Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-041 Last-Modified: 1999/05/27 130. We have listened to much evidence on living conditions in the ghettos in the East. From Lodz to Vilna, Kovno, Bialystok, Riga in the north, and Cracow, Przemysl, Kolomea and Lvov in the south, to the largest of them all, the Warsaw Ghetto, into which some half a million Jews were crammed. The witness Zivia Lubetkin gave a description of the life of the Jews in this ghetto, which can apply to the other ghettos as well. She spoke of the economic decrees introduced by the Germans already during the first period, when they entered the city, and of later decrees affecting cultural and social life, including the prohibition of the opening of schools and libraries. She told of how synagogue services were forbidden and public bodies disbanded; and continues (Session 25, Vol. I, pp. 398-399): "I have already said previously that, in fact, we became the objects of anarchy. And if there had only been these laws and these restrictions, which, as we saw, were intended to depress us, degrade us, to bring us to the ignominy of starvation, we thought that, nevertheless, in spite of this, the Jews would somehow have been capable of circumventing the restrictions and carrying on with their lives. But life did not turn out this way, since, as I have already said, we had been placed beyond the law... I recall a day when I went out in the morning to attend to certain matters, and the streets were full of Jews hastening to their work, to seek a source of livelihood. Suddenly, a convoy of Germans passed by in a hurry, and for no reason at all began shooting in all directions, without distinction, and we were left lying prone on that day, at that hour, as I saw it, scores of people, women and children and men, without knowing for what or why. When this happened day after day, we realized that this was a way of frightening us, of terrorizing us, so that we should be afraid. And indeed, the Jews feared they would pay with their lives. "The second method, also beyond the scope of any law, was the kidnapping for forced labour. A person would leave his house in the morning, and would never know when he would return, and if he would return. Various formations of Germans were able to come in during the day, in the morning, or towards evening, to close a street, and with screams of such a nature, that it would be difficult today to describe them as actually being human voices, they would first of all collect people by shooting, and without regard of age or sex, seize people and take them off to work. Some of them, on their return, related that they had never engaged in any work... Again it was clear that this was a method of torture, of terror, of making our lives worthless." The witness also gave evidence about the terrible sanitary conditions resulting from tremendous congestion, the typhus epidemic which broke out, and the hunger which struck down hundreds of victims daily. Such were the conditions of Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto until the large "actions" which began in July 1942, when Jews were rounded up en masse and deported to Treblinka for extermination. Dr. Meir Mark Dworzecki and Dr. Aharon Peretz, in their evidence, spoke about medical aspects of Jewish life in the ghetto. The rations given to the Jews had a value of 170- 200 calories per day, whereas a person who is not working needs 2,300 calories and a working man needs 3,000-5,000 calories. Dr. Dworzecki carried out research on this subject and found that, with these rations, all inhabitants of the Vilna Ghetto would starve to death within a month or two. This did not happen, because the ghetto residents succeeded in smuggling food into the ghetto, sufficient to provide 800-1,000 calories per soul per day. He further calculated that, even with the aid of smuggled food, the inmates of the Warsaw Ghetto would have died of starvation to the very last man within eight years. A passage from the diary of Hans Frank is worth mentioning here (T/253, p. 44). It relates to a meeting of the heads of the Generalgouvernement in Cracow on 24 August 1942, when the subject on the agenda was "The absorption and feeding plan for the Generalgouvernement." The directive of the Main Department for Nutrition and Agriculture stated there that, "The supply of necessities, previously geared to an estimated Jewish population of one million, now concerns only an estimated number of 300,000 Jews still working for the German cause as artisans or in other occupations...the remaining Jews, who number 1.2 million, will not receive any more means of sustenance ..." Dr. Dworzecki also gave evidence about the diseases and epidemics raging in the ghettos, owing to poor hygienic conditions and malnutrition, scurvy, lice, typhus, tuberculosis and the swelling of the body in the last stages of starvation, as well as diarrhoea, which took toll of tens of thousands of victims in the ghettos and the concentration camps. We heard evidence about children in the ghetto, about the dashing of a child's head against the pavement before his mother's eyes (evidence of Noah Zabludowicz, Session 21, Vol. I, pp. 335); about children torn from their mothers' arms and taken off for extermination; about the children in Lodz who were thrown from hospital balconies into trucks which came to round up the sick and the children, in order to deport them for extermination (evidence of Henryk Ross, Session 23, Vol. I, p. 380); about mass kidnapping of children in the "Children's Action" (evidence of Peretz, Session 28, Vol. I, p. 479); and about whole orphanages evacuated from Warsaw, and the children and their teachers taken to Treblinka (the evidence of Dr. Adolf Berman, Session 26, Vol. I, p. 426-427). 131. The extermination of the Jews was connected everywhere with the plunder of their property, down to their clothes and personal belongings which they brought with them on their way to extermination, and including all their other possessions. And finally, the murderers did not stop short of violating the corpses by removing the gold teeth from the victims' mouths. Enormous quantities of clothing and personal belongings of the victims were accumulated in Auschwitz in stores known as "Canada." The witness Gedalia Ben-Zvi, who worked in those stores, testified that twenty railway trucks, full of such articles, were sent every week from Auschwitz to Germany. This continued during his entire stay there of about one year (Session 71, Vol. III, pp. xxxx-xxxx). The seventh count of the indictment lists the objects which were found in six "Canada" stores, found unburnt when the camp was liberated: 348,820 men's suits, 836,255 women's suits, and 38,000 pairs of men's shoes. These figures were taken from the official bulletin of the Polish Government Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes (T/204, p. 44 in the English translation), which is a reliable description. And thus it was in the other extermination camps. Kalman Teigman, who worked on the sorting of the belongings of those killed in Treblinka, stated in evidence (Session 66, Vol. III, p. 1207): "[There was] an enormous quantity. There were actually heaps outside on the ground, several storeys high...clothes, personal possessions, children's toys, everything... medicines and instruments, everything." Exhibit T/1385 contains detailed directions about how to use the property plundered in the district of Lublin and in Auschwitz, from jewellery to spectacles, fountain pens, children's clothes and prams - nothing was forgotten. The document says that in future all these were to be referred to as "the property of thieves, receivers of stolen property and hoarders." In exhibit T/1387, a letter addressed to Himmler by the Economic-Administrative Head Office, the destination of each kind of article is stated. Money, jewellery, gold teeth, etc. are to go to the Reichsbank, to the account of the Economic-Administrative Head Office; articles of clothing are to be sold to public institutions in Germany; watches to SS men and submarine crews, etc. (see also T/1386, T/1387). Exhibit T/1389 is the final report by Globocnik, Commander of the SS and the Police in the Lublin area, dated 18 January 1944, on "the economic aspect of Reinhard Operation." This was the name given to the extermination of Polish Jewry in the camps of the Lublin area. We shall quote from this report only the final figures for textiles, plundered from the victims: 1901 railway trucks of clothing, underwear, bed feathers and rags, valued at 26 million marks; more goods of the same kind in stores were valued at 20 million marks. Industrial property (machines, raw materials, etc.) was handed over to an institution called OSTI (Ostindustrie - Industries of the East), set up by the SS for the management and exploitation of this booty (see also the declaration by Pohl, Chief of the Economic- Administrative Head Office - T/1384). The Activities of the Accused in the East 132. We shall now deal with the question whether, and to what extent, it has been proved that the Accused was active in connection with all those crimes committed by the Germans in eastern Europe. Certainly, such activity has been proved in regard to victims from the other countries in Europe who had been rounded up there and deported to the East by the Accused and his subordinates, to be killed there immediately or sometime later - for instance, as regards the Stettin Jews who were taken to the vicinity of Lublin and there were mixed with the local population, later to meet the same fate as their brethren. Certainly the Accused's activities were amongst the causes of their death and their suffering before their death. The same applies to the Jews sent by the Accused from the Reich to the Lodz Ghetto, to Nebe and to Rasch, to Riga, Minsk, etc., and above all, to the masses of Jews he sent to Auschwitz and to extermination camps in the Generalgouvernement area. But what about the crimes perpetrated against the Jews of the East, in their home towns - their subjection to inhuman living conditions in camps and in ghettos, the plunder of their property, and their murder? To give a precise answer to this question, attention must be paid to the way the Germans divided the eastern territories which fell into their hands during the War years. They annexed to the Reich vast areas of western and northern Poland; the areas previously known as the Polish Corridor, namely western Prussia, the Poznan district and additional parts of western Poland, including Lodz (Litzmannstadt), which were known as the Warthe district (Warthegau); and all the area which was Upper Silesia before World War I. But, in addition, they also annexed nearby stretches in western Poland, so that Auschwitz itself came within the Reich; and parts of Poland to the north, bordering on East Prussia and including Zichenau (Ciechanow) and Bialystok and district. In what was left of Poland up to the demarcation line with Soviet Russia in the East, the Generalgouvernement district was set up, under the rule of Hans Frank, who was given extensive administrative autonomy. After additional conquests, which came with the outbreak of the war with Russia, eastern Galicia and Lvov were annexed to the Generalgouvernement area. As for the remaining territories conquered in the East, to the extent that they were transferred from military to civilian rule, Rosenberg was appointed as Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories. His subordinates were Lohse in the north, in charge of the Reich Ostland Administration (principally in the Baltic countries), and Koch in the south, in charge of the Reich Ukrainian Administration.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor