The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
21st January to 1st February, 1946

Forty-Fifth Day: Tuesday, 29rd January, 1946
(Part 9 of 9)

[Page 263]

THE PRESIDENT: What paragraph are you reading?

M. DUBOST: Fourth paragraph, Page 5 . . . these people were already half dead of thirst - seventh page of this document, second paragraph: - "8 dying men were taken out even in Rheims; one of them was a priest."

This train was headed for Dachau. A few kilometres past Compiegne there were already numerous dead in every car.

Exhibit RF 320, Page 21 - it is the book handed to you on Saturday (*see above) and

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submitted as an official document, as Exhibit RF 324, pages 21 to 24 - contains other examples of the atrocious conditions under which our compatriots were transported from France to Germany.

THE PRESIDENT : What paragraph?

M. DUBOST: Page 21 at the top of the page:

"At the station of Rheims water was refused us by the German Red Cross."
Second paragraph:
"We were dying of thirst. In Breslau the prisoners again begged nurses of the German Red Cross to give us a little water. They refused and remained unmoved by our appeals" etc.
To prevent escape, in disregard of the most natural and elementary feelings of modesty, the deportees were obliged in many trains to strip themselves of all their clothes, and thus they travelled for many hours entirely naked from France to Germany. A testimony to this effect is given by our official document already submitted as Exhibit RF 274, page 17 of the French text, second paragraph...

THE PRESIDENT: 274 did you say? or 214?

M. DUBOST: 274 - it is this stitched booklet-page 17, second paragraph:

"One of the means used to prevent escape, or as reprisals for the same, was to unclothe the prisoners completely," and another report adds: "This was also aimed at the moral degradation of the individual."
The most restrained testimonies report that this crowding together of naked men barely having room to breathe, was a horrible sight. When escapes occurred in spite of the precautions, hostages were taken from the cars and shot. Testimony to this effect is provided by the same document, page 18, at the top of the page :
"5 deportees were executed."
Thus near Montmorency five deportees from the train of the 5 August, 1944 were buried, and five others of the same train were executed by pistol shots by German Police and officers of the Wehrmacht at Domremy. Added to this quotation is that of another official document, Exhibit RF 321, which we have already submitted. On page 20 you will read. (page 11 of the German text, page 2 of Exhibit RF 321):

THE PRESIDENT: What document?

M. DUBOST: Page 20 of Exhibit RF 32 1, page 11 of the German text.

"Several young men were rapidly chosen. The moment they reached the trench each policeman seized a prisoner, pushed him against the side of the trench, and fired a pistol into the nape of his neck."
The same rule prevailed in deportations from Denmark. The Danish Jews were particularly affected. A certain number warned in time had been able to escape to Sweden with the help of Danish patriots. Unfortunately eight to nine thousand persons were arrested by the Germans and deported. It is estimated that 475 of them were transported by boat and truck under inhuman conditions to Theresienstadt (Bohemia and Moravia). This is stated in the Danish document submitted as Document 666. The Tribunal will find it in the first volume of its document book, and the quotation which I have just made is on page two of this document. That is the sixteenth (second to last) document in the first document book.

In connection with this country it is necessary to inform the Tribunal of the deportation of the frontier guards - page 3, the third paragraph, excerpt from the last paragraph.

"In most places the policemen were dismissed immediately after having been disarmed; only in Copenhagen and in the nearby provincial towns

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were they held back and sent partly by truck, partly by boat to Southern Germany."
And for the frontier guards the following paragraph:

THE PRESIDENT: Page five is that?

V. DUBOST: Page 3, Document 666.

THE PRESIDENT: Which paragraph?

M. DUBOST: Third paragraph now. Second for the police, and third for the frontier guards. (Fourth line, at the end of the line.)

"The policemen were brought to Buchenwald. They were kept under indescribably insanitary conditions, and a very large proportion of them fell ill. About one hundred policemen and frontier guards died, and several still bear signs of their stay."
When this deportation had been carried out all the citizens of the subjugated countries of the West and of Europe found themselves in the company of their Eastern comrades of misfortune in the concentration camps of Germany. These camps were mere means of realisation of the policy of extermination which Germany had pursued ever since the National Socialists seized power. This policy of extermination would lead, according to Hitler, to the installing of 225,000,000 Germans in Europe, in the territories adjoining Germany, which constitute her vital living space.

The police and the German Army no longer dared to shoot their hostages, but neither of the two had any mercy on them. Even more were transported after 1943 to German concentration camps, where all means were used to annihilate them - from exhausting labour to the gas chambers.

The census made in France enables us to affirm that there were more than 250,000 French deportees of which only 35,000 returned. Document 417 submitted as Exhibit 339, which is the third in the first document book, indicates that out of 600,000 arrests which the Germans made in France, 350,000 were carried out with a view to internment in France or in Germany. This document brings to the Tribunal ...

THE PRESIDENT: Where is this Document 417?

M. DUBOST: In the book you have before you, Mr. President, the third in this book.


M. DUBOST: First page of this document, fourth paragraph.

"The total number of deported: 250,000.

Number of returned: 35,000."

On the following page a few names of deported French officials:

Prefects M. Bussieres, M. Bonnefoy, disappeared.

Generals de Lestraing, executed at Dachau.

Job, executed at Auschwitz.

Frere, died at Struthof.

Bardi de Fourtou, died at Neuengamme.

Colonel Roger Masse, died at Auschwitz.

High officials: Marquis of Moustier, died at Neuengamme.

Boulloche, Inspector General of Roads and Bridges, died at Buchenwald, his wife died at Ravensbruck, one of his sons died during deportation, his other son alone returned to Flossenburg.

Jean Deveze, engineer of roads and bridges, disappeared at Nordhausen.

Pierre Block, engineer of roads and bridges, died at Auschwitz.

Mine, Getting, founder of the social service in France, disappeared at Auschwitz.

Among the university professors of great renown: Henri Maspero, Professor at the College de France, died at Buchenwald. Georges Bruhat, Director of

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the Ecole Normale Superieure, died at Oranienburg. Professor Vieille died at Buchenwald.

It is impossible to name each of the intellectuals exterminated by the German frenzy.

Among the doctors, we must mention the disappearance of the Director of the Rothschild Hospital and of Professor Florence, one murdered at Auschwitz, the other at Neuengamme.

As to Holland:

110,000 Dutch citizens of Jewish religion were arrested, five thousand only returned; sixteen thousand patriots were arrested, six thousand only returned. Out of a total of 126,000 deportees, 11,000 were repatriated after the liberation.

In Belgium, 197,150 deportees, not including the prisoners of war - including the prisoners of war, 250,000.

In Luxembourg, 7,000 deportees. More than 700 Jews, 4,000 Luxembourgers, out of these 4,000, 500 died.

It is Documents 681-F, 231-F, 659-F, which we submit as Exhibits RF 343, 341 and 342.

In Denmark (see Document 666-F already submitted, page three) 614 Danes were interned, 583 died.

There were camps within Germany and outside of Germany. Most of the latter were used only for the sorting out of prisoners. However, some of them functioned like those in Germany and among them, that of Westerbork in Holland must be mentioned. This camp is dealt with in Document 222-F already submitted as Exhibit RF 324, which is the official report of the government of the Netherlands. The camp of Amersfoort, also in Holland, is the subject of Document 677, which will be submitted as Exhibit RF 344, the eleventh document in the book.

What we already know, through direct testimony, of the regime of the Nazi internment camps makes it unnecessary for me to read the whole report, which is rather voluminous, and which does not bring any noticeably new facts on the regime of these camps.

There is also the camp of Vught in Holland; then in Norway the camp of Grini, Falstatt, that of Expetend and that of Sipsizen which are described in a document provided by the Norwegian Government, Document 240, which is the fifth in your first document book, and which we have already submitted. The Tribunal will excuse me for not reading this document, which does not give us any information that we have not heard already from the witnesses.

The camps in Germany, like all those outside of Germany which were not only transit camps, must be divided into three categories, according to the German instructions which fell into our hands. You will find these instructions in your second document book, Page 11. The pages follow in regular order. It is Document 1063-PS, which we submit as Exhibit RF 345, Page 11 of your second document book. We read :

"The Reichsfuehrer SS, and Chief of the German Police has given his approval relative to the division of the concentration camps into various categories, which take into account the prisoner's character and the degree of danger he represents to the State. Accordingly, the concentration camps will be classified into the following categories.
Category 1: For all prisoners accused of minor delinquencies and definitely qualified for reform.

Category 1a: For aged prisoners and those whose health will not permit them to do much work.

Category 2: (Page 12, second document book): For prisoners with more serious charges, but still qualified for re-education and correction.

Category 3: For all prisoners charged with particularly serious crimes.

[Page 267]

On 2 January 1941, the date of this document, the German Administration, in dividing the camps into three categories, made an enumeration of the principal German camps throughout Germany in each category. It seems unnecessary to me to come back to the geographical location of these camps within Germany, since my American colleagues, geographical maps in hand, have already exhausted this question. The organisation and the functioning of those camps were regulated so as to obtain . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Will your address take much longer, because we are going to adjourn unless you are going to close in a few moments?

M. DUBOST: It will be five more minutes, and I could finish then with details to which it will not be necessary to come back tomorrow morning. The organisation and functioning of these camps had a double purpose: The first one, according to Document 285, which is on Page 14 of the second document book, is to reduce the labour shortage, in obtaining a maximum output at a minimum cost.

This document will be submitted as Exhibit RF 346, but we shall not read it in extenso. However, on Page 14 of your second document book you will read in the first paragraph (this is at the date of the 17 December 1942 and coincides with the difficulties resulting from the Russian campaign) that because of great difficulties of a military nature not to be discussed here the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police has ordered on 14 December 1942 that, by the end of January 1943 at the latest, 35,000 internees fit for work shall be sent to concentration camps.

Paragraph 2: "To obtain this number the following is ordered:

"As from this date and until 1 November 1943, all workers from the Eastern countries, and those of foreign nationality, who escaped or broke their contracts, and who do not belong to allied, friendly or neutral states shall be sent back to concentration camps by the quickest means possible."
Arbitrary internments with a view to procuring at the least possible cost the maximum output from labour which had already been deported to Germany, but which had to be paid since it was under labour contracts.

It was further intended to exterminate all unproductive forces which could no longer be exploited by German industry, and which might hinder the Nazi expansion. Evidence for this is furnished by Document 91-R, Pages 20 and 21 of the second document book, submitted as Exhibit RF 347, which is a telegram from the Chief of Staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS, received at 0210 hours, 16 December 1942, from Berlin.

"In connection with the increased transfer of labour to concentration camps, to be completed by 30 January 1943, the following procedure may be applied regarding the Jews:

1. Total number: 45,000 Jews.

2. Start of transportation 11 January 1943.

End of transportation 31 January 1943.

3. (The most important part of the document). Composition: the 45,000 Jews are to consist of 30,000 Jews from the District of Bialystok. 10,000 Jews of the Ghetto Theresienstadt, of which 5,000 are capable of working and who until now were used for small tasks in the ghetto, and 5,000 generally incapable of working, including those over 60 years of age. In order to use this opportunity for reducing the number of inmates, now amounting to 48,000, which is too high for the ghetto, I ask that special powers be given to me."

At the very end of this paragraph:
"The number of 45,000 includes the invalids (appendix "old jews and children" included). Through rational means, the screening of the newly

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arrived Jews in Auschwitz should yield at least 10,000 to 15,000 people fit for work."
And now here is an official document which corroborates the testimony of Mme. Vaillant Couturier, among various other testimonies on the same question, according to which the systematic selections made in each shipment arriving at Auschwitz were not made by the mere will of the Chief of the camp of Auschwitz but ordered by members of the German Government itself.

If it please the Tribunal, my report will finish here this evening, and will be continued tomorrow, dealing with the utilisation of this manpower, which I shall endeavour to deal with as quickly as possible in the light of the testimonies we have already had.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 30th January 1946, at 1000 hours)

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