Source: Law-Reports of Trials of War Criminals, The United Nations War Crimes Commission, Volume II, London, HMSO, 1947
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THE BELSEN TRIAL
BRITISH MILITARY COURT, LUNEBURG,
This accused denied that she was ever present at any gas selections. She agreed that she had a dog at Auschwitz, but she never made this dog attack internees. Another Overseer named Kuck was very like her, and also had a dog. In any event, she was not at Birkenau until the 15th May, 1943. The allegations of Wolgruch, Szafran, Vera Fischer, Kalderon, Rozenwayg, Keliszek, Silberberg, Kopper and Stein were all untrue. (Footnote: See pp. 13, 14, 16, 22, 26, 28, 33, and 67) Replying to them she stated that she never went with Kommandos outside the camp but always worked inside, and that in the summer of 1944, she was not in
Birkenau, which she left at the end of the previous December. She would have been severely punished had she set her dog on prisoners and the beating of prisoners by an Overseer was strictly forbidden.
After being at Birkenau from 15th May to the end of December, 1943, she came to Belsen in the middle of February, 1945, and was engaged in looking after a pigsty. At Belsen she did not come in contact with prisoners beyond her own party of prisoners. The evidence of Dr. Makar regarding her conduct there (Footnote 1: See p. 30) was untrue. When prisoners disobeyed orders she boxed their ears or slapped their faces but never violently.
This accused stated that she arrived at Auschwitz No. 1 in March, 1942, and was transferred to Birkenau in December, 1942, where she worked in the parcel office and bread store till September, 1944. From then till 18th January, she was in charge of a working party in Auschwitz No. 1.
Volkenrath denied having herself made selections. She attended selections during August, 1942 ; she had to be present as she was in charge of the womens camp, but she had merely to see that the prisoners kept quiet and orderly and did not run about. Her answer to the allegations of beatings made against her was that she only slapped faces.
Diaments story (Footnote 2: See p. 25) was untrue ; Volkenrath had seen lorries on the road, but whether they went to the gas chamber she did not know. Nor was Vera Fischers allegation (Footnote 3: See p. 26.) true. Volkenrath claimed that she was ill in hospital in August, 1942. She also denied the truth of the accusations made by Kaufmann, Siwidowa, Trieger and Kopper.(Footnote 4: See pp. 28, 34, 35 and 37.)
She arrived at Belsen on the 5th February, 1945. She had only been there a few days when she went to hospital, returning to work on the 23rd March, 1945. At Belsen she was Oberaufseherin and had to detail the Overseers to their various duties. Here again she never did more than slap prisoners faces. Her explanation of the events referred to by Hammermasch (Footnote 5: See p. 14.) was that a prisoner was brought back from an attempt to escape and was beaten by Kramer. She was present but did not beat the girl. She knew nothing of the beating referred to by Herkovitz. (Footnote 6: See p. 27.) Neigers story (Footnote 7: See p. 31.) was untrue, as were those of Singer and Miriam Weiss.(Footnote 8: See pp. 33 and 36.) After the 15th April, 1945, when the British took over, it was ordered that entry into Belsen camp was forbidden and she never went there. In connection with Stoppelmans accusation (Footnote 9: Seep. 34) she said that she only took the food away when the prisoners had too much. She did not remember taking away any cigarettes. The punishment referred to by Stoppelman was known as " making sport ". Prisoners had to exercise as a punishment for wrong-doing, for instance the possession of something forbidden. The sport lasted only a short time, and she had not seen any sport in Belsen.
The accused remembered Kopper at Auschwitz in the punishment Kommando. She knew Grese, who, at Auschwitz and Belsen, served under her. She never saw Grese with a dog. Starotska was a Camp Senior at both camps.
Ilse and Ida Forster worked in kitchens at Belsen, as did also Frieda Walter. Klara Opitz was in Belsen for only two days. Fiest went to see Volkenrath and the doctor more than once about the overcrowding in the womens compound, to try to secure an improvement, and about medical stores and cleaning material. Sauer worked with Fiest in compound 2. Lisiewitz had been ill for a considerable time during the period that Volkenrath was at Belsen. Hahnel arrived in the first days of April, 1945, possibly the 5th or 6th. She was never in charge of the bath-house. Bothe was in charge of the distribution of wood. Volkenrath said that womens working parties were always taken from womens compound No. 1 at Belsen and not from No. 2.
This witness, an ex-internee of Auschwitz, said that it was quite easy to tell when a selection was for the gas chamber, because only Jews were paraded. Everybody knew that Block 25 was kept specially for people who were going to the crematorium. She had never seen any Overseers in Block 25. As far as she knew Hoessler did not attend selections, and the accused saved several people from the gas chamber.
This accused said that she was called up on the 15th November, 1939, joined the S.S., and went to Ravensbruck. She was sent from Ravensbruck to Lublin as a punishment because she was too kind to the internees. She went to Auschwitz in November, 1944, for a short period and finally arrived at Belsen at the beginning of February, 1945. She later became assistant to Gollasch who deputised for Volkenrath when the last mentioned was away.
The conditions at Belsen when she arrived were the worst she had ever seen and deteriorated further. She went to the Kommandant several times in an attempt to improve matters. She paraded the Block Seniors and they said that there had been no fat in the food for several days. She went to the kitchen and talked to the Overseers in charge and they said that they had had no fat from the stores. She then saw Unterscharführer Muller, the storekeeper, who said that all the wagons were shattered by bombing and that he could not do anything about it. She happened to meet Kramer and told him that the prisoners could not keep alive on vegetable soup. He gave an order for potatoes to be mashed and put in the soup so that the prisoners would feel that they had something in their stomachs. In March she saw Dr. Horstmann about sanitation and he said he had no disinfectants to put into the latrines. Kramer said : " Let them die ; we cannot do anything about it ; my hands are bound ". She asked Kramer to require fewer roll-calls, and he said that there should only be two roll-calls per week. She gave food to the women and small children and she helped the prisoners.
She was not cruel to prisoners. She admitted that she slapped prisoners faces but only when there was a serious need for it. To cut up blankets to make clothes was not allowed, and if she caught Sunschein or Klein doing that sort of thing she would of course slap their faces. (Footnote 1: See pp. 17 and 20) She denied being
implicated in the beating of the escaped Russian girl alleged by Hammermasch. She never beat Herkovitz but simply reported her to the political department for having jewellery.
She said that Frieda Walter worked in a kitchen at Belsen and that she had never seen her beating anyone. There was an Overseer called " Orlt " at Belsen who bore some resemblence to Sauer. Ehlert remembered Ida Friedman at Belsen as being a Jewess from France who had told her fortune on the Saturday before the British arrived. Kopper was a spy for the Gestapo, and well known for her untruthfulness. She was assaulted by her fellow prisoners because of the suffering she caused them. Bothe was in charge of the distribution of wood and had nothing to do with the vegetable Kommando.
Jutta and Inga Madlung, two sisters, came forward on their own initiative to give evidence on behalf of Ehlert, and dealt with the time when she was in the concentration camp at Ravensbruck. Jutta Madlung said that the accused was very good to them as prisoners, and did not harm them or beat them. She gave Jutta Madlung bread for her sister who was ill, and apples. She never saw her ill-treat anyone. She was also very nice to the Russians. The sister in substance corroborated what Jutta Madlung said.
This accused said that she went to Auschwitz in March, 1943, and remained there until 18th January, 1945. At first she did telephone duties in the Block Leaders room. Then she was put in charge of the Strafkommando (Punishment Party) for two days. After this she worked on another Kommando and later censored mail. Then she became an Overseer in lager C. She only carried a revolver because she was ordered to do so. She never struck anyone so as to cause bleeding or unconsciousness, nor did she kick any prisoners on the ground, or shoot at prisoners. She never took part in selections at Auschwitz, but agreed that selections were made. Szafrans allegations were untrue.(Footnote 1: See p. 13.) Jews were nearly always paraded naked for the gas selection. Her duty at these parades was to keep order, and she admitted that she beat prisoners for running away. She did not know at the time the purpose of the parades. She did not remember the events described She admitted that she beat people in Lager C with a whip made by Stein. (Footnote 2: See p. 14.) of cellophane and with a stick, and that even carrying whips was against Kramers orders. She gave Overseers under her orders to beat prisoners in order to keep discipline and to prevent stealing in the camp of which she was in charge, but she was not authorised to do this. When prisoners tried to evade parades she thrashed them.
Her answer to Rozenwaygs story (Footnote 3: See pI 16.) was that she had never been with Lothe on an outside working party, and she never had a dog. Ilse Lothe did not work under her as a kapo. Grese denied the truth of the stories told by Watinik, Diament, Kopper, Lobowitz and Trieger, (Footnote 4: See pp. 25,29,35 and 37) and thought that Dunklemanns account (Footnote 5: Seep, 26) of an alleged beating was, if true at all,
grossly exaggerated. She denied that she made prisoners hold their hands up above their heads with stones in them. She said that the deponent Catherine Neiger (Footnote 1: See p. 31) was never in her camp.
She came to Belsen in March, 1945. Transports were arriving almost daily, the camp was overcrowded and the prisoners were dirty and ill. Roll-calls were held twice a week. She took over the duty of Arbeitsdienstfüherin and went into the woods with working parties, and performed various other duties. She did not beat anyone in Belsen except a kapo who did not work but lay in the sun. She never had any kind of weapon at Belsen, and only struck with her hand. Regarding Sunscheins and Kleins allegation, (Footnote 2: See pp. 17 and 20.) she said that she once saw two parcels which contained meat being thrown away by someone in a group of prisoners. She asked who had done this, and as they would not answer she said that they must make sport until they did. The prisoners made sport for half an hour and then she was told who had thrown the parcels away. She did not report this incident as she thought that the prisoners had been sufficiently punished. Frieda Walter and Irene Haschke, said Grese, worked in No. 3 kitchen at Belsen.
This accused said that she went as a prisoner to Auschwitz No. 1 in March, 1942, and that in June, 1943, she went to Birkenau. She was appointed a kapo in February, 1944 ; she was not consulted on the matter, and merely had to take the job or be punished by receiving 25 strokes. In December, 1944, the Kommandant put her into a punishment Kommando, the Vistula Kommando, and she ceased to be a kapo. In January, 1945, she was sent to Ravensbruck and on March 4th or 5th she came to Belsen. At Belsen she was ill for about three weeks, and then she became a kapo in the vegetable Kommando ; she was given this job by Volkenrath. Neither at Auschwitz nor at Belsen did she carry a weapon or stick, beat a prisoner with a stick, knock one down or kick one while on the ground. While a selection was taking place all kapos were put in one block and forbidden to leave. Kapos jwere punished more often than other prisoners and received no extra food. Lothe had herself received severe punishment from the S.S.
She did not recognise Rozenwayg ; (Footnote 3: See. p. 16.) she was never in her Kommando. Lothe denied ever having worked in the same Kommando as Grese. Rozenwaygs account was untrue as was also that of Gryka.(Footnote 4: See p. 23.) Nor did she remember the incident referred to by Watinik. (Footnote 5: See. p 36) She was not a kapo in the I summer of 1943.
On the Vistula Kommando, of which Weingartner was in charge, a halt was made at the top of the hill to allow stragglers to catch up ; the dogs were intended to prevent escapes. Stragglers might have been slapped but not beaten. Those who did not work hard were beaten.
Lisiewitz worked on a vegetable Kommando on the first day of Easter at Belsen, but she went off at noon because she became ill. She did not carry a stick on that occasion. Lothe testified that she knew Ida Friedman, whom she believed to be a Polish Jewess. Ten days after the arrival of the British,
Friedman was in hospital ; the accused thought she had typhus. Roth was in hut 199, but as room orderly not night guard.
This accused said that she went to Auschwitz No. 1 as a prisoner in March, 1942, and after four weeks to Birkenau, where she stayed till February, 1945. She was a kapo for four weeks around Christmas, 1942, and lost this position. because she was not severe enough to the prisoners. She became a member of the Arbeitsdienst at about the end of 1943. She did not ask for the post ; she did not want it, but she could not refuse it. She had no duties in regard to roll-calls in the Arbeitsdienst but was concerned with the working parties going in and out of the camp. When the parties working outside had left she had to see that the working parties remaining inside did their work and that the camp was tidy and clean. She had 25 to 30 kapos under her command. In March, 1945, after a period at Ravensbruck, she went to Belsen with Lothe. Here after being sick for a time she again became a member of the Arbeitsdienst.
At Auschwitz she carried a wooden stick, but she did not carry this stick after she left Auschwitz. She denied that she ever carried a rubber truncheon since it was forbidden to do so, and she never used a whip. She agreed that she did strike the prisoners with the stick, but never so as to draw blood. She had never beaten a person for no reason, and she had never so beaten a prisoner that she was left in a dying condition. She would not have dared to do the latter ; as a prisoner she would have been reported and punished. Nor had she ever beaten anybody into helplessness or kicked a prisoner on the ground. She herself had been punished by the authorities for not working sufficiently hard. Being a prisoner she had nothing to do with gas parades, although she took the numbers of those selected for working parties. Quite different orders were issued when a selection for the gas chamber was intended, and prisoner officials were not allowed to attend.
She characterised the stories told by Jasinska, Trieger, Triszinska and Herbst (Footnote 1: See pp. 27, 28 and 35.) as untrue. Regarding the last accusation, the accused said that the kapo Krause, who was said to be dead, was alive and that in August, 1942, the accused was in hospital with typhus. The ditch mentioned was not so deep that anyone could be drowned in it ; it was intended to prevent people reaching the barbed wire which was electrified.
Ehlert was in charge of the convoy with which she (Lobauer) and Lothe arrived at Belsen. Miriam Weisss story (Footnote 2: See p. 36) might possibly be true ; on the March inspection everyone was ordered to remain in the blocks. In reply to Borensteins allegation (Footnote 3: See p. 24) she agreed that she took away blankets from women who put them round their feet, but they did not have to go bare-footed as they still had their shoes on.
Josef Klippel, a Yugoslav of German descent, said that he arrived at the Bergen-Belsen Wehrmacht barracks at. about 5 oclock on the 11th April,
1945, as a member of the S.S. He was told on the 13th April, by Hoessler, to take charge of kitchen No. 24. He carried on with his duties there until the 16th April, when he was arrested by the British at 9 oclock at night. Up to this time he had never been in Belsen concentration camp itself, and the first time he saw Kramer was in Celle prison. There were no woman prisoners in his kitchen. He had never beaten a woman with a rubber stick, or killed a woman.
Klippel said that he knew Kraft in Mittelbau camp, and that the latter was there until January, 1945, and arrived at Belsen a few hours before Klippel. Klippel slept in the same room as Kraft in the Wehrmacht barracks until the 16th April. Klippel said that he saw Calesson in the barracks at Bergen-Belsen. Klippel claimed to have been in the Kommando B.12 at Dora, but he could not remember Ostrowski being there.
The accused saw Schmitz in March, 1945, in the clothing store in Mittelbau, dressed as a prisoner. He saw Schmitz next on the 17th April, when a British guard brought him into a room wearing only a pair of pants. To Klippel, who was also in the room, Schmitz explained that he had had a fight and had escaped to the area occupied by the British guards. Schmitz was never a member of the S.S.
This witness, a member of the S.S., said that he had seen Klippel as late as 5th April, at Mittelbau Camp.
This witness, an ex-employee at Mittelbau, stated that she knew Klippel as having worked in the camp at Mittelbau, and that she saw him regularly there between January, 1945, and the 5th April, 1945. She last saw him on the 7th April at Tettenborn station.
Kltscho, an ex-Rottenführer in the S.S., said that he arrived with Klippel at Bergen-Belsen from Mittelbau on 9th, 10th or 1lth of April. He said that he slept in the same room as Kraft and Klippel in the Wehrmacht barracks until the 16th April.
Also a member of the S.S., this witness said that he saw Klippel at Mittelbau regularly until 5th April. Hermann also said that Kraft was at Buchenwald between July and September, 1943, and then went to Mittelbau.
Schmitz, a German, born in Cologne, stated that he was arrested and was eventually sent to Bergen-Belsen, arriving at No. 2 camp in the Wehrmacht barracks on the morning of the 10th April, 1945. Here, he claimed, he was made a Camp Senior by the prisoners. He went to Hoessler and insisted that something must be done about food ; as a result, food was preparered.
All during this time he was wearing the striped clothing of a prisoner and he had no arms. After being in charge of 28 prisoners, he then became Camp Senior over 1,500 and between the 12th and the 15th April, 1945, he was engaged in supervising the segregation of these prisoners into different nationalities and advising Hoessler on this matter. On the 17th April, after the British arrived, he was attacked by a band of internees, who made him get undressed until he wore only his underpants and socks. He escaped to the protection of the British guards, found an S.S. uniform, and put it on, finding that it was a reasonable fit. Then he tried to explain the position to the guards, but they did not understand German. In the same room were Klippel, Kraft, Kltscho and a certain Stephan. Because of the S.S. uniform the British guards detained him and he was treated as an S.S. man.
This accused said that he was drafted into the S.S. on the 17th April, 1940, coming from the Wehrmacht. He became a cook and went to Auschwitz. He came to Belsen between the 10th and 15th March, 1945. On about the 27th or 28th March, he was given a job in kitchen No. 2 in the womens compound. He worked for two days and was then arrested because he had been to visit his wife in Bergen without permission ; he was under arrest for two days, and then went to kitchen No. 3. Then he served a ten days sentence, being in prison from the 2nd April to the 12th April. He was sentenced to this punishment by Kramer. After this he went back to kitchen No. 3. He had to cook for about 16,300 people and tried to get more food from Unterscharführer Muller but could not. After the liberation, a Brigadier spoke with a kapo in charge of the prisoners, who said that the prisoners were satisfied with Francioh. Then the British officer told the accused to carry on, and he did so until he was arrested on the 17th or 18th April. When the British troops came in he was not in the camp : he was standing with his wife in front of Kramers office, and he then went to Bergen with her. They had prepared to go away with her luggage, and he could have escaped with her if he had wanted to. He was so fond of the prisoners, however, that he thought it was his duty to stay and look after them.
Francioh denied all the accusations made against him. He had a pistol but he did not carry it on duty. He carried it only off duty when he went to Bergen to see his wife. He did not know Dr. Bimko, and Szafran did not work in his kitchen. (Footnote: 1 See pp. 11-12 and 13.) He estimated the distance between his kitchen and Block No. 224 at 150 metres (Footnote 2: See p. 90.)
The accused stated that Frieda Walter worked in No. 3 kitchen and, like Irene Haschke, was an Overseer there. He did not recognise Sauer as an Overseer from kitchen No. 2 ; Hempel held that position but did not beat prisoners in the kitchen. Ida Forster was an Overseer in No. 3 kitchen, but not in his part. In kitchen No. 3 no S.S. woman had a rubber tube or beat prisoners. After the food had left the cookhouse and went to the blocks, its distribution was left to the internees.
This deponent said that he knew Schmitz. He never Saw him beat anyone,
but his friends told him that the accused often beat them. The deponent said that Francioh was always kind and never beat anyone.
This accused, a Slovak, said that he was a member of the S.S., at Auschwitz, was put under arrest in June, 1944, and went on 17th February, 1945, to Belsen. He denied the allegations made against him. He had seen both Block Seniors and S.S. beating prisoners at Auschwitz though not often. He believed that Francioh was released from prison two or three days before the 12th April, 1945.
Mathes said that he arrived at Belsen as a member of the German army, on the 22nd or 23rd November, 1944, and worked in the S.S. kitchen until the 10th or the 15th January, 1945. After this he was employed in the bath-house till the 15th April, 1945. On 1st February, his pay-book was withdrawn and he received a new pay-book from the S.S. and was given an S.S. uniform. He was never in the prisoners part of Belsen except once, about Christmas. He never worked in cookhouse No. 2 and consequently could not have committed the offences alleged by Cech, Grunwald and Lichtenstein. (Footnote: See pp. 25, 26 and 29)
Cech may have mistaken the accused for Henkel, chief of the kitchen, whom he resembled. He never shot or ill-treated prisoners.
Egersdorf was with him in the bath-house on occasions ; the former did not have anything to do with the bath-house, but only slept there and worked in the food store,
This witness came forward as a volunteer on behalf of Schmitz and said that, while on guard duty at Belsen after the liberation, he saw outside Headquarters a man, naked from the waist upwards, dressed only in under-pants, and being threatened by a crowd of internees. The man was put into a room along with S.S. prisoners for safety, but the witness had the impression that he was a prisoner himself. The man obtained German clothing from somewhere. The witness thought that the incident started in the mid-afternoon. He identified Schmitz as the man involved.
In a letter which was entered as evidence, Johanna Kurd said that she was employed in the S.S. kitchen at Belsen when Mathes was an Overseer there. He was at first a Wehrmacht man who cursed the Hitler regime, and later was made an S.S. man and spoke of this with disgust. He treated prisoners well and gave them extra food, and told Kurd the allied radio news.
This witness said that she was employed in kitchen No. 2 as an Overseer. The chief of that kitchen was Oberscharführer Heuskel. Mathes worked in the bath-house and she never saw him in kitchen No. 2.
Calesson said that he was forced to join the S.S., and was eventually sent to Bergen-Belsen, arriving on the 10th April, 1945. He said that he was not in charge of the train which brought him, but had a coach to himself because he had to look after some equipment. There were also about 124 S.S. men on the train, and he was not responsible for the security of the convoy. Zamoskis, Gutmans and Mullers allegations were untrue. (Fotnote: 1 See pp. 22, 26 and 31.) His answer to Raschiners allegation t (Footnote 2: See p. 32.) was that on the 2nd April he was not in Belsen but Nordhausen. He hit a prisoner on the backside with a broom for not cleaning out a room in Block 88 in the Wehrmacht barracks, but that was the only violence he ever perpetrated against any internee.
This accused said that he was conscripted into the S.S. on the 13th March, 1941, and went to Auschwitz No. 1, working in the cookhouse. He left Auschwitz on the 21st January, 1945, and arrived in Belsen on about the 7th or 8th April, 1945. Here he worked in a food store. There was a girl Dora employed in the store, who came from Salonika. He believed she was the girl who made the statement under the name of Dora Almaleh. (Footnote 3: See p. 23.) He dismissed her because she would not work, two days before the British arrived. He never shot or ill-treated any prisoner. If prisoners stole food he simply took it away from them.
He slept in the bath-house at Belsen, where Mathes was employed. He did not know when the latter ceased to be employed there, but he was there when the British arrived.
Originally a Dane, this accused claimed that he later became a Polish national and was conscripted on the 25th May, 1940, into the German army. On the 20th November, 1942, he was wounded and crippled in his left arm.
He arrived with Francioh at Bergen-Belsen on about the 10th March, 1945. He never wore S.S. uniform, and never knew whether he was accepted for the S.S. On the 27th March, 1945, he started work in kitchen No. 2 under Heuskel. After four days he took charge of cookhouse No. 1 and worked there until he was arrested on the 17th April, 1945. He was never in charge of a bath-house. He had an unloaded pistol at Belsen, but did not carry it in the kitchen. He used to carry it on his way to and from the kitchen but never used it. He was on good terms with all the internees working for him, and never had any need to beat prisoners. He denied the allegations of Halota. (Footnote 4: See p. 27.) He agreed that there were always turnips in front of kitchen No. 1, but he said that nothing was ever stolen from kitchen No. 1 because it was outside the compound. In answer to Litwinskas allegation, (Footnote 5: See p. 12.) he said that, all the S.S. men being called away to parade he locked up his kitchen, and that after the parade he did not go back to the kitchen but went to his own barrack room. The parade of S.S. men was on the 13th or 14th April, 1945.
Mathes was never in kitchen No. 1 at Belsen while Pichen was there. Ilse Forster was an Overseer in kitchen No. 1 for a few days. Lisiewitz was in the peeling department for a short period in No. 1 kitchen. Hahnel worked in kitchen No. 1, during the last week before the arrival of the British troops. Pichen did not know Opitz. Barsch was not in No. 1 kitchen during Pichens time ; nor did the latter think that Barsch was ever on the staff of any of the Belsen kitchens.
This accused stated that he joined the German Forces on the 15th October, 1940, and was then conscripted into the S.S. and sent to Auschwitz, where he remained until the 21st January, 1945. He came to Belsen on the 4th February, 1945. When he arrived he was told to start work as an electrician, and he started on the next day. He was never a Block Leader. He had never been near Block 213 which was closed to him ; he did once work in Block 209 with Dr. Horstmann, and on the 10th or 11th March he was in Blocks 195 to 203, on repair work. In Block 201 the Block Senior was called Aldona, and she was Polish. He never beat internees at Belsen. On April 6th, he did some work in the bath-house : Mathes was present.
This accused, a member of the S.S., said that he and Dorr left Klein Bodungen on the 5th April, 1945, with a convoy of internees, with Neuengamme as the probable ultimate destination. In the event it was forced to go to Belsen. Stofel was in charge and Dorr was second in command. There were 610 prisoners in good physical condition and 45 guards. At Salzgeitter, a roll-call revealed 5 prisoners missing. Later, at Gross Hehlen, on 10th April, the prisoners were put in a big barn at about 6 p.m. and ten minutes later a field officer told Stofel to leave at once, as the village was in the fighting area. The accused refused several times, and then an S.S. officer with 30 men was told to move the prisoners. The S.S. went to the barn and shooting started at once. Some prisoners had had some food, some had not. The S.S. took the prisoners away at the double. Everything was in confusion. Stofel later found the prisoners in a wood three or four kilometres from Gross Hehlen. When he reached them a Block Leader, Kunertz, reported that four or five prisoners had been shot partly because they tried to escape and partly because they could not keep up the pace. The shooting had been done by men of the field unit. His guards were not with the prisoners during the shooting ; they were in the village and only reached the convoy later on. The convoy arrived at Belsen on the 11th April at about 4 p.m. and a roll-call showed 590 prisoners present. Apart from the incident related there were no shootings by anyone during the journey. Grohmans story regarding Dorr was untrue. (Footnote: See p. 26.)
A Roumanian of German descent, this accused said that he was called up into the Luftwaffe on the 10th October, 1941, and that he had served in the
Luftwaffe at all material times. He was never anywhere near Auschwitz and was never at Belsen till after his capture by the Allies. He worked as a medical attendant in Block 29 and never in 22. He first saw Diament (Footnote 1: See p. 25.) when he was confronted with her in prison, but Diament took along with her a friend who was supposed to be able to identify him and could not. With regard to a photograph which he acknowledged as having been found on him when he was arrested, he said that when he was with his fiancée and a friend they exchanged uniforms and he was photographed in S.S. uniform. He stated that he was wearing in the box the uniform in which he was arrested and explained that the S.S. trousers he acquired from a wounded man on the way from Schwerin, where he surrendered, to prison. He acknowledged that a second photograph had been found in his wallet on capture ; this bore the likeness of a girl, and on the back was the inscription: " My dear Heinz, for permanent memory of a night in Soltau ". The accused stated that he met this girl in February or March, 1945, but maintained that he had never been in either Soltau or Belsen (which were very near to one another) and could not say why the former was mentioned on the photograph.
This witness, the mother of the accused, also claimed that he served in the Luftwaffe from his call-up onwards.
This accused said that, as assistant to Stofel, he helped to take a convoy of prisoners from Klein Bodungen on 5th April, 1940. The convoy consisted of 610 people. They arrived at Gross Hehlen at about 6 p.m. and were distributing the rations by a big barn when an officer from the field force arrived and spoke to Stofel. The officer said that this was a fighting area and that the convoy had to move. On Stofels refusing the prisoners were chased away by soldiers and there was some shooting into the air. Dorr heard further shooting from the direction in which the prisoners were chased. The latter were later collected together again. The next day, the 11th April, 1945, they went to Bergen. On arrival there were 590 in the column. The allegations of Grohmann, Linz and Poppner were untrue. (Footnote 2: See pp. 26, 29 and 32)