The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

                                                  [Page 226]

FORTY-FIFTH DAY
TUESDAY, 29TH JANUARY, 1946

COURT OFFICER: May it please the Court, I desire now to say
that the defendant Kaltenbrunner will be absent from this
morning's session on account of illness.

M. DUBOST: In my capacity as representative of the French
Prosecution, I wish to ask the Tribunal to consider this
request: The witnesses that were interrogated yesterday are
to be cross-examined by the defence. The conditions under
which they are here are rather precarious, for it takes 30
hours to return to Paris. We would like to know whether we
are to keep them here, and, if the defence really intends to
cross-question them, we should like to proceed with that as
quickly as possible, in order to ensure their return to
France.

THE PRESIDENT: In view of what you said yesterday, M.
Dubost, I said on behalf of the Tribunal that Dr. Babel
might have the opportunity of cross-examining one of your
witnesses within the next two days. Is Dr. Babel ready to
cross-examine that witness now?

DR. BABEL (Counsel for SS and SD): No, Mr. President, I have
not yet received a copy of his interrogation and
consequently have not been able to, prepare my cross-
examination. The time from yesterday to today is, naturally,
also too short. Therefore, I cannot yet make a definite
statement as to whether or not I shall want to cross-examine
the witness. If I were given an opportunity during the
course of the day to get the record ...

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Well, that witness must stay
until tomorrow afternoon, M. Dubost, but the other witnesses
can go.

M. Dubost, will you see, if you can, that a copy of the
shorthand notes is furnished to Dr. Babel as soon as
possible; the shorthand notes of that witness' evidence?

M. DUBOST: Yes, Mr. President.

FRANCOIS BOIX returned to the stand.

M. DUBOST: I shall see that it is done, My Lord. To
continue; the Tribunal will remember that yesterday
afternoon we projected six photographs of  Mauthausen, which
were brought to us by the witness who is now before you, and
on which he offered his comments. This witness specifically
stated under what conditions the photograph representing
Kaltenbrunner in the quarry of Mauthausen had been taken. We
offer these photographs as Exhibit RF 332.

Will you allow me to formulate one more question to the
witness? Then I shall have finished with him, at least
concerning the important part of this testimony. Does the
witness recognise among the defendants anyone who visited
the camp of Mauthausen?

A. Herr Speer.

Q. When did you see him?

A. He came to the Gusen camp in 1943 to arrange for some
constructions, and also to the quarry at Mauthausen. I did
not see him myself as I was in the identification service of
the camp and could not leave, but during these visits Paul
Ricker, head of the identification department, took a roll
of film with his Leica which I developed. On this film I
recognised Speer and with him other leaders of the SS. Speer
wore a light-coloured suit.

Q. You saw that on the pictures that you developed?

                                                  [Page 227]

A. Yes. I recognised him on the photos and afterward he had
to sign his name and the date because there were always many
SS who wanted to have collections of all the photos of
visits to the camp.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the witness was going a little too
fast. I think he had better repeat that.

BY M. DUBOST:

Q. Will you please repeat that you recognised Speer on
pictures that you developed.

A. I recognised Speer on 36 photographs which were taken by
SS Oberscharfuehrer Paul Ricker in 1943, during Speer's
visit to the Gusen camp and the quarry of Mauthausen. He
always looked extremely pleased on these pictures. There are
even pictures which show him congratulating
Obersturmbannfuehrer Franz Ziereis, then commander of the
Mauthausen camp, with a cordial handshake.

Q. One last question. Were there any officiating chaplains
in your camp? How did the internees die who wanted religious
consolation?

A. I do not understand.

Q. Were there any chaplains in your camp?

A. Yes, so far as I could see, there were several. There was
an order of German Catholics, known as "Bibelforscher." But
officially ...

Q. But officially did the administration of the camp grant
the internees the right to practice their religion?

A. No, they could do nothing, it was absolutely forbidden,
even to live.

Q. Even to live?

A. Even to live.

Q. Were there any Catholic chaplains or any Protestant
pastors?

A. The members of "Bibelforscher " were almost all
Protestants. I do not know much about this matter.

Q. How were monks, priests and pastors treated?

A. There was not the slightest difference between them and
ourselves. They died in the same way as we did. Sometimes
they were sent to the gas chamber, at times they were shot,
or plunged in freezing water, any way was good enough. The
SS had a particular harsh method of handling these people,
because they knew that they were not able to work as normal
labourers. They treated all intellectuals of all countries
in this manner.

Q. They were not allowed to practice their ministration?

A. No, not at all.

Q. Did the men who died have a chaplain before being
executed?

A. No, not at all. On the contrary, at times, instead of
being consoled, as you say, by anyone of their faith, they
received, just before being shot, 25 or 75 lashes with a
leather thong, sometimes from even an SS
Obersturmbahnfuehrer personally. I noticed that especially
in the case of a few officers, Political Commissars, Russian
prisoners of war.

M. DUBOST: I have no further questions to ask of the
witness.

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Witness, will you be so kind as to tell us what you know
about the extermination of Soviet prisoners.

A. I cannot possibly tell you all I know about it; I know so
much that one month would not suffice to tell you all about
it.

Q. I would like you to tell us concisely what you know about
the extermination of Soviet prisoners of war in the camp of
Mauthausen.

A. The arrival of the first prisoners of war took place in
1941. The arrival of 2000 Russian prisoners of war was
announced. In regard to Russian prisoners of war they took
the same precautions as in the case of the Republican
Spanish prisoners of war. They put machine guns everywhere
around the

                                                  [Page 228]


barracks and expected the worst. As soon as the Russian
prisoners of war entered the camp one could see that they
were in a very bad state, they could not even understand
anything. They were human scarecrows. They were then put in
barracks, 1600 to a barrack. You must bear in mind these
barracks were 7 metres wide by 50 long. They were divested
of their clothes, of the very little they had on. They could
keep only one pair of drawers and one shirt. One has to
remember, that this was in November, and in Mauthausen it
was more than 10 degrees below zero.

Upon their arrival 24 died just from walking the short
distance of 4 kilometres from the station to the camp of
Mauthausen. At first the same system was applied to them as
to us Republican Spanish prisoners. At first they left us,
with nothing to do, with no work.

THE PRESIDENT: You go too fast. Speak more slowly.

A. They applied the same system to the Russians. They were
left to themselves, but with scarcely anything to eat. At
the end of a few days they were already at the end of their
endurance. Then began the process of elimination. They were
made to work under the most horrible conditions, they were
beaten up, hit, kicked, insulted; and out of the 7,000
Russian prisoners of war who came from almost everywhere,
only 30 survivors were left at the end of three months. Of
these 30 survivors photographs were taken by Paul Ricker's
department, as a photo-document. I have these pictures and I
can show them if the Tribunal so wishes.

Q. You do have these pictures?

A. M. Dubost knows about that, yes. M. Dubost has them.

Q. Thank you. Can you show these pictures?

A. M. Dubost has them.

Q. Thank you. What do you know about the Yugoslavs and the
Poles?

A. The first Poles came to the camp in 1939, at the time of
the defeat of Poland. They received the same treatment as
everybody else. At that time there were only ordinary German
criminals there. Then the work of the extermination was
begun. There were tens of thousands of Poles who died under
frightful conditions.

The position of the Yugoslavs should be brought to notice.
They began to arrive in convoys, wearing civilian clothes,
and they were shot in a formal way, so to speak. The SS wore
even their steel helmets for these executions. Yugoslavs
were shot two at a time, 165 came with the first transport,
180 with the second, after that they came in small groups of
15, 50, 60, 30 ; even women came then.

It is necessary to note that among these, four women were
shot - and that was the only time in the camp of deportees.
Some of them spat in the face of the camp Fuehrer before
dying. The Yugoslavs suffered as few people have suffered.
Their position is comparable only to that of the Russians.
Until the very end they were massacred by every means
imaginable. I would like to say more about the Russians,
because they have gone through so much ...

Q. Do I understand correctly from your testimony that the
concentration camp was really an extermination camp?

A. The camp was placed in the last category, grade 3. That
is, it was a camp from which no one came out.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Does counsel for Great Britain desire to
cross-examine?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: No questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Counsel for the United States?

MR. DODD: No questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any counsel for the defendants wish to
cross-examine?

BY DR. BABEL (Counsel for SS and SD):

Q. Witness, how were you, marked in the camp?

[Page 229]

A. The number? What, if you please? What kind of brand?

Q. No. The prisoners were marked by variously coloured
stars, red, green, yellow, and so forth. Was this so in
Mauthausen also? What did you wear?

A. Everybody wore insignia. They were not stars; they were
triangles, and letters to show the nationality. Yellow and
red stars were for the Jews, stars with six red and yellow
points, two triangles, one over the other.

Q. What colour did you wear?

A. A blue triangle with an "S" in it, that is to say
"Spanish."

Q. Were you a "Kapo? "

A. I was an interpreter at first.

Q. What were your tasks and duties there?

A. I had to translate into Spanish all the barbaric things
the Germans wished to tell the Spanish prisoners. Afterwards
my work was on photography, developing the films which were
taken all over the camp, showing the full story of what
happened in the camp.

Q. What was the policy with regard to visitors? Did visitors
go only into the inner camp and to places where work was
being done?

A. They visited every camp. It was impossible for them not
to know what was going on. Exception was made only when high
officials or other important persons from Poland, Austria,
or Slovakia, from all countries, came. Then they would show
them only the best parts. Franz Ziereis would say: "See for
yourselves." He looked out cooks, interned bandits, and
common criminals, fat and well-fed. He would select these so
as to be able to say and show that all internees looked like
these.

Q. Were the prisoners forbidden to communicate with each
other or with the outside?

A. It was so completely forbidden that, if anyone was caught
doing so, it meant not only his death, but terrible
reprisals for all those of his nationality.

Q. What observations did you make regarding the Kapos? How
did they behave toward their fellow prisoners?

A. At times they were really worthy of being SS themselves.
To be a Kapo, you had to be a pure Aryan. That meant that
they had a martial bearing and, like the SS, full rights
over us; they had the right to treat us like animals. The SS
gave them carte blanche to do with us what they wished. That
is why, at the Liberation, the prisoners and deportees
executed all the Kapos on whom they could lay their hands.
Shortly before the Liberation the Kapos asked to enlist
voluntarily in the SS, and they left with the SS because
they knew what was awaiting them. In spite of that we looked
for them everywhere, and executed them on the spot.Q. You
said they behaved like wild beats. From what facts do you
draw the conclusion that they were obliged to?

A.One would have to be blind not to see. One could see the
way they behaved. It was better to die like a man than to
live like a beast, but they preferred to live like beasts,
like savages, like criminals. They were known as such.Q. I
understand nothing. Please repeat. I have not understood
you.A. One would have had to be blind in order not to see
what was happening to them. I lived there four and a half
years and I know very well what they did. There were many
among us who could have become Kapos for their work, because
they were specialists in some field or another in the camp.
But they preferred to be beaten up, and massacred if
necessary, rather than become a Kapo.DR. BABEL: Thank
you.THE PRESIDENT: Does any other member of the defendants'
counsel wish

                                                  [Page 230]
                                                            
to ask questions of the witness? M. Dubost, do you wish to
ask any questions?

M. DUBOST: I have no further questions, Mr.
President.GENERAL RUDENKO: My Lord, the witness informed us
that he had at his disposal the documentary photograph of 30
Soviet prisoners of war, the sole survivors of several
thousand internees in this camp. I would like to ask your
permission, Mr. President, to present this documentary
photograph to the witness so that he can confirm before the
Tribunal that this is really a document about this group of
Soviet prisoners of war.THE PRESIDENT: Certainly you may
show the photograph to the witness if you have it. You may
put the photograph to the witness if it is available.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Yes.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Witness, can you see this picture?A. What was it please?
To whom?

BY THE PRESIDENT:

Q. Is this the photograph? (Indicating)

A. Yes, that is the same 30. I can assure you that these 30
survivors were still living in 1942. Since then, in view of
the conditions of the camp, it is very difficult to know
whether any one of them is still alive.Q. Would you please
give the date when this photograph was taken?A. It was at
the end of the winter of 1941-42. At that time, it was still
10 degrees below zero. You can see from the picture the
appearance of the prisoners because of the cold.

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