The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

THE PRESIDENT: You have read 31 now, have you not? Have you
read 31?

M. DUBOST: I said to the Tribunal that the document which we
now submit and read (Document L 159, Exhibit RF 352) is in
the second document book, Pages 31, 32 and 33.

Page 31: "Atrocities and other conditions in the
concentration camps in Germany. Report of a committee set up
by General Eisenhower under the auspices of the Chief of
Staff, General George Marshall, to the Congress of the
United States, concerning atrocities and other conditions in
concentration camps in Germany."

THE PRESIDENT: I asked you whether you had read the part you
wished to read on Page 31.

M. DUBOST: Yes, Mr. President, I read the title, and then,
from Page 32.

THE PRESIDENT: Where are you going to read on page 32?

M. DUBOST: The second paragraph.

THE PRESIDENT: On Page 32?

M. DUBOST: Page 32, second paragraph.

   "The purpose of this camp was extermination, and the
   means of extermination."

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, that is Page 31.

M. DUBOST: I beg your pardon Mr. President. I have a sheet
which is numbered in a different way from yours.

We find then on Page 31, the first paragraph:

   "The purpose of this camp was extermination, and the
   means of extermination were blows, torture, overcrowding
   of the dormitories, and illness. The result of these
   measures was heightened by the fact that prisoners were
   obliged to work in an armament factory adjoining the
   camp which manufactured small firearms, rifles" - and so
   on.

                                                  [Page 274]

The means which were used to carry out this progressive
extermination are numerous. We are going to submit documents
which have just been handed to us, which we have
communicated to the defence, and which consist more or less
of printed formulas from Auschwitz, concerning the number of
blows which could be administered to the internees or
prisoners.

These documents will be handed over to the defence for their
criticism. They have just been given to us. I am not able to
authenticate their origin today. They appear to me to be of
a genuinely authentic character. Photostats of these
documents have been given to the defence.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal think that they cannot admit
these documents at present. It may be that after you have
had more time to examine the matter you may be able to offer
some evidence which authenticates the documents, but we
cannot admit the documents simply upon your statement that
you believe them to be genuine.

M. DUBOST: Moreover, everything in the camps contributed to
pave the way for the progressive extermination of the people
who were interned there. Their situation was as follows: all
suffered from the hard climate, and severe exposure. Some
worked in subterranean caves. Their living conditions have
been brought to light by the testimony which you have heard,
including the conditions under which the internees were
received, being compelled to remain naked for hours while
they were being registered or waiting to be tattooed.

Everything combined to cause the rapid death of those who
were interned in the camps. A good number of them were
subjected to an even harder regime, the description of which
was given to the Tribunal by the American Prosecution when
they submitted Exhibit USA 243 and the following dealing
with the "Nacht und Nebel" regime, the NN.

I do not think it is necessary to return to the description
of this regime. I shall merely submit a new document which
shows the rigour with which it was applied to our
compatriots. This document is the second of the first
document book. It is included under the number 278. It comes
from the German Armistice Commission of Wiesbaden, and shows
that no steps were ever taken in reply to repeated protests
by the French population, and even by the de facto
government of Vichy, against the silence which shrouded the
internees of the NN camps (paragraphs 1 and 2).

I shall now read from paragraph 2, which explains why no
reply could be given to families who had good reason to
worry.

This was foreseen and desired by the Fuehrer His opinion was
that effective intimidation of the population, which would
put a stop to criminal activities against the occupation
forces, would be achieved by the death sentence, or by
measures which would leave the offender's next of kin, and
the population generally, uncertain as to their fate.

This document becomes Exhibit RF 326.

We will not devote any more time to describing the blocks
and the unhygienic conditions under which the internees in
the blocks lived. Four witnesses who all came from different
camps have pointed out to you that the hygienic conditions
in different camps were identical. The blocks were equally
overcrowded in all these camps. We know that in all cases
the water supply was insufficient, and that deportees slept
two or three in beds only 75 to 80 centimetres wide. We know
that the linen was never renewed or was in very bad
condition. We know likewise the conditions in which the
medical services of the camp functioned. Several witnesses
belonging to the medical profession have testified to this
fact before the Tribunal. The Tribunal will find
confirmation of their testimony in Document F-121, Exhibit
RF 354, Page 98 of the second document book. We shall read
the last line of Page 100 of your document book.

                                                  [Page 275]

  "Because of lack of water the prisoners were obliged to
  satisfy their thirst by drinking the stagnant water in
  the water closets."

Page 119 of Document F-121, Page 103 in the German text,
third paragraph:

  "The surgical work was done by a German who claimed to be
  a surgeon from Berlin, but who was an ordinary criminal.
  At each operation he killed the patient."

Two paragraphs lower:

  "The management of the block was carried out by two
  Germans, who acted as sick-bay attendants; unscrupulous
  men, who carried out surgical operations on the spot with
  the help of a certain H - who was a mason by trade."

After the statement by our witnesses, who in their capacity
as doctors of medicine, were able to care for patients in
the camp infirmaries, it seems superfluous to give further
quotations from our documents.

When the workers had been worked to the point of exhaustion,
when it seemed impossible that they could ever recover,
selections were made to set apart those who were of no
further use, with a view to exterminating them either in the
gas-chambers, as related by our first witness, Madam
Vaillant Couturier, or by intra-cardiac injections, as
related by two other French witnesses, Dr. Dupont and Dr.
Balachowsky.

This system of screening was carried out in all the camps,
and was done in execution of general orders, proof of which
we find in Document R-91.

In the first document book the Tribunal will find the
testimony of Blaha, testimony which it will certainly recall
and which was given here on 9 January - it is the 5th
document of the first document book, the testimony of Blaha,
Document 3249-PS -

THE PRESIDENT: You have already given this as evidence, have
you not?

M. DUBOST: I am not going to read it. I merely wish to
recall this for the record, because it enters into the body
of proofs which I wish to submit.

THE PRESIDENT: We do not want affidavits by witnesses who
have already given evidence. This affidavit, PS-3249, has
not been put in, has it?

M. DUBOST: No, I am merely recalling the testimony which was
given at the session. We shall not submit this document, Mr.
President. We are merely using it to remind the Tribunal
that during the session Blaha pointed out conditions
existing in the infirmaries.

To all these wretched living conditions must be added work,
exhausting work, for all the deportees were intended to
carry out extremely hard work. We know that they worked in
labour gangs and in factories, we know, according to the
witnesses, that the duration of this work was a minimum of
12 hours, and that it was often prolonged to suit the whim
of the camp commandant.

Document R-129, from which I have already read, which was
issued by Pohl, and addressed to Himmler, Pages 22 and 23 of
the second document book, suggests that the working hours
should be limited to a certain extent.

This work was carried out, according to the witnesses, in
water, and in mud, in underground factories in Dora, for
instance, and in quarries in Mauthausen. In addition to the
work, which was exhausting in itself, the deportees were
subject to ill-treatment by the SS and the Kapo, such as
blows, or being bitten by dogs.

Our Document F-274, Pages 74 and 75, brings official
testimony to this effect. Is it necessary to read to the
Tribunal from this document, which is an official one, to
which we constantly refer, and which has been translated
into German and into English?

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think you need read it. Give us the
page.

                                                  [Page 276]

M. DUBOST: Thank you, Mr. President.

This same document, Pages 77, 78, informs us that all the
prisoners were forced to do the work assigned to them, even
under the worst conditions of health and hygiene. There was
no quarantine for them even in case of contagious diseases
or during epidemics.

The French Document 392, which we have already submitted and
which is in the first document book - the testimony of
Doctor Steinberg - confirms that of Madame Vaillant-
Couturier. It is the twelfth document of your first document
book, third paragraph, Page 4.

  "We received half a litre of herb tea; this was when we
  were awakened. A supervisor, who was at the door,
  hastened our washing by giving us blows with a cudgel.
  The lack of hygiene led to an epidemic of typhus."

At the end of the third paragraph and the beginning of the
fourth :

  "The conditions under which the prisoners were taken to
  the factories."

In the fifth paragraph: "Description of shoes.

  We had been provided with wooden shoes which in a few
  days caused us wounds. These wounds produced boils which
  brought death to many."

I shall now read Document R-129, Pages 22, 23 and 24 in the
second document book, and which we submit under the number-

THE PRESIDENT: One moment; the Tribunal will adjourn now for
fifteen minutes.

(A recess was taken)


THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, the Tribunal have been considering
the question of the evidence which you have presented on the
concentration camps, and they are of the opinion that you
have proved the case for the present, subject, of course, to
any evidence which may be produced on behalf of the
defendants, and of course subject also to your right under
Article 24(e) of the Charter to bring in rebutting evidence,
should the Tribunal think it right to admit such evidence.
They think, therefore, that it is not in the interests of
the Trial, which the Charter directs should be an
expeditious one, that further evidence should be presented
at this stage on the question of concentration camps, unless
there are any particular new points about the concentration
camps to which you have not yet drawn our attention; and, if
there are such points, we should like you to particularise
them before you present any further evidence upon them.

M. DUBOST: I thank the Tribunal for this statement. I do not
conceal from the Tribunal that I shall need a few moments to
select the points which it seems necessary to stress. I did
not expect this decision.

With the authorisation of the Tribunal, I shall pass to the
examination of the situation of prisoners of war.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, possibly you could, during the
adjournment, consider whether there are any particular
points, new points, on concentration camps which you wish to
draw our attention to, and present them after the
adjournment, in the meantime proceeding with some other
matter.

M. DUBOST: The 1 o'clock recess?

THE PRESIDENT . Yes, that is what I meant.

M. DUBOST: I shall, therefore, consider as established
provisionally the proof that Germany, in its internment
camps and in its concentration camps, pursued a policy
tending towards the annihilation and extermination of its
enemies, while at the same time creating a system of terror,
which it exploited to facilitate the realisation of its
political aims.

Another aspect of this policy of terror and extermination
appears when one studies the War Crimes committed by Germany
against prisoners of

                                                  [Page 277]

war. These crimes, as I shall prove to you, had two motives
among others: the first was to debase the prisoners as much
as possible in order to sap their energy; to demoralise
them, to make them lose faith in themselves and in the cause
for which they fought, and despair of the future of their
country. The second was to cause the disappearance of those
of them who, by reason of their previous history or of
indications which they had given since their capture, showed
that they could not be adapted to the new order which the
Nazis intended to set up.

With this aim, Germany multiplied the inhuman methods of
treatment intended to debase the men in her hands, men who
were soldiers and who had surrendered trusting in the
military honour of the army to which they had surrendered.

The transfer of prisoners was carried out under the most
inhuman conditions. The men were badly fed, and were obliged
to make long marches on foot, exposed to every kind of
punishment, and struck down when they were tired and could
no longer follow the column. No shelter was provided at the
halting places, and no food. Evidence of this is given in
the report on the evacuation of the column that left Sagan
on 8 February, 1945, at 12.30 p.m., a document which the
Tribunal will find in the appendix to the document book on
the prisoners. This document has been submitted by my
colleague, M. Herzog, under No. 46.

THE PRESIDENT: Where shall we find it?

M. DUBOST: I shall read the second appendix, last line.

THE PRESIDENT: I have not got the document, I am afraid, M.
Dubost. I have the document book.

M. DUBOST: The document has been submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: If you could tell us which book it is in -
just hand it up.

M. DUBOST: It is in the document book submitted by M.
Herzog. The French Secretariat was instructed to hand these
documents to you. I am surprised that this has not yet been
done.

Will the Tribunal excuse me? I shall not be able to read
this document now. It was handed over at the time of M.
Herzog's speech. The Tribunal will find it among M. Herzog's
documents. It is the report on the evacuation of the column
that left Sagan on 8th February, 1945. We have no other
copies.

THE PRESIDENT: Can you identify the document book in which
it is, so that we can find it thereafter, and then pass on
to the next document?

M. DUBOST: It is the document book which was handed to the
Tribunal by my colleague, M. Herzog, when he gave his
presentation on the question of labour.

THE PRESIDENT: And how is it marked?

M. DUBOST: It is U.K. 78, submitted under No. 46. A column
of 1357 British soldiers, of all ranks, started on 28
January, 1945, toward Spremberg.

THE PRESIDENT: Possibly this is the first document in your
document book which has been handed up to us.

M. DUBOST: That is right, Mr. President. I shall now read to
you the document on the evacuation of the Sagan camp from 4-
6 February, 1945, since the Tribunal has not the copy before
it. I pass to Document U.K. 170, Exhibit RF 355.

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