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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
29th July to 8th August 1946

One Hundred and Ninety-Sixth Day: Tuesday, 6th August, 1946
(Part 3 of 10)

[MR. ELWYN JONES continues his cross examination of Paul Hauser]

[Page 307]

MR. ELWYN JONES: I shall call some subsequent testimony with regard to that, my Lord, if the Tribunal would allow me, at a later stage, to cross-examine on the whole question of the unity of the SS. It would involve putting in old documents and I understand that there was a certain reluctance on the part of the Tribunal to permit me to do that; but I should be quite content to draw the Tribunal's attention -

[Page 308]

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, the Tribunal does not desire you not to cross-examine but only not to read out and put to the witness documents which have already been put in; you can put the facts which are in the document to the witness for the purpose of cross-examination.

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases. Then at a later stage in my cross-examination I will return to that subject if the Tribunal permits me to do so. I should like to put these documents in first if I may.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, I think what the Tribunal meant was that it did not want you to put long passages or short passages from documents which the witness has never seen and which are already in evidence, but you may cross- examine the witness upon any document apart from that.

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship pleases. Then I shall return to cross-examination on this general issue after I have put these documents in, if I may, my Lord.

I put in the Documents 4038--PS and 4039-PS, to be Exhibits GB 557 and 558, which show that the SS shootings in Warsaw were a continuation of the practice of the civil power of the Government General from the period March, 1941. I need not trouble the witness with those documents.

Then the Document D-956, to be Exhibit GB 559, which is an official Polish report on German crimes in Poland. I only desire to draw the Tribunal's attention to an entry on Page 184 of that report relating to the shooting of hostages, which says that the approximate number of Poles killed in Warsaw from the beginning of the public executions until the rising, from 5th October, 1943, until 1st August, 1944, was about 8,000, most of whom had been caught in man-hunts in the Warsaw streets.

DR. PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, may I be permitted to make a reference to the method of procedure?

Mr. Jones said that he does not wish to submit to the witness this document which he is submitting to the High Tribunal. I am of the opinion that a submission of documents is possible at this stage only in connection with the cross- examination; that is, for ascertaining whether the statements of the witness are credible or not. Otherwise, the prosecution could introduce new incriminating material without any connection. I should like to ask in that case to give the witness an opportunity to comment.

MR. ELWYN JONES: I have no objection at all, of course, to the witness seeing all the documents. I was only, in the interest of time, referring to one sentence in this document which the witness heard interpreted, and I should have thought that was sufficient; but by all means, I will let the witness see all the documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, the Tribunal has already ruled that these documents can be put in in this way, and Mr. Elwyn Jones is referring to specific passages in the documents; you have the opportunity of re-examination and you have a copy of the document, and you can put any question you like upon the document when you come to re- examine.

MR. ELWYN JONES: I next present some documents relating to atrocities committed by the SS in connection with the destruction of Warsaw. First is Document 4042-PS, which will be Exhibit GB 560, which consists of three affidavits from another official Polish report entitled "The German Crime in Warsaw in 1944."

The first affidavit is by the witness Alexandra Kreczkiewicz, who states that:

"On 2nd August the SS men issued an order for us to move to the house across the road; our house, as well as the house next door, was set on fire; on 3rd August we were informed that we would be shot. Several hundred

[Page 309]

persons were assembled in the house; on 4th August at 11 a.m. the Germans surrounded the house and gave the order to evacuate apartments. There were awful cries of children and women and we heard some shots, several persons were killed and wounded at the exit; we were driven to potato fields and, still guarded, we were ordered to lie down; there could be no question of escape. A few minutes later we were ordered to get up and we were driven under a bridge which was near by. At the question of one of the women where we were being taken to, we heard the answer, 'German women and children are perishing by your fault; therefore all of you must perish.' We were put in ranks and a group of seventy people was separated from us and ordered to go behind the bridge on the hill; the rest, including myself, were put against the wall between barbed wires. From different points near by we heard shots; we were huddled together and I was on the outer edge of the crowd. At a distance of five metres in front of us, one of the soldiers very quietly loaded his machine gun; another one was preparing his camera. Several Germans were guarding us; we heard several shots, noises, groans - I fell down wounded and lost consciousness. After a while I came back to my senses and I heard how they were finishing off the wounded. I did not move and I simulated death; they left one of the Germans on guard and the rest of them went away. The soldiers set fire to the huts and the houses in the neighbourhood. I was scorched by the heat and almost suffocated by the smoke and my dress smouldered. The German was still on guard so, quietly, I tried to put out the fire on me."
Then she describes how she ran to a cellar and she says -

THE PRESIDENT: This is a woman, is it?

MR. ELWYN JONES: This is a woman. At the end: "The group of people shot in my presence numbered some 500 persons, of whom no more than three or four managed to escape. All the executioners were SS men."

The next is an affidavit from the witness, Bronislav Dylak, who describes the SS atrocities in a hospital in Warsaw:

"Very badly wounded in the stomach, I was placed in the Field Hospital, Dluga Street 7. On 7th September, 1944, the Germans ordered the nurses and those of the inmates who were able to walk to abandon the hospital, leaving behind the badly wounded. I was in this latter group and we stayed in the ward situated in the cellar. In the whole hospital there were a few hundred sick and badly wounded who could not abandon the hospital. Shortly after the nurses had left the hospital in the evening the German SS arrived; shooting started. First those who, with a superhuman effort, left their beds and dragged themselves to the doors and the staircases to get out and save themselves were immediately killed by the Germans. Two murderers burst into .our ward. One had a candle in his hand - it was already dark. The other, with a pistol, shot and killed the men lying in bed, while shouting 'Bandits.' Together with a few of the inmates of our ward, I was saved because the passage to our beds was obstructed by other beds. Our ward consisted of two different parts; I was in the second smaller part, the entrance to which was obstructed. In the first part, all were killed; the second ward was saved by a pure miracle, maybe because somebody was calling the murderers away. We heard many shots from the other wards. The execution went on throughout the hospital. One of the other many Germans checked whether everybody was dead. So we simulated death; one of my comrades lying near me stained himself with blood on his chest and head in order to simulate death. One of the Germans, speaking Ukrainian, went about among the killed and struck them in their faces with his gun. It was a terrible night. Once a hand grenade was thrown through

[Page 310]

the window into our ward. Finally the building was set on fire. The fire spread very quickly; those who tried to escape were killed. A woman in our ward tried to push the inflammable stuff away from the exit and to prevent our ward from catching fire. All other wards, as well as the staircase, were on fire; the smoke, the smell of burning corpses, indescribable thirst ..." And then the last sentence: "Thus, out of several hundred badly wounded at the hospital in Dluga Street 7, only a few score were left alive."
And the third affidavit is by Maria Bukowaka, who states that:
"On 7th August, 1944, by order of the SS, the people of the whole district had to abandon their houses, which were immediately set on fire. There were several thousands of us who were driven and pushed about by the SS. All who fell down, as well as anyone who tried to help them, were beaten." And further on in the statement: "We go farther on; there is shooting once more. A car full of SS men approaches; the officers get out. They inspect us and take away from our ranks three young, pretty girls; two sisters N. and another girl, unknown to me. The car goes away, the girls cry out, trying to defend themselves against the SS men. An old woman falls down, she cannot go on any more. An SS officer shoots her in the neck." And then at the last: "In a church at Wola the rest of our belongings are taken away from us. All the young girls, sometimes no more than 12-14 years of age, are left behind, while the older ones, with the children, are led to the western station and then by railway to Pruszkow."

Q. . Those were crimes of the SS, were they not, witness?

A. That was not the Waffen SS, only a group of men who belonged to Himmler who had nothing whatsoever to do with the fighting troops. We never fought at Warsaw.

Q. Are you denying that the Waffen SS took part in the destruction of Warsaw?

A. I was never there and therefore I cannot comment. But to my knowledge, there was no fighting there. A riot was quelled there, as several witnesses have testified.

Q. It was a revolt and then the mass extermination by the SS troops, that is what happened in Warsaw, was it not?

A. The Waffen SS participated only to a very small extent because the Waffen SS was in the fighting line.

Q. I next put in Document D-954, to be Exhibit GB 561, which are depositions by Professor Tomkiewicz of the University of Warsaw and Dr. Lorentz, Director of the National Museum in Warsaw, on the looting and deliberate piecemeal destruction of Warsaw by German formations including SS men.

The next document, 2233-DD-PS, is a further extract from the diary of the defendant Frank showing the co-operation between the SS and the civil power in the course of this murderous event.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the reference?

MR. ELWYN JONES: 2233-DD-PS, my Lord, Exhibit GB 562. That is an entry from the diary of the defendant Frank of 16th October, 1944.

"The Governor-General receives SS Oberfuehrer Dierlewanger and SS Untersturmfuehrer Ammann in the presence of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Pfaffenroth. SS Oberfuehrer Dierlewanger reports to the Governor-General on the employment of his combat group in Warsaw. The Governor-General thanks him and expresses his appreciation of the model employment of his combat group in the fighting in Warsaw ... Lunch on the occasion of the presence of SS Oberfuehrer Dierlewanger."

[Page 311]

Now, Dierlewanger was the commander of the units operating in Warsaw, was he not?

THE PRESIDENT: Can you offer any evidence as to what units these officers were commanding?

MR. ELWYN JONES: I am just going to put it to the witness, my Lord.


Q. Dierlewanger was the commander of the units operating in Warsaw, was he not?

A. Dierlewanger was a commander of a picked troop of men from the concentration camps. He had no connection with the Waffen SS. I did not meet him personally nor his troops so I can give no further testimony from my own knowledge.

Q. Were the officers of his units SS men?

A. I cannot give you information as to that for I do not know these units.

Q. I shall be producing further documentary evidence on this issue - at a later stage, my Lord.

Now I want to put in an affidavit dealing with the participation of the SS in the extermination of the Jews and this part will be specific evidence as to the participation of the Waffen SS. The first is D-939, Exhibit GB 563. That is an affidavit by Izrael Eisenberg, and he states:

"I lived in Lublin and from there I was sent to Maidanek in the beginning of 1942. However, as a prisoner I continued to work for the Germans who employed me as an expert for electro-mechanical jobs in the various SS buildings and SS offices in Lublin. I worked as an electro-mechanic in the palace building of the SS and Police Chief Globocnik and in the head quarters of the SS in Lublin, Warsaw Street 21. The Waffen SS were also there. On the outer wall the notice 'Waffen SS' could be seen and on the pass which I received at the entrance the words 'Waffen SS' were also marked. I knew all the officers, for instance, Oberscharfuehrer Riedel, Rottenfuehrer Mohrwinkel, Unterscharfuehrer Schramm. I know that the leaders of the Waffen SS, as well as tile regiment of the Waffen SS whose seat was in the same building where I worked, participated directly in all the expulsions of the Jews from the district of Lublin. In these expulsions thousands of persons were killed on the spot and the rest sent away for extermination. I myself saw how, in the winter of 1941, the 'Waffen SS' of Warsaw Street 21 participated in the deportation of several hundred Jews to Maidanek, whereby several persons were killed on the spot. At that time my father was also deported because of his long beard, as this action mainly concerned Jews with beards. I know that Rottenfuehrer Mohrwinkel directed this action and was promoted to the rank of Untersturmfuehrer for it. I worked for the Waffen SS until November 1942, i.e., until I was transported to Radom. The Waffen SS participated the whole time in all the crimes of the SS in Lublin and in the district. I wish to point out that the SS men kept their horses in the stables on the aerodrome where there was a notice 'Mounted Regiment Waffen SS'."
Then the next document is D-953, which will be Exhibit GB 564.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you should give the witness an opportunity to speak about this document if he prefers.

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Lordship wishes.


Q. Witness, you heard me reading out of that last affidavit of Izrael Eisenberg. You see that he alleges that the Waffen SS participated directly in the collection of Jewish people for extermination and he refers to the Mounted Regiment of the

[Page 312]

Waffen SS . . . that was in the Lublin district engaged in these operations. These were men of the Waffen SS, were they not?

A. The names that were read off were not the names of officers. They are names of Rottenfuehrer and Scharfuehrer. Of course I do not know the names of every man in a unit. I have no proof that they were members of the Waffen SS. In 1942 the front lines were not in Lublin but were quite a bit farther to the east. Perhaps they were replacement troops. The term mounted unit was mentioned once and that was a replacement troop of a mounted brigade about which I cannot give you further particulars.

Q. Are you merely seeking to distinguish between Waffen SS that were engaged in action on the lines and SS units engaged in other activities on the rear? Do you not think -

A. Normally only troops of the replacement units can be used behind the lines because the other units were constantly at the front.

Q. This affidavit establishes perfectly clearly that these were SS troops, does it not? What other troops could they be?

A. Riders of the Waffen SS could have been men of an Einsatz group who had a task behind the lines.

Q. You mean they were masquerading under the name of the Waffen SS units?

A. This is not probable.

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