Transcript of the Official Shorthand Notes of 'The Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty Four Others'
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: The next accused whom I present is No. 32 Antoni Aurdzieg. The evidence against him is contained in Volume 17 of the transcript, exhibits 97 and 98, and his confession in volume 18, exhibit 117.
The accused ANTONI AURDZIEG, takes his 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? - Aurdzieg, Antoni.
When and where were you born? - 15th September, 1924 in Brześć, Poland.
Were you arrested by the Germans? - Yes.
Where were you taken to? - On the 25th October, 1941, I was taken to Gestapo headquarters in Berlin.
Why were you arrested? - Because I did not attend my work for two days.
What was your work and where did you work before you were arrested? - I worked in a factory in Blankenburg.
How did you get to Blankenburg from Brześć before you were arrested? - All the Poles from this town, Brześć, were deported to Germany to the factory.
When were you deported? - 28th September, 1941.
After you left the Gestapo headquarters where were you taken to? - To concentration camp Sachsenhausen.
When did you arrive at Sachsenhausen? - On the 2nd July, 1941.
Are you sure it is 1941? - On the 2nd November, 1941.
How long did you stay in Sachsenhausen? - Two years.
What was your employment? - I was trained to work in the factory.
When did you leave Sachsenhausen? - I think it was in December, 1943.
Where were you sent to? - I was sent to an outside kommando called "Klinker" about three kilometres from Sachsenhausen.
How long did you stay in that kommando? - I am not sure but I think five months.
What was your work in this kommando? - I worked on producing grenades.
When did you leave this kommando? - It was in 1943; I do not remember the exact date.
THE PRESIDENT: I understood he left Sachsenhausen in December, 1943.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: And five months in this kommando, so it is obviously 1944. I will try to clear it up. (To the witness) Where were you sent to when you left this kommando? - At aircraft factory Hahnke [Heinkel?].
How long did you stay in this factory? - Six months.
When did you leave this factory? - In June or July, 1944; I do not remember the exact date. The factory was destroyed during an air raid and all of us were sent to Frankfurt (Oder).
What did you do at Frankfurt (Oder)? - There was another factory that was a kind of branch factory of this Hahnke [Heinkel?] aircraft factory and I continued my work there.
How long did you stay in Frankfurt (Oder)? - I stayed there for seven or eight months and we left the factory on the 10th March, 1945.
Where were you sent to? - We went to Sachsenhausen and from there all the sick prisoners, inducing me, were sent to Belsen concentration camp.
When did you arrive at Belsen? - On the 22nd or 23rd March, 1945.
What block were you put in? - Block 12.
Who was the Blockälteste? - A French Jew.
Did you stay in this block until the British entered the camp? - Yes.
What was your position in the block? - On day when we were parading the Lagerälteste came and said to me that I have to assist the Stubendienst and especially to sweep the floor of the block.
Did you wear an armlet? - No.
How many other functionaries were on the block staff? - There was a Blockältester, Deputy Blockältester, clerk, Stubendienst, Deputy Stubendienst, and four men to help the Stubendienst.
Did you have to help with food distribution? - The sick prisoners would sit inside the block and when the Stubendienst would dish out the food we would serve the food to them - bring food to the prisoners.
Did you help bring the containers of food from the cookhouse? - Yes, I did.
Do you remember the man called Filo Pinkus who made an affidavit against you? - Yes, I do.
Have you got a translation of his affidavit? - Yes, I have.
He says that he made your acquaintance when you were Blockältester in Block 12 and you received him and his fellow prisoners when they arrived by hitting them with stools, iron bars, rubber truncheons, and so on? - That is not true because I have never been Blockältester and therefore it was not my duty to receive newcomers into the block, that was the job of the Blockältester and his clerk.
Did you use a rubber truncheon or an iron bar to help yourself with the prisoners? - I came first to a concentration camp when I was 16 years of age and since that time I have never had a stick in my hand.
How many prisoners do you think were in Block 12? - 1200.
Do you remember a man, a painter, called Grünzweig? - Yes, I do.
You are alleged to have beaten this man because he would not go to work, would not leave the block, and you beat him with some sort of stick, and you beat him till he collapsed and died on 12th April, 1945. What can you say to this? - That is not true firstly because I was not Stubendienst and it was not my duty to force people to go and leave the block for work; that was the duty of the clerk and ordnungsdienst, and apart from that when the alleged victim of this beating, this man Grünzweig, came he helped me in fetching food from the cookhouse and, therefore, I have never beaten him.
Further down he says that on the 15th April, 1945, you had an argument with a Russian and you beat him and he hit back and then you called your deputies or orderlies to your service room and you all started to beat him and when he died you removed his body and carried his body on to the heap of bodies lying beside your block? - Two gypsies from the ordnungsdienst of the camp brought this Russian man to our block to our Stubendienst and complained that this Russian man tried to cut off a heart from a dead body in order to eat it and he was punished by the Stubendienst with two or three strokes and was set free. When the gypsies from the ordnungsdienst noticed the punishment was so lenient they started fighting with him and what happened later on I do not know because I was unable to watch the incident at that time.
Pinkus goes on and says that you were - he saw you himself - beating your fellow prisoners on various occasions, on hundreds of occasions, with various objects so that those prisoners were physically disabled? - That is not true and I would like to stress that Pinkus made all these accusations because of personal grievances. When he came first and saw me in my block while I was on food distribution he demanded that I should give him two portions of the food rations. I refused and said that he was not entitled to have more than any other prisoner, and that is why he makes all these accusations now.
You are also said to have tried to obtain gold and roubles from prisoners in exchange for food and the man who is supposed to have given you gold and roubles was called Lajwand? - During my four years in concentration camps I have never seen any gold and everything he said is untrue.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Did not a number of other people also corroborate the evidence of the witness Pinkus?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Yes, Sir.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Are you going to deal with that or not?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I do not feel like doing it because they have just said they have listened to what the other one has told the police. (To the witness) The man called Bialkiewicz says you killed hundreds of people, that you have demanded gold and valuables from all prisoners and when you did not get this gold and valuables because the prisoners had none you beat them to death. What do you say to that? - I was too young in the camp to kill men. I was afraid myself of being killed; only prisoners with green triangles used to kill and murder prisoners. I was too young to do so.
Did you force a man called Zdeněk Bauer to give you his gold teeth? - No.
Do you know men called Sarna and another one called Mangel, who are said to have been victims of your beatings? - These two men, Sarna and Mangel were in Block No. 12 employed as night guards. When the British troops arrived they were sent as sick people to Sweden and they are now in Sweden.
Now a man called Melamed Chain says that you have beaten a Russian to death, it took you only five minutes to kill him, on the day the British arrived. What can you say to this? - Who would believe it that a small man like myself could kill a strong man, a Russian of very strong physique, during five minutes?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I come now to his own statement. (To the witness) What happened to you after the British entered the camp? - I continued to work as Stubendienst.
Did you eventually leave Belsen camp? - Yes, I left Belsen on the 30th April or on the 1st May 1945.
And where did you go to? - I left for Hannover-Stöcken together with many other prisoners.
How and when were you arrested? - One day I went for a walk in Hannover and I went to the town hall in order to obtain some papers, without which I was not allowed to walk along the streets, and when I was in the town hall [Rathaus] I was stopped by Pinkus, who said: "Do you remember me from the camp? You refused to give me a second helping. I did not starve of it and now I am going to take my revenge."
What happened then? How and when were you arrested? Who arrested you and where? - I was arrested by the German police on the 4th July 1945.
Was it the same day you met Pinkus in the Rathaus? - Yes, it was on the same day.
Did any officer visit you in prison when you were there? - Yes, one day two French officers, if I judged rightly by their accent, came to see me in prison.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What prison is that?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Hannover, the German town prison. (To the witness) First of all in what language were you talked to in? - In the German language.
Do you know German? - Very little.
Where did you learn German? - In concentration camps I picked up a little.
Tell the Court what happened when these officers called for you? - I was brought to a small room and was made to kneel with my hands stretched out, and one of the officers took out a pistol, put it on the table, and they started investigating.
And the interrogation was done in what language? - In the German language.
Did you follow the questions easily? - No.
After this examination were you asked to sign this statement? - Yes.
Did you want to sign it? - I refused to sign the statement, and I said that my knowledge of the German language is very poor and I could not understand all the questions given to me. I asked to be investigated through a Polish interpreter, but they answered as I was for a long time in Germany I should have known the German language now.
Did you sign it finally? - I had to, because the officer took a pistol and aimed it at my chest and I could not refuse.
The way you see this statement now in the Polish translation do you say this statement is true? - No, I do not think so.
When you were questioned did you know why you were arrested? - No.
Were the two officers writing down your answers? - I uttered one word and they wrote down at least ten words.
Did you ever intend to make a statement? - I did not intend to make any statement, because I was in prison and I had no right to speak.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: That concludes my examination in chief.
MAJOR WINWOOD: No questions.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions, and Major Cranfield has no questions.
MAJOR BROWN: No questions, and Captain Roberts has no questions.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN CORBALLY: When you were at Belsen did you know a man called Lozowski? - No.
Can you tell me if during the middle of March any of the internees from Lager No. 2 were taken on working parties during the day? - As far as Camp No. 2 is concerned no prisoners were sent for work.
CAPTAIN NEAVE: No questions.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: No questions.
CAPTAIN BOYD:: No questions, and Captain Munro has no questions.
Previous to that had the old Blockältester been away for some little time and had a man called Adam been acting as Blockältester? - The Blockältester was there all the time, but he was sick, and when he was sick Adam deputised for him.
What is Adam’s full name? - I do not know.
Was his name Barschinski? - I do not know, because we used to know him as Adam.
In April there were several more people put into your block, were there not? - Yes.
300 came in one batch, did they not? - It is quite possible.
When 300 people came into the block in which there were already, at any rate, over 1000 it would take a lot of organising, would it not? - Yes.
And if the Blockältester was ill and there was only the Stubendienst acting for him he would want the whole of his staff out to arrange the reception, would he not? - No.
It was very crowded in that block, was it not? - Yes, it was.
And a great many people died in that block, did they not? - It was not only in this particular block ...
I am not suggesting it was only in that block, but a great many people did die in that block, did they not? - Yes.
And a great many died of starvation, did they not? - Yes.
This man Adam used to beat people very often, did he not? - I cannot say that.
Did he not? - Yes, he beat with his hands.
And he beat with a stick as well, did he not? - No, he never had a stick in his hand.
He beat to such an extent that Schlomoivicz tells us he had to tell him to stop; is that not true? - Yes, he beat the prisoners and therefore Schlomoivicz told him to stop, but I have not seen a stick in his hand, and therefore I cannot say that he beat prisoners with a stick.
There was a lot of beating in your block, was there not? - Not very much.
Well Schlomoivicz says there was general beating going on in that block until he stopped it; is that true or not? - For instance, if someone tried to get a second helping or tried to get soup from a sick man he had to be punished, and as in the camp no punishments were known apart from beating beating had to be administered.
And you beat people yourself, did you not? - Yes, I did.
When you first went into this block how many people were there? - 700.
700 there when you already arrived, or do you mean you went in there together with the others, you all went in at the same time? - Including my own party there was 700.
Did you all go in there together? Was it the beginning of a new block, or did your party go in and find a lot of people there already? - Yes, it was an empty block and we came with a party of 700.
Had you been a Stubendienst before? - No.
Did Adam come with you? - No.
Where did he come from? - From Auschwitz.
When did he come from Auschwitz, do you know? When did he arrive at Belsen? - I do not know.
Was he there before you? - No.
How soon after you arrived did he arrive? - Perhaps he was before me in the camp, but at my block he arrived after me.
How long after? - At the end of March.
When did your Blockältester arrive? Did he come in your party? - He came later.
Who was the Blockältester when you got there? - A French Jew was Blockältester there.
No, if he came later who was Blockältester before he came? - A German with a green triangle.
Who was the block Stubendienst before Adam? - A Polish Jew.
Why do you think Zoddel picked on you? Was it Zoddel who picked on you? - It was not Zoddel, it was a Lagerältester who came from Auschwitz, and he chose me for this job; he told me to sweep the floor in the block every day.
Did the Lagerälteste come from Auschwitz? - The Lagerälteste came from Auschwitz as far as I know.
Did Adam come from Auschwitz? - Yes, I think so.
In your experience of concentration camps was there a lot of beating going on? - Yes. During my four years’ experience in concentration camps I had to suffer a lot. Many a time I was beaten; I received 25 strokes; I was made to hang on wooden poles and so on and so on.
The only people who were reasonably comfortable were the functionaries, were they not? - I think that the reasonably comfortable were only the Germans in concentration camps.
Perhaps "reasonably comfortable" is not the right word. I will put it this way. The only way to avoid regular beatings and so on was to become a functionary, was it not? - No.
And the only way to get sufficient food was to be a functionary or work in the cookhouse, was it not? - As far as Bergen-Belsen is concerned it happened very frequently that functionaries would give his own rations to the prisoners and starve himself.
But the functionary always got a ration, did he not? - He had the same rations as those who were sick lying on the floor.
What I am suggesting to you is this, that when you and Adam had control of that block did you extracted money or anything else that you could get from the prisoners by promising them food? - No, that is not true. We were always conscious that the food that was being sent to us did not belong to us personally but to all the people in the block, and therefore according to the amount of food sent we tried to distribute it fairly.
There used to be a lot of bribery in concentration camps, did there not? - But I do not know; I have not seen it.
Never heard of it in all your time in concentration camps? - No, never.
There used to be a lot of organising, did there not? - Yes, but those who did it mostly were killed.
What happened to somebody in a concentration camp if he was caught stealing? - They would do with him the same as they did with me. They tied my hands on my shoulders; they hung me on a wooden pole.
Was Adam always very careful to distribute food fairly too? - If Adam would not distributed the food fairly he would be killed by the prisoners, because the prisoners at that time were like wild animals, and if they saw anything of that kind they would just lynch him.
Did not you and Adam and the remainder of the block staff form yourselves into a little party to see that you did not get lynched or killed? - No.
And did you not arm yourselves with sticks or with anything else that was suitable? - No, it was not the case, and to illustrate how well prisoners were treated in our block I would like to say that one day we were told to transfer 400 prisoners from our block, Block 12, to another block, Block 32, because our block was overcrowded, and these prisoners came back to our block.
If they were so well treated there was not any need at all for Schlomoivicz to try and put things right when he came, was there? - Schlomoivicz did not bring any changes in our block; the situation was just the same as before, the treatment was just the same. The only change there was that some prisoners were moved from our block and it became less overcrowded.
As a matter of fact Schlomoivicz stopped you fetching and distributing food, did he not? - Because it was the duty of the Blockältester to distribute food.
I did not ask you whether it was the duty of anybody. Did he stop you doing it? - I have not distributed food.
Did you not distribute it till he took over? - No.
I suggest that he stopped you doing it. - My job was not to distribute food. The soup was poured out into plates by the Blockältester deputy, and a man standing near him would hand the plate from the Blockältester deputy to me and I would bring the plates to the prisoners.
While those plates were being handed first from one to the other and then to you and taken across what happened to the prisoners who were behaving like wild animals? - They were sitting on both sides of the blocks in fives, a container of food was standing in the middle and they were just waiting their turn.
Without any rush or scramble? - No. It would be if not for the fair distribution of food, but when the prisoners noticed the way we were distributing food and appreciated our attitude and behaved properly.
It was quite unnecessary to beat them at all? - No.
Then why did Adam and yourself beat them? - Because when a new party of prisoners from Hannover arrived in our block they were all very fit and strong men, and we, after having stayed in Belsen for such a long time, were very weak and exhausted, they started taking food from sick prisoners and therefore we had to stop it, we started beating them. In Belsen we had no bread and received only half a litre of soup per day.
Where did you sleep in the block? - On the floor.
Was there a separate room for the Blockältester? - Yes, it was a room for Blockältester, Stubendienst and Clerk.
Did they all have beds? - Yes, these three had beds.
Were beds very scarce in Belsen? - Yes.
Did anybody who was not a functionary get a bed? - If he managed to steal a bed he had one.
What water supply had you in your block - any? - We had some carts outside of the block not far away, but the water supply was only during one or two hours a day.
When did the water supply give out altogether? - The 12th or 13th of April.
Just one other matter I want to ask you about. Do you remember in the last few days those corpses being dragged away? - Yes, I do.
Did you have to help? - Yes.
Did all your block have to help? - Yes, the whole block dragged.
Were you all turned out in the morning to do it? - The whole block, with the exception of the Blockältester, Clerk and Stubendienst, was made to help.
Do you remember helping to turn people out? - No, it was not my job, it was a special job of the Ordnungdienst. They got their orders from Lagerführer or Camp Kommandant to remove 25000 bodies lying inside Blocks 10 and 11. [25000 must be a typing error]
Then everybody had to turn out to do it, did they not? - Yes. The whole Ordnungsdienst was called on parade there and either the Camp Kommandant or Lagerführer told them that if all the bodies were not removed shortly he wood stop the food for the whole camp and for them too.
You were on that parade, were you? - No, but the Ordnungsdienst came into the respective blocks and repeated the exact words said during the parade.
I suggest to you that it was when you were directed to make Grünzweig go out on that parade that you beat him. - It is not true, because it was not my duty to do so.
Do you remember the man Lajwand? - No.
Bialkiewicz says very much the same thing too? - When Bialkiewicz met me in the town hall he told me he was going to make these accusations and was going to persuade some other people to corroborate his statement.
Then there is another man, Melamed Chaim. Why did he make it up? Did he tell you too? - I was arrested on the 4th July and these statements were made not before 25th July, so I gather that Pinkus must have gone to the camp in the meantime and inspired all his friends to make these statements.
Was there a Polish Jew called Marxo or Marzc in your block? - It is possible but I do not remember.
Was there a man called Bauer? - It is possible but at that time it was a struggle for survival, and we had no time to think about names. Lice were almost eating us to death.
I suggest you extracted valuables from each of those people by promising them food and beating them instead? - I maintain it is not true. During my stay in concentration camps I have never come across a single piece of gold.
I want to ask you now about the Russian. I am not interested in the story you tell us about the cannibalism because that is a different incident. I want you to turn your attention to what is said about you personally. What is suggested by all these people against you is that a Russian rushed past you and you struck him. - I would never beat anybody because I suffered from the same lice as he himself.
Then the Russian struck you back? - Yes, it is quite possible because I was in the same position as he.
What happened in a concentration camp if a prisoner struck a Kapo? - For hitting a Kapo or anybody out of the internees no punishment would be meted out, but if a German was hit then, of course, he would be severely punished.
Do you really mean there was no punishment by anybody if you struck back at a Kapo? - If a Kapo were a German the man would be punished, but if he were a Jew, Pole, or Russian he would not be punished.
How is it the prisoners put up with all this beating from Kapos? Why did they not hit the Kapos back every time? - Because until 1945 all the Kapos were Germans or most of them were.
That is no answer to my question at all. Why did they not just beat up all the other Kapos who were not Germans if there was no punishment for it? - Because they knew if a Kapo beat someone he did not do it without a good reason. Instead of reporting the man in question and causing him to get 25 strokes he preferred to hit him once or twice and the prisoners knew it was better for them.
Is the truth of the matter not this, that if any prisoner hit back at a functionary the other functionaries beat him up? - No.
Is not that exactly what the little gang in your block did to this Russian? - Yes, but I would like to say that the Prosecutor is accusing only Poles here and he is not concerned with all the other ...
THE PRESIDENT: (To the Interpreter) Just tell this witness that it has nothing to do with the Prosecutor as to how the charge has been laid, and that it is not for the witness to criticise. He is being asked a question and he must reply to it. (The Interpreter does so)
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Regarding this extraordinary story of your interrogation, are you seriously suggesting that you had to kneel down with your arms above your head while you were being interrogated? - Yes.
Are you seriously suggesting that you cannot understand and speak German? - Yes; perhaps I understand a little German, but they spoke so quickly that I could not follow them. Some words I could, of course, understand, but if I said one word they would write down ten words.
You have been in Germany for the last four years, have you not? - Yes.
And German was the common language of the camp, was it not? - Yes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Would you like to have the original statement, Colonel Backhouse?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I would if you have it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: It does not seem to bear out his story. That is the one, as I understand it, which was put in as the original. (Same handed)
THE PRESIDENT: This is actually in French.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It was taken down in French. (To the witness) It was you who gave the name Adam Bartschinski for the first time, was it not? - I did not mention that name. I said only Adam and how they managed to get Bartschinski I do not know.
Even if you could not understand German very well you could certainly understand the name when somebody said his mane was Adam Bartschinski, could you not? - They asked me who was Blockältester in that block. Of course, some words I understand in German, and I understood this particular question. I said that it was Adam and myself and some others.
And they put to you each of the things that Pinkus had said about you, did they not? - No accusations were presented to me. They read something and wrote something.
Are you seriously suggesting that they did not ask you whether you had ever beaten prisoners on arrival at your block? - Yes, I said that I had beaten prisoners but owing to linguistic difficulties I could not explain why.
Are you seriously suggesting they did not ask you whether you had beaten a Pole to death on the 12th? - Yes, they asked me but I could not explain.
Are you also seriously suggesting that they did not ask you whether you and your comrades, including Adam, had beaten a Russian prisoner? - I had to make them understand what I knew about this incident, because I saw it personally, but they most probably did not understand what I wanted to convey to them. They wrote down something and I say it is incompatible with what I said.
Did they not ask you about thefts of jewellery and money by Adam? - They asked me whether Adam demanded money in exchange for food and I answered that I did not know because I did not see it.
Are you seriously suggesting to the Court that you having said that you did not know because you had not seen it an officer of the French Ministry of Justice wrote down: "I acknowledge having assisted Adam in his thefts of money and jewels from the prisoners"? - Yes, because if he was able to come down to my prison and beat me twice and then take out of his pistol 12 bullets to demonstrate what he was going to do, I have to assume he was able to write down all these things although I did not say them.
Do you say he beat you twice? This is a new story altogether. - Yes.
When did you first think of that? - I did not invent the story. It is a fact. I was kneeling with my hands up and as it was a very strenuous effort my hands were falling down, and this officer approached me and struck me on my face and made me keep my hands up.
Have you ever said that before? - I did not say it because nobody asked me.
Have you ever told that story to your Counsel? - Yes, I did.
And you have never been asked about it? - What do you mean?
Kneeling with your hands above your head was a very popular punishment to give people in concentration camps, was it not? - I would not say it was a very popular punishment, but to kneel and to hold a chair above the head was quite a common punishment in a concentration camp.
If you put your hands down in a concentration camp you get beaten across the face, did you not? - Yes.
I suggest that you completely made up that story about having to do that when you were being interrogated by this French officer; you had simply taken something from a concentration camp and incorporated it into your story? - And I stress once more that I am telling only the truth. I was waiting impatiently for five months to be able to say before the Court how I was treated and questioned by the French officers.
I suggest that at that time when you were first accused and you found the amount of evidence and witnesses there were against you, you admitted what you had done, but now, after five months and knowing the witnesses are no longer available, this is the story you are telling? - No, that is not true. It was as I said before, that I was kneeling with my hands up and the two French officers questioned me and the third one was writing, and if I said one word he would write down at least five words.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No re-examination.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: When you made your statement in this small room there was a German interpreter present, was there not? - There were only two officers present; one French officer and one interpreter.
Let us get this right. Were there two French officers there or not? - I do not know what their ranks were. I know there were two men in French uniforms and they spoke to each other in French.
And one of them spoke German; is that right? - Both spoke German.
Did they read over to you in German the statement which you were supposed to have made? - Yes, it was read over to me and I said I did not understand everything, and they said: "All right; just sign it and you will see." I refused to sign and they compelled me to sign.
After you had signed that document did you make any further statement? - Before I made this statement two French officers came to my cell and they gave me some questions about a Kapo from Belsen. I told them as I know this man only for 12 or 13 days I do not know very much about his, and I did not know his name. That was one incident and after a short time - a few days - this incident of the statement happened.
Will you try and follow my question. After you signed the statement in the little room did you make any further statement on that day to the French officers or not? - No.
THE PRESIDENT: As you know, you have been accused of beating the Russian to death, the Russian being a strong healthy man. I should now like to look at you so will you come round this side of the box?
(The witness stands in from of the Court and then resumes his place in the box)
A MEMBER OF THE COURT: When they were dragging bodies to the grave, did you take part in the dragging or were you a functionary? - Also dragging the corpses.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions arising out of that?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No.
(The accused, Antoni Aurdzieg leaves the place from which he has given his evidence)
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: I propose now to call a witness on behalf of Aurdzieg, No. 32 on the list, Andrzejewski.
M. ANDRZEJEWSKI is called in and having been duly sworn is examined by LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ as follows: What is your full name? - Andrzejewski, Medislav.
When and where were you born? - 26th September, 1923, in Łódź, Poland.
What was your last address? - In Łódź.
Were you arrested by the Germans? - I was arrested during a round up in the street in Łódź.
When was that? - In January, 1940.
Where were you taken after you were arrested? - I was taken to Germany, to Bockhorn.
What were you doing in Bockhorn? - I was working in a brick factory.
How long did you stay in Bockhorn? - One year.
What did you do then? - I worked on a farm in a place called Zetel, one kilometre from this brick factory.
How long did you work in Zetel? - One year.
Why did you cease to work in Zetel? - I was found in possession of British leaflets and I was sent to a concentration camp.
To what concentration camp were you sent? - To Neuengamme.
How long did you stay in Neuengamme? - Until August, 1943, and I arrived in Hannover.
What was your occupation during your stay in the concentration camp at Neuengamme? - I worked in a brick factory.
You said you went to Hannover. Where did you go to in Hannover? - I worked in Hannover-Stöcken in an accumulator factory.
And how long did you stay in Hannover? - On the 8th April, 1945, I was sent to Bergen-Belsen.
In what block were you put?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is that the day he arrived?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: When did you arrive in Belsen? - That is the date of the arrival, 8th April, 1945.
What block were you placed in? - Block No. 12.
Who was the Blockältester in Block 12? - Officially it was a Frenchman but he was sick with typhus.
And who was in charge of the block while this Frenchman was ill? - A Jew named Adam.
Was there anybody else appointed Blockältester before the British arrived? - A young German - I do not know his name - was appointed two days before the British troops arrived.
Will No. 32 stand up? (Antoni Aurdzieg stands up) Do you know this man? - Yes, I do.
What is his name? - I do not know his name.
Where did you first meet him? - I met him first at Belsen in Block No. 12 at distribution of soup.
Was it on the first day you arrived, or some time later? - About two days later I noticed him.
You said you saw him during food distribution. What part did he take in distributing soup? - Adam, the Blockältester, poured out the soup from containers into plates and handed over the plates to the accused. The accused served the soup to the prisoners.
Where were the prisoners during food distribution? - They were sitting on the floor.
Did you see any incident in Block 12 on the day the British arrived? - Yes.
Can you tell the Court what happened? - On the day of the arrival of the British troops, at about lunch time, Adam and two gypsies brought a Russian man into the block and started beating him. Later on these two gypsies took the man outside the block and brought him to the place where dead bodies were lying.
And the man you recognised in the dock, was he in the block during that time, or did you see if he was taking part in this beating, or was he not in the block at all? - At that time he was at the other end of the block sweeping the floor.
Did you see at any time you were in Belsen prisoners giving gold or jewels to staff of the block in exchange for food? - No, I have not.
How did the man you recognised in the dock behave to the other prisoners? - As far as I know he was employed on sweeping the floor and serving soup to the prisoners, washing up dishes after they had their meals. Apart from that I saw that from time to time he beat prisoners, but only those who were fit and tried to extract food from those unfit and weak.
You said he would beat a man trying to get soup which was for another prisoner. How did he beat those prisoners? - With his hand.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: That concludes my examination in chief.
(None of the remaining Defending Officers wish to question the witness)
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Do you say you do not know the accused's name, the one we have been talking about? - I do not know his name.
How did you come to give evidence? - My friends from Hannover-Stöcken knew the accused and they told the accused that I was in Block No. 12.
Who were your friends from Hannover-Stöcken? - My friends from the concentration camp.
How did you know that it was the right man until you got here if you did not even know his name? - I did not know why I came here and for what I came here.
Do you seriously suggest you were brought here without having any idea why you were coming and without even knowing the name of the man you were coming to give evidence for? - As a matter of fact it was not before the last day when I was told for whom I am going to give evidence. I was told that his Christian name was Antoni.
Did you know his Christian name when you were at Belsen? - In Belsen I heard that he was called Antoni, but whether it was his real name or not I did not know.
Who actually asked you to come here? - I do not know.
THE PRESIDENT: I think it is quite clear that somebody must have asked him to come here.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I should have thought so.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: If you allow me, I will explain how the whole thing happened. The accused had a photograph from a D.P. camp of some of the people with whom he left Belsen concentration camp after the liberation, and he only knew the people on this photograph by their Christian names. This photograph I handed over to Staff Captain "A", 43rd Division H.Q., and he sent this photograph to a D.P. camp and several of the men on this photograph were identified as being in this camp. They were found to be in prison for carrying arms without permission. They were brought down to Lüneburg Gaol, where I saw them. They said they had been in Belsen concentration camp, but they had never been in Block 12. They said there was somebody else who had been in Block 12, so they were sent back and the Staff Captain "A" sent this man to Lüneburg Gaol.
THE PRESIDENT: That clears it up.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: (To the witness) Did you leave Belsen with a party of other people? - I left Belsen with a friend of mine, only one friend of mine, and on our way we met the accused.
And then did you and your friend and the accused go to Hannover-Stöcken together? - Yes, that is right.
In Hannover did you meet some more friends? - I do not know, because when I arrived at Hannover I developed typhus and I went to hospital.
You know you were not allowed to leave Belsen when you left, did you not? - Yes, but I saw many people go so I went too.
You knew you were without papers, did you not? - I received my papers in Hannover.
Did you know the accused was without papers too? - No, I did not know.
Who was the friend you left Belsen with? - Anton. I do not know his surname.
How did you get to Hannover? - On foot.
What exactly was your position in Block 12? - I was ill all the time lying on the floor.
Did you know Antoni quite well then? - I did not know him well. At that time I knew him only because he distributed food in the block.
How is it that you particularly remember where this man whom you do not know well was when this Russian was beaten up on the 15th? - There were not many prisoners left in the block at that time, because 50 per cent was employed on dragging the corpses. I was lying on the floor and I saw the accused not far away.
This was quite an extraordinary thing, was it , for a man to be brought in and beaten to death like that? - It was the first time I saw anything like that.
And yet whilst this beating to death is going on you particularly remember that a man who you did not know very well was sweeping the floor somewhere else? - Yes, I remember very well.
Do you know what the Russian's name was? - No, I do not know.
Do you remember many people in that block? - I remember a few.
Was there a lot of beating going on in that block? - No.
Did Adam do a lot of beating? - No.
When food was being distributed did people try and get round the containers to try and get to it quickly? - The prisoners were sitting on the floor in groups of 10.
Did they all sit quietly waiting for their turn? - Yes.
You know that in other huts they had to put guards all round the windows and have people standing at the door to try and stop people hurrying? - I do not know, because I was lying all the time ill.
What was the matter with you? - I had typhus; I could not walk.
How did you get to Hannover then? - I walked.
As a matter of fact was there not a little gang of you in that block who spent their time beating prisoners and extracting things from them in exchange for food when they were too sick to get it for themselves? - No.
Where did you get the firearms from that you were arrested for having? - I have not had any weapon.
Was there not a little gang of you arrested by Military Government for being in possession of firearms? - I do not understand the question.
What are you at present under arrest for? - For beating up a German woman.
How many of you were there engaged in it? - Three.
Had you weapons with you at the time? - No.
Were you not merely carrying on exactly as you had done in the camp? - I have had no weapon either in the camp or later on.
If you were so sick, why did you walk to Hannover? - I recovered two weeks before I left the camp, and getting good food again regained my strength and I decided to go to Hannover.
And then promptly went back into hospital with typhus again; is that right? - As a matter of fact my friend got me to the hospital because I was unable to walk myself.
Which of your friends took you to hospital? - Jan Polid.
He was another of the little party from Block No. 12, was he not? - No.
What was the nationality of most of the people in Block 12? - Jewish nationality.
How many of you were Poles? - I do not know.
About how many Poles? - I cannot give even an approximate number, because there were too many people in the block.
Do you remember when you arrived at Belsen? - Yes.
Do you remember going into the block for the first time? - Yes.
There were already about 1200 people in it when you got there, were there not? - I do not remember how many, but it was terribly overcrowded, there was a terrible stench there, and I had the impression of entering a mortuary.
Were you 300 very popular when you went in to crowd it up a bit more? - We arrived late at night and did not know exactly the situation. We just slept one over the other.
I suggest to you that from then on people were being very regularly beaten in that block. - I have not seen it.
And that Adam and the accused and three of his friends did the beating? - I have not see it.
In the statement which the accused Aurdzieg made he said: "I acknowledge having - with several of my comrades (3) amongst whom was one named Adam Bartschinski ... beaten a Russian prisoner until he fell dead"? - I do not know what he said, but I do know that at the time of this incident he was sweeping the floor at the other end of the block.
And then do you know he gave a description of Adam and then said: "I have two comrades in this camp, one Jan Polit". Is this Jan Polit you are talking about? - I do not know whether he is the same or not, because I had nothing to do with them, but the name is the same.
Do you say now you do not know Jan Polit? - I know Jan Polit from Hannover-Stöcken from the concentration camp.
And he was a great friend of the accused, was he not? - I worked on the same shift with Jan Polit and that is why I know him.
Did you go away from Belsen with Jan Polit too? - No.
When did you next meet him after you left Belsen? - In Hannover-Stöcken.
Do you know another man called Stanisław? - I know many of this name.
Was there not one who was at Hannover with you and Jan Polit? - I lived separately from Jan Polit and Stanisław.
You remember Stanisław now, do you? - If you would tell me his surname to make me sure whether I am speaking about the same man it may be better.
You were all one little gang, were you not? - I do not know what you mean by "gang".
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No re-examination.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Tell me a little bit more about this attack on the German woman. When did you take part in attacking a German woman? - It was on a Friday in August.
And how many of you were there engaged in attacking the German woman? - Three of us.
Was it by day or by night? - By day.
Have you been tried for that offence? - Yes.
Were you found guilty? - Yes. I got a sentence.
What sentence did you get? - 15 years.
What did you do to the woman? - I hit her five times over the head and other parts of the body.
Was the woman badly injured? - No.
And where did this take place? - In Rahden, near Diepholz.
Were you trying to rob the woman? - I took only one suit because I had nothing to wear.
Can you tell the Court why Adam, the man you know as Adam, ceased to be Blockältester in this block? - He never ceased to be Blockältester as long as I was there, he was always Blockältester
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: He was always on duty is what he said. He was never a Blockältester.
THE PRESIDENT: He said that, did he?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: Yes, the whole time he was in Block 12 Adam was on duty.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: That is what is puzzling me - it may not be puzzling the Court - is that I thought he said he became the Blockältester of Block 12 on the 13th April for a short time, for two days. I was trying to fit in Adam, who I understood had been the Blockältester.
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: As far as my recollection goes he was never a Blockältester; he was acting on behalf of the Blockältester who was a Frenchman who was ill. He was at the same time the first Stubendienst in Block 12. Then the Germans appointed Schlomoivicz as the real Blockältester and Adam remained a Stubendienst as he was before.
A MEMBER OF THE COURT: (To the witness) Do you speak German? - No.
When you worked in the brick factory in what language were the instructions given to you as to what you should do? - We had an interpreter.
And in your block in the concentration camp, were the instructions issued to you by the SS in German? - No.
How were they issued? - I had nothing to do with the SS; I had only to do with the personnel in the block.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Can you tell the Court what day you left Belsen to go to Hannover? - At the end of April.
Do you mean the 30th April, or at the end of the month? - I do not remember the exact date, but it might have been the 27th April or the 28th.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions to ask on the questions asked by the Court?
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: No.
(The witness withdraws)
LIEUTENANT JEDRZEJOWICZ: That concludes the case for the accused Aurdzieg and of the six accused I represent.
THE PRESIDENT: Major Winwood, before you call these additional witnesses, the Court is very anxious you should keep to the essential details that affect this particular case. We are taking these extra witnesses and it is prolonging the trial and the Court is very anxious that both the Defence and Prosecution keep the examination and cross examination to absolute essentials.
Are you at present held as an SS Prisoner Of War by the British at Sandbostel? - Yes.
Has any allegation been made against you with regard to Belsen concentration camp? - No.
When did you first go to Belsen? - 12th March, 1944.
How were you employed at Belsen? - In charge of the food stores and in charge of the kitchens, cookhouses.
How long did you remain at that employment? - Until the 28th March, 1945.
What rank did you hold? - Unterscharführer, equivalent to full Corporal.
To whom were you responsible for your work? - Haupsturmführer Vogler.
I want to ask you some questions about how you got rations at Belsen. Did you put in indents? - Yes.
In to whom did you put them? - To the food office in Walsrode.
What happened once the indents got to Walsrode? - Then the food office issued ration cards and these are being sent to Belsen.
What did you do with the ration cards when they came to Belsen? - These food tickets were distributed amongst the various firms and the amount of food was sent to Belsen.
From what towns did the food come from? - From Belsen itself and from Hamburg, the firm's name in Lindemann.
Did food come from any other town? - Yes, Hamburg, Hannover and a town in Mecklenburg, I do not remember the name.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Did he say "food" or "bread"?
THE INTERPRETER: He started by saying "bread".
MAJOR WINWOOD: Did any food come from Celle? - Yes, food from Celle as well - meat and flour.
Did any food come from Soltau? - Yes, from a small village in the neighbourhood of Soltau, the name is Neuenkirchen.
Was the food sent to Belsen or did you have to fetch it? - The majority of the food had to be fetched and as long as the train service functioned we got quite a lot of things through train loads.
When the food arrived at Belsen what did you do with it? - It was unloaded and then stored in different stores.
How was it given out to the cookhouses? - It depended on the strength of each cookhouse and the rations were always distributed the day before they were needed; for instance, tomorrow's rations were distributed today.
Did anybody in the cookhouses have to sign for the food? - Yes, the man in charge of the cookhouse had to check the amount and then sign for it.
Do you know what happened to all your official records at Belsen? - No, I do not know because on the 29th March I went to hospital.
Why did you go to hospital? - Typhus.
Which hospital? - Bergen.
Between the 29th March and the 15th April did you see anybody from the concentration camp? - No.
When you first came to Lüneburg had you got any records of the supply situation at Belsen? - No.
During the last few days have you visited the various firms and food offices who used to deal with Belsen? - Yes.
Have you compiled from the information which you got a table showing the supply situation at Belsen from the 8th January until the 8th April? - Yes.
Is that an English translation of the table you made? (Handed) - Yes.
MAJOR WINWOOD: Before we go any further I would like to put it in, for what it is worth, so it can be followed. (Documents handed to the Court)
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. You will be putting it in, I take it, the original German one which he has? This is merely a typewritten copy of something. There is nothing to show it is anything at all.
MAJOR WINWOOD: In itself it is of no value; it is only to show what he is saying.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Do you want this to go in as an exhibit or not?
MAJOR WINWOOD: I think it had better. He has said it is a copy of what he made.
THE PRESIDENT: We will hold it for the moment.
MAJOR WINWOOD: (To the witness) Have you the German copy? - Yes.
Is this divided into three periods; period 71, 72 and 73? - Yes.
In the first column is the item of food? - 71?
Yes. - Yes.
And in the first column of figures you have the ration for one man for a month? - 28 days.
From where did you get these figures? - From a food official called Dr. Bertram from the food office in Hannover.
Are these figures taken from the official German ration scales? - Yes.
From which column on that table have you taken it? - From column No. 14 for prisoners and people undergoing detention.
Is that the correct scale for internees in concentration camps? - No, it is on the second page column No. 1.
I think you have misunderstood me. Under which column does the rations for Belsen internees come? - The same just like civilian internees.
I am not talking about civilian internees; I mean the majority of the internees at Belsen, not the civilian internees. - The majority are in column 14.
MAJOR WINWOOD: Could I explain it?
THE PRESIDENT: We have not got a copy here.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I would like to get this clear. The answer to the first question: "Where did you get it" was "From column 14 on that".
MAJOR WINWOOD: Then he went on to column 1.
THE PRESIDENT: I am not clear either. Ask the question again.
MAJOR WINWOOD: (To the witness) Were the majority of people in Belsen known as Schutzhäftlinge? - Yes.
And did they come under column 14? - Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: The Court cannot understand what you are driving at because none of them have this copy you are referring to. We cannot sit here listening to a fellow quoting from some book without knowing what he is referring to.
MAJOR WINWOOD: All I want to know is which column he took it from and then I can put it in.
THE PRESIDENT: You are referring to some kind of internee?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes, the ordinary Belsen internee; there were two types from the point of view of ration scales; they were the Schutzhäftlinge and civilian internees who I understand were the exchange Jews who had a different scale altogether - they were in the minority - and I was trying to keep him to the main body of the internees and keep that scale. May I put it in?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Do I understand that the document I have in my hand is something the witness has compiled?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: And are you trying to get from him what document he used to compile it from?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes, I am keeping to the first column at the moment. May I now put this scale in? It is in German but it is just under column 14; he said it was column 14.
THE PRESIDENT: I think this is a complete waste of time because it does not agree with what we have got here.
MAJOR WINWOOD: It is 14.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: I think we should get from the witness what he is doing.
THE PRESIDENT: For example here, so far as I can see, potatoes are shown as 20000 on this and 10000 on this. (Indicating)
MAJOR WINWOOD: There is a note at the bottom about that; if he has it back he can explain it.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I would like to see it at some time; I do not know what we are talking about at all.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The point I understand you are trying to bring out is to give the Court in this tabloid form this food position. Would it not be simpler if the witness told us how he did it?
THE PRESIDENT: Ask him how he arrived at these things.
MAJOR WINWOOD: (To the witness) Look at the column which you said was the right column for prisoners at Belsen. I want the subdivision of column 14. Which subdivision is the correct one? - Sub division A.
Is that the scale which you took when you compiled this table? - Yes.
Does that state the amount for each internee for 28 days? - Yes.
Have you transferred that table from the official records here on to the table which you have compiled? - Yes.
MAJOR WINWOOD: That is the first two columns; the first column of words and the first column of figures. (To the witness) How did you compile the next column of figures on the table which you compiled? - I took the normal strength of the camp, 18343, and multiplied this figure with the ration scale, let us say 800 grammes or 355 grammes, and that is how I arrived at the second column.
Did you do that for each of the three ration periods? - Yes.
From where did you get the average ration strength? - I found these in documents in Walsrode, in the food office, where some diaries of our camp were found.
MAJOR WINWOOD: I can produce those or get the official of the food office who is outside the Court to do so later.
THE PRESIDENT: We will have this first.
MAJOR WINWOOD: The next column is headed "indent". How did you compile that column? - From documents from the food office in Walsrode.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This is the amount that was indented for; is that right?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes. (To the witness) Who was it who signed these indents? - Signed by Haupsturmführer Vogler.
Will you just say if that is Vogler's signature? (Bundle of documents handed) - Yes.
The next column is headed "purchase". What does that column represent? - These are the food stuffs which we purchased; that is the proper amount of purchased food.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Is that in weight?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes.
THE WITNESS: In Kilos.
MAJOR WINWOOD: Does that represent the amount of food that came to Belsen? - Yes.
From what did you compile that column? - From documents of the firm from which we purchased the food, and if we could not find these then from other documents, and from some indents which were still found in this food office.
Does that represent a complete picture of the food that came to Belsen or are there some other foods which are not mentioned? - Several other things are not mentioned because I could not find the documents from which to compile these figures.
Did you visit every firm which supplied any food to Belsen during those three months? - No, only a small part of those firms.
And does this column represent the amount supplied by the firms you actually visited? - Only partly because those figures were arrived at also from indents which I found in the food office at Walsrode.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What does the index number mean?
MAJOR WINWOOD: That refers to the actual extracts from the accounts of the individual firms. It seems to be nearly blank except on the second page there are three firms but no particulars; that is under "bread". (To the witness) In the remarks column on the first page is the figure 2170 against the first item; what does that mean? - No importance.
I propose putting in the indents and the other documents. They were all taken I think - I can ask him - in his presence and signed by the official of the firm as the case may be. I have got all the people here in Lüneburg to prove the original extract. I have got them arranged under items: the people supplying meat are all together; the people supplying bread are all together, so it makes some sort of sense. It is a question of how you receive this document.
THE PRESIDENT: I am not sure what this witness is saying at all.
MAJOR WINWOOD: He is saying what they each ought to have got. He is saying what they indented for and then what he has been able to discover they did actually get.
THE PRESIDENT: That is the fourth column, what they received in Belsen?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes, and comparing that with what they should have got.
THE PRESIDENT: I see what you are getting at. The documents you wish to put in are they some documents to show these figures in the fourth column are right?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes, the documents which back up these figures.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, you can put in those documents.
(Bundle of documents handed to the Court)
MAJOR WINWOOD: That is one of each of the indents together with an English translation.
THE PRESIDENT: They are copies of indents sent in for a certain period, or what?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes, three periods, 71, 72 and 73, together with the actual ration strength on each day during that period. I have not translated those because I think they speak for themselves. You have the date with the number against them. I have some more copies of it in English if the other Members of the Court want them. (Handed)
THE PRESIDENT: Are you producing the original of this first document?
MAJOR WINWOOD: There is only a copy in pencil which he made himself. I will produce that. I think he has proved it now, or will if and when the other documents go in. He made it and I will put in the documents from which he compiled it. (Handed)
(Bundle of documents is marked Exhibit 145, signed by the President, and attached to the proceedings)
MAJOR WINWOOD: The next column, the amount that was purchased by Belsen and brought to Belsen, is a miscellaneous bundle of documents from the various firms classified according to the index number on this table together with a translation in English of the total accumulated from each firm.
THE PRESIDENT: This is what is supposed to have been delivered?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes, an extract from the books of the firms or copies of the advisory note.
THE PRESIDENT: Which they say they sent?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes. I can get the people to prove that. This is in fact what it is supposed to be in each individual case. May I put that in with the English translation?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. (Documents handed to the Court)
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I have not the slightest idea of what has been handed in. I have no copies. How can I be expected to cross-examine ion this I have no idea.
MAJOR WINWOOD: May I call the individual witnesses?
THE PRESIDENT: I am sure the Court have no intention of allowing you to call witnesses on each individual point now. What I am not clear on is this. Are these what it is alleged were delivered?
MAJOR WINWOOD: That is correct.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What do you say about all this Colonel Backhouse?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It is the most extraordinary procedure I have ever come across. As I understand it at the moment this man says that these figures will not add up because he says a lot of the firms have no records and the rest were made up from indents.
MAJOR WINWOOD: These documents handed in, those added together, will make this fourth column.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I took it down at the time when my friend put it to him and he said: "No" and that some of the firms had not got the particulars so he used indents which he found in the food office.
MAJOR WINWOOD: In that bundle is included the indents which he was able to find.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: What does that show?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What he is trying to say is that this miscellaneous bundle contains something in the nature of a voucher which supports this figure.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I understand Major Winwood to say that but I understand the witness to say that that was not so.
THE PRESIDENT: So far as I know the witness has not been asked about this, has he?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Yes; he said he went round the firms and those are the documents which he can produce from each individual firm.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Are you saying that the amounts in that document are the minimum amounts?
MAJOR WINWOOD: With the firms he did business the records are there and from these records he compiled the total.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: He said something about an indent. Do you think I might have a look at the bundle?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I understood these were collected from shops but if they include things collected from the food office I do not know where we are.
THE PRESIDENT: What are you putting these in as? As merely indents?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Those are receipt vouchers, I think; extracts from the firm's books - receipts.
THE PRESIDENT Are these indents or receipts from the firms?
MAJOR WINWOOD: Receipts from the firms.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: May I see them before they are put in so I can decide whether to object to them or not because I do now know what they are? (Handed)
MAJOR WINWOOD: Perhaps I can put this bundle to the witness?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Let the Prosecutor look at it first. We have agreed on that.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I have glanced through them and it seems some are indents and others are delivery notes from the shops. Without getting somebody to go through them and add them up to see whether it amounts to anything or not I would not like to guess at which proportions are which.
MAJOR WINWOOD: Do you want me to put that to the witness?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What do you want to put to him?
MAJOR WINWOOD: He has not recognised the bundle yet. (Bundle of documents handed to witness) What actually is in that bundle? - Those are the documents from which I arrived at the figures under column 4.
What kind of documents are they, the various types? - They are partly indents, partly receipts and partly extracts from the books of those firms who sent food to the concentration camp at Belsen.
Do they show the dates on which food was sent? - Yes.
Is there a receipt for a bill from the bread firm near Soltau? - Yes.
Does it show on what date the last consignment of bread was sent to Belsen? - Yes, on the 11th April.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: What quantity was it? We must accept it from you. How much bread was supposed to be delivered on the 11th April? - 5500 loaves.
MAJOR WINWOOD: Is there an extract from the butcher's slaughterhouse in Celle? - Yes.
Does it state the last date on which meat was sent to Belsen? - On the 11th April 1945 3034 kilos of meat.
Is there also a certified extract from a flour mill in Celle? - Yes, on the 7th April, 30000 kilos of flour.
Did you take any bread from the bakery at the Wehrmacht Barracks? - Yes, but I do not know the amount.
I just want to ask you one or two questions about the bread situation in February and March. How much bread used to come into Belsen during February and how often? I do not want you to refer to anything...
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: He cannot surely say how much bread?
Did bread come regularly? - I do not know if I should answer if you ask regularly; one cannot talk about regularly in the last periods of the camp.
What happened in the last periods, in March? - From 23rd March on the bread supply became very irregular.
Do you know why that was? - The air raids made the transport situation very irregular and that is the reason why supplies did not come through.
Did you ever obtain any food from the Wehrmacht food stores at Belsen? - Yes.
What did you get? - Sugar and grocery articles, rice and porridge and such things.
Did you apply direct to the Army authorities? - No, I applied to the firm Lindemann.
How did the firm Lindemann supply it to you? - The firm Lindemann either sent this food stuff or we had to fetch it.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: This is all very difficult to follow. You asked if they got food from the Wehrmacht barracks, and he said he got sugar, rice and porridge etc. Then I thought you asked if he got them direct from the Wehrmacht barracks, and then I thought he said he did not, he got them from the firm of Lindemann. I do not know what he said after that.
MAJOR WINWOOD: (To the witness) Where did you actually fetch these articles from? - From the stores of the Wehrmacht barracks area, and it went through the food offices of the firm Lindemann.
Did you have to obtain all your food through civilian sources? - Yes.
During the last period when you were at Belsen did many more people come into the camp? - Yes.
What condition were these people in? - They were exhausted.
Were they healthy or ill? - Ill.
Did you get any special diet for sick people? - No.
Did you also have in Belsen other types of internees who got the ordinary civilian ration? - Yes.
Who were these people? - Civilian internees, Jews.
Were their rations kept quite separate from the ordinary internees? - Yes.
Were they indented for separately? - Yes.
On a different scale? - Yes.
What happened when people left Belsen, when transports went away from Belsen? - They had their haversack rations.
What happened when people arrived at Belsen? - They were put in to the ration strength of the camp.
If you had rations for, say, 10000, and then another 2000 came in suddenly one night what did you do? - We had enough food supplies so that it was no question about the new arrivals of these 2000 causing any inconvenience.
How did you make up for these rations? - When these 2000 arrived then one kitchen got the responsibility for these 2000, and the strength of that kitchen was altered.
If you had to draw these 2000 rations from your reserve how did you make up that reserve? - We could purchase these 2000 rations, or any rations, quite freely and send indents later on from the food office from Walsrode.
Towards the end of March did the ration situation get better or worse? - Worse, because the strength of the camp was bigger and bigger.
And you left Belsen on the 29th March? - Yes.
Who took over your job when you left? - I do not know.
I just want to ask you one question about water. What was the water situation like when you left Belsen on 29th March? - There was no scarcity of water.
MAJOR MUNRO: No questions.
Cross-examined by MAJOR CRANFIELD: No. 9, Sir. (Irma Grese) (To the witness) I want to ask you about the Aufseherinnen. Did the Aufseherinnen at Belsen carry pistols? - No.
Do you know the accused Grese? - Yes.
I think she was at Belsen with you for about three weeks in March; is that right? - Yes.
During that period did you see her frequently? - Yes.
When you saw her was she carrying a whip? - No.
When you saw her was she carrying a stick? - No.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN ROBERTS: No. 16, Sir. (Karl Flrazich) (To the witness) You are familiar with the layout of the camp at Belsen, are you not? - Yes.
And in particular do you remember clearly the areas round the cookhouses? - Yes.
Will you look at that map and tell the Court whether it is a rough diagram of the layout of the camp at Belsen. (Same handed) Will you look at the part of the camp in the centre top half where there is a letter "D" inside an oblong. Does that building represent on half of No. 3 cookhouse? - Yes.
Across the road to the left there is another similar blank oblong. Does that represent the other half of that cookhouse? - Yes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Which do you mean? - Is it the big one or the small oblong?
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: He says that is the other half of the kitchen?
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: We were under the impression it laid rather to the North of "D".
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: I am trying to clear this matter up.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: I agree with my friend, although that girl did say it was at the top.
THE PRESIDENT: I think I got that impression myself, that it lies North-East.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: It is quite obvious.
CAPTAIN ROBERTS: (To the witness) Do you see Block 224? You remember that block, do you? - Yes.
How far is it from Block 224 to the part of the cookhouse labelled "D"? - About 300 metres. [Info: It is circa 80 metres at their closest points]
And how far is it from Block 224 to the other half of the cookhouse? - 250 metres. [Info: It is circa 45 metres at their closest points]
If you are standing near Block 224 is it possible to see either half of the cookhouse? - No.
Why not? - Between 224 and either half of the cookhouses there were trees in the corner, which is blank on the map, so therefore one could not see to either half of the kitchen.
Now I want you to think of the left hand half of the cookhouse, that is to say the one which has got no letter. Is there a door at the end nearer to Block 224? - There was a door but it was nailed so it could not be opened.
It was nailed up purposely, was it? - Yes.
Do you recognise this man? (Indicating accused No. 16, Karl Flrazich) - Yes.
Was he one of the cooks in No. 3 Cookhouse? - Yes.
How many days was he working in that cookhouse up to the time that you left? - Two or three days.
CAPTAIN FIELDEN: No questions, and Major Brown has no questions.
CAPTAIN CORBALLY: No questions.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN NEAVE: Do you know this woman? (Indicating accused No. 33, Ilse Förster) - Yes.
What is her name? - Förster.
She was employed as an Aufseherin in one of the cookhouse in Belsen, was she not? - Yes.
Do you know if she did her work well? - Yes, very well.
Was there always a big crowd of prisoners hanging around about the kitchen? - Yes, because near the kitchen there was a lavatory, and whenever prisoners went to the lavatory they had to go past the kitchen.
Were there heaps of vegetables outside the kitchen? - Yes.
When the prisoners were going to the lavatory did they try to steal some of these vegetables? - Yes, mostly.
Have you seen at any time the accused Förster taking any action about this? - Yes, I frequently noticed how if she caught somebody out she took the things away from them and just shouted at them.
Have you ever seen her hit any prisoner so badly that the prisoner bled? - No.
Have you ever seen her kill a prisoner? - No.
Cross-examined by CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: I have some questions first of all about No. 39. (Irene Haschke) I am going to take him on to the map again. Do you remember when you were at Belsen there being Dutch babies there? - Yes.
Whereabouts did they live in the camp? - (The witness points to the left hand corner of the map where blocks Nos. 39, 36 and 34 are)
Is that what was known as the Sternlager? - Yes.
Where did they get their food from, from which kitchen? - Kitchen No. 2.
That is the one marked "A" on the map which you have? - Yes.
Do you remember some concrete ponds at Belsen? - Yes.
How many of them were there? - Three. [There were five in total]
Is that her? (Indicating accused No. 36) - Yes.
How did she behave towards the internees? - In a sort of intimate way, very familiar with them.
Did you have an occasion to reprimand her for that? - Yes.
What was she doing? - She allowed those prisoners working in the Bread Store to come into a small room which belonged only to herself; she invited them and prepared coffee for them and foodstuffs, which during the working hours was forbidden. Not only that, she called them never with their surnames but always with their Christian names.
Did you tell her to stop that? - Yes.
And did she? - No.
CAPTAIN BOYD: I have no questions. Captain Munro has no questions and neither has Lieutenant Jedrzejowicz any questions.
Cross-examined by COLONEL BACKHOUSE: Just to clear up these minor things first. Are you seriously suggesting it is 300 metres from Block No. 224 to that cookhouse? - Yes, approximately 300 metres.
How far do you think it is from the gate into the concentration camp part? - I do not mean the SS part, but the part where you go into the Men's Lager? How far do you think it is to there from the bottom of the camp? - 800 to 1000 metres.
I suggest you are about right on that, but that is something like half what you say about the other distances. In fact, if you are right on your first distance between Block 224 and D that would make the camp about two miles long, would it not? - The 1000 metres I was speaking of goes only up to the Crematorium because from the Crematorium there are another 1000 metres, but there was barbed wire ...
How [long] do you think an ordinary block was - not one of the big blocks but an ordinary block? - 100 to 120 metres.
Let me suggest you are quite out in your sizes. You just have no idea of distances. They are really about a third of that, are they not? In fact, they are 80 foot blocks? - That is 100 paces - 100 metres.
Do you say that Flrazich was only in Cookhouse No. 3 for three days before you left? - Yes.
Where was he before then? - I do not know what he was doing. He was in the company.
Was he not serving ten days for being absent without leave? - Yes.
And he came out of his ten days and came into the cookhouse just before you went away, is that not right? - On the 22nd or 23rd March he did duty for about two or three days. Then I was notified that he had a sentence of six days’ detention.
He completed his sentence before you went away? - I did not see him again...
Which date do you say he started his sentence? - I believe on the 22nd or 23rd March.
Which would mean he finished it about the 28th or 29th; is that right? - Yes.
This girl Ilse Förster you used to see taking things away from prisoners; did you ever see her hitting them with a stick? - No.
Did you ever see her hitting them at all? - No.
Did you ever see any of the people in the kitchens hitting anybody? - No.
Did you ever see anybody at Belsen hitting anybody at all? - That happened but not frequently, and I did not see it frequently.
You have told us that Ilse Förster was a very good girl, that Charlotte Klein was too familiar with internees, and that Grese never carried anything. You are not really in a prisoner of war camp, are you? - Yes, I am.
I suggest to you that as a matter of fact you are at Sandbostel. - Yes.
And that is a camp for alleged war criminals and security suspects and not a prisoner of war camp at all? - That is new to me.
When did you really leave Belsen? - On the 29th March.
Where did you go to? - Into hospital at Bergen.
How long were you there? - Approximately until the 10th May then the whole hospital was transferred to a place called Schwarmstadt.
How many Unterscharführer Müllers were there on the administration at Belsen? - One more and he was a clerk.
He was a clerk who did come into the camp at all? - He was not a clerk; he was a Blockführer who belonged to the Kommandant.
Did he work in the camp? - Yes.
Which part of the camp? - Everywhere; I cannot specify.
Just think; Blockführer did not work everywhere. Which compound did he work in? - There was the duty roster and it changed every day.
The duties for the Blockführer did not change every day at Belsen, did they? They worked in particular compounds. Which compound was Müller in? - As far as I know the duties of the Blockführer did change; for instance, from orderly officer's duties inside the camp or Aussenkommandos; but I have never been a Blockführer so therefore I do not know.
You seem to be amusing the people in the dock with your answers quite a lot; do you realise that? - No.
Did you not leave Belsen just before the British arrived and go into hospital? - No, I had typhus and was sent to the hospital.
You were there as long ago as March 1944. You must have been one of the first arrivals? - No, Belsen had existed at that time for a considerable period.
But there had not been any prisoners there before had there; it had been purely for Jew transports? - Yes, there were prisoners.
Where did you come from? - I came from concentration camp Flossenberg in the province of Pfalz.
Until about December of 1944 that camp was largely a transit camp, was it not? - Yes.
In fact, right up to the end on your indents you called it a transit camp, did you not? - Civilian internment camp.
Aufenthaltslager is what you described it as, is it not? - Yes, the first title was Civilian Internment Camp and then Aufenthaltslager.
Does that mean transit camp? - No.
And the Jews you were talking about were entitled to a higher ration scale - the ordinary civilian ration - were they not? - Not all; the Sternlager and Polish Jews got the smaller ration scale.
Who were in the Sternlager? - Dutch Jews.
Dutch Jews and Polish Jews got the same as the prisoners, did they? - Yes.
Who got the larger rations?- The Hungarian Jews and the Turkish Jews and the Spanish Jews.
Had you a lot of South American Jews when you first went there? - It is possible, but I do not know. We had all sorts of nations.
Where were the transports sent from Belsen, the Jews who went from the civil internment camp? - One transport went to Switzerland; another transport of Turkish Jews went to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia.
I do now want to ask you about these various papers which you have handed in. The figures in these columns are obviously grammes and not kilogrammes, are they not? - On the left hand side.
They are all obviously grammes, are they not? - No, the others are kilogrammes.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Only the first column is grammes, is it not?
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: If you multiply it you get the most extraordinary results. (To the witness) Have you seen that the dots have been left out? - Yes, they were left out.
If you have taken the first column from the official ration scale why is it different in different periods? - They were changed from higher authority.
Does that show it to be so on this ration scale you have produced to the Court? - Yes.
The scales varied did they, from period to period? - Yes, they varied.
Regarding this purchase column. You told us you prepared it from two things; one from the receipts and books of various firms and also partly from indents; is that right? - Yes.
How do you know that the things on the indents were ever delivered? - I cannot say that.
Really the last column is just sheer nonsense, is it not? - I put out indents where firms did not exist any more. When they ceased to exist I put in indents because otherwise no proof could be obtained.
But you do not know whether these firms ever delivered or not, do you? - It is only a small period about what we are talking now, and even that can be proved by copies in the firm's books, but I myself had no time to go into these.
How are you going to get the books of firms who no longer exist? - Those firms who do not exist have no books anymore. Apart from this question, there are still a few other firms who do exist but with whom I could not get in touch. These firms could be asked.
The answer is you simply made up this column out of receipts from some firms, and where you have not got receipts nor books of the firm you have put in the figure of what ought to be stated; is that it? - No, I did not do it that way.
You tell us what you did do then. - The food office where we indented they have the records and they can prove, for instance, the amount of food or of bread which had been delivered for the previous month.
How can they prove it? - The daily return which figures in the diary of each cookhouse - the strength return for each day for each cookhouse.
That still does not tell us in any shape or form how much food got to these prisoners, does it? - It is the kitchen diary where the daily strength is made. After a period - week or a month - those diaries and the results are sent to the food office and then the food office multiplies the rations with the strength of the camp at that certain period.
The PRESIDENT - I think that what he is trying to say is the records were destroyed and therefore the receipt book or duplicate receipt book cannot be produced. I think it is quite clear to the Court that there is no specific proof that this stuff actually arrived.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: How is it that in some months you seem to have got - if your figures are right - about double what you were entitled to in various items, or at least half as much again? - We had to buy things whenever we could - whenever things were available.
Was not bread rather short in Germany in January, February and March? - We had enough bread in camp until the middle of March, but then the supply problem got more difficult and from the 22nd or 23rd March practically no bread arrived at all.
In the first period here, that is the month of January, if your figures are right you had half as much bread again as you were entitled to. Did you not get into trouble from the food office? - These figures in this table are not quite right, because they must be taken compared with the figures of other months; it must be gone through during the whole period of, let us say, 12 months, otherwise the figures do not give a real picture.
I see, these figures do not give a real picture? - I made another table and I compare the three periods, and that would give a better picture if these three periods are taken together.
It might give a picture of what the prisoners got before Kramer was there, but not after, would it? Tell me this, is Kramer right when he says that right up to the end, apart from bread these prisoners got their full entitlement? - Up to the 28th March, until the day when I left camp, the prisoners got their full rations to which they were entitled.
Where was the food office, the actual food office that you had to deal with; put your indents in to? - Walsrode, near Bad Fallingbostel.
Where was the next office senior to that, do you know? - The next was Hannover, but I do not know where it is.
You never went to it? - No.
Was there not a food office in Celle? - There is a food office in every town.
It was not one which controlled the supply to your camp? - No, it had nothing to do with our camp.
Was there any food depot in Celle that you dealt with? - No.
Was there any food depot in Hannover? - No.
And you never went to Celle or Hannover to complain about the food office with which you were dealing? - I had nothing to do with it; it was not my job. Haupsturmführer Vogler, he was responsible for that.
Then it would be untrue to say that you went to the food depots in Celle and Hannover but were told that there was no further food to be issued because you were already getting your entitlement? (The witness and interpreter converse in German) It is a very simple question. If you have never heard of the depots at either of them you could hardly have gone there, could you? - No, I did not go.
Re-examined by MAJOR WINWOOD: Just one question about the plan of the camp. Is Block 224 in the right place in relation to Cookhouse No. 3? - No, 224 should be more to the left and was invisible from Cookhouse No. 3.
Was it your responsibility to issue the food to the cookhouse, and was it then the responsibility of the cooks? - Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: I am not quite clear on that first question. He says 224 should be more to the left. You were asking him a question on a map without any scale. What dies he mean - more to the left? He does not know what 300 metres is supposed to be.
MAJOR WINWOOD: In relation to the other buildings.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Do you say that up until the 28th March, 1945, that the prisoners in Belsen were getting these quantities of various rations which are set out in column 1 on this document? - No, those are the figures until the 4th February.
COLONEL BACKHOUSE: He is talking it on the monthly periods; it is a slightly different scale, that is all.
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: Take the latest period which is here. - Yes.
Do you say that the prisoners at Belsen were getting anything like the rations which are set out in the first column on 28th March? - Yes.
Do you say they were getting meat, margarine, sugar, coffee, potatoes, etc.? - Yes.
Then I suppose you saw no emaciated looking prisoners wandering about the camp up to the time you left on 28th March; is that right? - Yes, those were the prisoners who came from other camps to our camp.
On 28th March did you see any emaciated prisoners wandering about in Belsen? - Yes, I did.
And do you say that these emaciated prisoners had had these rations that you speak of? - Yes.
Do you mean that a man was bound to become an emaciated sort of skeleton if he lived on the rations which are set out in the first column of this document? - If a prisoner becomes so exhausted in his general condition that he could hardly retain even these quantities or these rations, then it should have been necessary that he should receive a proper diet which was controlled through a doctor.
I want to ask you just a little bit about water. Do you know how Belsen Camp got its drinking water in the ordinary way? - No, I do not know, but I know there was a pump in the Wehrmacht Barracks area.
Do you know whether the Wehrmacht barracks got their water from a different source than Belsen? - No, I do not know.
A MEMBER OF THE COURT: You say there are two different types of rations for the prisoners. How was it arranged in the camp that they should get their right rations? - The storeman got a receipt which was signed by the Lagerältester and the storeman of that particular compound which was entitled to more and that was checked by the storeman and Lagerältester when they received their rations.
But am I not right in assuming that the rations were handed into the cookhouse? - All the things which had to be cooked went to the cookhouse, but all the other things like bread, margarine or jam, or anything like that went directly to the compound.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions on what the Court has asked?
MAJOR WINWOOD: No.
(The witness withdraws)
(Schedule of rations is marked exhibit 147, signed by the President and attached to the proceedings)