The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th February to 26th February, 1946

Fifty-Ninth Day: Thursday, 14th February 1946
(Part 13 of 15)

[Page 34]

I submit to the International Military Tribunal Exhibit USSR 29. It is a communique of the Polish-Soviet Extraordinary Commission for the Investigation of the "Crimes perpetrated by the Germans in the Extermination Camp of Maidanek in the city of Lublin". The Tribunal will find this communique on Page 63 of the document book. I quote Section 3 of this document: "Tortures and Murder in the Extermination camp" Page 64 reverse side of the document book beginning with the last paragraph:-
"The forms of torture were extremely varied. Some of them were in the nature of so-called jokes which frequently ended in death. They included mock shooting when the victim was rendered insensible by a blow over the head with a blunt instrument, and mock drownings in the pond of the camp which often ended in actual drowning.

Among the German executioners were specialists in particular methods of torture. Prisoners were killed by a blow with a stick on the back of the head, by a kick in the stomach, in the groin, etc.

The S.S. torturers drowned their victims in the dirty water flowing from the bathhouse through a narrow ditch. The head of the victim was plunged into the dirty water and held under by the boot of an S.S. man until he died. A favorite method of the Hitler S.S. was to hang prisoners with their hands bound behind their back. The Frenchman, de Courantin, who suffered the torture in question, stated that a man hanged in this manner lost consciousness very rapidly, whereupon the hanging would be interrupted. He

[Page 35]

was hanged again as soon as consciousness was recovered and the process was repeated several times.

For the smallest offense, particularly for any suspicion of escape, the camp internees were hanged by the German fiends. In the middle of each field stood a post with a cross beam two meters above ground, from which the victims were hanged. 'I saw from my barracks,' said witness Demashev, former camp internee and Soviet prisoner of war, 'how people were hanged from the beam in the middle of the field.'

Close to the laundry, on the landing between the first and second floor, was a special shed, where prisoners were hanged in whole groups from the cross beams."

The women interned in the camp were subjected to the same ill-treatment and torture; they suffered the same forms of control, of work beyond their strength, of beating and ill- treatment. The greatest cruelty was inflicted by the female personnel of the S.S. The worst were the Chief Woman Supervisor Erich, and the supervisors Braunstein, Anni, David, Weber, Knoblick, Ellert, and Radli.

The Commission has established many facts of unparalleled brutality perpetrated by the German executioners in the camp.

The German, Heinz Stalbe, chief of the camp police, stated that he had seen with his own eyes how the director of the crematorium, Oberscharfuehrer Mussfeld, tied the arms and legs of a Polish woman and threw her into the furnace alive.

The witnesses Yelinski and Olech - workers in the camp - also stated that internees had been burned alive in the crematory ovens.

"An infant was snatched from its mother's breast and dashed before her eyes against the wall of the barracks," stated witness Atrochov. "I saw for myself how infants were taken from their mothers and murdered before their eyes: the executioner would seize one small leg, stand on the other, and the infant would be torn in half," stated witness Edward Baran.

The deputy camp commandant, S.S. Obersturmfuehrer Tumann was particularly noted for his sadistic tendencies. He forced groups of internees to kneel in a row and then killed them by blows on the head with a stick. He set Alsatian dogs on the internees. He participated actively and energetically in all executions and killings of the prisoners."

Thus hunger, work beyond their strength, torture, torment, ill-treatment and murder accompanied by unheard-of sadism were employed for the mass extermination of the captives in the camp.

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