The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. I want you to turn to another document which might assist
you in this matter. D-953, which will be Exhibit GB 566 - I
beg your pardon - GB 565. This is an affidavit by David

  "A few weeks after the entry of the German troops into
  Radom, police anal SS authorities arrived. Conditions
  became immediately worse. The house in the Zeromskist
  where their headquarters were became a menace to the
  entire population. People who were walking in this street
  were dragged into the gateway and ill-treated by
  merciless beatings and by the staging of sadistic games.
  All SS officers, as well as the men, took part in this.
  Being a physician, I often had the opportunity to give
  medical help to seriously inured victims of the SS.
  After a short time the SS uniform became a menace to the
  population. I myself was beaten up until I bled by four
  SS men in the street in spite of my doctor's armlet.
  Later on two ghettoes were established in Radom. In
  August, 1942, the so-called 'deportation' took place. The
  ghettoes were surrounded by many SS units who occupied
  all the street exits. People were driven out to the
  streets and those who ran were fired at. Sick people at
  home or in hospitals were shot on the spot, among others
  also the sick people who were in the hospital where I was
  working as a doctor. The total number of people killed
  amounted to about 4,000.  About 3,000 people were spared
  and the rest - about 20,000 people - were sent to
  Treblinka. The whole action was directed and executed by
  the SS. I myself saw that the SS staff were on the spot
  forming groups and issuing orders. In the streets and in
  the houses SS men ill-treated and killed people without
  waiting for orders. After the 'deportation,' the
  remaining group of people were massed in a few narrow
  lanes and we came under the exclusive rule of the SS and
  became the private property of the SS who used to hire us
  out for payment to various firms. I know that these
  payments were credited to a special SS account at the
  Radom Bank Emisyjny. We were visited by SS men only.
  Executions carried out by the SS in the ghetto itself
  were a frequent occurrence. On 14th January, 1943,
  another 'deportation' to Treblinka took place. On 21st
  March, 1943, there took place throughout the whole
  district the so-called action against the intelligentsia,
  which action, as I know, was decided upon in an SS and
  Police Leaders' meeting in Radom. In Radom alone about
  200 people were shot at that time; among others, my
  parents, my brother and

                                                  [Page 313]

  his nine-months-old child met their deaths. On 9th
  November of the same year all Jewish children up to 12
  years of age as well as the old and sick were gathered
  from Radom and from camps situated near Radom and shot in
  the Biala Street in Radom. Both SS officers and other
  ranks participated in this. From March, 1943, I stayed 18
  months in Blizyn Camp. The camp was entirely under the SS
  and the Radom Police Chief's control. Its commandant was
  Untersturmfuehrer Paul Nell. The guards were composed of
  SS privates and N.C.O.s. The foremen were Waffen SS men
  who had been wounded at the front. Both behaved in a
  inhuman manner by beating and ill-treating us. Shootings
  of people were frequent occurrences. Originally sentences
  were passed by the SS and Police Fuehrer, later on by the
  camp commandant. The SS other ranks knew very well about
  the bloody deeds which were committed by the SS in
  Poland, in particular they told me personally about mass
  murders of Jews in Maidanek (in November, 1943). This
  fact was no secret. It was common knowledge among the
  civil population as well as among the lowest-ranking SS
  men. When the camp was taken over by the Maidanek
  concentration camp, new guards were sent to our camp, but
  there was no difference between them and the previous
  ones. In July, 1944, the whole camp, including myself,
  was sent to Auschwitz Camp, which could be entered only
  by SS men. The conditions of this camp are well known. I
  escaped during the evacuation of this camp into Germany.
  On the way, the SS escort machine gunned exhausted
  prisoners and later on the rest of the marching column.
  Several hundred people were killed at that time."

Now, witness, throughout that affidavit the participation of
the SS troops is underlined. Do you deny the SS participated
in the murders of Jewish people in view of affidavits like

A. The police and SS were specifically mentioned in this
document and there is no Waffen SS in those places where the
police worked with the SD. I have emphasized several times
in connection with the camps which have been named that they
had nothing in common with the SS except, most
unfortunately, the name.

Of all the examples cited by the prosecution's attorney I
must admit only that the "Prinz Eugen" and mounted units are
members of the Waffen SS. Beyond that, I cannot tell
anything on the basis of my own experiences.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you read the last paragraph to him?

AIR. ELWYN JONES: The last paragraph may help you on this.

  "I emphasize that during the few years of war, being a
  Jew and a doctor, I met a great number of SS men from the
  Waffen SS as well as other formations and of various
  ranks, but I must state that I noticed no difference
  between them as far as their inhuman attitude towards the
  civilian population was concerned."


Q. The Waffen SS was always the cause for any of these
actions of the executive against the local population. That
was its function, in the whole certainly -

A. No, the Waffen SS was incorporated into the Army.

Q. Did you ever, on this particular point, see Hitler's
directive about the future of the SS?

A. I did not understand your question.

Q. Did you ever see Hitler's directive?

A. I am not familiar with the directives by Hitler regarding
the future of the SS.

Q. In that directive which is, I think, familiar to the
Tribunal - it is Document D-665, Exhibit GB 280 - Hitler
points out that the function of the Waffen SS is to be the
spearhead of Nazism to be used as an agent for effective
action against

                                                  [Page 314]

resistance at home and against opposition in foreign
countries. Did you not see those instructions of Hitler's on
the role of the Waffen SS?

A. Is that perhaps a directive sent by Hitler to the
military offices dealing with the future of the Waffen SS
after the war?

Q. That was a directive Of 1941 which was distributed to
regimental units and was made available to the Waffen SS. I
have not got the document available at the moment. Do you
say you never heard of that?

A. No, I know of only one order, which was an oral one, and
which contained the measures and intentions in regard to the
organization after the war; a directive which went only to
the various Army units.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a convenient time to
break off.

(A short recess was taken.)

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases, I want to make a
slight correction of the exact numbers of these documents.

Document D-953 was put in twice as Exhibit GB 564 and 565. D-
953 will be 564 and the next document - D-955 - will be
Exhibit GB 565.

THE PRESIDENT: The last document you mentioned will be what
- 564, 565? You mentioned some other document after that.

MR. ELWYN JONES: The next document, D-955, which I am just
putting in, will be Exhibit GB 565. This is a final
affidavit from a Jewish merchant, Mojzesz Goldberg, and it

  "On 23rd June, 1941, I was called up into the Soviet Army
  in Lemberg, In the middle of July I was taken prisoner by
  the Germans. At a locality five kilometres from
  Podwoloczysk the SS companies sought the Jews out of the
  whole mass of prisoners and shot them on the spot. I
  remained alive as they did not recognize me as a Jew. I
  stress the fact that it was the Waffen SS who did this.
  After my captivity was ended, I lived in Radom and worked
  from June, 1942, to July, 1944, for the Waffen SS at
  three places: the SS Veterinary Reinforcement Detachment,
  Koscinski Street, the Garrison Administration of the
  Waffen SS, Planty 11, and the Building Directorate of the
  Waffen SS, Slowacki Street 27. As I worked so long for
  the SS, I know the names and faces of all the officers
  and N.C.O.s of the above named detachments of the Waffen
  SS very well. At the head of the SS Veterinary
  Reinforcement Detachment were Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Held
  and Hauptsturmfuehrer Schreiner; at the head of the
  garrison administration there was Obersturmfuehrer Grabau
  (at present in Dachau Camp) and at the head of the
  Building directorate, Oberscharfuehrer Seiler. All the
  persons mentioned took a direct part, together with their
  companies; in carrying out the expulsions in Radom on
  5th, 16th, and 17th August, 1942, during which some
  thousands of people were shot on the spot. I know that
  the SS Veterinary Reinforcement companies went into the
  provincial towns to carry out the 'expulsions' of the
  Jews. I heard individual soldiers boasting about the
  number of Jews they had killed. I know from their own
  stories that these same companies participated in the
  actions against Polish partisans and also set the
  surrounding Polish villages on fire."


Q. Witness, do you still say that the Waffen SS had no part
in the atrocities that were committed in Poland?

A. It is my impression that this document is not credible.
How could units of veterinary companies participate in such
measures? I cannot say any more than that because I do not
know the particular units.

Q. It is a document by a man who worked for two years for
the Waffen SS, who knew them personally, who spoke to them.
He is a man of thirty-six years who suffered at their hands
and he has mentioned in detail whatever the Waffen

                                                  [Page 315]

SS units are concerned with. Do you still say that the
Waffen SS had no part in these matters?

A. These are units in the rear, which apparently did not
belong to the Waffen SS. I cannot say more than that.


Q. Do you know the names of any of the officers who are
mentioned in this letter?

A. No.

Q. Have you ever been in Radom?

A. No.

Q. Do you know whether there were Waffen SS at any of these
places named in this affidavit?

A. I did not understand, your Lordship.

Q. Do you know whether there were Waffen SS headquarters of
units at any of the places named in that affidavit?

A. The units which were mentioned cannot, to my knowledge,
have been stationed there; nor any headquarters, either.

Q. Well, the person making the affidavit states the units
which were quartered at particular places in Radom and what
I was asking was, whether you knew what units were stationed
at those places?

A. No, that I cannot say.


Q. Witness, you have said that the Waffen SS units respected
International Law and committed no atrocities in the field.

With your permission, my Lord, I am now proposing to hand in
a summary of the charges submitted to the United Nations War
Crimes Commission by the National Commissions of the various
countries which suffered at the hands of the Waffen SS. In
addition to this summary, I can hand in certified true
copies of the charges themselves which set out the facts of
the incidents that are complained of. I submit that such
charges and such summaries have probative value. It is true
that the charges themselves have not yet resulted in trials
and that the culprits named have not themselves been tried.
The reasons for that are manifold, but I do submit that
these summaries of charges have probative value and I invite
the Court's ruling with regard to them.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you can tell us a little bit more
about the nature of the documents you are seeking, to put in

MR. ELWYN JONES: The documents I am seeking to put in
evidence set out, under the names of the various Waffen SS
divisions, the unit involved, the date of the commission of
the offence complained of, the place, the nature of the
incident itself, and the source of the information. They are
from the files of the United Nations War Crimes Commission,
or a SHAEF Court of Inquiry which put the matter up to the
United Nations War Crimes Commission.

THE PRESIDENT: As to the evidence, it is only a reference.
It does not contain the evidence or summary of the evidence,
does it?

MR. ELWYN JONES: It contains the summary of the evidence.
The certified charges which I shall hand in to the Tribunal
contain much fuller details than the summary itself I intend
to use on the witness. There is no objection to your
Lordship's looking at one of them.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, are you submitting the
reports under Article 21 in any way?

MR. ELWYN JONES: That is my submission, my Lord. They are
official reports submitted by the national authorities to
the United Nations War Crimes

                                                  [Page 316]

Commission and they embody evidence of witnesses and are
reduced into summary reports formed as charges.

If your Lordship would care to look at one of the charges as
an illustration without prejudice to the question whether it
would admit the document or not, it might be helpful. If
your Lordship pleases, my learned friend Sir David Maxwell
Fyfe is in a position to list the arrangement of the United
Nations War Crimes Commission with regard to these charges
and it might be helpful if Sir David would indicate the
machinery to the Tribunal.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, one might commence with
Article 21 that says: "It - the Tribunal - shall also take
judicial notice of official governmental documents and
reports of the United Nations, including the acts and
documents of the committees set up in the various Allied
countries for the investigation of war crimes." My Lord, the
procedure which was set up was that the United Nations War
Crimes Commission under the chairmanship first of Lord
Finley, and then of Lord Reiter, would gather the material,
examine it, and send it back to the respective prosecuting
nations. The procedure was that the National Office sent a
report to the United Nations War. Crimes Commission who then
considered it and sent it back to the authority in the
various countries that dealt with the prosecution of the
crimes. My Lord, what is being put forward at the moment is
a synopsis of the report sent by various countries to the
United Nations War Crimes Commission, in the form of the
suggested charges that should be brought and a summary of
the supporting evidence. These are available and
authenticated, and the document which we should like to use,
for the convenience of the Tribunal, is a synopsis of these
charges, showing the unit, the date, the place, the
incident, and the source, including the United Nations War
Crimes Commission's files.

THE PRESIDENT: But, Sir David, as I understand what you
said, these documents, of which this is a summary, world
come forward to the United Nations War Crimes Commission for
some action by them, for some form of approval, after which
they would send them back to the countries concerned and
they would be sent to a Tribunal for the purpose of trying
those individuals whom the United Nations War Crimes
Commission approved the trial of: This is a summary of
charges which has not been approved by the United Nations
War Crimes Commission.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: They may or may not. It is the
earlier stage of a report of the United Nations War Crimes
Commission. Each of the United Nations had its National
Office for investigating and reporting on war crimes. That
was an essential step which the National Office had, first
of all, to take - to collect the evidence, put forward the
charge, and put forward that report to the United Nations
War Crimes Commission. It then came back with an approval or
a comment of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to the
prosecuting authority of the various countries. If, my Lord,
simply for the sake of clarification, I can give my own
example when I was in charge of this: The British National
Office was in charge of Sir Thomas Barnes, the Treasury
Solicitor, who collected the reports from the various
committees of inquiry. He sent these forward to the United
Nations War Crimes Commission. They made their comment. It
then came back to me and I decided whether there would be a
prosecution or not. My Lord, I am putting this forward as an
authenticated report of the United Nations. It is the
committee which each country established in order to collect
the evidence and to forward that evidence to the United
Nations body. My Lord, what we are now submitting is the
fact that each of the United Nations, by an authoritative
committee, collected the evidence, summarised the evidence,
and put it forward, which in its form, does ipso facto give
it probative value.

                                                  [Page 317]

THE PRESIDENT: You say, do you not, that it falls exactly
within the words of the 3rd last line of Article 21. It
says, in the following words, "documents of the committee
set up in various Allied countries for investigation of war

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: That is so, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the
document and see just exactly what is its make-up. Do you
have an original document?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, this is one which is
certified by Colonel Leningham, the Secretary-General of the
United Nations War Crimes Commission.

My Lord, here is one which has been accepted by the United
Nations War Crimes Commission, as many of them have.

THE PRESIDENT: We have looked at the document. Now, before
the Tribunal adjourns for the purpose of considering this
matter, they would hear anything further you wish to say,
Sir David.

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