The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Otto Horn
Extracts from Deposition
In the Matter of John Demjanjuk
(Part 3 of 5)

The following are extracts from the Horn deposition in the Demjanjuk case. For preliminary remarks, see pub/people/h/horn.otto/horn.001 & ~horn.002.



Q. Please state your full name?
A. Otto Horn

Q. What city do you reside in?
A. Berlin.

Q. What is your date of birth?
A. The 14th of December, 1903.

Q. What is your present age?
A. I am currently 76.

Q. What is your profession?
A. I am a male nurse.

Q. Are you now working or are you retired?
A. I am a pensioner.

MR. MARTIN: A what?
MR. ZÄNKER: I'm a pensioner.

Q. Have you been in German military service?
A. Yes.


Q. Before we went off the record, you indicated that you travelled from Treblinka to Trawniki. Is that correct?
A. Yes.

Q. And approximately when was it that you arrived at Treblinka?
A. After a few hours, but I wouldn't know the exact time.

Q. Mr. Horn, what kind of place was Treblinka?
A. It was a camp - an extermination camp.

Q. What if anything happened when you first arrived at Treblinka?
A. People were exterminated there, were gassed.

Q. Let me refer you back to the first day of your arrival. Were you - were you met by anybody?
A. Yes. The Deputy Commander of the camp.

Q. What was his name?
A. Franz.

Q. And what did Franz do with you and the others who came to the camp?
A. He showed us around - I mean the outside of the camp - fast.

Q. What happened then?
A. And then within the camp, we were divided up and I came into the upper camp.

Q. Was that where you were assigned to duty?
A. Yes.

Q. You were assigned to duty in the upper camp?
A. Yes.

Q. Mr. Horn, I would like to show you what has been marked as Government Exhibit Number 1, which is a diagram in German of Treblinka.

[Attorney for defendant examines exhibit, Otto Horn offered his glasses, which he puts on]

Q. I show you [the exhibit] and let me ask you if this is a fair and accurate representation of the Treblinka camp as you recall it?
A. As far as I recall, yes; but this - well I may not know how certain things were so exactly any more.

[Horn is asked to point to the upper camp, and draw a circle around it]

MR. MOSCOWITZ: Let the record reflect that the witness, using a pen, has just drawn a line around the area of the camp which is in the upper right-hand corner of the diagram, which has written in the middle "Totenlager".

Q. Mr. Horn, you mentioned that you were assigned to the upper camp. Was there another part of the camp as well?
A. Yes, the lower one right here [indicating] - the lower one [indicating].

MR. MOSCOWITZ: Let the record reflect that the witness pointed to this area of the camp [indicating] - the lower right-hand part of the diagram.

Q. Mr. Horn, what was the function of the lower camp? What took place there?
A. That was the unloading and undressing.

Q. The unloading and undressing of whom?
A. By Germans; and partly by prisoners ordered for such purpose.

Q. Who were the people who were unloaded and undressed?
A. Jews mainly.

Q. Where did these Jews come from?
A. One doesn't know. One didn't know what area they came from.

Q. How did they arrive at this unloading?
A. By train, here [indicating].

Q. Mr. Horn, while you were stationed at Treblinka, were you in uniform?
A. Yes - yes, a gray uniform.

Q. Did you have a rank?
A. Unterscharfu"hrer - something like a sergeant in the army.

Q. Mr. Horn, directing your attention to the upper camp, what - what was located in the upper camp?
A. The people were gassed there and burned.

Q. By what means were they gassed?
A. I don't know. There was some engine somehow.

Q. Was it a chamber or building in which this took place?
A. It was here [indicating]. It was built there [indicating]. The gas chamber is here [indicating].

Q. Can you draw an "X" on the gas chamber on this diagram?
A. [Indicating] Here, the gas chamber.

MR. MOSCOWITZ: Let the record reflect the witness has drawn an "X" on a box which is marked "Neue Gaskammern". [...]

Q. This chamber, this gas chamber on which you have drawn an "X", this is the place where the Jews were brought to be gassed?
A. Yes. Right.

Q. Were these people all men?
A. That were taken there?

Q. Yes.
A. No. No. Just anything - men and women.

Q. Were there children included as well?
A. Yes.

Q. Were there other Germans, aside from you, stationed on duty in the upper camp?
A. Yes, there were some.

Q. Approximately how many were there?
A. Perhaps eight.

Q. Was there a German commander of the upper camp?
A. Yes -- Mathes.

Q. Do you recall who the commander was of the entire camp?
A. Stangl.

Q. Aside from the Germans stationed in the upper camp, was anyone else stationed there?
A. Yes, there were Ukrainians there.

Q. Generally, what were the duties of these Ukrainians?
A. They were guards on the towers, and when transporting the corpses away.

Q. Were there Ukrainians stationed in other parts of the camp as well?
A. Yes, also at the lower.

Q. The Ukrainians stationed -- these Ukrainian guards -- stationed in the upper camp, were they permanently there, or did they rotate down to the lower camp as well?
A. I can't say if they rotated. The guards possibly rotated.


Q. Aside from the Germans and the Ukrainians, was there any - was there anyone else present or stationed in the upper camp?
A. No.

Q. Were there any prisoners or inmates kept there?
A. Yes -- 200 approximately, who had to work there.

Q. And what nationality were these people?
A. Mainly Jews.

Q. What were the duties of these Jewish people who lived in the upper camp?
A. Transporting away the corpses and burning them.

Q. Transporting the corpses away from where?
A. From the whole -- from the gas chamber, that is.

Q. And to where would they bring the corpses?
A. To the pit here [indicating] and then burned right away.

Q. Were there pits located in the upper camp where bodies were put?
A. Yes, there were some.

[Indicates other pits on the diagram]

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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