again and again with a rubber stick for having my coat open. On another occasion I saw her striking a girl on the ground with a stick and kicking her. The girl was covered with blood."

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Taking that in parts. First of all, do you remember making a girl kneel down and hold some vegetables up? - The whole thing is a lie. Kasainitzky was a Lagerführer in the women's compound No. 2 and she had not even the possibility to come into this camp. Therefore all what she says is a lie.

Could not come into which camp? - They could not run around just as they liked. She was in compound No. 2 and to come to that part of the camp she should have had to cross the men's compound, and people could not run about just as they liked.

When you say "to come to that part of the camp" what do you mean by that? - I mean camp compound No. 1.

I want to know why you are saying this incident took place in camp compound No. 1? - Because during the whole period of my stay there I was always in No. 1 and went only once or perhaps twice in compound No. 2.

You were in charge of both compounds, were you not? - Only in charge of the Aufseherinnen, not the compounds.

Were not you responsible for Frauenlager No. 2 as well? - No.

Why did Gertrud Fiest come to you, and how was it that you managed to provide things for her? - Because I had more opportunity to speak to either the people in charge of stores or with the Kommandant himself.

Who was in charge of Compound No. 2 ? - The Lagerführer.

And who was the Lagerführer? - Untersturmführer Klipp.

Was he in charge of the women? - He was in charge of the whole camp.

I put it to you that you were the responsible woman for both camps, both 1 and 2? - I was only the Oberaufseherin in charge of the Aufseherinnen, but not the Lagerführer.

Did you at any time order a girl to kneel down? - No.

Have you ever seen the people make prisoners kneel at Appels? - In Auschwitz yes, not at Belsen.

Take the second half of this. Did you ever beat Neiger at all? - No.

Did you say Neiger was the Lagerführer? - Yes. [Neiger was a Kapo, therefore could not have been a Lagerführer, only a Lagerälteste].

She would know you quite well, I suppose? - Yes.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Now there is another incident which I have not put. If you feel I should I will.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I only wanted that one put because it gave a date and gave a person in authority who gave specific details.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: There is one that I will put, that is Hilda Löffler. Page 98. It is a question of 600 women. (To the witness) Did you have quite a lot of women at Belsen collecting wood? - Yes, there were kommandos sent out for that purpose.

Do you remember an occasion when two women escaped? - It is possible; I do not know any details.

Do you remember 600 women being deprived of food and water because two from their Kommando had escaped? - Such a big Kommando, 600 people, never went out to work at Belsen.

Do you remember the whole of a Kommando being punished because two of their number had escaped? - I do not know.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: There is one last one I will put, unless there are any other particular ones you want me to put. (To the witness) Do you remember the day after the British troops arrived? - Yes.

You were not arrested on that day, were you? - No.

On the contrary, you were still allowed to go into the camp, were you not? - No, when the British troops took over we were told that no German should enter the compounds, so during those two days we were not arrested we stayed in our rooms.

I suggest to you that on the 15th and 16th you were still going into the camp itself. - It is not true.

Were all internees ordered to stay in their blocks the day after the British arrived? - I do not know; I had not been in the camp.

What I am suggesting to you is that you did go into the camp that day and that you saw a girl out of her block, and out of sheer force of habit knocked her down. - It is not true. When the British troops entered the camp I did not leave my room.

COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Unless there is anything else you would like me to put I will close.


Re-examined by MAJOR MUNRO: Did the Jews form the big majority of the prisoners at Auschwitz? - There were many Jews, but whether they were in the majority or not I cannot tell.

You told the Prosecutor that you remembered the accused Bormann? - Yes.

Can you remember when she came to Auschwitz, Birkenau? - It must have been in the spring or the summer of 1943.

Do you know an Aufseherin called Kuck? - Yes.

What did she look like? - She was about the same size as Bormann, had black hair as well. They had different dogs. But in their general appearance they could be mistaken.

Were the features similar as well as the figure? - The figure was very much alike. The face was a bit different.

(The accused Elizabeth Volkenrath leaves the place from which she has given her evidence)

Previous Day | Top of Page | Next Day