Testimony of Willi Jungjohann
(June 23, 1947)
Summarized by Jayne Turner and Nick Kendryna
Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona
Note: Jungjohann was initially interrogated during a line-up at Dachau. When asked by Defense Attorney Kluge if he ever saw the record of this interrogation, or if he ever signed it, Jungjohann says no. This is the “initial interrogation” to which the summary below refers (391).
Willi Jungjohann, a forty-five year old shipyard helper, was employed as such in Saatsee, Rensburg, in 1939 (378), He had no previous military service before the war. Drafted November 7, 1939, into the Fifth Deathhead Standard Oranienburg, he was trained in Oranienburg until February 10, 1940, when the entire company was transferred to Mauthausen. He was at Mauthausen for a total of two hours when he moved to Gusen I. He stayed at Gusen I from January 11, 1940, until the middle of April 1945 (379). On September 1, 1940, he was promoted to SS Private First Class, and on January 30, 1942, he made SS Corporal (380). From January 11, 1940, until August 1943 he only did guard duty outside of the security camp with the First Guard Company at Gusen (380). In August 1943 he was transferred to headquarters staff and became block leader and detail leader (381). As block leader, he said he only entered the security camp during roll call (391). From January 1944 to August 1944 he had Detail Kasten hoff [sic] Oberbruch, and from September 1944 until the middle of April 1945 he had Detail Messerschmitt (387).
Contact with inmates
Jungjohann testifies that guards were to have nothing to do with prisoners and could not leave their posts except to keep prisoners from escaping. The only time he was inside the security camp was when his entire unit was ordered to march inside the camp to watch a hanging (380).They were to keep a distance of 4-6 meters while escorting them, and at their place of work they had no contact (380-381). He says guards were not given special privileges if they shot an inmate. He denies having kicked prisoners at the Gusen quarry and causing them to fall twenty meters and says that while he was detail leader at the Oberbruch, nothing of this sort happened (381).
According to Jungjohann furloughs were only given out by the commander of Mauthausen Ziereis (381).
During his initial interrogation, Jungjohann said he never witnessed an execution (388). During this trial, he says he only went into the security camp on one occasion for an execution. The whole company was ordered into the camp to witness the hanging of one person (380).
Death of a Spaniard
Jungjohann denies Berdzenski’s testimony that he always carried a stick in his hand and beat inmates or that he injured or killed a Spaniard in the fall of 1943. Berdzenski had testified that Spaniards were working on the railroad, pushing and pulling cars when one derailed. He remembers that “Jung” came over and started beating them, murdering one. Jungjohann denies this happened (393).
Treatment of Prisoners
In response to a question from the Court President about whether the SS guards had discretion to punish prisoners, Jungjohann answers that they did not. He also says that no SS was ever punished for breaking this rule (391).
Jungjohann admits to having beaten prisoners with a stick perhaps four or five times (386). During his initial interrogation at Dachau he had said, in answer to the question, “How often did you kick [prisoners]?” his answer was “Now and then, naturally.” (388) He testified at this trial that he beat inmates “four or five times, several times with a stick and repeatedly with my hands” (386). During this trial, Jungjohann denies Kowalski’s charge that he kicked prisoners at the Oberbruch, causing them to fall 20 meters (381, 392). Jungjohann tells the court that he was not detail leader in Oberbruch at that time (381) but was leader of Detail Messerschmitt (392). To Kowalski’s charge that among those who fell at the Oberbruch there were corpses and some with broken feet, Jungjohann recalls that while he was detail leader in the upper quarry there were only a “few” injuries that happened because of accidents, but “deaths never occurred there” (392).
Jungjohann testifies about an incident relating to the punishment of a gypsy [sic] for stealing and storing potatoes in the barracks. He relates to the court the danger that fire posed in the workshops, and says the theft of potatoes was a loss to other inmates. Because he didn’t want to give an official report, he beat the man himself. He tells the court, that if he had made a report, the inmate would have been punished more severely (386). He denies Gomez’ testimony that, in 1944, he mistreated prisoners by kicking them and hitting them with his hands, Jungjohann admits to slapping the faces of the inmates (393).
During his initial interrogation at Dachau, Jungjohann said that he never came into the vicinity of any American flyers. He denies having said during the earlier interrogation that he was in the Jourhaus that night doing auxiliary duty as a block leader with two others, and that he was in charge (389). When asked during this trial, he said that the day the American flyers were shot down, SS Sergeant Kaiser was the block leader on duty at the Jourhaus who was in charge of the bunker. That night SS Sergeant Krstechmar was in charge of the bunker and he, Jungjohann, was Krstchmar’s [sic] deputy (389). He says he was in Detail Orberbruch when eight to ten American planes were shot down and seven or eight flyers parachuted out of them between Gusen and Linz (382). In the immediate area of Camp Gusen I, the anti-aircraft artillery was shooting at the planes (382-383). In the immediate area of Gusen I Jungjohann saw three fliers. One flyer came down in the direction of St. Georgen, another in the direction of the village of Gusen, and one came down “towards the mountains to the right of St. Georgen, but closer to Gusen” (383). He only remembers one flyer brought into the camp from St. Georgen. Jungjohann testifies, “He was locked up in the bunker and from there he was led to the dispensary” (383). The flyer was brought to Dr. Vetter and SS Master Sergeant Seidler, and a medic [unnamed] in the SS dispensary to be bandaged and then led back to the bunker and “supposedly taken to Mauthausen two days later” (384). Jungjohann said the flyer had “a rag on his head over his eyes and his face was black” (389) but denies having said that the flyer had been shot when questioned earlier (389). He says that he heard later that SS Sergeant Sauer supposedly shot one of the fliers, although most of the details of this he learned while a prisoner in Dachau (384). In Kowalski’s testimony he remembers, “Jung fired two or three shots at him, and the flier fell down. He was about 4,5 meters behind the flier” (392). Jungjohann testifies that he had a witness to his actions, a one SS Master Sergeant Reichert who was with him at the upper quarry during the air attack (393).
Glowacki had testified, “Jung was the most brutal man at Gusen I: he was known as the ‘Beast’” (394). “Jung” denies this testimony. He tells the court he was not known as the “Beast.” “If I had been a beast I would not have taken inmates back into the camp during night shift when they took sick” (387). He relates to the court how, during a night shift, he took to the dispensary one inmate who had a metal splinter in his eye. He tells how he awakened the doctor so that the man could have the splinter removed (387).
Source: KZ Gusen Memorial Committee Digital Archive Project