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In April, 1933, Georg Pessler, Nurnberg, Guntherstr. 33/I, the deputy assigned by the Nazis for the trade unions, came into our office, Essenweinstrasse 1 and declared that trade union dues were embezzled there. When we asserted that no embezzlements had occurred in our office, he asked for the cash book which we submitted to him. After turning the pages for a short while, he declared: "25,000 Marks are missing". He put the cash book into the safe, closed the safe and gave the key to the policeman, who had come with him.
We asked for an official public accountant to examine the books. A few days later the accountant, who had been assigned by Pessler, arrived and after checking he ascertained that with a cash amount of 41/4 millions there was a surplus of 13 pfennigs in the safe. In spite of this testimony, Pessler did not return the keys of the safe to us, closed our bank and checking accounts and asserted in meetings of factories that we had embezzled union dues. Only 3 weeks later could we get the keys of the safe again with the aid of the police.
On 2 May 1933, our office in Nurnberg was occupied; I myself had gone to berlin on 1 May, because a meeting of the ADGB [Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund: German Trade Unions] was to take place there on 2 May. The trade union building there was occupied and the majority of the officials were arrested.
I was arrested on 3 May at 6 a. m., in my apartment in Berlin at the request of the Criminal Police of Nurnberg. After being kept in police custody in Berlin until 9 May, I was taken to the prison in Nurnberg and was shipped to the Dachau concentration camp on 30 June together with other arrested people (the Socialdemocratic City Counsellors [Stadtraete] of Nurnberg). In Dachau the SS Guards had stirred up the Communists who had been imprisoned there for quite some time with these words: "Today your tormentors [Bonzen] will arrive, give them a nice welcome". It was only due to the insight of a few reasonable Communists that they kept their comrades from violent acts; nevertheless, we were greeted in the camp with the vilest invectives. If it had come to acts of violence, we would of course have defended ourselves and then the SS would have shot at the people, fighting with each other. That was the intention of the SS as we learned later.
The Communist Scheberle from Roothenbach near Lauf was Camp Senior and was in charge of assigning work details. He made us who had come in on 30 June fall out early on 1 July; we had to form ranks and then he shouted: "Reichstag deputy Simon step forward!" In this way a considerable number, particularly those who had had some responsible job, were called up and then we were led by the SS to work. I was ordered to collect horse dung which was lying on the roads of the camp with my bare hands, without shovel or broom and to carry it to a nearby container. Since I did not bend down fast enough in the opinion of my guard, an SS man about 19-20 years, he yelled at me and demanded faster work. I answered: "When you will be 68 years old and have sciatica, you will not bend down so fast either". By collecting the partly wet horse dung, my hands were soiled very much. When the work was finished, I asked the guard whether I could wash my hands at the water hydrant. He refused with the words: "No, you can go and eat with them". In the afternoon we had to fall out again and were assigned for work. I was ordered together with 19 other prisoners (among them, the meanwhile deceased "Kupfer", district leader of the ADGB) for work in the kitchen. There we had to clean the still very hot foodkettles. Since the circumference of the kettle was so big that we could not reach the other end, we had to crawl into the hot kettles which almost burnt our shoes. Bathed in sweat, we had to perform the work. When this was over, we had to line up in a group to have our photographs taken. I was in the center and a readymade sign was hung around my neck which bore the inscription: "I am a class conscious Socialdemocratic tormentor [Bonze]." Twice I tore the sign off and left it hanging only after having been threatened with beatings. After the pictures were taken, the younger ones had to fall in line and after the command "Attention" was given, the commander went to the rear and commanded "Forward march", then "halt", and said: "Repeat the following words: Fuehrer, we thank you that today for the first time we were able to perform some honest work". Then I was to go with the penal company to the gravel-pit. My son who was also in Dachau asked to go to the penal company instead of me. That was granted. Gradually, I was no longer assigned to work details. Anyhow there was a regulation that people over 65 should not be assigned to work any longer. In spite of this regulation, I, with my 68 years, was treated as mentioned above.
I was not mistreated, but at each and every opportunity abused with vile invectives. After almost 9 months of protective custody, among them 7 months in Dachau, I was released on 25 January 1934. Though I had to report every other day in Nurnberg to the police and was watched by the Gestapo.
At the beginning of August 1935, I was rearrested on the following grounds: "Simon was for many years a member of the Socialdemocratic Party and for a while of the Independent Social-democratic Party. From 1907 to 1918 he was Landtagdeputy of the Socialdemocratic Party and from 1908 to 1930 Social Democratic City Counsellor [Stadtrat] in Nurnberg. In view of the decisive role which Simon played in international trade unionism and in regard to his connections to international Marxist leaders and central agencies which he continued after the National Revolution, he was placed under protective custody on 3 May 1933 and was kept until 25 January 1934 in the Dachau Concentration Camp. Simon is under the grave suspicion that even after this date he worked for the illegal continuation of the Socialdemocratic. He took part in meetings which aimed at the illegal continuation of the Socialdemocratic Party and at the propagation of illegal Marxist printed matter in Germany.
Through this radical attitude, hostile to the State, Simon directly endangers public order and safety."
I was released from this protective custody on 20 December 1935. But it was this protective custody which caused much psychic suffering to me and undermined my health.
When in 1934 we were released from Dachau, the commander "Eicke" delivered an address, at the end of which he said: "Remember this, whoever returns here does not get out any more." Now I was afraid every day to get to Dachau again, and I was repeatedly threatened with it. Therefore, I suffered strongly in body and soul. My heart and nerves were particularly affected and there was in addition the bad food. When I was released on 20 December, I was already sick. Nevertheless, I had to report to the police every other day. When on 27 December I wanted to fulfill again my obligation to report there, I collapsed and lost consciousness in the garden of the police building. The ambulance took me home and I was unconscious for almost 3 hours. I recovered only gradually but since that time I suffer from a weak heart.[signed] Josef Simon
Sworn to before me, this 13th day of November 1945 in the Justice Building, in Nurnberg, Germany.[Signed] D. A. Sprecher
As above already stated in my report on my arrest, my son Willi was also arrested on 29 June and taken to Dachau Concentration Comp. Nothing could be proved against him, except that he was my son. My son "Josef" was to be arrested also and taken to Dachau. He avoided being arrested by fleeing and going via Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark, where he lives and works at present as a refugee.
My son Willi was asked by the SS guards in Dachau what sort of post he held. When he answered that he had had none, he was slapped in the face and ordered to confess, and at each declaration that he had no post he was slapped in the face again and again. Then the SS men poured water out in the basement of the washhouse and while my son had to wipe it off with a little rag he was beaten several times. After he had wiped up the water, the basement was drenched again with water and under further beatings he again had to wipe up the water.
During bathings in the winter of 1933 the prisoners who in the opinion of the SS did not get ready soon enough in the cold washroom were sprayed with a hose while half-dressed and chased outside. Because of the wet clothing my son contracted a severe cold in the form of an arthritis of the hip. He came into the dispensary. The pains became worse all the time and finally he was taken to a clinic in Munich for examination. The physician declared that my son had to remain in the clinic for treatment. This, however, was refused by the accompanying SS and he was taken to Dachau again, where he was again taken to the dispensary. I visited him in the dispensary and asked the medic to put his bed near the stove, a request that was granted. Only after several weeks did the condition of my son improve, and on 18 January 1934 he was released from Dachau.For the truth of the above statements vouches.
I have again read carefully the report submitted by me on 23 October 1945 and I hereby declare under oath that the content is true. This statement is herewith made by me today, the 13 November 1945 at Nurnberg, in the Justice Building before Captain D. A. Sprecher, AUS.[signed] Josef Simon
Sworn to before me, this 13th day of November 1945 in the Justice Building, Nurnberg, Germany.[signed] D. A. Sprecher
Karl Hermann, official of the Union of the Factory Workers, was arrested together with Staimer, on the denunciation by his nephew that he had together with Staimer, listened to foreign radio stations; they were shipped to the concentration camp Flossenbuerg in the Oberpfalz. There he was slain and the ashes were sent to his family.
I cannot name witnesses for this deed, but I attach a death certificate sent to his family. [See Document 2333-PS]I vouch for the truth of the above statements.
When I was shipped on 30 June 1933 to the Dachau Concentration Camp, I met there Josef Staimer, an official of the Unions of Stokers and Machinists, who had already been arrested in April and sent to Dachau. As far as I remember, he was not released from Dachau until 1938.
In 1940, Staimer together with Hermann was arrested again on the basis of a denunciation and came to Flossenbuerg Concentration Camp in the Oberpfalz. He was slain there after a few months and burned in the Crematorium. The ashes were sent to his family.
I cannot name witnesses for this deed, but I attach a death certificate sent to his family. [See Document 2332-ps]For the truth of the above statements vouches.
I have reread carefully both reports, as submitted by me on 23 October 1945, and declare herewith under oath, that the content is true. This statement is herewith made by me today, the 13th of November 1945 at Nurnberg, in the Justice Building before Captain D. A. Sprecher, AUS.[signed] Josef Simon
Sworn to before me, this 13th day of November 1945 in the Justice Building in Nurnberg, Germany.[signed] D. A. Sprecher
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946