The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-020-03

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-020-03
Last-Modified: 1999/10/10

Q. You stayed in Lublin for only three days?

A. Yes, we wanted to move on, for everyone said that there
was no future there and that one had to...

Q. Where did you want to continue to?

A. Eastwards, to get out of the reach of the SS men.

Q. What did you do after the three days?

A. We obtained a small cart.

Q. Always the same five people?

A. Yes. We obtained this small cart for which we paid in
cash and a Pole rode with us towards the East, in the
direction of Poldowa. On the way between Poldowa and Lublin
there was a point on the highway - there was another road at
that point and I don't remember where that place was. But
suddenly there appeared a Schupo* {*Schupo: Schutzpolizei -
a policeman.} and two SS soldiers. We got off from the cart,
for they ordered us to get off. They asked whether we had
any money. We gave them the money. They asked: Who has any
more money? One of the group, who was not to blame for it,
had some more money in his pocket. They searched him and
found more money in his pocket. They told us to remove our
clothes. We got undressed completely. All were made to lie
on the ground, and we were given blows for fifteen minutes
on end. They passed the stick from one to the other. They
struck us and laughed.

Q. After that they left you?

A. After that they told us to kneel down and to sing Hebrew
songs. We sang "Hatikva." After that they told us to crawl
inside a concrete pipe which was next to the road. We did
so. It was quite difficult. All the time we were in the pipe
we were given more beatings.

Presiding Judge: Was it a closed concrete pipe?

A. No, a conduit. After that we returned and they left us.
We noticed around there a mass of Jewish and Hebrew books,
Siddurim (prayer books), half burnt.

Presiding Judge: Were these prayer books?

Witness Kratky: Yes. I thought that people who wanted to
leave the place reached this point, and they treated them
all in the same way.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  Is that what you thought?

Witness Kratky: Yes.

Q. What did you do?

A. My friend fainted twice. He was very weak after these
beatings. They were very hard blows. It is impossible to
describe them in words. We went back to Lublin. It was
impossible to go on. We had nothing and we were very weak.
We went on the cart which had taken us in that direction,
and we reached Lublin. We immediately went to the Jewish
hospital at 54 Levertovska Street.

Q. How long did you remain there?

A. There we received good, excellent treatment and we were
patients there for two weeks. We received a quite
interesting visit from Edelstein.

Q. Ya'akov Edelstein came there?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did he come from?

A. From Nisko. He came to Nisko to see how the new State was

Q. Did he tell you what he was doing in Lublin?

A. He told me that in Lublin he wanted to see Globocnik, who
was the Governor of Lublin. Murmelstein was also there, but
he didn't come to the hospital, but to a hotel.

Q. What happened in Lublin?

A. We remained in Lublin meanwhile.

Q. How long, in the end, did you remain in Lublin?

A. Until the end.

Q. What do you mean by "until the end"?

A. Until we returned again to the camp.

Q. When was that?

A. At the beginning of April.

Q. So you remained in Lublin until April 1940?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you work during that period?

A. Yes, I worked as a doctor.

Q. Where?

A. In the hospital. We remained there and we helped.

Q. Was it a Jewish hospital?

A. Yes. We assisted there - both the other doctor, Dr.
Tasker, and I.

Q. Do you recall, during the period of your work at the
hospital in Lublin, when a particular transport of Jews
arrived from Germany?

A. Yes.

A. Please tell the Court about it.

A. This transport of Jews from Stettin arrived in a very bad
condition, and we received them. Some of them were in a very
serious state. It was a very difficult winter. It was 25
degrees below zero.

Q. Do you remember the month in which the transport reached
the hospital in Lublin?

A. It could have been roughly at the end of December.

Q. December-January?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the condition of the patients?

A. They told us in the hospital that eight persons had been
taken from the train who had frozen to death.

Q. Who had frozen to death?

A. Both from the cold and also otherwise. I don't know. They
were locked in. But we received many people at the hospital,
approximately 60 persons; there was no room and they had to
lie on the floor and in all kinds of places, and we treated
arms and legs that had been frozen. It was a matter of luck
that a good friend arrived from Nisko - I think they sent
him - Dr. Grossmann, a famous operating surgeon, and he was
of great help in this situation. We treated the people.

Q. You treated these people and you said that you remained
at your post in the hospital until the month of April 1940?

A. Yes, we were in touch with the camp all the time.

Q. At Nisko?

A. Yes. People came there. Kramer, too, came there, the
brother of Azariah Kramer who was also in the hospital. I
spoke to him. People kept coming - this doctor and others.

Q. The contact between you and the camp at Nisko continued?

A. Yes. We heard that they were searching - they were trying
to find people on the frontier who had no way of moving away
from there. They had nothing. They were really hungry and
without any money or food, and Edelstein was a very good
man, and tried to help them. He went from place to place.

Q. To search for them?

A. Yes.

Q. You left Lublin in April 1940, and where did you go to?

A. I went the same way...

Q. Alone?

A. No, with Dr. Grossmann, Tasker and Frankel, and a few
other men who, during that time, had come to Lublin from the
camp and who were in contact, all the time...

Q. Where did you go?

A. We went along the same road, but by cart.

Presiding Judge: To the east?

A. No, no, to Nisko. We were told to come back to Nisko, for
there was a possibility that the whole camp might be going
back to Moravska Ostrava.

Q. Is that what you heard in Lublin?

A. Yes.

Q. So you returned to Nisko, in order to go back from there
to Maehrisch-Ostrau?

A. We returned round about April 14...

Q. So you actually returned to Nisko, you remained for 14
days, roughly a fortnight more or less - is that right?

A. Yes. We travelled from Nisko by train.

Presiding Judge: To Maehrisch-Ostrau?

Witness Kratky: Yes.

Presiding Judge: Was the camp there dismantled?

Witness Kratky: Yes. All the people that were in the camp,
about 280 persons.

State Attorney Bar-Or:  Can you give the Court, very
briefly, a description of the camp and its condition when
you arrived back in April 1940?

Witness Kratky: There were already houses there, there was a
shoe-repair shop, also a kitchen - I heard that there was a
small hospital at Olnow, near the camp.

Q. Were all the people you found in the camp on your return
from Maehrisch-Ostrau?

A. I don't know, but there were also people from Vienna.

Q. How many were there, in all, when you came back?

A. There were 280 of us who left there. I remember this
number well.

Q. Do you know what happened to the others? After all, 1,000
left with you. Is that not so?

A. Yes.

Q. When you returned, in April 1940, did you see extensions
to the camp?

A. We heard that some had actually left for the East, and
that some had remained in Lvov, in that direction. We heard
afterwards that my brother-in-law had left with that
transport; he remained in Kolomyya, and was shot there after
the Germans caught him.

Q. So ultimately, you returned to Maehrisch-Ostrau already
in April?

A. Yes.

Q. How long did you stay there?

A. Until September 1942.

Q. When you were transferred to Theresienstadt?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you give the Court a brief description of your living
conditions in Maehrisch-Ostrau during those two years?

A. Generally, or that part of the people who had returned
from Nisko?

Q. No, all the Jews of Maehrisch-Ostrau, in general.

A. In August 1941, I believe, we had to wear the yellow

Q. When were you obliged to wear it?

A. Approximately in August 1941. We Jews lived in Maehrisch-
Ostrau near the Christian church, around the corner - one
could say it was a small ghetto. This was done especially so
that the Jews should be concentrated in their dwellings. In
my apartment, too, the apartment of my parents, who were
still living there, we received two families, and all were
concentrated together.

Q. Was it necessary to be concentrated in a number of

A. Yes, in a ghetto; it was not altogether closed off, it
was not a prison, but nevertheless it was impossible to
leave the house later than 7 or 8 in the evening, or before
7 in the morning.

Q. Were there restrictions on your movements?

A. Yes. It was impossible to leave the town of Maehrisch-
Ostrau for Prague.

Q. And what about your movements inside the town?

A. They were free.

Q. You were able to move around freely?

A. Only that we could not use the bus.

Q. You were forbidden to use a means of transport?

A. Yes, but there were certain hours when we could buy
goods, but also only in certain shops.

Q. Only at certain hours?

A. Yes. Doctors were allowed to treat Jews only. I no longer
had my practice.

Q. You were permitted to treat Jews only?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember the name of Eichmann?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you come across this name for the first time?

A. Only in Nisko.

Q. Did you see Eichmann in Nisko?

A. I saw him that afternoon on the hill.

Q. You told us about someone who made a speech before you,
whose words you gave in brief in German. Was that Eichmann?

A. Yes, that was Eichmann. I heard that from the people
around me who had already had some contact with him, some
meeting with him on the train, or...

Q. You heard that from people who had already met him and
they told you he was Eichmann?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you be able to recognize him today?

A. No, not at all.

Q. Did you see that man, who they told you was Eichmann,
again after that speech?

A. No.

Q. Do you remember the name Guenther?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see him?

A. I don't remember whether I saw him. I hear that he was in
Moravska Ostrava several times. That I remember very well.
In 1939, in the summer. That I remember.

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

Dr. Servatius:  Yes. Moravska Ostrava used to belong in
those days to what was called the Protectorate?

Witness Kratky: Yes. It was a town in Northern Moravia, and
it was in the Protectorate.

Q. Who was the Protector, the Governor of the Protectorate,
there, when this Nisko affair was initiated?

A. Neurath, I believe, and afterwards Heydrich, or Heydrich
first. I think it was Neurath.

Q. Wasn't Heydrich there already?

A. I don't remember whether it was Heydrich first, or
Neurath first. Neurath was also in Czechoslovakia. Heydrich
was there. I am confused on this.

Presiding Judge: Very well, one or the other, either Neurath
was first, or Heydrich.

Dr. Servatius:  Do you remember that he made some speech.
According to the rumour, it should have been Heydrich who
gave the speech, and who promised the population that he
would cleanse the area of its Jews within three months?

Witness Kratky: I don't remember.

Dr. Servtius: I have no more questions.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.