The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-05/tgmwc-05-45.07
Last-Modified: 1999/10/05


Q. What was the colour of the triangle worn by the ordinary
German criminals?

A. They had a green triangle.

Q. Did they not wear eventually a red triangle?

A. No, because they were guarded more severely than the
others and they distinctly wore the green triangle.

Q. And in the working groups?

THE PRESIDENT: We have heard that they were all mixed up.

M. DUBOST: The fact will not have escaped the Tribunal that
these questions

                                                  [Page 255]

are put to counter other questions, which were asked this
morning by the counsel for the defence, with the intent to
confuse not the Tribunal but the witnesses.

THE WITNESS: I can repeat to you that we had a complete
conglomeration of nationalities and categories of prisoners.

THE PRESIDENT: That is exactly what he said, that these
triangles were completely mixed up.

M. DUBOST: I think, that the statement by this second
witness, will definitely enlighten the Tribunal on this
point, whatever the efforts of the defence might be to
mislead us.

BY M. DUBOST:

Q. Do you know anything of tattooed people?

A. Yes indeed.

Q. Will you please tell us what you know about them?

A. Tattooed human skins were stored in Block 2, which was
called at Buchenwald the Pathological Block.

Q. Were there many tattooed human skins in Block 2?

A. There were always tattooed human skins in Block 2. I
cannot say whether there were many, as they were continually
being received and passed on, but there were not only
tattooed human skins. There were also tanned human skins -
simply tanned, not tattooed.

Q. Did they skin people?

A. They removed the skin and then tanned it.

Q. Will you continue your testimony on that point?

A. I saw SS come out of Block 2, the Pathological Block,
carrying tanned skins under their arms. I know, from my
comrades who worked in Block 2, that there were orders for
skins, and these tanned skins were given as gifts to certain
guards, and to certain visiting officials, who used them to
bind books.

Q. We were told that Koch, who was the Commander at that
time, was sentenced for this practice.

A. I was not a witness of the Koch affair, which happened
before I came to the camp.

Q. So that even after he left there were still tanned and
tattooed skins?

A. Yes, there were constantly tanned and tattooed skins, and
when the camp was liberated by the Americans, they found in
the camp, in Block 2, tattooed and tanned skins, on the 11
of April, 1945.

Q. Where were these skins tanned?

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid you are still going to fast.

A. These skins were tanned in Block 2, and perhaps also in
the crematorium buildings, which were not far from Block 2.

Q. Then, according to your testimony, it was a customary
practice which continued even after Koch's execution?

A. Yes, this practice continued, but I do not know to what
extent.

Q. Did you witness any inspections made of the camp by
German officials, and if so, who were these officials?

A. I can tell you something about Dora, concerning such
visits.

Q. Excuse me, I have one more thing to ask you, about the
skins. Do you know anything about Koch's conviction?

A. I heard rumours and remarks about Koch's conviction from
old comrades, who were in the camp at that time. But
personally, I did not witness the case.

Q. Never mind. It is enough for me to know that after his
conviction, skins were still tanned and tattooed.

A. That is correct.

Q. You expressly state it?

A. Absolutely. Even after his conviction there were tanned
and tattooed skins.

                                                  [Page 256]

Q. Will you tell us now what visits were made to the camp by
German officials, and who these officials were?

A. Contact between the outside, that is German civilians and
even German soldiers, and the interior of the camp were made
possible by departure or the leaves that some political
prisoners were able to obtain from the SS in order to spend
some time with their families, and, vice versa, there were
visits to the camp by members of the Wehrmacht. In Block 50
we had the visit of Luftwaffe cadets. These Luftwaffe
cadets, i.e. members of the regular German Armed Forces,
passed through the camp and were able to see practically
everything that went on there.

Q. What did they do in Block 50?

A. They just came to see the equipment, on the invitation of
Sturmbannfuehrer Schuler. We received several visits.

Q. What was the equipment?

A. Equipment for the manufacture of vaccines, laboratory
equipment.

Q. Thank you.

A. There were other visits also, and some Red Cross nurses
visited this Block in October 1944.

Q. Do you, know the names of any German personalities who
visited the camp?

A. Yes. Such a personality was the Crown Prince of Waldeck
and Pyremont, who was an Obergruppenfuehrer of the Waffen
SS, and Chief of Police of Hessen and Thuringia, who visited
the camp on several occasions, including Block 46 as well as
Block 50. He was greatly interested in the experiments.

Q. Do you know what the attitude of mind of the prisoners
was shortly before their liberation by the American forces?

A. The internees of the camp expected the liberation to come
at any moment. On the 11 April, in the morning, there was
perfect order in the camp and exemplary discipline. We hid,
with extreme difficulty and in the greatest secrecy,
weapons, cases of hand grenades, and about 250 guns which
were divided in two lots, one lot of a hundred guns for the
hospital, and another lot of about 150 guns in my Block 50,
and cases of hand grenades. As soon as the Americans began
to appear below the camp of Buchenwald, at about 3 o'clock
in the afternoon of the 11th of April, the political
prisoners, assembled in line, seized the weapons and made
prisoner most of the SS guards of the camp or shot all those
who resisted. These guards had great difficulty in escaping
as they had knapsacks filled with booty, i.e. objects they
had stolen from the prisoners during the time they had
guarded the camp.

M. DUBOST: Thank you. I have no further questions to put to
the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken)

M. DUBOST: I had no more questions to ask the witness, your
Honours.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendant's counsel want to ask
any questions of this witness?

BY DR. KAUFFMANN (counsel for Kaltenbrunner):

Q. Are you a specialist in research concerning the
manufacture of vaccines?

A. Yes, I am a specialist in research.

Q. According to your opinion, was there any sense in the
treatment to which these people were subjected?

A. It had no scientific significance; it only had a
practical purpose. It permitted the verification of the
efficacy of certain products.

Q. You must have your own opinion since you were in contact
with those men? Did you really see these people?

A . I saw these people at very close hand, since in Block 50
I was in charge

                                                  [Page 257]

of part of this manufacture of vaccine. Consequently, I was
quite able to realise what kind of experiments were being
made in Block 46 and the reasons for these experiments.
Further, I also realised the almost complete inefficiency of
the SS doctors and how easy it was for us to sabotage the
vaccine for the Germany Army.

Q. Now, these people must have gone through much misery and
suffering before they died.

A. These people certainly suffered terribly, especially in
the case of certain experiments.

Q. Can you certify that through your own experience, or is
that just hearsay?

A. I saw in Block 50, photographs, taken in Block 46, of
phosphorus burns, and it was not necessary to be a
specialist to realise that these patients, whose flesh was
burned to the bones, must have suffered.

Q. Then your conscience certainly revolted at these things.

A. Absolutely.

Q. Now, I would like to ask you, how were you able to follow
the dictates of your conscience, in order to help these
people in some way?

A. That is quite simple. When I arrived at Buchenwald as a
deportee, I simply specified that I was a "laborant." That
is a man who is trained in laboratory work but has no
special and definite qualifications. I was sent to Dora,
where the SS regime made me lose 30 kilos in two months. I
became anaemic  ....

Q. Witness, I am just concerned with Buchenwald. I do not
wish to know anything about Dora. I ask you ...

A. It was the prisoners at Buchenwald who, by their
connections within the camp, were the causes of my return to
the Buchenwald camp. It was M. Julien Cain, a Frenchman, the
Director of the French National Library, who called my
presence to the attention of a German political prisoner,
Walter Kummilscheim, who was a secretary in Block 50, and it
is he who drew attention to my presence without my knowing
it and without my having spoken of being a specialist in
Dora. That is the reason why the SS called me back from Dora
to work in Block 50.

Q. Please pardon the interruption. We do not wish to
elaborate too much on these matters. I believe everything
that you have just said, your reason why you were sent to
Dora and why you were sent back. My point is a completely
different one. I would like to ask you once more: You knew
that these people were being treated in an inhuman way. Is
that correct? Please answer yes or no.

A. I knew it of course, but long after -

Q. (Interposing): Please answer yes or no.

A. I answer the question. When I arrived at Block 50 I knew
nothing, either of the Block or of the experiments. It was
only later when I was in Block 50, that little by little and
through the acquaintances I was able to make in the block. I
found out the details of the experiments.

Q. Very well. And after you learned about the details of the
experiments, did you not have the deepest sympathy for these
poor creatures?

A. My pity was very great, but it was not a question of
having pity or not, one had to carry out to the letter the
orders that were given or be killed.

Q. Very well. Then you are stating that if in any way you
had not followed the orders that you had received you might
have been killed? Is that right?

A. There is no doubt about that. On the other hand, my work
consisted in manufacturing vaccine, and neither I nor any
other prisoners in Block 50 could ever enter Block 46 and
actually witness experiments.

We knew what went on concerning the experiments only through
the index cards which were sent from Block 46, to be
officially registered in Block 50.

Q. Very well, but I believe there is no difference in your
conscience, whether

                                                  [Page 258]

you see the suffering with your own eyes, or whether you
have direct knowledge that in the same camp people are being
murdered in such a way. Now, I come to another question.

THE PRESIDENT: Was that a question you were putting there?
Will you confine yourself to questions.

THE WITNESS: I beg your pardon. I should like to answer the
last question.

DR. KAUFFMAN: That was not a question. I will put another
question now.

THE WITNESS: I should like to reply to this remark then.

DR. KAUFFMANN: I am not interested in your answer.

THE WITNESS: I am anxious to give it.

THE PRESIDENT: Answer the question, please.

THE WITNESS: Suffering was everywhere in the camps, and not
only in the experimental blocks. It was in the quarantine
blocks, it was among all the men who died every day by the
hundreds. Suffering reigned everywhere in the concentration
camps.

BY DR. KAUFFMAN:

Q. Was there a decree or an announcement that there was to
be no conversation about these experiments?

A. As a rule the experiments were meant to be kept
absolutely secret. An indiscreet remark in regard to the
experiments could entail immediate death. I must add that
there were very few of us who knew the details of these
experiments.

Q. You mentioned the visits to this camp, and you also
mentioned that German Red Cross members, or nurses, and
members of the Wehrmacht visited the camp, and that
furloughs were granted to political prisoners. Were you ever
present at one of these visits inside the camp?

A. Yes, I was present at the visits inside the camp of which
I spoke.

Q. Did the visitors to this camp see that cardiac injections
were being given? Or did the visitors see that human skin
was tanned? Were those visitors present while internees were
being ill-treated?

A. I cannot answer this question in the affirmative, and I
can only say that visitors passed through my block. One had
to pass almost through the entire camp. I do not know where
the visitors went either before or after visiting my block.

Q. Did one of your own comrades perhaps tell you whether the
visitors personally saw these excuses? Yes or no.

A. I do not understand the question. Would you mind
repeating it?

Q. Did perhaps one of your comrades tell you that the
visitors at the camp were present at these excesses?

A. I never heard that visitors were present at experiments
or at excesses of this kind. The only thing I can say, is
that concerning the tanned skins I saw with my own eyes SS,
non-commissioned officers or officers - I cannot remember
exactly whether they were officers or non-commissioned
officers - come out of block 2, carrying tanned skins under
their arms. But these were SS men; they were not visitors to
the camp.

Q. Did these visitors, and in particular the Red Cross
nurses, know that these experiments were medically
completely worthless, or did they just wish to inspect the
laboratories and the equipment?

A. I repeat again that these visitors came to my laboratory
section, where they saw what was being done, that is, the
sterilised filling of the vials or tubes. I cannot say what
they saw before or after. I only know that these visitors of
whom I am speaking, these Luftwaffe cadets or the Red Cross
people, visited the whole installation of the block. They
certainly knew, however, what was the basis of this culture,
and that men might be used for experiments, as there were
charts and graphs showing the stages of cultures starting
with

                                                  [Page 259]

men; but it could have been blood initially taken from
typhus patients and not necessarily from patients
artificially inoculated with typhus.

I really think that these visitors did not generally know
about the atrocities in the form of experiments that were
being performed in Block 46, but it is impossible for
visitors who went into the camp not to see the horrible
conditions in which the internees were held.

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