The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/maidanek//commission-03

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history
Subject: Maidanek: Tortures & Bloody Reprisals  (3 of 7)
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project
Keywords: Lublin,Maidanek

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           The regime in the "Extermination Camp" served the object of
   accomplishing tho wholesale extermination of the prisoners.
           The prisoners dragged out a miserable existence of starvation. The
   ordinary daily ration of a prisoner consisted of one issue per day of
   coffee made of roasted turnips, two issues per day of soup made of grass,
   and from one hundred and eighty to two hundred and seventy grams of bread,
   half adulterated with sawdust or chestnut flour. This led to the complete
   exhaustion of the prisoners, to the spread of tuberculosis amd other
   diseases and the wholesale dying out of the prisoners. For the slightest
   "offence" the prisoners were deprived of even this meagre food for several
   days at a stretch, which practically doomed them to death from starvation.
           Tomasek, a Czech and a former prisoner of the camp, stated before
   the Commission:
           "The people starved all the time. The wholesale exhaustion of the
   prisoners and death from exbaustion were observed. The prisoners ate offal,
   cats and dogs. Most of the prisoners looked like walking skeletons covered
   with skin, or were unaturally bloated due to swelling resulting from
           Corporal Reznik of the Polish Army and former prisoner of the camp
           "I noticed that the Russian prisoners of war were hardly fed at
   all. They were reduced to an extreme state of exhaustion. Their bodies
   swelled, and they were not even able to talk. They died in large numbers."
           Starvation was one of the important elements of the general system
   of extermination that prevailed in the camp.
           The working day started at 4 a.m. The Germans burst into the
   barracks aud roused the people with whips. The roll was called, at which
   all, sound and sick alike, had to be present. Those who had died in the
   night had to be taken out to the
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   barrack square by those who had slept next to them to be checked. The
   roll-call lasted two hours and more, and was accompanied by the beating and
   tormenting of the prisoners. If a prisoner swooned and was unable to answer
   when his name was called, he was registered as dead and killed with clubs.
           At s a.m. the prisoners were taken out to work. The work was
   exceptionally heavy and exhausting. It was accompanied by severe beating,
   torment and murder. The gangs of prisouers returning for their so-called
   dinner at 11 a.m., carried with them their fellow-prisoners who had been
   beaten, mutilated or killed. During the evening roll-call the SS men on
   duty read the names of those prisoners who had worked "badly," and these
   were tied to a form and flogged with whips, rods or birches. The number of
   strokes inflicted ranged from twenty five and over. Often, prisoners were
   flogged to death.
           Zelent, Docent of the Warsaw University, formerly a prisoner of the
   camp, stated:
           "I knew Barrister Nosek, from Radom, who was given one hundred
   strokes, from which he died three days later."
           In the case of intellectuals and prominent persons among the
   prisoners, particularly refined methods of torture were adopted. The
   Germans compelled Proffesorr Michalowicz, age seventy-two, the famous
   expert on infantile diseases, Professor Pomirowski, age sixty, of the
   Warsaw Politechnical Institute, Wazowicz, age seventy-five, a member of the
   Polish Supreme Court, and many others, to perform the most arduous work,
   and tormented them in every possible way.
           Tadeusz Budzyn, M. Sc. Chem., a Pole, and formerly a prisoner at
   the camp stated:
           "The Germans compelled a large group of professors, physicians,
   engineers and other specialists, numbering one thousand two huudred in all,
   who came from Greece, to carry heavy stones from one place to another, a
   task which was far beyond their strength. The scientists who dropped from
   exhaustion as a result of this heavy labour were beaten
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   to death by thc SS men. Owing to the system of starvation, exhausting
   labour, beating and murder, the entire group of Greek scientists was
   exterminated in the course of five weeks."
           The methods of torturing and tormenting prisoners varied to an
   extraordiuary degree. Many of them bore the character of alleged "jokes,"
   which very often ended in the death of the prisoners upon whom they were
   played. Among these may be cited the mock shooting of a prisoner while
   simultaneously stunning him by a blow on the head with a plank or other
   blunt instrument, and the mock drowning of prisoners in the pool at the
   camp, which often ended in thc actual drowning of the victims.
           Among the German butchers in the camp some specialized in
   particular methods of torture and murder. They killed their victims by
   striking them with a club across the back of the neck, kicking them in the
   stomach or in the groin, etc,
           The SS torturers drowned their victims in the filthy water that
   flowed from the bathhouse into a shallow ditch. The victim's head was
   forced into this filthy water and kept there with the jackboot of the SS
   man until he expired.
           The favourite method of the Hitlerite SS men was to hang their
   victims by their arms, which were tied behind their backs. Le-du Corantin,
   a Frenchman, who had suffered this form of punishment, stated that when
   thus suspended the victim soon lost consciousness. When that happencd the
   victim was lowered, but was hung up again as soon us he recovered
   consciousness. This was repeatcd over and over again.
           For the slightest offence, especially on suspicion of attempting to
   escape, the German fiends hanged prisoners in the camp. In the middle of
   every field there was a post with a cross-tree fixed to it about two metres
   high on which people were hanged.
           "From my barrack," said the witness Domashev, a Soviet prisoner of
   war who was confined in this camp, "I saw people hanged on this post in the
   middle of the field."
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           Near the laundry, in the space between fields No. 1 and No. 2,
   there was a special barrack with beams stretching from one end to another,
   from which people were hanged in whole groups.
           Female prisoners in the camp were subjected to no less torment and
   torture: the same methods of roll-call, exhausting labour, beating and
   torment. The chief woman overseer Erich, of the SS, and the women overseers
   Braunstein, Anni Devid, Weber, Knobliek, Ellert and Redli, were
   distinguished for their cruelty.
           The commission has established numerous cases of absolutely
   unprecedented cruelties on the part of the German fiends in the camp.   At
   a plenary session of the Commission, the German Kampfpolizist, Heinz Stalbe
   stated that he saw the chief of the crematorium, Oberscharfuhrer Munsfeld,
   tie a Polish womam hand and foot and throw her alive into the furnace.
           Witnesses Jelinski and Olech, who were employed in the camp, also
   testified to the burning of people alive in the crematorium furnaces.."A
   child was torn from a mother's breast and before her eyes was dashed
   against the wall of the barrack and killed," stated the witness Atrokhov.
   The witness Edward Baran stated:
           "I myself saw little children torn away from their mothers and
   killed before their eyes: the child was held by one leg, the other was kept
   down by the foot and the child was thus torn in two."
           The Deputy Chief of the camp, Obersturmfuhrer SS, Tumann, was
   notorious for his exceptional sadism. He forced groups of prisoners to
   stand in a row on thier knees and killed them by striking them on the head
   with a club; he set police dogs on the prisoners; he took a most active
   part in all the punishments and killing of prisoners.
           Thus, starvation, exhausting labour, torment, torture and murder,
   accompanied by unprecedented sadism, were resorted to in the wholesale
   slaughter of prisoners in this camp.

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