Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: During the weekend I have had an opportunity of meeting the Defending Officers and have discussed the question of this plan. I think the Defending Officers are now quite agreed that the plan will be of assistance to the Court and themselves, and they agree that probably the simplest way would be for it to be put in with Brigadier Glyn Hughes’s affidavit. Perhaps if I indicated to the Court that I had it and then the Court called for it, there would be no question of it being interposed.
As I say, we have discussed the plan and find that we have all drawn exactly the same conclusions from it, so it has been agreed that there is no reason why I should not tell the Court what conclusions the Defending Officers and myself have drawn from the plan and from the evidence which has been given. We are in agreement that the plan is substantially right. There is no detail we have found which we consider to be wrong. I will not say that at some subsequent time somebody may not say: "I do not think that is five yards" or something like that, but substantially we have found nothing wrong.
THE PRESIDENT: Subject to what the learned Judge Advocate says, I think the best way of recording this is to say that you are engaged in your cross examination of the accused and you are referring to the plan which the Court would like to see.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes. (plan handed to Court)
(plan is marked exhibit 142 signed by the President and attached to the proceedings)
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I would suggest that the affidavit of Brigadier Glyn-Hughes should go in with the plan because it shows how he got it, and is a purely formal affidavit to identify it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Will you read it.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes.
"I, the undersigned, Brigadier H.L. Glyn-Hughes make oath and say as follows:
1. I am a Vice Director of Medical Services at Headquarters, British Army of the Rhine.
2. I was in charge of Bergen-Belsen camp from the 15th day of April 1945 until the 25th day of June 1945.
3. The document now produced to me and marked H.L.G.H.1 is a drawn plan of the layout of Bergen-Belsen camp delivered to my charge by the Officer Commanding 102 Control Section, and is to the best of my knowledge and belief a true representation of the layout of Bergen-Belsen camp before it was destroyed by burning on [21st] day of May1945 and appears to me to be drawn approximately to scale.
4. The documents now produced to me and marked H.L.G.H.2 are true replicas of the before mentioned document marked H.L.G.H.1 which documents are all and severally exhibited to this my affidavit.
H. Glyn-Hughes, Brigadier.
Sworn before Captain Francis Walter Ibbetson Banes, Pioneer Corps."
THE PRESIDENT: I think now the Interpreter had better read that affidavit to the accused and explain to them that it is being put in.
(The Interpreter does so)
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I will now explain the plan. If you will look at the right hand end of the plan you will see running diagonally from the top right hand edge of the plan down to the middle of the bottom the main road outside the camp. Then one comes to the crossroads where the entrance of the administrative part of the camp, the SS part. Coming straight down that road, past the little island, and on to the first road off at right angles to the road you will see a building with a work looking like "Disinf" which I think is short for "Disinfizierung"; that is the Bathhouse. It is on the corner, on the right hand side of the road.
Continuing a little further down the road you find a building marked E. That is Kitchen No. 4. A, B, D and E are all kitchens which were known by letters after Military Government got in. On the left hand side of the road almost opposite that kitchen is a building marked "Mil. Gov". That is the SS Kitchen and Canteen. Taking the left hand fork, down the road past the SS Kitchen leaving it on the right, you come to a gate which leads into the Men's compound. The first building on the left inside that compound is the Food Store, the unnumbered building. Continuing down that road, leaving the first eight blocks on the left, on the right hand side there is a building which is slightly set back from the road. That is the Vegetable Store, opposite the end of Blocks 5 and 7 on the right hand side of the road. Almost immediately opposite that on the left hand side of the road is Block No. 9. That, as you have heard, is where the Bread Store was. Then on the right hand side of the road almost opposite is Kitchen B, which is Kitchen No. 1. The cross patch at the end of that kitchen is a water tank. Following down that road on the right hand side of the road you see the letter A. That is Kitchen No. 2.
Then turning round in our tracks and coming back you come to the crossroads in between Kitchen A and B, and if you go up that road, through the wire, across the main road and carry on past the first crossroad, you come to a kitchen marked D. That is Kitchen No.3. Actually it is half of Kitchen No. 3 and we are not absolutely sure which is the other half. We rather think that the corresponding block on the other side of the road is the other half, but we are not absolutely sure about that. Equally, immediately below Kitchen No. 3, just across that narrow lane, we rather think is the Vegetable place belonging to that kitchen, but again we are not absolutely certain. We are satisfied, however, that Kitchen No. 3 was established about that spot D, and that the building D is one of the buildings of Kitchen No. 3. I think that deals with all the salient points. The block numbers, of course, speak for themselves.
You will see that inside the camp area there are three water tanks, one by A, one by B and one further down. There is one near the SS Administration block and we think that there is another one just up the road nearer the camp entrance by Block 330, not a square one, but a sort of oblong one in the corner. It is marked in the same way as the others and we understand it is one. [Comment: There were 6 in total. One by each of Kitchens A, B and D, one near the SS Offices (also near Kitchen F) and the Swimming pool which was also designation as an emergency water supply). Finally, there was one next to Block 222 in the Gross Frauenlager.]
THE PRESIDENT: You have heard what the Prosecutor has put forward as agreed places in the camp. Has any Defending Officer any remarks to make on those places?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: (To the Interpreter) Will you explain to the accused that what we have been discussing were merely points put forward by the Prosecutor as to how certain buildings in the camp were situated, and which have been agreed by the Defending Officers. (The Interpreter does so)
The accused CHARLOTTE KLEIN is recalled on her former oath and cross examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE as follows: One thing is quite definite; you were supervising the cart that was pulled round by internees from the main store to the other places filled with bread, were you not? - Yes.
So there is no question of there being a mistake in the identity of the photograph or anything of that kind in your case? - No.
When you came from Oranienburg did you come by yourself or with a transport of prisoners or how? - With two Aufseherinnen.
Did you bring prisoners? - No.
The first night of your arrival you were put to duty in the Bathhouse, were you? - Yes.
Was that quite a regular thing to do with a new Aufseherin when she arrived, before she was given a definite job? - I do not know.
You were really used for odd jobs for a day or so before you were given your regular job in the Bread Store, were you? - When Aufseherin Ehlert came I got in the Kommando concerning the Bread Store, not before.
How long were you at Oranienburg? - Two days.
How did you come from Oranienburg to Belsen? - With the train.
How long did that take? - Two days.
How long were you on this march from Bromberg? - Four weeks.
When you took this bread round the camp you told us that your own kommando had as much bread as they like; is that true? - Yes, they could eat as much as they wanted.
Was there any bread in the last week? - On 11th April 1945 we still fetched bread from Soltau.
Were you going out regularly up to that day? - No, it was rather difficult and on Easter Sunday or Easter Monday it was the last time we got our bread from the Wehrmacht barrack area.
Easter Sunday or Easter Monday was the last time? - That was from the Wehrmacht barrack area and on the 11th April from Soltau.
How did you know that the bread you got on the 11th came from Soltau? - I fetched it myself.
Are you sure you did not get any from the Wehrmacht barracks on that day or on the 12th? - I am quite certain.
Gura told us, I think, about two lorry loads coming from the Wehrmacht Barracks and about one of them stopping at Camp 2, and he wanted to come into Camp No. 1 with the other one but was not allowed to. Are you sure none of them came from the Wehrmacht barracks about the 11th or 12th? - No; I am quite certain.
Did you get any bread between those dates, between the date you got the bread from the Wehrmacht Barracks on the 1st or 2nd April and the bread which you got from Soltau? - As far as I remember, no.
How much did you get on the 1st or 2nd April from the Wehrmacht? - I could not say because I was ill on that day. I only heard that day that bread had arrived, but I do not know how much.
When you went back to the Bread Store on the 5th April was there any bread in the store? - Yes, about 500 loaves must have been there when I arrived.
How much did you get on the 11th? - There was a lorry with a trailer. The lorry was half full because the prisoners and myself travelled in the lorry, but the trailer was quite full with bread. I do not know the exact number.
When did you issue this extra bread to Ilse Förster? - It happened about six or eight times. I issued bread to Ilse Förster whenever I had it, because I always had some sort of reserves and when she came I gave it to her.
Did you issue extra bread to anybody else? - I also issued to Frau Hempel.
Did you issue extra bread to anyone else? - Yes, sometimes to individual prisoners. If they came and asked me for bread and I had some, I gave them bread. If I had none, then, of course, I could not issue any.
That last few weeks prisoners were dying of starvation pretty well all round you, were they not? - Yes.
Did it not occur to you that in letting your own Kommando have as much bread as they wanted and giving extra bread to those Aufseherinnen who came to you, particularly for people in the kitchen, that you were taking bread from other people who were starving? - There was, anyway, not enough bread to go round everybody, and I thought as these people were working they should have it.
Do you really mean that it was not an extra ration of bread, but as you had not enough to go round you gave what you had to these people and the other people got none? - In reality I was not allowed to issue that bread at all, but I thought as they were working it was all right that they should have it.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think that is an answer to your question.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: No. (To the witness) What I was really putting to you is that the people to whom you gave the bread - was that bread an extra ration on top of the ration which was being given to everybody, or do you mean that you gave them some bread when there was not enough for everybody? - It is so that there were some days when there was not enough bread so the others did not get bread. On those days, these people whom I mentioned before got some bread whereas the others did not get any.
How much bread did you issue in the ordinary way in a day? - I do not know the number of the loaves. I can only tell you the rations were one kilo and a half for six persons for two days. It had to be sufficient for two days.
How many loaves as a rule did you issue in a day? - I cannot say; I do not know.
I am not really interested in what the ration scale was. I want to know what the prisoners got. What was the size of this hand cart? - 25 loaves on that handcart.
How often did you deliver bread to the women’s compound? - Until the beginning of April I went every second day.
What size were these loaves, kilo loaves, 2 kilo loaves, or what? - One and a half kilo each loaf.
How many journeys a day did you make then? - It was not 25, but 520.
How many journeys a day did you make then? - Into the women’s compound, three or four times a day.
It would, of course, take you ten journeys at least to take the ration? - I do not know.
Most of these prisoners were very weak, were they not? - Which prisoners? Those working in my kommando?
Not the ones who had as much bread as they liked, the ones who did not get it outside? - Yes, partly they were very weak.
Did not a great many of them both try to steal and beg bread? - Less begging but more stealing.
You told us that you gave it to quite a lot who came and asked you, or do you not call that begging for food? - When they came and asked for it I gave them, but for the greater part the majority stole it.
What usually happened to somebody who stole in a concentration camp? - I do not know. I know only that I slapped their faces if I caught them, but what the other did I do not know.
I suggest to you that you went a great deal further than merely slapping their faces? - No; I maintain I only slapped their faces.
Were you on the parade when Ehlert told everybody that they were to be more strict about stealing? - No.
Did you know that outside the kitchen people were being shot for merely trying to get a piece of potato peel? - No, I did not know that.
Did you know that the Aufseherinnen in the kitchen were beating people for trying to steal? - I have never seen such a thing.
Of course, bread was a very much more attractive thing for the prisoners than anything else, was it not? - I do not know.
And it would not take much of a beating to kill quite a lot of those prisoners, would it, in the state they were in? - When I slapped their faces they did not stand and wait, but ran away.
You were working under Egersdörfer, were you not? - In the last 8 days.
Because Egersdörfer was there before you got there, was he not? You went away ill and Egersdörfer was there for a period when you were not? - Egersdörfer came only on the 6th or 7th April and at that time I was all right again.
Who looked after the Bread Store whilst you were out with your truck? - I locked it.
Did nobody look after it? Was it just left locked up? - No. I locked it with the key and I took the key with me.
What happened to Unterscharführer Müller? - He fell ill and got typhus and went to hospital.
That is coming down from the road, you mean? - It was a very long block and there were seven or eight big rooms in that block. It was the fourth or fifth room. We had previously more room, but then when bread got less and less then we did not need all them rooms.
I just want to try and get quite clear where this door is. If you come from the Vegetable Store and then you walk between Blocks 7 and 8 and Block 9, you walk down the front of Block 9. Do you mean it is about the fourth or fifth door down as you came down? Perhaps you would look at it on the plan. (The witness examines the plan with the help of the Interpreter) - Between Blocks 9 and 10 if you come down. Then about in the middle of Block 9 was the Bread Store. Between 9 and 10 down the road and about half way along the block contained the Bread Store.
What else was in the same block; do you know? What was the rest of the block used for? - There was one room where things from Oranienburg were kept. What these things were I do not know, because that room was always locked. There was another room where people were working in these food stores - they were Dutch prisoners - slept.
Was that really the vegetable peeling room for the kitchen just across the way, Kitchen No. 1? - I do not know for which kitchen they were.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Egersdörfer said he was in charge of the food store, the first building on the left as you come in. We agreed that.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I only ask this witness about her recollection. She says that is where the Bread Store was and she says there was a place where vegetables were peeled.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Did you put somewhere else to her for the vegetables?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That is for the main camp Vegetable Store. I am clear that she is not saying the main Vegetable Store is in Block 9, but one of the peeling rooms. (To the witness) The main Vegetable Store for the camp is the building on the other side of the main road, is it not, set rather back from the road? - Yes. That was a cellar. (The witness indicated the place marked "Vegetable Cellar" on the plan.
The vegetables from that cellar were taken to the various peeling rooms to be peeled or cleaned up? - In the Vegetable Cellar I saw only potatoes, but I believe that most of the vegetables were put in big heaps near the food stores, the first building on the left. They were lying there outside the food stores.
Was there another big pile of vegetables right down that road past Kitchen No. 2, somewhere about opposite the wire between the far women's compound and the men's? - I did not go so far. I went only up to the Kitchen No. 2, and there there were no heaps of vegetables.
When you issued the bread, did you take it direct to the kitchens or to the blocks? - In the women‘s compound I brought it to Kitchen No. 3. In the men’s compound I brought it to the blocks just at the beginning of the camp.
Was Block No. 9 the only bread store in the camp? - Yes, but in the food store there were also 400 to 500 loaves of bread.
You told us on Saturday something about some Dutch prisoners. Do you ever remember any Dutch babies? - Yes. There was a whole Dutch family compound were, of course, there were babies as well; a mixed compound.
Can we have the numbers of those blocks? - I do not know.
Is that in fact a road, or what is it there? - It was a sort of small road and there were two gates, one gate on the left hand side of the road and one gate on the right hand side.
Was one allowed through there? - No, it was always locked with the key and you had to get the key from the Blockführer's room. Prisoners were not allowed to go through only under escort or for some particular reason, but never alone.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Klein, during the early days of April, 1945, when you were working in the Bread Store, what quantity of bread do you estimate was stolen from the store during that time? - I have been ill until the 5th ...
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I know. That is why I put the question. When you were working.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: She was just going to say that from the 5th when she returned 50 or 60 loaves.
THE WITNESS: 50 or 60 loaves of bread from the 5th, when I returned, until the 11th.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: How could they be stolen from the store; can you explain? - The door was always open and the bread was very near to the door, so that it could have plenty of fresh air, and the prisoners had only to come in and do five or six paces and they got the bread.
During the same period how much bread do you think was stolen? - 15 to 20.
Did you not make a report about this, to have it stopped? - I did not make a report, because people were hungry and they would never have stopped it.
Where did you yourself have your meals during this period? - In the SS Canteen.
Who issued the bread to the SS Canteen? Did it come from your store? - Issued from my stores.
Did the SS Canteen ever have to go short of bread during that week in April? - There were only six slices of bread of this thickness which we got per day.
Did you get that every day until the British came? - Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions on what the Court has asked?
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No.
(The accused leaves the place from which she has given her evidence.)
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: My next accused is No. 37, Herta Bothe, and I will call her straight away.
The accused HERTA BOTHE, takes her stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence and having been duly sworn is examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS as follows: What is your full name? - Herta Bothe.
When were you born? - On the 3rd January, 1921, in Teterow, in the Province of Mecklenburg.
What were you doing in 1939? - Housework.
And for how long did you continue to do that? - Until August, 1940.
Then what did you do? - Then from September, 1940, until September, 1942, the end of September, 1942, I was working in a hospital for training, to be trained as a nurse.
What happened to you after that? - Then in October I went home again. In the middle of October I had to go to the labour exchange and I was directed to the camp in Ravensbrück as Aufseherin.
How long did you remain in Ravensbrück? - Ten to twelve days in Ravensbrück, and then to the camp in Stutthof, near Danzig.
How long were you there? - The end of June, 1944.
Where did you go then? - July, 1944, not June, 1944. In August I came to Bromberg in East Prussia.
When did you leave there? - Until the 21st January, 1945, in Bromberg.
Why did you leave that camp? - It was evacuated. The front was coming nearer and nearer.
Where did you go? - Berlin, Oranienburg.
How did you get there? - Marching.
How long did that take you to march? - Four weeks.
How long did you stay in Oranienburg? - Two days.
Where did you go then? - Belsen.
Can you remember about the date on which you arrived in Belsen? - Between the 20th and the 26th February.
What did you do when you first got to Belsen, for the first few days? - On the first day I had no duties. On the second day I went to register. In the afternoon the women's compound was shown to me. On the third day I had no duties, and in the night I did duties in the Bathhouse.
One or two of the witnesses who have been here have said that you were in charge of the wood kommando inside the camp. Is that right? - That is right.
How many internees were there in that kommando? - 60 to 65.
Were you in charge of it? - There was an SS man who was in charge of it, but I was the Aufseherin of it.
Of what nationality were these internees? - Nearly everybody was Russian with the exception of two German gypsies and two Poles; all the others were Russian.
What state of health were they in? - Quite good; satisfactory.
How did their health compare with that of the other prisoners in the camp? - Good.
Now will you tell the Court what job you and this kommando used to do? - Big trunks of wood were fetched from the woods into the camp and the male prisoners had to cut it into smaller parts and the women prisoners had to continue this job into even smaller parts.
Will you have a look at the plan and show us where this work was done, cutting up the wood. You see where Kitchen No. 1 is. Now come back to the right along the main road out of the Manner Lager and you come to a building marked "Mil Gov"; that is the SS Kitchen. Just above that is Kitchen No. 4, and just to the right of that is the Bathhouse. What I want to know is where the wood was prepared. - In front of Kitchen 4 there is an empty space. That is where we were working. On the right there is a big open space and on the left. That is where the kommando was working.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I do not quite understand what you mean. Do you mean somewhere Block 308? Perhaps it would be simpler if the Interpreter points it out to the Court.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The witness had better come up to. (The Interpreter and witness go over to the Court)
THE WITNESS: Here was a square which was surrounded with barbed wire and that is where the kommando worked. North of it in this bog square as well.
THE PRESIDENT: What the witness has pointed out is this. Assume for one moment the top of the map is North. In that space West of No. 4 of the Cookhouse that is where she was working, and also in the space west of building 308.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Yes. (To the witness) When you were working with this kommando did you ever have anything to do with the ordinary prisoners? - No, nothing to do with the others.
Did you ever have a pistol? - No.
Where did you sleep at Belsen? - In the billets of the Aufseherinnen.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I am now going to deal with the various allegations, the first one being exhibit 35, which is page 37, paragraph 3. (To the witness) I want you to look at the affidavit of Wilhelm Grunwald. - Yes.
Is there any truth in that story? - No.
You have told us that you had no pistol at Belsen. Have you ever had a pistol? - Never.
The next one I am going to deal with is exhibit 77, page 131, the deposition of Sala Schiferman. Read that through to yourself. - Yes.
First of all, have you ever beaten anybody to death? - No.
Where were you in Belsen during the time in February when you were there at all? - Those few days in February I was working in the men's compound at Kitchen No. 2 carrying away the swill.
Now I have asked you whether you have ever beaten anybody to death. Have you ever beaten anybody at all? - Oh yes.
With what have you beaten people? - With my hands.
For what reason? - The first thing, because they stole wood, and second, when I distributed wood in the billets of the SS men they came to me the next day and told me that things were missing, and when I searched the prisoners I found all sorts of things, soap, combs and mirrors, and similar small belongings.
Have you ever beaten anybody with a stick? - No.
Or with a big piece of wood? - No.
Or a rubber truncheon? - No, not at all.
What have you got to say about that? - The first thing, I was never in charge of a vegetable Kommando and second thing I have never beaten prisoners.
Do you know if there was a vegetable kommando in Belsen? - Yes.
Do you know who was in charge of it? - No.
Did you yourself ever have anything to do with it? - No.
In that paragraph it says that you beat internees and thereby caused their ultimate death. - I had nothing to do with the internees. I had my wood Kommando and that is all.
You have told us that you used to hit people with your hand? - Yes.
Do you think you hit them hard enough to cause their ultimate death? - No.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: That concludes my examination.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
MAJOR BROWN: Captain Roberts has no questions. I have one or two relating to Mathes.
Cross-examined by MAJOR BROWN: Did you deliver food to the Bathhouse? - Yes.
Do you know the SS man who was in charge of the Bathhouse? - Yes.
Who was he? - Mathes; whether he was in charge or not I do not know.
Do you mean he was working there, or you do not know whether he was in charge? - I think he was working there, but I do not know whether he was in charge.
Can you remember when was the last time that you delivered fuel to the Bathhouse? - I do not remember exactly; on the 9th or 10th April.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No questions.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Just on that last point. Do you remember Volkenrath telling us there were no baths in the Bathhouse after the 4th because there could not be as there was no fuel? - I remember.
Was that wrong? - I do not know whether there were some baths, but I know that still brought wood till the 9th or 10th, and also some sort of old leather was delivered into the cellar.
After that did you cease delivery? - No, I did not bring any more.
Why did you not take any more? - Because we had very very little wood and the Kommandant’s orders were that wood should only be delivered only to the kitchens so that at least food should be cooed.
Did you stop delivering wood to the SS billets at the same time? - Yes.
It was still pretty cold then,in April, was it not? - SS men came sometimes and wanted some wood, but I told them I could not because if I give it to one then everybody will ask for the same.
And the only places that were warm after that were the cookhouses? - Yes.
The place you were working in was really just by the side of Kitchen No. 4, was it not? - Yes.
Are you sure? - No, I am not sure.
Who was it? You were working just by the side of it all day. - I know him by sight but I am not sure about his name; and apart from that I did not see him the whole day
Was there a second SS man under him in the kitchen? - In the beginning I believe there was a second SS man, then later two Aufseherinnen arrived.
Did they remain there till the end? - As far as I remember, yes.
Just across from you was the SS Kitchen, was it? - Yes.
Who was in charge of that? - Sturmscharführer May.
Had he a second in charge? - Two SS men working under him.
Who were they? - I do not know their names.
Were there any SS women there? - No, I do not think so.
Your Kommando chopped this wood up. Did they also deliver it to the kitchens? - A part of the kommando, 8 out of the 16, distributed it.
Who was the SS man in charge of this kommando? - Rottenführer Bartel.
I want to go back a little to when you first joined the SS. Where was this hospital you were working in? - It was not a proper hospital, it was a sort of home, and it was situated in Schwerin.
What sort of home? - We were sent out to women who were expecting a baby and there we had to help.
And you left there and went to Ravensbrück in October 1942? - Yes.
When you were trained there for 10 or 12 days, were you? - No, I got immediately a Kommando and was together with another Aufseherin.
Was she instructing you in your duties? - Yes.
And did you there learn to beat prisoners quite regularly? - No.
There was a great deal of beating of prisoners there, was there not? - I have never seen it, because I had an outside kommando working at the station and I was very little inside the camp.
And you were sent to Stutthof, were you? - Yes.
You had very nearly two years as an Aufseherin there? - Yes.
You That was a rough camp, was it not? - No.
Then you were chased out of there by the Russians and went to Bromberg, did you not? - No, I was transferred to Bromberg and from Bromberg ...
Form Bromberg you had to leave because of the Russians? - Yes.
Did you have a very uncomfortable march from across? - Oh yes.
And when you got to Belsen did you proceed to have your own back on the Russian prisoners who were working under you? - No.
Practically every prisoner in your kommando was a Russian, was she not? - Yes.
I suggest to you that while you were in charge of that Kommando you beat those women very regularly and beat them very hard? - No, that is not true.
Did they get the same food as the other prisoners in the camp? - No, they had a little bit more.
And that was additional, was it, to what they got inside? - Concerning my own working party yes; about the other working parties I cannot say.
On the amount of food those women were getting do you really think they were fit to do the work at all? - They had to work very hard on this wood kommando.
And it was too much for them, was it not? - No, I could not say that it was too much for them.
I want to ask you about one or two of the particular allegations. Take Schiferman (page 131). She says that she worked at Kitchen No. 4. That, of course, would be the kitchen which was exactly opposite where you were working? - Yes.
And she says that you came up from a nearby working site. That would be right, if you did come up, would it not? - Yes.
Did you go into the kitchen every now and again just to warm yourself by the fire? - No.
Why not? - That was not allowed, that anybody, even Aufseherinnen, should go into the kitchen.
Even when it was the only place in the camp where there was any warmth? Do you mean to say people did not go in and warm their hands now and again? - No; if anybody of the administration had seen it it would have caused a lot of trouble.
But you had always got a good excuse, had you not, you were taking the wood round? - No, that was more the job of the SS man, because he told me where the wood should be delivered.
But you used to go round and deliver it, did you not? - Yes.
When you delivered wood to a kitchen do you mean to say you did not go inside and have a word with the Aufseherin there? - No, I never went in.
How did they know who brought the wood? - There was a window in the kitchen down to the cellar where we simply left the wood; generally there was a Kapo there and I said: "Well, here is the wood", and he said: "All right" and I went.
And you never slipped in an said: "It is cold this morning, I will just warm my hands in front of the fire whilst they are unloading the wood"? - I did not need that because I had a small hut there on my working site where there was a stove, and if I wanted to warm my hands I could go there.
When you went to have your lunch in the canteen did you never call for the girl in the kitchen on the way? - No, because in the kitchen the Aufseherinnen went just whenever their duties permitted it.
What time did you used to go for your lunch? - Between 12 and 1.
Of course if you were walking across to the canteen even you would pass the kitchen door, would you not? - No.
I suggest to you that on one of the days when you were going past that kitchen or up to that kitchen you saw a girl taking some turnip peelings from outside the kitchen. - No, it is not true.
And that you got the girls in the kitchen to bring a stick or a piece of wood and you began to beat her with it? - No.
She remembers the girls in the kitchen shouting to you telling you to stop. - No.
I suggest you said: "I'll beat her to death." - No.
And that you went on beating that girl till she was bleeding and eventually she died, though you might not know that? - No, that is not true.
And that you ordered some of the women, including Schiferman, to carry the body away? - No.
That was what happened to people caught stealing in a concentration camp, was it not? - Yes, but they were not beaten to death.
They generally got a pretty severe beating though, did they not? - When the prisoners working in my Kommando were caught stealing then I slapped their faces.
I was going to ask you about those. You have told us you caught prisoners from time to time stealing wood? - Yes.
I suggest to you that you beat them hard and you beat them with a stick. - It was very rare that I caught somebody. I slapped their faces. Generally one was on guard and the other stole, and whenever I arrived they had run away already.
Take the occasion when you say these girls stole things out of the SS barracks. Did you search them? - Yes.
Where did you search them? - When they finished distributing the wood there in the SS billets I searched them there and then. I searched them before they distributed the wood so as to know what they had in their pockets, and I searched them afterwards.
Then did you not beat the ones that you found with something, and beat them with a stick? - No, I had no stick; I slapped their faces.
When you first arrived at Belsen you have told us you did nothing at all on the first day; is that right? - Yes.
And on the second day you went to register. Who did you report to? - In the administration office.
Then who gave you your first duty; who actually told you what to do? - Aufseherin Gollasch.
And the first duty you were given was to do duty in the Bathhouse, was it? - Yes.
How often did you do that - just the once or more than once? - Once or twice, I do not remember.
That was just casual before you were given a proper job, was it? - Yes, quite casual.
Did you ever beat anybody in the Bathhouse? - No.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I am afraid she probably has not had those affidavit. I will leave it generally. The difficulty is this, you will remember there were certain affidavits put in later of witnesses who had given evidence in the box but had not mentioned some little things in the box which they have mentioned in their affidavit. This is now before the Court as an affidavit, but the odds are that this witness does not know anything about it. I think it is probably simplest if I leave it alone. This affidavit will not have been put to this witness; she will not have had a German translation. It was one of the affidavits which my friends asked to be put in as they wish to make comments after.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I presume we did not take the trouble to put them in unless they were the foundation of a speech.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: This was not put in in respect of the allegation in question.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It is a very short one, I will put it to the witness. (To the witness) You will not remember, but a woman called Hammermasch has said you did beat a naked woman in the Bathhouse with a rubber stick. - No, not true.
However, you did work in the Bathhouse, did you not? - Yes.
Was it quite a regular thing for the latest Aufseherin to arrive to be put on for a night or two in the Bathhouse before she got a job? - Yes; as far as I remember quite a number of Aufseherinnen.
When you came back on this march from Bromberg what was the nationality of most of the prisoners you brought with you? - Jewesses; Hungarian Jewesses.
Did you have a revolver when you were in Poland to protect yourself with? - No.
Was the population friendly to you? - I did not notice any hostility in the town of Bromberg; we could go wherever we wanted to go.
Did you not carry revolvers? - No.
Had you not got a revolver when you got to Belsen? - No.
The men at Belsen wore revolvers, did they not? - Yes.
Do you remember Weingartner, who told us he had to fire in the air because he was alone with 1000 women? - I remember.
Was it only the men at Belsen who were in danger from the prisoners? - I do not know.
Did you never find it necessary to do any beating or shooting or striking? - No.
In the last few days, about the 11th or 12th, all the SS guards - what you might call all the able bodied SS - went off in the direction of Hamburg, did they not? - Yes.
There were not really very many other men left, were there? - Only administrative personnel.
All the women went, as a matter of fact, and were sent back again? - Yes.
And when you got back there had to be quite a lot of rearranging of duties, did there not? - Yes.
In those last two or three days you were very short-handed, were you not? - Yes.
It was really a case of everybody trying to help and doing the best they could, was it not? - Yes, but there were still Hungarian troops, and troops from the German Wehrmacht available.
They had nothing to do with the administration, had they? - No, they were the guards.
And everybody had to work pretty hard those last few days, did they not? - I do not know. I continued to carry on with my working kommando.
Of course your Kommando had a lot less to do, had it not? - Yes, but they had to carry on and cut wood as far as much wood was available for the kitchens.
That is what I mean, there was not much available, so presumably you did not cut much. - As much as was available.
Now I want to put this to you. It has been put to you once but I must put it again. suggest you had a pistol in these last few days and that you used it. - I can only tell you that until today I never had a pistol in my hand.
There was quite a lot of shooting went on those last few days, was there not? - Yes, from Hungarian troops.
And by the SS as well? - I do not know.
Who were the Hungarian troops shooting? - Whenever a prisoner went a bit too near to the barbed wire they started shooting at once.
Were the guards by the kitchens and the potato patch? - I do not know.
Well, you were still going to the kitchens with the wood, were you not? - Not always.
You went several times in those last few days, did you not? - Yes, sometimes.
Did you not see any guards there? - Now I remember, there was a guard on the right side.
And there was quite a lot of shooting around the kitchens, was there not? - No, I never heard it.
Of course by that time you had got used to seeing dead bodies lying about the camp, had you not? - I have never seen dead bodies lying about in the camp.
You have never seen any dead bodies lying about the camp at all? - I never went into the camp, only on the first day, and on the first day I did not see any bodies.
But you have told us you took this wood round to the kitchens? - Yes.
And you seriously tell the Court you never saw any dead bodies lying about? - Yes, I repeat it seriously I have never seen any bodies.
Re-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I am going to ask some questions about the affidavit on page 131. (To the witness) You were asked a number of questions about this affidavit of Sala Schiferman. - Yes.
And it has been put to you that your work was quite near to Kitchen No. 4? - Yes.
Were you in charge of the wood kommando in February? - No, not in February.
I just want to go through the various jobs you did in order until you took over the wood kommando. Can you remember approximately the date you arrived in February? - The 24th or 25th perhaps.
What did you do the first day you arrived? - Nothing.
The second day? - Registration, and I saw the women's compound.
After that? - Night duty in the Bathhouse; it might have been one night, it might have been two nights.
What did you do after that? - Ten to twelve days in the men's compound in Kitchen No. 2 carrying away swill.
And was it only then that you took over the wood kommando? - Yes.
You have been asked a number of questions about whether you did not warm yourself in front of the kitchen fire. What, in fact, was the weather like in April of this year? - Sometimes very cold.
You were also asked some questions about bodies. What did the internees who were not working do all day long? - I assume they were in the camp.
Did you ever see them? - Yes, from afar.
One more question about the bodies you were asked about. Did you ever hear that there were many bodies in the camp? - I heard only that sometimes they said: "Today some people died again", but how many I do not know.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Was there any difficulty in getting wood at Belsen? - No, no difficulty at all. There was a wood about four or five kilometres away from the camp and there was a Kommando to fetch it.
I think you said that some of the people in your Kommando stole property from the SS men’s billets, is that right? - Yes.
Did you not consider that stealing from the SS men's quarters was a most serious crime in this concentration camp? - Oh yes.
And when you were satisfied that you had before you a thief do you say that all you did as a punishment was to give them a box on the ears, is that right? - Well, I should have made a report to the Kommandant, but I thought that as it was theft from SS personnel it would have had serious consequences, therefore I slapped their faces, and I could not have slapped their faces with anything else because I had nothing in my hand, so it was only my hand.
When you were being trained as an Aufseherin were you not told what you were to do when you found somebody working under you was a thief? - Yes, to report.
Can you explain to me why you disobeyed your orders in this way? - I knew that they would have severe punishment, and they asked my pardon; I slapped their faces, and generally those did not steal again.
When an SS man lost some of his property did you get it back for him? - Yes.
How did you arrange with the SS man that he did not go and complain about you to Kramer in that you had not reported the thief? - He told me that if he got his things back it is all right with him.
Was it on consideration that you gave the thief a box on the ears? - No, that was my own idea.
Lastly, how many articles do you think you recovered for the SS men, having been stolen by your Kommando? - About four or five.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No.
(The accused Herta Bothe leaves the place from which she has given her evidence)
When were you born? - 7th December 1922.
Where? - In Thierenberg in East Prussia.
When were you taken into the SS? - 1st July 1944.
And did you go to Belsen some time this year? - Yes.
Can you tell me approximately when that was? - Between 20th and 25th February 1945.
Did you know her at Belsen? - Yes.
And did she sleep in the same room as she did? - Yes.
Were you when you were at Belsen for part of the time ill? - Yes.
Did you ever see the accused Bothe with a pistol? - No.
As far as you know did she ever have a pistol? - No, I do not know.
(The remaining Defending Officers do not wish to cross examine this witness)
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: When did you arrive? Did you arrive the same time with Herta Bothe? - Yes.
Had you been in the same camp previously together? - Yes.
When you got to Belsen who was the first person you reported to? - We arrived during the night and reported to the guardroom, and the next morning we saw Ehlert; she came to see us.
Did she give you any duties? - No, Ehlert was not there when I got my duties; she was on a journey then.
What did you do the first day after you reported to Ehlert? - On the first day we just looked at our billets and then went to feed, and the rest of the day we did nothing.
What was the first actual duty you did? I am talking about you, no one else. - Duty in the camp.
What duty? - We really did not know what we were going to do. We went into the women's compound and walked about for about an hour, and saw the block where the children were, and then we went back to our billets.
What I asked you was what was the first duty that you did? - The first actual duty was going out with a working party to the wood to get parts of trees.
Were you both on the same kommando? - No.
Did you go and get the wood and hand it over to Bothe and her kommando chop it up? - No, I was only with those prisoners who were pulling the trunks out of the ground, and then at night we returned without wood.
So you really did not see Bothe during the day at all? - No.
When were you taken ill? - On 7th March.
How long were you away? Did you come back to the camp again? How long were you ill for? - I went to hospital on the 10th March and I was released on the 29th March.
Did you come back and sleep with Herta Bothe again? - Yes.
Were you still sharing a room with her when the British liberated the camp? - Yes.
What were you doing the last three or four days? - I had no duties.
Did you go into the camp to help? - On the Saturday, the last day before the British troops arrived, I had a working party cleaning up the courtyard in the SS barracks.
What were you doing for the few days before that? - I was not detailed for duties and I spent most of the time in my billet, and now and then went to the Bread Store and had a talk with Charlotte Klein.
At that time was there any heat in your billets? - Yes.
Was there heat in your billets right up to the end? - As far as I know, yes.
Do you remember a lot of things being stolen from the SS billet? - No.
Did your friend Herta Bothe ever tell you about it? - No.
What do you think would have happened to a prisoner who stole something from an SS billet? - If he had stolen something we had to report him and he would have been punished, but I do not know what kind of punishment he would have got.
Did your kommando get any extra food? - I do not know.
You used to look after them, did you not? - Yes, but I do not know whether it was the same food as the prisoners in the camp received or whether it was extra.
Where did they get it from - which kitchen? - I do not know, because my kommando received their food in the wood; at noon time a car came from the camp with the containers.
Do you remember when you did this trip up to Neuengamme? Did you go up to Neuengamme that night and come back again? - Yes.
How many of you went? - I do not know how many Aufseherinnen went to Neuengamme.
About how many? - I do not know.
Well, think; you were there and you went with them. About how many went? - I cannot really tell; I do not even know how many Aufseherinnen worked in the camp, because I never was together with them in the last few weeks.
How did you get from Belsen to Neuengamme yourself? - In a truck.
How many of you were in that truck? - Six or eight.
How many trucks were there? - Four or five; I do not know exactly.
Then did you come back again early the next morning, during the night? - They came back next afternoon.
And did you come back in the same truck? - No.
About the same number? - Yes.
And all the same Aufseherinnen, I suppose? - Yes, in my truck they were the same.
When you came into the camp with your working party who did you deliver them to; who did you hand them over to when you got in? - To the Blockführer in the Blockführer's room in the women's compound.
You reported your numbers as you came in, did you? - No, I did not need to do that myself because there was an Unterscharführer who did this job.
Then who marched them off? - Prisoners who were in the arbeitsdeinst and some other functionaries amongst the prisoners.
You remember where the SS Canteen and Cookhouse was, do you not? - Yes.
Do you remember the cookhouse just on the opposite side of the road? - Yes.
That is the one next to where Herta Bothe used to work with her wood people, was it not? - Yes.
Did you sometimes stop and have a word with her? - No.
Who were the SS men in that kitchen, do you remember? - I do not know.
You three were old friends, were you not? - Yes.
What condition was that camp in when you went down there that Saturday? - It was a bit different from the time before we went to Neuengamme, because the prisoners were a bit more troublesome; for the rest it looked just the same.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
(The witness withdraws)
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: That finishes the case of Bothe.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: My next accused is No. 38, Frieda Walter, whom I will call straight away.
The accused FRIEDA WALTER, takes her stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence, and having been duly sworn is examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS as follows: What is your full name? - Frieda Walter.
When were you born? - 1st March, 1922, in Beuthem, Silesia.
How were you employed in 1939? - I was working in a textile factory.
How long did you continue to work there? - From the 29th June, 1936, until the 9th October, 1944.
And what happened on the 9th October? - I was conscripted to the SS and had to go on the 10th to Gross Rosen.
For how long did you remain in Gross Rosen? - On the 11th I left Gross Rosen and was sent to Langenbielau for training.
How long did that last? - 7th November, 1944.
Where did you go then? - Back to the textile factory in Neusalz.
Was that the same factory you had been in before? - Yes, the same. I was living at Beuthem and working in Neusalz.
For how long did you remain in Neusalz? - 16th January.
What happened then? - I fell ill and stayed for a fortnight at home.
And after that? - I went back to Neusalz only to see that the whole camp was evacuated. Then I went to Guben.
How long did you stay there? - I stayed there until the 6th February, 1945, waiting until the column should arrive. They did not arrive so I went back to my home in Beuthem.
What happened to you then? - I found my sister there and with her I escaped. I came to Uelzen, just here in the neighbourhood.
How long did you stay at Uelzen? - End of February.
What happened then? - I wanted to go to Berlin, but they told me in the information office that I had to go to Bergen-Belsen, where all the military persons had to report.
When did you get to Belsen? - 24th or 25th February.
How did you spend the first day at Belsen? - Camp duties.
Did you do any work? - No.
How long did you stay in Kitchen No. 3? - Ten days.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I have no objection to "D" being pointed out to her.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: (To the Interpreter) Point out to the witness Kitchen D.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Is that Kitchen 3? - Yes.
Is it right that that kitchen was divided into two parts? - Yes.
Which is the other half of the kitchen? - More to the North.
THE PRESIDENT: Show it to me. (The witness and Interpreter go to the Court) What she says is that it lies between "D" and "205", that it was a building there. Again calling the top of the plan North she says that it ran North East from the top of "D" running round 205.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Thank you, Sir. (To the witness) Anyhow, you spent ten days there, is that right? - Yes.
What did you do at the end of that ten days? - With a kommando, a sort of stone kommando, putting stones from one side to another in a ditch. It is called "Kiesel kommando", a sort of stone kommando.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Is "shingle" the word?
THE INTERPRETER: Sort of pebbles from one side to another.
THE PRESIDENT: The only thing I can imagine it means is packing the side of the ditch with small stones.
THE INTERPRETER: That is exactly what she means.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: (To the witness) How long did you spend working on this stone kommando? - Two days.
What did you do then? - Eight days garden kommando, in the garden of the Kommandant.
How many prisoners were there in that kommando? - The garden kommando consisted of 60 prisoners, but I myself worked only with 15 in the garden of the Kommandant.
Who was the SS man in charge of the half of Kitchen No. 3 in which you worked? - Sturmmann Jenner.
Was there another Aufseherin in that kitchen? - Yes, Frau Förster.
Which Förster? - Ida Förster.
How long did you stay there? - Until 11th April, and then we went to Neuengamme.
How many days was it before the British came that you return from Neuengamme? - On the 13th we returned from Neuengamme and for two days I worked in Kitchen No. 2.
Which do you call Kitchen No. 2? Is it in the Manner Lager or the Frauen Lager? - Men's compound.
Is it one of the two kitchens in the main camp street? - Yes.
Was it the nearest to or further away from the SS quarters? - No, further away.
What happened after those two days in Kitchen Kitchen No. 2? - On the 15th and 16th we did not do any duties, and on the 17th we were arrested.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I am now going to put the various affidavits. The first one is exhibit 81 on page 137, deposition of Alexandra Siwidowa, paragraph 5. (To the witness) Will you look at paragraph 5 of the deposition of Alexandra Siwidowa? - Yes.
Do you remember that person at Belsen? - I do not remember her name, but I remember what she is talking about.
She first of all says that you hit her. Now all I want to know is: Did you hit her? - Naturally.
What did you hit her with? - With my hand.
Did it hurt her? - Certainly.
She says here that you hit her because you could not understand her German. Is that true? - No, that is not true.
Why did you hit her? - She stole potatoes just as all the others did.
She also says that her cheek was swollen and discoloured for more than two weeks. Is that true? - I do not know.
What about these other things which she says, that you hit people with a spade and wooden implements? - That is not true.
Is it true, as she says, that you hit people with a spade and wooden implements? - No.
Did you ever hit any of the other Kommando with your hand? - Yes, the others got their beatings just in the same way as this woman who accuses me of it.
What was the reason for that? - Seven or eight of the Kommando had also stolen potatoes and I told them they should leave those potatoes and not take them and then the Kapo searched them and found these potatoes. The Kapo told me then that they had potatoes so I told them to fall out and slapped their faces for it.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I will deal now with the affidavit on page 161, that is exhibit 87, the affidavit of Edith Trieger. (To the witness) In the affidavit Edith Trieger says that you beat women prisoners who approached the kitchen practically every day. How many days were you in Kitchen No. 2? - I was only two days in Kitchen No. 2 and this woman says she was a nurse of these Dutch children in the camp, called Stern Camp, and at that time, when I was in Kitchen No. 2, that camp did not exist anymore; these people were sent away at the end of the month of march.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I think actually by that last answer she is confusing it with the next affidavit.
THE PRESIDENT: I cannot see where she says she was a nurse.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: That is the next affidavit, but it is not important. I come now to the affidavit of Luba Triszinska, exhibit 88, page 162, paragraph 5. (To the witness) In her affidavit Luba Triszinska also accused you of beating women who came to the kitchen. You have told us that you have beaten people with your hand. Have you ever beaten people with a stick? - I never had a stick.
Have you ever beaten people with a rubber hosepipe? - No, I never saw one before the prison in Celle.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: That concludes my examination.
MAJOR MUNRO: I have no questions and neither has Major Winwood.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN ROBERTS: Looking at the rectangle labelled "D" and going straight up diagonally across the road, you come to two small rectangles, one rather smaller than the other in that sort of island? - Yes.
Were those the latrines? - I do not know.
The next thing is the rectangle immediately opposite "D" on the left hand side of the road. Do you know what that is? - That was part of the kitchen where the vegetables were peeled.
THE PRESIDENT: That is the one that lies exactly between "D" and "222" again, is it?
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: Yes. (To the witness) Immediately below "D", across the little lane, there is another small rectangle. What is that? - I do not know.
MAJOR BROWN: No questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
Cross-examined by LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Do you know the accused Helena Koper? - Yes.
Did you see her often in Belsen? - Five or six times.
Where exactly did you see her in Belsen? - In the women's compound, in front of Kitchen No. 3.
What was her function there? - Camp police.
What was her behaviour when you saw Koper? - Her job was to see that the prisoners should not approach the kitchen and that they should not crowd towards the kitchen.
Did you see her beat anybody? - No.
Was she walking with a stick? - I did not see one.
Have you known Koper as a Blockälteste? - No.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What earthly right had you to strike these women at all? - I took this right.
It was not what I asked you. What right had you to strike them? - I had no right.
Why did you do it? - Because they were stealing and that was prohibited.
Did any of them ever hit you back? - Me - no.
It is causing a lot of amusement to the other prisoners. What would have happened if they had struck you back? - They would never have dared to do this.
Why would they never have dared to? - Because they were prisoners.
But you had no business to strike them, so if they struck you back what had they to fear? - Then would never have done this.
And you just took advantage of the fact that they knew they dared, did you? - No, that was their punishment because they were stealing.
But you had no right to punish them at all, had you? - And they had no right to steal.
So you took upon yourself to beat them without any right at all; is that right? - Yes.
Is that the way the other Aufseherinnen behaved? - I do not know; I never bothered with the other Aufseherinnen.
Is that how you were taught to behave at Langenbielau? - No.
Tell me a little bit more about Langenbielau. Where is it? - It is in Silesia near the mountains called Eulen Mountains.
By what camp is it administered? - Gross Rosen.
It is part of Gross Rosen, is it not? - Labour camp.
It is part of Gross Rosen, is it not? - Yes.
Why not call it Gross Rosen? - Because it is about 6o or 70 kilometres from Gross Rosen.
When you were working in this textile factory, was that spinning or a weaving mill? - Spinning.
She seems to have had very nearly the same adventures as you. That is why I was asking if she came from the same place. When did you first meet Ilse Förster? - On 10th October, 1944, in Gross Rosen.
Did you both go there to be trained at the same time? - She went to Gross Rosen and I proceeded the next day immediately to Langenbielau.
Did she not go to Langenbielau too? - She had been at Langenbielau, but before my time.
What was the name of the firm you worked for before you went there? - Kruschwitz.
Were there prisoners working there before you went to Langenbielau? - 200.
Were you in charge of some of them? - No, In my department no prisoner was working.
What was your department? - Sort of laboratory, research work.
What was your work in the research department? - To see about the strength of the material, of the spinning material.
Testing room, really? - Yes.
When you came back there, how many prisoners had you under you then? - 36 to 40.
What department were you in then? - Partly inside the factory in the spinning department, and partly outside in the fields.
By "in the fields", do you mean in the camp where they lived? - No, in the fields where the plants were drying in the sun, and they had to be turned over and aired and dried.
Did you act as guard over them then? - As Aufseherin, supervisor.
Is that where you first started beating them? - No.
Where did you learn this habit of beating prisoners who could not hit back? - I did not learn it anywhere.
You went on this little trip away to your own home. Was that with Ilse Förster? - No.
When did you arrive at Guben? - 1st February, 1945, I believe it was a Thursday.
Who did you report to there? - The Commander who was in charge of the camp there, called Masowske.
What did she tell you to do? - To wait until the others would arrive.
And how did you get back home after leaving Uelzen? - I returned to Beuthem to see whether my mother was there, but I could not find my mother.
Then you arrived in Belsen, you say, about the 24th or 25th. You said you spent the first few days in camp duties. What do you mean by that? - One day camp duties. I had to stay put in a room so that if the Block leader wanted me for any sort of duties either accompanying prisoners where they could not go alone, that I should be available for those duties.
Did you see them beating quite a lot of people? - I do not know, because for that single day I stayed in the room and then went to the kitchen, so I could not say.
Were you on that duty for one day only? - Yes.
You described it in your evidence in chief as the first few days, but we will not worry about that. Then you say you went to Kitchen No. 3. Which half was Kitchen No. 3 in? - In the lower half, the second half.
Is that the half nearest the main road? - No, the other half.
The half furthest away from the road? - Yes, nearer to the camp.
Was there any sort of road going between the two halves? - Yes.
Who was the SS man in charge of the kitchen when you were there? - Francioh.
Was he there the whole time you were there? - He came on the 25th March and until the 11th April until I was there, he was there as well.
When did you go there? - On the 23rd.
23rd of what? - 23rd March.
You went there on the 23rd March and how long were you there? - To the 11th April.
What were you doing after the second day you got there? What did you do after that? - Kitchen 3.
I thought you told us you arrived there on the 24th or 25th February? - Yes.
I will ask you again: When did you first go to Kitchen 3?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: From the 25th March to the 11th April.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: In Kitchen 3?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes. (To the witness) I want to get the earlier period. You got there in February, not in March. You told us that you had one day sitting in the Blockführer room. What did you do next? What did you do on the 25th February? - Kitchen 3.
Who was the SS man in charge there? - Sturmmann Pohl.
Was he the only SS man in charge then? - Yes.
Who was in charge of the other half of the kitchen then? - Sturmmann Pohl. as well.
Just the one SS man in charge of both halves, was he? - Yes.
What other Aufseherinnen were there in that kitchen then? - Aufseherin Ronne and myself.
You were the only two Aufseherinnen in the kitchen? - Yes.
I realise that. What Aufseherinnen were there? - I do not know; there were so many Aufseherinnen and they changed every day.
Of course, that kitchen was the one which is furthest from the gate, was it? If you were going back to the Women's Lager your half was furthest away from the road as you went in; is that right?
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Could we have which gate?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: The one which you normally went through. Volkenrath says it was quite clear. She always described them as being Kitchen 3 and 4; she said the one nearest to the gate and furthest from the gate. She said to the prisoners: First or second kitchen. I want to know whether this was the first or second where you usually went in? - I worked in the half which was furthest away from the entrance.
Did you not beat quite a lot of prisoners near that kitchen? - That was not my duty because there were the camp police for that purpose.
It was never your duty to beat anybody, was it? - It was prohibited.
But when somebody in your gardening Kommando tried to take a potato you beat them. Did you not beat someone if he tried to take something from the kitchen? - Those people who were working in the kitchen for me, if they stole they did not steal because they were hungry, but they stole because they wanted to barter, and if they did it they did it mostly during the night, so I could not catch them. The people outside the kitchen it was not my duty to take care of. That was the duty of Sturmmann Jenner and Francioh to see whether they stole or not.
Did quite a lot of prisoners try to steal from the kitchen? - Oh yes.
Had it nothing to do with you in the kitchen at all? - It had nothing to do with me at all. I was responsible inside the kitchen, but I had nothing to do with the outside.
Let us go to the later period when you came back to the cookhouse when you were there in March with both Jenner and Francioh. You say it was the duty of Jenner and Francioh to stop people stealing outside the cookhouse, do you? - Yes.
How did you prevent them? - They went frequently outside and if anybody approached the kitchen they chased them away.
What happened if they caught them? - Then they beat them.
Did the people in the kitchen always do exactly as they were told? - I did not need to say anything to these people because they knew their jobs and they did their jobs.
Was Francioh there all the time from when he came on the 25th March up until the 11th April? - Always; he was not very much there because he went very often to his wife, as he told us, and when he returned he went to sleep. He was not very interested in the kitchen and when he came he started shouting about. That was his duty.
Is the story of his about being in prison for eight or ten of those days and not being there at all untrue then? - He was imprisoned, but that was about the middle of March and about the 25th he came out again.
Are you quite sure about that? - Yes.
Who ran the cookhouse whilst he was in prison, do you know? - Sturmmann Jenner.
He ran the whole place, both halves, did he? - During the period of absence of Francioh.
Do you remember Ehlert? - Yes.
You know what Ehlert says about you, that she heard that you used to beat internees to a reasonable extent? - Yes, she said so but she did not see it.
Were you on this parade when Ehlert told the women in the kitchen to be much more strict about stealing? - Yes.
Did she not encourage the Aufseherinnen to beat people who stole? - You could pick and choose from the words which Ehlert pronounced; you could interpret it in your own way. I, of course, did not interpret it in that way, that I should beat prisoners.
How did Koper manage to keep the prisoners away from these two cookhouses? - I do not know her method, because I was not outside. I do not know how she did it.
Weingartner had to use a rubber cable and a pistol, but did Koper manage to do it without using a stick at all? - What Weingartner did I do not know, and what Koper did I do not know either. I know that I did not see her with either a stick or a rubber truncheon.
How many water taps were there in the kitchen? - Three or four.
Where were they placed? Was there a sort of basin or sink or what? - There were about four boilers and above the boilers were the water taps.
If you wanted to get some water without putting it into the boiler, if you wanted it in a bucket, did you fit a piece of hose over the end of the tap? - There was no rubber hose there, but there was a sort of continuation - an iron pipe - along the water tap which could be directed in different directions.
Weingartner said that he found a short piece of hose not far from your kitchen when there was a riot round the kitchen. That is why I am asking you whether there was any proper use for a piece of hose round that kitchen. - The block where Weingartner was was about 300 metres away from our kitchen, so I cannot understand how he can say he came to our kitchen or found near our kitchen any sort of rubber hose.
Your kitchen was the only one in the Women's Lager, was it not? - Yes.
You told us that you certainly hit people in the face, and that you did it so that it hurt them, but do you remember Siwidowa in particular? - Not the name.
How do you know that is the occasion she is speaking about then? - I assume that she was taking part in the Kommando otherwise she could not say all these things.
As a matter of fact, did you not use the wooden end of a spade and other gardening implements periodically to hit your prisoners with? - When I fetched these prisoners there were no wooden gardening tools. Those tools were kept in the garden of the Kommandant.
I thought they were working in the garden of the Kommandant? - Those 15 working in the garden of the Kommandant must have sown the potatoes at another place because in the Kommandant's garden there were no potatoes.
Just turn to Trieger's affidavit. She says that she has seen you beating women prisoners who approached the kitchen practically every day, usually beating them over the head and the face with your hands or with a hosepipe or with anything else that came handy. Is not that in fact true? - That happened on the 14th or 15th when I was working in Kitchen No. 2 only for two days, or rather for a few hours, and Edith Trieger could not have seen me because she was working as a nurse with these Dutch babies ...
What happened on the 14th and 15th? - In Kitchen No. 2.
What happened in Kitchen No. 2 on the 14th and 15th? - I was working inside the kitchen. What happened outside, I do not know.
Well, what are you talking about? Nobody else is talking about the 14th or 15th.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I think it was a question of translation. She said she was in the kitchen on the 14th and 15th.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not know where we are getting at all. The witness did not mention the 14th or 15th and neither have I, and I want to know why this witness is now talking about it. (To the witness) Is that because you knew something happened on the 14th or 15th? - The explanation is because I was only on the 14th and 15th in Kitchen No. 2, and this witness is speaking in her affidavit about Kitchen No. 2.
Do not worry about that, because Volkenrath calls the kitchen you were working in the second kitchen so possibly the witness does too. For the moment let us concern ourselves with the kitchen in which you were working. - Nothing happened.
What did he do to people who came into the kitchen trying to steal? - He beat them.
What did he beat them with? - With a stick.
Did he do any shooting? - I do not know.
You were there were you not? - During these two days several people were shooting.
Was Heuskel shooting? - I do not know.
Was there a lot of shooting going on? - It was sufficient.
During those two days that procession of men dragging corpses was going past that kitchen all day, was it not? - I have never seen it.
It came right past the kitchen did it not, and went on all day? - I do not know.
You were in that kitchen, were you not? - Yes, I was inside the kitchen.
And the door opens on to the road, does it not? - Yes.
And there is a window that looks on to the road, is there not? - I do not know whether there was a window, but I know there are two doors.
You heard Mr. Druillenec describing that procession which went on from dawn to dusk all those days, did you not? - Yes, I remember.
And you never even noticed? - I was never outside.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: I should like to further cross examine this witness on behalf of accused No. 16.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: You really know you have no right to, but it is entirely a matter for the Court. Why do you wish to further cross examine?
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: I want to cross examine on what has been brought out by Colonel Backhouse.
THE PRESIDENT: You merely want to ask questions on what Colonel Backhouse has put to the witness?
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
Further cross examined by CAPTAIN ROBERTS: During your second spell in No. 3 Cookhouse, the other Aufseherin in your half was Ida Förster, was it not? - Yes.
Did you both work there at the same time or did you take it in shifts? - In shifts.
How many hours each shift? - Ten hours.
Did you ever have a day off? - No.
While you were working on your shift you were in the cookhouse the whole time? - Yes.
And I think you said that you worked in Jenner's half of the cookhouse? - Yes.
How is it that you have been able to describe that you saw Francioh often coming out of his cookhouse? - Because he came very often as he was in charge of my half as well, and he caused only trouble because my prisoners knew their job but whenever he came he was not satisfied and whenever something was done he always said it was wrong, and it should be done differently, and he dismissed people who were quite good and put in others.
When they chased them and caught them you say they beat them? What did they beat them with? - With a stick.
What sort of stick? - A wooden stick.
Did they both have them? - Yes.
You say that the whole of the second time you were in the cookhouse, or most of it, Francioh was there the whole time? - Yes.
How often did he go and see his wife? - Three or four times during the weeks.
When he came back you say he used to sleep the whole time. Whereabouts did he used to sleep? - In the kitchen.
Whereabouts in the kitchen? - In the kitchen he had a small room with a bed, table, chair, and telephone; everything was all right there.
Was that in your half of the kitchen? - No, the other half.
Did you ever see him yourself sleeping in his half of the kitchen? - Yes, I went to use the phone.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE - As an Aufseherin had you been trained to report matters such as stealing to your superiors? - Yes.
Instead of doing that you tried to maintain discipline by smacking people’s faces; is that right? - Yes, as it happened every day the potatoes were stolen, I could not really report it every day to the Kommandant.
Did you have any particular scale of punishments; for instance, did you give one one smack for one potato or anything like that? - No, it was always twice irrespective of the number of potatoes, and it was never a question of one single potato, but always quite a neat heap of potatoes.
Did anybody ever attempt to complain about this smacking that you gave them? - No, never.
Did you give them any opportunity of explaining anything before you hit them? - No, there was no explanation anyway, because they did not steal them because they were hungry. They had potatoes during their mealtime which they picked and cooked. They stole those potatoes only for bartering purposes.
Did you find that a woman who had stolen potatoes and got a smack ever stole potatoes again? - Not on the next day, but maybe when another Aufseherin was in charge of the same kommando.
Have you ever caught the same woman stealing potatoes twice? - No.
If a prisoner felt that she had a grievance at all against any functionary in the camp, such as an Aufseherin, did she any opportunity of raising that grievance in any way? - Yes.
What should she have done? - They should have reported it to the Oberaufseherin, because the Kapos and the Oberaufseherin were on more intimate terms than we ourselves with high authority.
Do you think if they had that the slightest notice would have been taken of it? - Yes, certainly, because we would have been punished for it.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions arising out of that?
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No.
(The accused Frieda Walter, leaves the place from which she has given her evidence)
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: My next accused is No. 39, Irene Haschke.
THE ACCUSED, IRENE HASCHKE takes her stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence and having been duly sworn is examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS as follows:- What is you full name? - Irene Haschke.
Where were you born? - On the 16th February 1921 in Friedeberg in Silesia.
How were you employed in 1939? - Textile factory.
How long did you stay there? - 14th August 1944.
What happened then? - On the 16th August 1944 I was conscripted to the SS and to Gross Rosen.
What part of Gross Rosen? - I do not understand what part.
How long did you stay in Gross Rosen? - Only for one single day, then I went to Langenbielau.
How long did you stay there? - Five weeks, I do not know the date.
Where did you go to then from there? - Three weeks in a labour camp in Weisswasser. [Mährisch-Weißwasser]
How long were you there? - Three weeks.
Where did you go from there? - Back to the same textile factory where I worked before, Rohrdorf.
When did you leave there? - 16th February 1945.
Why did you leave there? - Because of the enemy advance.
Where did you go to? - We were prisoners - to Kratzam in Sudetenland.
Where did you go from there? - To Belsen.
When did you get to Belsen? - 28th February 1945.
I want to ask you now about the jobs which you did at Belsen; what was the first job you had? - The first three days we did nothing.
And after that? - One day camp duties.
Was that just sitting in the camp room until you were wanted? - Yes.
And after that? - Eight days wood kommando.
Was that the same wood kommando as Bothe or another one? - Another one.
And after those eight days what did you do then? - Three days in Kitchen No. 2.
Is that the kitchen in the main camp street? - Yes.
Is it the one nearest to or furthest away from the SS quarters? - It is the furthest away from the SS quarters.
After that where did you go? - I went in Kitchen No. 3.
Was that kitchen divided into two portions? - Yes.
Who was the SS man in charge of your portion? - Francioh.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I am now going to deal with the various accusations. The first one I am going to deal with is that of the witness Rozenwayg, which is volume 10 of the transcript. First of all page 19. (To the witness) Do you remember the witness Rozenwayg in Court? - Yes.
Did you ever work in Cookhouse No. 1 in Belsen? - No.
She says here that you pushed a woman into one of the water cisterns and she was drowned.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: We will leave out the number of the kitchen and just take the incident as it is for the moment. (To the witness) She says you pushed a woman into a water cistern and she drowned. Is there any truth in that? - It is not true.
Later on she says you did not push her in but picked her up and threw her in; is that true? - No, it is not true.
She says that when you were working in a cookhouse whenever a prisoner got a few drops of soup you used to knock it over and pour it out on the ground. - It is not true; on the contrary, I gave them more soup.
She also says that you used to hit her and others with a rubber tube or hose; is that true? - I never had one.
Did you ever kick the prisoners? - No.
She also says - on page 24 - that there was usually quite a crowd of people round the cookhouse; is that true? - Yes.
What was that crowd as a rule doing? - They were stealing.
We have heard from Frieda Walter that there was usually a policeman to prevent this; is that so? - The guard at the gate.
I want to get on to yourself. Have you ever hit any prisoners? - Yes.
First of all, I want to know for what reason you used to hit them. - Because they took the food of others away.
Secondly, with what used you to hit them? - With my hand, and sometimes I used a stick that I got off the guard.
Now let us hear a little more about this stick. What sort of stick was it? - Just an ordinary wooden stick.
How long was it? Just show us with your hands. (The witness indicates about 18 inches)
About how thick? - (The witness indicates about 3/4 inch diameter)
How often used you to find it necessary to beat prisoners with this stick or with your hand? - It was only necessary when they were stealing.
And when you hit anybody how many times did you hit them? - Once or twice; they did not stay there.
Was your object in beating them to punish them for stealing or to prevent them from stealing?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Would it not be better if my friend did not put the object?
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: What was the object of your beating the prisoners in this way? - I beat them or hit them to prevent that hundreds of other prisoners should get no food.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I will now turn to the affidavits, starting with the one on page 111, exhibit 66. It is the affidavit of Katherine Neiger, paragraph 8. (To the witness) She says you used to beat girls with a rubber stick. Did you ever have a rubber stick? - I never possessed one.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Finally the affidavit of Luba Triszinska, exhibit 88, page 162, paragraph 5. (To the witness) She says there that you beat people to such an extent that eventually they died. Is there any truth in that? - It is not true.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: That concludes my examination.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: Major Munro has no questions and I have no questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN ROBERTS: Did you ever see Francioh shoot anybody? - No.
MAJOR BROWN: No questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
CAPTAIN NEAVE : No questions.
LIEUTENANT BOYD: No questions.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No questions.
Who were the Aufseherinnen? - Hempel.
Anyone else? - Myself.
Just Hempel and yourself? - Yes.
Anybody in the peeling department? - Myself.
Were you working two shifts then or only one? - One shift.
After three days there you went to Kitchen No. 3; is that right? - Yes.
Tell me a bit more about Kitchen No. 3. Francioh was there. When did he come there? - I arrived about the middle of March and he came two days later.
Who was in charge before he came? - Jenner.
Just Jenner by himself? - Yes.
In charge of both departments? - Yes.
After he came - he came a few days after you and you came about the middle of March, - did he ever go away again? - He went to his wife.
Was he ever away for more than a day or two? - No, he was always there.
That story he told the Court about being in prison for the first eight or ten days of April untrue, is it? - Untrue.
Was Ida Förster in your cookhouse at all, in either part of it? - Yes.
Which half was she in, the same half as yourself or the other half? - The other half.
Who else was in the other half? - Walter.
Who was in the peeling department? - Myself.
I wonder if you can help us with the geography of this kitchen a little bit. I do not know whether the plan will help you or whether it will be easier to try without.
THE PRESIDENT: Do it without the plan.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: If you came down from the SS quarters to go to the kitchen which way did you come; how did you get into the camp; which gate did you go in through? - Through the Women's compound.
There are one or two different ways you can go, or there appear to be from the plan. First of all, what block did you live in yourself? - SS quarters.
If you were coming down into the women's compound which way did you go? Did you leave the SS Canteen on your right or on your left, or did you go round past the Bathhouse, or which way did you go? - Past the Bathhouse and past Kitchen No. 4.
And then did you walk down with Block 202 on your left and all the other blocks on your right? - Yes.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I only want to get which lane she is coming down. There are two possible ways. (To the witness) When you got down past the end block - the last one you pass would be 196, would it? - I do not know.
You come along towards the end of that road and then you come to the cookhouse, do you not? - Yes.
The portion of the cookhouse you worked in, was that on the right of the road you came down or on the left of the road you came down? - On the right side.
Were both halves of the kitchen on the right hand side there, or was there one on the left and one on the right? - Both sides of the road.
What was the little building on the left opposite the cookhouse? - The peeling department.
That is the little building in the corner made by the wire and the two roads, is it? - Yes.
Supposing you went along that road you have come down, between Kitchen No. 3 and the peeling department, you go straight on between the two then you come into a broad road, do you not? - Yes.
If you turned left you would come to the gate in the main road, would you not - the one that was kept locked? - Yes
Were you working a single or double shift? - In which bit?
The bit in which you were working, you yourself; were you working single or double? - Double.
Who looked after the prisoners on the other shift? - Beseke.
You looked after them both? - Yes.
And you did the same, did you? - Yes.
Were you the only two who did that, or did the other Aufseherinnen do it as well? - I did not see what the others did.
Were you the only one who hit prisoners with a stick? - I do not know what the others did.
Where did you have your meals? - In the SS Canteen.
You never talked to eat other? - Never about our duties.
Did you never discuss in the Mess the fact that the prisoners were starving? - No.
Did you not care about it? - What could we do about it?
That is not quite what I am asking you. These people were dying all round you, were they not? - I do not know.
Were you terribly shocked at what was happening? - I did not know that before.
You did not know what? - That so many bodies were lying about; we did not know that before.
Never mind about the bodies for the moment. Just think about the live people. You must have seen these wretched people; you saw these women starving? - I distributed quite often food without the knowledge of the SS man in charge, but after all I could not distribute the whole food; I could not give it away.
That is not what I am asking you. I am not asking you what you did. What I am asking you at this moment is this: Were you not absolutely horribly shocked by the conditions? - Yes.
Well, was not that the whole topic of conversation in the Mess, what you could do for them? - No.
Was it never mentioned? - We had our meals and went on duty.
Were you on duty at Cookhouse No. 3 the day that all the SS men had their parade? - No, I was not in the kitchen. That was during the interval for lunch; during the lunch break.
Who looked after the kitchen at lunch time? - I suppose Francioh.
Did he not have any lunch? - I do not know.
Were there any short pieces of rubber hose used in the kitchen for filling things from the taps? - No.
Where did you get the water from for the last four or five days? - About ten minutes walk from the kitchen there was a water pump that was an invention of Jenner's, and that is the place where we fetched water the from.
Whereabouts was that? - Behind the kitchen; a good way behind the kitchen.
What sort of pump was this? - It was an iron pump; you pumped the water with the hand.
Where did you pump the water from? - I do not know, but anyway it was drinking water.
Where did you pump it from, was it from one of these cisterns or what? - Out of the earth, the soil, not from the cisterns.
Do you mean Jenner invented a pump which could pump water out of the soil? - It must have been already there. Previously there must have been a pump there and Jenner arranged that and brought it in working order.
Was this inside the Women’s Lager? - Yes.
Did you tell anybody else about it? - That was only for the kitchen.
What did you do if prisoners started using it? - There were two guards there, a Wehrmacht soldier and a Hungarian.
I want to ask you about one or two of these rather definite allegations against you. It is quite right to say that you were in the kitchen opposite to Ida Förster, is it not? - Yes.
And that was in Camp 2, was it not? - Women’s Compound 1.
Which compound do you mean. It is the big one, is it not? - Yes, the Women’s Compound.
Is it true that if you saw people trying to steal from it you did come out and you did beat the people? - I beat them, but they did not wait for it.
Did they sometimes try and steal some soup? - Yes.
If they got some did you knock it over? - Never.
Did you let them take it? - Yes. When they had the soup I sent them away with the soup.
You know Ilona Stein says that when you had knocked them down you continued to kick them after they had fallen on the ground? - That is not true.
And she says that you used to use a piece of rubber hosepipe too? - I have never seen a rubber pipe and I never touched one.
Did you know Weingartner? - Yes.
Was he the Blockführer of your part of the camp? - Yes.
Were there quite a few bits of rubber hose lying about the camp? - I never saw one.
Had you worked in the kitchen before? - In Kitchen No. 2.
A piece of rubber hose is quite a usual and useful thing to have about a kitchen, is it not? - But I did not have one.
Do you remember the water cisterns? - Yes.
Was it forbidden for prisoners to get water out of them? - It was not forbidden.
Prisoners were allowed to take water out of them, were they? - Yes. When this water wagon filled all the containers and there was still some water left then the prisoners could go and get some water.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: We are obviously mixed in the translation, because I have not mentioned water wagon at all. (To the witness) We are not talking about the water wagon at the moment, we are talking about the water tanks, cisterns, concrete tanks. You know the concrete water tanks there were about the camp? - Yes.
Were the prisoners allowed to take water out of those? - Yes.
Have you any idea why they did not, if they were dying of thirst and if they were allowed to? - Because it was dirty.
It was being used for the kitchens, was it not? - I do not know.
You know, I suggest to you that one day when you saw a woman taking some water out of that you picked her up and threw her into the pond? - That is not true.
Who gave you permission to beat anybody in that camp at all? - Nobody.
Was it forbidden in the SS to beat prisoners? - Yes.
Although it was very regularly done, was it not.? - I never beat anybody without reason.
I did not really ask you that. I said beating prisoners was in fact very regularly done in the SS, was it not? - I do not know.
You did it quite cheerfully and openly, did you not? - No.
Was there something secret about this beating of yours outside the kitchens then? - I do not know.
You did it quite openly, did you not? Anybody could have seen you? - I do not know if anybody saw it.
Did you do it quite openly? - Yes, in front of the door.
Did Francioh do it quite openly? - Yes.
Did Jenner do it quite openly? - Yes.
Well, there were the only people you had about the place, were they not? - Yes, there was nobody else.
You were all doing it quite openly, were you not? - Yes.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
(The accused leaves the place from which she has given her evidence.)
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I have no more witnesses, but I have some documentary evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: I think it would be best to take that first thing tomorrow.