The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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THE PRESIDENT: Has this book been put in evidence yet?

M. DUBOST: This book has been submitted as evidence, as
official evidence.THE PRESIDENT: Have the defendants got
copies of it?

M. DUBOST: It was submitted as Exhibit RF 331. It is an
official document which has been submitted to the defence
also.

THE PRESIDENT: The document has been submitted by the French
as Exhibit RF 331?

M. DUBOST: The defence have also received a copy of this
book in German, I am not certain whether the German text has
the pictures as well. No, the pictures are not in the German
version, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Well then, let this photograph be marked. It
had better be marked with a French exhibit number, I think.
What will it be?M. DUBOST: We shall give it number 333, RF
333.THE PRESIDENT Let it be marked in that way, and then
hand it to Dr. Babel.GENERAL RUDENKO: Thank you, Sir. I have
no more questions.

(The document was handed to Dr. Babel.)

THE PRESIDENT: I think it should be handed about to the
other defendants' counsel in case they wish to ask any
question about it. M. Dubost, I think that an approved copy
of this book, including the photographs, has been deposited
in the defendants' Information Centre.M. DUBOST: The whole
book, except for the pictures.THE PRESIDENT: Why not the
pictures?M. DUBOST: We did not have them at that moment to
submit. In our exposition wehave not mentioned the
photographs.

THE PRESIDENT: The German counsel ought to have the same
documents as are submitted to the Tribunal. The photographs
have been submitted to the Tribunal; therefore they should
have been submitted to the Information Centre.

M. DUB0ST: Mr. President, the French text, including the
pictures, was deposited in the defendant's Information
Centre, and, in addition, a certain number of texts in
German, to which the pictures were not added because we
                                                  [Page 231]
                                                            
had that translation prepared for the use of the defence.
But there are French copies of the book that you have before
you, which include the pictures.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

M. DUBOST: We have here four copies which we shall place
before you, of the picture which was shown yesterday, which
shows Kaltenbrunner and Himmler in the quarry of Mauthausen,
in accordance with the testimony given by M. Boix. One of
these pictures will also be delivered to the defence, that
is, to the lawyer of the defendant Kaltenbrunner.THE
PRESIDENT: The photograph has now been handed around to the
defendants' counsel. Do any members of the defendants'
counsel wish to ask any questions of the witness upon this
photograph? No question? The witness can then retire.

THE WITNESS: I would like to say something more. I would
like to note that there were instances when Soviet officers
were massacred. It is worth noting because it concerns
prisoners of war. I would like the Tribunal to listen to me
carefully.

BY THE PRESIDENT:

Q. What is it you wish to say about the massacre of the
Soviet prisoners of war?A. In 1943 there was a transport of
officers. They were Russian officers. On the very day of
their arrival in the camp their massacre began by every
means. But it seems that an order from higher authority had
been received concerning these officers, saying that
something extraordinary had to be done.So they put them in
the best block in the camp. They gave them new Russian
prisoner's clothing; they even gave them cigarettes; they
gave them beds with sheets ; they were given everything they
wanted to eat. Sturmbannfuehrer Krebsbach examined them with
a stethoscope.

They went down in the quarry, but they carried only small
stones, and in fours. At that time Oberscharfuehrer Paul
Ricker, chief of the identification service, was there with
his Leica taking endless pictures. He took about 48
pictures. These I developed, and five copies of each, 13 x
18, with the negatives, were sent to Berlin. It is a pity I
did not steal the negatives, as I did the others.When it was
all over, the Russians were made to give up their clothing
and everything else and were sent to the gas chamber. The
comedy was ended. Everybody could see from the pictures that
the Russian prisoners of war, the officers, and especially
the political Commissars, were well treated, and well cared
for, worked hardly at all, and were in good condition. That
is one thing that should be noted because I think it is
important.And another thing. There was a barrack called No.
20. That barrack was inside the camp, and in spite of the
electrified barbed wire around the camp, there was an
additional wall with electrified barbed wire around it, and
in that barrack there were prisoners of war - Russian
officers and commissars, some Slavs, a few Frenchmen and,
they said, even a few Englishmen. No one could enter that
barrack except the two fuehrer who were of the SD, that is,
the commandants of the inner and outer camps. These
internees were dressed, as we were, like criminal prisoners,
but without any tag or identification of their nationality.
One could not tell their nationality from their dress.The
service "Erkennungsdienst " took their pictures. A tag with
a number was placed on their chest. These began with a
number over 3,000. There were numbers looking like No. 11
(two blue darts). Numbers started at 3,000 and went up to
7,000. SS Unterscharfuehrer Hermann Schinbauer was then
chief photographer. He was from the Berlin region, somewhere
outside Berlin, I do not remember the name. He had orders to
develop the films and to do all work personally, but like
all the SS of the internal camp services, they were men who
knew nothing. They always needed prisoners to get their work
done.

                                                  [Page 232]

That is why he needed me to develop these films. I made the
enlargements, 5 x 7. These photos were sent to
Obersturmfuehrer Karl Schultz, of Cologne, the Chief of the
Polizeiabteilung. He told me not to tell anything to anybody
about these pictures, and about the fact that we developed
these films, and that if we did we would be liquidated at
once. Without any fear of the consequences I told all my
comrades about it. If one of us should succeed in getting
out he could tell the world about it.THE PRESIDENT: I think
we have heard enough of this detail that you are giving us.
But come back for a moment to the place you were speaking of
where the Russian prisoners of war in 1943 - just a moment;
I wish you would repeat the case of the Russian prisoners of
war in 1943. You said that the officers were taken to the
quarry to carry the heaviest stones.THE WITNESS: No, just
very small stones, weighing not even twenty kilos, and they
carried them in fours to show on the pictures that the
Russian officers did not do heavy work, on the contrary,
very light work. That was only for the pictures, whereas in
reality it was entirely different.BY THE PRESIDENT: I
thought you said they carried big, heavy stones.THE WITNESS:
No.THE PRESIDENT: Were the photographs taken while they were
in their uniforms carrying these light stones?A. Yes, Sir ;
they had to put on clean uniforms, neatly arranged, to show
that the Russian prisoners were well and properly treated.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Is there any other particular
incident you want to refer to?A. Yes, about Block 20. Thanks
to my knowledge of photography I was able to see it; I had
to be there to handle the lights while my chief took
photographs. In this way I could follow, detail by detail,
everything that took place in this barrack.  It was an inner
camp. This barrack, like all the others, was 7 metres wide
and 50 long. There were 1,800 there, with a food ration less
than one quarter of what we would get for food. They had
neither spoons, nor plates. Large kettles of spoiled food
were emptied on the snow and left there until it began to
freeze; then the Russians were ordered to get at it. The
Russians were so hungry, they would fight for this food. The
SS used these fights as a pretext to beat up some of
prisoners with bludgeons.BY THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean that
the Russians were put directly into Block 20?THE WITNESS (M.
Boix)The Russians did not come to the camp directly. Those
who were not sent to the gas chamber right away, were placed
in Block 20. Nobody of the inner camp, not even the
"Blockfuehrer" was allowed to enter this barrack. Small
convoys of 50 or 60 came several times a week, and always
one heard the noise of a fight going on inside.In January
1945, when the Russians learned that the Soviet Armies were
approaching Yugoslavia, they took one last chance. They
seized fire extinguishers and killed soldiers, posted under
the watch tower. They seized machine-guns and everything
possible as weapons. They took blankets with them and
everything they could find. They were 700, but only 62
succeeded in passing into Yugoslavia with the partisans.That
day, Franz Ziereis, camp commander, issued an order by radio
to all civilians to cooperate, "to liquidate" the Russian
criminals, who had escaped from the concentration camp. He
stated that everyone who could produce evidence that he had
killed one of these men, would receive a special reward in
marks. This was why all the Nazi adherents in Mauthausen
went to work and succeeded in killing more than 600 escaped
prisoners. It was not
                                                  [Page 233]
hard because some of the Russians could not drag themselves
for more than ten metres.After the Liberation one of the
surviving Russians came to Mauthausen to see how everything
was then. He told us all the details of his painful
march.THE PRESIDENT: I do not think the Tribunal wants to
hear more details which you did not see yourself. Does any
member of the defence counsel wish to ask any question of
the witness upon the points which he has dealt with himself.

BY DR. BABEL (Counsel for SS and SD):

Q. One question only. In the course of your testimony you
gave certain figures namely 105, 180 and just now 700. Were
you, yourself, in a position to count them?A. Nearly always,
the convoys came into the camp in columns of five. It was
easy to count them. These transports were always sent from
the Wehrmacht prisons somewhere in Germany. They were sent
from all prisons in Germany - from the Wehrmacht, the
Luftwaffe, the SD or the SS.

THE PRESIDENT: Just answer the question and do not make a
speech. You have said they were brought in in columns of
five, and it was easy to count them.THE WITNESS: Very easy
to count them, particularly for those who wanted to be able
to tell the story some day.

BY DOCTOR BABEL:

Q. Did you have so much time, that you were able to observe
all these things?A. The transports always came in the
evening after the deportees had returned to the camp. At
this time we always had two or three hours when we could
wander about in the camp waiting for the bell that was the
signal for us to go to bed.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may now retire.M. DUBOST: If the
Tribunal permits, we shall now hear M. Cappelen, who is a
Norwegian witness. The testimony of M. Cappelen will be
limited to the conditions that were imposed on Norwegian
internees in Norwegian camps and prisons.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

(HANS CAPPELEN, a witness on behalf of the French
Prosecution, takes the stand.)THE PRESIDENT: I understand
that you speak English.THE WITNESS: Yes, I speak English.THE
PRESIDENT: Will you take the English form of oath?

THE WITNESS: Yes, I prefer to speak in English.

THE PRESIDENT: What is your name?

THE WITNESS: My name is Hans Cappelen.THE PRESIDENT: Will
you repeat this oath after me. I swear that the evidence I
shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth, so help me God.(Witness repeats oath in
English)

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, can you spell the name?

M. DUBOST: C-a-p-p-e-l-e-n.

BY M. DUBOST:

Q. M. Cappelen, you were born 18 December 1903?A. Yes.Q. In
what town?[Page 234]A.I was born in Kvietseid, in the
province of Telemark, Norway.Q. What is your profession?

A. I was a lawyer; but now I am a business man.

Q. Will you tell us what you know of the brutalities of the
Gestapo in Norway?A. Your Honour, I was arrested 29 November
1941 and taken to the Gestapo prison in Oslo, Moellergata
19. After ten days I was interrogated by two Norwegian N.S.,
or Nazi police agents. They started at once to beat me with
bludgeons. How long this interrogation lasted I cannot
exactly remember but it led to nothing. So after some days I
was brought to 32 Victoria Terrace. That was the
headquarters of the Gestapo in Norway. It was about eight
o'clock at night. I was brought into a fairly big room and
they asked me to undress. I had to undress until I was
absolutely naked. I was a little bit swollen after the first
treatment I had had by the Norwegian police agents, but it
was not so bad.

There were present about six or eight Gestapo agents, and
their leader was - Kriminalrat was his title - Femer. He was
very angry and they started to bombard me with questions
which I could not answer. So Herr Fermer ran at me and tore
all the hair off my head ; hair and blood were all over the
floor around me. Then, suddenly, they all started to run at
me and beat me with rubber bludgeons and iron wires. It hurt
me very badly and I fainted. But I was brought back to life
again by their pouring ice-cold water over me. I vomited,
naturally, because I was feeling very sick. But that only
made them angry, and they said, "Clean up, you dirty dog"
and I had to make an attempt to clean up with my bare hands.

In this way they carried on for a long, long time, but the
interrogation led to nothing because they bombarded me with
questions and asked me of persons whom I did not know or
scarcely knew.

I suppose it must have been in the morning that I was
brought back again to the prison. I was placed in my cell
and was very sick and ill. During all the day I asked the
guard if I could not have a doctor; that was the 19th. After
some days - I suppose it must have been the day before
Christmas Eve, 1941 - I was again brought in the night to
the Victoria Terrace. The same things happened as last time,
only this time it was very easy for me to undress because I
had only a coat on me; I was swollen up from the last
beating.As last time, six, seven, or eight Gestapo agents
were present.

BY THE PRESIDENT:

Q. German Gestapo, do you mean?

A. Yes, German Gestapo, all of them, And Femer was present
on that occasion as well, he held a rank in the SS and was
Criminal Commissar. Then they started to beat me again, but
it was useless to beat a man like me who was so swollen up
and looking so bad. Then they started in another way: they
started to screw and break my arms and legs. My right arm
was dislocated. I felt that awful pain, and fainted again.
Then the same happened as last time: They poured water on me
and I recovered consciousness.

By now all the Germans there were absolutely mad. They
roared like animals and bombarded me with questions again,
but I was so tired I could not answer.

Then they placed a sort of home-made - it looked to me home-
made - wooden thing, with a screw arrangement, on my left
leg, and they started to screw so that all the flesh
loosened from the bones. I felt an awful pain and fainted
away, but I came back to consciousness again, and I have
still big marks here on my leg from the screw arrangement,
now, four years afterwards.

So that led to nothing, and then they placed something on my
neck - I still have marks here (indicating) - and loosened
the flesh here. But then I had a

                                                  [Page 235]

collapse, and all of a sudden I felt that I was paralysed in
the right side. It has been proved since that I had a
cerebral haemorrhage. And I got double vision; I saw two of
each Gestapo agent, and everything was going round and
round. That double vision I have had for four years, and
when I am tired it still comes back again. But I am better
now, so that I can move again in the right side, but my
right side is still a little bit affected from that.

I cannot remember much more from that night, but the other
prisoners who had to clean up the corridors in the prison
saw them bring me back again in the morning. That must have
been about six o'clock in the morning. They thought I was
dead, because I had no irons on my hands. Whether I lay
there for one day or two I can not tell, but one day I moved
again and was slightly conscious, and then the guard came at
once to my cell, where I was lying on a cot among my own
vomiting and blood, and afterwards a doctor came to me.

He had, I suppose, quite a high rank; which rank I cannot
exactly say. He told me that most probably I would die. I
asked him, "Could you not take me to a hospital?' He said,
"No. Such fools as you are not to be taken to any hospital
before you do just what we say you shall do. Like all
Norwegians, you are a fool."

They put my arm into joint again. That was very bad, but two
soldiers held me and they drew it in, and I fainted away
again. So the time passed and I rested a bit. I could not
walk, because everything seemed to be going round. I was
lying on the cot. It must have been at the end of February
or in the middle of February 1942, when one night they came
again. It must have been about ten o'clock at night, because
the light in my cell had been out for quite a long time.
They asked me to stand up, and I made an attempt and fell
down again because of the paralysis. Then they kicked me,
but I said, "Is it better not to put me to death, because I
cannot move?"

Well, they dragged me out of the cell, and I was again
brought to Victoria Terrace; that is the headquarters where
they made their interrogations. This time the interrogation
was led by an SS man called Stehr. I could not stand, so,
naked as I was, I was lying on the floor. This Stehr had
some assistants, four or five Gestapo agents, and they
started to trample on me, and kick me. Then all of a sudden
they brought me to my feet again and brought me to a table
where Stehr was sitting. He took my left hand like this
(indicating) and put some pins under my nails and started to
break them up. It hurt me badly, and everything went round
and round, the double vision came again but the pain was so
intense that I drew my hand back. I should not have done
that, because that made them absolutely furious. I fainted
away, collapsed, I do not know for how long, but I came back
to life again, to the smell of burned flesh or burned meat.
One of the Gestapo agents was standing with a little lamp
burning me under my feet. It did not hurt me too much,
because I was so feeble that I did not care, and I was so
paralysed that I could not speak, I only groaned a bit,
crying, naturally, always.

I do not remember much more of that occasion, but this was
one of the worst things I went through with respect to
interrogations. I was brought back again to the prison and
time passed and I attempted to eat a little bit. I vomited
most of it up again, but little by little I recovered. I was
still paralysed in the side, so I could not stand up.

But I was also taken to be interrogated again, and I was
then confronted with other Norwegians, people I knew and
people I did not know, and most of them were badly treated.
They were swollen up, and I remember especially two of my
friends, two very good persons. I was confronted with them,
and they were looking very ill from torture, and when I came
back again after my imprisonment, I learned that they were
both dead; they had died from the treatment they had
received.

Another incident of which I wish to tell - I hope your
Honour will permit me

                                                  [Page 236]

concerned a person called Snerre Emil Halwuschen. One day -
that must have been in the autumn, or in August or October,
1943, he was swollen and very distressed, and he said they
had treated him badly, and that he and some of his friends
had been in some sort of a court where they had been told
that they were to be shot the next day. They had sentenced
them, just to set an example.

Well, Halwuschen had, naturally, a headache and felt very
ill, and I asked the guard to bring the head guard, who was
a certain Herr Gotz. He came and asked what the devil I
wanted. I said, "My comrade is very ill, could he not have
some aspirins?" "Oh no," he said, "it would be a waste to
give him aspirin, because he is to be shot in the morning."

Next morning he was brought out of the cell, and after the
war they found him at Trondheim, together with other
Norwegians in a grave there, with a bullet through his neck.

Well, the Moellergata 19, in Oslo, the prison where I was
for about twenty-five months, was a house of horror. I heard
people screaming and groaning nearly every night. One day,
it must have been in December 1943, about the 8 December,
they came into my cell and told me to dress. It was in the
night. I put on what ragged clothes I had. Now I had
recovered, practically. I was naturally lame on the one
side, I could not walk so well, but I could walk, and I went
down the corridor and there they placed me as usual against
the wall, and I waited for them to take me away and shoot
me. But they did not shoot me, they brought me to Germany
together with many other Norwegians. I learned afterwards
that we were called "Nacht und Nebel" prisoners, "Night and
Mist" prisoners. We were brought to a camp called
Natzweiler, in Alsace. It was a very bad camp.

We had to work taking stones out of the mountains. But I
shall not bore you with my tales of Natzweiler, your Honour,
I will only say that people of all other nations: French,
Russians, Dutch and Belgians were there, and there are alive
now about five hundred Norwegians who have been there.
Between sixty and seventy per cent died, there or in other
concentration camps. Two Danes also were there.

We saw many cruel things there, so cruel that they are well
known. The camp had to be evacuated in September 1944. We
were then brought to Dachau near Munich, but we did not stay
there long; at least, I did not. I was sent to a Command
called Aurich in East Friesland, that was an under-command
of Neuengamme, near Hamburg. There were about fifteen
hundred prisoners there. We had to dig tank traps. We had to
work about three or four hours every day, and go an hour's
journey by train to the Panzer Grabon where we worked. The
work was so hard, and the way they treated us so bad, that
most of us died there. I suppose about half of the prisoners
died of dysentery or of ill-treatment in the five or six
weeks we were there. It was too much even for the SS, who
had to take care of the camp, so they gave it up, I suppose,
and I was sent via Neuengamme, Hamburg, to a camp called
Gross Rosen, in Silesia, near Breslau. That was a very bad
camp, too. There were about forty Norwegians there, and of
those forty Norwegians there were about ten left after four
to five weeks.

THE PRESIDENT: You will be some little time longer, so I
think we had better adjourn now for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken)


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