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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Forty-Fifth Day: Monday, 3rd June, 1946
(Part 4 of 9)

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I do not want to be contentious about this, but - maybe I do not understand - I think we ought to know when this schedule was made, by whom. This affidavit says it was an appendix. Maybe it was made by the man Hahn, but we do not know it yet, and this witness has not testified to it, and Counsel has not told us.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, the position is this, is it not: The man named Walter Hahn made an affidavit, annexed to this chart. That affidavit is dated, I imagine .

MR. DODD: Yes, 1946.

THE PRESIDENT: ... after the affidavit had been made by this witness and replies in detail to the evidence given by this witness.

MR. DODD: Yes. What I wanted to understand fully was that this schedule concerning which this witness is being cross-examined, was apparently not made up at the time when he had responsibility for these camps, and so far it does

[Page 268]

not appear from the examination that that is so, and I think it would have great bearing on the weight of the evidence adduced through the cross-examination.

I would like to point out that it was the defence of Sauckel that he had nothing to do with the feeding and care of these workers, after they came into Germany, but that it was the responsibility of the DAF. I think it might be more helpful if Counsel cleared that up so that we would know whether he does admit responsibility after they came in, and whether that is the purpose of this cross-examination.


DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President -

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. The Tribunal does not think that you need interrupt your cross-examination. You can go on.

DR. SERVATIUS: The prosecution has just made that assertion as an accusation against Sauckel. If the prosecution today is of the opinion that Sauckel was not responsible for the happenings in the factories but rather the manager of the factory was responsible, and that he was not responsible for prisoners of war but that the Armed Forces were responsible for them, then I do not need this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on with your cross-examination, please.


Witness, you have made some statements concerning the clothing of Eastern workers. You said that they slept in the same clothes in which they had come from the East and that almost all of them had no overcoats and were therefore forced to use their blankets, to carry their blankets in the place of coats, even in cold and rainy weather.

Was it always like that or only for a time. Was that a general occurrence or only an individual case?

A. In order to avoid another misunderstanding I have to state again:

At the beginning of my activity I depended entirely on myself. There was no camp command. There was nobody else to work with me. The calory tables as well as the clothing schedules were not made until later.

The camp management, which existed according to Hahn - if I remember correctly - existed only until February or April, 1943. The phase which I intended to describe and have also described here refers always to the time when I started work. At that time the conditions were actually just as I have described them, and I had to act accordingly. That also included clothing as I have confirmed.

These people remained in the same condition as on arrival as far as clothing was concerned, for quite some time, and as far as I know they did not receive anything at that time.

Q. What was done about that?

A. I reported these conditions as soon as possible. I do not remember when. As far as I could see, the intention was then to establish tailor shops, shoe shops and other workshops in the camps; and some of them were established.

Q. One question. Did things generally get much better in the course of your activities, or did they become worse?

A. They did not become worse after 1943. After the first heavy air raids, of course, the confusion was very great. A great deal was burned up, and I recall that during one night 19,000 persons lost their domiciles, and, of course, clothes and underwear were burned also, and it took quite some time to make up these losses.

Q. Were these conditions caused by the firm of Krupp or by lack of supervision on the part of the Labour Front?

A. As I have said, I met the Labour Front only once in a camp, when that commission did actually criticise conditions. It was in the camp at Kramerplatz,

[Page 269]

and the firm of Krupp was fired because of the conditions; but that was the only time that I was in touch with the Labour Front.

Q. Did the firm of Krupp object to the improvements so that the Labour Front had to do something about it?

A. That I could not say. I had no influence and did not know about it because I had to do only with medical affairs and did not participate in meetings of the Krupp firm or the Labour Front. I could only make reports.

Q. Witness, you also made statements concerning the conditions of health, and you said that the supply of medical instruments, bandages, medicines, and sanitary requirements was completely inadequate in these camps. Is that true or were those exceptional cases, or was it a condition which existed all the time?

A. That was the condition in which I found the camps in October, 1942, and slowly I had to alter these conditions. Later, of course, there was an improvement.

Q. You say here that the number of Eastern workers who fell sick was twice as high as the number of German workers, that tuberculosis was especially prevalent, and that the percentage was four times as high among the Eastern workers as among the Germans. Is that correct?

A. That was the case at the beginning when we received workers who had not had any physical examination. When I went through the camps, I heard from the camp doctors, and saw for myself on the occasion of inspections, that very many people were sick. The figure was considerably higher than among the Germans as far as I could see at that time.

Q. And what was done about that by the Krupp firm?

A. After we found out it was tuberculosis we were confronted with, we made examinations in large numbers, even many X-ray examinations. Then those affected with tuberculosis were separated from the others and put into the Krupp hospital for treatment.

Q. Then you mentioned spotted typhus, and said that that was also widespread among the workers.

A. I busied myself with that in particular, since we had about 150 cases.

Q. At what time?

A. During the entire period from 1942 to 7945.

Q. How many workers did you have during that time?

A. Oh, that varied.

Q. Give us some approximate figure.

A. Well, if I remember correctly, there may have been 23,000 or 24,000; there may have been more. Later, there were about 9,000 But these figures varied.

Q. Do you consider it correct to say because 150 people of such a large number were affected by typhus over that period of time, that it was very widespread among the workers?

A. Yes, for we had no typhus at all among the German population. Of course, that statement was justified - if, of a population of 400,000 or 500,000, such as there was in Essen at that time, there was no typhus at all, and if one takes an average figure of 20,000 - with 150 cases among the 20,000 then we can make this statement.

Q. In other words, you maintain that your statement is a correct statement, that spotted typhus was widespread.

You say, furthermore, that carriers of these diseases were fleas, lice, bed-bugs and other vermin that infested the inhabitants of those camps. Was that true about all the camps?

A. It was the case in almost all the camps at the beginning of my work. Then an institution for disinfection was established by the firm of Krupp, which was hit in an air attack, was then rebuilt and destroyed a second time.

Q. You say that in cases of illness the workers had to go to work until a camp doctor made out a certificate that they were unable to work, that in the camps at Seumannstrasse, Criperstrasse, Germaniastrasse, and Kapitan-Lehmannstrasse

[Page 270]

there were no daily consultation hours and that at these camps the camp doctors appeared only every second or third day; as a consequence workers were forced to go to work despite illness until a doctor appeared. Is that correct?

A. Of course, a worker had to work unless a camp doctor certified he was unfit for work. It was the same with the German population. As a doctor in the National Health Insurance Service I know that in many cases a sick man had to go to work if he did not report sick; but there was no difference between Germans and others.

Q. And you say that that was the case in the camps mentioned, that there was no real consultation hour, and this meant that a man could not possibly report sick?

A. But he could go to a doctor. If there were no doctors there, I arranged it so that whenever possible these people should come to me during my office hours, to me personally.

Q. But you have said here -

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): I think we had better adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. Witness, you just said that the workers could report sick even when there was no doctor present, that there was some other provision for them. Here you said, that these camps were visited only every second or third day by the regular doctor. As a consequence, the workers, despite illness, had to report for work until the doctor was actually there. Is that correct?

A. That is not expressed correctly. If anyone reported sick, he had to be taken to a doctor, or the doctor was notified.

Q. Witness, I should like to return once more to the subject of the spreading of typhus. How many deaths resulted?

A. Only about three or four cases of death resulted, and they occurred only where the case was diagnosed too late. I always took personal charge of the typhus cases and had them brought to the hospital immediately, for I was responsible for this.

Q. Then you say in another place, at Page 2:

"The plan for food distribution called for a small quantity of meat per week. Only inferior meats, rejected by the veterinary, such as horse meat or tuberculin-infected was permitted for this purpose. This meat was usually cooked into a soup".

Does that mean that the foreign workers received bad meat?

A. You have to define the expression "inferior meat". That is meat which was not made available for general consumption by the veterinary but which after being treated in a certain way is entirely suitable for human consumption. Even in times of peace, and afterwards, the German population bought this meat. During the war the German population received for their coupons a double quantity of it.

Q. Then the veterinary allowed it for consumption?

A. Meat which had been condemned at first was used for human consumption after it had been treated in a certain fashion and was not harmful.

Q. Then the expression "condemned by the veterinary" means that it was first condemned and then allowed?

A. Yes.

Q. Witness, regarding the French prisoner-of-war camp in Nogerratstrasse you said the following:

"The French prisoner-of-war camp in Nogerratstrasse had been destroyed in an air raid attack and its inhabitants were kept for nearly half a year in dog kennels, urinals, and old baking houses".

Is that correct?

[Page 271]

A. That is the condition in which I found this camp.

Q. And you saw that yourself for a half year?

A. I was there only on three occasions. It was described to me in that way, and I found the camp in that condition. As far as I could determine at that time, it had been in that condition for about four months; then it was rebuilt.

Q. Witness, I am interested in the dog kennels. How many dog kennels were there? Were they real dog kennels, or was that only a derogatory remark about some other kind of billets?

A. It was an expression used because the inmates built and hammered together these huts themselves.

Q. Is the same true of the expression urinal? What does that mean?

A. That was a place where the doctor had to hold consultations.

Q. Was that an old urinal, or was that a urinal that was in active use?

A. A former urinal.

THE PRESIDENT: We cannot understand; will you kindly go slower?


Q. Then it was a former urinal which had been rebuilt?

A. It had not been rebuilt; it was used just as it was.

Q. Was this urinal still being used?

A. It was not being used.

Q. Then you say that there were no tables, chairs, or wardrobes in this camp.

A. That was not the case.

Q. Witness, this testimony which you have seen, did you swear to that?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you sure it is that document which you had in your hands?

A. In my home in Chemnitz I crossed out various things in the interrogation records which were submitted to me and then signed my name.

Q. This very sentence, did you not -

THE PRESIDENT: Please do not interrupt him.


Q. Please continue.

A. I must assume that this is the correct record.

Q. But you have it before you?

A. Yes, I have a record before me.

Q. Can you not determine which passages you crossed out? Were there many such passages or was it just single words?

A. Sometimes entire sentences.

Q. And you swore to that?

A. Yes, after I had made these changes, I swore to this record.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I should like to call the attention of the High Tribunal to the fact that this statement was in the Krupp files at the beginning of the proceedings and that it was considerably shorter, and that a number of sentences which the witness has sworn to here were not contained in that statement. I would suggest, therefore, that the prosecution be charged with the task of submitting the original, which the witness states he has altered, so that it can be seen just what he did write. As far as I know, he struck out, at the time, a few of those very statements which he has just repeated here.

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