The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/16

I refer to Document D-316, which is Exhibit USA 201. This
document was found in the Krupp files. It is a memorandum
upon the Krupp stationery to a Hert Hupe, a director of the
Krupp Locomotive Factory in Essen, Germany, dated 14th
March, 1942. I wish to refer to Page 1 of the English text,
starting with Paragraph 1, as follows, and I am quoting

   "During the last few days we established that the food
   for the Russians employed here is so miserable, that the
   people are getting weaker from day to day.
   Investigations showed that single Russians are not able
   to place a piece of metal for turning into position, for
   instance, because of lack of physical strength. The same
   conditions exist in all places of work where Russians
   are employed."

The condition of foreign workers in Krupp workers' camps is
described in detail in an affidavit executed in Essen,
Germany, by Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger, who was the senior camp
doctor. It is Document D-288, which is Exhibit USA 202.

   "I, Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger, am a general practitioner in
   Essen, Germany, and its surroundings. I was born in
   Germany on 2nd December, 1888, and now live at Kettwig,
   Sengenholz, Germany. I make the following statement of
   my own free will. I have not been threatened in any way
   and I have not been promised any sort of reward.
   On 1st October, 1942, I became senior camp doctor in
   Krupp's workers' camp, and was generally charged with
   the medical supervision of all Krupp's workers' camps in
   Essen. In the course of my duties it was my
   responsibility to report to my superiors in the Krupp
   works upon the sanitary and health conditions of the
   workers' camps. It was a part of my task to visit every
   Krupp camp which housed foreign civilian workers, and I
   am therefore able to make this statement on the basis of
   my personal knowledge.
   My first official act as senior camp doctor was to make
   a thorough inspection of the various camps. At that
   time, in October, 1942, I found the following
   The Eastern workers and Poles who worked in the Krupp
   works at Essen were kept at camps at Seumannstrasse,
   Spenlestrasse, Grieper-
   strasse, Heecstrasse, Germaniastrasse, Kapitan-
   Lehmannstrasse, Dechenschule, and Kramerplatz." (When
   the term "Eastern workers" is hereinafter used, it is to
   be taken as including Poles.) "All of the camps were
   surrounded by barbed wire and were closely guarded.

[Page 320]

   Conditions in all of these camps were extremely bad. The
   camps were greatly overcrowded. In some camps there were
   twice as many people in a barrack as health conditions
   permitted. At Kramerplatz, the inhabitants slept in
   treble-tiered bunks, and in the other camps they slept
   in double-tiered bunks. The health authorities
   prescribed a minimum space between beds Of 50 cm., but
   the bunks in these camps were separated by a maximum Of
   20 to 30 cm.
   The diet prescribed for the Eastern workers was
   altogether insufficient. They were given 1,000 calories
   a day less than the minimum prescribed for any German.
   Moreover, while German workers engaged in the heaviest
   work received 5,000 calories a day, the Eastern workers
   with comparable jobs received only 2,000 calories. These
   workers were given only two meals a day and their bread
   ration. One of these two meals consisted of a thin,
   watery soup. I had no assurance that they did in fact,
   receive the minimum which was prescribed. Subsequently,
   in 1943, when I undertook to inspect the food prepared
   by the cooks, I discovered a number of instances in
   which food was withheld from the workers.
   The plan for food distribution called for a small
   quantity of meat per week. Only inferior meats, rejected
   by the veterinary, such as horse meat or tuberculin-
   infested, was permitted for this purpose. This meat was
   usually cooked into a soup.
   The percentage of Eastern workers who were ill was twice
   as great as among the Germans. Tuberculosis was
   particularly widespread among these workers. The
   tuberculosis rate among them was four times the normal
   rate (2 per cent. Eastern workers, German, - 5 per
   cent.). At Dechenschule approximately 2.5 per cent. of
   the workers suffered from open tuberculosis. These were
   all active tuberculosis cases. The Tartars and Kirghises
   suffered most; as soon as they were overcome by this
   disease they collapsed like flies, The cause was bad
   housing, the poor quality and insufficient quantity of
   food, overwork, and insufficient rest.
   These workers were likewise afflicted with spotted
   fever. Lice, the carrier of this disease, together with
   countless fleas, bugs and other vermin tortured the
   inhabitants of these camps. As a result of the filthy
   conditions, nearly all Eastern workers were afflicted
   with skin disease.
   The shortage of food also caused many cases of hunger-
   oedema, nephritis and shiga-kruse.
   It was the general rule that workers were compelled to
   go to work unless a camp doctor had prescribed that they
   were unfit for work. At Seumannstrasse, Grieperstrasse,
   Germaniastrasse, Kapitan-Lehmannstrasse, and
   Dechenschule, there was no daily sick call. At these
   camps the doctors did not appear for two or three days.
   As a consequence, workers were forced to go to work
   despite illness.
   I undertook to improve conditions as well as I could. I
   insisted upon the erection of some new barracks in order
   to relieve the overcrowded conditions of the camps.
   Despite this, the camps were still greatly overcrowded,
   but not as much as before. I tried to alleviate the poor
   sanitary conditions in Kramerplatz and Dechenschule by
   causing the installation of some emergency toilets, but
   the number was insufficient, and the situation was not
   materially altered.
                                                  [Page 321]
   With the onset of heavy air raids in March, 1943,
   conditions in the camps greatly deteriorated. The
   problem of housing, feeding, and medical attention
   became more acute than ever. The workers lived in the
   ruins of their former barracks. Medical supplies which
   were used up, lost or destroyed, were difficult to
   replace. At times the water supply at the camps was
   completely shut off for periods of eight to fourteen
   days. We installed a few emergency toilets in the camps,
   but there were far too few of them to cope with the
   During the period immediately following the March, 1943,
   raids, many foreign workers were made to sleep at the
   Krupp factories in the same rooms in which they worked.
   The day workers slept there at night, and the night
   workers slept there during the day, despite the noise
   which constantly prevailed. I believe that this
   condition continued until the entrance of American
   troops into Essen.
   As the pace of air raids was stepped up, conditions
   became progressively worse. On 28th July, 1944, I
   reported to my superiors that:
   The sick barrack in camp Rabenhorst is in such a bad
   condition that one cannot speak of a sick barrack any
   more. The rain leaks through in every corner. The
   housing of the sick is therefore impossible. The
   necessary labour for production is in danger because
   those persons who are ill cannot recover.
   At the end of 1943, or the beginning of 1944 - I am not
   completely sure of the exact date - I obtained
   permission for the first time to visit the prisoner of
   war camps. My inspection revealed that conditions at
   these camps were worse than those I had found at the
   camps of the Eastern workers in 1942. Medical supplies
   at such camps were virtually non-existent. In an effort
   to cure this intolerable situation, I contacted the
   Wehrmacht authorities whose duty it was to provide
   medical care for the prisoners of war. My persistent
   efforts came to nothing. After visiting and pressing
   them over a period of two weeks, I was given a total of
   100 aspirin tablets for over 3,000 prisoners of war.
   The French prisoner of war camp in Nogerratstrasse had
   been destroyed in an air raid attack and its inhabitants
   were kept for nearly half a year in dog kennels,
   urinals, and old baking houses. The dog kennels were 3
   ft. high, 9 ft. long, and 6 ft. wide. Five men slept in
   each of them. The prisoners had to crawl into these
   kennels on all fours. The camp contained no tables,
   chairs, or cupboards. The supply of blankets was
   inadequate. There was no water in the camp. That
   treatment which was extended was given in the open. Many
   of these conditions were mentioned to me in a report by
   Dr. Stinnesbeck dated 12th June, 1944, in which he said:-
   Three hundred and fifteen prisoners are still
   accommodated in the camp. One hundred and seventy of
   these are no longer in barracks but in the tunnel in
   Grunertstrasse under the Essen-Muelheum railway line.
   This tunnel is damp and is not suitable for continued
   accommodation of human beings. The rest of the prisoners
   are accommodated in ten different factories in the Krupp
   works. The first medical attention is given by a French
   Military Doctor who takes great pains with his fellow
   countrymen. Sick people from Krupp factories must be
   brought to the sick parade. This parade is held in the
   lavatory of a burned-out public house outside the camp.
   The sleeping accommodation of the four

                                                  [Page 322]

   French orderlies is in what was the men's room. In the
   sick bay there is a double tier wooden bed. In general,
   the treatment takes place in the open. In rainy weather
   it is held in the above-mentioned small room. These are
   insufferable conditions. There are no chairs, tables,
   cupboards, or water. The keeping of a register of sick
   people is impossible. Bandages and medical supplies are
   very scarce, all those badly hurt in the works are very
   often brought here for first aid and have to be bandaged
   here before being transported to hospital. There are
   many loud and lively complaints about food, which the
   guard personnel confirm as being correct.
   Illness and loss of manpower must be reckoned with under
   these conditions.
   In my report to my superiors at Krupps dated 2nd
   September, 1944,I stated-:
   Camp Humboldtstrasse has been inhabited by Italian
   prisoners of war. After it had been destroyed by an air
   raid, the Italians were removed and 600 Jewish females
   from Buchenwald concentration camp were brought to work
   at the Krupp factories. Upon my first visit at Camp
   Humboldtstrasse, I found these females suffering from
   open festering wounds and other diseases.
   I was the first doctor they had seen for at least a
   fortnight. There was no doctor in attendance at the
   camp. There were no medical supplies in the camp. They
   had no shoes and went about in their bare feet. The sole
   clothing of each consisted of a sack with holes for
   their arms and head. Their hair was shorn. The camp was
   surrounded by barbed wire and closely guarded by S.S.
   The amount of food in the camp was extremely meagre and
   of very poor quality. The houses in which they lived
   consisted of the ruins of former barracks and they
   afforded no shelter against rain and other weather
   conditions. I reported to my superiors that the guards
   lived and slept outside their barracks as one could not
   enter them without being attacked by 10, 20 and up to 50
   fleas. One camp doctor employed by me refused to enter
   the camp again after he had been bitten very badly. I
   visited this camp with Dr. Grosne on two occasions and
   both times we left the camp badly bitten. We had great
   difficulty in getting rid of the fleas and insects which
   had attacked us. As a result of this attack by insects
   of this camp, I got large boils on my arms and the rest
   of my body. I asked my superiors at the Krupp works to
   undertake the necessary steps to delouse the camp so as
   to put an end to this unbearable vermin-infested
   condition. Despite this report, I did not find any
   improvement in sanitary conditions at the camp on my
   second visit a fortnight later.
   When foreign workers finally became too sick to work or
   were completely disabled, they were returned to the
   Labour Exchange in Essen and from there they were sent
   to a camp at Friedrichsfeld. Among persons who were
   returned to the Labour Exchange were aggravated cases of
   tuberculosis, malaria, neurosis, cancer which could not
   be treated by operation, old age, and general
   feebleness. I know nothing about conditions at this camp
   because I have never visited it. I only know that it was
   a place to which workers who were no longer of any use
   to Krupp were sent.

                                                  [Page 323]

   My colleagues and I reported all of the foregoing
   matters to Herr Inn, Director of Friedrich Krupp A.G.,
   Dr. Wiels, personal physician of Gustav Krupp von Bohlen
   and Halbach, Senior Camp Leader Kupke, and at all times
   to the health department. Moreover, I know that these
   gentlemen personally visited the camps.
   Signed Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger."

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now until 2 o'clock.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours)

MR. DODD: May it please the Tribunal: We had just completed
the reading of the affidavit executed by Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger
at the noon recess. The conditions which were described in
this affidavit were not confined to the Krupp factories
alone but existed throughout Germany, and we turn to a
report of the Polish Main Committee made to the
Administration of the General Government of Poland, Document
R-103, which is Exhibit USA 204. This document is dated 17th
May, 1944, and describes the situation of the Polish workers
in Germany, and I wish to refer particularly to Page 2 of
the English translation, starting with Paragraph 2; in the
German text it appears at Page 2, Paragraph 2, also. In
quoting from the document, it reads:-

   "The provision for cleanliness at many overcrowded camp
   rooms is contrary to the most elementary requirements.
   Often there is no opportunity to obtain warm water for
   washing; therefore, the cleanest parents are unable to
   maintain even the most primitive standard of hygiene for
   their children or, often, even to wash their only set of
   linen. A consequence of this is the spreading of scabies
   which cannot be eradicated.
   We receive imploring letters from the camps of Eastern
   workers and their prolific families, beseeching us for
   food. The quantity and quality of camp rations mentioned
   therein - the so-called fourth grade of rations - is
   absolutely insufficient to maintain the energies spent
   in heavy work. 3.5 kg. of bread weekly and a thin soup
   at lunch time, cooked with swedes or other vegetables
   without any meat or fat, with a meagre addition of
   potatoes now and then is a hunger ration for a heavy
   Sometimes punishment consists of starvation which is
   inflicted, e.g. for refusal to wear the badge 'East'.
   Such punishment has the result that workers faint at
   work (Klosterteich Camp, Grunheim, Saxony). The
   consequence is complete exhaustion, an ailing state of
   health, and tuberculosis. The spreading of tuberculosis
   among the Polish factory workers is a result of the
   deficient food rations meted out in the community camps,
   because energy spent in heavy work cannot be replaced.
   The call for help which reaches us brings to light
   starvation and hunger, severe stomach intestinal
   trouble, especially in the case of children, resulting
   from the insufficiency of food which does not take into
   consideration the needs of children. Proper medical
   treatment or care for the sick is not available in the
   mass camps."

We now refer to Page 3 of this same document, and
particularly to the first paragraph. In the German text it
appears at Page 5, Paragraph 1:-

   "In addition to these bad conditions, there is lack of
   systematic occupation for and supervision of these hosts
   of children, which affects

                                                  [Page 324]

   the life of prolific families in the camps. The
   children, left to themselves, without schooling or
   religious care, must run wild and grow up illiterate.
   Idleness in rough surroundings may and will create
   unwanted results in these children. An indication of the
   awful conditions this may lead to, is given by the fact
   that in the camps for Eastern workers (camp for Eastern
   workers, 'Waldlust', Post Office Lauf, Pegnitz) there
   are cases of 8-year-old delicate and undernourished
   children put to forced labour and perishing from such
   The fact that these bad conditions dangerously affect
   the state of health and the vitality of the workers is
   proved by the many cases of tuberculosis found in very
   young people returning from the Reich to the General
   Government as unfit for work. Their state of health is
   usually so bad that recovery is out of the question. The
   reason is that a state of exhaustion resulting from
   overwork and a starvation diet is not recognised as an
   ailment until the illness betrays itself by high fever
   and fainting spells.
   Although some hostels for unfit workers have been
   provided as a precautionary measure, one can only go
   there when recovery may no longer be expected (Neumarkt
   in Bavaria). Even there the incurables waste away
   slowly, and nothing is done even to alleviate the state
   of the sick by suitable food and medicines. There are
   children there with tuberculosis whose cure would not be
   hopeless and men in their prime who, if sent home in
   time to their families in rural districts, might still
   be able to recover. No less suffering is caused by the
   separation of families when wives and mothers of small
   children are away from their families and sent to the
   Reich for forced labour."

And finally, from Page 4 of the same document, starting with
the first paragraph. In the German text it appears at Page
7, Paragraph 4:-

   "If, under these conditions, there is no moral support
   such as is normally based on regular family life, then
   at least such moral support which the religious feelings
   of the Polish population require should be maintained
   and increased. The elimination of religious services,
   religious practice and religious care from the life of
   the Polish workers, the prohibition of church
   attendance, at a time when there is a religious service
   for other people, and other measures, show a certain
   contempt for the influence of religion on the feelings
   and opinions of the workers."

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