Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-069-03 Last-Modified: 1999/06/07 Q. Amongst the Gypsies there were also some who were brought from German military service - is that correct? A. They came to the camp and did not know what it was. They arrived and greeted us, these German Gypsies, with "Heil Hitler." Amongst them were young people in the uniform of the Hitler Youth and the B.D.M., the German Girls' Union. My first patient - a woman - did not want to be examined by a Jewish doctor, after she glanced at my badge indicating that I was a Jew, I was wearing a white coat, and when I wanted to reach for my stethoscope which I had in my pocket, I was obliged to open the coat and then she noticed my Juedischer Winkel - the Jewish badge - she asked "Are you a Jew?" I said: "Yes." Then she said: "I will not permit a Jewish doctor to examine me." That was the first patient in the tuberculosis block which was still empty. She was a tubercular patient and was to be examined as to whether she needed an additional injection of air, a pneumothorax (injection of air into the pleural cavity). I was in the company of a Polish medical colleague, who was incidentally a Polish friend of mine from the university. He asked me: "What is she saying?" He did not speak German. I told him she was saying that she did not want to allow a Jewish doctor to examine her. He laughed and said to me: "Tell her that three hundred meters from here there is a crematorium." Naturally I was afraid and did not tell her that. I was afraid that she might, in her present mood, go straight to the Political Department and inform on us for carrying out atrocity propaganda. Six weeks after this I saw this same Gypsy woman - I was working in another block. I heard that I was being called. "Herr Doktor, Herr Doktor" from the top bunk of the block, which had meanwhile been filled to capacity with tuberculosis patients. I looked at her and I saw before me a very emaciated face. I asked: "Do you mean me?" And she replied: "Yes - you don't recognize me - I was your first patient in the tuberculosis block." I remembered the affair and asked her how she felt. In reply she said: "Herr Doktor, this is murder - we did not know that." Q. Were there also Gypsies who arrived from Germany in military uniform? A. Yes. Q. How did they get there? A. They came on the same transports; they said they had been registered in the Gypsies' department, the department of registration of Gypsies. This is what they claimed and since they came with all their possessions, they had photographs and pictures - they arrived in uniform. I saw one of them who showed me a photograph of himself participating in the Polish campaign, and said that he had bombed Warsaw. He was in army uniform without signs of rank and without a belt. I also saw lance-sergeants and not only officers. They were embittered and did not know what was happening. One said that he had been so loyal to the German fatherland, to the "great German Reich" and suddenly this was what they were doing to him. Q. How did the Gypsies live in Auschwitz? Were they in a family camp? A. Yes. Q. Was that something exceptional in Auschwitz? A. Yes. After the Czech camp in Theresienstadt, there was this family camp in Auschwitz and that was the last; we actually had a maternity home, where babies were born, and they received their tattoo mark on the day of their birth, on their little arms. A Politischer Aufnahmeschreiber would come under SS supervision and made the tattoo mark. For Gypsies there was a special numbering method with the letter "Z" (for Zigeuner) Z1, Z2, 2000. When they made a tattoo mark on me, I asked: "What is this for? I do not understand." And then they told me: "So that your body can be identified." Q. What was your number? A. Haeftling (Prisoner) 100736. Q. What happened to the Gypsies in the camp? A. It was obvious that diseases would break out in the camp. And here I have to dwell on their specific illnesses, illnesses that we did not come across with the "whites". In contrast to the Gypsies in the camp at Birkenau, it was the practice here to have a "camp for the whites" and a "camp for the Gypsies," without any intention of discrimination. There were illnesses that we had not encountered amongst the "whites". The doctors had never seen this in normal times when they practised their profession. Q. It would be better to refer to "a camp for others." There is an unpleasant taste to it - let us rather talk of a camp for Gypsies and camps for others, with your permission. There were diseases amongst the Gypsies that you did not come across with other prisoners. What were these diseases? A. Apart from the so-called commonplace illnesses, which destroyed and wiped out other camps, two illnesses broke out in the Gypsies' camp which we did not understand and which we could not explain. This has never been scientifically diagnosed. One of them was diagnosed, but Mengele took the documents with him showing why it was actually amongst the Gypsies that the disease of varicella broke out. It was a kind of chickenpox which resembled smallpox, with a fatal process, which led to the deaths of hundreds. We stood by helplessly, and apart from bandaging the entire body with paper bandages, we could not do anything for them. It is of interest that one doctor...we witnessed one such case in a child recently, actually in May, and gave it publicity. It is called "Varicella Varioloformis" - that is to say, chickenpox resembling smallpox but it was not smallpox. Presiding Judge: By chance these matters are of interest to me, but I am doubtful whether this medical explanation is relevant to our case. Witness Beilin Let us proceed to the second illness which is more interesting. Presiding Judge: All of it is interesting, but that is not the issue. Witness Beilin This was, as it were, experimental work. The second illness was "Noma" - in German it is called "Wasserkrebs". The illness is gangrene. It begins with an inflammation of the mucuous membrane of the cheek and leads to a gangrenous condition of the tissue and perforation of the cheek through which the tongue and teeth are visible. The problem is linked to external undernourishment and it attacks children and young people. Attorney General: Perhaps you would allow me somewhat to guide you. The disease spread among the Gypsies. Mengele suggested to the medical team that they should conduct some scientific research, and was Professor Epstein of Oslo one of them? Witness Beilin Not actually for this illness. He allowed him to chose his subject. He said to him - this is what Prof. Epstein told us - "We are enemies - you will not get out of here. If you will perform scientific work for me and I publish it in my name, you will prolong your own life." And Epstein did not want to do so. Presiding Judge: Who said that to him? A. Mengele said so. Q. Was this stated in your presence? A. It was said when Epstein returned to us. Attorney General: Epstein told you that a suggestion had been made to him to undertake scientific work? Witness Beilin He did not want to do so. Until we convinced him that this provided an opening for help. And if an opening for help was provided, we should at least concentrate on the children suffering from "Namo". Q. Did you carry out some research work? A. Mengele agreed. Epstein suggested to him that in scientific work which was to have some basis, there ought to be an increased diet and medicines, and Mengele provided these. Q. And you treated these sick children with medicines and food, until their fate was like that of all the inmates of this camp? A. There were some very successful cases. I remember one Czech girl - Zdenka Ruzyczka - a girl aged eleven, where we managed to achieve the closing of the perforation, a very unusual and very rare achievement. Naturally all these papers were taken away from Prof. Epstein that very day. Incidentally, he was warned that if there should be a bomb attack he would have to protect this work as he would his life. And that morning, Mengele came and took all the papers away from him. We were not at all aware of what was going on. Q. What happened to the Gypsies' camp? A. On that same morning Mengele selected about six hundred Gypsies, those who were fit for work, or who were willing to be separated from their families. They went to the transport and even waved their hands from the train to the women and children who remained in the camp. Mengele made a speech to the families, saying that the men were going off to work and that they would return and rejoin them. Q. The six hundred? A. Yes, the six hundred. He said: "You are in trustworthy hands, you will be well looked after here." Q. Did you personally hear this speech? A. Yes. And the same evening trucks came and began emptying out the camp. They started with the block which was called "The Orphanage." There were many children whose parents had died, and they were concentrated with their nurses in a special block. It was immediately opposite the block in which I worked. When the block had been emptied, an SS man said to me: "Go and put out the light there." As long as there was a light on the Lagerstrasse, the camp street of the block, he could see who was a Jew, who was a doctor and who was a Gypsy. As soon as I had put out the light and wanted to cross the camp street which was immediately opposite, I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder with the command "Herauf" (Get up here). That was from the truck with these children. At the last minute I said "Ich bin ein Jude"(I am a Jew). The reply came "Also ein Jude, hast du noch ein paar Wochen Zeit. Marsch ins Block!" (If you are a Jew you still have a few weeks left. March to your block!) Presiding Judge: Which unit did Mengele belong to? Witness Beilin SS. Q. What was his rank? A. Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Josef Mengele. Q. He was a doctor? A. Although I did not hear it directly, it was said that he had two doctorates - of philosophy and of medicine. Attorney General: What happened to those who remained? What happened to the Gypsies who remainded apart from the six hundred who were sent off? Witness Beilin They did not survive. Q. Were the others loaded on to trucks and transferred to the gas chambers? A. Yes, they were loaded on to the trucks and taken to the gas chambers. The entire camp was emptied out. Thereafter, Hungarian Jews came in their place. While it was still a Gypsy camp, half of its capacity, the second row of blocks, was filled by Hungarian Jews. As soon as all the Gypsies had been liquidated, Hungarian Jews also came to the Krankenbau (the sick ward) for treatment, together with Hungarian doctors - I remember them from Klausenburg - they were very nice people. Those were very traditional Jews, and on the Day of Atonement - I was still with the remnants of the Gypsies' camp - a public prayer meeting took place in the block where they worked. In Birkenau there was a "Goebbels Calendar." The "Goebbels Calendar" implied that, on every Sabbath day and on every Jewish Festival, the sick ward and also the blocks, the resting blocks, with the Muselmann, who did not go out to work, were emptied out. We had forgotten on the eve of the Day of Atonement - this was the year 1944 - that this was one of the days of the "Goebbels Calendar." Presiding Judge: What did that mean? Witness Beilin It meant that on every Sabbath day and on every Jewish Festival, including Purim and Hanukka, they would always empty the sick ward of its patients, and also the blocks for Muselmann, and thereafter transfer them to the gas chambers. This happened in the middle of the Kol Nidrei prayer, when the trucks arrived. I remember the shouts of a youth aged sixteen who was seized. He said something in Hungarian. A Hungarian doctor translated the words into German for me. I remember only that he said "Doctor Baczi" (these words meant "Uncle Doctor" - whenever they used a respectful form of address, they used the word "Baczi"). He said this, not to me, but to the Hungarian doctor. He said to him: "Uncle Doctor, if you meet my father, tell him that I died on the Day of Atonement." When I asked for a translation of these words and he translated them for me, I asked the doctor: "What is the significance of the date?" He told me that, according to Jewish tradition, righteous people died on the Day of Atonement - that was his reply. Attorney General: Dr. Beilin, had you already received information that your wife was in the women's camp in Auschwitz, and that she was very ill and needed medicines? Witness Beilin Yes. Q. And you managed to pass on to her a drug for the treatment of typhus? A. No, it was a drug for strengthening the heart. There were no specific drugs for the treatment of typhus. Q. And that some Polish woman through whom you smuggled the injection informed you the following day that your wife had died? A. Yes. That was at Christmas time, the following day, 24 December 1943. Previoiusly a letter from my wife had been smuggled to me. We had not been seized together and she remained in the ghetto for another six months. As I mentioned, I sent a postcard there - I took advantage of the opportunity of its being "the day for writing for all the prisoners except for Polish and Greek Jews." I went to the writing room and asked for a postcard on the grounds that I was a Jew from the Reich. I was given the postcard, since Bialystok had been annexed to the Third Reich. This postcard was received in the ghetto. My wife got to know that I was in Auschwitz. She reached Auschwitz in a somewhat strange way. Q. She belonged to the escort of 1,200 children from Bialystok who went to Theresienstadt, some of whom were later taken away to be exterminated? A. Yes. The escort did not go into Theresienstadt but was brought to Auschwitz. After the children had entered Theresienstadt, when they alighted from the train under guard, on the road leading to the crematorium, Mengele met them and asked the guard: "What group is this?" He whispered something into his ear. This is what my wife wrote in the letter that was smuggled in by one of the doctors who was allowed to move from one camp to the other. He asked: "Are there any doctors here?" There was one doctor who, incidentally, was the founder of the Hebrew gymnasium in Bialystok, Dr. Katznelson. There were a number of female and male nurses. My wife was a pharmacist. He separated this party from the others and sent them back to the camp. That was in August, and my wife died from typhus a few months afterwards, in December 1943. Q. Dr. Beilin, what means of disinfection were used in Auschwitz for disinfecting bedding and sheets? A. Zyklon B. Zyklon B was the "blue acid" - cyanide. This cyanide was spread throughout the block after the prisoners had been driven out. They used to close the block hermetically, as far as possible, for the extermination of mice and for disinfection. Even the chimney of the block was covered with a blanket. An SS man would go inside with a gas- mask, and spread the cyanide crystals in all corners. We used to find them afterwards when we entered the block and had to sweep it. The blankets were immersed in a water solution of Zyklon B, and this solution was prepared in rusty bath tubs outside. We had to take these blankets, to remove them from the solution, to load them on to our shoulders and then take them to the block where we had to hang them up for drying. Q. To whom does the "we" refer? A. The Pfleger - the group of doctors and orderlies. Q. Did something happen to you while carrying such a blanket? A. Once my turn came to serve in this unit. I shouldered a large bundle. I noticed a smell of bitter almonds, but it was very slight, as I was in the open air.
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