From legend.txdirect.net!hmazal Tue Jun 6 11:59:02 1995 Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 13:51:43 -0500 Message-Id: <9506061851.AA05753@legend> From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: calories The Belsen Trial, Pages 30-33: Second Day - Tuesday, 18th September, 1945 ---Brigadier Hugh Llewelyn Glyn Hughes, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., sworn, examined by Colonel Backhaus - I am Vice-Director of Medical Services, British Army of the Rhine, and in April of this year was Deputy Director of Medical Services, 2nd Army. Shortly before 15th April of this year, certain German officers came to the Headquarters of 8 Corps and asked for a truce in respect of Belsen Camp, which was arranged. On 15th April Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor took over the administration of the camp and I followed him there. Whe I arrived I found him interrogating Kommandant Kramer, and later on the same evening I saw the medical officer, Dr. Klein. I identify these accused. We made a preliminary survey of the camp straight away and on the next day a complete investigation. For the next two or three days I was engaged in organizing relief measures. [Note: Several paragraphs describing the apalling conditions of the camp are deleted in this exercise. HWM] ---Could you give details of the medical supplies? - There were quite large stocks in the store [Note: Within the camp. HWM] but one issue, I was told by the chief doctor there, was 300 aspirin tablets for 17,000 people for one week. I do not think that there were any larger quantities of disinfectant available, and no anti-louse powder was issued. I found a large number of Red Cross boxes sent by Jewish Associations for the Jews. I was told that no issue of the contents had been made except an occasional issue of sweets to the children. The boxes contained meat extracts and food of all kinds, bisquits, milk. There was some stealing of meat by the Hungarian soldiers while I was there. ---What was the food supply in the camp? - At the time of entry practically nil - at the most, one meal a day of watery stew made of vegetables. We now turn to pages 54-56, and continue with the evidence given by Major Berney: Fourth Day - Thursday, 20th September, 1945 ---Cross-examined by Major Winwood - Do you speak and understand German? - No ---How did you converse with the Wermacht Captain in the Wehrmacht store? Through and official Belgian interpreter. ---Was your first question to the Captain, "What camps do you supply from your food in the stores? - No. My first question was "Are you the officer in charge of the stores?" ---Was the phrase "Camp No. 1" first mentioned by you or the Wehrmacht Captain? - The phrase "Camp No. 1"was not mentioned because at the time I did not know it was called "Camp No. 1" We both referred to it as the concentration camp. In fact there were two concentration camps , ---Did the Wermacht Captain indicate which other units he supplied rations to? - Yes, the Hungarian regiments, their families AND THE WEHRMACHT TROOPS IN THE CAMP. (Emphasis mine- HWM) , ---Did he mention that German units as far away as Hanover were supplied by tthat store? - He said nothing about Hanover ---Did you get details of daily issues from this store? - No , ---Was the Captain also in charge of the bread store? - I do not know exactly, but I gather he was. I got no details of the daily issues of bread. ---Did you have any expert advice that was not available to the Germans with regard to the water supply? - We pumped the water from the river using the S.S. men. Later a R.E.M.E. Major arrived to get the water supply working. The water in the river was fit to drink." ---"Cross-examined by Major Munro - Does all your evidence refer to what is now known as Camp No. 1? - No. Some of my evidence refers to the German army rations store at the north of the camp, which was neither Camp No. 1 nor Camp No. 2. I gathered from the German Captain that both concentration camps were fed from his store." ---"Cross-examined by Captain Neave - Can you give us some idea of what German transport there was in running order in Camp No. 1? - I cannot remember any transport in running order except trailers. ---Did you find out how the rations got from the German food store to Camp No. 1? - No. (NOTE: This question is resolved in other testimony below - HWM). ---"Cross-examined by Captain Phillips - You told the court that various other units were being supplied from the ration point; have you any idea of the total number of rations that had been drawn? - No. I have no idea. ---Did you ask the captain in charge on what scale he was supplying the concentration camps? - No." ---"By the Judge Advocate - Were you questioning the Wehrmacht Hauptmnann to find out what stores were available the the British to be used for the benefit of the interneees, or were you questioning him to find out what stores had been available to Kramer when running the camp? - The former is correct. ---There was a sort of main store in the barrack area from which a number of different organizations had to be fed? - Yes that is correct. ---Was there any substantial number of mouths that had to be fed in the barrack area as distinct from what we have called No. 1 and No. 2 Concentration Camps? - The Hungarian and Wehrmacht troops, numbering in all about 3000. ---Did the Hungarian or Wehrmach troops get priority over the internees if there was not sufficient food for everybody? - I know nothing about that. ---Did you inquire from the Hauptmann whether Kramer could demand the rations he wanted, and if the Hauptmann would not give him them for the internees, could he over-ride the Hauptmann, or had he (Kramer) to take from the Hauptmann what the latter liked to give him? - My conversation with the Hauptmann did not touch on that subject. ---Did you get anything from the conversation, or did you form the impression when talking to this Hauptmann that Kramer indented for what he wanted or that the Hauptmann sent down such food as he did when and how he liked? - I cannot remember the exact words of the conversation, but the impression that I got was that HE HAD TO SEND DOWN A CERTAIN QUANTITY IN SOME SORT OF RATION SCALE. (Emphasis mine: HWM). From pages 145-183 (extracts referring principally to food): Nineteenth Day - Monday, 8th October 1945 --- The Judge Advocate advised the accused that, if they wished, they could take the oath and give evidence to the court, in which case they would be treated like any other witness. If they preferred not to give evidence on oath they could make a statement to the court, but that common sense would tell them that as this evidence could not be tested by cross-examination it would not carry so much weight. If they did not wish to give evidence on oath they were not obliged to, and in any event they would be allowed to call witnesses on their behalf. ---The interpreters asked each accused in turn whether he or she desired to give evidence on oath, and all answered in the affirmative. ... OPENING SPEECH FOR THE DEFENDANT KRAMER ---Major Winwood - .... (Long speech by the defending attorney Winwood deleted up to page 153) On 15th April Belsen was liberated. Kramer, as Kommandant, is right in being held responsible for the general administration of the camp, and he has no intention whatever of shifting that burden onto anyone else. One of the most important things when you are looking after internees is to feed them, and Kramer will teel you that when he arrived at Belsen he was told that food for the winter for 15,000 internees had been indented for; only a small part of that food had actually arrived on the spot, and he will tell you what his stores of food were during the period he was at Belsen. The authority for issuing food came from the local food people at Hamburg head office, and Celle which was a sub-district head office. At the beginning food was sent to him either by rail or by transport, and, when due to bombing, transport services were not running to normal, he himself had to send out his troops to collect the food. [Note: Thereby admitting that Kramer had the authority to collect food. HWM] He has said in his statement that he got some food from the Wehrmacht depot in Bergen-Belsen barracks, and we have had a glowing picture of the conditions in the food stores when the British took over: sacks of sugar, tinned milk, tinned meat, flour, and various other things. Kramer will tell you that at no time did he receive from that store any of these articles. The only thing he got from the barracks was bread from the bread store, and when he says he got food there, that was the food he got. He also got bread from a big bread factory in Hanover, but with the advance of the British and the accuracy of the R.A.F. bombing, that factory was put out of commission and bread from there finished. [Note: It might be important to pin down the date of the Hanover bombing that destroyed the bread factory. The inmates at the camp had to be deprived of food for an awfully long time to be in the condition that they were on the date of liberation. HWM]. He also got bread from a bread factory at Soltttau, near Belsen. In his letter of 1st March he says at that date he had potatoes for eight days and turnips for six days.” ... EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENDANT JOSEF KRAMER (page 156) ---Josef Kramer, sworn, examined by Major Winwood - I was born in Munich on 10th November, 1906, and Joined the National Socialist Party on 1st December, 1931 and the S.S. in January, 1932. [long questioning by his attorney Winwood follows. extract resumes on page 160. HWM] ... ---What was the situation with regard to the food in the camp? - When I came [December 1, 1944 - HWM] the food situation was quite all right because there were only about 15,000 prisoners. Later on, when new transports arrived, the food situation became more serious. Food came from Celle and Hanover, and I had to provide, partly, my own transport. A firm in Hamburg, with a small branch in Bergen, supplied part of the food and the [page 161] bread supply came from the Truppenübungsplatz in Bergen, but when my strength increased I was told by the authorities that I could only have 10,000 loaves of bread a week. During the winter months it was hardly possible to get any potatoes or vegetables, and although I had been getting bread from Celle and Hanover the air raids destroyed part of the bakeries and the road and rail system. It was when the air raids started that, for the first time, bread did not arrive at the camp. I got in touch with the bakery at Saltau and got a few thousand loaves per week, but with the increasing number of prisoners the bread supplies were certainly not sufficient. As my strength was between 30,000 and 40,000 prisoners I tried to get supplies from Hanover by sending out my whole transport of five vehicles day and night. On account of the cold weather these supplies were even more difficult to obtain and my administrative staff was told THAT THE TOWNS AND CITIES HAD TO BE PROVIDED FOR FIRST [emphasis mine: HWM]. At last I lost patience, and told them, through my administrative officials, that if I did not get any potatoes or vegetables sent, I would hold them responsible for any sort of catastrophe which might happen. On 20th January I was handed over a sort of P.O.W. camp which became, later on, the woman’s compound. I took over all the supplies which were there for the winter and these helped me just a bit to bridge over this very difficult period. ---What was the food situation at the end of March and the beginning of April? - The rations I was provided with would have been quite sufficient for healthy people for a few weeks [!!!:HWM], but for these sick people who came into my camp these rations were not sufficient. The supplies and stores in the Wehrmacht barracks were really for the Wehrmacht, and my supply system depended upon an entirely civilian basis. I was not entitled to apply to the Wehrmacht for reserves and they were not forced to give them to me. I had meat twice a week from Celle and I had no reason to ask the Wehrmach for it, and I obtained milk and potatoes, which I had the right to apply for, from the civilian authorities. I do not think that if I had gone to the Wehrmacht stores and asked for food at the beginning of April I would have got it. ---How were the internees fed who came into what we call No. 2 Camp? - They arrived in the last week before the British came and for these prisoners I had nothing at all, apart from two wagons of potatoes and six or eight wagons of turnips. Then the Platz Commandant gave orders that they were to be fed from the supplies of the Wehrmacht, but that later these rations were to be returned. (to page 173) ---Cross-examined by Colonel Backhouse - Do you believe in God? - Yes. ---You remember the oath which you took when you first went into the witness box. Do you realize that to lie after you have taken the oath is deliberate perjury? - Yes. [Cross examination continues until page 178 when the food question comes up again: HWM] ---Was the reason that you did not go to the General [Glücks ? - HWM] and tell him exactly what was happening because you were frightened to tell any decent person what was going on in your camp? - No. ---There was a bakery in the Wehrmacht barracks capable of making 60,000 loaves a day. Do you not think that the General or any other decent person would have helped you with food if you told them of the way in which these people were dying and shown them the living skeletons that were in the camp? - The General would not have helped me as the food that was in the stores could only be obtained by means of special indents and I could only get my food from the civilian adminsitration. He was not allowed to give me anything. ---Did you ever ask him? - No. The food that was stored there was only for the Wehrmacht and the only thing I received from him was 10,000 loaves a week. (page 179) ---Did you not get vegetables from the Wehrmacht stores? - No, but Camp No. 2 received some. ---Is it not the truth of the matter that you never tried in any way to help these people at all? - That is not true. I have written to several firms to get additional food. (page 182) --- [cross examination continues] By a Member of the Court - Can you tell us what was the normal system of rationing at concentration camps, apart altogether from any emergency that might have arisen in March and April? - I do not know the exact ration system, but it was approximately three-quarters of the amount civilians got. ---Did camp authorities put in indents for their requirements? - Yes, to the Wirtschaftsamt at Celle, from whom I got the ration cards. --- Were the camp authorities those responsible for making the ontracts for food supplies? - The firms with whom we had to deal were already giving through the Wirtschaftsamt, and there were firms who were delivering already in former times to the camp and carried on. EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENDANT FRITZ KLEIN (page 183) ---Fritz Klein, sworn, examined by Major Winwood. - I was born on 24th November, 1888, at Zeiden near Kronstadt in Rumania. ... [questioning continues. - page 185] What was the position with regard to medical supplies at this time? - At that time I was not doing that duty, but about three days before the British troops entered the camp [i.e. April 12: HWM] , and when I took over, I was surprised at the comparatively huge amount of supplies which were there. ... ---What was the first thing you did as senior and only doctor? - I called a meeting of all the internee doctors -- a large number, about 80 to 100 -- .. On the same day I took over from the stores a huge amount of tinned milk, meat, cake or biscuits and told the doctors that these should be distributed among the children, women and sick prisoners who really did require them. I also told the doctors [page 186] and orderlies that they should take a tin of each of these things between every two of themselves as they seemed also very much in need of nourishment. This distribution, however, was not much use and could not improve the situation very much. ... (page 187) --- Cross examined by Colonel Backhouse ... Where did you find this huge supply of medical stores? - There was a chemist's shop in the camp. Until I distributed the medical stores hospitals had been short of supplies. (page 188) ---By the Judge Advocate - Could you give the court any indication of the quantity of medical supplies you found shortly before the British came? - The least we had was dressing material. All the other things would have been sufficient for a period of five days to a week if we had distributed them very carefully. ---How many sick people were there requiring attention in the camp? - Three to four thousand. I speak only of those who were in need of medicine. ---Could you give us any idea of the quantity of stocks of milk, meat and biscuits? - These tins were packed and filled a room 4 metres in length, 5 metres in width and approximately 3 metres in height. ---Do you know whether they had come from Red Cross parcels? - I did not look myself, but I was told that all that amount came from the Red Cross. ... [From the "Closing Speech for the Prosecution," by Colonel Backhouse, pages 585 - 629] Fiftieth Day - Tuesday, 13th November 1945 (page 604) ...--- You have to consider also what attempt was made with regard to feeding. It looked as if Kramer was really saying that owing to the breakdown in supplies he did not get enough food for these people, but then Müller said that the prisoners got all they were entitled to apart from bread. You have heard what the people in the blocks and in the kitchens thought of that. Is it not quite obvious that these people were being starved, and if they were not being deliberately starved, at least there was not the slightest care as to whether they were starved or not? There was no attempt to torganize the feeding of the weak, and the food went to the strong. You have this extraordinary position that in this camp, which is alleged to have been for the sick, it was the strong who were given extra rations. If Zoddel is to be believed, he had no difficulty, and if short of rations he asked for more and got them. One after the other the accused have said that they looked after their party and gave them double rations. If you accept that, it simply leads you to deliberate starvation if that story is really true that double rations were being given to the healthiest and single to the weakest. ... (page 605) --- If of course, you are satisfied that this [the lack of food: HWM] was due to a breakdown in organization, then a different situation arises. But the evidence you have to fall back on is that of Müller, who produced some figures from a mixture of indents, receipts and various other things [Exhibit 145 : HWM] to show that the internees got what they were entitled to. That is his opinion. Kramer says he sent Müller to Celle and Hanover imploring the depots to do something and putting the responsibility on them. Müller denies this.
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