The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-070-06

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-070-06
Last-Modified: 1999/06/08

Q. Once a week, the notorious roll-call by Dr. Mengele took
place for you?

A. About once a week.  When a rumour reached us that Mengele
was coming, there was panic.  We stood there, and we had to

Q. You stood there naked?

A. Naked.  We pinched our lips, so that somehow we should
look healthy.

Q. You mean your cheeks?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: Your lips or your cheeks?

Witness Goldstein:   The cheeks.  And he would select the
weak ones or the thin ones.

Attorney General: To be gassed?

Witness Goldstein:   Yes.

Q. Did something else happen at the time of that selection?
Was there some music?

A. Once a selection took place, it took almost the whole
day, and then an orchestra was present.  They played for us
the whole day.  That was when there was a much larger

Q. Was there a woman who assisted Dr. Mengele?

A. Yes.  Her name was Brechsler.

Q. Her name has already been mentioned - in the evidence of
the doctor yesterday.

A. She also used to make selections.

Q. There were Blockaelteste of various kinds in Auschwitz, I
understand.  There were good ones and evil ones?

A. Yes, but most of them were good.

Q. Most of them were good?

A. Yes.

Q. How did you live? One thousand women in the block?

A. There were a thousand women in the block - twelve women
in one bunk.  There was only room to lie on one's side, head
and feet protruding, and when one turned over, all the
eleven others had to turn over.  We received our food in one
dish for twelve people, without spoons, without cups, twelve
people eating from one dish.  We counted the sips, so that
one should not drink more than the next.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, do you have any questions?

Dr. Servatius:  No, I have no questions to the witness.

Judge Raveh:   Were you given a number?

Witness Goldstein:   No.

Q. On what date did you arrive?

A. We arrived in May 1944; we were there for three months,
and in August we left Auschwitz.

Q. All those who arrived with you did not get numbers?

A. They did not get them.  At that time - no.

Presiding Judge: Mrs. Goldstein, you have concluded your
testimony.  Thank you very much.

We can adjourn now.  After the recess, you may show the
films.  The public will not be permitted to be present,
apart from journalists, and, in addition, we have been asked
to allow official observers of foreign governments to view
this screening, and we shall permit that.

Attorney General: Perhaps I may be permitted to request
permission for the attendance of the director of Yad Vashem
and a number of researchers, whose names we shall submit to
the Court during the reces.

Presiding Judge: How many are there?

Attorney General: A small number.

Presiding Judge: Very well, we shall also allow that.

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, last night we
screened the films - which the Court will now see - in the
presence of representatives of the Prosecution, and in the
presence of Dr. Servatius and nine identification witnesses.
They are:  Mrs. Salzberger, Mr. Hoch, Mr. Aviel, Mr.
Melkman, Mr. Ben-Zvi, Mr. Bakon, Mrs. Kagan, Mr. Chen and
Mr. Aharon Hoter-Yishai.  As a result of the screening,
Defence Counsel agreed that, indeed, each of the witnesses
identified a portion of the pictures, and hence, in this
way, the entire screening was authenticated.  I understand
that Defence Counsel does not insist that the oath be
administered to these identifying witnesses, but they are
present here, at the Court's disposal, should the Court
desire further authentication from them or to put additional
questions to them.

Presiding Judge: That means there will be no testimony...

Attorney General: There will be no evidence running with the
screening.  I shall announce before the screening of each
section what is being shown.  I have a record of proceedings
here signed by Mr. Ya'akov Bar-Or, on the identification
that took place yesterday.  I am ready to submit it to the
Court.  Defence Counsel has received a copy of it.

Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what do you have to observe
on this?

Dr. Servatius:  I have no comments in regard to the
witnesses.  The Attorney General will explain what the
contents are.  These contents have been summarized for me,
and I have no objection - but I have some points which I ask
the Court to note, and on which my reservations are based.
Do I have permission to present them now?

Presiding Judge: First of all, you do not have any objection
to the submission of the record of proceedings?

Dr. Servatius:  No, I have no objection to the submission of
this record of proceedings.

Presiding Judge: I am marking the record of proceedings with
my initials, and the letter "A".  You spoke about
reservations - what kind of reservations will you have at a
later stage?  I should like to understand the meaning of
this word "reservation".

Dr. Servatius:  Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I am
referring to a possible reservation which I shall present,
and the Court will understand it only if it is submitted in

Presiding Judge: That means that the reservation is against
the present screening itself, or how am I to understand it?

Dr. Servatius:  No, the reservation will not be against the
actual screening, but in respect of certain scenes and of
the text.

Presiding Judge: Please continue.

Dr. Servatius:  Firstly, we see the actions of an
operational group - to that I have no objection.  But,
immediately thereafter, comes a scene of a pile of corpses,
a burning pile.  I have the feeling that this scene was
prepared after the event, and, in this respect, the scene
should have been examined.  There is also a view there of a
wooden wall marked with lines.  What their significance is
one cannot see, but it has been said here that these are the
numbers of the victims who were killed by this unit.  I
would, therefore, request that the text be examined.

Presiding Judge: With regard to the first scene, are you
arguing that the scene has been staged, that it is not a
genuine one?

Dr. Servatius:  No, it is a genuine scene, but I have the
feeling that it was filmed after the liberation, when they
continued the process of burning bodies.  Subsequently,
there is a scene showing decapitated bodies, and the heads
in a separate receptacle.  I assume that both the scenes of
the corpses and those of the heads are genuine.  But I have
the impression that it was put together for the purpose of
reports that were made.  Thereafter, we are shown some
rectangular objects, and it is said that this was soap made
from these bodies.  I request that, in this instance, too,
the text be examined.

The last aspect to which I want to draw the Court's
attention is the concluding scene depicting the disposal of
the bodies.  I believe that this is more like a photographic
report.  There, the bodies are collected and gathered
together and brought by a bulldozer into a pit.  My feeling
is that whoever prepared the report aimed less at a factual
description than at the impression made, and I ask that
this, too, should be examined.  I have no further remarks.

Attorney General: As to the number to which Defence Counsel
referred, I have no evidence as to the number, and I would
ask the Court to disregard any figure of those who were put
to death which may appear here.  We shall not seek to prove
any figure, or total of victims, by means of the figure
which appears in the film.

As far as the furnace is concerned, I do not know whether it
was found in this condition, when there was still fire in
it, or whether the fire was kindled in order to show how it
looked when the fire was burning.  I cannot give any
explanation for it. At any rate, this furnace was

Presiding Judge: Identified?  Where was it?

Attorney General: In Auschwitz.  Concerning the burying of
the bodies, evidence will be brought on the subject, and we
shall submit material which, in our opinion, will implicate
the Accused in the matter of the skeletons in Strasbourg.
We shall submit evidence proving the link between the
Accused and that affair, and the pictures which were shown
at Nuremberg on the same matter.  The scenes that you will
see here is needed only to substantiate the material
evidence which you will receive tomorrow.  If we do not
succeed in submitting this material, I shall ask you to
disregard these scenes.  Incidentally, it is only a brief
part of the film, and also not an important one.

And now, with regard to the last film on Bergen-Belsen.  The
explanation is as follows: Attempts by the liberating forces
to have the victims buried by the German population did not
keep pace with the large numbers of bodies; in other words,
it was impossible to bury the bodies at a sufficient rate.
There were huge piles of bodies and, meanwhile, an epidemic
of typhus spread.  In order to prevent the spread of the
epidemic, the occupying forces brought in bulldozers, which
you will see, in order to level the area, and in the course
of that, to my regret, graves were opened in this process,
and bodies were dragged along.  I am not saying that the
Accused, or his subordinates, or in whose name he operated,
committed this act.  This film was taken after the
liberation of Bergen-Belsen.  But this is what such a burial
looked like.  The only justification - if, indeed, I am
called upon to justify this - lies in the fact that the
epidemic of typhus was prevalent, and the bodies had to be
buried hurriedly, in order to prevent the increasing
decomposition and the spread of the epidemic.

The first film will be the operation of the Einsatzgruppen,
the execution of women and men.  According to what we know,
this was taken at the actual time.

[The film is shown]

Attorney General: So far, we have had the first section of
the films.  The second section consists of a number of
fragments.  Firstly, the train from Westerbork to Auschwitz.
The surroundings have been identified as those of
Westerbork.  The commander of the camp has been identified.

The other scenes appearing in the rest of the film are: a
view of Auschwitz, the plan of the camp, the installations,
the women's living quarters, the stores, the stores for
teeth, hair, women's articles, and items of clothing; a
medical committee examining the victims of the experiments.
The Court will also observe the barbed wire fences, the
watch towers, and the electrified fences.

[The film is shown]

Attorney General: [giving explanations during the screening]

[A view of an SS officer amongst a group of people] This man
in the centre has been identified as Gemecke, commander of
the camp.

[A scene of a barrel being brought into a freight car from a
cart full of barrels] This barrel was given to the prisoners
for the purpose of relieving themselves en route.

[A scene of people seated in a large hall, mainly women and
children] These pictures were taken immediately after the

These two below are "Stehbunker" (standing-up cells).

[A scene of people eating, two eating from one plate] These
are pictures from the time of arrest.

These are toilets.

This is a wall for executing people in the notorious Block

[People lying in bed] This is a hospital.

[A scene of a room in the clinic and various instruments]

Presiding Judge: What do you know about that?

Attorney General: These are the instruments for medical
experiments.  These are the interiors of cells.  This is the
burning of the bodies in the open, when the crematorium
could not cope.

[A view of the camp covered in snow, people walking with
haversacks and personal possessions]  This is after the
liberation by the Soviet army.

[A group of people in prisoner's garb pointing to an
installation containing a door which opens downwards] This
is Block 10, the punishment block.

[Heaps of spectacles, shoes, hair, and the like] This is
what was discovered in the stores of Auschwitz after the
liberation, false teeth, spectacles and other items.

[Bundles of coarse cloth]

Presiding Judge: What is that?

Attorney General: This is cloth made from hair, but we have
no evidence as to its use - that is what the producer of the
film surmised.

[An examination of people by a group of doctors] This is the
examination of survivors by a medical team.

Attorney General: The next film will show various camps.
First of all, the I.G. Farben camp and a visit there by

Presiding Judge: The I.G. Farben camp - where?

Attorney General: In Buna, one of the sections of Auschwitz.
As a consequence of the Defence Counsel's remarks, I
understand that this item has been removed because some
comment was made about it.  The next scene will be Birkenau.
Next, Mauthausen, and after that Strasbourg.  This is how
people were killed on the electrified barbed wire fences.
This is the roll-call in Mauthausen.  The people are
standing there, naked.

Presiding Judge: Did you say that the last section was
filmed in Strasbourg?

Attorney General: There was the matter of the supply of one
hundred and fifty skeletons to the Institute for Ancestral
Research "Ahnenerbe".  We shall prove the link with the
Accused.  Instead of supplying skeletons, he supplied living
people whose skeletons served the institute.

Presiding Judge: Do you have evidence that this was filmed
at Strasbourg?

Attorney General: There are pictures closely resembling
those which were shown at Nuremberg.

The next section deals with the camps in the American
sector.  It will show the United States forces entering the
camps, General Eisenhower visiting the camps, the surviving
remnants of all kinds.

Presiding Judge: At what place was that taken?

Attorney General: At various places.  There were scores of
these.  These are the huts that were set on fire at the time
of the German retreat.

These are figures of Muselmenn about whom the Court has
already heard.  The German citizens were ordered to visit
the camps and to see the atrocities with their own eyes.

The next film is about Bergen-Belsen.  The Court will see
the entry of the British army into the camp.  The
distribution of food.  There is a general view of the camp.
Piles of bodies which had not yet been disposed of.  SS men
and women being brought in by British soldiers.  The camp
commandant.  SS women gathering the bodies under British
orders and burying them in a common grave.  A burial by the
British.  SS soldiers collecting the bodies.  And, finally,
as I have already said, the gathering of the bodies and
their internment by means of a bulldozer, in view of the
danger of a typhus epidemic.

I regret that it was necessary to subject the Court to such
a harrowing experience.  That is the end of the screening.

Presiding Judge: We shall adjourn now.  The next Session
will be at 3.30 this afternoon.

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