State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 238, an order from
Merten dated 25 February 1943, addressed to the Governor
General of Macedonia, Salonika and the Jewish Community of
Salonika concerning membership of Jews in various
Judge Halevi: Was Merten the representative of the
Wehrmacht or of the SS?
State Attorney Bar-Or: He was the representative of the
Wehrmacht – Kreigsverwaltungsrat – and acted in the name of
the German Military Commander in Salonika-Aegeis.
Judge Halevi: Is this a special kind of cooperation between
the Wehrmacht and the SS?
State Attorney Bar-Or: Yes. That is correct, Your Honour.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/964.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 240, which
was shown to the Accused and marked T/37(99). The Accused
speaks about it on pages 1352ff. of his Statement. This is
about the establishment of an office for the winding up of
Jewish property in so far as it is cash property
(“Abwicklungsstelle fuer das juedische Barvermoegen”). The
letter is signed by Wisliceny.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/965.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Document No. 427 – an order from
Merten dated 13 February 1943, about the restriction of
movement of Jews in his area, prohibition of the use of
public or private telephones, etc.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/966.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I proceed to document No. 428, an
order from Wisliceny to Chief Rabbi Dr. Koretz in Salonika,
in which the obligation to wind up the accounts of the Jews
is imposed upon the Community itself.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/967.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 429, a
letter of 21 March 1943, from Merten to the Community in
Salonika, which refer to the fate of Dr. Cuenos who had
represented the Red Cross and had escaped, and what happened
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/968.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 430, an
order from Wisliceny to Dr. Koretz as Head of the Community
who is to be responsible to the Security Police and the
Security Service for all the Community’s affairs. He refers
to the Ghetto which was set up in Salonika in a locality
known as “Baron Hirsch.”
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/969.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 1003, a
letter from German Consul General Schoenberg to the Foreign
Ministry dated 26 February 1943, which the Ministry passed
on to the Accused (see page 3 of our document). Schoenberg
reports about the first steps, the designation with the
yellow Star of David and the concentration of the Jews in
ghettos. He speaks of Wisliceny’s role and about the
participation of the German Security Service in all these
activities. He also reports that the registration shows the
number of Jews resident in Salonika to be 56,000.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/970.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 1004,
another letter from the Consul General in Salonika to the
Foreign Ministry. He speaks of “Aussiedlung,” the expulsion
of local Jews of Greek nationality (mentioning the number of
56,000), which began with a transport of 2,600 persons from
Salonika to the Generalgouvernement.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/971.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I go on to document No. 1005, a
letter by von Thadden to the Accused dated 4 May 1943. The
Italians are given permission, at their request, to
repatriate Italian Jews of foreign nationality living in
Salonika to their country of origin. This step is of course
similar to steps taken in other areas.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/972.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I pass on to document No. 1006, a
letter from Wagner to the Accused of 21 May 1943, passed on
to him for his information and with the request that he
issue suitable orders to the Special Operations Detachment.
This again concerns Jews who cannot be seized in the course
of the general deportation of the Salonika Jews because of
special nationality problems.
Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/973.
State Attorney Bar-Or: I shall now call Mr. Itzchak
Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?
[The witness is sworn.]
Presiding Judge: Please answer Mr. Bar-Or’s questions.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Where were you born, Mr. Nechama?
Witness Nechama: In Salonika, in 1910. I am 50 years old.
Q. Were you in the Greek Army, Mr. Nechama?
Q. When were you recruited?
A. I was recruited just in time for the war with Italy, on
24 October 1939.
Q. Which front were you at?
A. I was on the Tepelenee front, if you know this area in
Q. What was your state of health when you were released?
A. It was very bad, but I was very lucky to be in a
hospital. I worked as a male nurse in the military hospital
and therefore I was lucky I was not up at the front. I was
in Korytsa. There were casualties, quite serious casualties.
Q. When were you released from the army?
A. When the Greeks left everything, when the Germans came.
Q. When was that approximately?
A. Approximately at the end of March 1941.
Q. At which front were you released?
A. At Ioannina.
Q. Did you return home from the front?
A. I walked for 28 days. This is easily said, but hard to
do. When I arrived at home I was exhausted. While I was on
my way home we had trouble with the Greeks all the time –
they wanted to take us for work, to help them and be forced
to work for 24 hours. I had to work, I had no choice. So
when I arrived at home my situation was very bad.
Q. After the 28-day march, were the Germans already in
A. They were already there and when I came home I was told
that our radio had already been handed over. I had a very
Q. So when you came home the radio had already been handed
Q. To whom?
A. There was an order that all Jews had to hand over their
radios within twenty-four hours, otherwise they would be
executed, and because they were afraid they did not even
wait for me before handing over the radio.
Q. Did other things also have to be handed over in those
A. Every day there was something new. Next one had to hand
in the pianos; most Jews owned pianos and every Jew had to
give up his piano. Then the telephones. Jews were forbidden
to use the telephone. It had to be handed over to the
Company. One day three trucks arrived and took the complete
library of holy books which we had in the Community, books
from before the time the Jews left Spain. Our Rabbis cried
so much when they took those books, I remember it to this
day. I recall the tears of these learned men who said:
Nothing matters to us, only these books.
Q. Mr. Nechama, you were in the army, are you familiar with
Q. You were able to recognize uniforms. These people who
took the books, or those who occupied themselves with the
delivery of the pianos and all the things you mentioned –
how were they dressed?
A. That was the Gestapo.
Q. What does that mean?
A. How can I tell you?
Presiding Judge: What colour were their uniforms?
Witness Nechama: The colour was brown, a kind of brown.
State Attorney Bar-Or: Could you distinguish them from
German army personnel?
Witness Nechama: No.
Q. How did you know that they were not soldiers of the
A. That is hard to say. At that time I was a complete
Q. Were there German Army personnel walking around in
A. Of course.
Q. Were there also soldiers from the German Navy?
AQ. Salonika was the military centre and soldiers came there
every day from all kinds of units.
Q. When you returned did you continue to go about your
A. Of course.
Q. What was this?
A. A stationery business. I had a partner who was a Yugoslav
citizen and did not go to the front. He did not go to the
front because he was a Yugoslav citizen.
Q. And he remained and ran your business?
Q. In which quarter was this? Was it a Jewish quarter?
A. No in a Greek quarter.
Q. Tell the Court what happened to the Jewish businesses in
Salonika in those days.
A. I shall tell you, there were troubles for the Jews every
day. They would come and take merchandise without paying,
without anything. In Salonika there were very rich Jewish
businessmen, one can definitely call them rich, one can call
them millionaires. There was a shop for glassware there –
they took the very last glass.
Q. They took things and did not pay?
A. They did not pay. There were shops, iron warehouses –
they took all the iron and did not pay anything. Perhaps
they “bluffed,” giving out chits as they did for the radios.
They gave us slips of paper which were not worth anything.
Q. What can you tell the Court about the concentration of
Jews in certain quarters in Salonika?
A. We had a very hard life. We had difficulties in every
Presiding Judge: Mr. Nechama, do not give a general
description. What did the Germans actually do to you?
Witness Nechama: They made every kind of trouble for us.
Sometimes we had to go and look for food.
Presiding Judge: This is not what you were asked. Did you
understand the question? Were you concentrated in a certain
quarter, in one neighbourhood?
Witness Nechama: This is just what I want to recall – on 11
July 1942 – there was an official newspaper they had, Das
neue Europa (The New Europe).
Presiding Judge: A newspaper belonging to the Germans?
Witness Nehcama A newspaper belonging to the Germans. It
was a morning paper. And there was another newspaper in the
afternoon, and there appeared an order that all the Jews
aged 18 to 45 had to report on the morrow, Saturday (this
appeared on Friday) at “Liberation Square,” a very large
State Attorney Bar-Or: Mr. Nechama, I show you document No.
1117. Please look, there is something in Greek and
underneath is the Hebrew translation. Please look at it and
tell the Court if you remember this.
Witness Nechama: Of course I remember this.
Q. What is it?
A. This is the order which I am talking about.
Q. Is this the order about which you were telling us?
Presiding Judge: Let us see it. [The document is handed to
This will be marked T/974.
State Attorney Bar-Or: This was on Saturday. You were
ordered to report at the…
Witness Nechama: “Liberation Square,” (Plaza Elefteria).
Q. Did many Jews come?
A. 9,000 Jews reported there.
Q. At that Square?
Q. And you were among them?
Q. And what happened at the Square?
A. I shall tell you. I had hardly managed to get there – I
was wearing my Sabbath clothes – when they started beating
us, at once, at once, at once!
Q. Who were “they”?
A. They must have been the SS.
Q. I show you a picture. Look at it and tell us what it is.
A. This is Liberation Square, exactly.