On the ancestor thread to this one, at:
Michael Mills said: "It is noteworthy that the Court did not give any reasons for its verdicts, not even whether those verdicts related to the first charge (warcrimes at Belsen) or the second charge (warcrimes at Auschwitz) or both."
Michael, I don't think that statement is accurate. At the link provided by Roberto, at:
is the following passage:
"4. The Responsibility of Each Accused
(i) Kramer. The Prosecutor pointed out that this accused had worked in concentration camps since 1934, and from 1942 onwards had been the Kommandant of a concentration camp. He served his apprenticeship in the gassing of innocent people, as he had explained himself, at Natzweiller, where he constructed the gas chamber, took the people in and gassed them himself. The Prosecution asked the Court to accept that he came to Auschwitz to manage the gassings of new transports in May, 1944. It had been said that he had written orders saying that the gas chamber was not his concern. He was the only person to say so. There were a number of witnesses who said that he took an active part in the selection parades, in that for instance he loaded people into the trucks and beat them when they would not get into the trucks. He admitted that he saw the selections but claimed to have taken no part in them.
So far as his general conduct in Belsen and Birkenau was concerned, everything depended on the general picture which the Court formed of these camps. Kramer had himself said that he was regularly in the camp and that he was always in the camp until the roll-call was finished.
Could there be any doubt that Kramer was implicated absolutely in the events in Belsen, in view of the evidence, for instance, of Brigadier Glyn Hughes, Colonel Johnstone, Sunschein and Sompolinski ? (Footnote 2: See pp. 9, 10, 16 and 21)
(ii) Dr. Fritz Klein. This accused had made no secret whatsoever of the fact that he attended selections and selected people, and that he knew that it was wrong and that it was murder. He agreed that those who were not fit to work were simply destroyed. The only time when he ever did anything to improve conditions in Belsen was when he knew that the British were
coming. The evidence plainly showed that he was content to neglect the camp completely.
(iii) Peter Weingartner. The principal witness against Weingartner was Glinowieski, whose brother was said to have been beaten to death by the accused. Sunschein’s evidence was also referred to by Counsel. (Footnote 1: See p. 16) Weingartner had agreed that there were dogs with his party when they came to the hill on the way to work. Had the Court any doubt that the women in the " Vistula" Kommando were chased up the hill with dogs behind them ?
No witness had suggested that Weingartner ever attended or took part in a selection. Nevertheless, he was Block Leader at the gate of Lager A where the transports arrived. Was it credible that he never even saw a selection and knew nothing about them ? There was evidence that he had beaten Sunschein with a rubber hose at Belsen. Counsel asked the Court to regard the accused as being obviously involved in the state of affairs existing in both camps.
(iv) Kraft. Counsel referred to the evidence of Sompolinski, (Footnote 2: See p. 21) who had recognised this accused in person. Kraft denied ever being in the actual concentration camp. Counsel submitted that the explanation of his being in the concentration camp was that soldiers would be sent in from the Wehrmacht camp to clean up the concentration camp before the British arrived.
(v) Hoessler. This accused like Kramer, was " one of the old guard ". In view of his own admissions and of the evidence of Dr. Bimko and various other witnesses, (Footnote 3: See pp. 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 and 27) Counsel was confident that Hoessler would be found guilty.
(vi) Borman. There were a number of allegations that Borman set her dog on people. She was also seen several times on selection parades. Jonas had said she was not content merely to stand there when she was the Overseer on duty but pointed out to the doctors : " This one looks quite weakly, she can be taken away as well ". There was also evidence of her beating people.
(vii) Elizabeth Volkenrath. Josephine Singer had said that this accused beat many people in the tailoring shop and threw a Czech woman down some steps. Later at Auschwitz she became supervisor in the parcel store, issuing bread, and that was where Sunschein saw her frequently beating people. Kaufmann had said that during selections she saw Volkenrath throw women to the ground or against a wall, trample on them and beat them with a stick or rubber truncheon. Singer, Trieger, Siwidowa and others had said that hers were not merely beatings with the hand but beatings with rubber sticks, beatings producing unconsciousness and sometimes death, and kicking.
At Belsen she continued her beating. Counsel referred to the evidence of Neiger, Loffler (Footnote 4: See pp. 30 and 31) and others in this connection.
(viii) Ehlert. From the point of view of the Prosecution, there was no evidence with regard to Ehlert’s conduct at Auschwitz. Concerning her acts at Belsen, the evidence against her came from Sunschein, Hammer-
masch, Helene Klein, Neiger, Korkovitz, Loffler, Kopper and Weiss, and alleged the beating of people at the gate and the beating of people for unimportant reasons, for instance, for wearing a scarf.
(ix) Grese. Grese was quite frank about almost everything which was suggested against her. Kopper had made an allegation regarding Grese’s behaviour in the sand pit Kommando. (Footnote 1: See p. 37) Concerning her actions at Auschwitz, the Prosecutor drew attention also to the stories of Rozenwayg, Watinik and Triszinska, according to which she was in charge of a Kommando, with Lothe as the kapo, and alleging that she set a dog on them. On her own admission alone there seemed ample evidence to show that she was ill-treating, beating, and prolonging roll-calls at Auschwitz. At Belsen she was made Arbeitsdienstfiührerin and again there were stories from the prisoners as to how she beat people and forced them to " make sport ".
(x) Lothe. Lothe was herself an imprisoned German. When she eventually became a kapo, however, she worked with the S.S. and against the prisoners. Against her there were many allegations, for instance of beatings.
(xi) Lobauer. Lobauer was another kapo. There were many allegations of beating against this woman. She had said frankly : " I admit carrying a stick at Auschwitz and I admit using it ".
(xii) Klippel. Against Klippel there was very little evidence. One deponent had said that he was employed in the kitchen at Belsen, that he frequently beat women in this kitchen and that he twice shot Jewish women who approached the kitchen in search of food. (Footnote 2: See the affidavit of Jakubowice on p. 27) On the other hand there was considerable evidence to show that the accused did not belong to Belsen at all.
(xiii) Schmitz. The evidence against Schmitz was contained in the statement of Jecny, who disappeared without signing it. (Footnote 3: See p. 28) Could the Court believe, if the accused were really a prisoner, a Camp Senior over 28 prisoners, that he should suddenly be put in charge of 15,000 people and tell Hoessler how to run the camp ? (Footnote 4: See p. 50)
What was much more likely was that he came as an S.S. man and helped to guard and to supervise the clearing up of the concentration camp during the last few days.
(xiv) Francioh. This accused tried to show that he was in jail during the relevant period in April, but actually his jail period was earlier. The evidence of the people from his own kitchen showed that he was not stating the truth. There were a number of different shootings alleged against him.
(xv) Mathes. All the allegations against this accused were to be found in three affidavits, and concerned the shooting of people trying to steal from the kitchen.
(xvi) Calesson. The Court would remember the allegations against this accused with regard to the transport, of which he was quite obviously the senior N.C.O. He was accused of shooting prisoners on the way, and it was also said that there was no food or water on the journey for the Jews and very
little for the Christians. He was also faced with allegations of beating prisoners at Belsen and of shooting prisoners at Belsen station.
(xvii) Burgraf. The evidence against Burgraf was that he behaved badly at Drütte and that when he came to Belsen he continued to do so. He became a functionary in Block 19, where he armed himself with a table leg, with which he beat prisoners.
(xviii) Egersdorf The evidence against Egersdorf was that of Almaleh, from which Counsel quoted the account of the shooting of the girl. (Footnote 1: See p. 23) To the Judge Advocate’s question asking what Counsel’s attitude was to the Defence argument, that the evidence showed that the ill-treatment was not of an Allied national but of a Hungarian girl, and that this was not an incident which would support a charge in which ill-treatment of Allied nationals was alleged, the Prosecutor replied that the only reason for quoting these particular incidents in connection with any of the accused was to show that they, having joined the camp staff, co-operated in the ill-treatment of persons in the camp. The fact that the individual person whom an accused was seen ill-treating was Hungarian would not be relevant if the Court believed that the accused was taking a part in the systematic ill-treatment which was going on.
(xix) Pichen. Against Pichen there was a great deal of evidence as to what went on in his kitchen in particular. There was the account of the shooting on the day of the S.S. parade. (Footnote 2: See pp. 12, 27 and 52)
(xx) Otto. The question was whether to believe this accused or not. The allegation made against him was that he caught Stojowska taking a bed from outside Block 213 and that a day or so later he came into Block 201, where she lived, found that the other Block Senior had also got a bed and beat them both. There was only the one affidavit against him, but this man undoubtedly frequented that part of the camp, and, asked Counsel, was it not the practice of an S.S. man, if he saw something irregular as he was going round the camp, to take action there and then ?
(xxi-xxii) Stofel and Dorr. Counsel suggested that the finding of the corpses (Footnote 3: See p. 55) was entirely consistent with the story that Dorr shot each straggler along the route of the transport, and asked was it surprising, realising how cheap life was held in the concentration camps, to find one of the guards who had been in a concentration camp for a long time shooting people as they went, with the full approval of the man in charge, Stofel ?
(xxiii) Schreirer. Counsel did not examine the evidence regarding this accused except as regards his identification. Could the Court have any real doubt at all that he was in fact a member of the S.S., that the uniform he was wearing was his and that he was stationed in Belsen when he spent the evening with the girl in Soltau ? (Footnote 4: See p. 54. The Prosecutor later agreed with the Judge Advocate that nothing had been proved against Schreirer as regards Belsen)
(xxiv) Barsch. In view of the evidence, Counsel did not ask the Court to say that this accused was ever in Belsen at all.
(xxv) Zoddel. This man accepted the position and responsibility of a Camp Senior, becoming a senior prisoner in the camp, abused that position as the S.S. did, and identified himself completely with the S.S.
(xxvi) Schlomowicz. It was said that this accused regularly beat people at Belsen with a rubber cable and a stick.
(xxvii) Ostrowski. The Court might think there was no doubt at all that this accused had a function in the block in question and that in fact he was engaged, as various witnesses said, in beating and ill-treating people.
(xxviii) Aurdzieg. He was the man who made a full confession to Capt. Pipien of the French War Crimes Investigation team, then told the story of how that was obtained from him and he was made to sign at the pistol point; yet if the Court would examine the original it would find that below his signature he went on to give an account and description of the persons who were working with him.
(xxix-xxxix) Ilse Forster, Ida Forster, Opitz, Charlotte Klein, Bothe, Walter, Haschke, Fiest, Sauer, Lisiewitz and Hempel. Against every one of these women there was evidence of beating. These beatings were not alleged merely to be slaps on the face or the boxing of ears. On the question of the rubber sticks of which the Court had heard so much, Counsel asked whether there existed a kitchen with running water, or with large boilers, and portable boilers which were brought in and filled, which did not have these short lengths of hose ?
(xl) Roth. In connection with this accused, Counsel made reference to the allegations of Sofia Rosenzweig, Rorman and Helene Klein. (Footnote: See pp. 20, 32 and 33) Helene Klein had not been certain that the victim’s name was Friedman ; Counsel suggested that whether Friedman was alive or not was of no great importance.
(xli) Hahnel. The only evidence against Hahnel was that of Stempler, who recognised her from a photograph and said that the accused beat a girl in the bath.
(xlii) Kopper. Was it not plain that Kopper preserved herself at Auschwitz as an informer ? She admitted she was two years in a Strafkommando without being beaten when everybody else was. She claimed that she had this good fortune because she knew her rights. The Court might think it was because, as other prisoners alleged, she was a known informer and was kept as such.
When she came to Belsen she was made Block Senior, and then a camp policewoman, and it was only, the Court might think, because she " got too big for her boots " that on the 1st March she was molested, as it was alleged. She was obviously a woman who was not liked by the other prisoners and they were only too pleased to beat her when given the opportunity. There were many allegations made against her regarding her acts while she was Block Senior.
(xliii) Polanski. Witnesses said that he was an assistant Block Senior in Block No. 12, that he behaved extremely badly and that he was one of the
gang of people who were forcing people out to bury the dead early in the morning, beating them on the head as they went.
(xliv) Starotska. This accused had admitted to a number of offences, but claimed that she was actually acting as a sort of Scarlet Pimpernel on behalf of the prisoners. Did the evidence support her ? Rozalja said : " She created an atmosphere of fear in the whole block, Block No. 26 " ; this was quite apart from the evidence of her denouncing people to the S.S., and regularly beating people in the block. The evidence of Anna Wojeiechowska (Footnote: See p. 64) did not support the accused’s story in the way the latter had intended ; the witness had not actually been selected for the gas chamber. Janicka and Komsta, two further Defence witnesses, had testified to her kindness, but they were both Aryan Poles, and therefore favourites. Nowogrodzka had made it quite clear that Starotska did no kindness whatsoever for anybody but Aryan Poles, and that she put Aryan Poles in a favourable position and paid no attention to the other prisoners.
Counsel submitted that she made herself indispensable to the S.S. in Auschwitz, and accepted any post which was given to her. When she came to Belsen the same was true."