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MARSHAL: Your Honors, Defendants Kaltenbrunner and Streicher will be absent from this morning's session.
M. DUBOST: Your Honors, yesterday I was reading from an official French document, which appears in your document book under the title "Report of the Ministry for Prisoners of War and Deportees." It concerned the seizure by the Germans of Jewish children in France, who were taken from private houses or public institutions where they had been placed.
With your permission I will come back to a statement which I had previously made concerning the execution of orders, given by the German General Staff with the approval of the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, to arrest all French generals and, in reprisal, to arrest, as well, all the families of these generals who might be resistants, in other words, who were on the side of our Allies.
In accordance with Article 21 of the Charter the Tribunal will not require facts of public knowledge to be proved. In the enormous amount of facts which we submit to you there are many .which are known but are not of public knowledge. There are a few, but nevertheless certain, facts which are both known and are also of public knowledge in all countries. There is the famous case of the deportation of the family of General Giraud, and I shall allow myself to recall to the Tribunal the six principal points concerning this affair. First: We all remember having learned through the Allied radio that Madame Giraud, wife of General Giraud ...
THE PRESIDENT: What is it that you are -going to ask us to take judicial knowledge of with reference to the deportation of General Giraud's family?
M. DUBOST: I have to ask the Tribunal, Mr. President, to apply, as far as these facts are concerned, Article 21 of the Charter; namely, the provision specifying that the Tribunal will not require facts to be proved which are of public knowledge.
Secondly, I request the Tribunal to hear my statement of these facts which we consider to be of public knowledge for they are
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known not only in France but in America, since the American Army participated in these events.
THE PRESIDENT: The words of Article 21 are not "of public knowledge" but "of common knowledge." It is not quite the same thing.
M. DUBOST: Before me now I have the French translation of the Charter. I am interpreting according to the French translation: "The Tribunal will not require that facts of public knowledge (''notoriete publique") be proved." We interpret these words thus: it is not necessary to bring documentary or testifying proof of facts universally known.
THE PRESIDENT: You say "facts universally known!'; but supposing, for instance, the members of the Tribunal did not know the facts? How could it then be taken that they were of common knowledge? The members of the Tribunal may be ignorant of the facts. At the same time it is difficult for them to take cognizance of the facts if they do not know them.
M. DUBOST: It is a question of fact which will be decided by the Tribunal. The Tribunal will say whether it does or does not know that these six points which I shall recall to it are correct.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will retire.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal is of opinion that the facts with reference to General Giraud's deportation and the deportation of his family, although they are matters of common knowledge or of public knowledge within France, cannot be said to be of common knowledge or of public knowledge within the meaning of Article 21, which applies generally to the world .
Of course, if the French Prosecutors have governmental documents or reports from France which state the facts with reference to the deportation of General Giraud, the question assumes a different aspect and if there are such documents the Tribunal will, of course, consider them.
M. DUBOST: I must bring proof that the crimes committed individually by the leaders of the German police in each city and in each region of the occupied countries of the West, were committed in execution of the will of a central authority, the will of the German Government, which permits us to charge all the defendants one by one. I shall not be able to prove this by submitting German documents. That you may consider it a fact, it is necessary that you accept as valid the evidence which I am about to read. This
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evidence was collected by the American and French armies and the French Office for Inquiry into War Crimes. The Tribunal will excuse me if I am obliged to read numerous documents.
This systematic will can only be proved by showing that everywhere and in every case the German policy used the same methods concerning patriots whom they interned or detained. Internment or imprisonment in France was in civilian prisons which the Germans had seized, or in certain sections of French prisons which the Germans had requisitioned, which they occupied, and which all French officials were forbidden to enter. The prisoners in all these prisons were subject to the same regime. We shall prove this by reading to you depositions of prisoners from each of these German penal institutions in France or the western occupied countries. This regime was absolutely inhuman. It just allowed the prisoners to survive under the most precarious conditions.
In Lyons, at Fort Montluc, the women received as their only food a cup of herb tea at 7 o'clock in the morning and a ladle of soup with a small piece of bread at 5 o'clock in the evening. This is confirmed by Document Number F-555, which you will find the eleventh in your document book, which we submit as Exhibit Number RF-302. The first page of this document, second paragraph, is an analysis of the depositions which were received. It is sufficient to refer to this analysis. I shall take a few lines from the following deposition. The witness declares:
"... on their arrival at Fort Montluc, the prisoners who were taken in the round-up by the Gestapo on 20 September 1943 were stripped of all their belongings. The prisoners were treated in a brutal fashion. The food rations were quite inadequate. The women's sense of decency was not respected."
This testimony was received at Saint Gingolph, 9 October 1944. It refers to the arrests made at Saint Gingolph,' which were carried out in the month of September 1943. The witness relates:
"The young men returned from the interrogation with their toes burned by means of cotton-wool pads which had been dipped in gasoline; others had had their calves burned by the flames of a blow torch; others were bitten by police dogs...."
DR. RUDOLF MERKEL (Counsel for the Gestapo): The French Prosecution submits here documents which do not represent sworn affidavits. They are statements which do not show who took them. As a matter of principle I formally protest against these mere testimonies of persons who were not on oath. They cannot be admitted as proof at this Trial.
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THE PRESIDENT: Is that all, you have to say?
DR. MERKEL: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: We will hear M. Dubost answer.
M. DUBOST: Mr. President, the Charter, which goes so far as to admit evidence of public knowledge, has not fixed any rules as to the manner in which this evidence, being submitted to you as proof, shall be presented. The Charter leaves the Tribunal to decide on this or that document. The Charter leaves the Tribunal free to decide whether such or such method of investigation is acceptable. The way in which these investigations have been carried out is regular according to the customs and usages of my country. As a matter of fact, it is usual for all official records of the police and gendarmerie to be accepted without the witnesses being under oath. Moreover, according to the stipulations of the Charter, all investigations made to disclose war crimes should be held as authentic proof. Article 21 says:
"The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and the records and findings of military or other Tribunal of any of the United Nations."
THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, is the document that you are reading to us either an official government document or a report, or is it an act or document of a committee set up in France?
M. DUBOST: This report, Mr. President, comes from the Surete Nationale. You can verify that by examining the second sheet of the copy which you have in your hand, at the top to the left: Direction Generale de la Surete Nationale. Commissariat Special de Saint Gingolph. Testimony of witnesses.
THE PRESIDENT: May we see the original document?
M. DUBOST: This document was submitted to the Secretary of the Tribunal- The Secretary has only to bring that document to you.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Is this a certified copy?
M. DUBOST: It is a copy certified by the Director of the Cabinet of the 'Ministry of Justice.
THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, I am told that the French Prosecutors have all the original documents and are not depositing them in the way it is done by the other prosecutors. Is that so?
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M. DUBOST: The French Prosecutors submitted the originals of yesterday's session, and they were handed over this morning to Mr. Martin.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we wish to see the original document. We understand it is in the hands of the French Secretary. We should like to see it.
M. DUBOST: I have sent for it, Mr. President. This document is a certified copy of the original, which is preserved in the archives of the French Office for Inquiry into War Crimes. This certification was made, on the one hand, by the French Delegate of the Prosecution-you will see the signature of M. de Menthon on the document you have-on the other, by the Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Justice, M. Zambeaux, with the official seal of the French Ministry of Justice.
THE PRESIDENT: It does appear to be a governmental document. It is the document of a committee set up by France for the investigation of war crimes, is it not?
M. DUBOST: Mr. President, it is a document which comes from the Office of National Security (Direction Generale de la Surete Nationale), which was set up in connection with an investigation of War Crimes as prescribed by our French Office for Inquiry into War Crimes. The original remains in Paris at the War Crimes office, but the certified copy which you have was signed by the Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice in Paris.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, M. Dubost, I was not upon the question of whether it was a true document or not; the question I was upon was whether or not it was, within Article 21, either a governmental document or a report of the United Nations, or a document of a committee set up in France for the investigation of War Crimes; and I was asking whether it is, and it appears to be so. It is, is it not?
M. DUBOST: Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to add anything to what you have said?
M. DUBOST: No, I have nothing to add.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, Dr. Merkel, you may speak.
DR. MERKEL: I should only like to stress briefly that these statements which are presented here are not statements of an official government agency and cannot be considered as governmental records. Rather, they are only minutes which have been taken in police offices and thus can in no way be authentic declarations of a government or of an investigating committee. I emphasize once more that these declarations, which have certainly been taken
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partially at least-in minor police precincts, have not been made under oath and do not represent sworn statements; and I have to protest firmly against their being considered as evidence here.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to add anything?
DR. MERKEL: No.
THE PRESIDENT: Who is M. Binaud?
M. DUBOST: He is the Police Inspector of the Special Police, who was attached to the Special Commissariat of Saint Gingolph.
I must correct an error made by the Defense Counsel, who said this was a minor police office. This was a frontier post. The Special Commissariats at frontier posts are all important offices even though they are located in very small towns. I think that is the same in all countries.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, M. Dubost, you understand what the problem is? It is a question of the interpretation of Article 21.
M. DUBOST: I understand.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal requires your assistance upon that interpretation, as to whether this document does come under the terms of Article 21. If you have anything to say upon that subject we will be glad to hear it.
M. DUBOST: Mr. President, it seems to me impossible that the Tribunal should rule out this and similar documents which I am going to present, for all these documents bear, for authentication, not only the signature of the French representative at this Tribunal but that of the Delegate of the Minister of Justice to the War Crimes Commission as well. Examine the stamp beside the second signature. It is the seal.
THE PRESIDENT: Do not go too fast; tell us where the signatures are.
M. DUBOST [Indicating on the document.]: Here, Your Honors, is a notation of the release of this document by the Office for Inquiry into War Crimes to the French Prosecutor as an element of proof and below, the signature of the Director of the Cabinet of the French Minister of Justice, the Keeper of the Seals, and in addition, over this signature, the seal of the Minister of Justice. You may read: "Office for Inquiry into War Crimes."
THE PRESIDENT: Is this the substance of the matter: That this was an inquiry by the police into these facts; and that police inquiry was recorded; and then the Minister of Justice, for the purposes of this Trial, adopted that police report? Is that the substance of it?
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M. DUBOST: That is correct, Mr. President. I think that we agree. The Office for Inquiry into War Crimes in France is directly attached to, the Ministry of Justice. It carries out investigations. These Investigations are made by the police authorities, such as M. Binaud, Inspector of Special Police, attached to the Special Commissariat of Saint Gingolph.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know when the service of inquiry into War Crimes was established.
M. DUBOST: I cannot give you the- exact date from memory, but this service was set up in France the day after the liberation. It began to function in October 1944.
THE PRESIDENT: Was this service established after the police report was made?
M. DUBOST: In the month of September or October.
THE PRESIDENT: September of what year?
M. DUBOST: In September 1944 this Office for Inquiry into War Crimes in France was established, and this service functioned as soon as the Provisional Government was set up in France.
THE PRESIDENT: Then the police inquiry was held under the service? You see, the police report is dated the 9th of October, and therefore the police report appears to have been made after the service had been set up. Is that right?
M. DUBOST: You have the evidence, Mr. President. If you look at the top of the second page at the left, it shows the beginning of the record and you read: "Purpose: Investigation of atrocities committed by Germans against the civilian population." These investigations were prescribed by the Office for Inquiry into War Crimes.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. That would appear to be so if the service was really established in September and this police investigation is dated the 9th of October.
The Tribunal will adjourn for consideration of this question.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has considered the arguments which have been addressed to it and is of the opinion that the document offered by counsel for France is a document of a committee set up for the investigation of War Crimes within the meaning of Article 21 of the Charter. The fact that it is not upon oath does not prevent it being such a document within Article 21, of which the Tribunal is directed to take judicial notice. The question
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of its probative value would of course be considered under Article 19 of the Charter and therefore, in accordance with Article 19 and Article 21 of the Charter, the document will be admitted in evidence; and the objection of Counsel for the Gestapo is denied.
The Tribunal would wish that all original documents should be filed with the General Secretary of the Tribunal and that when they are being discussed in Court, the original documents should be present in Court at the time.
HERR LUDWIG BABEL (Counsel for the SS and SD): I have been informed that General Giraud and his family were probably deported to Germany upon the orders of Himmler, but that they were treated very well and that they were billeted in a villa; that they were brought back to France in good health; that things went well with them and that they are still well today. I do not see ...
THE PRESIDENT: Counsel, forgive me for interrupting you, but the Tribunal are not now considering the case of General Giraud and his family, Are you unable to hear?
What I was saying was that you were making some application in connection with the deportation of General Giraud and were stating facts to us-what you allege to be facts-as to that deportation. The Tribunal is not considering that matter. The Tribunal has already ruled that it cannot take judicial notice of the facts as to General Giraud's deportation.
HERR BABEL: I was of the opinion that what I had to say might bring about an explanation by the Prosecution and might expedite the trial in that respect. That was the purpose of my inquiry.
THE PRESIDENT: I am merely pointing out to you that we are not now considering General Giraud's case.
M. DUBOST: If the Tribunal will permit me to continue? It seems to me necessary to come back to the proof which I propose to submit. I have to show that, through uniformity of methods, the tortures which were inflicted in each bureau of the German Police,...
THE PRESIDENT: Have you finished the document we have just admitted?
M. DUBOST: Yes, Mr. President; I have completed this and I will now read from other documents. But first I would like to sum up the proofs which I have to submit this morning through the reading of these documents.
I said that I was going to demonstrate how through the uniformity of ill-treatment inflicted by all branches of the German Police upon prisoners under interrogation, we are able to trace a common will for which we cannot give you direct proof-as we did
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yesterday, regarding hostages, by bringing you papers signed in particular by Keitel-but we shall arrive at it by a way just as certain, for this identity of method implies a uniformity of win which we can place only at the very head of the police, that is to say, the German Government, to which the defendants belonged.
This document, Number F-555, Exhibit Number RF-302, from which I have just read, refers to the ill-treatment of prisoners at Fort Montluc in Lyons.
I pass to Document Number F-556, which we shall submit as Exhibit Number RF-303, which relates to the prison regime at Marseilles.
The Tribunal will note that this is an official record drawn up by the military security service of Vaucluse concerning the atrocities committed by Germans upon political prisoners and that this record includes the written deposition of M. Mousson, chief of an intelligence service, who was arrested on 16 August 1943 and then transferred on 30 August 1943 to St. Pierre prison at Marseilles. At the last paragraph of the first page of this document we read:
"Transferred to Marseilles, St. Pierre prison, on 30 August 1943, placed in room P, 25 meters long, 5 meters wide. We are crammed up 75 and often 80. Two straw mattresses for three. Repulsive hygienic conditions: lice, fleas, bed-bugs, tainted food. For no reason at all comrades are beaten and put in cells for 2 or 3 days without food."
Following page, fourth paragraph:
"Taken into custody again 15 May in a rather brutal way"this is the 4th paragraph-"I was imprisoned in the prison of Ste. Anne and..."
"Living conditions in Ste. Anne: deplorable hygiene; food supplied by National Relief."
Next page, second paragraph:
"Living conditions in Petites Beaumettes: Food, just enough to keep one alive; no packages; Red Cross gives many, but we receive few."
This concerns, I repeat, prisons entirely under control of the Germans. Regarding conditions at the prison of Poitiers, we submit Document Number F-558, Exhibit Number RF-304. A report is attached from the Press Section of the American Information Service in Paris, dated 18 October 1944. The Tribunal should know that all these reports were included with the documents which were presented by the French Office for Inquiry into War Crimes. We read under number two:
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"M. Claeys was arrested 14 December 1943 by the Gestapo and Imprisoned in the Pierre Levee Prison until 26 August 1944...
"While in prison he asked for a mattress, as he had been wounded in the war. He was told that he would get it if he confessed. He had to sleep on 1 inch of straw on the ground. Seven men in one room 4 meters long, 2 meters wide, and 2.8 meters in height.... For 20 days did not go out of cell. WC was a great discomfort to him because of wounds. The Germans refused to do anything about it."
"Another prisoner weighed 120 kilograms and lost 30 kilograms in a month. Was in isolation cell for a month. Was tortured there and died of gangrene of legs due to wounds caused by torture. Died after 10 days of agony alone and without help."
"Methods of torture:
"(a) Victim was kept bent up by hands attached around right leg. Was then thrown on the ground and flogged for 20 minutes. If he fainted, they would throw a pail of water in his face. This was to make him speak.
"Mr. Francheteau was flogged like that four days out of six. In some cases, -subject was not tied. If he fell they would pick him up by his hair, and go on.
"At other times the victim was put naked in a special punishment cell; his hands were tied to an iron grill above his head. He was then beaten until made to talk.
"(b) Beating as above was not common, but M. Claeys has friends who have seen electric tortures. One electric wire was attached to the foot and another wire placed at different points on the body."
"The tortures were all the more horrible because the Germans in many cases had no clear idea of what information they wanted and just tortured haphazard."
And at the very end, the live last lines.
"One torture consisted in hanging up the victims by the hands, which were tied behind the back, until the shoulders were completely dislocated. Afterwards, the soles of the feet were cut with razor blades and then the victims were made to walk on salt."
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Concerning the prisons of the north, I submit Document Number F-560, Exhibit Number RF-305. It also comes from the American War Crimes Commission. On Page 1, under the letter "A" you will find a general report of Professor Paucot on the atrocities committed by the Germans in Northern France and-in Belgium. The report covers the activities of the German police in France, at Arras, Bethune, Lille, Valenciennes, Malo les Bains, La Madeleine, Quincy, and Loos; in Belgium, at Saint Gilles, Fort de Huy, and Camp de Belveroo. This report is accompanied by 73 depositions of victims. From examination of these testimonies the fact emerges that the brutality, the barbarity of methods used during the interrogations was the same in the various places cited. This synthesis which I have just mentioned is from the American report. It seems to me unnecessary to stress this as it is confirmed on the first page. The Tribunal can read further on Pages 4, 5, 6, and 7 a detailed description of the atrocities, systematic and all identical, which the German police inflicted to force confessions. On Page 5, the fifth paragraph, I quote:
"A prisoner captured while trying to escape was delivered in his cell to the fury of police dogs who tore him to pieces." On Page 17, second paragraph, of the German text (Page 14 of the French text) there is the report of M. Prouille, which, by exception, I shall read because of the nature of the facts. I quote: "Condemned by the German Tribunal to 18 months of imprisonment for possessing arms and after having been in the prisons of Arras, Bethune and Loos, I was sent to Germany.
"As a result of ill-treatment in eastern Prussia I was obliged to have my eyes looked after. Having been taken to an infirmary, a German doctor put drops in- my eyes. A few hours later, after great suffering, I became blind. After spending several days in the prison of Fresnes, I was sent to the clinic of Quinze-Vingts in Paris. Professor Guillamat, who examined me, certified that my eyes had been burned by a corrosive agent."
Under the Number F-561 I shall read a document from the American War Crimes Commission, which we submit as Exhibit Number RF-306. The Tribunal will find on Page 2 the proof that M. Herrera was present at tortures inflicted on numerous persons, and saw a Pole, by the name of Riptz, have the soles of his feet burned. Then his head was split open with a spanner. After the wound had healed he was shot. I quote:
"Commander Grandier, who had had a leg fractured in the war of 1914, was threatened by those who conducted the interrogations with having his other leg broken and this was
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actually done. When he had half revived, as a result of a hypodermic injection, the Germans did away with him."
We do not want to use more of your time than is necessary, but the Tribunal should know these American official documents in entirety, all of which show in a very exact way the tortures carried out by the various German police services in numerous regions of France, and give evidence of the similarity of the methods used.
The following document is Number F-571, which we submit as Exhibit Number RF-307, and of which we shall read only one four line paragraph:
"M. Robert Vanassche, from Tourcoing, states: 'I was arrested the 22 February 1944 at Mouscron in Belgium by men belonging to the Gestapo who were dressed in civilian clothing. During the interrogation they were wearing uniforms ....
I skip a paragraph.
"'I was interrogated for the second time at C and in the main German prison, where I remained 31 days. There I was locked up for 2 or 3 hours in a sort of wooden coffin where one could breathe only through three holes in the top.'
Further, the same document:
"M. Remy, residing at Armentieres, states: 'Arrested 2 May 1944 at Armentieres I I arrived at the Gestapo, 18 Rue Francois Debatz at La Madelaine about 3 o'clock the same day. I was subjected to interrogation on two different occasions. The first lasted for about an hour. I had to lie on my stomach and was given about 120 lashes. The second interrogation lasted a little longer. I was lashed again, lying on my stomach. As I would not talk, they stripped me and put me in the bath tub. The 5th of May I was subjected to a new interrogation at Loos. That day they hung me up by my feet and rained blows all over my body. As I refused to speak, they untied me and put me again on my stomach. When pain made me cry out, they kicked me in the face with their boots. As a result I lost 17 lower teeth...."'
The names of two of the torturers follow, but are of no concern to us here. We are merely trying to show that the torturers everywhere used the same methods. This could have been done only in execution of orders given by their chiefs.
I will further quote the testimony of M. Guerin:
". . . as I would not admit anything, one of the interrogators put my scarf around my mouth to stifle my cries. Another German policeman took my head between his legs and two others, one on each side of me, beat me with clubs over
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the loins. Each of them struck me 25 times.:.. This lasted over two hours. The next morning they began again and it lasted as long as the day before. These tortures were inflicted upon me because, on 11 November, I with my comrades of the resistance had taken part in a demonstration by placing a wreath on the monument to the dead of the 1914-18 war...."
I now quote the report of Mr. Alfred Deudon. Here is the ill-treatment to which he was subjected:
"18 August, sensitive parts were struck with a hammer. 19 August, was held under water; 20 August, my head was squeezed with an iron band; 21 and 24 August, I was chained day and night; 26 August, I was chained again day and night; and at one time hung up by the arms."
I will now read an extract from the report of M. Delltombe, arrested by the Gestapo 14 June 1944:
"Thursday, 15 June, at 8 o'clock in the morning, I was taken to the torture cellar. There they demanded that I should confess to the sabotage which I had carried out with my groups and denounce my comrades as well as name my hiding places. Because I did not answer quickly enough, the torture commenced. They made me put my hands behind my back. They put on special handcuffs and hung me up by my wrists. Then they flogged me, principally on the loins, and in the face. That day the torture lasted 3 hours.
"Friday, 16 June, the same thing took place; but only for an hour and a half, for I could not stand it any longer; and they took me back to my cell on a stretcher.
"Saturday the tortures began again with even more severity. Then I was obliged to confess my sabotage, for the brutes stuck needles in my arms. After that they left me alone until 10 August; then they had me called to the office and told me I was condemned to death. I was put on a train of deportees going to Brussels, from which I was freed on 3 September by Brussels patriots.
"...women were subjected to the same treatment as men. To the physical pain, the sadism of the torturers added the moral anguish, especially mortifying for a woman or a young girl, of being stripped nude by her torturers. Pregnancy did not save them from lashes. When brutality brought about a miscarriage, they were left without any care, exposed to all the hazards and complications of these criminal abortions.''
This is the text of the summary drawn up by the American officer who carried out this investigation.
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Here is the report of Madame Sindemans, who was arrested in Paris 24 February 1944:
"...by four soldiers, each armed with a submachine gun, and two other Germans in civilian clothes holding revolvers. "Having looked into my handbag, they found three identification cards. Then they searched my room and discovered the pads and stamp of the Kommandantur and some German passes and employment cards which I had succeeded in stealing from them the day before ....
"Immediately, they placed handcuffs upon me and took me to be interrogated. When I gave no reply, they slapped me in the face with such force that I fell from my chair. Then they struck me with a rubber ring across the face. This interrogation began at 10 o'clock in the morning and ended at 11 o'clock that night. I must tell you that I had been pregnant for 3 months."
We shall submit now Documents F-563 and 564 under the one number Exhibit Number RF-308. It is a report concerning the atrocities committed by the Gestapo in Bourges. We shall read a part of this report.
THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, how do you establish what this document is? It appears to be the report of M. Marc Toledano.
M. DUBOST: That is correct, Mr. President. This report, with the rest of the documents in the same bundle, was incorporated in the document presented by the French Office for Inquiry into War Crimes, as is evident from the official signature of M. Zambeaux on the original, which is in the hands of the Secretary of the Court. I shall read the first page of the original:
"I. the undersigned, Madame Bondoux, supervisor at the prison in Bourges, certify that nine men, mostly youths, were subjected to abominable treatment. They remained with their hands bound behind their backs and with chains on their feet for 15 to 20 days; it was absolutely impossible for them to take their food in a normal way and. they were screaming with hunger. In the face of this situation several of the ordinary criminal prisoners showed their willingness to help these martyrs by making small packets from their own rations which I had passed to them in the evening. A certain German supervisor, whom I knew under his first name of Michel, threw their bread in a corner of the cell, and at night came to beat them. All these young men were shot on- 20 November 1943.
"Then, too, a woman named Hartwig, who lived at Chevannes, I believe, told me that she had remained for 4 days
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bound to a chair. At all events, I can testify that her body was completely bruised."
We read in the statement of M. Labussiere, who is a captain of the reserve and a teacher at Marseilles-les-Aubigny:
"...On the 11th I was twice flogged with a lash. I had to bend over a bench and the muscles of my thighs and calves were fully stretched. At first I received some 30 lashes with heavy whip, then another instrument was used which had buckle at the end. I then was struck on the buttocks, on the thighs, and on the calves. To do this my torturer got up on a bench and made me spread my legs. Then with a very thin thong he finished off by giving me some 20 more biting lashes. When I picked myself up I was dizzy and I fell to the ground. I was always picked up again. Needless to say, the handcuffs were never taken off my wrists..."
I recoil from reading the remainder of this testimony. The details which precede are atrocious.
"At 10 o'clock on the 12th, after having beaten a woman, Paoli came to find me and said: 'Dog, you have no heart. It was your wife I have just beaten. I'll go on doing it as long as you refuse to talk.' He wanted me to give the place of our meetings and the names of my comrades."
On the following line:
". . . on the 14th at 6 o'clock in the evening I was taken once again to the torture chamber. I could hardly crawl. Before he let me come in, Paoli said: 'I give you 5 minutes to tell me all you know. If after these 5 minutes you've said nothing, you'll be shot at 3 o'clock; your wife will be shot at six, and your boy will be sent to Germany."'
We read that after signing the record of the interrogation his torturer said to him:
"'Look at yourself! See what we can make of a man in 5 days! You haven't seen the finish yet!' And he added: 'Now get out of here. You make us sick!"- and the witness concluded with-"I was, in fact, covered with filth from head to foot. They put me in a cart and took me back to my cell.... During those 5 days I had certainly received more than 700 strokes from a lash ......
A large hematosis (blood clot) appeared on both his buttocks. A doctor had to operate. His comrades in custody would not go near him because of the foul smell from the abscesses covering his body as a result of the ill-treatment. On 24 November, the date on which he was interrogated, he had not yet recovered from his wounds.
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His testimony concludes with a general statement of the methods of torture which were used:
"1) The lash.
"2) The bath: The victim was plunged headfirst into a tub full of cold water until he was asphyxiated. Then they applied artificial respiration. If he would not talk they repeated the process several times consecutively. With his clothes soaking, he spent the night in a cold cell.
"3) Electric current: The terminals were placed on the hands, then on the feet, in the ears, and then one in the anus and another on the end of the penis.
"4) Crushing the testicles in a press specially made for the purpose. Twisting the testicles was frequent.
"5) Hanging: The patient's hands were handcuffed together behind his back. A hook was slipped through his handcuffs and the victim was lifted by a pulley. At first they jerked him up and down. Later, they left him suspended for varying, fairly long, periods. The arms were often dislocated. In the camp I saw Lieutenant Lefevre, who, having been suspended like that for more than 4 hours, had lost the use of both arms.
"6) Burning with a soldering lamp or with matches:
"On 2 July my comrade Laloue, a teacher from Cher, came to the camp. He had been subjected to most of these tortures at Bourges. One arm had been put out of joint and he was unable to move the fingers of his right hand as a result of the hanging. He had been subjected to flogging and electricity. Sharp-pointed matches had been driven under the nails of his hands and feet. His wrists and ankles had -been wrapped with rolls of wadding and the matches had been set on fire. While they were burning, a German plunged a pointed knife into the soles of his feet several times and another lashed him with a whip. Phosphorous burns had eaten away several fingers as far as the second joint. Abscesses which had developed had burst and this saved him from blood poisoning."
Under the signature of one of the chiefs of the General Staff of the French Forces of the Interior, who freed the Department of Cher, M. Magnon-whose signature is authenticated by the French official authorities whom you know-we read that since the liberation of Bourges, 6 September 1944, an inspection of the Gestapo cellars disclosed an instrument of torture. a bracelet composed of several balls of hard wood with steel spikes. There was a device for tightening the bracelet round the victim's wrist.
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This bracelet was seen by numerous soldiers and leaders of the Maquis of Manetou-Salon. It was in the hands of Adjutant Neuilly, now in the 1st Battalion of the 34th Demi-Brigade. A drawing is attached to this declaration. Commander Magnon certifies having seen the instrument described above.
We now submit Document F-565, from the military service of the department of Vaucluse, which becomes Exhibit Number RF- 309. It is a repetition of the same methods. We do not consider it necessary to dwell upon them.
We will now turn to Document F-567, which we submit as Exhibit Number RF-310. It refers to the tortures practiced by the German police in Besancon. It is a deposition of M. Dommergues, a professor at Besancon. This deposition was received by the American War Crimes Commission-the mission of Captain Miller. We shall read about the statement of M. Dommergues, professor at Besancon.
"He was arrested on 11 February 1944; was violently struck with a lash during the interrogation. When a woman who was being tortured uttered screams, they made M. Dommergues believe that it was his own wife. He saw a comrade hung up with a weight of 50 kilograms on each foot. Another had his eyes pierced with pins. A child lost its voice completely."
This is from the American War Crimes Commission, summing up M. Dommergues' deposition. This document includes a second part under the same Number F-567(b). We shall read some excerpts from this document.
THE PRESIDENT: One of the members has not got his document marked, and I want to know whose statement it is you are referring to. Is it Dr. Gomet?
M. DUBOST: It is not a statement; it is rather a letter sent by Dr. Gomet, Secretary of the Council of the Departmental College of Doubs of the National Order of Physicians. This letter was sent by him to the chief medical officer of the Feldkommandantur in Besancon. on 11 September 1943. Here is the text of this letter:
"Dear Doctor and Colleague,
"I have the honor to deliver to you the note which I drafted at your request and sent to our colleagues of the department in a circular of 1 September.
"My conscience compels me on the other hand, to take up another subject with you.
"Quite recently I had to treat a Frenchman who had wounds and multiple ecchymosis on his face and body, as a result of the torture apparatus employed by the German security
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service. He is a man of good standing, holding an important appointment under the French Government; and he was arrested because they thought he could furnish certain information. They could make no accusation against him, as is proved by the fact that he was freed in a few days, when the interrogation to which they wanted to subject him was finished.
"He was subjected to torture, not as a legal penalty or in legitimate defense; but for the sole purpose of forcing him to speak under stress of violence and pain.
"As for myself, representing the French medical body here, my conscience and a strict conception of my duty compel me to inform you of what I have observed in the exercise of my profession. I appeal to your conscience as a doctor and ask you whether by virtue of our mission of protecting the physical health of our fellow beings, which is the mission of every doctor, it is not our duty to intervene."
He must have had a reply from the German doctor, for Dr. Gomet writes him a second letter, and here is the text:
"Dear Doctor and Colleague,
"You were good enough to note the facts which I put before you in my letter of 11 September 1943 regarding the torture apparatus utilized by the German Security Service during the interrogation of a French official for whom I had subsequently to prescribe treatment. You asked me, as was quite natural, if you could visit the person in question yourself. I replied at our recent meeting that the person concerned did not know of the step which I had taken; and I did not know whether he would authorize me to give his name.- I wish to emphasize, in fact, that I myself am solely responsible for this initiative. The person through whom I learned, by virtue of my profession, the facts which I have just related to you, had nothing to do with this report. The question is strictly professional. My conscience as a doctor has forced me to bring this matter to your attention. I advance only what I know from absolutely certain observation, and I guarantee the truth of my statement on my honor as a man, a physician, and a Frenchman.
"My patient was interrogated twice by the German Security Service about the end of August 1943. 1 had to examine him on 8 September 1943, that is to say, about 10 days after he left prison, where he had in vain asked for medical attention. He had a palpebral ecchymosis on the left side and abrasions in the region of his right temple, which he said were made with a sort of circle which they had placed upon his head
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and which they struck with small clubs. He had ecchymosis on the backs of his hands, these having been placed, according to what he told me, in a squeezing apparatus. On the front of his legs there were still scars with scabs and small surface wounds-the result, he told me, of blows administered with flexible rods studded with short spikes.
"Obviously, I cannot swear to the means by which the ecchymosis and wounds were produced, but I note that their appearance is in complete agreement with the explanations given me.
"It will be easy for you, Sir, to learn if apparatus of the kind to which I allude is really in use in the German Security Service." I pass over the rest.
THE PRESIDENT: It may be convenient for counsel and others to know that the Tribunal will not sit in open session tomorrow, as it has many administrative matters to consider. We will adjourn now until 2 o'clock.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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MARSHAL: If Your Honors please, the Defendants Kaltenbrunner and Streicher will continue to be absent this afternoon.
M. DUBOST: We left off this morning at the enumeration of the tortures that had been practiced habitually by the Gestapo in the various cities in France where inquiries had been conducted; and I was proving to you, by reading numerous documents, that everywhere accused persons and frequently witnesses themselves-as seen in the last letter-were questioned with brutality and subjected to tortures that were usually identical. This systematic repetition of the same methods of torture proves, we believe, that a common plan existed, conceived by the German Government itself.
We still have a great many testimonies, all extracts from the report of the American services, concerning the prisons at Dreux, at Morlaix, and at Metz. These testimonies are given in Documents F-689, 690, and 691, which we now submit as Exhibits RF-311, 312, and 313.
With your permission, Your Honor, I will now refrain from further citing these documents. The same acts were systematically repeated. This is also true of the tortures inflicted in Metz, Cahors, Marseilles, and Quimperle, dealt with in Documents F-692, 693, 565, and 694, which we are presenting to you as Exhibits RF-314, 314 (bis), 309, and 315.
We now come to one of the most odious crimes committed by the Gestapo, and it is not possible for us to keep silent about it in spite of our desire to shorten this statement. This is the murder of a French officer by the Gestapo at Clermont-Ferrand, a murder which was committed under extremely shameful conditions, in contempt of all the rules of international law; for it was perpetrated in a region where, according to the terms of the Armistice, the Gestapo had nothing to do and had no right to be.
The name of this French officer was Major Henri Madeline. His case is given in Document F-575, which we submit as Exhibit Number RF-316. He was arrested on 1 October 1943 at Vichy. His interrogation began in January 1944; and he was struck in such a savage manner, in the course of the first interrogation, that when he was brought back to his cell his hand was already broken.
On 27 January this officer was questioned again on two occasions, during which he was struck so violently that when he returned to his. cell his hands were so swollen that it was impossible to see the handcuffs he had on. The following day the German police came back to fetch him from his cell, where he had passed the whole night
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in agony. He was still alive; they threw him down on a road a kilometer away from a small village in the Massif Central, Perignant-Les- Sarlieves, to make it look as if he had been the victim of a road accident. His body was found later. A post mortem showed that the thorax was completely crushed, with multiple fractures of the ribs and perforation of the. lungs. There was also dislocation of the spine, fracture of the lower jaw, and most of the tissues of the head were loose.
Alas, we all know that a few French traitors did assist in the arrests and in the misdeeds of the Gestapo in France under the orders of German officers. One of these traitors, who was arrested when our country was liberated, has described the ill-treatment that had been inflicted on Major Madeline. The name of this traitor is Veriere and we are going to read a passage from his statement:
"He was beaten with a whip and a bludgeon; blows on his fingernails crushed his fingers. He was forced to walk barefooted on tacks. He was burned with cigarettes. Finally, he was beaten unmercifully and taken back to his cell in a dying condition."
Major Madeline was not the only victim of such evil treatment which several German officers of the Gestapo helped to inflict. This inquiry has shown:
". . . that 12 known persons succumbed to the tortures inflicted by the Gestapo of Clermont-Ferrand, that some women were stripped naked and beaten before they were raped."
I am anxious not to lengthen these proceedings by useless citations. I believe the Tribunal will consider as confirmed the facts that I have presented. They are contained in the document that we are placing before you, and in it the Tribunal will find, in extenso, the written testimonies taken on the day which followed the liberation. This systematic repetition of the same criminal proceedings in order to achieve the same purpose-to bring about a reign of terror-was not the isolated act of a subordinate having authority in our country only and remaining outside the control of his government or of the Army General Staff. An examination of the methods of the German police in all countries of the West shows that the same horrors, the same atrocities, were repeated systematically everywhere. Whether in Denmark, Belgium, Holland, or Norway, the interrogations were everywhere and at all times conducted by the Gestapo with the same savagery, the same contempt of the rights of self defense, the same contempt of human dignity.
In the case of Denmark, we cite a few lines from a document already submitted to the Tribunal. It is Document F-666 (Exhibit Number RP-317), which should be the sixth in your document book.
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It -contains an official Danish report of October 1945, concerning the German major war criminals appearing before the International Military Tribunal. On Page 5, under the title, "Torture", we read in a brief resume everything that concerns the question with regard to Denmark:
"In numerous cases the German police and their assistants used torture in order to force the prisoners to confess or to give information. This fact is supported by irrefutable evidence. In most cases the torture consisted of beating with a rod or with a rubber bludgeon. But also far more flagrant forms of torture were used including some which will leave lasting injuries. Bovensiepen has stated that the order to use torture in certain cases emanated from higher authorities, possibly even from Goering as Chief of the Geheime Staatspolizei but, at any rate, from Heydrich. The instructions were to the effect that torture might be used to compel persons to give information that might serve to disclose subversive organizations directed against the German Reich, but not for the purpose of making the delinquent admit his own deeds."
A little further on:
"The means were prescribed, namely, a limited number of strokes with a rod. Bovensiepen does not remember whether the maximum limit was 10 or 20 strokes. An officer from the criminal police (Kriminal Kommissar, Kriminalrat) was there and also, when circumstances so required, there was a medical officer present."
The above-mentioned instructions were modified several times for minor details, and all members of the criminal police were notified. The Danish Government points out, in conclusion, two particularly repugnant cases of torture inflicted on Danish patriots. They are the cases of Professor Mogens Fog and the ill-treatment inflicted on Colonel Ejnar Thiemroth. Finally, the Tribunal can read that Doctor Hoffmann-Best states that his official prerogatives did not authorize him to prevent the use of torture.
In the case of Belgium we should recall first of all the tortures that were inflicted in the tragically famous camp of Breendonck, where hundreds, even thousands of Belgian patriots, were shut up. We shall revert to Breendonck when we deal with the question of concentration camps. We shall merely quote from the report of the Belgian War Crimes Commission a few definite facts in support of our original affirmation, that all acts of ill-treatment imputed to the Gestapo in France were reproduced in identical manner in all the occupied western countries. The documents which we shall submit to you are to be found in the small document book under Numbers F-942(a), 942(b), Exhibits RF-318, 319.
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This report comprises minutes which I will not read, inasmuch as it contains testimonies which are analogous to, if not identical with, those that were read concerning France. However, on Pages I and 2 you will find the statement made by M. Auguste Ramasl and a statement made by M. Paul Desomer, which show that the most extreme cruelties were inflicted on these men and that, when they emerged from the offices of the Gestapo, they were completely disfigured and unable to stand.
And now I submit to you with regard to Belgium, Documents F-641(a) and F-641(b), which now become Exhibits RP-320 and 321. I shall not read them. They, too, contain reports describing tortures similar to those I have already mentioned. If the Court will accept the cruelty of the methods of torture employed by the Gestapo as having been established, I will abstain from reading an the testimonies which have been collected.
In the case of Norway our information is taken from a document submitted by the Norwegian Government for the punishment of the major war criminals. In the French translation of this document-Number UK-79, which we present as Exhibit Number RF-323 on Page 2, the Tribunal will find the statement of the Norwegian Government according to which numerous Norwegian citizens died from the cruel treatment inflicted on them during their interrogations. The number of known cases for the district of Oslo, only, is 52; but the number in the various regions of Norway is undoubtedly much higher. The total number of Norwegian citizens who died during the occupation in consequence of torture or illtreatment, execution, or suicide in political prisons or concentration camps is -approximately 2,100.
In Paragraph B, Page 2 of the document, there is a description of the methods employed in the services of the Gestapo in Norway which were identical with those I have already described.
In the case of Holland, we shall submit Document Number F-224, which becomes Exhibit Number RF-324 and which is an extract from the statement of the Dutch Government for the prosecution and punishment of the major German war criminals. This document bears the date of 11 January 1946. It has been distributed and should now be in your hands. The Tribunal will find in this document a great number of testimonies which were collected by the Criminal Investigation Department, all of which describe the same ill- treatment and tortures as those already known to you and which were committed by the services of the Gestapo in Holland.
In Holland, as elsewhere, the accused were struck with sticks. When their backs were completely raw from beating they were sent back to their cells. Sometimes icy water was sprayed on them and sometimes they were exposed to electrical current. At Amersfoort
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a witness saw with his own eyes a prisoner, who was a priest, beaten to death with a rubber truncheon. The systematic character of such tortures seems to me definitely established.
The document of the Danish Government is a first proof in support of my contention that these systematic tortures were deliberately willed by the higher authorities of the Reich and that the members of the German Government are responsible for them. In any case these systematic tortures were certainly known, because there were protests from all European countries against such methods, which plunged us again into the darkness of the Middle Ages; and at no time was an order given to forbid such methods, at no time were those who executed them repudiated by their superiors. The methods followed were devised to reinforce the policy of terrorism pursued by Germany in the western occupied countries-a policy of terrorism which I already described to you when I dealt with the question of hostages.
It is now incumbent on me to designate to you by name those among the accused whom France, as well as other countries in the West, considers to be especially guilty in having prepared and developed this criminal policy carried out by the Gestapo. We maintain that they are Bormann and Kaltenbrunner who, because of their functions, must have known more than any others, about those deeds. Although we are not in possession of any document signed by them in respect to the western countries, the uniformity of the acts we have described to you and the fact that they were analogous and even identical, in spite of the diversity of places, enables us to assert that all these orders were dictated by a single will; and among the accused, Bormann and Kaltenbrunner were the direct instruments of that single will.
Everything I described to you here concerned the procedure prior to judgment. We know with what ferocity this procedure was applied. We know that this ferocity was intentional. It was known to the populations of the invaded countries, and its purpose was to create an atmosphere of real terror around the Gestapo and all the German police services.
After the examination came the judicial proceedings. These proceedings were, as we see them, only a parody of justice. The prosecution was based on a legal concept which we dismiss as being absolutely inhuman. That part will be dealt with by my colleague, M. Edgar Faure, in the second part of the statement on the German atrocities in the western countries: crimes against the spirit.
It is sufficient for us to know that the German courts which dealt with crimes committed by the citizens of the occupied western countries, which did not accept defeat, never applied but one penalty, the death penalty, and that in execution of an inhuman order by
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one of these men, Keitel; an order which appears in Document Number L-90, already submitted to you by my United States colleagues, under Document Number USA-503. It is the penultimate in your large document book, Line 5:
"If these offenses are punished with imprisonment or even with hard labor for life, it will be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Effective and lasting intimidation can only be achieved either by capital punishment or by measures which leave the relatives and the population in the dark about the fate of the culprit. Deportation to Germany serves this purpose.
Is it necessary to make any comment? Can we be surprised at this war leader giving orders to justice? What we heard about him yesterday makes us doubt that he is merely a military leader. We have quoted you his own words, "Effective and lasting intimidation can only be achieved by capital punishment." Are such orders, given to courts of justice, compatible with military honor? "If in effect"Keitel goes on to say in this Document--"the courts are unable to pronounce the death penalty, then the man must be deported." I think you will share my opinion that, when such orders are given to courts, one can no longer speak of justice. In execution of this order, those of our compatriots who were not condemned to death and immediately executed were deported to Germany.
We now come to the third part of my statement: the question of deportation.
It remains for me to explain to you in what circumstances the deportations were carried out. If prior to that the Tribunal could suspend the sitting for a few minutes, I should be very grateful.
THE PRESIDENT: How long would you like us to suspend, M. Dubost?
M. DUBOST: Perhaps ten minutes, Your Honor.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. OTTO NELTE (Counsel for the Defendant Keitel): The French Prosecutor just now read from Document L-90, the so-called "Nacht und Nebel" decree. He referred to this decree and cited the words:
"Effective and lasting intimidation can only be achieved by capital punishment, or by measures which leave the relatives and the population in the dark about the fate of the culprit."
The French Prosecutor mentioned that these were the very words of Keitel.
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In connection with a previous case the President and the Tribunal have pointed out that it is not permissible to quote only a part of a document when by so doing a wrong impression might be created. The French Prosecutor will agree with me when I say that Decree L- 90 makes it quite clear that these are not the words of the Chief of the OKW, but of Hitler. In this short extract it says:
"It is the carefully considered will of the Fuehrer that, when attacks are made in occupied countries against the Reich or against the occupying power, the culprits must be dealt with by other measures than those decreed heretofore. The Fuehrer is of the opinion that if these offenses are punished with imprisonment, or even with hard labor for life, this will be looked upon as a sign of weakness. Effective and lasting intimidation can only be achieved by capital punishment, et cetera."
The decree then goes on to say:
"The enclosed directives on how to deal with the offences comply with the Fuehrer's point of view. They have been examined and approved by him."
I take the liberty to point out this fact, because it was just this decree, which is known as the notorious "Nacht und Nebel" decree, which in its formulation and execution was opposed by Keitel. That is why I am protesting.
M. DUBOST: I owe you an explanation. I did not read the decree in full because the Tribunal knows it. In accordance with the customary procedure of this Tribunal, it has been read. It is not necessary to read it again. Moreover, I knew that the accused Keitel had signed it, but that Hitler had conceived it. Therefore, I made allusion to the military honor of this general, who was not afraid to become the lackey of Hitler.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal understood from your mentioning of the fact that the document had already been submitted to the Tribunal and does not think that there was anything misleading in what you did.
M. DUBOST: If the Tribunal accepts this, we shall proceed to the hearing of a witness, a Frenchman.
[The witness, Lampe, took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: This is your witness, is it not? Is this the witness you wish to call?
M. DUBOST: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: [To the witness] Will you stand up. What is your name?
M. MAURICE LAMPE (Witness): Lampe, Maurice.
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THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: Do you swear to speak without hate or fear, to say the truth, all the truth, only the truth?
[The witness repeated the oath in French.]
THE PRESIDENT: Raise the right hand and say, I swear.
LAMPE: I swear.
THE PRESIDENT: Spell your name.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
M. DUBOST: You were born in Roubaix on the 23rd of August 1900. Were you deported by the Germans?
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
LAMPE: Thank you, Mr. President.
M. DUBOST: You, were interned in Mauthausen?
LAMPE: That is correct.
M. DUBOST: Will you testify as to what you know concerning this internment camp?
M. DUBOST: Say what you know.
LAMPE: I was arrested on 8 November 1941. After two years and a half of internment in France, I was deported on 22 March 1944 to Mauthausen in Austria. The journey lasted three days and three nights under particularly vile conditions-104 deportees in a cattle truck without air. I do not believe that it is necessary to give all the details of this journey, but one can well imagine the state in which we arrived at Mauthausen on the morning of the 25th of March 1944, in weather 12 degrees below zero. I mention, however, that from the French border we traveled in the trucks, naked.
When we arrived at Mauthausen, the SS officer who received this convoy of about 1,200 Frenchmen informed us in the following words, which I shall quote from memory almost word for word:
"Germany needs your arms. You are, therefore, going to work; but I want to tell you that you will never see your families again. When one enters this camp, one leaves it by the chimney of the crematorium."
I remained about three weeks in quarantine in an isolated block, and I was then detailed to work with a squad in a stone quarry. The quarry at Mauthausen was in a hollow about 800 metres from the camp proper. There were 186 steps down to it. It was particularly painful torture, because the steps were so rough-hewn that to climb them even without a load was extremely tiring.
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One day, 15 April 1944, 1 was detailed to a team of 12 men-all of them French-under the orders of a German "Kapo," a common criminal, and of an SS man.
We started work at seven o'clock in the morning. By eight o'clock, one hour later, two of my comrades had already been murdered. They were an elderly man, M. Gregoire from Lyons, and a quite young man, Lefevre from Tours. They were murdered because they had not understood the order, given in German, detailing them for a task. We were very frequently beaten because of our inability to understand the German language.
On the evening of that first day, 15 April 1944, we were told to carry the two corpses to the top, and the one that I, with three of my comrades, carried was that of old Gregoire, a very heavy man; we had to go up 186 steps with a corpse and we all received blows before we reached the top.
Life in Mauthausen-and I shall declare before this Tribunal only what I myself saw and experienced-was a long cycle of torture and of suffering. However, I would like to recall a few scenes which were particularly horrible and have remained more firmly fixed in my memory.
During September, I think it was on the 6th of September 1944, there came to Mauthausen a small convoy of 47 British, American, and Dutch officers. They were airmen who had come down by parachute. They had been arrested after having tried to make their way back to their own lines. Because of this they were condemned to death by a German tribunal. They had been in prison about a year and a half and were brought to Mauthausen for execution.
On their arrival they were transferred to the bunker, the camp prison. They were made to undress and had only their pants and a shirt. They were barefooted. The following morning they were at the roll call at seven o'clock. The work gangs went to their tasks. The 47 officers were assembled. in front of the office and were told by the commanding officer of the camp that they were all under sentence of death.
I must mention that one of the American officers asked the commander that he should be allowed to meet his death as a soldier. In reply, he was bashed with a whip. The 47 were led barefoot to the quarry.
For all the prisoners at Mauthausen the murder of these men has remained in their minds like a scene from Dante's Inferno. This is how it was done: At the bottom of the steps they loaded stone on the backs of these poor men and they had to carry them to the top. The first journey was made with stones weighing 25 to
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30 kilos and was accompanied by blows. Then they were made to run down. For the second journey the stones were still heavier; and whenever the poor wretches sank under their burden, they were kicked and hit with a bludgeon, even stones were hurled at them.
This went on for several days. In the evening when I returned from the gang with which I was then working, the road which led to the camp was a bath of blood. I almost stepped on the lower jaw of a man. Twenty-one bodies were strewn along the road. Twenty- one had died on the first day. The twenty-six others died the following morning. I have tried to make my account of this horrible episode as short as possible. We were not able, at least when we were in camp, to find out the names of these officers; but I think that by now their names must have been established.
In September 1944 Himmler visited us. Nothing was changed in the camp routine. The work gangs went to their tasks as usual, and I had-we had-the unhappy opportunity of seeing Himmler close. If I mention Himmler's visit to the camp-after all it was not a great event-it is because that day they presented to Himmler the execution of fifty Soviet officers.
I must tell you that I was then working in a Messerschmidt gang, and that day I was on night shift. The block where I was billeted was just opposite the crematorium; and in the execution room, we saw-I saw-these Soviet officers lined up in rows of five in front of my block. They were called one by one. The way to the execution room was relatively short. It was reached by a stairway. The execution room was under the crematorium.
The execution, which Himmler himself witnessed-at least the beginning of it, because it lasted throughout the afternoon-was another particularly horrible spectacle. I repeat, the Soviet Army officers were called one by one, and there was a sort of human chain between the group which was awaiting its turn and that which was in the stairway listening to the shots which killed their predecessors. They were all killed by a shot in the neck.
M. DUBOST: You witnessed this personally?
LAMPE: I repeat that on that afternoon I was in Block 11, which was situated opposite the crematorium; and although we did not see the execution itself, we heard every shot; and we saw the condemned men who were waiting on the stairway opposite us embrace each other before they parted.
M. DUBOST: Who were these men who were condemned?
LAMPE: The majority of them were Soviet officers, political commissars, or members of the Bolshevik Party. They came from Oflags.
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M. DUBOST: I beg your pardon, but were there officers among them?
M. DUBOST: Did you know where they came from?
LAMPE: It was very difficult to know from what camp they came because, as a general rule, they were isolated when they arrived in camp. They were taken either direct to the prison or else to Block 20, which was an annex of the prison, about which I shall have occasion...
M. DUBOST: How did you know they were officers?
LAMPE: Because we were able to communicate with them.
M. DUBOST: Did all of them come from prisoner-of-war camps?
M. DUBOST: You did not really know?
LAMPE: No, we did not know. We were chiefly interested in finding out of what nationality they were and did not ask other details.
M. DUBOST: Do you know where the British, American, and Dutch officers came from, about whom you have just spoken and who were executed on the steps leading to the quarry?
LAMPE: I believe they came from the Netherlands, especially the Air Force officers. They had probably bailed out after having been shot down and had hidden themselves while trying to go back to their lines.
M. DUBOST: Did the Mauthausen prisoners know that prisoners of war, officers or noncommissioned officers, were executed?
LAMPE: That was a frequent occurrence.
M. DUBOST: A frequent occurrence?
LAMPE: Yes, very frequent.
M. DUBOST: Do you know about any mass executions of the men kept at Mauthausen?
LAMPE: I know of many instances.
M. DUBOST: Could you cite a few?
LAMPE: Besides those I have already described, I feel I ought to mention what happened to part of a convoy coming from Sachsenhausen which was executed by a special method. This was on 17 February 1945.
When the Allied armies were advancing, various camps were moved back toward Austria. Of a convoy of 2,500 internees which had left Sachsenhausen, only about 1,700 were left when they arrived at Mauthausen on the morning of the 17th of February. 800 had died or had been killed in the course of the journey.
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The Mauthausen Camp was at that time, if I may use this expression, completely choked. So when the 1,700 survivors of this convoy arrived, Kommandant Dachmeier had selected 400 from among them. He encouraged the sick, the old, and the weak prisoners to come forward with the idea that they might be taken to the infirmary. These 400 men, who had either come forward of their own free will or had been arbitrarily selected, were stripped entirely naked and left for 18 hours in weather 18 degrees below zero, between the laundry building and the wall of the camp. The congestion ...
M. DUBOST: You saw that yourself?
LAMPE: I saw it personally.
M. DUBOST: You are citing this as an actual witness, seen with your own eyes?
M. DUBOST: In what part of the camp were you at that time?
LAMPE: This scene lasted, as I said, 18 hours; and when we went in or came out of the camp we saw these unfortunate men.
M. DUBOST: Very well. Will you please continue? You have spoken of the visit of Himmler and of the execution of Soviet officers and commissars. Did you frequently see German personalities in the camp?
LAMPE: Yes, but I cannot give you the names.
M. DUBOST: You did not know them?
LAMPE: One could hardly mistake Himmler.
M. DUBOST: But you did know they were eminent personalities?
LAMPE: We did indeed. First of all, these personages were always surrounded by a complete staff, who went through the prison itself and particularly adjoining blocks.
If you will allow me, I would like to go on with my description of the murder of these 400 people from Sachsenhausen. I said that after selecting the sick, the feeble I and the older prisoners, Dachmeier, the camp commander, gave orders that these men should be stripped entirely naked in weather 18 degrees below zero. Several of them rapidly got congestion of the lungs, but that did not seem fast enough for the SS. Three times during the night these men were sent down to the shower-baths; three times they were drenched for half an hour in freezing water and then made to come up without being dried. In the morning when the gangs went to work the corpses were strewn over the ground. I must add that the last of them were finished off with blows from an axe.
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I now give the most positive testimony of an occurrence which can easily be verified. Among those 400 men was a captain in the French cavalry, Captain Dedionne, who today is a major in the Ministry of War. This captain was among the 400. He owes his life to the fact that he hid among the corpses and thus escaped the blows of the axe. When the corpses were taken to the crematorium he managed to get away across the camp, but not without having received a blow on the shoulder which has left a mark for life.
He was caught again by the SS. What saved him was probably the fact that the SS considered it very funny that a live man should emerge from a heap of corpses. We took care of him, we helped him, and we brought him back to France.
M. DUBOST: Do you know why this execution was carried out?
LAMPE: Because there were too many people in the camp; because the prisoners coming from all the camps that were falling back could not be drafted into working gangs at a quick enough pace. The blocks were overcrowded. That is the only explanation that was given.
M. DUBOST: Do you know who gave the order to exterminate the British, American, and Dutch officers whom you saw put to death in the quarry?
LAMPE: I believe I said these officers had* been condemned to death by German tribunals.
M. DUBOST: Yes.
LAMPE: Probably a few of them had been condemned many months before and they were taken to Mauthausen for the sentence to be carried out. It is probable that the order came from Berlin.
M. DUBOST: Did you know under what conditions the "Revier" (infirmary) was built?
LAMPE: Here I have to state that the infirmary was built before my arrival at the camp.
M. DUBOST: So you are giving us indirect testimony?
LAMPE: Yes, indirect testimony. But I heard it from all the internees, also the SS themselves. The Revier was built by the first Soviet prisoners who arrived in Mauthausen. Four thousand Soviet soldiers died; they were murdered, massacred, during the construction of the 8 blocks of the Revier. These massacres made such a deep impression that the Revier was always referred to as the "Russen Lager" (Russian Camp). The SS themselves called the infirmary the Russian camp.
M. DUBOST: How many Frenchmen were you at Mauthausen?
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LAMPE: There were in Mauthausen and its dependencies about 10,000 Frenchmen.
M. DUBOST: How many of you came back?
LAMPE: Three thousand of us came back.
M. DUBOST: There were some Spaniards with you also?
LAMPE: Eight thousand Spaniards arrived in Mauthausen in 1941, towards the end of the year. When we left, at the end of April 1945, there were still about 1,600. All the rest had been exterminated.
M. DUBOST: Where did these Spaniards come from?
LAMPE: These Spaniards came mostly from labor companies which had been formed in 1939 and 1940 in France, or else they had been delivered by the Vichy Government to the Germans direct.
M. DUBOST: Is this all you have to tell us?
LAMPE: With the permission of the Tribunal, I, would like to cite another example of atrocity which remains clearly in my memory. This took place also during September 1944. 1 am sorry I cannot remember the exact date, but I do know it was a Saturday, because on Saturday at Mauthausen all the outside detachments had to answer evening roll call inside the camp. That took place only on Saturday nights and on Sunday mornings.
That evening the roll call took longer than usual. Someone was missing. After a long wait and searches carried out in the various blocks, they found a Russian, a Soviet prisoner, who perhaps had fallen asleep and had forgotten to answer roll call. What the reason was we never knew, but at any rate he was not present at roll call. Immediately the dogs and the SS went up to the poor wretch, and before the whole camp-I was in the front row, not because I wanted to be but because we were arranged like that-we witnessed the fury of the dogs let loose upon this unfortunate Russian. He was torn to pieces in the presence of the whole camp. I must add that this man, in spite of his sufferings, faced his death in a particularly noble manner.
M. DUBOST: What were the living conditions of the prisoners like? Were they all treated the same or were they treated differently according to their origin and nationality or, perhaps according to their ethnic type, their particular race, shall we say?
LAMPE: As a general rule the camp regime was the same for all nationalities, with the exception of the quarantine blocks and the annexes of the prison. The kind of work we did, the particular units to which we were attached, sometimes allowed us to get a little more than usual; for instance, those who worked in the,
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kitchens and those who worked in the stores certainly did get a little more.
M. DUBOST: Were, for instance, Jews permitted to work in the kitchens or the store rooms?
LAMPE: At Mauthausen the Jews had the hardest tasks of all. I must point out that, until December 1943, the Jews did not live more than three months at Mauthausen. There were very few of them at the end.
M. DUBOST: What happened in that camp after the murder of Heydrich?
LAMPE: In that connection there was a particularly dramatic episode. At Mauthausen there were 3,000 Czechs, 600 of whom were intellectuals. After the murder of Heydrich, the Czech colony in the camp was exterminated with the exception of 300 out of the 3,000 and six intellectuals out of the 600 that were in the camp.
M. DUBOST: Did anyone speak to you of scientific experiments?
LAMPE: They were commonplace at Mauthausen, as they were in other camps. But we had evidence which I think has been found: the two skulls which were used as paper weights by the chief SS medical officer. These were the skulls of two young Dutch Jews who had been selected from a convoy of 800 because they had fine teeth.
To make this selection the SS doctor had led these two young Dutch Jews to believe that they would not suffer the fate of their comrades of the convoy. He had said to them "Jews do not live here. I need two strong, healthy, young men for surgical experiments. You have your choice; either you offer yourselves for these experiments, or else you will suffer the fate of the others."
These two Jews were taken down to the Revier; one of them had his kidney removed, the other his stomach. Then they had benzine injected into the heart and were decapitated. As I said, these two skulls, with the fine sets of teeth, were on the desk of the chief SS doctor on the day of liberation.
M. DUBOST: At the time of Himmler's visi t- I would like to come back to that question-are you certain that you recognized Himmler and saw him presiding over the executions?
M. DUBOST: Do you think that all members of the German Government were unaware of what was taking place in Mauthausen? The visits you received, were they visits by the SS simply, or were they visits of other personalities?
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LAMPE: As regards your first question, we all knew Himmler; and even if we had not known him, everyone in the camp knew of his visit. Also the SS told us a few days before that his visit was expected. Himmler was present at the beginning of the executions of the Soviet officers; but as I said a little while ago, these executions lasted throughout the afternoon; and he did not remain until the end. With regard to ...
M. DUBOST: Is it possible that only the SS knew what happened in the camp? Was the camp visited by other personalities than the SS? Did you know the SS uniforms? The people you saw, the authorities you saw-did they all wear uniforms?
LAMPE: The personalities that we saw at the camp were, generally speaking, soldiers and officers. Some time afterward, a few weeks before the liberation, we had a visit from the Gauleiter of the Gau Oberdonau. We also had frequent visits from members of the Gestapo in plain clothes. The German population, that is, the Austrian population; were perfectly aware of what was going on at Mauthausen. The working squads were nearly all for work outside. I said just now that I was working at Messerschmidt's. The foremen were mobilized German civilians who, in the evening, went home to their families. They knew quite well of our sufferings and privations. They frequently saw men fetched from the shop to be executed, and they could bear witness to most of the massacres I mentioned a little while ago.
I should add that once we received - I am sorry I put it like that-once there arrived in Mauthausen 30 firemen from Vienna. They were imprisoned, I think, for having taken part in some sort of workers' activity. The firemen from Vienna told us that, when one wanted to frighten children hi Vienna, one said to them, "If you are not good, I will send you to Mauthausen."
Another detail, a more concrete one: Mauthausen Camp is built on a plateau and every night the chimneys of the crematorium would light up the whole district, and everyone knew what the crematorium was for.
Another detail: The town of Mauthausen was situated 5 kilometers from the camp. The convoys of deportees were brought to the station of the town. The whole population could see these convoys pass. The whole population knew in what state these convoys were brought into the camp.
M. DUBOST: Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Soviet Prosecutor wish to ask any questions?
GENERAL R. A. RUDENKO (Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): I should like to ask a few questions. Can you tell me, Witness, why
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was the execution of the 50 Soviet officers ordered? Why were they executed?
LAMPE: As regards the specific case of these 50 officers, I do not know the reasons why they were condemned and executed; but as a general rule, all Soviet officers, all Soviet commissars, or members of the Bolshevist Party were executed at Mauthausen. If a few among them succeeded in slipping through, it is because their records were not known to the SS.
GEN. RUDENKO: You affirm that Himmler was present at the execution of those 50 Soviet officers?
LAMPE: I testify to the fact because I saw him with my own eyes.
GEN. RUDENKO: Can you give us more precise details about the execution of the 4,000 Soviet prisoners of war which you have just mentioned?
LAMPE: I cannot add much to what I have said, except that these men were assassinated on the job probably because the work demanded of them was beyond their strength and they were too underfed to perform these tasks. They were murdered on the spot by blows with a cudgel or struck down by the SS; they were driven by the SS to the wire fence and shot down by the sentinels in the watch towers. I cannot give more details because, as I said, I was not a witness, an eye witness.
GEN. RUDENKO: That is quite clear. And now one more question: Can you give me a more detailed statement concerning the destruction of the Czech colony?
LAMPE: I speak with the same reservation as before. I was not in the camp at the time of the extermination of the 3,000 Czechs; but the survivors with whom I spoke in 1944 were unanimous in confirming the accuracy of these facts, and probably, as far as their own country is concerned, have drawn up a list of the murdered men.
GEN. RUDENKO: This means, if I have understood you correctly, that in the camp where you were interned executions were carried out without trial or inquiry. Every member of the SS had the right to kill an internee. Have I understood your statement correctly?
LAMPE: Yes, that is so. The life of a man at Mauthausen counted for absolutely nothing.
GEN. RUDENKO: I thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Does any member of the defendants' counsel wish to ask any questions of this witness? ... Then the witness can retire. Witness, a moment.
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THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Francis Biddle): Do you know how many guards there were at the camp?
LAMPE: The number of the guard varied, but as a general rule there were 1,200 SS and soldiers of the Volkssturm. However, it should be said that only 50 to 60 SS were authorized to come inside the camp.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Were they SS men that were authorized to go into the camp?
LAMPE: Yes, they were.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): All SS men?
LAMPE: All of them were SS.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
M. DUBOST: Thank you. With your permission, gentlemen, we shall proceed with the presentation of our case on German atrocities in the western countries of Europe from 1939 to 1945 by retaining from these testimonies the particular facts, which all equally constitute crimes against common law. The general idea, around which we have grouped all our work and our statement, is that of German terror intentionally conceived as an instrument for governing all the enslaved peoples.
We shall remember the testimony brought by this French witness who said that in Vienna, when one wished to frighten a child, one told it about Mauthausen.
The people who were arrested in the western countries were deported to Germany where they were put into camps or into prisons. The information that we have concerning the prisons has been taken from the official report of the Prisoners of War Ministry, which we have already read; it is the bound volume which was in your hands this morning. In it you will find, on Page 35, and Page 36 to Page 42, a detailed statement as to what the prisons were like in Germany. The prison at Cologne is situated between the freight station and the main station and the Chief Prosecutor in Cologne, in a report ...
THE PRESIDENT: F-274?
M. DUBOST: Yes, Your Honor, F-274, on Page 35. The Document was submitted under Exhibit Number RF-301. The Tribunal will see that the prison at Cologne, where many Frenchmen were interned, was situated between the freight station and the main station so that the Chief Prosecutor in Cologne wrote, in a report which was used by the Ministry of Deportees and Prisoners of War when compiling the book which is before you, that the situation of that prison was so dangerous that no enterprise engaged in war
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work would undertake to furnish its precious materials to a factory in this area. The prisoners could not take shelter during the air attacks. They remained locked in their cells, even in case of fire.
The victims of air attacks in the prisons were numerous. The May 1944 raid claimed 200 victims in the prison at Alexander Platz in Berlin. At Aachen the buildings were always dirty, damp, and very small; and the prisoners numbered three or four times as many as the facilities permitted. In the Munster prison the women who were there in November 1943 lived underground without any air. In Frankfurt the prisoners had as cells a sort of iron cage, 2 by 1.5 meters. Hygiene was impossible. At Aachen, as in many other prisons, the prisoners had only one bucket in the middle of the room, and it was forbidden to empty it during the day.
The food ration was extremely small. As a rule, ersatz coffee in the morning with a thin slice of bread; soup at noon; a thin slice of bread at night with a little margarine or sausage or jam.
The prisoners were forced to do extremely heavy work in war industries, in food factories, in spinning mills. No matter what kind of work it was, at least twelve hours of labor were required--at Cologne, in particular, from 7 o'clock in the morning to 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening, that is to say, 14 or 15 consecutive hours. I am still quoting from the file of the Public Prosecutor of Cologne, a document, Number 87, sent to us by the Ministry of Prisoners. A shoe factory gave work to the inmates of 18 German prisons... I quote from the same document:
"Most of the French flatly refused to work in war industries, for example, the manufacture of gas masks, filing of cast iron plates, slides for shells, radio or telephone apparatus intended for the Army. In such cases Berlin gave orders for the recalcitrants to be sent to punishment camps. An example of this was the sending of women from Kottbus to Ravensbruck on 13 November 1944. The Geneva Convention was, of course, not applied.
"The political prisoners frequently had to remove unexploded bombs."
This is the official German text of the Public Prosecutor of Cologne.
There was no medical supervision. There were no prophylactic measures taken in these prisons in case of epidemics, or else the SS doctor intentionally gave the wrong instructions.
At the prison of Dietz-an-der-Lahn, under the eyes of the director, Gammradt, a former medical officer in the German Army, the SS or SA guards struck the prisoners. Dysentery, diphtheria, pulmonary diseases, and pleurisy were not reasons for stopping work;
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and those who were dangerously ill were forced to work to the very limit of their strength and were only admitted to the hospital in exceptional cases.
There were many petty persecutions. In Aachen the presence of a Jewish woman prisoner in a cell caused the other prisoners to lose half of their ration. At Amrasch they had to go to toilets only when ordered. At Magdeburg recalcitrants had to make one hundred genuflexions before the guards. Interrogations were carried out in the same manner as in France, that is, the victims were brutally treated and were given practically no food.
At Asperg the doctor had heart injections given to the prisoners so that they died. At Cologne those condemned to death were perpetually kept in chains. At Sonnenburg those who were dying were given a greenish liquor to drink which hastened their death. In Hamburg sick Jews were forced to dig their own graves until, exhausted, they fell into them. We are still speaking of French, Belgians, Dutch, Luxembourgers, Danes, or Norwegians interned in German prisons. These descriptions apply only to citizens of those countries. In the Borse prison in Berlin, Jewish babies were massacred before the eyes of their mothers. The sterilization of men is confirmed by German documents in the file of the Prosecutor of Cologne, which contains a ruling to the effect that the victims cannot be reinstated in their military rights. These files also contain documents which show the role played by children who were in prison. They had to work inside the prison. A German functionary belonging to the prison service inquired as to the decision to be taken with regard to a 4-month-old baby, which was brought to the prison at the same time as its father and mother.
What kind of people were the prison staff? They were "recruited amongst the NSKK (National Socialist Motor Corps) and the SA because of their political views and because they were above suspicion and accustomed to harsh discipline." This is also to be found in the file of the Public Prosecutor at Cologne, Page 39, last paragraph.
At Rheinbach those condemned to death and to be executed in Cologne were beaten to death for breaches of discipline. We can easily imagine the brutality of the men who were in charge of the prisoners. The German official text will furnish us with details regarding the executions. The condemned were guillotined. Nearly all the condemned showed surprise, so say the German documents of which we are giving you a summary, and expressed their dissatisfaction at being guillotined instead of being shot for the patriotic deeds -of which they were declared guilty. They thought they deserved to be treated as soldiers.
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Among those executed in Cologne were some young people of eighteen and nineteen years of age and one woman. Some French women, who were political prisoners, were taken from the Lubeck prison in order to be executed in Hamburg. They were nearly 'always charged with the same thing, "helping the enemy." The files are incomplete, but we have those of the chief Prosecutor of Cologne. In every case the offenses committed were of the same nature. Keitel systematically rejected all appeals for mercy which were submitted to him.
Although the lot of those who were held in the prisons was very hard and sometimes terrible, it was infinitely less cruel than the fate of those Frenchmen who had the misfortune to be interned in the concentration camps. The Tribunal is well informed about these camps; my colleagues of the United Nations have presented a long statement on this matter. The Tribunal will remember that it has already been shown a map indicating the exact location of every camp which existed in Germany and in the occupied countries. We shall not, therefore, revert to the geographical distribution of the camps.
With the permission of the Tribunal I should now like to deal with the conditions under which Frenchmen and nationals of the western occupied countries were taken to these camps. Before their departure the victims of arbitrary arrests, such as I described to you this morning, were brought together in prisons or in assembly camps in France.
The main assembly camp in France was at Compiegne. It is from. there that most of the deportees left who were to be sent to Germany. There were two other assembly camps, Beaune-La-Rolande
and Pithiviers, reserved especially for Jews, and Drancy. The conditions under which people were interned in those camps were somewhat similar to those under which internees. in the German prisons lived. With your permission, I shall not dwell any longer on this. The Tribunal will have taken judicial notice of the declarations made by M. Blechmann and Mine. Jacob in Document Number F- 457, which I am now lodging as Exhibit Number RF-328. To avoid making these discussions too long and too ponderous with long quotations and testimonies which, after all, are very similar, we shall confine ourselves to reading to the Tribunal a passage from the testimony of Mme. Jacob concerning the conduct of the German Red Cross. This passage is to be found at the bottom of Page 4 of the French document:
"We received a visit from several German personalities, such as Stulpnagel, Du Paty de Clam, Commissioner for Jewish Questions, and Colonel Baron Von Berg, Vice President of the
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German Red Cross. This Von Berg was very formal and very pompous. He always wore the small insignia of the Red Cross, which did not prevent his being inhuman and a thief."
And on Page 6, the penultimate paragraph, Colonel Von Berg was, as we have already said earlier, very pompous. I skip two lines.
"In spite of his title of Vice President of the German Red Cross, of which he dared to wear the insignia, he selected at random a number of our comrades for deportation."
Concerning the assembly center of Compiegne, the Tribunal will find in Document F-274, Exhibit Number 301, Pages 14 and 15, some details about the fate of the internees. I do not think it is necessary to read them.
In Norway, Holland, and Belgium there were, as in France, assembly camps. The most typical of these camps, and certainly the best known, is the Breendonck Camp in Belgium, about which it is necessary to give the Tribunal a few details because a great many Belgians were interned there and died of privations, hardships, and tortures of all kinds; or were executed either by shooting or by hanging.
This camp was established in the Fortress of Breendonck in 1940, and we are now extracting from a document which we have already deposited under Document Number F-231 and which is also known under UK-76 (Exhibit Number RF-329), a few details about the conditions prevailing in that camp. It is the fourth document in .your document book and is entitled "Report on the Concentration Camp of Breendonck."
THE PRESIDENT: What did you say the name of the camp is?
M. DUBOST: Breendonck, B-r-e-e-n-d-o-n-c-k.
We will ask the Tribunal to be good enough to grant us a few minutes. Our duty is to expose in rather more detail the conditions at this camp, because a considerable number of Belgians were interned there and their internment took a rather special form.
The Germans occupied this fort in August 1940, and they brought the internees there in September. They were Jews. The Belgian Government has not been able to find out how many people were interned from September 1940 to August 1944, when the camp was evacuated and Belgium liberated. Nevertheless, it is thought that about 3,000 to 3,600 internees passed through the camp of Breendonck. About 250 died of privation, 450 were shot, and 12 were hanged.
But we must bear in mind the fact that the majority of the prisoners in Breendonck were transferred at various times to camps
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in Germany. Most of these transferred prisoners did not return. There should, therefore, be added to those who died in Breendonck, all those who did not survive their captivity in Germany. Various categories of prisoners, were taken into the camp: Jews-for whom the regime was more severe than for the others-Communists and Marxists, of which there were a good many, in spite of the fact that those who interrogated them had nothing definite against them; persons who belonged to the resistance, people who had been denounced to the Germans, hostages-among them M. Bouchery, former minister, and M. Van Kesbeek, who was a liberal deputy, were interned there for ten weeks as a reprisal for the throwing of a grenade on the main square of Malines. These two died after their liberation as a result of the ill-treatment which they endured in that camp.
There were also in that camp some black market operators, and the Belgian Government says of them that "they were not ill-treated, and were even given preferential treatment." That is in Paragraph (e) of Page 2.
The prisoners were compelled to work. The most repugnant collective punishments were inflicted on the slightest pretext. One of these punishments consisted in forcing the internees to crawl under the beds and to stand up at command; this was done to the accompaniment of whipping. You will find that at the top of Page 10.
In the same page is a description of the conditions of the prisoners who were isolated from the others and kept in solitary confinement. They were forced to wear hoods every time they had to leave their cells or when they had to come in contact with other prisoners.
THE PRESIDENT: This is a long report, is it not?
M. DUBOST: That is why I am summarizing it rather than reading it; and I do not think I can make it any shorter, as it was given to me by the Belgian Government, which attaches a great importance to the brutalities, excesses, and atrocities that were committed by the Germans in the Camp of Breendonck and suffered by the whole of the population, especially the Belgian elite.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, I understand. You are summarizing it?
M. DUBOST: I am now summarizing it, Mr. President. I had reached, in my summary, the description of the life of these prisoners who had been put into cells and who sometimes wore handcuffs and had shackles on their feet attached to an iron ring in the wall. They could not leave their cells without being forced to wear hoods.
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One of these prisoners, M. Paquet, states that he spent eight months under such a regime; and when, one day, he tried to lift the hood to see his way, he received a violent blow with the butt of a gun which broke three vertebrae in his neck.
Page 12 concerns the following: discipline, labor, acts of brutality, murders. We are told that the work of the prisoners consisted in removing the earth covering the fort and carrying it outside the moat. This work was done by hand. It was very laborious and dangerous and caused the loss of a great many human lives. Small trucks were used. The trucks were hurled along the rails, by the SS and often broke the legs of the prisoners who were not warned of their approach. The SS made a game of this, and at the slightest stoppage of work they would rush at the internees and beat them.
On the same page we are told that frequently, for no reason at all, the prisoners were thrown into the moat surrounding the fort. According to the report of the Belgian Government, dozens of prisoners were drowned. Some prisoners were killed after they had been buried up to their necks, and the SS finished them off by kicking them or beating them with a stick. Food, clothing, correspondence, and medical care -.all this information is given in this report as in all the other similar reports which I have already read to you.
The conclusion is important and should be read in part-second paragraph:
"The former internees of Breendonck, many of whom have had experience of the concentration camps in Germany Buchenwald, Neuengamme, Oranienburg-state that, generally speaking, the conditions prevailing at Breendonck in regard to discipline and food were worse. They add that in the camps in Germany, which were more crowded, they felt less under the domination of their guards and had the feeling that their lives were less in danger."
The figures given in this report are only minimum figures. To give but one example (last paragraph of the last page), M. Verheirstraeten declares that he put 120 people in their coffins during the two months of December 1942 and January 1943. If one bears in mind the executions of the 6th and 13th of January, each of which accounted for the lives of 20 persons, we see that at that time, that is to say, over a period of two months, 80 persons died of disease or ill-treatment. From these camps the internees were transported to Germany in convoys, and a description of these should be given -to the Tribunal.
The Tribunal should know, first of all, that from France alone, excluding the three Departments of the Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, and
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Moselle, 326 convoys left between I January 1944 and 25 August of the same year, that is to say, an average of ten convoys a week. Now each convoy transported from 1,000 to 2,000 persons; and we know now, from what our witness said just now, that each truck carried from 60 to 120 individuals. It appears that there left from France, excluding the above-mentioned three northern departments, 3 convoys in 1940, 19 convoys in 1941, 104 convoys in 1942, and 257 convoys in 1943. These are the figures given in the documents submitted under Number F-274, Exhibit Number RF-301, Page 14. These convoys nearly always left from the Compiegne. Camp where more than 50,000 internees were registered and from there 78 convoys left in 1943 and 95 convoys in 1944.
The purpose of these deportations was to terrorize the populations. The Tribunal will remember the text already read; how the families, not knowing what became of the internees, were seized with terror and advantage was taken of this to round-up more workers to help German labor which had become depleted owing to the war with Russia.
The manner in which these deportations were carried out not only made it possible more or less to select this labor; but it constituted the first stage of a new aspect of German policy, that is, purely and simply the extermination of all racial or intellectual categories -whose political activity appeared as a menace to the Nazi leaders.
These deportees, who were locked up 80 or 120 in each truck, in any season, could neither sit nor crouch and were given nothing whatsoever to, eat or drink during their journey. In this connection we would particularly like to bring Dr. Steinberg's testimony taken by Lieutenant Colonel Badin of the Office for Inquiry into War Crimes in Paris, Document Number F-392, which we submit -as Exhibit Number RF-330, which is the 12th in your document book. We will read only a few paragraphs on Page 2:
"We were crowded into cattle trucks, about 70 in each. Sanitary conditions were frightful. Our journey lasted two days. We reached Auschwitz on 24 June 1942. It should be noted that we had been given no food at all when we left and that we had to live during those two days on what little food we had taken with us from Drancy."
The deportees were at times refused water by the German Red Cross. Evidence was taken by the Ministry of Prisoners and Deportees, and this appears in Document RF-301, Page 18. It is about a convoy of Jewish women -which left Bobigny station on 19 June 1942:
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"They travelled for three days and three nights, dying of thirst. At Breslau they begged the nurses of the German Red Cross to give them a little water, but in vain."
Moreover, Lieutenant Geneste and Dr. Bloch have testified to the same facts and other different facts; and in Document Number F-321, Exhibit Number RF-331, entitled "Concentration Camps," which we have been able to submit to you in French, Russian, and German, the English version having been exhausted, on Page 21, you . will find, "In the station of Bremen water was refused to us by the German Red Cross, who said that there was no water." This is the testimony by Lieutenant Geneste of O.R.C.G. Concerning this conduct of the German Red Cross and to finish dealing with the subject, there is one more word to be said. Document RF-331 gives you, on Page 162, the proof that that was an ambulance car bearing a red cross which carried gas in iron containers destined for the gas chambers of Auschwitz Camp.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now until Monday.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 28 January 1946 at 1000 hours.]
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