The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has considered the arguments
which have been addressed to it, and is of the opinion that
the document offered by counsel for France is a document of
a committee set up for the investigation of war crimes
within the meaning of Article 21 of the Charter. The fact
that it is not upon oath does not prevent it being such a
document within Article 21, of which the Tribunal is
directed to take judicial notice. The question of its
probative value would of course be considered under Article
19 of the Charter, and therefore in accordance with Article
19 and Article 21 of the Charter the document will be
admitted in evidence, and the objection of counsel for the
Gestapo is denied.

The Tribunal would wish that all original documents should
be filed with the General Secretary of the Tribunal, and
that when they are being discussed in Court the original
documents should be present in Court at the time.

DR. BABEL (Counsel for the SS): I have been informed that
General Giraud and his family were, in fact, deported to
Germany upon the orders of Himmler, but that they were
treated very well, were billeted in a villa, and were
brought back to France in good health; also that things went
well with them and that they are still well today. I do not
see -

THE PRESIDENT: Counsel, forgive me for interrupting you. But
the Tribunal is not now considering the case of General
Giraud and his family. Are you unable to hear?

What I was saying was that you were making some application
in connection

                                                  [Page 156]

with the deportation of General Giraud, and were stating to
us what you allege to be facts, as to that deportation. The
Tribunal is not considering that matter. The Tribunal has
already ruled that it cannot take judicial notice of the
facts as to General Giraud's deportation.

DR. BABEL: I was of the opinion that what I had to say might
bring about an explanation by the prosecution, and might
expedite the trial in that respect. That was the purpose of
my inquiry.

THE PRESIDENT: Was that what you stated? ...I am merely
pointing out to you that we are not now considering General
Giraud's case.


M. DUBOST: If the Tribunal will permit me to continue ? It
seems to me necessary to come back to the proof which I
propose to submit. I must show that through uniformity of
methods, of torture used in each bureau of the German

THE PRESIDENT: Have you finished the document we have just

M. DUBOST: Yes, Mr. President; I have completed this and I
will now read from other documents. But first I would like
to sum up the proofs which I have to submit this morning by
reading these documents.

I said that I was going to demonstrate how, through the
uniformity of ill-treatment inflicted by all branches of the
German Police upon prisoners under interrogation, we are
faced with a realisation of a common will, of which we
cannot give you direct proof, as we did yesterday, regarding
hostages, by bringing you papers signed by Keitel, but at
which we shall arrive by a way just as certain; for this
uniformity of methods implies a uniformity of will, which we
can only attribute to the very head of the police, that is
to say, the German Government itself, to which the
defendants belonged.

This Document 555-F, from which I have just read, refers to
the ill-treatment of prisoners at Fort Montluc in Lyons.

I pass to Document 556-F, which we shall submit as Exhibit
RF 303, which relates to the prison regime at Marseilles,
and which follows the Document 555-F, in the document book.

The Tribunal will note that this is an official record taken
by the Military Security Service of Vaucluse, concerning the
atrocities committed by Germans against political prisoners,
and that this record includes the written deposition of M.
Mousson, chief of an intelligence service who was arrested
on 16 August 1943 and then transferred on 30 August 1943 to
St. Pierre prison at Marseilles. In the last paragraph of
the first page of this document we read:

   "Transferred to Marseilles, St. Pierre prison on 30
   August 1943, placed in room P, 25 metres long, 5 metres
   wide. We are crammed in, as many as 75 and often 80. Two
   straw mattresses for three. Repulsive hygienic
   conditions: lice, fleas, bed-bugs, tainted food. For no
   reason at all comrades are beaten and put in cells two
   or three days without food."

Following page, fourth paragraph

   "Taken into custody again 15 May in a rather brutal way
   I was imprisoned in the prison of Ste. Anne and ..." 5th
   paragraph: "Living conditions in Ste. Anne: deplorable
   hygiene; food supplied by National Relief Society."

Next page, second paragraph:

   "Living conditions in Petites Beaumettes: Food, just
   enough to keep one alive; no parcels Red Cross gives
   many, but we receive few.

The prison of Poitiers ." It concerns (I repeat) - prisons
entirely under control of the Germans. The prison of
Poitiers, Document 558-F, which we submit as Exhibit RF 304.
Attached to the last page of this document is a report from
the Press Section of the American Information Service in
Paris, dated 18th October 1944. The Tribunal should know
that all these reports

                                                  [Page 157]

were incorporated with the documents which were presented by
the French Office for the Investigation of War Crimes. We
read under number two:

   "M. Claeys was arrested 14 December 1943, by the Gestapo
   and kept in custody in the "Pierre Levee" Prison until
   26 August 1944. While in jail he asked for a mattress,
   as he had been wounded in the war. He was told that he
   would get it if he confessed. He had to sleep on straw
   of only one inch thickness. Seven men in one room 4m x
   2m x 2.80m. use of WC twice a day only. Twenty days
   without leaving of cell. WC was a great discomfort to
   him because of wounds. The Germans refused to do
   anything about it."

Paragraph 4 (b).

   "Another prisoner weighed 120 kilograms and lost 30
   kilograms in a month. Was kept in isolation cell for a
   month. Was tortured there and died of gangrene of legs
   due to wounds caused by torture. Died after ten days of
   agony, alone and without help."

Under paragraph 5 (a), the methods of torture:

   "Victim was kept bent up with his hands round his right
   leg. Was then thrown on the ground and beaten for twenty
   minutes. If he fainted, they would throw a pail of water
   in his face. This was to make him speak.
   M. Francheteau was thus treated for four days out of
   six. In some cases, patient was not tied. If he fell
   they would pick him up by his hair, and go on."

Page two.

   "At other times the victim was put naked in a special
   punishment cell, and his hands were tied to an iron
   grating above his head. He was then beaten until he
   (b) Beating as above was not usual, but M. Claeys has
   friends who have seen electric tortures. One electric
   wire was attached to the foot and another wire was
   placed in different parts of the body.
   6. Torture was all the more horrible as the Germans, in
   many cases, had no clear ideas as to what information
   they wanted, and just tortured aimlessly."

And at the very end, the five last lines.

   "One torture consisted in hanging up the victim by the
   hands, which were tied behind the back until the
   shoulders were completely dislocated. Afterwards the
   soles of the feet were cut with razor blades, and then
   the victim was made to walk on salt."

The Prisons of the North: This is Document 560-F, which
follows in your document book and is submitted as Exhibit RF
305. It also comes from the American War Crimes Commission.
On Page 1, under the letter "A" you will read:

   "A general report of Professor Paucot on the atrocities
   committed by the Germans in Northern France and in
   Belgium. The report covers, the activities of the German
   police in France: in Arras, Bethune, Lille Valenciennes,
   Malo les Bains, La Madeleine, Quincy, Loos; in Belgium:
   Saint Gilles, Fort de Huy, and Camp de Belveroo. This
   report is accompanied by seventy-three depositions of
   victims. From examination of these testimonies the fact
   emerges that the brutal barbarity of methods used during
   the interrogations was the same as in the various places

This synthesis which I have read to you is from the American
report. It seems to me unnecessary to stress this as it is
confirmed on the first page. The Tribunal can read further
on Pages 4, 5, 6 and 7 a detailed description of the

                                                  [Page 158]

atrocities, systematic and all identical, which the German
police inflicted to force confessions.

On Page 7, the fifth paragraph, you will find:

   "A prisoner captured while trying to escape was left in
   his cell to the fury of police dogs who tore him to

On Page 17, second paragraph of the German text there is
reproduced the report of M. Prouille, which, as an
exception, I shall read, because of the nature of the facts.

   "Condemned by the German Tribunal to eighteen months of
   imprisonment for possessing arms and after having been
   in the prisons of Arras, Bethune and Loos, I was sent to
   As a result of ill-treatment in Eastern Prussia I was
   obliged to have my eyes looked after. Having been taken
   to an infirmary, a German doctor put drops in my eyes. A
   few hours later, after painful suffering, I became
   blind. After spending several days in the prison of
   Fresnes I was sent to the clinic of Quize-Vingt in
   Paris. Professor Guillamat examined me, and certified
   that my eyes had been burned by a corrosive agent."

Under number 561-F, I shall read a document from the
American War Crimes Commission, which we submit as Exhibit
RF 306. The Tribunal will find on Page 2, proof in that M.
Herrera was present at tortures inflicted on numerous
persons, and saw a Pole, by the name of Riptz, have the
soles of his feet burned. Then his head was split open with
an axe. After the wound healed he was shot. Quoting again:

    "Commander Grandier, who had had a leg fractured in the
    war, was threatened by those who conducted the
    interrogations that they would fracture his other leg.
    This was carried out. When he was half mad as a result
    of a hypodermic injection, the Germans did away with

We do not care to take more of your time than necessary, but
it is quite proper that the Tribunal should know these
American official documents in their entirety, as all of
them show in a very exact way the tortures carried out by
the various German police services in numerous regions of
France, and give evidence as to the similarity of methods

Document 571-F, which we submit as Exhibit RF 307, of which
we shall only read one four-line paragraph - page thirty-
six, third paragraph from the bottom in the German text,
fourth paragraph of page twenty - runs as follows:

   "M. Robert Vanessche, of Tourcoing, states:
   I was arrested 22 February 1944 at Mouscron in Belgium
   by the Gestapo, who were dressed in civilian clothing.
   During the interrogation they wore military uniform."

I omit a paragraph.

   "I was interrogated for the second time at Cand in the
   main German prison, where I remained thirty-one days.
   There I was shut up for two or three hours in a sort of
   wooden coffin where one could breathe only through three
   holes in the top."

Page 38 of the same document:

   "M. Remy, residing at Armentieres, states:
   Arrested May 2, 1944, at Armentieres I arrived at the
   Gestapo headquarters, 18 Rue Francois Debats, in La
   Madeleine, about three o'clock the same day. I was
   subjected to interrogation on two different occasions.
   The first time, for about an hour, I had to lie on my
   stomach, and received about 120 lashes with an oxhide
   whip. The second interrogation lasted a little longer.
   The same thing followed: I was laid on my stomach and
   lashed. As I would not talk, they stripped me and put me
   in the 'bathtub.'

                                                  [Page 159]
   On 5 May I was subjected to a new interrogation at Loos.
   That day they hung me by my feet and rained blows on my
   body. As I refused to speak, they untied me and laid me
   again on my stomach. As the suffering drew cries from me
   they kicked me in the face with their boots. As a result
   I lost seventeen lower teeth."

The names of two of the torturers follow, but are of no
concern to us here. We are merely trying to show that the
torturers everywhere used the same methods. This could only
have been done in execution of orders given by their chiefs.

Page 48, the testimony of M. Guerin, first paragraph, eighth

   "As I refused to admit anything, one of the
   interrogators put my scarf around my mouth to stifle my
   cries. Another German policeman took my head between his
   legs, and two others, one on each side of me, began to
   beat me with a club on my loins. Each beat me twenty-
   five times; each time I got up. This session lasted two
   hours. The next morning they began again, and it lasted
   as long as the day before. These tortures were inflicted
   upon me because on 11 November, I, with my comrades of
   the Resistance, had taken part in a manifestation, by
   placing a wreath on the memorial to those who fell in
   the war of 1914-18."

Page 48, page 29 of the German text. Report of M. Alfred
Deudon. Paragraph three. Here is the ill-treatment which was
inflicted upon him.

   "18 August sensitive parts were struck with a hammer. 19
   August was passed under water. 20 August my head was
   placed in a squeezing apparatus. 21 and 24 August I was
   chained day and night. 26 August I was chained day and
   night and hung by the arms."

Page 49; Page 30 of the German text. Report of M. Delltombe,
arrested by the Gestapo 14 June 1944. Paragraph two:

   "Thursday, 15 June, at eight o'clock in the morning, I
   was taken to the torture cellar. There they demanded
   that I confess the sabotage which I had carried out with
   my group, and denounce my comrades and disclose our
   hiding place. Because I did not, the torture commenced.
   They made me put my hands behind my back. They put on
   special handcuffs and hung me by my wrists. Then they
   beat me with an oxhide whip, principally on the loins
   and in the face. That day the torture lasted three
   Friday, 16 June, the same thing took place only for an
   hour and a half, for I could stand it no longer, and
   they took me back to my cell on a stretcher.
   Saturday, the tortures began with even more severity. At
   last I was obliged to confess my sabotage, for the
   brutes stuck needles in my arms. After that they left me
   alone until 10 August; then they had me called to the
   office and told me I was condemned to death. I was put
   on a train of deportees going to Brussels, from which I
   was freed on 3 September by Brussels patriots.

Page 56:

   Women were subjected to the same treatment as men, To
   the physical pain the sadism of the torturers added the
   moral anguish, especially mortifying for a woman or a
   young girl, of being stripped nude by her torturers.
   Pregnancy did not save them from lashes. When brutality
   brought about a miscarriage they were left without any
   care, exposed to all the hazards and complications of
   these criminal abortions."

This is the text of the summary drawn up by the American
officer who carried out this investigation.

The Tribunal will find, on Page 58 - Page 36 in the German
text - at the

                                                  [Page 160]

bottom of the French text, the report of Madame Sindemans,
who was arrested in Paris on 24 February, 1944,"by four
soldiers each armed with a submachine gun, and two other
Germans in civilian clothes holding revolvers :

   "Having looked into my handbag, they found three
   identification cards. Searching my room, they discovered
   the pads and stamp of the Kommandantur and German
   workman passes which I had succeeded in stealing from
   them the day before."
   Immediately, they handcuffed me and took me to be
   interrogated. Getting no reply, they slapped me in the
   face with such force that I fell from my chair. Then
   they whipped me with a rubber hose, full in the face.
   This interrogation began at 10 o'clock in the morning
   and ended at 11 o'clock that night. I must tell you that
   I had been pregnant for three months."

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