Source: Law-Reports of Trials of War Criminals, The United Nations War Crimes Commission, Volume II, London, HMSO, 1947

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CASE No. 10.

THE BELSEN TRIAL

TRIAL OF JOSEF KRAMER AND
44 OTHERS

BRITISH MILITARY COURT, LUNEBURG,
17
TH SEPTEMBER-17TH NOVEMBER, 1945

Part II

Foreword  Part I  Part II  Part III  Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII Part VIII  Part IX Part X  Part XI Part XII

The Evidence for the Prosecution

Brigadier H.L. Glyn Hughes
Lt.Col .J.A.D.Johnston
Major A.L. Berney
Captain D. A. Sington
Mr. Harold O. Le Druillenec
Dr. Ada Bimko
Sophia Litwinska
Ceclilia Frommer
Anni Jonas
Dora Szafran
Helen Hammermasch
Ilona Stein
Abraham Glinowieski
Hanka Rozenwayg
Lidia Sunschein
Lt. Col S.G. Champion
Sgt. Dinsdale and Sgt. Higgs
Dr. Fritz Leo
Estera Guterman
Paula Synger
Rachla Koppel

F. THE EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION

1. Brigadier H. L. Glyn Hughes, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C.

Brigadier Glyn Hughes said that, shortly before the 15th April, 1945, certain German officers came to the headquarters of 8th Corps and asked for a truce in respect of Belsen camp. In pursuance of the arrangement arrived at, he went on the same day to Belsen camp, after it had been captured. There were piles of corpses lying all over the camp. Even within the huts there were numbers of bodies, some even in the same bunks as the living. Most of the internees were suffering from some form of gastro-enteritis and were too weak to leave the huts. The lavatories in the huts had long been out of use. Those who were strong enough could get into the appropriate compounds but others performed their natural actions from where they were. The compounds were one mass of human excreta. Some of the huts had bunks, but not many, and they were filled absolutely to overflowing with prisoners in every state of emaciation and disease. There was not room for them to lie down at full length in the huts. In the most crowded there were anything from 600 to1,000 people in accommodation which should only have taken 100. There were large medical supplies in the stores at Belsen, but issues for the use of the prisoners were inadequate. The witness had made a tour of the camp accompanied by Kramer, the Kommandant of Belsen ; the latter seemed to be quite callous and indifferent to what they saw.

The principal causes of death in Belsen were lack of food and lack of washing facilities which in its turn led to lice and the spread of typhus. Even after the liberation matters were not easy in the way of food, in spite of the facilities which the British had, because special feeding was necessary.

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To cope with the situation which was found at Belsen he had 54 officers and 307 other ranks all of whom came from medical units, but many more could have been used in the task had they been available.

In an affidavit entered later by Counsel for Francioh, (Footnote 1: Contrast p. 13. Brigadier Glyn Hughes had in the meantime left Luneburg and his further evidence had to be given by affidavit.) Brigadier Glyn Hughes said that if any large scale shooting had taken place on the 15th April, he would have known about it, and that he did not see any large number of corpses in the vicinity of kitchen 3 on the 16th April, 1945.

2. Deposition of Lt.-Col. J. A. D. Johnston, R.A.M.C.

Lt.-Col. Johnston said that he arrived at Belsen concentration camp on the 17th April, 1945. He described the prisoners whom he found there as " a dense mass of emaciated apathetic scarecrows huddled together in wooden huts, and in many cases without beds or blankets, and in some cases without any clothing whatsoever."

3. Captain D. A. Sington

This witness, a Captain in the Intelligence Corps, said that on 15th April, 1945, he went to Belsen camp for the purpose of making announcements. The general state of the camp was one of unbelievable congestion ; another feature which very soon attracted his attention was the great number of dead. A third memory was that of people who came out and died in the open air. One fourth impression was the complete lack of sanitary facilities. The general appearance of the inmates, with a few exceptions, was one of extreme weakness and in the majority of cases an almost unbelievable lack of flesh on the bones ; there were inmates who had gangrenes on their bodies and asked for help and others suffering from dysentery who also wanted help. When he entered, the S.S. were still in control, there was an atmosphere of terror and the people were behaving like terrified animals. He found that some of the internees had been given by the camp authorities special disciplinary powers over their other inmates. They had various names : Lagerältester, Blockältester, Stellvertreter and Kapo.(Footnote 2: The first three terms may be translated respectively as Camp Senior, Block Senior and Deputy Camp Senior. A Kapo was a lesser functionary.)

4. Major A. L. Berney

This witness stated that he arrived at Belsen on the 15th April. The next morning he went in search of food for the Belsen internees to a Wehrmacht camp which was about three kilometres up the road. There he saw a Hauptmann, who said that Belsen had been supplied from his stores. The witness said that in the store at the camp there were 600 tons of potatoes, 120 tons of tinned meat, 30 tons of sugar and more than 20 tons of powdered milk as well as cocoa, grain, wheat and other foodstuffs. There was a fully stocked and completely staffed bakery in the Wehrmacht camp capable of turning out 60,000 loaves a day.

5. Mr: Harold O. Le Druillenec

This witness, a British subject from Jersey, stated that he had been arrested by the Germans in June, 1944, and was sent to Belsen on about April 5th,

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1945. He was put into Block 13 with five or six hundred others, and there were more on the following night. The floor was wet and foul through having been used as a latrine. The internees were so crowded that they could not lie down. Sleep was impossible, and the atmosphere was vile. Seven or eight died in the first night. On mornings, the appel used to last from about ha!f-past three till about eight or nine o’clock ; this in itself was a terrible strain. (The witness was judging times ; he had no watch.) The appel was the normal concentration camp roll-call during which time the prisoners were supposed to stand in ranks of five, presumably to make the ranks easy to count. They were counted and then counted again and again for hours ; apparently no two men could make the total the same. The prisoners had to stand at attention ; if they moved they received a blow on the head.

On his fifth day at the camp and during about four days following, he and others had to drag corpses and put them in large burial pits. This went on from sunrise to dusk and many died in the process. He thought that the operation was intended to clear up the camp before the British arrived. Anybody who faltered was struck. He had altogether a pint of soup during his first four days at the camp. During the last five days before the liberation, which were spent in burying the dead, he had neither food nor water. Nearly every minute of the day, shots were going off about the camp ; guards would shoot internees usually for no reason at all.

6. Dr. Ada Birnlco

Dr. Bimko, a Jewess from Poland, stated that she was arrested and sent to Auschwitz on 4th August, 1943. She was transferred to Belsen on 23rd November, 1944. In both camps she worked in a hospital. At a point later than her own arrival Kramer became Kommandant of Birkenau  (Footnote: Otherwise referred to as Auschwitz No. 2.)  which was that part of Auschwitz which contained the camp’s five crematoria. She testified that records which had been secretly compiled by internees working in the Sonderkommando (Special Fatigue Party) at the Auschwitz crematoria showed, according to a member of the Sonderkommando to whom she had spoken, that about four million people had been destroyed in the crematoria. Experiments had been carried out in Block 10 in Auschwitz ; one woman had told her that an experiment in artificial insemination had been carried out on her. Prisoners selected for the gas chamber were sent first to Block 25, where they often waited days without food and drink, before the lorries arrived for them.

Kramer, Klein and Hoessler, said the witness, took an active part in selections made at Auschwitz, a process whereby numbers of prisoners were chosen from the rest and sent to the gas chambers. She had seen Kramer at Belsen kicking four Russians who were too weak to work. Kramer arrived at Belsen early in December, 1944, and on his arrival roll-calls and beatings commenced.

Giving evidence regarding various other accused, the witness testified that Borman possessed a large dog, and that Starotska was a Block Senior at

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Auschwitz. Some internees at Belsen expressed a wish that Stania (by which name this witness and others identified Starotska in the dock) should be appointed Block Senior in place of the existing one. Dr. Bimko identified Francioh as having been in charge of the kitchen of the women’s camp. A young woman internee was once bending down to take away some potato peelings and suddenly the accused jumped out of the kitchen with a gun in his hand and fired it twice. Soon afterwards the woman died. Otto was a supervisor of electricians in Belsen, and Dr. Bimko did not think that he was possessed of any general authority over the internees. Sauer was the Aufseherin (overseer) at No. 2 women’s compound in Belsen.

7. Sophia Litwinska

This witness, a Jewess from Poland, said that she was sent to Auschwitz as a prisoner at the beginning of the Autumn of 1941, and was transferred to Belsen about three months before its liberation. Litwinska said that on the 24th December, 1941, at a selection at Auschwitz there was a parade of 3,000 Jewesses at which Hoessler was present. The women were naked, and those selected were taken to the gas chamber, a room equipped to look like a bath-house. She herself was actually taken to the gas chamber but was brought out again ; her life was saved, in her opinion, partly because she was the wife of a Polish officer. Cross-examined by Lt. Jedrzejowicz on behalf of Starotska, the witness said that there was a rather deep ditch accompanying the wire which surrounded Auschwitz camp and which was not easy to cross. In compound A, where the witness lived, the ditch was inside the wire. (Footnote: seep. 101.)

The rest of the witness’s evidence concerned Belsen. She could not identify Pichen in the dock but said that, a few days before the British arrived, certain prisoners tried to steal from kitchen No. 1, and when two S.S. men returned they started shooting the prisoners ; many were killed, She could not say whether these two had any physical deformity. (Footnote: see p. 92.) She had seen Ilse Forster beat to death a young girl of 16 or 17 years when the accused was in charge of kitchen No.1 at Belsen. Litwinska went on to say that Ilse Forster had beaten her with a rubber truncheon, with the result that her head was swollen and her arms and back were blue and green. She testified that Hahnel worked in No. 1 kitchen during the last few days before the liberation. The witness had worked in No. 2 kitchen for a few days but, when cross-examined, she did not recognise Mathes.(Footnote: See p. 51.) She had worked in kitchen No. 1 during all her time in Belsen excepting these few days in kitchen No. 2 when she first arrived, and she was quite certain that Barsch was not in kitchen No. 1 during that period. (Footnote: see p. 93.)

8. Cecilia Frommer

This witness, a Polish Jewess, said that she was sent to Auschwitz as a prisoner in October, 1943. She testified that at Auschwitz, when she was going to see a sick friend, either Volkenrath or her sister, who resembled one another, beat her and made her kneel outside her hut. She went to Belsen

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in January, 1945, and was employed in No. 2 kitchen. She said that she did not know Mathes, and that he did not work in No. 2 cookhouse at Belsen while she was there.

9. Anni Jonas

Anni Jonas, a Jewess from Breslau, stated that she was arrested on 17th June, 1943, and was sent to Auschwitz, where she stayed till 25th November, 1944. Here she saw Hoessler with a certain Dr. Mengele taking part in a selection where sick Jews were being chosen for the gas chambers. She said that Hoessler was also in charge of the " Union " Kommando (fatigue party), and that he used to make selections and send the sick and the weak out of the Kommando. These were collected in Block 25, and from there they went to the gas chamber. Jonas said she recognised Borman, who had several times been present on selections from the " Union " Kommando. She had seen Borman pointing out to Dr. Mengele certain prisoners, saying : " This one looks quite weak."

10. Dora Szafran

This witness, a Jewess from Poland, stated that she was arrested and was sent to Auschwitz on 25th June, 1943. She said that Kramer, Dr. Klein and Hoessler took part in selections for the gas chamber at which she was present. Whenever Kramer attended a doctor was always present. On one occasion  (Footnote: According to the witness, in April, 1943. See p. 82.) when coming back from a working Kommando at Auschwitz, one of the workers had a swollen leg and could not keep up with the others. Borman then set her dog on her (the witness thought it was an Alsatian dog), and encouraged it first to tear the woman’s clothes then to go for her throat. Afterwards Borman was very proud of what she had done ; a stretcher was brought and the woman was taken away. Borman was present at selections many times even with her dog.

The witness had seen both Grese and Kramer beating internees. Grese was one of the few S.S. women allowed to carry a gun. In Camp " A " in Block 9, two girls were selected for the gas chamber ; they jumped from the window, and when they were lying on the ground Grese shot them twice. The witness claimed to have known Starotska as Camp Senior at Auschwitz. She had carried out selections on her own initiative and authority. Anyone wearing armlets could take part in the selections. Usually this power was given to the Block Seniors, Camp Seniors and Kapos.

Kopper worked in the same Kommando as the witness at Auschwitz, which was " one of the worst Kommandos," because they had to make " munition instruments " out of asphalt. The accused worked in many different Kommandos in order to be able to inform the authorities of the behaviour of the prisoners. The witness knew this because after she left Szafran’s Kommando several of its members found themselves in penal Kommandos.

The witness said that she was transferred to Belsen on 18th January, 1945. Here Grese had beaten a girl very severely. Szafran said that Francioh was in charge of her kitchen, and that on the day the British arrived, she saw him

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fire with a pistol from kitchen No. 3 through the window at a number of women, killing several. Giving evidence of the conditions in Belsen the witness said that the supply of food to the prisoners depended very largely on the efforts of the " senior of the block ".

11. Helen Hummermasch

This witness, a Polish Jewess, was sent to Auschwitz as a prisoner in 1944. Here, she saw Kramer taking part in one selection and Klein in several ; the former took an active part, loading the victims into vehicles, and beating them if they cried because they knew what was awaiting them. Hammermasch also said that she once saw Kramer kicking a Russian who fell to the ground and stayed there so long that she concluded that he was dead. The witness heard that at Auschwitz Hoessler ordered six girls to be hanged ; she actually saw four being hanged. Of Grese, she said : " I did not personally see her do anything, I heard she beat up people."

At about the middle of January, she was transferred to Belsen. The witness stated that she saw Volkenrath and Kramer beating or kicking prisoners in that camp. Of Lobauer she knew nothing except that she selected people for work.

12. Ilona Stein

Ilona Stein, a Jewess from Hungary, said that she was arrested on 8th June, 1944, and sent to Auschwitz. On 1st January, 1945, she was transferred to Belsen.

At Auschwitz, Kramer, Grese and Mengele took part in selections : from the more experienced inmates she had learnt that the younger ones were taken to labour camps to work and the others to the crematorium. On one occasion some of the prisoners tried to hide. They were pointed out to the guard by Grese and they were shot. On another occasion a mother was talking to her daughter in another compound. Unfortunately Grese saw her. She came on a cycle before the mother could get away and the mother was beaten severely and kicked by Grese. The witness had seen this accused often beating people in Auschwitz with a riding-whip. In an affidavit Stein said : " At a selection a Hungarian woman tried to escape and join her daughter. Grese noticed this and ordered one of the S.S. guards to shoot the woman. I did not hear the order but I saw Grese speak to the guard and he shot at once."

Lobauer was a supervisor at Auschwitz. If the prisoners did not march properly or did not stand still on roll-calls she beat them. She beat them at every opportunity with a stick. Borman also beat people frequently at Auschwitz.

In Belsen, if Grese was taking roll-call and the count was not right, she made the prisoners stand for hours without food, even if it was cold, raining, or snowing. Even dying patients had to be brought out on these occasions. Ida Forster worked in No. 2 kitchen, the witness believed, and she remembered the accused rushing out and hitting with a rubber tube a prisoner who was looking for scraps ; the victim had to be carried away. This was the accused’s usual practice when prisoners approached the kitchen for remnants. Irene Haschke used to spill prisoners’ soup and beat them..

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Stein remembered Francioh at Belsen, in No. 2 kitchen she thought. Before the British came he went round with his gun and the witness saw him shooting people. A few days before the British came a friend and herself went towards the kitchen carrying an empty container. The accused came out of the kitchen and started shooting. Stein " did not look very much," but ran away. A few minutes later her friend was brought dead to her block. The accused was the only one who could have shot her On another occasion she saw two other girls shot by the accused and taken away. Haschke worked in Belsen in No. 2 kitchen, and took part in beatings. Starotska beat prisoners in both camps ; the witness had herself been thrashed by her for being out of line in a bath parade.

13. Abraham Glinowieski

Glinowieski, a Jew from Poland, said that he had been arrested and sent to Auschwitz in 1942. He left the camp in October or November, 1944, and arrived eventually at Belsen, where he stayed two and a half months before the Allies liberated the camp.

The witness said that in Auschwitz in the autumn of 1943, Kramer found him in possession of a little bread and margarine and a pair of boots, and that he received 25 blows as a consequence. The witness continued by saying that his brother, on another occasion, was taking some cigarettes to a woman in the women’s block, where he was not permitted to go, when Weingartner appeared and slapped and searched the brother, finding 240 cigarettes, some roubles and a signet ring. This all took place in the Block Leader’s room and Glinowieski’s brother received 75 strokes. When his brother left the room he was kicked out by Weingartner and could hardly stand. The brother was taken to hospital. The witness did not see his brother die, but he was told that he had died.

Grese was the camp leader at Camp C and when a transport from Hungary arrived she sent hundreds of sick and healthy people to the gas chambers. The witness saw her every day because he was working near by. She used to come for inspections at the various blocks and she would beat people with a stick. She also had a pistol with her. Lobauer was at Auschwitz as Lager-kapo and assisted in taking people to the crematorium. Starotska was Camp Senior at Birkenau. She beat internees on parade.

The witness then spoke of a Camp Senior at Belsen who was known as Erich. His behaviour was very bad. Glinowieski claimed that while his friend and he were queuing for soup, the accused beat the latter terribly with his fist and then with a stick and, when he fell down, kicked him three times between the legs. The victim was in hospital for two or three weeks and then two or three days before the liberation the man died. (Footnote: See p. 140 regarding the objection raised by the Defence at this point that the accused was not identified by the witness. See however p. 18 for a later revelation by Lt.-Col. Champion..)

14. Hanka Rozenwayg

This witness, a Polish Jewess, said that she was arrested and was eventually

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sent to Auschwitz in the summer of 1943. She went to Belsen about half a year before the British liberated the camp.

Rozenwayg said that Kramer supervised selections and that Hoessler made selections for the gas chamber. The witness was present at one of these selections when the latter helped the doctors. Anyone he disliked was put in Block 25 and then went to the gas chamber. The witness had also seen Starotska taking part in selections. She took down the numbers of those who were afterwards sent to Block 25. Borman always went about with a big dog treating prisoners very badly, and all prisoners were afraid of her. Rozenwayg remembered an occasion when someone lit a fire in her quarters and Borman arrived and struck the girls present, including the witness, over their faces with her hands. On another occasion when the witness was part of a Kommando and failed to please Lothe with her work, the latter complained to Grese, who set a dog on the witness which tore her clothing and made marks on her body which were still there. Lothe beat a Polish girl, knocked her to the ground, and then went on kicking her. The witness herself had also been beaten by Lothe more than once.

About fourteen days before the liberation a woman went to get water from a water cistern at Belsen, and Haschke pushed the woman into the water. The woman was drowned. The witness did not know where Haschke worked but she saw her in the vicinity of cookhouse 1 at Belsen in Camp 2.

15. Lidia Sunschein

Lidia Sunschein, a Polish Jewess, said that she was arrested and sent to Auschwitz in March, 1943. She was transferred to Belsen in January, 1945.

This witness testified that she saw Kramer take part in selections with Dr. Klein, Hoessler, and others ; in July, 1944, Kramer had her family sent to the gas chamber. At Belsen, Kramer made some Russian girls kneel in the rain and deprived them of food for 24 hours because they had been stealing bread ; several died as a result.

In December, 1944, at Auschwitz, Weingartner was the leader of a Kommando called Vistula, in which there were 1,000 girls who were regulating the river by carrying sand. The witness was a supervisor of the work and, as she did not ill-treat the prisoners, she was made, as a punishment, to work in water which reached up to her knees. Weingartner told her to treat people badly and to chase them to make them work as quickly as possible. This accused beat internees and deprived them of their extra food if he was not satisfied with their work. They had to go some seven or eight kilometres from the camp to where they worked by a bad road up a steep hill. Dogs were set upon them to chase them up the hill ; Weingartner was in command of the guards who were in charge of the dogs. When 1,000 volunteers appeared for work in a kitchen at Belsen, Weingartner and another man tried to make the crowd line up. They beat many women with sticks as they could not secure order. Weingartner shot into the air. The witness had said to the accused in German that she wanted to leave the Kommando as she did not want to die after so much suffering. Weingartner caught her and gave her 15 blows with a rubber truncheon on her head, so that she.

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fainted. The accused forced her to work, and as a result she went to bed for ten days. In general, he was very cruel to internees at Belsen.

Hoessler was present at various selections ; and once he chose people, including great numbers of young women, for the gas chambers on his own initiative, because he found some pyjamas outside a block. The witness was present at this selection. Hoessler was in charge of the Kommando " Union," and six girls including the witness who were engaged in destroying one of the crematoria were found in possession of some wire-cutters. She had heard that four of the other five girls were punished for this by hanging. She had moved to Belsen in the meantime.

The witness knew Volkenrath at Auschwitz, where the latter was in the bread store and the parcel department. The witness saw Volkenrath beating people in her store whom she suspected of stealing. Starotska was a Camp Senior at Auschwitz, but Sunschein knew nothing else about her.

Sunschein said that once at Auschwitz, when passing from Camp A to Camp B, she spent a period in Block 25.

Ehlert beat people at Belsen, for instance for not tying their shoe laces properly, but mainly with her hands. She beat the witness with her hand several times. At Belsen, Grese was the Arbeitsdienstführerin. She behaved very badly, and on one occasion on coming back from work a girl lost a piece of rag from her pocket and the whole Kommando, as a punishment, had to run up and down, kneeling and rising, for half an hour, Sunschein stated that she did not know Mathes and that he did not work in No. 2 cookhouse at Belsen while she was there. Ida Forster was an Overseer at Belsen and led a Kommando. Sauer was in the witness’s cookhouse, No. 2, at Belsen. She used to beat girls and pull their hair. Just before the British came she found a girl with a turnip in her hand and gave her a terrible beating. Hempel also worked in cookhouse No. 2. She was worse than Sauer. She beat people with a rubber truncheon and once, when girls were found outside the kitchen with remnants of turnips in their hands, Hempel took them into her room and beat them until blood came. To the cook-house personnel she was very cruel, beating them at times for no reason at all. Kopper was considered to be an informer in the camp at Belsen. In Auschwitz she was in the punishment Kommando. Francioh worked in Sunschein’s cookhouse for a short while, about two months before the arrival of the British, and beat the personnel terribly.

16. Lt.-Cal. S. G. Champion

This witness stated that he took over from Major Smallwood (Footnote: see p. 39.) the task of collecting evidence at Belsen. The team at his service consisted of one commissioned police officer and five non-commissioned officers. Very soon after they arrived they received further photographs of suspected people. The police were instructed to take the photographs round the various parts of the camp and to ask whether anybody could identify any of the people in the photographs and if so what they knew about him or her. In addition, a large number of people called at his office and were asked the same question. His instructions to the police officers were to take a note of anything that was

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said either in favour of or against the accused. Some photographs were included of people who the witness had no reason to think came from Belsen. These were in the nature of dummy photographs. His team collected evidence and drew up affidavits to be sworn by the witnesses in front of Lt.-Col. Champion. As far as possible he cross-examined witnesses to test credibility. One of the dfficulties they had was to make the witnesses understand the difference between direct evidence and hearsay ; but they did succeed in doing that and the witnesses were very fair when they understood the difference.

The witness Glinowieski, said Lt.-Col. Champion, had, in the process of making an affidavit before him, identified Zoddel by photograph as being the Camp Senior named Erich whom he accused.

The Judge Advocate, during the examination of Lt.-Col. Champion, said that he had noticed, especially in the case of Jewish witnesses, that the dates and sometimes the years differed between what they had apparently said in their affidavits and what they were saying in Court. He asked Lt.-Col. Champion whether he knew whether Jews had a different calendar. Lt.-Col. Champion replied that this frightful suggestion had not occurred to him. He added : " I am afraid if they were using a different calendar I had not thought about it. If they produced a month like May, I would believe that they meant the same May as we talk about." The witness said that he did not think the Jews did use a different calendar, but he did feel that the dates in the affidavits were very unreliable.

17. Sgt. Dinsdale and Sgt. Higgs

These two witnesses, previously members of No. 1 War Crimes Investigation Unit, provided further information regarding the preparation of affidavits. (Footnote: Their remarks were referred to by Captain Phillips in his closing address, see p. 96.)

18. Dr. Fritz Leo

Dr. Leo, a German national, stated that he was sent to Belsen as a prisoner on 7th February, 1945, and there worked as a doctor. There were only crude facilities for minor operations, and for serious conditions like appendicitis or severe bullet wounds nothing could be done. Typhus was rampant in the men’s compound No. 1 early in January and it spread to No. 2 early in February. The S.S. administration, having visited the camp and well knowing the conditions there, sent in many new transports of prisoners every week. Asked to describe the condition of his block, the witness said : " One day a bigger transport of 2,000 people came from the southern part of Germany. Already during the journey 400 of them died and the others were so weak that they had to be helped at every step."

The witness gave evidence of the killing of the Englishman Keith Meyer mentioned in the Belsen charge. While suffering from typhus he was taken from hospital to the room of a Block Leader Stuber and shot.

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19. Estera Guterman

A Jewess from Poland, this witness stated that, after a period in Auschwitz, she was sent to Belsen in July, 1944. She said that Kopper was Block Senior or assistant Block Senior in three blocks at different times. She beat internees. Once the witness moved at a roll-call, and Kopper beat her across the head severely with a belt and made her kneel down. The weather was very wet and it snowed, An Overseer was passing and when she suggested that the witness should stand up, Kopper said : " I am sorry, but I am responsible here and she must kneel as I have told her to do." Another internee named Fischer died of a high fever three weeks after Kopper made her kneel for an hour during roll-call in the rain. The witness also remembered a sick Polish woman suffering from swollen legs. She asked to be allowed to stay in bed but Kopper started to beat her and compelled her to go on parade. She fainted on the parade and was taken to hospital ; after three days she died. Guterman had also seen Kopper beat other people who had come from other blocks to visit internees.

20. Paula Synger

Paula Synger, a Jewess from Poland, claimed to have been sent to Auschwitz on 3rd July, 1944, and to have been transferred to Belsen on 3rd November. She said that Kopper, as Block Senior at Belsen, beat internees with a leather belt, or anything else available. There was an old woman from Leipzig, suffering from heart disease, whom the witness tried to persuade the accused to excuse from parade ; the accused started to beat the old woman and made her attend the parade. On the parade she fainted. Kopper would not let Synger take her into the block. The witness and others took out a chair for her and after parade took her to hospital, where she died. The weather was very cold and it was raining. There was a regulation in the camp that sick people were not allowed to attend roll-calls every day, but Kopper was very unjust in this respect, because instead of allowing sick people to stay behind she compelled them to attend the parades and left in the block people whom she wanted to favour.

21. Rachla Koppel

This witness, a Polish Jewess, stated that she was sent as a prisoner to Auschwitz in 1944, and after two weeks transferred to Belsen where she stayed a year. She said that conditions at Belsen deteriorated when Kramer came ; the prisoners had to parade bare-footed and were starved. There was no beating until Kramer came. Once the witness missed her supper through going to the hospital for treatment. When she came back she went to Kopper the Block Senior and said that she had not had her supper. Kopper got out of bed and started beating her terribly on the head, so that she fainted. Kopper behaved to others in the block very badly. Once on a parade, when a woman asked to be excused for a minute, Kopper started beating her with a stick and the woman died.

Foreword  Part I  Part II  Part III  Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII Part VIII  Part IX Part X  Part XI Part XII

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