The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-024-01

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-024-01
Last-Modified: 1999/05/31

Session No. 24
16 Iyar, 5721 (2 May 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the twenty-fourth Session of the
trial open. We continue hearing the evidence of the witness
Henryk Ross. Will the interpreter please tell him that he
continues to testify under oath. [The interpreter tells  the
witness accordingly.]

Attorney General: Mr. Ross, you told us that you worked as a
photographer in the Lodz Ghetto. Whom were you working for
as a photographer?

Witness Henryk Ross:  I was an official in the Department of
Statistics and I worked there in the photographic section.
This section operated legally, having been set up in
accordance with an order of the Germans.

Q. What did you have to photograph?

A. Whatever the Jewish Council instructed us to do according
to orders they received from the Germans. For example,
everyone in the ghetto had to be photographed for identity
cards signed by Amtsleiter Biebow. Every person who worked
had to carry such an identity card and it had to have a
photograph. Apart from this, we used to photograph people
who died on the streets and on whom no documents were found,
and under an order of the German authorities we had to mark
them as "unidentified," without names. In addition to this,
we photographed samples of products manufactured in the
factories for the army, such as uniforms and shoes. When an
order came from the Germans to destroy a particular building
or neighbourhood, we had to photograph the building from all
angles and to forward the  photographs, as required by the
Germans, to the headquarters in the market which was called
Baluty market, where the German headquarters were situated.

Q. Did you say to destroy a building or a neighbourhood?

A. They used to destroy both buildings and neighbourhoods.

Q. Apart from the photographs you prepared for the Ghetto
Council, did you also take other photographs?

A. When I had more free time, I also used to take
photographs which it was forbidden to take.

Q. When, towards the end?

A. In July 1944, when I heard and saw that the ghetto was
about to be liquidated, that they were going to expel all of
us, I hid the negatives in barrels and concealed them in the
ground. I only took them out after I had been liberated.

Q. Did you succeed in saving some of the negatives and
bringing them with you to Israel?

A. Yes. Some were destroyed owing to water seeping in, but
the greater part was saved. I hid them in the ground in the
presence of several of my friends, so that if we died and
one of us survived, the photographs would remain for the
sake of history. Fortunately I remained alive and I dug them

Q. How much did you weigh when you were liberated after the

A. I did not weigh myself after the War, I was ill, but
towards the end, when I was weighed for the last time in the
ghetto, my weight was 38 kilograms. I even have photographs
showing how I looked then.

Attorney General: [To Presiding Judge] May I approach the

Presiding Judge: Certainly.

Attorney General: Thank you. [Approaches witness-box].

[To witness] What was this picture, Mr. Ross? [Shows the
picture to the witness.]

Witness Ross: This is a child who was deported in the year

Q. Please submit it. I now submit some of your photographs.
You gave us these - is that correct?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: This photograph will be T/223. Was this at
the time of deportation? What does this picture show?

Witness Ross: At moments when no German was seen in the
vicinity, when they had gone elsewhere to beat up people, I
took advantage of that moment to take photographs.

Presiding Judge: This boy was about to be deported? This is
what I understand.

Witness Ross The deportation was on the same day, possibly a
minute later, and on that same day the Germans entered the
place and beat up and chased children and old people alike.
The moment the Germans approached, I fled out of fear.

Attorney General: What is this picture, Mr. Ross? [Shows a
picture to the witness.]

Witness Ross: I still want to explain what I said
previously. A number of people have approached me who did
not understand what I said previously regarding potatoes.

Presiding Judge: Let us come back to the potatoes after the
photographs have been submitted.

Attorney General: Explain to us what this picture is.

Presiding Judge: If this correction relates to the picture,
please proceed.

Witness Ross: I said previously that the potatoes were not
fit to be eaten. I was wrong. They used to arrive in very
good condition, but they were frozen, like stones. When they
reached the kitchen and thawed, it was seen that they were
not fit to eat. They then distributed the potatoes to the
people, but they were not able to eat them; but despite
everything, seeing that they were very hungry, they used to
dig them up, since the ghetto authorities used to bury them
in the ground in chlorine, as they were not suitable for
use. The children knew where they were to be found and dug
them up.

Attorney General: What does this picture show, Mr. Ross?

Witness Ross: This picture shows how the children were
digging up the rotten potatoes from the earth - they were so
hungry that it didn't matter to them what they ate.

Q. I see that even little children were wearing the Jewish
badge. Where they also obliged to do so?

A. Even babies in their cradles were obliged to wear the
badge on their right arm and on their back.

Attorney General: I submit the picture.

Presiding Judge: Has Dr. Servatius received copies of these

Attorney General: No. Dr. Servatius has received a list of
the pictures and what they portray.

Presiding Judge: Very well. This will be T/224 - the
children taking the potatoes out of the ground.

Attorney General: What is this? [He shows a photograph to
the witness.]

Witness Ross: This is a picture of a woman who fell asleep,
simply from hunger. The next morning she was no longer
alive. She died in her sleep.

Q. Did you see her there, in her room? You photographed

A. I saw her and I took the photograph. I developed the
picture myself.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/225.

Attorney General: What is this? [Shows the witness a

Witness Ross: This is one of my many photographs showing how
a person looks who has died of hunger. People like this used
to die or become swollen from starvation or emaciated like
skeletons as I said previously.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/226.

Attorney General: What is this? [Shows the witness a

Witness Ross: This is a group being taken for deportation.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/227.

Attorney General: And what is this picture? This is also a
picture of people on their way to deportation. Is that
correct? [Shows the witness the photograph.]

Witness Ross: Yes, the same thing.

Q. And at the side, the Jewish police also with the same
yellow badge. Is that correct?

A. The men in uniform are the Jewish police.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/228.

Attorney General: What is this? [Shows the witness a

Witness Ross: This shows Jews who were brought into the
ghetto. There was an order: all the Jews to the ghetto! The
Jews in the town were robbed. They carried the remains of
their possessions into the ghetto.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/229.

Attorney General: What is this, Mr. Ross? [Shows the witness
a photograph.]

Witness Ross: This is a line of 200 or 300 people or more,
for deportation.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/230.

Attorney General: And what is this picture? [Shows the
witness a photograph.]

Witness Ross: This is also a deportation group. This picture
shows the same scene as the previous picture. Thousands of
people went.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/231.

Attorney General: What is this scene near the place on which
it says "Central-Gefaengnis" ("Central Prison")? [Shows the
witness a photograph.]

Witness Ross: The Germans gave orders to build a prison in
that ghetto. Criminals and smugglers were supposed to be
there. In the picture, there are no smugglers or criminals.
In this picture we see people who were expelled from their
homes or who were taken from factories or from the street.
When the people ended their work at five o'clock, they used
to hurry home to their families, to their children and their
wives to bid farewell to them or to take them along if they
decided to go together with them.

Q. Does this show such leave-taking of members of a family?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/232.

Attorney General: What is this? [Shows the witness a

Witness Ross: This is a mother who was deported. I didn't
ask at the time whether it was from a factory or from the
street. The mother is standing on the other side of the

Q. And on the inside of the fence?

A. A child or two - I don't know exactly. The mother is no
criminal.  She is crying - she was carried off during the
raid on the streets. The children are standing there, not
knowing what to do.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/233.

Attorney General: What is this? [Shows the witness a

Witness Ross: This is a family on the way to deportation, a
father and mother and two children. Deportation in fact
meant death.

Q. Deportation - where to?

A. This was deportation to Chelmno.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/234.

Attorney General: Did you manage to take a picture of the
loading on to railway waggons? Actually two such pictures?

Witness Ross: There are more.

Q. But I have two here. How did you succeed in photographing
this? [Shows the witness a photograph.]
A. On one occasion, when people with whom I was acquainted
worked at the railway station of Radegast, which was outside
the ghetto but linked to it, and where trains destined for
Auschwitz were standing - on one occasion I managed to get
into the railway station in the guise of a cleaner. My
friends shut me into a cement storeroom. I was there from
six in the morning until seven in the evening, until the
Germans went away and the transport departed. I watched as
the transport left. I heard shouts. I saw the beatings. I
saw how they were shooting at them, how they were murdering
them, those who refused. Through a hole in a board of the
wall of the storeroom I took several pictures.

Q. Is that one of the pictures that you are holding in your

A. Yes, this is one of those pictures.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/235.

Attorney General: And what is this photograph? [Shows the
witness a photograph.]

Witness Ross This, too, was taken on the same day - I was
there only once - some time later.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/236.

Attorney General: What is this picture? [Shows the witness a

Witness Ross This place marks where the ghetto ended, and
where the road leading to the Radegast railway station
began. It was along this road that the Germans conveyed the
transports to Auschwitz.

Presiding Judge: This will be T/237 - (people marching on
the way to deportation).

Attorney General: Is this a photocopy of the decree of the
mayor of Lodz ordering the evacuation of the ghetto? [Shows
the witness a photograph.]

Witness Ross: Yes.

Q. And what is this?

A. The same thing. This is the order and the notice.

Q. Did you photograph it?

A. Yes. If the original notice will be required, it is in my

Presiding Judge: This will be T/238.

Attorney General: This is the order of the Elder of the
Ghetto, giving an instruction to greet anyone wearing a
German uniform. Is that correct? [Shows the witness a

Witness Ross: Yes. All these notices were sent by the
Germans from the market at Baluty to the Council of the
Jewish Elders. The Jewish Council was obliged to print them,
to send them to the German censorship, and only after that
was it permitted to paste them on the walls.

Q. I have here two more such orders. Were these also
photographed by you? [Shows the witness two photographs.]

A. Yes. I also have the original notices.

Q. Was this the 05Allgemeine Gesperre (General Curfew)?

A. Yes.

Q. And is this an order to hand in and collect all rings -
all articles of silver and gold?

A. Yes, to turn over all rings, all articles of silver and

Presiding Judge: Do you have additional copies of this?

Attorney General: No. He brought these to us at the last

Presiding Judge: These photographs have been marked T/239,
T/240 and T/241.

Attorney General: [Receives the album from Mr. Bodenheimer.]
Mr. Ross, you are acquainted with picture 34 on page 13.
What is it?

Witness Ross: This is not my photograph, but I know what it
is. The ghetto was in the old quarter of the town. Tramcars,
motor vehicles and carts used to pass through the ghetto. In
order to prevent contact with the Jews fences were erected
on both sides of the road. We were obliged to pass over the
road via a bridge built for this purpose, from one part of
the ghetto to the other. This was an opportunity for the
Germans to amuse themselves, to beat us in order to compel
us to walk faster.

Q. This is the last picture we intend to show to you. This
is a photograph of places of work in the Lodz Ghetto which
you took. Is that right? [Shows the witness a photograph.]

A. This is an official list of all the places of work.

Presiding Judge: This picture will be marked T/242.

Attorney General: [To Presiding Judge] That is all, Your Honour.

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