Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-040 Last-Modified: 1999/05/27 128. Not all the Jews who were sent to Auschwitz were killed immediately. We have seen that on their arrival in the camp a "selection" was generally carried out, and those who appeared fit for work were put to hard labour until their strength gave out. And if a person did not die from hard labour or as a result of torture at the hands of the slavedrivers, then he was finally killed by gas, or by the injection of poison into his veins (T/90, p. 11). The witness Ze'ev Sapir described a selection carried out in Auschwitz thus (Session 53, Vol. III, p. 57): "A. I arrived there together with my parents. "Q. Did you also have brothers and a sister? "A. I arrived there with my four brothers and one sister. "Q. How old were your brothers? "A. One brother was born in 1929 - he was then 15; another brother was born in 1933 - he was then 11; my sister was born in 1936 - she was then 8; another brother was born in 1938 - he was then 6; and there was a little baby brother who was born in 1941 - he was then three 3. "Q. What happened to your parents and to all the brothers and sister whom you mentioned? "A. After the selection had been made...the selection was very simple. A doctor stood there and, merely with a slight movement of his hand, people were to go to the right or to the left. My parents went to the right. I did not have time to take leave of them. I was amongst those sentenced who, for some reason, were destined to live; I went to the left. "Q. And your brothers and sister? "A. They all went with my parents. "Q. Did you see them again, after this? "A. No, I did not see them at all, after this." Living Conditions in the Camps 129. We heard evidence about the reign of terror in Auschwitz in the shadow of the smoke going up from the crematoria, and in the many camps connected with Auschwitz. There was evidence, similar in content, about conditions in the Majdanek camp in the East and in the many labour and concentration camps scattered throughout eastern Europe. The system was uniform, with local variations, according to the sadistic inventiveness of the commanders and of the guards, who had the lives of the Jews at their mercy. We shall quote witnesses on this subject, too, who suffered this regime with their own bodies. Here, too, the items we picked at random from the enormous amount of evidence brought before us will suffice to illustrate that the aim of this entire regime was to exterminate the Jew by making him work under inhuman conditions until the last drop of strength had been squeezed out of him. This applied also to the few who were kept alive in the extermination camps, to be employed for a time in the camp, until they, too, went the way of their exterminated brethren. We heard the following about the Majdanek camp from Yisrael Gutman (Session 63, Vol. III, p. 1154): "There stood very long huts, stables for horses, and this was where we were housed... There was a notice on the hut that it could hold fifty-two horses...we were about eight hundred people in this hut...the bunks we slept on were in three tiers. I imagine that the width of such a bunk was about 80 centimetres, perhaps 60... They made two people lied down in one bunk of this kind... Our daily work schedule was as follows: They made us get up at 4.30 for the morning roll- call... We carried stones from one place to another... The stones had to be placed in the folds of our clothes, and they used to check whether we had taken enough stones. The work had to be done at the double... They gave us wooden clogs for our feet - plain pieces of wood which had a strap of cloth one and a half or maybe one centimetre wide and that was a valued possession. And, on one of the early nights, one of these clogs was stolen from me, and at these roll-calls, at 4.30 in the morning - I had to stand with one foot bare - and the weather was extremely cold at the time. Some days later, I ran a high temperature." Dr. Aharon Beilin describes the living conditions in the Auschwitz camp: "It was terribly overcrowded, sixteen of us lay on a ledge which was intended, more or less, for six people. We would only lie on our side, for if one of us wanted to turn over, everyone had to turn over. If someone got down during the night in order to relieve himself, he could not come back and had to lie down on the concrete floor of the block...it was too crowded, and he would annoy all the others because he would be disturbing their sleep. I remember a case where...a man got down and froze. This was during the winter and the block was not heated. The crowded condition also had an advantage - we kept each other warm. That man lay the whole night on the concrete floor - he had diarrhoea. I must point out that seventy per cent of the people in this block died in the course of these four weeks." (Session 69, Vol. III, p. 1256). Nor did the persecutors spare the women. Judge Beisky gives evidence about the Plaszow camp in the suburbs of Cracow (Session 21, Vol. I, p. 353-354): "I don't know what the significance of a labour camp is. A labour camp is a different concept. For us, it was an extermination camp... There was work within the camp which was done solely by women and this was the task of dragging stones from the quarry which was below that new area being prepared for building a road. They used to load stones on to eight to ten waggons on the short railway tracks. At the end of the train, there were long ropes and along the ropes on both sides, women of the camp were harnessed. Nd in this way they would walk up a fairly steep road from the quarry below, for a distance of two and a half kilometres, up the hill, under all weather conditions for twelve hours. The most horrible thing was that the women were dressed like us, with wooden shoes which used to slip in the snow and the mud. And in this way one could visualize the picture which I am unable to describe - and I do not know whether others would be able to describe - how women walked for a whole night, stumbling and pulling these waggons." And this is what Yitzhak Zuckerman said about forced labour of Jews from Warsaw in the Kampinos camp (Session 25, Vol. I, p. 409): "We were taken before dawn - a community of several hundred Jews, a weakened community...men who had not had enough to eat for a long time... When we arrived, we had to work on diverting rivers...and draining swamps. So we used to work for ten to twelve hours, standing in the water almost up to our necks. Afterwards we were taken back and had to sleep in the same clothes. It was Spring, cold, very cold. The same thing happened the next morning - the food was meagre - a beverage they called coffee, 15 or 20 deka of bread, and I need hardly add that, after two years of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, these Jews who had come to work populated the Kampinos cemetery already in the first few weeks - they died." Witnesses described cruel corporal punishments - the "Stehbunker" (standing cell), a narrow cell, where a man could not turn around nor move his hands. People were kept standing there for ten to twelve hours and more, and when they emerged, tortured and dazed, they had to go back to work immediately. They related how a man was hanged in the presence of his comrades during roll-call, because of some potatoes he had taken to still his hunger. They told of endless tortures, such as marksmanship competitions among SS men, using live men as targets. Dov Freiberg says in evidence (Session 64, Vol. III, p. 1171-1172 ): "I can talk about one of the many days that passed. We were then working in the sorting camp [in Sobibor]. We began sorting out the piles that had been heaped up in the course of time. We finished taking out personal belongings from one of the sheds. Paul was then our commander. It so happened that, between the rafters and the roof, a torn umbrella had been left behind. Paul sent one of our boys to climb up and bring the umbrella down. It was seven to eight metres high - these were large sheds. The lad climbed up though the rafters, moving along on his hands. He was not agile enough, fell down and broke his limbs. For falling down, he received twenty-five strokes of the whip and Beri [Paul's dog] dealt with him. This appealed to Paul, and he went and called other Germans. I remember Oberscharfuehrer Michel, Schteufel. He called out to them: `I have discovered parachutists amongst the Jews. Do you want to see?' They burst out laughing, and he began sending people up, one after the other, to go on to the rafters. I went over it twice - I was fairly agile; and whoever fell from fear...fell to the ground. When they fell to the ground, they were given murderous blows, and the dog bit them incessantly... After that someone invented something else... When the personal effects were piled up, there were a lot of mice. The order was given: `Five men were to go outside, the others were to catch the mice. Everyone had to catch two mice; whoever failed to do so would be put to death'... They tied up the bottoms of the trousers of five men and we had to fill them with mice. The men were ordered to stand at attention. They could not stand that. They wriggled this way and that, and were given murderous blows. The Germans roared with laughter." Let these examples suffice. Of course, more could be added from the stories of woe and suffering to which we listened, in order to prove that the reign of terror in the camps was bound to break a man's spirit, as well as his mental and physical powers of resistance.
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