Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'
The accused, ANNA HEMPEL is recalled on her former oath and further examined by CAPTAIN MUNRO as follows: I had finished the allegations by Lidia Sunschein and was going on to the allegations by Helene Klein, transcript 12, page 80. (To the witness) Do you remember the evidence of Helene Klein given in this Court? - Yes.
She said that you ill-treated prisoners in Cookhouse No. 2 in a terrible way. Is that true? - No.
She said you had a special riding whip; is that true? - No.
She said that you went to Kramer and complained that another Aufseherin in the cookhouse did not beat her people properly; is that true? - No.
The next one is page 19 of the bundle, transcript 15. This allegation says that you beat prisoners with a rubber stick for stealing or attempting to steal from the kitchen; is that true? - It is untrue.
The next one is page 163. Luba Triszinska. Will you read that and tell the Court what you have to say about it? - That is true, that I caught this man stealing turnips and that I hit him with a stick over his back, but it is not true that I called for help from another Rottenführer, and it is not true that the man collapsed either.
What happened to the man? - The Sturmmann saw it, came out from the kitchen, and slapped his face and the man ran away.
Did you often beat prisoners? - When it was necessary; when I caught them stealing.
Did the internees in your cookhouse work well or badly? - They worked well.
If you had to beat anybody, with what did you beat them with? - With my hand.
Did you ever use anything else? - No, only in the case of this man before mentioned I used a wooden stick.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
MAJOR CRANFIELD: No questions.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.
Cross-examined by MAJOR BROWN: Do you know the accused Mathes, number 18? - Yes.
Was he ever in No. 2 Cookhouse? - No.
Do you know where he was employed? - In the Bathhouse.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Do you know if food for the children was prepared in No. 2 Cookhouse at Belsen? - Yes.
Where did the children live themselves? - In one children's home in the women's compound and then in the general compound. There is no particular number.
Do you remember any Dutch babies in Belsen? - I remember the nurses of the children because they came frequently into the kitchen.
Do you know whether they got all the food for the children from your kitchen? - I do not know.
CAPTAIN BOYD: No questions.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No questions.
Cross-examined by MAJOR STEWART: One of the witnesses told us yesterday that only single women without family were conscripted into the SS; is that right? - No.
Where did you family live? - In Grünberg in Silesia, and I brought my son with me. He is now in Celle.
From Grünberg you went on a course to Ravensbrück, did you not? - Yes.
You knew all about the training, did you not, so I suppose most of the time was spent on lectures; is that right? - No, we worked only on practical things; no lectures.
Were you never told how to handle the prisoners you were going to supervise? - That was only during a parade of a maximum of half an hour.
Did somebody make a speech in that half hour? - Yes.
Am I right in saying that what you were told roughly was that the people you were going to be called upon to supervise were only Russians, Poles, or Jews, as opposed to you, a member of the master race, and they would have to work until they died, and that your task would be to get a maximum amount of work out of them whilst they were alive by fair means or foul? - No.
What sort of people did you have under you when you came back from that course? - There were Polish Jewesses and in Camp No. 2 Hungarian Jewesses.
What did you do? - I worked in the office and did some clerical work and learned that job.
All the time you were there? - Yes.
Never anything to do with the prisoners, had you? - Yes, when they went to work I had to count them and write their names and numbers down.
I put it to you that you were sent on that course to learn how to treat prisoners and as soon as you came back you were in charge of prisoners and you did ill-treat them? - No.
When the Russians came too near you said the camp was evacuated and you went to Guben; is that right? - Yes.
Did you march? - Yes.
How long did it take you? - Five days.
With the prisoners? - Yes.
Were there only Aufseherinnen or were there SS men too? - SS men were there too.
Were there any difficulties or did they march all right without any trouble? - No trouble at all. We had a quartermaster who advanced and prepared accommodation for the night. There was no particular trouble.
When did you get there? - On the 2nd February.
Was Ilse Förster with you? - Yes.
What instructions did you get when you arrived at Guben? - We handed the prisoners over, everything was all right, and were instructed to proceed to Belsen.
You had an order to go to Belsen, had you? - Yes.
And instead of that you went off to Thuringia? - Yes.
What did you do there? - Part of the refugees from our own village were there in Thuringia and we wanted to see those and, from that, this firm where I worked wanted to start their business in Thuringia and Förster and myself wanted to stay there rather than go to Belsen.
I have always understood that you were disciplined in the SS It has always been suggested that people had to do terrible things because they were ordered to do them and unless they did them they were shot, but here are you, having been told to report to Belsen, going off to Thuringia because you thought it was better? - We were refugees ourselves, and tried to board the train which was rather difficult and, apart from that, we wanted to resign our commissions in the SS and to withdraw and get away, but that was not feasible.
Why did you want to resign from the SS? Did you not like it? - No; I did not like it and I did not join the SS with pleasure either.
What made you go back after all? - Wherever we tried to raise our voices concerning this question nobody listened to us, and everybody gave us the answer: "You have to proceed to Belsen; that is all".
I suggest to you that that is utter nonsense, because if you had gone anywhere and said you were deserting from the SS they would have put you straight inside? - No, it is not like that. We went to Zurich [Comment: This must be a transcript error] which was some sort of Headquarters of the SS and we spoke with a rather high officer there - I do not know his rank - and we told him and we made this application, but he himself was quite nervous and was in trouble himself, and he said he could not help us and we must proceed to Belsen.
You said the SS Führer who spoke to you was very nervous. Did you realise by then that the war was practically lost? - No, he asked where we came from and we said from Silesia and he asked how far was the front line, and we told him and then he was very excited about it.
Let me suggest to you that both the SS Führer and you were nervous because you knew the game was up and you did not want to go to Belsen because you did not want to be caught in a concentration camp? - We did not know that Belsen was a concentration camp, and we did not know either where Belsen was situated.
Let us come now to Kitchen No. 2; that is where you went when you arrived in Belsen, was it not? - Yes.
Heuskel was in charge, was he not? - Yes.
Was there any other SS men? - Yes, in the middle of March Sturmmann Wessel came.
Any other Aufseherinnen apart from you? - The first few weeks I was quite alone, but when work was too much then Ehlert sent somebody to relieve me.
What do you mean by relieve you? Do you mean you were both there at the same time or you worked in shifts? - We worked in one single shift.
Who was that other woman? - Aufseherin Rosenthal.
Did you get on with her? - When she worked I was not there and when I worked she was not there. We worked in one single shift - one day it was her and the other day it was me, not together.
In other words, you had 24 hours on and 24 hours off; is that it? - Two shifts, one shift from 0300 hours until 1400 hours, and the second shift 1400 hours until 2300 hours.
Well, let us say you were on the morning shift when she came to relieve you. Did she not talk to you? You must have known her and she must have known you? - Yes.
That is what I asked you; did you get on with her all right? - Yes, of course.
Do you know that that woman went to Kramer and complained about you? - I did not know about that.
She said you beat prisoners to such an extent that it was disgusting? - That is not true.
You know Sunschein; she was your kitchen Kapo, was she not? - Yes.
In the case of Sunschein there cannot be any mistake; she knew you? - Yes.
You said your staff worked well and all that. Did you get on with them all right? - Yes.
Do you know what they say about you? One of them, just having spoken about Sauer whom she said beat them furiously, said you were even worse; and Sunschein your Kapo called you the worst SS woman in the camp. How do you account for that? - That is not true.
Will you answer my question. I did not ask you whether it true or not, I tell you that she said so which is a fact. How do you account for it, having said you were on very friendly terms with all your staff? - I cannot understand why Sunschein could have said that.
Why did you beat your kitchen staff who worked so well? - I did not beat my kitchen staff because they came as volunteers, and if I would have beaten them they would not have returned, but on the contrary they tried very hard to get into the kitchen.
Let me tell you what Klein and Sunschein say on that subject. Klein says: "She ill treated her own prisoners in a terrible way if any moment they might have been slacking". What do you say about that? - I never beat those people working for me, but it is true that I had to drive them, because we had to make good that little time of light and water, otherwise we could not have finished our meals.
How did you drive them? Patting them on the back and saying: "Come on, children, whilst the light is on"? - I told them to work when we had water and light and later on when we had no light or water, they could take it easy. There was plenty of time for that later on.
When you were administering what you call the necessary beatings, how did you do it? - When I caught these people who worked in the kitchen when they stole, say, sugar, meat or margarine, I took these things and told them that if I caught them once more I should throw them out of the kitchen, and they asked and begged me not to report them, but rather to slap their faces.
You want to tell the Court that you did them a favour by beating them, is that right? - No, that is not true.
Why was it that once and only once you beat a man with a stick and never before and never again? - (After a pause) Because I saw him and I caught him when he filled his pockets with turnips. I could not slap his face with my hand.
Why not? - I could not bring that over me.
I suggest the reason why you could not get yourself to slap a man's face was because you knew these people had typhus and that is the reason why you never touched a single one of them with your hand but beat them with a stick or whatever you could get hold of? - We had in our kitchen also people who had typhus.
What I asked you was were you frightened to touch these people because they had typhus? - No, I was together with these people every day.
Regarding that Sturmmann Wessel in your kitchen, what did he do? - He helped me in supervising people and, apart from that, it was his duty to see that the empty containers should return to the kitchen so that we could carry on distributing the food, because I myself was not allowed to go into the men's compound.
From the point of view of the prisoner is there a great difference between a Private, a Sturmmann, and a Rottenführer? - I do not know.
I suggest to you that Sturmmann Wessel was the man you called to your assistance when you found that man stealing turnips? - No.
I am trying to follow your chain of thought, because you told me that a man came and stole turnips and that Sturmmann Wessel saw it and came out and joined you in slapping his face. Now I am putting to you what you said before. - Yes, but I left at the same time.
What I suggest is that you beat the man as long as there was strength in you and then you got that Sturmmann to join you and finish him off? - No.
So you insist that you have never beaten anybody apart from beating people with your hands, except for that one occasion? - Yes.
Re-examined by CAPTAIN MUNRO: Did you ask to be sent on a course to Ravensbrück ? - No, never.
The learned Prosecutor said that you were afraid of touching people with your hands because of typhus. For what reason and for what disease were you sent to hospital on April 8th? - Because of typhus.
For what disease were you sent to hospital on 8th April? - Typhus.
Did you always try to feed the prisoners to the best of your ability? - Yes, what I had I distributed and if I had the opportunity to organise something for them, I did so.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Would you tell me again, and quite shortly, why you wanted to get away from the SS in the early part of February, 1945? - I never wanted to be in the SS I was conscripted and I found this is a propitious moment to get away from it.
Had you found the conditions unpleasant? - I found them unpleasant and I did not like these duties.
What duties? - The treatment of the prisoners. Apart from that, in the factory my living conditions were better and everything was more pleasant.
A MEMBER OF THE COURT: How did you manage for water during the last few days in the kitchen? - I went away on the 8th April.
You still have water up to that date, did you? - Every Thursday, from 0700 hours until 1300 hours there was no water at all. That was a standing thing. We had to prepare everything on Wednesday because Thursday mornings there was no water.
Apart from that there was sufficient water up to the time you left the kitchen? - For some hours we had no water. When there was no light we had no water. I do not know whether there is some connection, but it was always in that way.
ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE COURT: You said you eat this man with a stick because you could not bring yourself to hit him with your hand. Why was that? - Because I have never hit a man before.
ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE COURT: How many people could you cook for at once in the containers? - We had 40 boilers, 38 boilers containing each 350 litres and 2 boilers containing 600 litres. We always cooked with 57 containers. That means that when we were finished with the 40 we immediately refilled so that we prepared at once 57 of these big boilers.
Did the 57 big boilers cook sufficient for the 17000 people you were feeding? - Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions on what the Court has asked?
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No, and that concludes the case for Hempel.
(The accused leaves the place from which she has given her evidence).
My next accused is No. 45, Hildegard Hahnel, and she is charged with committing an offence in the Bathhouse at Belsen in February of this year. You will find the affidavit on page 146 of the bundle; it is by Tolla Stempler.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: That is not exactly the charge. The charge is that she was a party to the whole thing.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: I am aware of that.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: That is just an example which is given to suggest that the Court should find that she was a party to the whole iniquitous system. It is not merely a charge on that one particular instance. As long as you bear that in mind.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: Yes, I beg the Court's pardon. That is the single specific allegation against her in the whole of this case.
The Court has heard witness after witness say that Hahnel did not arrive in Belsen until the last days before the British arrived. Further, the Court will have heard other witnesses say that neither was she in charge of the Bathhouse at any time, nor did she take any bath parade at Belsen.
At the end of the case for the Prosecution the learned Judge Advocate asked all the accused whether or not they wished to give evidence on oath, or whether they wished to make any statement, and Hahnel said she would make a statement on oath before the Court. Since then she has watched the case against her very closely and has come to the conclusion that everything that she could have said in her own favour has been said for her. She has got nothing more to add and has therefore instructed me to tell the Court that she will not give evidence on her own behalf, and I have taken the very grave responsibility of advising her that she is right. I therefore say no more.
I call no witnesses for Hahnel either, so that concludes my entire case.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I represent six accused, No. 48 Stanisława Starostka, No. 47 Antoni Polanski, No. 46 Helene Koper, No. 31 Vladislav Ostrowoski, No. 20 Medislaw Burgraf and No. 32 Antoni Aurdzieg, all ex internees and all of Polish nationality.
The Court will remember the Prosecutor's opening address, in which the following remarks was made, as to what we now call functionaries of the concentration camp, and I will quote this paragraph of the Prosecutor's opening address. "Perhaps the Court may know that we have a provision in English law which is hardly ever put into operation that if a man becomes a habitual criminal, provided the Court are satisfied that he has adopted a life completely of crime, and he is sentenced to penal servitude, then at the end of his sentence he may be held for a period in preventative detention. Concentration camps were used for such persons as well but they, you will find, were generally made the prefects or Lagerführers one to each block, one to each room, and, as a rule, one to each kommando. You will hear, indeed, that they were very often as cruel and more cruel that the guards. Some of them, of course, you will find amongst the accused, but that in no way exempts the guards for their conduct. In this case you will find that they were working together and were part of this system".
In connection with this I wish to make a point which, in my submission, is essential, and this is that the Court must regard these accused in a different light from the other accused and different from that in which they were introduced to you by the Prosecution. To explain this I must go back to the year 1939.
I think I need not prove to the Court that after Poland was overrun by the Germans in 1939 there was a large and effective Underground Movement in operation in that country. There were millions of Poles deported to Germany to work there in many big or small concentration camps, to work in factories, in mines and farms.
The Court will hear from some of these accused that they were arrested by the Germans for activities hostile to the German Army or the German war effort in general, that they were tried by the Gestapo and sent for unlimited periods of imprisonment and hard labour in concentration camps.
Some started this imprisonment as early as 1940, and were finally released by the British as late as 1945. So these men and women were the first victims of war, and this is what I ask the Court to bear in mind: these accused are victims of war; they did not come to Auschwitz or Belsen as members of a well trained camp staff, they came as prisoners to work and perhaps to die.
After some time they had a certain responsibility placed upon them by the proper camp staff. They had to carry out and they tried to do it as well as they could under the circumstances, and they shall endeavour to prove it to you. So much for the general point.
Both were recognised by ex-internees brought here as Prosecution witnesses, less in the case of Koper and much more in the case of Starostka. The Court has heard the Prosecution witnesses bringing against these accused by far weaker allegations than these we find in the written statements.
In the second group I propose to put in the four men, Nos. 47, 31, 20 and 32. No Prosecution witness has brought a single allegation against them. On the contrary, one of them, Sompolinski has spoken in favour of two of them, Nos. 47 and 32. But against all of them there is a large number of statements, and the Court had no opportunity to check on the reliability of these witnesses.
All four men will tell you that they had low functions and low positions in Belsen Camp, so low as to be hardly possible to call them members of the camp staff at all. Nearly all of them will agree they did beat prisoners themselves, and their witnesses will try to explain to the Court that a certain amount of beating was necessary, especially during food distribution,and this will concern the male accused in Belsen. The beating was the only means of control.
They will try to explain that they would feel much more guilty towards the prisoners if they did not bother to control this food distribution, merely getting their own share and going away and leave the other prisoners to help themselves.
Now I propose to call the accused No. 48, but before I do so I want to indicate with very few words the line of her defence. She will try to prove to the Court that she volunteered for the job of Lagerältester; her fellow prisoners advised her to do so. She will try to account the good she has done to the prisoners, but she will tell you that to be able to do a certain amount of good in a concentration camp she had to deceive the Germans, and she had, in the same way, to deceive her fellow prisoners. That is why she has been the accused, and that is why she has many many witnesses, a small percentage of whom I am proposing to call.
The accused, STANISLAWA Starostka, takes her stand at the place from which the other witnesses have given their evidence, and having been duly sworn is examined by LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ as follows: What is your full name? - Stanisława Starostka.
What was your last address in Poland? - In Tarnow.
When and where were you born? - 1st May, 1917, in Tarnow.
Are you married or single? - Single.
What was your occupation before the war? - Book keeper and shorthand writer.
Were you arrested by the Germans? - Yes, on the 13th January, 1940.
Why were you arrested by the Germans? - Because I was a member of a Polish Underground Movement, and I was arrested by the Gestapo.
What happened to you after you were arrested? - After I had been arrested I was sentenced by a German Court Martial in Kraków, on 8th October, 1940, to the death sentence.
Where were you taken to? - After 21 days of arrest I was told that my death sentence was converted into life imprisonment.
When were you transferred to a concentration camp, and to what concentration camp? - On 28th April, 1942, I was transferred to the concentration camp in Auschwitz.
Did you stay in prison then for more than two years? - Yes, I did.
How were you treated in prison? - Very badly indeed. We were almost starved to death.
Have you got a number tattooed on your arm? - Yes, I have, it is 6865.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Would you amplify that a little? One member of the Court wants to know about this number and why it was tattooed.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Yes. (To the witness) Do you remember some of the accused have said that numbers were tattooed only on Jews? - All the inmates of Auschwitz had the numbers tattooed except the German nationals.
It is rather a low number which you have been given. How do you explain this? - Because when I came first to Auschwitz it was the first month of the existence of the women’s compound. There were only 1000 German prisoners and 5000 Jews from Slovakia, and I was one of the first Polish women in that camp.
Did you come to Auschwitz in a large or small bunch of women? - I came together with another 107 Polish women.
When you first came to Auschwitz, was it Auschwitz 1, or Auschwitz called Birkenau? - When I came first to Auschwitz, Birkenau did not exist at that time and we were sent to the men's compound. A part of it was separated and we were placed there.
How long have you been an internee without any responsibilities whatever? - After a short time of my stay in Auschwitz I was in charge of the water Kommando, and apart from that for two weeks I acted as Interpreter because all the Polish women could not speak German and I spoke German. After a certain period of time our Blockälteste was punished by the German staff for having cigarettes, and because of my knowledge of the German language I superseded her as Blockälteste.
I want to make one point clear, because I think the Interpreter has not got it right. Were you in charge of the water kommando, or were you in the water kommando? - I was working in the water kommando; I was not in charge of the water kommando.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is she saying she was working in the water kommando, then she became an Interpreter and later became a Blockälteste?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No. She was in a water kommando and because she knew German, she was the only girl amongst the Polish girls in her block to know German, she was helping the previous Blockälteste, who was German, in interpreting what she said to the prisoners. Then, when the Blockälteste was sent to prison ...
THE PRESIDENT: I think I have got that. She was working in the water kommando and because of her knowledge of German she was also acting as Interpreter. Then in due course, when the Blockälteste was punished for having cigarettes, she was then made, on account of her knowledge of German, the Blockälteste.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Exactly. (To the witness) Who appointed you Blockälteste? - Oberaufseherin Langenfeld.
What was the first block of which you became the Blockälteste? - In Block No. 8.
Were you always Blockälteste in block 8, or did you change at any time to another block? - All the Polish women were transferred later from block No. 8 into block No. 5. That block was meant to be for the newcomers, for new internees who came into the camp, and I remember that It was the most overcrowded block I have ever come across during my experience in concentration camps.
Can you tell the Court how many, more or less, were in this block? - The maximum amount in that block should be, in my opinion, 1000, but I remember that at one moment there were 3428 prisoners in the block.
Was it in Birkenau; or was it in Auschwitz No. 1? - All that I said was in Auschwitz No. 1.
When did you eventually get transferred to Birkenau? - At the end of August, 1942, the whole women’s camp from Auschwitz No. 1 was transferred to Auschwitz No. 2, so-called Birkenau. The conditions there were terrible; there was no drainage system, there was no light, and that lasted for the whole Autumn and Winter.
When you were transferred to Birkenau, were you again Blockälteste? - Yes.
In what block? - At first I was Blockälteste for two days in block No. 19. Later on, in block No. 1 I was Blockälteste till the end of October, 1942. From block No. 1 I was transferred to block No. 10, and I stayed there till the beginning on January, 1943, when I was again transferred to block No. 26. I stayed in block No. 26 till the beginning of April, and then I was transferred to block No. 7. In block No. 7 in July I contracted typhus and I was transferred to the hospital.
Why did the Germans shift you around so often from one block to another? - In block No. 19 there were only French Jews, and I could not speak French, so I asked the Germans to transfer me to another block. In that way I found myself in block No. 1. When I was in block No. 1 I fell ill with typhus and my deputy worked for me as Blockälteste. When I recovered from this illness I was transferred to block No. 10. Block No. 10 was meant only for kitchen kommandos and when I was Blockälteste there were only Polish women employed on this job. Later on it was changed and the German women started working in kitchen kommandos, and there I lost my job and was transferred to block No. 26. Block 26 had to be changed in some way, some new things built in the block and some alterations made, and therefore all the inhabitants of block 26 were transferred to block No. 7.
Was block 5 the most difficult to control, or did you have another block more difficult to control while you were Blockälteste? - The most difficult block to control, in my experience, was block No. 26.
Can you tell the Court some examples to prove why it was so difficult? - Because up to that time I had come across only political prisoners and Jewish prisoners, but in block 26 I had to deal with criminal prisoners, so-called prisoners with green triangles.
Were they all green triangles, or was there a certain amount of them in the block? - I think the great majority of them were with green triangles.
But can you give the Court an idea how those green triangles behaved? - Those people were the criminals with long sentences already. They spent many years in various prisons. They had no moral principles; they only look for opportunities to steal from each other or to fight with each other, and therefore it was very difficult to control them.
How did you try to control those girls? - First I tried persuasion, but when it turned out unsuccessful I had to resort to corporal punishment.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I do not think she said "corporal punishment". I think she said she had to beat them.
THE INTERPRETER: Yes, "beat".
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: When did you eventually cease to be Blockälteste? - From block No. 7 I had to go to the hospital because I was ill with typhus, and then I ceased to be Blockälteste. I had typhus twice, the first time it was typhoid and the second time it was typhus.
You told us you were in hospital in Birkenau. What happened to you when you left hospital? - After I came out of hospital I became Lagerälteste.
What nationality were the Blockältesten and the Lagerältesten at Auschwitz then? - All the prisoners of functionaries were Germans at that time, including Kapos, Blockältesten and the Lagerältesten.
Is it true then what the witness Szparaga says, that you were the only Polish woman who was a Blockälteste? - Yes, it is true.
Who appointed you Lagerälteste? - Oberaufseherin Drechsler.
Can you remember the date when you were appointed Lagerälteste? - I do not remember the exact date, but I think it was at the end of August 1943.
Why do you think Oberaufseherin Drechsler appointed you Lagerälteste? - Because I was one of the oldest Blockältesten; I was already a long time in the concentration camp and I knew the conditions in the concentration camp. Apart from that I made my own efforts in order to get this job, although I was afraid to get this job.
Why did you want to become a Lagerälteste? - Because in the concentration camp the great majority of the prisoners were Polish Jews and Polish Aryans. It was enough that the administration was placed in the hands of the Germans. We wanted to have the people immediately over us of our own nationality. Apart from that I had been long enough working as a Blockälteste and I realised how much I could help the other prisoners, being in a position of authority, and therefore I tried to get this job.
Did you come to this conclusion by yourself or was there anybody else who advised you to try to get this job? - In the same way as outside of the camp the war was fought against the Germans, in the same way we continued our fight inside of the camp, and my fellow countrymen told me it would be very advisable if I should try to get this job in order to make our efforts more successful.
Can you give me the names of your fellow prisoners who were advising you to become a Lagerälteste? - I could give you a large number of names, but I shall confine myself only to two, Schaczewska and Michalkiewicz.
You said you were afraid to become Lagerälteste, why? - Because this position was a very responsible one, a very difficult one, and was necessarily connected with continuous contact with the German authorities.
Were you the only Lagerälteste in Birkenau ? - There were two compounds, A and B, and there were three Lagerältesten for these two compounds.
Who were the three Lagerältesten? What nationality were they before you became one? - They were Germans.
What nationality were the three Lagerältesten after you became one? - There was a German, myself and one Jewess and it was a very fair solution because the prisoners were Poles, Jews and some Germans.
How did this Jewish girl become a Lagerälteste? - I went myself with the German authorities and indicated to them that it would be very advisable to have also a Jewish Lagerälteste if we really want to have a Lagerälteste for each nationality, because a Jewish Lagerälteste would be better able to understand the Jews and to realise their needs.
From whom did you receive your orders as Lagerälteste? - As Lagerälteste I received my orders from the Rapportführerin, Oberaufseherin, sometimes from the Lagerführerin, but never during my stay in Auschwitz did I receive any orders from the camp Kommandant.
What were you responsible for as Lagerälteste? - In the first place I was responsible for my Blockältesten. Apart from that I was responsible for food, for additional allowances of food, for baths, for delousing, order in the camp, for Appelle and some additional duties of lesser importance.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I think she said the last one was helping in different ways occasionally the different prisoners.
THE WITNESS: There were many prisoners who approached me with their own troubles; for instance, they could not write a letter or had something wrong with their boots, or wanted to have news from their families, and so on and so on, and I tried to help them in all these matters.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Can you explain in more detail to the Court in what way you were responsible for the Blockältesten? - If any of the Blockältesten failed in fulfilling her duties she was punished for it, but I was punished as well because I did not manage to see to it that she should obey her duties.
What were your responsibilities in connection with food? - In the two compounds there were 40000 prisoners and there were only two kitchens cooking for them. My duty was to see to it that the proper amount of rations should be sent to each of the blocks in these compounds. Sometimes it happened that although in front of the kitchen the prisoners got the proper amount of food containers before they reached the blocks some of the containers were stolen from them. For instance, the Jews were the weakest prisoners in the camp from the physical point of view, and the Germans and Russians the strongest, and therefore the Jews usually had some of their containers stolen on the way from the cookhouse to the block. As a result of that it could happen that some blocks had double rations and others had none, and of course I could not demand from the cookhouse additional food rations, therefore I had to see to it that all the containers that were taken from the cookhouse reached their respective blocks.
What were your responsibilities with regard to additional food you mentioned? - The Kommandos employed on hard work are entitled to special food allowance, consisting of half a loaf of bread, some sausage and margarine, and this was distributed twice a week, but it was the custom of the camp that Kapos should take all these rations and distributed them among the respective prisoners. I noticed during my work as Blockälteste that sometimes the prisoners did not get the rations, although the Kapo took them from the cookhouse, and I have some examples which I would like to describe more clearly. It was a witness, Rita Shipka [Comment: There was no such witness with this name], in the Court who said that she noticed that some of the Kapo's used to barter with bread, used to sell bread to the Jewish prisoners. It happened in such a way that the Kapo's got their additional allowance of food and instead of bringing it to their respective prisoners they kept it for themselves for bartering purposes. Since I became Lagerälteste I stopped this practice and I decided that this additional food allowance should be distributed directly among the prisoners.
Tell the Court what you understand by delousing and baths? - We came to the conclusion in the camp that the greatest calamity in the camp were fleas, because they were breeding diseases, and therefore we attached special importance to delousing process and we fetched various parades and we used to send them frequently for delousing in the bathhouse. It was in that period when Untersturmführer Hoessler was the Lagerführer, and with his permission we held these parades, and after we managed to delouse one amount of prisoners we continued with another and so on; the process went on all the time.
Were you responsible for any Appelle? - It was my duty to make the parades; I had to do it on orders, and usually the signal was a whistle; when I heard the whistle I had to make people parade.
Who was giving you the order to call an Appelle? - I received my orders from the German authorities, mostly from the Oberaufseherin. She used to tell me also for how long and where the parade should be held.
Did all the Appelle start by a whistle? - Yes, all of them.
What kind of Appelle did you have in Auschwitz? - There were normal parades in the morning and in the evening for counting purposes. There were Appelle for selecting people for working. There were two kinds of that, for long distance and short distance, and then the third kind was the gas chamber parades.
You would probably know, would you, that when an Appell was ordered in the morning or in the evening it would be for nominal roll? - These parades were a matter of course in the camp; we knew they were being held regularly in the morning and afternoon.
Would you know that another Appell would be to choose a Kommando for a long or short distance, or would be a selection for the gas chamber? - It was impossible to foresee whether a parade was going to be held for working parties or for gas chambers, but sometimes from private sources, from internee Doctor Enna, I knew that the next day is going to be a parade for the gas chamber, because she used to tell me: "Remember, tomorrow we are going to have a combing out for gas chamber".
What were your responsibilities on a roll call Appell? - My responsibility was to see that all the prisoners should stand in fives, the should not talk too much and they should behave properly.
Was it your own responsibility or did you share it with the Blockälteste? - It was really the direct responsibility of the Blockälteste, but if there was one or two prisoners missing I could not report that the parade is all right; I had to continue to parade so long till the appropriate number of prisoners were present.
Now tell the Court what do you mean by a short distance kommando. - By short distance kommandos I mean those when the prisoners were working in the area of Auschwitz and would come back to their quarters after they finished their work.
What was a long distance kommando? - By long distance kommandos I mean people sent to the respective factories in Germany for this work. These long distance Appelle were very similar to those of the gas chamber, because the candidates were examined very carefully by the doctors.
Who was chosen for a long distance kommando? - They were Aryans and Jewish prisoners chosen for these long distance kommandos. The great majority of them were Hungarian Jews, but also Polish Jews and some Aryans, about approximately 10000 or 15000 Aryans among this 12000.
Why was a doctor present at such a selection? - People infected with contagious diseases, or crippled or pregnant women, or weak people, were not sent for these kommandos, only the strongest and healthiest people were sent.
Those people would never return to Auschwitz, or would they? - Sometimes it happened that they came back, but they were in a state of extreme exhaustion and those half dead people were replaced in the same amount by healthy men, who were sent in the same direction.
So it was really the difference in the type of people who were selected during such a selection which would make people know if it was a selection for gas chamber or a selection for a long distance?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I hardly think the witness said that or that it is a question. At the moment she says precisely the same type of person would be selected.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Will you ask the witness who was the type of person selected?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I have not heard the objection of Colonel Backhouse.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The Prosecutor is pointing out that you have only dealt with the kommando parades and not with the gas parades, and therefore the witness has not been in a position to compare them, so will you ask questions about it instead of taking it as a presumption.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ:(To the witness) You said there was another Appell, and this Appell was selection for the gas chamber. Can you say something about this selection, how it was run? - At this parade also a doctor was present, but there was only one difference, he chose weak and sick people instead of healthy ones.
Was was the part you took in the selection for the gas chamber and the selection for a long distance Kommando? - My part was exactly the same as during the other parades. I had to look after the order; I had to see to it that everything was all right, and then when I ensured myself that the prisoners are standing properly I just stood and looked at it.
Did you never sort of help anybody, help the staff of the concentration camp during a selection for the gas chamber? - No, never.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I will come now to deal with the specific allegations. I think tit is a rather difficult thing to do because there are allegations scattered through a large number of transcripts. I will try to refer you each time to what volume it is, but they may be taken in a certain order, the way they should go, not the way they are put in the volumes. Sometimes it is difficult for me to follow the number of the volumes.
THE PRESIDENT: If you will give us the reference that will be clear.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Volume 10, page 17, the witness Rozenwayg. (to the witness) Do you remember the witness Rozenwayg saying that during a selection for the gas chamber you were taking down the numbers of the girls who were selected for the gas chamber? - I remember that witness.
What can you say about that? - Yes, I admit that I wrote down the numbers. Sometimes I even tried hard to be allowed to do it, because normally it was done by the clerks in the office.
Why did you want to? - Because by doing so I knew that later on I shall be able to strike out some numbers out of the list.
Can you explain to the Court more in detail how and why you were in a position that you could do that? - Because I wrote these numbers on a piece of paper very quickly, and I had to re-write it again before I could hand it over to the German authorities, and it was known in the camp that in the meantime some people could come to me and plead and I would be able to strike the number out. Of course I could not do it in large numbers, but a certain amount.
You said some time ago that when you received information from Dr. Enna that there might be a selection for the gas chamber the next day you have done something about it. What was that? - Yes. I took advantage of this information in order to send for outside kommando and for work sick a weak people, those whom I considered as to the eventual victims of the future parade for the gas chamber, and it was a misunderstanding if the witness Ilona Stein accused me of having selected sick people for the gas chamber; I chose these people for this work in order to save their lives during the future gas chamber selection.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I think she refers to Volume 9 page 16, the evidence given by Ilona Stein, where she says: "They forced sick people to go out for work". (To the witness) Now I take you to Volume 17 page 8, the statement by Szparaga. Three exhibits have been handed over to the Court by Major Stewart; they are marked, all three, No. 104.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: You are on an affidavit?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: It is not an affidavit; an unsworn statement.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What is the name of the witness then?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Szparaga.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Page 233.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: That is an affidavit?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: You are under the impression it is not an affidavit because it was put in afterwards?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Yes.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It is not in the bundle.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: (To the witness) Have you got a translation of Szparaga's statement? - Yes.
The witness Szparaga accused you of choosing candidates for the crematorium; what can you say about that? - It is absolutely impossible; it is an absurdity to say so. There were many witnesses here and accused from the SS who said that they even did not know what was the purpose of the parades because the purpose of the gas chambers were a great mystery and nobody knew about it. How could I who was not an SS woman have such a great influence on the authorities of the camp to be able to choose people for the gas chambers?
She goes on and she says you have denounced a woman who was sentenced for a year punishment company and six weeks in the bunker because of you having reported her to the German authorities for writing a verse which was found in her pocket. - I cannot remember this particular incident but judging by the whole statement of this witness I have to say it is a lie because in the other passage of her statement she said that I managed to get the position of Lagerälteste because I gained the confidence of the German authorities and, as I told you before, I managed to do it only because I have knowledge of the German language; in the same way as this part of her statement is untrue so is the other part of her statement untrue. Then she goes on to say that there was a clandestine relief organisation in the camp and that I helped in discovering the whole plot, and that I did it ten times, and in that way I caused suffering to many other prisoners. If any organisation of this kind did exist in the camp Szparaga would be a member of this organisation and would suffer in the same way as all the other people, but Szparaga confines herself only to stating that she heard about it but she never said that she was punished for it too and, therefore, it is a lie.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not want to interrupt my friend but it is possible there may be some mistranslation in the document; in that Szparaga never does say she heard about it.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Are you mistaken in the translation? - The question is although she did not say expressively that she heard about it, but as she did not mention that she was punished herself I deduced she was not a member of the organisation and her information is based only on here-say.
If Szparaga was right in saying that it happened many times and all the women prisoners can prove it, we would have heard in the Court ...
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: This is really getting into argument. I do not want to interrupt but we are getting into pure argument as opposed to fact.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: You can make that comment in your speech when you come to address the Court.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: What can you say about the allegation that you have been promoted to the rank of Lagerälteste in view of your special merits in exterminating prisoners? - I hardly need to add any more to what I said already; I made it quite clear to the Court on which ground I was appointed Lagerälteste and why I tried to get this appointment.
What can you say about this allegation that you should be prosecuted for killing and torturing thousands of women? - I cannot really understand in which way these accusations came into existence; I can only say that It must be the product of morbid imagination, but in one part of her statement she says 1000 and the other part 5000; it is obvious that this information is not reliable.
The next one is Szymkowiak, Volume 17 page 9. Szymkowiak says that she was beaten by you on every occasion when she was in Block 26. That is probably when you were the Blockälteste of Block 26 ? - It is a great exaggeration to say that she was beaten by me on every occasion. I could beat her occasionally when I was compelled to by the circumstances but never without any ground.
Did you denounce the girls to the German authorities for every small offence? - I have never denounced prisoners to the German authorities because that would have meant collective responsibility, and for a crime committed by one prisoner, hundreds would have been punished.
She says you punished girls to the German authorities at all for every small offence? - I have never denounced prisoners to the German authorities because I knew what it meant, that it would mean collective responsibility, that for a crime committed by one prisoner hundreds would be punished and I was quite aware of this.
She goes on and she says you punished the girls during Appell by making them kneel and they were holding in their hands in the air? ...
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not think she does.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think so. It is: "Ordered to kneel with hands in the air during a half hour and more".
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I am sorry.
THE WITNESS: - Yes, I must admit it sometimes happened that the prisoners during the parades had to kneel but it was not from my own initiative I had to give them the orders. When they did something wrong during their work a report would come to me that these prisoners indicated by their numbers had to kneel during the next Appell and I have to obey these orders and I had to do it during the Appell, I had to give the order that these and these girls have to kneel.
The next one is Synowska on page 10, No. 235. There it is mentioned you forced girls to kneel down and have stones in their hands, but I will deal with the other incidents. Synowska says you were forcing girls and pushing them against the wires which were loaded with electricity. - Everybody who knows the camp would know that it is impossible, for technical reasons, to do things like that. In the camp between the camp and the barbed wire there was a deep ditch with water about five yards long and if I wanted to push the people towards to barbed wire I should have to transfer them first over the ditch; it would be very difficult in the day time and it would be quite impossible at the night time, also because of the guards at the wire who would fire.
What can you say to the allegation that you beat women prisoners until they lost their senses which ended in their death? - It is untrue. I never beat the people in such a way that they collapsed. I might have slapped their faces if it was necessary under the circumstances. Why did she not mention any name of the people who died from this beating administered by me? She could substantiate her statement by names on the other occasions, but why did not she do it at that time? For instance, in that part of her statement she says that I forced a woman, Kazimiera Grabarek, to keep her head in the water for half an hour. Firstly at that time it was 1943 and all the prisoners, except for German prisoners, had their hair cut off and, secondly, if I would keep her head for five minutes in the water she would die let alone for half an hour which was impossible.
Why do you say it could not happen in 1943? Do you think something of the kind has ever happened afterwards? - Because at that time I was Blockälteste there in 1943 and I used to hold parades and to see whether the prisoners had no lice in their hair and it could happen if I noticed anything like that I made the woman put her head into a certain liquid in order to delouse her hair. Then she went on saying that I used to select old and sick people for the gas chambers. Am I responsible for the fact that the great majority of the people chosen for gas chambers were old and sick? If I would not help them I would certainly not send them to the gas chamber.
Did you ill-treat at any time little children? - On the contrary, I myself lived in a block where children lived. If I would not like children I would not stay in this block, I would stay in another block. Apart from that I always tried to get more food and sweets for them. I tried to excuse them from parades. I tried to do my best in order to improve their fate.
I now come to the evidence of Anita Lasker in Volume 13 page 21. Do you remember Anita Lasker saying you were a notorious collaborator with the SS? - As a Lagerälteste I acted as a kind of liaison woman between the German authorities and the prisoners. If I wanted to help the prisoners I had to gain the confidence of the German authorities. I had to keep the appearances, these deceptive appearances, that I am getting on well with the German authorities otherwise I could not be of any assistance to the prisoners and that was my prime object of my holding the position. My activities in the camp consisted merely in struggling all the time. I had to fight for everything, each compromise. I wanted to do it because I wanted to help the prisoners. Then Anita Lasker says that I denounced the prisoners if they talked to men - denounced the female prisoners if they talked to male prisoners. Why should I do it? I did it myself eagerly, whenever I had the opportunity to talk to the male prisoners, and if I denounced them they would denounce me.
Next is Glinowieski Volume 10 page 5. Do you remember Glinowieski saying that you beat prisoners across their knees and whenever on parades they stood improperly you beat them? - It was impossible for Glinowieski to see these things because at the same time when a parade was held in the female compound there was another parade in the male compound and the Block 26 was situated in such a way that it was impossible to see anything from the male compound what was taking place in the female compound in front of Block 26.
He does not say you were Blockälteste of 26; it might have happened when you were Lagerälteste? - During that period of time when I was Lagerälteste I had never beat a prisoner.
Now Dora Szafran, Volume 7 page 24. Do you remember the witness Dora Szafran saying she knew you as a Lagerälteste in Auschwitz and you were carrying on selections on your own, selections for the gas chamber on your own? - I said already today to the Court that it was impossible for me, apart from sentimental reasons, and apart from Humane reasons, to do things like that. My power was not sufficient and, on the other hand, why should I have added to my ordinary duties and why should I have at first on one side sent them to the gas chambers in order to try and save them later on - that would be contradicting each other. It could happen that I selected people for working parties or to see whether they have some lesser skin disease or scabies when it was unnecessary for a doctor to discover the disease and things of this kind might cause a misapprehension on the side of Dora Szafran when she accused me of selecting people for the gas chamber.
The next one is Ilona Stein, Volume 9 page 16. Do you remember Ilona Stein saying: "I cannot talk so much about the beatings in Auschwitz because she did it so frequently". "I myself got a very severe thrashing from her when we went for a bath parade"? - It is true that beating in the camp was a frequent occurrence, but it is not true if one says that I did it. I have admitted already I did it only when I was Blockälteste in Block 26, but when the witness speaks about parades for baths it could have happened only when I was Lagerälteste, and during the whole time when I was Lagerälteste I have never beaten anybody.
I refer now to the affidavit on page 147 of the big bundle, exhibit 83, Stoppelman. The position is this, that in this affidavit there is only paragraph 6 dealing with the girl known as Stania. It does not give to anybody the impression that it is certain she is talking about Auschwitz or about Belsen. There is only "About the beginning of April", but as she is dealing with Volkenrath and in the previous paragraph she refers to Belsen I think she is speaking about the time when the accused was in Belsen. I am not sure whether the Prosecution agrees with me, but this is how I understand it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Are the Court going to take it as applying to Starostka? If the Court are not, I do not know.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I should certainly suggest it should apply to Starostka. This witness was called Stania by every witness.
THE PRESIDENT: There was a description which made me think it applied.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not think that was quite what the Defending Officer was saying. I think he was conceding this obviously refers to the same woman. The question is whether it is suggested the place is Auschwitz or Belsen as she is only included in the Auschwitz charge. I will say frankly that I shall not suggest that it applies to Auschwitz. She says April and it is obviously intended to apply to Belsen. That is how I read it and that is the way I shall treat it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: It is agreed it refers to the accused but refers to Belsen and not Auschwitz?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: That is how I read it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Lt. Jedrzejowicz, you must take your own line on that but the Court tell you they consider it is meant to refer to the woman in the box but that it refers to Belsen and not Auschwitz.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Yes. (To the witness) Do you know what the witness Stoppelman has said in her affidavit about you? - Yes, I do.
First of all I would like you to tell the Court this. Were you ill with T.B. in Belsen? - I have never been ill with T.B. I fell ill, together with thousands of other prisoners, with dysentery, but not T.B.
What can you tell the Court about this incident in which you were involved as causing the death of three girls working in the cookhouse by poisoning them? - It is not true. I do not remember this incident; it is the first time when I heard about it here in Court, and if we are going to admit that all the people responsible for causing dysentery should be shot I think that thousands of prisoners or personnel of the respective cook houses should be put to death because dysentery was the epidemic in the camp and the great majority of prisoners suffered from it. She went on to say that these three girls disappeared but their clothes were sent back to the blocks. I was a long time in concentration camp Auschwitz and I know from my own experience that sometimes on orders from the Political Department at Auschwitz some prisoners were shot, but it never happened that their clothes were sent back to the blocks.
Was it perhaps the practice in Belsen? - I have never heard in Belsen about shooting prisoners.
Coming back to Auschwitz I want to ask you a question about an incident in which 26 girls were involved, and yourself. Can you tell the Court what was this incident of these 26 girls, f you remember it? - Apart from the gas chamber parades for the Jewish prisoners there were so-called general parades for Aryans; there were three parades in Auschwitz of this kind, and during these parades 26 Polish Aryans were chosen for the gas chamber and they were sent to Block 25.
What happened then? - I went to the Lagerführer and I implored him to change this decision about these women because, as I said, they were ill anyway and if they are doomed to death they should be allowed to die a natural death not through Block 25 and the gas chamber.
Have you ever done anything else for the prisoners besides what you have already told the Court? - I have done all possible, all that was in my powers to help the prisoners. I also tried to induce the German authorities to change their practice of sending the people who had just come out of hospital, and who were temporarily in special blocks as unfit to work, on parades because it was always a great struggle with these people; they tried to hide themselves and it took a long time and all the other people stayed longer on parade, so I tried to persuade the German authorities to leave them in their blocks. Also for people who were employed on very strenuous work I tried to get a special food allowance; for instance, for people employed on Leichenkommando, working with the bodies. I also helped many prisoners in obtaining better jobs; if they considered their actual job was too hard for them. Apart from that if I received any complaints about the ill treatment by the Kapos or Blockältesten from the prisoners I tried to either change these Kapos and Blockältesten or to reprimand them for their behaviour and warn them that they should change their attitude. All the orders from the German authorities to my prisoners had to come through me and I tried to relax the severity of these orders. For instance, it was an order in Auschwitz that for the summer time the warm clothes should be handed over, and as it was cold at that time I tried to help the prisoners to change this order to make it not so severe, and the same applies to the order of handing over shawls; in[on] the head they used to wear them and it was forbidden and, therefore, I allowed my prisoners to wear some other rags on their heads. There are many examples of this kind, but I am not going to enumerate all of them. Of course, it is quite understandable that nobody can come here and state these facts. I have no witnesses to prove it because whenever I achieved anything I could not go to the prisoners and say: "You see, I have done it for you", because that would betray my policy and the Germans would immediately punish me, so I had to act in hiding.
After what you have said how do you explain that Auschwitz concentration camp has remained a concentration camp where life was rather hard for the prisoners? - In order to conceive this one has to try to understand the conditions in the concentration camp in Auschwitz; it was in 1942 and 1943 when discipline was extremely severe and it was very easy to lose one's life not only concerning the Jewish prisoners but also the Aryans who usually were sentenced to death by the Political Department.
The witness Synowska has said you were the only master in the camp; is that true or not? It is Volume 17 page 10, No. 235. - I was not camp Kommandant or Lagerälteste; I was only a camp älteste.
Do you know Koper? - Yes, I know her from Auschwitz.
What was she doing in Auschwitz? - I remember her; she was in an open block and then for a short time afterwards she was working in the Strafkommando.
What is an "open block"? - The closed block was a block where the people were employed in the punishment kommando lived, the difference was that after they had finished their work they were confined to the block, whereas all the other blocks, the open blocks, were those from which the people, after work, were entitled to go out.
How did she behave? - In my opinion Koper was the least suited person for the job of Blockälteste because through the great sufferings and hardships she had to endure during her long stay in concentration camps she was in a state of complete exhaustion, and on the brink of a nervous breakdown. She was aware of that as well. She tried to change this job, and I told her that she should stop her hysterical behaviour during parades.
Did you try to do something about it? - I felt pity for Koper because I knew how much she had had to suffer before and I thought it would not be advisable to reduce her to a position of an ordinary prisoner after her long stay in concentration camps. Therefore, I seized an opportunity and I asked Rapportführerin Gollasch to put Koper into a position of camp police and I succeeded in it.
Cross-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD: The accused Haschke told us the other day that in the large women's compound there was a pump by the cookhouse which was working after the electricity had been turned off. Do you know about that? - I have not seen any pump in the women's compound. I saw only a concrete pond in our compound.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: I want to ask you about the three kinds of selection parades you spoke about this morning. At these parades did the doctor walk along the rank of prisoners or did the prisoners march past the doctor? - The doctor stood at one place and the prisoners had to march near him either naked or in their clothes.
Is it true then that the result of the selection was to divide the parade into two groups, a group of fit prisoners and a group of unfit prisoners? - Really, yes.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No questions.
The Bathhouse at Belsen? - Yes, he was responsible for the so called clean part of the Bathhouse, because there were two parts of the Bathhouse - the dirty part where the dirty clothes were coming in and the clean one where the clean clothes were being sent.
Can you say if he was employed there during the whole of April until the British came? - I cannot say that because the last time I was there was on the 10th April. Until that date he was there.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN FIELDEN: When did you first go to Belsen? - That was at the beginning of February 1945. It might be the 4th or 5th, I do not know exactly.
Did you become the Lagerälteste of the large women's compound there? - Yes, I held this appointment from the 5th or 6th February.
Whilst you were Lagerälteste was Block 213 ever empty? - No, this block was never empty. When I first came there were Russian and Polish prisoners there and this block was surrounded by barbed wire.
When the Russians and Polish prisoners left that block did it become a typhus isolation block? - At the end of March or the beginning of April when the epidemics of typhus and dysentery reached their climax, this block was chosen for men suffering from typhus.
Was it forbidden for anyone to enter that block unless they had some special authority? - It was not only concerning this particular block, but concerning all the hospital blocks in the camp where prisoners suffering from infectious diseases were kept. Particularly the SS men and women were not allowed to enter them only with permission of a camp doctor.
Were there ever any beds left outside Block 213? - I have never seen any bed outside the Block 213, and I am sure that if a bed was standing there for five minutes it would immediately disappear, because there was a terrible shortage of beds in the camp and the first prisoner who came across it would avail himself of the opportunity of having it.
If a Blockälteste of one of the blocks in the women's compound had been beaten would you have heard of it? - If a Blockälteste were beaten I would have heard about it, but if an ordinary prisoner got a beating I would not hear about it because it was such a frequent occurrence if I wanted to make reports about it I would have to devote the whole day only on this particular practice of writing down reports of beatings.
Did you ever hear that the Blockälteste of Block 201 had been beaten? - I have never heard about it. Block No. 201 was nearby my own block where I used to sleep and if anything like that happened I would certainly hear about it, because she would come to me and complain.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN BOYD: If you were going from the Bathhouse to the Cookhouse number 3, after going through the gate into the women's compound one you would pass some blocks on your right hand side and one block on your left? - Yes.
Can you tell me who occupied these blocks both on the left and on the right? - The block on the left hand side was Block 202 and it was occupied by the administrative staff of the camp by the quarters of the Oberaufseherin and Aufseherin. They did not live there. There were the offices where they worked.
And the blocks on the right? - The blocks on the right hand side were blocks from 201 to 196 and then it was the Kitchen No. 3.
Who lived in blocks 201 to 196? - Those blocks were occupied by the people who worked with the kommando outside the camp. These were the only blocks from which on the orders of the doctor the prisoners were entitled to go outside the camp. The inhabitants of all the other blocks in the camp were not allowed to leave the camp because of the danger of disease.
Do you know if any working parties were chosen from women's compound No. 2? - I remember only the one incident of this kind. It was at the end of March - if I am right it was a Wood kommando - and the prisoners from this kommando used to run away very frequently and the authorities could not find people to replace them. Therefore, they decided to transfer from the women's compound No. 2 200 prisoners into our women's compound and to use them in this particular kommando.
CAPTAIN MUNRO: No questions.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Tell me something about the general behaviour towards the prisoners at Auschwitz. How did the SS behave towards the prisoners there? - The prisoners in Auschwitz were treated very badly. They were beaten on every occasion. They had to work very hard. The accommodation was very bad. They had lice and other diseases, and dogs were set on the prisoners.
Did most of the SS men and Aufseherinnen carry sticks or whips or something of that kind? - Almost all the Blockführer in the camp carried sticks.
Did they use them on the prisoners? - It is quite understandable that they used them. That was the purpose of having them. I saw the Blockführer in the men's compound beat prisoners with the sticks.
What did the Aufseherinnen carry? - Some of them had sticks, some cellophane whips, and the others had dogs and the rest had nothing.
Did you know Bormann there? - Yes.
Did she go about with a dog there? - Yes, it was a brown dog with light spots.
Did she go about with it all the time? - As far as I can remember her from Auschwitz she was always with her dog.
Tell us a little more about these selection parades. The only people who had to attend selection parades as a rule were Jews, were they not? - No; I said already that there were three so called general parades at which all the prisoners had to be present except the German prisoners.
I said particularly as a rule only the Jews had to attend selection parades, did they not? - Yes, as a rule.
How was the order given just for Jews alone to attend? - The order was given in such a way that all the prisoners had to go out for the parade, and if the order would indicate anything about the Jews that would cause great confusion and disorder, and the respective blocks would try to get mixed up with each other. To avoid this the order was given in a general way and all the prisoner had to leave their blocks and attend the parade.
When did they start these general parades when everybody attended? - Do you mean the three parades?
I am talking about the selection parades; nothing else. First of all I asked you if only the Jews had to attend and you said yes; then you said when there was a mention of only Jews attending everyone ran around in circles; then everybody had to attend. I want you to explain what you mean. - It was like this. All the people from the blocks irrespective of whether they were Jews or not had to fall in, but the Aryans had to fall in on one side and the Jews on the other side, and what I meant by saying all had to parade was that all people in this particular moment in the camp had to be on parade.
Then were only Jews examined? - Yes.
Were the Aryans marched off the parade again or what? - They had to stay there the whole time while the parade was held.
But it was quite easy to distinguish that parade from a parade to select working parties, was it not, because on a parade to select working parties all the other people were examined as well; it was not only the Jews? - Yes, it was like that, but sometimes it happened that the people for working parties were chosen only out of the Jews.
You knew quite well which parades were which, did you not? - As I said before, I did not know always about it. I know only when Dr. Enna told me in advance.
But you could tell perfectly easily as soon as the parade began, could you not? - It was not only myself that could deduce it. Everybody knew it. It was quite easy when the parade was on to guess what was the purpose.
That is what I am suggesting to you. It was quite impossible to mistake one for the other, was it not? - It was very difficult to confuse one parade with the other, but sometimes it was difficult to say before.
We know the doctor was there and apparently you were there and the Blockführer were there, but who used to attend these parades in the way of the SS? - Blockführer and SS women who were on that day on duty inside the camp.
What other Aufseherinnen happened to be on duty had to attend? - All the Aufseherinnen who happened to have camp duty that day. It could be three, sometimes two and sometimes four of them.
I suppose as soon as these Jews began to realise that they were being selected for the gas chamber they did not like it? - Of course it is quite understandable. Who would like to go on his own accord to meet death?
Did a lot of people begin to try and run away and get hysterical and that sort of thing? - Of course it happened that some of them tried to run away. The others tried to hide themselves and others again tried to avoid being examined by the doctors.
What happened to people who tried to run away or people who hid and tried to avoid going before the doctor? - They were brought back again to the same place.
Did they not get beaten as well? - Sometimes they were beaten.
It was not a question of sometimes, was it? If somebody ran off or hid from a parade they got beaten, did they not? - Sometimes when he was caught he was brought back and when he endeavoured to escape again he got beaten,
Were there any selections in hospital? - Yes, there were.
Who attended those? - The camp doctor and main internee doctor from the hospital, the Lagerführer and Aufseherin.
Reverting for a moment back to the other selections, the ones in the camp, when they had selected the people to be murdered, who took them away? - Sometimes Blockältesten; sometimes the Blockführer directly marched them off to Block No. 25 or to the hospital.
You remember of course that they had to get from Block 25 eventually down to the gas chamber, had they not? - We have not told about it officially, but I would like to point out that the confinement to the blocks that many witnesses mentioned took place not at the time when prisoners were chosen for the gas chamber, but when they were transferred from Block 25 to the gas chamber. We could see the trucks loaded with people and going in the trucks to the gas chambers and afterwards we could see the smoke coming out of the chimneys for days and nights.
Who used to lead the prisoners up from Block 25 into the truck? - Normally it was the job of the Blockführer and of the personnel employed in Block 25.
Who was the Blockführer, do you know? - There were many Blockführer; sometimes two, sometimes three: they varied.
Just some of the Blockführer picked for that particular duty that day? - It was not the Blockführer on duty because this one was employed at the gate of the camp, but in the same way as we had Aufseherinnen inside the camp on duty every day, in the same way we had also Blockführer on duty inside the camp every day, and that was their job.
You remember her being put into a Strafkommando, do you? - Yes.
She says that for part of the time at any rate Grese was in charge of that Strafkommando. Do you know whether that is right or not? - Usually the Strafkommando worked outside of the camp. It was only for a short period of time during which the Strafkommando was employed on building inside the camp and during that period Grese was in charge of that kommando.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: She said she saw Grese with the kommando. She did not say she was in charge.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: She saw Grese with the kommando?
THE INTERPRETER: She was supervising the people working with that kommando.
Was there a kommando which went outside the camp and dug in a sand pit? - At the beginning, when the Strafkommando was a very small kommando and it was the necessity of building roads inside the camp, this Strafkommando was attached to the Strassenkommando. That means the kommando building roads inside the camp, but later on it became an independent kommando.
Would you just mind listening very carefully to my questions and not worry about arguing about them. Just think what I am asking you and just answer them quite shortly. I will now repeat my question. Was there at one time a Strafkommando which was working in a sand pit outside the camp? - Yes.
Koper says she was in that Strafkommando. Do you know whether that is true or not? - Yes, as far as I remember she was continually employed there.
And she says that part of the time when she was in that Kommando Grese was one of the people supervising it in the sand pit. Do you know if this is right? - I cannot state this because I have never worked outside of the camp and I have never seen this Kommando at work.
Do you by any chance know two women called Canina Stasicka and Karola Mikot? - It is very difficult for me to recall people by their names, because we used to know each other by numbers or their Christian names.
Let me give you their numbers. Did you know two people by the numbers 18565 and 18566? - I think they were two Polish women who came to Auschwitz in August, 1942. I know it because these numbers were given at that time to the prisoners.
Do you remember a woman called Anna Gutaweiss [Gutweiss/Gutwajs/Guta Weiss] who came from somewhere near Krakow? - No.
You said, when I asked you about treatment there, that dogs were set on the prisoners at Auschwitz. Who had these dogs ? - Aufseherin Bormann, Aufseherin Kuck, Aufseherin Westfeld and the great majority of the guards employed on outside Kommandos.
Have you seen dogs set on women? - As far as Aufseherin Westfeld is concerned I saw it myself, because it happened also to me that a dog started tearing off my clothes.
Do you remember Volkenrath at Auschwitz? - Yes, I do.
Was she the Oberaufseherin just before she left? - As far as I remember she became Oberaufseherin at the end of autumn, 1944, in Women’s Compound No. 2 at Auschwitz.
What was her attitude to prisoners? - At that time she was employed in Birkenau in Camp No. 1. She was in the bread stores and in the parcels stores, and I saw sometimes her beating prisoners.
How did Grese behave towards the prisoners? - She was only for a short time in Birkenau, but mostly she was employed in Camp No. "C", and therefore I do not know what was her behaviour.
How did she behave in Belsen? - In Belsen she was Arbeitsdienstfüherin and she went to check the kommandos employed outside the camp. That was not my job, and therefore I cannot say anything.
You were talking earlier about selections for what you called short distance parties and long distance parties. Now which were the short distance kommandos from Auschwitz? - For instance, the gardening kommando, anti-aircraft kommando, Vistula river kommando, potato kommando and SS quarters kommando.
Do you remember the place Budy? - Yes, it was an outside kommando about 7 to 8 kilometres from the camp.
Apparently some of the people who were stationed there in charge of it say that the kommando came home every night, and others say that it stayed out there all the time. Maybe they are talking of different parties. Can you remember when you were there did the kommando come back each night to Auschwitz or did it stay out there at Budy? - Since the very forming of this kommando it never came back to sleep in the camp, but there was a very short period when there was special hard work, during the harvest time for instance, when additional prisoners were sent from the camp to assist the kommando, and these people used to come back for the night to the camp.
You say that when you had selections for the long distance kommando only the strong people were picked and cripples, weak people, pregnant women and so on were not sent? - Yes.
What happened to these cripples, weak people, pregnant women and children? - These people were usually sent either to quarantine or to the block were the people just from the hospital were kept, unfit for work.
Was it not rather a waste of time having two different selections, one to select the strong people to send to work, and the other to select the cripples, the pregnant women and the children not to go to work, and then have a quite separate selection to produce precisely the same people to send to the gas chamber? - I do not know exactly, but I know these people that are considered unfit for sending on the long distance kommandos were selected once more and a part of them who seemed to be able to do less hard work inside of the camp, or those who at that time of the first selection were considered unfit because of their lesser skin diseases, after they have recovered they were used as normal prisoners for some other work. They could not be sent at the beginning for the long distance kommandos because the factories concerned would lodge complaints about sending people with skin diseases.
Just before we leave these long distance kommandos, you say that sometimes the factories sent some prisoners back again who were worked out and completely exhausted; is that right? - Yes.
Is that what the people in the camp used to call a muselman? - Yes. It sometimes happened that whole trains were coming from places like Monowitz and Budy, factories not far away from the camp, and the trains were loaded with these so called muselmen.
And, I suppose, it was only a question of time before these people found their way into the gas chamber? - It was not even a question of time; they were sent direct from the platform to the gas chamber.
That was the whole system, was it not, work them as long as there was any sign of work in them and then to destroy them? - Yes.
I want you just to tell me a little bit more about the selections. You got the order to form up on parade, I suppose, as Lagerältester? - Yes, I formed the parades for all kinds of parades.
For the moment I am not worried about the others; I am only concerned with the selection parade. I realise you formed them all, but amongst others you formed up the selection parade. Did the Blockältesten get their own blocks out, or how did the block form up? - Yes. From each block the Blockälteste took the inmates and made them parade in five's in the front of the block.
Kapos did not attend the parades at all, did they, if they were selection parades? - They had to attend the parades not as people with functions, but as inhabitants of their respective blocks.
Löbauer and Lothe both told us that they did not. They were not allowed on them. They had to stay in their block; they were shut up whilst they were on? - They did not take part in the selections, but they had to parade because they lived in the blocks.
Lothe, you see, says whenever a selection Appell took place all the Kapos were concentrated in one block and it was strictly prohibited for them to leave that block during the whole time; is that wrong? - It was not during the parade for gas chamber selections; it was when those chosen were transferred from the Block No. 25 to the gas chambers when the confinement to the blocks was ordered. At that time nobody was allowed to leave their blocks except for the Blockführer and some other people employed on these trucks that were taking people from the blocks.
Do not mistake me. I am talking only of kapos. She says that on those occasions kapos were all taken to one block and they were not allowed out so that they did not get mixed up with the rest of the parade. Is that wrong? - I have not confused anything, and I would like to emphasise once more that the confinement to the blocks took place only when the people were transferred from Block No. 25 to the gas chambers, but during the parades for the gas chambers all the kapos had to parade as well.
And during the transfer from the selection parade to Block 25, were the kapos concentrated in one particular block away from the others? - I have to say it for the third time, that at that time kapos had to stay on parade in the same way as all the other prisoners.
You are not listening to my question, and I wish you would. Do listen to the question and answer it. Now whilst the people were transferred from the selection parade to Block 25, were the kapos all put into one block or were they in their blocks and confined like everybody else? - It was not a question of putting all the kapos in one block. It was only connected with the fact that the great majority of the kapos were of German nationality and usually prisoners lived according to the nationalities in their respective blocks, so all the kapos of German nationality were in one block and the kapos of the other nationalities were in their own blocks.
Then when the prisoners were being marched past the doctor, did you stand behind him taking the numbers, or did you go round the parade and take the numbers afterwards, or when did you take the numbers? - Prisoners marched by the doctor and then the doctor would point out one of these wretched people and say "That man could be taken to the gas chamber." At that moment the Blockführer would come, would take the man, and would bring him to the left side and would tell me to just write down the number as this man is for the gas chamber.
Did you ever see Kramer there on any of these occasions? - Yes, sometimes I saw him when he was Camp Kommandant at Auschwitz.
How did he behave to the prisoners? - Kramer himself was not so bad as his driver, who was known as a very cruel man and has got a special nick-name of "Genickschuss". That means a famous shot, [it means 'shot in the neck'] to kill instantly, because he was known as the man who had the lives of many people on his conscience.
Do you mean that Kramer did not soil his hands with it himself but if he wanted somebody killed Genickschuss did it for him? - I would not say that, because at that time, when Kramer was transferred to Belsen and this driver was still in Auschwitz, he killed many people on his own initiative, especially at the time of the evacuation which took place on 18th January, when he killed all the people who were unable to march off with the others.
Did he do it with the knowledge of the authorities, or just on his own account? - I should rather think he did it on his own account, because there were no real authorities at that time in the camp. The camp was in the period of evacuation and all the important persons left the camp earlier.
Tell me about the earlier occasions before Kramer left the camp. Did he do that without anybody's knowledge? - I really do not know. I know only that sometimes Kramer would order this driver to examine prisoners in the camp to find out whether they have any forbidden things on them, and if it happened that the driver would find anything on them they would torture them and beat them terribly, and at that time Kramer would march away already in some other direction.
I just want to get the general picture. If somebody was shot at Auschwitz was there no enquiry about it? - At the end of 1942 and beginning of 1943, the prisoners, driven by despair very frequently went towards the barbed wire and were either killed by the electric current or killed by the guards standing there. There were great numbers of them.
THE PRESIDENT: (To the witness) That is no answer to the question. The question was: If people were shot at Auschwitz could they be shot without any enquiry, or was there an enquiry? The witness is now branching off into some quite different thing to what she was asked. Put the question to her again as asked by the Prosecutor.
(The question is repeated by the Interpreter)
THE WITNESS: Yes, there were always enquiries after a prisoner was shot.
But was this man with the nickname "Genickschuss" allowed to go on shooting people then? - Yes, but it was at that time when this driver worked in the crematorium and in the crematorium no enquiries were made, because these people were anyway doomed to death.
Do you mean he used to shoot people in the crematorium? It seems rather a waste of ammunition, does it not?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Does she mean Sonderkommando?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I do not know. I will try to find out.
THE WITNESS: Yes, he used to kill people in the crematorium, to shoot them.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Was he working with part of the Sonderkommando, or was he doing it when there was no gas, or what? - There were many Poles sentenced to death by the Gestapo and these people were not sent to the gas chambers. They were killed before and sent to the crematorium.
Tell me a little more about Koper, will you. Do you know whether Koper was a musician at all? (Pause) If you do not know that is quite sufficient. - I do not know. She was in a Strafkommando. I do not know exactly whether she was a musician or not.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Will No. 26 stand up. (Heinrich Schreirer) Do you remember this man when he was in charge of the Strafkommando which Koper was in? - I cannot remember that. Those people in charge of a Strafkommando were replaced quite frequently, and really even if he would be the Straf commander I would not remember that.
Do you know the people in the Political Department? - No, I did not know any members of the Political Department in Auschwitz. They were in Auschwitz No. 1, and they never came to our camp. If they wanted any of us they would send a written order and the respective person would proceed to them.
Now I want you to tell me a little bit about yourself. You had, first of all, two years in prison, you told us, and then went to Auschwitz with 107 Polish women; is that right - Yes.
Were they all Polish Aryans? - Yes.
And you really went to start the women's camp there, did you not? - I do not know what you mean by start this camp. I was sent there and nobody asked me whether I wanted to go there or not.
No, that is not what I mean. 107 women were sent as some of the first prisoners in the women's compound? - It was the first Polish female transport. There were 1000 German women, 4000 or 5000 Jewish.
Do you say 1000 German women? What about the Czechoslovak women; were there not Czechoslovak women there? - Yes, the Jews were Slovakians.
Were you not the first Pole to accept any functionary office there? - Yes.
And from first accepting office you never looked back, did you, until you reached the highest office that a prisoner could hold in the camp? - It was not really very great promotion, my career, because I started as a Blockälteste after two weeks of having been in a concentration camp. I stayed in this position a year, and then I was promoted to Lagerälteste.
Were you not released from prison and sent there in order to become a functionary? - No.
It was the usual practice, was it not, when you are starting a new lager or a new camp to send some trained functionaries? - What kind of experience did I possess that would make me suitable for this job? I spent two years in prison in one cell and I have never seen a concentration camp before.
And you spoke, of course, fluent German and fluent Polish, did you not? - Yes.
Of course it was a great advantage to be a Blockälteste, was it not? - The only advantage I really derived from it was I had a bed of my own.
It was a position which was sought after, was it not? - I cannot say that, that anybody was seeking that job.
Why do you think, if it was not an advantage to be a Blockälteste, it was unfair to poor Koper that she should be reduced to an ordinary prisoner after her suffering? - Only because of the bed; that was the privilege of the people who were Blockältesten, and in Belsen no prisoners had beds.
Talking of beds, Block 213, that had, first of all, these Russians, had it not; then they were cleared out to make it into an isolation block, is that right? - Yes.
And I suppose it was cleaned out before it was used as a hospital, was it? - We could not really clean it out very well because we had no necessary articles to do it, especially disinfectant and things like that.
But you made an attempt, I suppose? - We could only scrub the beds with chloride and scrub the floors.
Is not that just the time, whilst that block was empty, after the Russians went out and before the other people came in, that there might be a bed which might, as you said, disappear immediately it was put outside? - No, it was not like that. Part of the people from Block 213 were ill and were left there all the time. Only those fit for work were transferred to the so called Arbeitslager, this part of the camp were people fit for kommandos were quartered, and part of the people suffering from Typhus were transferred to Block 213. Therefore there was no time at which the block was empty.
Half the block was empty at the time you were having it scrubbed out, was it not? - We had no time for doing things like taking the beds out of the block. We had to hurry all the time. As soon as the block was considered to be a typhus block we transferred the people suffering from typhus to that block, and took out fit people from this block to another part of the camp.
Did you scrub the floors and the beds or did you not? - Yes.
I want to ask you about some of the things which are said about yourself. You have been through with your own Defending Officer all these various allegations about you. Let me put this to you, that not only when you were a block leader [Blockälteste] but when you were a Lagerälteste as well you quite regularly beat women? - I have to say it again that I beat people only when I was in Block 26, but never when I was Lagerälteste.
Do you remember what Ilona Stein said about you here, that you were as bad as the worst of the supervisors? - Yes, I do remember what she said. I am not responsible for what she said. I do not know why she said so.
Do you remember what the other women have said about you one after the other? - Yes, I do remember all the witnesses that came here and I think that none of them, with the exception of Ilona Stein, said that I beat prisoners.
People in your block did quite a little organizing now and again, did they not? - Yes, when I was Blockälteste in Block 26 the prisoners in my block sometimes managed to organise food containers from the other blocks.
Do you remember what Szparaga said about you in her affidavit? - Yes, I do.
Do you remember she said that you found a little verse about the situation in Auschwitz and gave that to the German authorities. Did you find any verses about the situation of Auschwitz in your block? - No.
Do you remember a woman called Dada, the wife of a Polish officer? - No, I have not heard this name, and apart from that I do not know whether it is a Surname or Christian name.
It was not unusual for prisoners to organise something if they could, was it? - Yes, it was natural.
People in your block did quite a little organising now and again, did they not? - Yes, the prisoners from my block when I was Blockälteste in block 26 managed sometimes to organise 10 food containers from the other blocks.
And did you not help the police in their enquiries into these organisations? - There were no camp police in my camp.
I am not talking about camp police, I am talking about the political police. - In which way could I render any assistance to the Political Department?
I suggest to you that as block leader and as someone who spoke both German and Polish you could render a great deal of assistance to the police, both by informing to the police and by interpreting for the police, and by beating women until they confessed to the police? - Yes, but I was employed only as Blockälteste in this particular block, I had nothing to do with the Political Department, whereas there were many people in the camp specially attached to the Political Department, and these people could speak German fluently as well.
They were not living in your block among the prisoners while they were doing the organising, were they? - I had no special information about it either; if anybody organised anything they would not come to me and tell me about it.
Why would they not? - Because if anybody organised anything he would keep it for himself; he would not advertise it.
What, ten containers of food? - No, that was something different.
Is not the truth they would be frightened of your informing? - No.
Do you remember Anita Lasker who gave evidence here? - Yes.
She said that she was more frightened of you than the SS Do you remember that? - I do remember, but I do not know why.
Do you remember Glinowieski who was working as a carpenter in the women's compound for a long time? - Yes, I do remember.
He says he saw you beating people there? - He could not see me beat people, because at the same time when the parade was held in our camp there was another parade in the main camp.
What I am suggesting to you is it is nothing to do with block 26 at all, it is when you were beating as a Lagerälteste. - As Lagerälteste I have never beaten prisoners.
Did you remember Glinowieski when you saw him? - No.
Do you remember Ilona Stein? - Yes.
Do you remember the affidavit of Stoppelman? - Yes.
If you had been so extremely good to the prisoners, and were acting as a sort of Florence Nightingale in that camp, why do you think that all these people have complained about you? - I do not claim that I was a Nightingale for them, but I tried to help them as far as it was possible. Sometimes I happened to be hard, but it was necessary under the circumstances.
What I suggest to you that you sold yourself heart and soul to the SS in return for comfort and safety in that camp? - Never.
Re-examined by LT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Several questions have been put to you by the Prosecutor on the selection parades. Can you tell the Court if there were any selection parades before 7 o'clock in the morning and after 1800 hours at Auschwitz? - No.
Another question about the sand pit. When you were speaking about this kommando getting sand, were they getting sand from the Vistula River, or were they getting sand from a different place altogether? - It was only the Vistula kommando that worked at the River Vistula. Where the other kommandos worked I do not know, because I have not worked with them.
You have not got my question. My question is, was the sand for the roads got by the Vistula kommando or by somebody else? - I do not know.
When you said that you would not know what the position of Schreirer was in Auschwitz, have you ever seen him in Auschwitz or have you not? - I have not seen him in Auschwitz and I do not know whether he held any position there.
Did you ever plan with the Germans the extermination of Jews and other prisoners in Auschwitz camp? - Why would I collaborate with the Germans? I was famished by the Germans and I had to endure these sufferings and stay in the prison for many years, and then in the concentration camp.
Did you ever communicate with the Germans or collaborate with them in the treatment of the prisoners? - No, never.
(The accused Stanisława Starostka leaves the place from which she has given her evidence)