The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/08

MR. ELWYN JONES: I shall call some subsequent testimony with
regard to that, my Lord, if the Tribunal would allow me, at
a later stage, to cross-examine on the whole question of the
unity of the SS. It would involve putting in old documents
and I understand that there was a certain reluctance on the
part of the Tribunal to permit me to do that; but I should
be quite content to draw the Tribunal's attention -

                                                  [Page 308]

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, the Tribunal does not desire
you not to cross-examine but only not to read out and put to
the witness documents which have already been put in; you
can put the facts which are in the document to the witness
for the purpose of cross-examination.

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases. Then at a later
stage in my cross-examination I will return to that subject
if the Tribunal permits me to do so. I should like to put
these documents in first if I may.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, I think what the Tribunal
meant was that it did not want you to put long passages or
short passages from documents which the witness has never
seen and which are already in evidence, but you may cross-
examine the witness upon any document apart from that.

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases. Then I shall
return to cross-examination on this general issue after I
have put these documents in, if I may, my Lord.

I put in the Documents 4038--PS and 4039-PS, to be Exhibits
GB 557 and 558, which show that the SS shootings in Warsaw
were a continuation of the practice of the civil power of
the Government General from the period March, 1941. I need
not trouble the witness with those documents.

Then the Document D-956, to be Exhibit GB 559, which is an
official Polish report on German crimes in Poland. I only
desire to draw the Tribunal's attention to an entry on Page
184 of that report relating to the shooting of hostages,
which says that the approximate number of Poles killed in
Warsaw from the beginning of the public executions until the
rising, from 5th October, 1943, until 1st August, 1944, was
about 8,000, most of whom had been caught in man-hunts in
the Warsaw streets.

DR. PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, may I be permitted to make a
reference to the method of procedure?

Mr. Jones said that he does not wish to submit to the
witness this document which he is submitting to the High
Tribunal. I am of the opinion that a submission of documents
is possible at this stage only in connection with the cross-
examination; that is, for ascertaining whether the
statements of the witness are credible or not. Otherwise,
the prosecution could introduce new incriminating material
without any connection. I should like to ask in that case to
give the witness an opportunity to comment.

MR. ELWYN JONES: I have no objection at all, of course, to
the witness seeing all the documents. I was only, in the
interest of time, referring to one sentence in this document
which the witness heard interpreted, and I should have
thought that was sufficient; but by all means, I will let
the witness see all the documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal has already ruled
that these documents can be put in in this way, and Mr.
Elwyn Jones is referring to specific passages in the
documents; you have the opportunity of re-examination and
you have a copy of the document, and you can put any
question you like upon the document when you come to re-

MR. ELWYN JONES: I next present some documents relating to
atrocities committed by the SS in connection with the
destruction of Warsaw. First is Document 4042-PS, which will
be Exhibit GB 560, which consists of three affidavits from
another official Polish report entitled "The German Crime in
Warsaw in 1944."

The first affidavit is by the witness Alexandra
Kreczkiewicz, who states that:

  "On 2nd August the SS men issued an order for us to move
  to the house across the road; our house, as well as the
  house next door, was set on fire; on 3rd August we were
  informed that we would be shot. Several hundred

                                                  [Page 309]

  persons were assembled in the house; on 4th August at 11
  a.m. the Germans surrounded the house and gave the order
  to evacuate apartments. There were awful cries of
  children and women and we heard some shots, several
  persons were killed and wounded at the exit; we were
  driven to potato fields and, still guarded, we were
  ordered to lie down; there could be no question of
  escape. A few minutes later we were ordered to get up and
  we were driven under a bridge which was near by. At the
  question of one of the women where we were being taken
  to, we heard the answer, 'German women and children are
  perishing by your fault; therefore all of you must
  perish.' We were put in ranks and a group of seventy
  people was separated from us and ordered to go behind the
  bridge on the hill; the rest, including myself, were put
  against the wall between barbed wires. From different
  points near by we heard shots; we were huddled together
  and I was on the outer edge of the crowd. At a distance
  of five metres in front of us, one of the soldiers very
  quietly loaded his machine gun; another one was preparing
  his camera. Several Germans were guarding us; we heard
  several shots, noises, groans - I fell down wounded and
  lost consciousness. After a while I came back to my
  senses and I heard how they were finishing off the
  wounded. I did not move and I simulated death; they left
  one of the Germans on guard and the rest of them went
  away. The soldiers set fire to the huts and the houses in
  the neighbourhood. I was scorched by the heat and almost
  suffocated by the smoke and my dress smouldered. The
  German was still on guard so, quietly, I tried to put out
  the fire on me."

Then she describes how she ran to a cellar and she says -

THE PRESIDENT: This is a woman, is it?

MR. ELWYN JONES: This is a woman. At the end: "The group of
people shot in my presence numbered some 500 persons, of
whom no more than three or four managed to escape. All the
executioners were SS men."

The next is an affidavit from the witness, Bronislav Dylak,
who describes the SS atrocities in a hospital in Warsaw:

  "Very badly wounded in the stomach, I was placed in the
  Field Hospital, Dluga Street 7. On 7th September, 1944,
  the Germans ordered the nurses and those of the inmates
  who were able to walk to abandon the hospital, leaving
  behind the badly wounded. I was in this latter group and
  we stayed in the ward situated in the cellar. In the
  whole hospital there were a few hundred sick and badly
  wounded who could not abandon the hospital. Shortly after
  the nurses had left the hospital in the evening the
  German SS arrived; shooting started. First those who,
  with a superhuman effort, left their beds and dragged
  themselves to the doors and the staircases to get out and
  save themselves were immediately killed by the Germans.
  Two murderers burst into .our ward. One had a candle in
  his hand - it was already dark. The other, with a pistol,
  shot and killed the men lying in bed, while shouting
  'Bandits.' Together with a few of the inmates of our
  ward, I was saved because the passage to our beds was
  obstructed by other beds. Our ward consisted of two
  different parts; I was in the second smaller part, the
  entrance to which was obstructed. In the first part, all
  were killed; the second ward was saved by a pure miracle,
  maybe because somebody was calling the murderers away. We
  heard many shots from the other wards. The execution went
  on throughout the hospital. One of the other many Germans
  checked whether everybody was dead. So we simulated
  death; one of my comrades lying near me stained himself
  with blood on his chest and head in order to simulate
  death. One of the Germans, speaking Ukrainian, went about
  among the killed and struck them in their faces with his
  gun. It was a terrible night. Once a hand grenade was
  thrown through

                                                  [Page 310]

  the window into our ward. Finally the building was set on
  fire. The fire spread very quickly; those who tried to
  escape were killed. A woman in our ward tried to push the
  inflammable stuff away from the exit and to prevent our
  ward from catching fire. All other wards, as well as the
  staircase, were on fire; the smoke, the smell of burning
  corpses, indescribable thirst ..." And then the last
  sentence: "Thus, out of several hundred badly wounded at
  the hospital in Dluga Street 7, only a few score were
  left alive."

And the third affidavit is by Maria Bukowaka, who states

  "On 7th August, 1944, by order of the SS, the people of
  the whole district had to abandon their houses, which
  were immediately set on fire. There were several
  thousands of us who were driven and pushed about by the
  SS. All who fell down, as well as anyone who tried to
  help them, were beaten." And further on in the statement:
  "We go farther on; there is shooting once more. A car
  full of SS men approaches; the officers get out. They
  inspect us and take away from our ranks three young,
  pretty girls; two sisters N. and another girl, unknown to
  me. The car goes away, the girls cry out, trying to
  defend themselves against the SS men. An old woman falls
  down, she cannot go on any more. An SS officer shoots her
  in the neck." And then at the last: "In a church at Wola
  the rest of our belongings are taken away from us. All
  the young girls, sometimes no more than 12-14 years of
  age, are left behind, while the older ones, with the
  children, are led to the western station and then by
  railway to Pruszkow."


Q. . Those were crimes of the SS, were they not, witness?

A. That was not the Waffen SS, only a group of men who
belonged to Himmler who had nothing whatsoever to do with
the fighting troops. We never fought at Warsaw.

Q. Are you denying that the Waffen SS took part in the
destruction of Warsaw?

A. I was never there and therefore I cannot comment. But to
my knowledge, there was no fighting there. A riot was
quelled there, as several witnesses have testified.

Q. It was a revolt and then the mass extermination by the SS
troops, that is what happened in Warsaw, was it not?

A. The Waffen SS participated only to a very small extent
because the Waffen SS was in the fighting line.

Q. I next put in Document D-954, to be Exhibit GB 561, which
are depositions by Professor Tomkiewicz of the University of
Warsaw and Dr. Lorentz, Director of the National Museum in
Warsaw, on the looting and deliberate piecemeal destruction
of Warsaw by German formations including SS men.

The next document, 2233-DD-PS, is a further extract from the
diary of the defendant Frank showing the co-operation
between the SS and the civil power in the course of this
murderous event.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the reference?

MR. ELWYN JONES: 2233-DD-PS, my Lord, Exhibit GB 562. That
is an entry from the diary of the defendant Frank of 16th
October, 1944.

  "The Governor-General receives SS Oberfuehrer
  Dierlewanger and SS Untersturmfuehrer Ammann in the
  presence of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Pfaffenroth. SS
  Oberfuehrer Dierlewanger reports to the Governor-General
  on the employment of his combat group in Warsaw. The
  Governor-General thanks him and expresses his
  appreciation of the model employment of his combat group
  in the fighting in Warsaw ... Lunch on the occasion of
  the presence of SS Oberfuehrer Dierlewanger."

                                                  [Page 311]

Now, Dierlewanger was the commander of the units operating
in Warsaw, was he not?

THE PRESIDENT: Can you offer any evidence as to what units
these officers were commanding?

MR. ELWYN JONES: I am just going to put it to the witness,
my Lord.


Q. Dierlewanger was the commander of the units operating in
Warsaw, was he not?

A. Dierlewanger was a commander of a picked troop of men
from the concentration camps. He had no connection with the
Waffen SS. I did not meet him personally nor his troops so I
can give no further testimony from my own knowledge.

Q. Were the officers of his units SS men?

A. I cannot give you information as to that for I do not
know these units.

Q. I shall be producing further documentary evidence on this
issue - at a later stage, my Lord.

Now I want to put in an affidavit dealing with the
participation of the SS in the extermination of the Jews and
this part will be specific evidence as to the participation
of the Waffen SS. The first is D-939, Exhibit GB 563. That
is an affidavit by Izrael Eisenberg, and he states:

  " I lived in Lublin and from there I was sent to Maidanek
  in the beginning of 1942. However, as a prisoner I
  continued to work for the Germans who employed me as an
  expert for electro-mechanical jobs in the various SS
  buildings and SS offices in Lublin. I worked as an
  electro-mechanic in the palace building of the SS and
  Police Chief Globocnik and in the head quarters of the SS
  in Lublin, Warsaw Street 21. The Waffen SS were also
  there. On the outer wall the notice 'Waffen SS' could be
  seen and on the pass which I received at the entrance the
  words 'Waffen SS' were also marked. I knew all the
  officers, for instance, Oberscharfuehrer Riedel,
  Rottenfuehrer Mohrwinkel, Unterscharfuehrer Schramm. I
  know that the leaders of the Waffen SS, as well as tile
  regiment of the Waffen SS whose seat was in the same
  building where I worked, participated directly in all the
  expulsions of the Jews from the district of Lublin. In
  these expulsions thousands of persons were killed on the
  spot and the rest sent away for extermination. I myself
  saw how, in the winter of 1941, the 'Waffen SS' of Warsaw
  Street 21 participated in the deportation of several
  hundred Jews to Maidanek, whereby several persons were
  killed on the spot. At that time my father was also
  deported because of his long beard, as this action mainly
  concerned Jews with beards. I know that Rottenfuehrer
  Mohrwinkel directed this action and was promoted to the
  rank of Untersturmfuehrer for it. I worked for the Waffen
  SS until November 1942, i.e., until I was transported to
  Radom. The Waffen SS participated the whole time in all
  the crimes of the SS in Lublin and in the district. I
  wish to point out that the SS men kept their horses in
  the stables on the aerodrome where there was a notice
  'Mounted Regiment Waffen SS'."

Then the next document is D-953, which will be Exhibit GB

THE PRESIDENT: I think you should give the witness an
opportunity to speak about this document if he prefers.

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship wishes.


Q. Witness, you heard me reading out of that last affidavit
of Izrael Eisenberg. You see that he alleges that the Waffen
SS participated directly in the collection of Jewish people
for extermination and he refers to the Mounted Regiment of

                                                  [Page 312]

Waffen SS . . . that was in the Lublin district engaged in
these operations. These were men of the Waffen SS, were they

A. The names that were read off were not the names of
officers. They are names of Rottenfuehrer and Scharfuehrer.
Of course I do not know the names of every man in a unit. I
have no proof that they were members of the Waffen SS. In
1942 the front lines were not in Lublin but were quite a bit
farther to the east. Perhaps they were replacement troops.
The term mounted unit was mentioned once and that was a
replacement troop of a mounted brigade about which I cannot
give you further particulars.

Q. Are you merely seeking to distinguish between Waffen SS
that were engaged in action on the lines and SS units
engaged in other activities on the rear? Do you not think -

A. Normally only troops of the replacement units can be used
behind the lines because the other units were constantly at
the front.

Q. This affidavit establishes perfectly clearly that these
were SS troops, does it not? What other troops could they

A. Riders of the Waffen SS could have been men of an Einsatz
group who had a task behind the lines.

Q. You mean they were masquerading under the name of the
Waffen SS units?

A. This is not probable.

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