Defendants are all German nationals and identify themselves on pages 4-5 as:
Erick Schuettauf 60 years old from
helmGrill 30 years old from Bayreuth
Oscar Tandler 57 years old from Crimetchau
rbert Hartung 41 years old from Neukirchen, Saxonia
Alfons Hugo Heisig 42 years old from Neesen,
Willi Jungjohann 45 years old from Osterrennfeld, Holestein
Prosecution & Defense Counsel
Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Lewis Horowitz (3)
Chief Defense Counsel, Lieutenant Paul Hughes (3)
Special Defense Attorney Dr. Wil
Colonel Andrew G. Gardener, President
Colonel William C. Bausch, Legal Member
Colonel Claude C. Burch
Lieutenant Colonel Jules V. Sims
Testimony of Joseph Berdzinski
Joseph Berdzinski, a thirty four year old civil servant and Polish national from Linz, Austria (114-115), was a prisoner in Gusen I from 1940 until 1945 (115). For his first days in the camp, Berdzinski was assigned to carry stones until he was reassigned “to bring....to take the rocks out” (115). After that, he became a stone cutter and, finally, he was assigned to the tunnels (115).
Grill and the Mail
Wilhelm Grill was in charge of the mail room and, Berdzinski testified, stole food stuffs out of the packages that were sent to the Polish prisoners (115-116). Berdzinski gives the example of three-quarters of a sausage removed from a package in which only one-quarter of the original contents were left for the prisoners (116). Stolen food was taken to the Jourhaus, the entrance to Gusen I. Berdzinski knew this because he had to carry a bag of food there once himself (116). He testifies that the food was taken to the Jourhaus by “Grill, an SS Sergeant, and other helpers” (117). Berdzinski once even saw the packages being opened by Grill, an SS Sergeant, and inmates Cunajek and Krause who worked in the mail room behind the camp (117) in the SS area (122) where the packages were stacked when they came in (117) if there were too many of them. Later on the packages were taken to the “Central” or “main post office” (122). Berdzinski did not believe that packages were opened simply to censor the contents, but to pilfer foodstuff (122). Berdzinki received three to four parcels a week as well as holidays (122). When prisoners went to receive mail and complained of things missing, they were beaten by Grill, usually with a stick or whip (116). First Sergeant Fiessel was in charge of the distribution of what was left of the packages and, according to Berdzinski, he was “just in his distribution.” Tech Sergeant Reichert was also in charge of the distribution of the packages (121). Both men saw that packages got to the right prisoner (124, 125), but by the time the packages got to these two men they had already been opened and fat, sausages, and cakes had been removed (116, 121). But these men only made sure that the correct person received their package (125).
Willi Jungjohann, or Jung as he was referred to by Berdzinski, started out in Gusen I as a guard and later became a block leader and a detail leader in Oberbruch Kastenhof in 1943 when Berdzinski worked there (117). Jung, according to Berdzinski, “walked around all day long and chased the people to work” and beat people for complaining about being poorly treated by capos (118). Jung was known for beating prisoners ruthlessly with a stick, even on the head and injuring them. In the fall of 1943, Jung even beat a Spaniard to death with his stick. According to Berdzinski, the Spaniards worked on a “narrow gauge railroad which they had to push” (118). When the cart they were pushing derailed, the Spaniards were exhausted. Jung ran among them and started to beat them with a stick. One of the weaker Spaniards was beaten so badly that he had to be carried away and, Berdzinski was told later by a friend of the man, died (118-119). Berdzinski was beaten once as well by Jung when he was caught boiling some potatoes in the stone cutters hall. Jung then took the potatoes to the capos (119).
Chmielewski and Drunken Beatings
Berdzinski also mentions times when the detail leaders would go with the camp leader and the role call leader and get drunk. After much drinking, they would come back to the camp and sick dogs on the prisoners and even beat prisoners until their “eyes fell out” (119-120) with whips, breaking windows and making a lot of noise (126). When this took place, Berdzinski states that Jung was not present for this, but that he believes that Grill was there, though it was Schmielewski [sic] who knocked the eyes out of a prisoner with his whip (126).
Testimony of Johann Joseph Foerster
Johann Joseph Foerster, 50 years old, a shoemaker from Offenbach an der Main, Germany, was in Dachau and Mauthausen until the liberation for being a “functionary of the Fascist Opposition Group in Frankfurt an der Main” (280). He knew Schuettauf from the Vienna-Florisdsorf sub-camp of Mauthausen (280) in the summer of 1944 (281) where he worked from seven am until 10 pm to the right of the camp entrance in a shoe shop with very high windows (282).
Vienna-Florisdsorf and Schuettauf
Foerster only knew Schuettauf for three months and was never in Gusen I (285).There were both Navy men and SS as guards at Vienna-Florisdorf, and there was tension between these two groups. The five SS men were hated by the Navy guards (281) Among the SS, Schuettauf had a reputation for strictness. The Navy guards disliked him for requiring “too much duty from them” (282).
The camp was opened after an air attack on Vienna. Schuettauf was camp commander when the camp opened and remained there for three months. Foerster recalls Schuettauf as “very correct” (281), distributing food fairly among all nationalities, mistreating no-one. At night, prisoners discussed amongst themselves how Schuettauf treated them well and respected their rights. (282). Foerster recalls seeing out of his workshop windows one day an escapee, a Pole, being returned to camp. The roll-call leader slapped the man for failing to respond to a question about the escape. Schuettauf stopped the beating, told the roll-call leader that he had no right to beat prisoners, and had the prisoner transferred back to Mauthausen as he might escape again (283).
Schuettauf also arranged to have left over food from the plant cafeteria delivered to prisoners (283). Schuettauf went to the kitchen three times a day to inspect the food, and although no prisoners were allowed in the kitchen, Foerster testifies that he believes Schuettauf was very concerned that the extra food from the plant kitchen be mixed with the prisoners’ food (284).
Prisoners nicknamed Schuettauf the “chief capo” because he was always walking through the plant making sure that prisoners were not being mistreated by guards and ensuring during air raids that prisoners were not driven by guards. Twenty prisoners were detailed to make sure the “air raid protective tools” were in shape. Prisoners had to go out into the fields for a half an hour to make sure no one was hurt during an air raid (284). There were no deaths in the plant while Schuettauf was in charge. Foerster believes Schuettauf was transferred as a result of his behavior toward the prisoners. “As a former prisoner I can say only one thing that is known to me. Whenever there was an SS member who was decent to the prisoners he would never keep his job very long. He would always be released quickly” (284).
Testimony of Johann Folger
Johann Folger a German laborer was born in Munich in 1906. In 1933 he was arrested and sentenced to 7 years and 1 month for arguing with certain members of the National Socialist Party about the Reichstag Fuehrer [sic]. Released on April 11, 1940, (482) Folger was arrested again the following day (483). Folger said, “I was told at the police station headquarters in Munich that the police force was not large enough to supervise me properly, and in order to avoid a reoccurrence of 1918, men of my type had to be taken into protective custody.” He was labeled as a “professional criminal” and so he wore a green triangle (484). He believed they were wrong and said that “the greatest criminals of all time made me a criminal, although there was no reason given at all for it” (484). He had once served one year and a six months for a “real crime” [unspecified] (484), but no specific charges from the criminal code were brought against him in 1933 or 1940 (484).
In 1940 when he was arrested again he was sent to concentration camps, eventually ending up at Gusen on August 16, 1940. His duties while in the camp were initially as a prisoner and, from 1942 on, as a capo. As a prisoner he was in many details, all outside the camp, “pumping station, settling point, gravel pit, St. Georgen, dynamite detail, Katzdorf, mine [sic] construction, St. Georgen, cellar construction,1,2, and 3” (483). Folger was in charge of a detail of 20 men (485).
On the dynamite detail, Folger was in charge of 18 [difficult to read in the copy, perhaps 10] other prisoners who made a test tunnel where ten bombs and two air mines were brought to explosion to find out the underground tunnels’ vulnerability (500).
SS Technical Sergeant Knockl was in charge of the Russian prisoner-of-war camp (483). Under him was Block Leader Kuetreiber and Block Leader Tandler, who was also interpreter (485). He also knew SS Sergeant Becker (485). The Russian camp was made up of Blocks 13, 14, 15, 16, 24,23, 22 and 21 from October 1941 for “about a year” (485). Folger does not recall Tandler’s name associated with mistreatment in the Russian camp (486).
Folger says that Tandler was known as “The Father of the Russians” among the prisoners, not the SS. He cannot say if this name was ironical or not (486).
Camp Leaders Chmielewski and Seidler
Chmielewski was the protective-custody camp leader at Gusen until “about the middle of 1942” (486). Asked if Chmielewski returned at the end of 1944 or the beginning of 1945 Folger said, “Yes, I saw him there as a civilian, but he wasn’t protective custody camp leader any more” (486). Folger said Chmielewski was probably the worst and most terrible camp leader at Gusen. Chmielewski would visit the camps at night drunk and beat up the prisoners accompanied by block leaders and labor service leaders. Eventually SS Major Obermeyer “stopped these nightly visits” (487) by Chmielewski and the labor service leaders (487). The “main” (487) men surrounding Chmielewski were Jentzsch, Gross, Kluge, Kirchner, Brust, Streitweisser (487). Jentzsch was Chmielewski’s right hand man, according to Folger (496). He says it is possible that one of the accused at this trial might have been in Chmielewski’s group as well, but he doesn’t remember (487). The men he mentions also came into the camp in the evening, and he saw them there. He did not see Grill among them and did not hear Grill’s name discussed by prisoners the day after a night’s beating (488).
Seidler was quieter, but “perhaps more of a murderer” (487).
Folger testifies that around January or February in 1943, his barracks was gassed. He recalls hearing one gun shot being fired in the middle of the night. The next morning he met Capo Losen who was there with a truck of ten prisoners who were to take the corpses to the crematory. Folger entered the barracks and saw dead bodies lying in beds and in front of the door. [The following sentences are difficult to read in the copy]. Folger stated, “They had strangled each other. Some of them strangled each other, some of them strangled each other, and not many of us saw it” (498) The names mentioned in connection with this incident were SS Technical Sergeant Schmitt and Damnschke (498).
Folger says bathing-to-death of invalids occurred from October1941 to March 1942 (492) under Chmielewski (493). He recalls, “As far as I can remember it was said that only three percent invalids were allowed in camp” (493). Folger assumed the men who were selected to be in the death baths were hand picked by the camp physician (496).
He recalled two incidents. Of the first, he says: “It must have been the end of 1941. There I saw the Block Eldest Schroegler took approximately thirty or forty prisoners to the prisoners’ bath house, and then he returned alone, and I asked him what was being done there, and he told me that these men would receive a bath there (493).” “They had only their pants and an overcoat” [sic] (494). SS Technical Sergeant Hurst and Jentsch entered, and the prisoners started to scream “and then one could hear that they were beating them and approximately half an hour later they came out of the bathhouse again” (494). “That first group was the last 48 Jews drowned there, and the second time they were invalids from Block 32, and there I heard for the first time that they were to be drowned there, also” (494). Folger saw the men being taken to the bathhouse and asked what was happening to the prisoners. The answer was, “They are going to be killed (494).” “At the time I didn’t take any interest in it anymore because it happened nearly every day” (494). He also heard prisoners say that “Hans Losen” [very difficult to read this name in the copy] (495) also participated in these baths. Folger never heard the names of any of the accused or of Grill in particular associated with the death baths (495). Prisoners continued to talk about these incidents until February and March 1942. He also heard that “camp capo Losen” once drowned 17 Russians (495). The death-baths were so well known that everyone in the camp must have heard of them (501).
Living and Working Conditions for Russian POWs
Folger recalls that the 2,000 Russians who arrived in October 1941 all died (except those in infirmaries) by March 1942. Folgers says these men died from “Bad food; during the day they had to work in the stone quarries without socks, with wooden shoes; it was raining and snowing. They had very little clothes only a pair of pants, a thin jacket; and at noontime they didn’t get much to eat; they had to eat while standing up in the stone quarry; very long roll call and that is the reason why the people perished” (499).
Folger also stated that by March 1943 Gusen had about 30,000 deaths, mostly from “Bad food, not enough clothes, chicaneries, mistreatments” (499). He dismisses spotted fever as a major cause of death. “We had that too, but that wasn’t so important” (499).
Grill and the Mail
Folger only remembers Grill as a “nervous and vain man” (488) and explains the prisoners’ hatred towards him as a result of Grill’s having taken more out of the packages “than he was supposed to” (488). Prisoners called him the “Mail Robber” (489). He was disliked among the SS for his vanity. “I remember once an SS man told me that he, the SS man, intended to go bowling, and then he went to Grill’s room and asked him to go along. He called Grill by his first name, and Mr. Grill told this SS man that for him he was not Grill, but SS Master Sergeant Grill” (488). As to his treatment of prisoners, Folger recalls that once after all the mail was distributed, there were a few pieces of bread left. Grill threw them through the door in the group of prisoners. Grill knew well that prisoners were hungry and that they would jump for these breadcrumbs (489). Folger could not say if anyone was hurt by this. The prisoners did beat each other over the bread. Grill expected this to happen (501-502).
Folger went to the mailroom every evening with fifty to one hundred prisoners (489) when the mail was distributed. He and his work detail received food distributed from the packages the same day it was taken out. This, he says, was on the instruction of Commander Ziereis after Tandler had requested it. Folger had told Tandler that his men, who had to do heavy work, needed more food and Tandler suggested this to Ziereis (490). Folger says that this was never made clear to the other prisoners (491). All the prisoners had to fall out on Roll-Call Square when Commander Ziereis published an order that things must be taken out of packages that were too large (491). Folger recalls that the prisoners were upset with the packages they received. He stated, “Everybody would have been willing to give up something out of his package, but they all were very angry that the best parts of these packages were taken out” (492). The prisoners blamed Grill, SS Technical Sergeant Schmidtt and “the old man Reichert wasn’t very well liked either” (492) Prisoners did not think the things taken out of their packages were being distributed among other prisoners (492). At the time there were about 1,400 to two thousand delivered to the camp daily. Two, three, or four hundred were given out to prisoners daily (496).
Grill was said to have an “easy hand” (495) when beating prisoners. Folger does not remember him remaining in the camps in the evenings or living or sleeping there or “hanging around” (495). Grill lived in St. Georgen (496).
Johann Folger testified that there were two hangings, one in 1942 and the other in 1944. In one case, the Russian prisoner was said to have tried to escape and that he must be hanged according to the orders of Reichsführer SS Himmler, but he told another prisoner that he was innocent (500).
Testimony of Pedro Gomez
A 28 year old Spanish mechanic living in
, Gomez was in Gusen I from Linz, Austria 17 February 1941to 5 May 1945where he worked as a stonemason, at the smith shop, and as water-pipe installer (90). When asked why he was in the camp, he replied, “We were working in France after having fought in Spain and when the German entered France we were promised work in Germany as free workers and we were brought to concentration camps” (99). When asked which side he was on, Gomez replied, “On the side of the Republic, my government (99). “Against Franco” (113).
Grill and Bathing-to-Death
Gomez remembers Grill from his first day in camp as a detail leader and the man in charge of the post office. He recalls seeing Grill lead invalids to the showers (90) in 1943 or 1944 (92). First the healthy men would be taken to the showers “in order to go to work,” and afterwards, the invalids (107). Gomez recalls seeing from Barracks 12 or 13 Grill and other SS lead men of all nationalities to the showers, hearing screams, and then seeing the SS return alone. A Spaniard named Marino who worked in the crematorium told him many died as a result of being bathed to death (92). Gomez saw Grill pass by on his way to the showers with invalids quite frequently in 1943 and 1944 “during the extermination of invalids,” and although he never saw Grill in the showers directly he had no reason to doubt that he was involved (102). Gomez personally saw the bodies leaving the shower (104) and in the crematorium (103).
As he was lined up outside Barracks 2, the post office, waiting for a package (99), Gomez saw that half the contents of the Polish packages were taken (23) (99) When asked by Defense Attorney Kluge if he knew that there was an order that extra food should be distribu
tedto those doing hard work, Gomez replied that he had never heard this and that the hungry did not get the food (99). SS mechanics and electricians would come for extra rations. Waiting for more food, prisoners would push and shove and the SS would grab whatever was near and beat randomly at the men (93). Grill beat men only with one hand, as the other was injured (99). In April 1945 a large number of Red Cross packages from arrived and these were also pilfered by the SS men and Grill. Gomez also remembers a Spaniard named Cinca who worked in the post office. As punishment for writing down the names of all the towns mentioned in the newspapers as overrun by the Russians (94). Grill beat Cinca and took him to the camp commandant (unnamed) who ordered him to be killed the next day. Second-in-Command Beck intervened and got the sentence reduced to 25 lashes and three days in “confinement” (95). France
On page 108, Gomez explains that Oskar, from
, whose job it was to turn the showers on and off, explained to him the process by which invalids were murdered. “...the showers had three drains. Then the pavement would slant slightly. At the side of the showers there was a step about twenty-five or thirty centimeters high. Then as the invalids arrived, and this was only for the invalids, they were given a bar of soap. They would cover the three drains and then they would let the water run more or less, until it was forty or fifty meters high. Then the invalids were forced to lie in the water, and they were induced to do this by leather whips that the guards had. If some did not do so, they would take their foot and put it over their face, and with their foot over the neck or the face, they were kept there until they drowned. After this, if some were still alive, they were again submerged and then they were taken out” (108). Hamburg
Jungjohann was in charge of masons at Gusen I (95). As an installer of water-pipes, Gomez could go about the camp with his toolbox and observed that Jung often beat prisoners by hand and boot (95)
Tandler was in charge of the 13, 14 and 15 year old Russians and was block führer to them. Gomez observed Tandler beating them when they marched out of formation or would not sing. He also testifies that these young men did very hard work crushing rock in the quarry. Tandler was supposed to ensure they got extra food, but even when this happened, he stole it from the boys (96). He recalls hearing the young Russians singing as they left for work and as they returned. While they were suppose to leave half an hour later than the other workers and return half an hour earlier, Gomez recalls they often returned from work with the others (99). Under no circumstances would the Russian youth have called Tandler “Father,” Gomez testified (100). Although Gomez did not know any German, he believes they were forced to sing in German, and if they did not, they were beaten (107).
As foreman of the firemen and then the Messerschmitt factory (96) Heisig was feared for beating men for trivial reasons. One Sunday in February 1945, Gomez saw him beat a young Polish prisoner for taking three potatoes off a cart (97).
Cleaning Schuettauf’s room one day, Gomez learned he was leader of the guards, but Gomez himself did not witness any illegal behavior from Schuettauf. Since Gomez had access to the entire camp in his capacity as water-pipe installer, he observed that either Schuettauf or an SS “with three stars” would instruct the guard before they dispersed to their assigned posts by “way of the highway” or through the quarry, whichever appropriate. He also recalls them cutting across the quarry to return to their barracks after prisoners had left work (104). The guards left for work half an hour before inmates left the inside of the “electrically charged wall” (106).
When Gomez asked Spaniards in the crematorium why there was so much smoke one day (109) in February 1942 (98), they told Gomez that they had a large number of corpses, either 147 or 164 (Gomez could not recall exactly), because of a gassing of Russians (98) in Barracks 16 (109). Stupinski, (or Lupinski, used in the same context on 112) an Austrian civilian who released the gas in the barracks, told him that the windows and doors were first sealed with paper, the gas was released, and then the Russians were forced to enter. In 1945 when Gomez was staying in Barracks 21, a similar action took place with prisoners from Barracks 24 in Barracks 31 during “a disinfection” (109).
At this time “Polish children and men from Gusen No. 2—children of 3 and 4 years old” (110) were brought to two “disinfections” on consecutive nights. The children were already dead, brought on wagons with all the other bodies. Gomez testifies that these children arrived toward the end of the war. The women, it was said, had been sent on to
Mauthausen. Inmates could see the train station from the camp, and they could see what they were told were Polish Jews with their children by the hand or in their arms (110).
In answer to Court President Colonel Gardner’s question “What was Gusen II?” Gomez explains, “Gusen II was a new camp that was formed about the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944 and then they star
tedto send in prisoners.” (109)
: “Where any particular kinds of prisoners sent to Gusen II?” Gardner
“No. Some of them marched from our camp over to the other one. The only thing that can be said, it was a larger command and they were sent to work on the details in St. Georgen---” [dashes in transcript] (110).
At the end of 1941 Gomez also saw invalid transports leave Gusen I who were said to be headed to Hartheim (110).
Testimony of Wilhelm Grill
At the time of the trial, Wilhelm Grill was a 31-year-old construction locksmith from Bayreuth, Bavaria.
Grill and the Hitler Youth
In 1933, Grill was a politically uninterested (319) 17-year-old locksmith apprentice (317). As a young fellow he was impressed by the great organization of the Nazi Party. Information on other parties was only found on little posters and notes (319). He was influenced, as well, by the alleged successes of the Party. “One could see after 1933 that all the hate among the parties had disappeared. All over Germany constructions was going on, reconstruction was going on, the workers in the factories received jobs again, and people became happier than they were before, they were easier satisfied” (320). He believed that the program of the Party would save Germany from economic and political depression (319). This belief was partly due to the fact that his poor father’s business began to improve after 1933 (319). In the spring of 1934, by his own volition, he joined the Hitler Youth (318, 351); prior to this he had no connections with the Nazi Party or its organizations (317). He believed that all Hitler wanted was peace (320). This is what he was taught by the Hitler Youth and Waffen SS (320). He never thought that Germany would go to war (320). If he and other Germans had known what Hitler was going to do, he wouldn’t have come to power (320). He was in the Hitler Youth until April 1935 when he joined the Waffen SS (318).
Army Service and the Waffen SS
Grill joined the Waffen SS voluntarily because he had lost his job in 1934 (318). He was with the Waffen SS from April 1935 until April 1938 (318). On page 351, the dates he gives for his service in the SS are April 1935 until March 1938. He says, “I was in the NSDAP from May 1, 1937, until the end” (351). While in the Waffen SS, his first unit was Guard Group Elbe (318). While stationed in Torgau, he worked as a company clerk (318). The Guard Group Elbe was in charge of guarding men he thought of as reformatory prisoners who came from Berlin so that their conduct would be corrected (319). When he left the Waffen SS in 1938, he went into labor service for seven months and then joined the army (322). He was in the army until 1940 (322) (351) when he was wounded by a machine gun bullet during maneuvers of the 61st Infantry Regiment (322). Because of his wound, a disabled right hand, he was discharged from the Wehrmacht and thus returned to civilian life (322). After being discharged from the army he was reexamined by the Waffen SS and pronounced fit for service on home front (323). He was assigned to the post office at the concentration camp, Mauthausen, where he understood his only duties would be to run the post office (323). He served in the Waffen SS from May 10, 1940, until May 5, 1945 (351).
Contact with Concentration Camps
The first concentration camp Grill got acquainted with was Dachau (320). He, as well as all German people, believed that concentration camps were for the “enemies” (321) of the Nazi Party who needed to be locked up and re-educated for some time until they ceased to be enemies of the German Reich (321). It was impossible to hear anything else about concentration camps because former prisoners spoke cautiously about their experiences. Grill had met such a man (321). This was probably due to mistreatment (322). Grill didn’t know if prisoners had to take a vow of secrecy (321). In 1942 and 1943 he began having doubts about the concentration camps (322).
When asked by the prosecution to assess the conditions in Gusen I, he says that in 1942 conditions were very bad until the ban on the receipt of parcels was lifted. After that they improved and could be classified as “average” (352). When asked to compare conditions between Dachau and Gusen, Grill says that he never entered the camp at Dachau and so could not offer a comparison (353).
Service in the Post Office
Grill worked in the post office at Gusen I from November 15th, 1940, until August 14th or 15th of 1944. (323). Prior to arriving at Gusen, he was sent directly to Mauthausen (323) where he spent four days training in the post office (323). As far as he was concerned, he only intended to take charge of the mailroom (323). During six months of continued training at Gusen, the postman from Mauthausen visited Grill frequently. After this training Grill took charge of the Gusen post office (330-331). He remained supervisor until 1944 when he was released of these duties by SS Colonel Ziereis (324).
Head of Criminal Matters and Welfare
After April 1942 (224) he did not really participate in the business of the camp (325), but since the office of the head of the local party ward Ziereis was in the same SS barracks (324) outside the protective custody camp (325) (327) as the SS mail room, Grill continued to go to this barracks every day after Ziereis put him in charge of all criminal matters for the Nazi Party. After the 14th or 15th of August 1944, when the bombardments and the “retreat refugees came into our area” (224), Ziereis put him in charge of the Refugee Welfare Department of the National Socialist Welfare Organization as his main duty. Ziereis wanted his office at Gusen because this put the center of the party in the approximate geographical center of the ward (324).
As head of the NS Welfare organization, Grill says that he had to take care of hundreds of refugees after 1943. Several nights a week, this work kept him from returning to his home in the SS Settlement in St. Georgen an der Gusen. The work that kept him at Gusen was “Work for the Welfare Organization, for the party, and caring for the refugees” (342).
From January to October of 1941, he lived in Mauthausen (324) in the Restaurant Arras (341), and from January of 1942 until the second of May 1945 he lived in the SS Settlement in St. Georgen (325-326). Occasionally, when he first arrived, he slept in the camp Gusen while on duty (342) However, after 1943, he only returned home 3 or 4 nights a week but “remained on duty” for the “National Socialist Welfare Organization, for the Party, and caring for refugees” (342).
While Grill was in charge of the post office at Gusen I, no other SS men came into the post office and took articles from packages (336) (363). If he had seen it, he would have reported it because he had signed the order of Reichsführer SS Himmler which punished mail theft by hanging (337). Grill did authorize giving extra food to the prisoners who helped in the post office so that they wouldn’t steal it and be punished (364) (338).
Restrictions on Prisoner Mail
Not all prisoners could receive mail or parcels. This determination was made by the Reich Security Main Office in Berlin (376). Russians could not write letters (350). On each letterhead going out of the camp, prisoners relatives were told that they could not send pictures or sketches “and so on” (329). These regulations were issued from Mauthausen in accordance with the Reich Security Main Office (330). New prisoners were informed about these rules through interpreters and block clerks (331).
Until October 1942, prisoners could only receive parcels at Christmas (326), and a four pound weight limit was imposed (355). After October 1942, prisoners could receive parcels at any time (326), and the limit was raised to the limit set by the parcel post, 40 pounds (335) or 20 kilos (375). The inmates relatives had been warned with an enclosure in the outgoing mail about what could and could not be sent to inmates in parcels (362) explaining to them that they were only allowed to send food, and could not send letters, tools, pictures or medical supplies (374).
Grill and the Reception and Distribution of Mail
Before the change in the restrictions on packages in October 1942 (226) the reception and distribution of mail began at 7:00 am when a truck from Mauthausen took Grill, an SS guard, and two prisoners to the train station at St. Georgen. The mail arrived on a passenger train and, once unloaded, was taken to the post office in St. Georgen to be sorted (325). At about 9 or 9:30 am the camp mail was handed over to them and they returned to the SS mailroom and sorted prisoner from SS mail (325). Censoring of prisoner mail was always done in this SS mailroom outside the camp (328) (332). In the afternoon, Grill took the outgoing SS mail to the post office and returned around 4 pm when he helped with censoring if there was enough time (325).
After the restrictions on packages changed and picking up parcels and censoring parcels became part of his responsibility (226). Grill’s duty day would begin at 6:30 am and end at 10 pm (342). The first day under the new regulations, 300 packages arrived in the first shipment. The number increased to from 700 to 800 a day by the middle of 1943 (326) although the average weight remained 4 or 5 kilos (375).
By 1943, the Reichsbahn was unable to take care of the volume of packages and Gusen I was given its own mail car which was taken every morning including Sundays from the station at St. Georgen directly to Gusen by way of the special tracks in front of the camp (326). “From the moment the mail car was opened until the time the last parcel was disposd of, always a civilan employee of the German Post Office, of the Austrian post office at St. Georgen was present” (328).
The parcels were taken to the SS mail room outside the camp and checked with the parcel post receipts (328). Here the parcels were sorted (332). After parcels were checked with the parcel post cards and it was determined, as far as possible, that the addressee was really in the camp, the parcels were loaded on a large vehicle and brought through the gates of the Jourhaus to the parcel mailroom (328), a single room in Block 2 which was “solely the censoring office for parcel post for prisoners” (332).
The parcels were unloaded and “all parcel post cards went through the filing system of the camp office” (328). The camp post office had cards on all inmates who were permitted to write and receive mail (376). Grill also received daily reports on prisoners who had died or were transferred (376) “to outside details” (328). After the unloading and filing, mail that did not belong to Gusen was prepared that evening (328) to be shipped back to Mauthausen or St. Georgen (337) the next morning (342). Packages of dead or transferred prisoners were returned or forwarded without exception according to Grill (363). This initial “check-up” (328) took until late afternoon (328).
At this time, the package was censored. The man in charge of censoring it was the only person to handle it (333). Anything not permitted to be sent to prisoners such as underwear, pictures (359), drawings or money baked into bread or large items of clothing such as pants (handkerchiefs were allowed) was removed (361). Items of clothing taken out of the packages were tagged and sent to the storage room (362). Money, if sent in a letter, was confiscated. Grill says it was turned over to the person in the office in charge of the prisoner’s effects and the amount was credited to the addressee in a book the prisoners themselves kept (330).
Once censored, the package “went into a special drawer” (333).
In Grill’s presence, (336) after the evening roll call, parcels and regular mail were handed out to prisoners (334) by the SS man on duty in protective custody camp (333). The prisoners lined up in front of the post office for parcels. A prisoner in front of one of the post-office doors would call out the name of addressee (335). “On the long parcel table, another prisoner was sitting who got from the prisoner his signature for the receipt of the package; next to this prisoner the employee of the post office who checked the prisoner as to the number and name in accordance with the address on the package; next to the employee stood the SS man on duty in the protective custody camp was standing with the package and he showed him this parcel and in accordance with his orders he took out the food” (335-336). Grills says food was always removed done by a protective-custody-camp SS (336) never one of the postal censors (336) (360).
Food was taken out and redistributed to prisoners according to instructions given by Ziereis in 1942, when the rules regarding the receipt of packages changed. Colonel Ziereis instructed that each prisoner could only receive as much food as he could eat for two meals. The excess from the package was either given to prisoners who did not receive a package or to juveniles or to those who worked very hard (336) (360).
The food taken out was placed on a table directly behind the SS who had removed the food (336). At this time, a portion of bologna or bread or sausage would be cut off and placed on the table behind the SS and the rest put back into the parcel given to the prisoner (359). On page 360, Grill says that it was the SS man designated by the security camp commandant who determined how the food would be distributed to which inmate. “He made portions of those remaining food stuff. He knew how many details would be entitled to additional food, whether there were twenty or thirty he would make the appropriate number of portions. Inmates would file in on one side, get their additional food and file out on the other side” (360) On page (336) Grill says that certain work details would have slips from the protective custody camp leader to allow them to get food. (336) The original regulation regarding the distribution of this extra food read that the protective custody camp leaders were supposed to be in charge, but Grill imagined that this responsibility became too much for them, and so they appointed the roll-call leader or labor service leader or some other high ranking non-commissioned officer to do it (337, 361).
Grill says that block leaders never came into the mail room while he was working there. Nor did he go into the camp except once or twice. However, after his duties took him away from the mailroom, corporals were left in charge of censoring, and at this time block leaders with higher ranks might have taken “some liberty” (337).
Foreign mail, including Red Cross packages which occasionally arrived for French or Spanish prisoners was censored in Mauthausen (334), and so they would arrive at 4:30 already opened (334). This mail was also handed out after evening roll call (334). Of all the packages received, 80% of them were from Poland (333). The largest part of these Polish packages consisted of butter, bread, bacon, and sometimes cigarettes and sausage (334). Red Cross packages did not arrive regularly. In fact, until 1943, only one man, Guyer, received packages from the Swiss Red Cross (334). The Red Cross packages consisted of tobacco cans filled with meat, fish, cookies, and chocolate. German packages were the only packages in which oranges and chocolates came. Grill recalls these details because a triplicate list of the contents came with the package and had to be signed and returned to Prague (334). The Red Cross packages to French or Spanish prisoners were censored at Mauthausen because they had censors there who could read French or Spanish (364).
Until 1943, Grill censored mail himself, but he increasingly took on a supervisory role (329). In the mail room, Grill personally supervised four to five SS men who censored the mail and packages and a detail of five or six prisoners (328) who filed the prisoners’ incoming and outgoing mail according to their filing system, affixed stamps on outgoing mail, and loaded and unloaded parcels (329). Two prisoners in the office kept it clean (333). Grill and the man from the Mauthausen post office trained additional censors for two or three months, but eventually Grill only helped with the censoring if there was a great need for him to do so which he says happened two or three times a month. Three SS men usually worked at this job, relieving each other (333).
After October 1943, Grill ordered that only short letter could be written because of the overburden of work (365) only after the main post office at Mauthausen directed him to do so (367). From October 1943 until his duties were terminated in August 1944, 1-2 SS censors censored 25,000 letters and 15,000-18,000 packages per month. Grill had tried to get more censors at Gusen, since Mauthausen had 10 or 12 censors, but had not succeeded (365).
Reports on other camps, and anything against the Reich were cut out of a letter (330). Sketches and drawings were burned (330), and pictures were returned to sender (329). Usually, Grill would let the prisoner see the picture and then return it to the sender (329). Money that was sent, was given to the office that took care of personal effects of prisoners, and the addressee was accredited the amount. The prisoners took the book that held this information (330). Wine, liquor, pants, money hidden in baked bread or fats, and drawings or sketches in bread were confiscated as well (361). The mention of work methods, sickness, and work places was forbidden by the camp commander (367). Underwear was also forbidden (359).
After the 14th or 15th of August, 1944 after Grill was transferred to work in the Welfare and NSDAP office, he never returned to the mailroom, which was now under SS First Lieutenant Riemer (365). As the bombardments increased, disrupting mail service and the retreat from the eastern front proceeded, the volume of mail decreased (366).
Beatings Associated with the Mail Room
Grill admitted to personally beating prisoners who violated mail regulations with a few slaps or hits with a stick. Prisoners used code words and bible citations to give information about the conditions in the camps or about food ration, which was forbidden (339). Prisoners were also forbidden to write that they had not received all the contents of their packages (374) but had to say that they had received everything (375). He would write reports only on those prisoners who had been warned once, or even two or three times, but if the same prisoner violated the rules Grill would write them up and they would be punished by transfer to a punishment detail or with 25 lashes or with an entry in the prisoner’s personal records. Reporting every such violation would have taken too much time and would have brought a more severe punishment (339). Grill’s personal beatings were to prevent heavier punishment on the prisoner from the camp commander or the authorities (338) such as longer terms in the concentration camp. Grill claims that many prisoners were released from Gusen in 1941 and 1942 (339).
As an example Grill offers the instance when Krause took an uncensored letter to a prisoner. Grill punished him to prevent further occurrences (338). Grill says that Krause decided to let Grill punish him because a report would have meant more severe punishment (338). On questioning by the president of the court, Grill said that in punishing Krause himself rather than reporting him, he did not have the discretion to do so according to the SS. This incident was a matter of the post office, Grill explained, and did not concern the camp commander (375-376).
Grill also says, “I myself can remember two cases of burglary in the post office, where several packages had been stolen, and furthermore during the receipt of packages at the time when all the parcels were handed out prisoners took the parcels addressed to other prisoners by faking the number of the other prisoner on their arm as well as on their chest and put the number on their own shirt, and in this manner they were able to receive the parcel of the other prisoner who was on night duty. For the employees of the post office and the SS men in charge of handing out the parcels, of course it was impossible to remember the name of the face that was supposed to have received the package among the many hundreds of prisoners” (340). Those who received parcels were often robbed by other prisoners not ten or fifteen meters from the post office. Grill said these thieves were punished. There were criminals among the Germans as well as the Poles who needed to be punished to deter crime (340).
A Soldier Following Mail Orders
Grill estimates that aside from the prisoners working for him in the post office, he came into contact with as many as a thousand prisoners a day, depending on the number of packages, while he worked at the Gusen camp post office (340). The name Grill became synonymous with the post office and therefore with the censoring of mail and the removal of objects from packages (340). In regards to his conduct in the mailroom, Grill says that he was following strict orders correctly. “I was a soldier and carried out my duties in accordance with my instructions as a soldier (341).
“We were bound by orders which came down from the Reichsführer SS or from the camp commandant. We simply had to carry out such orders without making many questions (350) about such orders. Himmler himself was quite often in the camp and saw the conditions there and gave his orders accordingly. Had we not carried out these orders we would have been subject to the most severe punishment by the SS Corps without any questions of consideration whatsoever” (351).
Chmielewski and Drunken Beatings
In regards to the accusations that he and Chmielewski went through the camp at night and pulled prisoners out of their beds and beat them, Grill says that he was never at Gusen between 1 and 2 am but went home when his duties were over at 6 pm. While on duty as officer of the day, Grill had nothing to do with the protective custody camp but only with the SS barracks and the camp headquarters’ staff. The block leader on duty had responsibility for the protective custody camp from one evening until the next. He stayed in the Jourhaus until the proper signal was given, and then toured the camp to make sure the lights and fires had been put out (343).
Grill claims he had no relationship with Chmielewski because the mail room had no connection to the custody camp. Chmielewski asked Grill to report incidents in the mail room to him, and when Grill did not, the camp commandant developed a disliking for him and had him punished for it on a few occasions (344). Grill says he had little contact with other members of the headquarters staff. As evidence that Chmielewski disliked him, he offers the example of a time when the camp commandant broke all the windows in the post office and shot out the lights with his pistol (345). Grill heard that once after Chmielewski had been drinking in the non-commissioned officers club with SS Master Sergeant Jentsch and SS Tech Sergeant Kluge all three had gone through the camp (345). Grill does not believe they were the only two SS to be involved in beatings resulting in death (268).
SS in Camp
SS Master Sergeant Jentsch was head clerk of the SS under Chmielewski. Schmidt was head clerk under Seidler. “The labor commitment leader and role call leader during the time of Chmielewski was Brust, Kluge, Damaski [sic], and Knockl” (345)
Deaths in the Camp
Deaths in the camp occurred in many forms. Prisoners were shot when trying to escape, killed by electrical current, baths, gassing, hangings and undernourishment (347). Grill personally participated in one execution by hanging as a spectator. Grill was ordered to attend the hanging, but he did not personally carry out the hanging (347). He never participated in deaths by baths. He heard about the deaths from Krause (348) who had worked in the post office from 1941 until the middle of 1943 (353). Grill says his knowledge of the causes of death in the camps was hearsay. He heard about them from the prisoners who worked in his post office (353), Krause and Nogai (354). Later in this trial (376), Grill acknowledges that his post office received daily reports about which prisoners had died and which were transferred, but declined to estimate under oath how many deaths were reported daily except to say that in the number who died in 1942 was greater than in 1943 or 1944 (376).
During his service in Gusen I, from1940-1945, he only saw two dead prisoners carried past the post office, shot while trying to escape and so could not offer testimony other than hearsay about the gassings or bathing-to-death or other means of death at Gusen (353). During his work at Gusen I, he never had anything to do with prisoners’ living quarters (340). He never went into the camp after 1 or 2 am because he did not reside there. He only went into the barracks (343).
Chmielewski and his inner group were the only ones who knew about the deaths by gassing and baths (349). Spotted fever was one disease that was very prevalent in the camp. It even took the lives of many SS men (346), forty SS men in the fall of 1941 when the camp doctor and Chmielewski ordered the delousing of the protective custody camp as well as the SS barracks and “my own barracks” (355). But Grill never heard of the gassing of 156 Russians. Russians were not allowed to write letters and so he had no contact with them in his position in the post office (250). He never heard about the gassings until he was a prisoner at Glasenbach (354).
Grill wasn’t allowed into the inner camp until 1942 when he received a pass with a photograph. Until that time he had to enter accompanied by a block leader (349), he was never as far back in the camp as the baths are described to be. Grill suggests that Kowalski and others have confused him with Tech Sergeant Gross, who looked like Grill but was a great friend of Chmielewski’s so much so that Chmielewski took Gross with him when he left for Hertogenbosch in Holland (350). On 358 Grill testifies that he was so well known in the camp as head of the post office it is unlikely that anyone would mistake him for someone else (358).
Tuttas, Wilhelm, inmate and victim (Prosecution Exhibit P-25 Mauthausen Death Book, Mauthausen Trial page 332, Schuettauf Trial page 503).
Testimony of Herbert Hartung
Born on June 7, 1906, Hartung was a merchant and a resident national of Neukirchen, Germany. He owned his own business in 1939 at the start of the war. He says he had nothing to do with the military before the war but joined the “motorized SS” in 1933. On March 27, 1940, he was drafted into the 13th SS Regiment in Vienna (435). He was assigned “on account of my driver’s license” to the motorized detachment of the regiment and resided in Vienna until May 1940 when a guard company was organized out of the regiment (435). On May 14, 1940, 170 men in the guard company “moved toward Gusen” (436). SS Captain Habben was in charge of the battalion [the process of formation is unclear in the transcript] and SS First Lieutenant Konradi was in charge of Hartung’s guard company, the Third Guard Company. After a few days, Hartung was sent to the SS hospital at Dachau for heart trouble. After four weeks, he was sent back to the Third Guard Company at Gusen where he worked as a telephone operator in the central office outside the protective security camp from August 3, 1940, until June 1941 (436). He worked 24 hours on and 24 hours off until a corporal was given the job. Then he became an orderly in the SS officers’ quarters until March 1942 (437). Two or three orderlies were on duty from six am until midnight or two in the morning (438).
Hartung testifies that SS Captain Chmielewski treated the SS and prisoners alike. “When he was drunk he wasn’t afraid of anything” (438). One summer Chmielewski put Hartung in the refrigerator where he remained until a comrade let him out twenty minutes later after hearing Hartung’s knocking. Hartung was sick for three days with a bad cold as a result. “Otherwise I haven’t any injury” (438).
Chmielewski’s group consisted of five or six men, including non-commissioned Officers Jentsch, Brust, and Kluge and the ones he mentioned before [presumably Konradi and Habben 436]. This group was always together, during the day and night. When the others left, these “really got rough” (438). When asked what these men did when they left the officers’ club drunk, Hartung says he remembers hearing they once went into the camp with a dog and that they broke all the furniture in the officers’ club (439). Grill was never present with these men although he sometimes came in for a beer “during the general meal for non-commissioned officers” (440), but then “he disappeared” (440). Hartung believes Grill ate at home (440).
Hartung as Detail and Block Leader in the Quarries
Hartung did not enter the protective custody camp until March 1943 when he was assigned as block leader and assistant detail leader in the stone quarries (440), the Kastenhof quarries, until September 1943, where he was in charge of between 400 and 500 prisoners. In the morning prisoners would move through “the second so-called Peek-door” after the large guard detail was at its posts. These work details were never accompanied by guards because the guard chain was already in place and the prisoners knew their work places and automatically went to them (441).
From September 1943, at the time when Kowalski testified about the murder of American prisoner [Willie Tuttas] for sabotage, Hartung says that he was actually in the Gusen Quarry and detail leader of the prisoners’ fire department (441). When asked if it was true that, as Kowalski said, Hartung was responsible for Tuttas’ death because Hartung had “led him away” (463) to the bunker, Hartung says he had “nothing to do with his death or his life” (463).
Hartung and the Prisoners’ Fire Brigade
He was in charge of the fire brigade beginning in March 1943, before the motorized equipment arrived in fall of 1943 (450). As detail leader for the prisoners’ fire brigade, Hartung was responsible for any fires in the entire camp. He was responsible for personnel and their training and “sports, gymnastics, as well as, in September 1943 we received motorized fire equipment” (442). These duties took up “all forenoon, nearly until noon. At noon I went to the stone quarry and took care of the noon roll call. And I wasn’t alone there either. Others were led to the stone quarries” (442). In 1944 two SS master Sergeants arrived to work as detail leaders (442). While he was working with the fire brigade, he says that either no one or a block leader took care of the quarry (442).
At the sound of an air raid, Hartung would go to the garage as quickly as possible and would be met there by ten prisoners. They would go out without an SS guard as escort and drive about two or two and a half kilometers to an unused stone quarry where (442) they would take cover (443). In 1944 the “neighborhood” [Defense Attorney Dr. Kluge’s term] experienced one to three air raids a day “without exception” (442). After September 1944 “or really already the summer of 1942” (446), Hartung testifies that he was nearly always on the fire brigade (446).
As leader of the brigade, he had access to all parts of the camp and was responsible for water mains and pipes inside the camp as well as the equipment in the garage. He was also responsible for finding fire hazards and making sure that every barracks had a bucket of water and a sandbox. He made these inspections “every two or three months” (464) throughout the camp (465).
The Bunker and Willie Tuttas
In answer to the question, “Was a key to the bunker ever in your possession and if so, in what capacity,” Hartung answers, “The block leader in charge had the key to the bunker in his office” (444). But Hartung denies ever hearing or seeing an American prisoner in the bunker who was starved to death over the course of nine or ten days (444-5). In his experience, prisoners were only kept in the bunker for “one or two days at the most” (445). He says he only had responsibility in the bunker when “two, three, or four prisoners were brought to the bunker for interrogation. Then the other prisoners were locked up in cells” (444).
He denies participating in gassing prisoners in 1945, saying that he was transferred to the newly organized SS Tank Regiment No. 1 in March 1945 (445). He did not actually leave the camp until April 15, 1945. As telephone operator for SS Tank Regiment No. I, his duties, to “make the telephone connections from the regiment to the headquarters of the various companies,” (451) allowed him to return to Gusen I every night to eat and sleep (451). He never stood outside the barracks while prisoners were being gassed to make sure that none escaped. He could not have been there because as head of the fire brigade he was always in the barracks (445). He left the camp “completely” on April 15, 1945 (451). When he returned from the SS Tank Regiment No. 1 in the evenings, he never heard about any gassing of prisoners, only about delousing. He recalls that his barracks was deloused in 1941 or 1942. Otherwise he only recalls the delousing station near the kitchen (452).
Aside from his duties with the fire brigade and those assigned by Chmielewski, he was also assigned to work with the women telephone operators in the central office, and to transport prisoners to Mauthausen, or to accompany prisoners outside the camp, or to work in the officers’ mess. “I had a variety of duties” (446). In addition, he was sent to Berlin in 194-[exact year unreadable in the copy] for special training about fires and fire brigades (446).
Murder on the Electric Wire
He denies having thrown ten prisoners onto the electric wire on Chmielewski’s orders (445). Hartung says that Chmielewski did not return in 1945 and that Seidler was in charge after Chmielewski left in 1942 (446).
Beating of Russian Prisoners-of-War
Hartung denies beating Russian prisoners on Roll-Call Square in August 1944, an incident reported by Jaroszewicz which left 40 dead (446). He says he has no recollection of any such incident, and that the only time he saw dead bodies was after an accident in the stone quarry that left three dead (447) in the Unterbruch (453). He never saw any beatings of any prisoners in the quarry. “But I wasn’t there every day. I had other duties also” (453). He does remember seeing beatings when the prisoners returned from work in the evenings and when food was given out at noontime in the quarries (454). When asked about the contradiction, he says, “Beatings, yes, beatings, that is always a big word” (454) and explains that he did not see any “large scale beatings” (454) but agrees that he did see many small scale beatings (454).
He admits to having beaten a prisoner once himself because the prisoner forged his name to receive a second extra ration from the post office. This beating took place in front of the stone-cutter’s hall in 1944 (453).
Causes of Death at Gusen
Hartung says he never saw any dead bodies brought back by the work details in the evenings (453) and denies seeing any killings in the quarry (454). He says that guilt for the deaths at Gusen should be placed on the “higher headquarters starting with the Reich’s Economic Administration Office, over the various administrative leaders. And as for Gusen itself, the managers Walter, and Wolfram, they always requested large numbers of prisoners and more prisoners” (447) to work in the quarries and construct large halls, but they failed to provide adequate food and clothing. At the time the crematorium at Gusen was built in 1942 (447), Hartung did not discuss this with other SS. “I had nothing to do with it. I was only a telephone operator at that time” (448).
He says that the large number of deaths at the time the crematory was built were due to poor food and the fog coming from the Danube in June, July, and August 1942. “It was a very unhealthy climate, and we also had to suffer from it” (449). He cannot identify any causes of death other than this (449).
Hartung admitted to shooting at prisoner Josef Leitzinger (461) around ten o’clock am on January 16, 1945, (460) but says that the prisoner was already dead from a bullet from SS Sergeant Polweit (455). Leitzinger was “A German, I mean an Austrian green man, that means a professional criminal” (456) whom Hartung and Polwieit were ordered to take to Mauthausen. Leitzinger had gotten into a drunken fight with another prisoner at Gusen II and stabbed him. Leitzinger’s victim “died the same night” (456). An unnamed SS technical sergeant [unnamed] in the political department told the Hartung and Polweit that one of them should make a report about the shooting. Hartung wrote the report (456)
Hartung says that he was in the garage [presumably at Gusen I] when he received the order to escort the prisoner with Poweleit. “Poweleit and I grabbed a rifle [sic], as it was customary when prisoners were transferred and went to Gusen II. That is approximately 600 meters from Gusen I. At the Jourhaus of Gusen II the prisoner was handed over to us and that was when I saw the prisoner for the first time” (457). “When one leaves Gusen II one is outside the chain of guards. After one has marched about two-thirds of the way, one returns automatically into the guard chain of Gusen I” (457). After going one-third of the way, about fifteen meters from the Gusen I guard chain, Leitzinger “jumped to the right to the area which leads to the Danube River” (457). Poweleit and Tandler started after him and shouted for him to halt. Then Poweleit shot him. After that, after having unsecured his rifle, Hartung also shot him. When he shot, the prisoner was already falling to the ground (457). In an earlier interrogation, Hartung had stated that he shot Joseph Leitzinger to death (461). Hartung explains that he meant that both he and Poweleit had received the order together (462).
Testimony of Alfons Hugo Heisig
Alfons Hugo Heisig, a 40 year old German man, a chimney sweeper from Neesen, Westphalia, said that he was drafted on November 5, 1939, “by written order” (466) into the Waffen SS and sent to Brunn, Czechoslovakia with the 7th SS Regiment for training until December 20, 1939. He was sent to Ebelsberg, near Linz, Austria, still with the 7th SS Regiment (466). A private, he stayed there until mid January 1940, when he was sent to the 13th SS Regiment in Vienna. In May, he was then assigned to the 3rd SS Guard Company, attached to the Guard Company Gusen. He worked there as a guard from May 15, 1940, until August 1943 (467). He was promoted to Private First Class in November 1940, to Corporal in November 1941, and Sergeant in January 1944 (470).
While serving with the guard company, he only entered the protective custody camp once when he was ordered to be present at an execution by Commander Ziereis. A prisoner was hung on Roll-Call Square (467).
In August 1943 after Waffen SS men from the headquarters staff were transferred to active duty, he and six other men were assigned the duty of block leader and detail leader. He reported to the roll-call leader who was “you might say the acting first Sergeant of the headquarters staff” (468). He also met SS Tech Sergeant Schmidt (468) (clerk of the protective custody camp), First Lieutenant Beck (2nd protective custody camp leader) and Labor Service Leader Fissel. He was assigned to be auxiliary detail leader at the Stone Quarry Gusen. When asked how long, he answers “In a chain of command” (469). He alternated this detail with being detail leader of the Steyr armament factory (469).
Duties of Detail Leader
In the morning, the entire headquarters staff would “fall out in front of the protective custody camp” (470). “And the roll-call leader would report the strength to the protective-custody leader” (470) who was in charge of roll call. At this time, special duties might be assigned, which was the only time Heisig had further contact with the headquarters staff (470). Detail leaders were on duty from seven am when prisoners marched out of the camp until five pm when they returned (477). He was a leader of one to two thousand men. His duties included bringing the men to their places of work. “There we were assigned to the details through the various civilian foremen and master mechanics” (469). Along with the guards, discipline was handled by capos and assistant capos and masters in the work halls (469).
Evenings for Non-Commissioned Officers at Gusen
Two or three men shared a single room. Their evening meal was served in the non-commissioned officer’s club where they all ate around a single table. After dinner “everybody went after his own hobbies or interests” (471). Heisig could not testify about the group that gathered around the commandant because he left immediately after the meal. He says that usually only the roll-call leader and the leaders of the guard companies, all officers, stayed with the commandant (471).
Heisig only saw Chmielewski when he was a guard. Chmielewski had already left when he joined the headquarters staff and became a non-commissioned officer (472). While still at Gusen, Heisig heard that Chmielewski returned to Gusen in 1945 for two short stays, although not as camp leader (472).
Grill and the Mail
[Quoted directly here because of a possible mistranslation]
Defense Attorney Kluge: What was the position of the post office there in camp and what kind of relationship existed between the post office and the headquarters staff if you are able to make any observations? (469)
Heisig: In fact, the post office [headquarters is probably meant] had nothing to do with selection of the post office staff. Only when packages came directly from Mauthausen, these packages were handed out to prisoners directly in camp. (470)
Heisig had no contact with Grill at the post office. When he had reason to go to the post office, a corporal or a Sergeant was on duty behind the window. Heisig did not see Grill in the con-commissioned officer’s club at night. Married men were fed in St. Georgen, about four kilometers away (472).
Freezing Prisoners with Water or Bathing-to-Death
Defense Attorney Kluge asks Heisig if Kowalski was correct when saying that water was poured over weakened prisoners to kill them. Heisig says no. Then Kluge asks if it might be true that water was poured over prisoners in the summer heat to revive them. Heisig says he never heard or saw of such a thing (473). He says that “all the water trenches” (473) that came from the mountains were covered. There was no access to water in the stone quarry, “the closest water trench was alongside the fence that surrounded the non-commissioned officers club” (473).
Heisig heard of bathing-to-death but says this only happened under Chmielewski when he, Heisig, was still in the Third Guard Company. During this time, Heisig only entered the camp once (473). Heisig has no memory of any of the witnesses and says they have no reason to remember him. He passed by the bath house several times, but never entered it (473)
Quoted directly because of non-sequitur:
Defense Attorney Kluge: Furthermore, you are supposed to have participated in those bathings by standing outside and preventing prisoners from leaving. (474)
Heisig’s answer: I heard about gassings for the first time here during my interrogations. Before I didn’t hear about it. (474)
Heisig then says that at the time the bathing-to-death was supposed to have taken place, he had no duties in the protective custody camp at all but was still a member of the guard company. Accompanying prisoners to the bath was the duty of the block eldest (477) .
He heard about bathing-to-death from prisoners in his detail but never heard screaming coming from the bathhouse (478).
Gassing of Prisoners in Barracks
When asked if he ever heard about gassings in order to delouse barracks, Heisig says that his barracks was gassed as well, sometime in 1941 and 1942 (474) while he was stationed in the guard barracks outside the camp (475). He knew about the preparations for gassing barracks from the time he was on guard duty, but never saw these preparations inside the camp (478). He heard about gassing of barracks for the purpose of delousing inside the camp in 1943 or 1944, but not 1945, and never heard of gassing prisoners (478). When he was on guard duty inside the camp after 1943, he remembers gassing of barracks “for the purpose of delousing” (475) after the block eldest reported the conditions regarding lice and vermin within the barracks. The talk in the camp about the source of the vermin problem was that “There were many prisoners who didn’t feel it was necessary to wash every day. For this purpose some of the block eldest handed out food stamps every morning and these food stamps the prisoners received only after they washed themselves and only then could they get breakfast. Heisig admits he is referring only to regular prisoners, and not Russian POWs. (475) Asked to continue with the “normal procedure which took place when barracks were gassed” (476), Heisig says that all the prisoners had to go to another barracks, leaving their clothes behind, then “all the openings in the block were covered and then the men who take care of the gassing job went inside there” (476). Civilians who carried out the gassings wore gas masks. (476).
Asked by Defense Attorney Kluge if it is possible that that “such a gassing of barracks was misunderstood and some people saw not only the barracks were gassed but the people in there,” (476), Heisig says he believes it is possible. Asked if he has “any indication, any statement, any remark” as an evidence of this confusion (476), Heisig says, “The same way as it is now during our imprisonment that latrine rumors are coming up, it was the same at that time in the camp” (476).
Heisig admits to having beaten prisoners, but never to death and only when they committed a crime. “That jackets were stolen from the civilian foremen, tools were stolen, rubber hoses were stolen. Potatoes were stolen” (477). Asked what proportion of prisoners were actually criminals, Heisig says he cannot respond (477). He beat prisoners with his hands and with a rubber hose, but with a stick “very seldom” (477). He denies beating a prisoner until blood came from his head for stealing a potato because the witness said this happened on a Sunday and potatoes were never brought into the camp on Sunday (480).
In response to Gomez’ testimony that he was the most feared in the camp (480), he says that some prisoners were always trying to avoid work and therefore called attention to themselves. They would leave work, making things worse for their co-prisoners, and spend all their time trying to “organize” (481) food, thus drawing attention to themselves (481).
In his time as detail leader in the quarry, Heisig never saw a prisoner die in the quarry (478) and never saw a prisoner collapse (478-479). “Accidents happened and they were brought back to camp right away” (479). He did see dead bodies (479).
Three hundred prisoners lived in one barracks. As far as living conditions, Heisig says, “In my time, it was not so bad anymore, not as bad as in the time of Chmielewski” (479). Prisoners told him things were worse under Chmielewski (479).
He never saw a prisoner shot but heard of prisoners being shot for attempting to escape (479). He never saw execution squads and was only told about them by prisoners who did not tell him who was on the execution squads. The execution squads were drawn from the various guard companies (480).
Testimony of Willi Jungjohann
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).
Testimony of Jan Janusz Kamienski
Jan Janusz Kamienski was a twenty seven year old Polish national. At the time of the trial, he was unemployed and studying medicine in Augsburg, Germany. He was a prisoner in Gusen I from June 6, 1940, until February 9, 1943. For his first two months in the camp he carried stones. For two months after that he was on the camp-cleaning detail. The remainder of his time at Gusen he worked in the Kastenhof Quarry (128) where he was clerk in 1942 (133). Kamienski was transferred to Dachau as an electrician (153).
Of all the defendants, Kamienski said he was most familiar with SS Sergeant Wilhelm Grill (129a). He states that Grill was in charge of the mail room, and censored mail and packages prisoners received on holidays. After 1942, Grill censored the packages they received from home. Under Grill’s negligent administration, prisoners were not allowed to write letters for three months in 1942. Kamienski’s parents became worried and wrote a letter to the headquarters of Gusen I in June or July 1942 (129a). As a result, Grill called Kamienski into his office for “interrogation,” which prisoners understood to mean a beating (129a-129b). Grill shouted at Kamienski, “You Polish swine, why didn’t you write a letter home?” (129b) Kamienski reminded Grill that prisoners could not write home for three months. Grill beat Kamienski repeatedly until Kamienski answered that he had not written home “because of his own carelessness” (129b). Grill then made Kamienski sit and write a letter to his family which read “I am well, I am healthy. Your letter I have received with great joy and I thank you very much for it. Your loving son.” (129b). According to Kamienski, beatings of prisoners by Grill were a daily occurrence (129b). Grill beat prisoners in Block 3 with an oxtail whip for adding an extra word to their letters (132).
Kamienski testifies to the fact that Grill stole food stuff from packages that were meant for the prisoners (129b). In December, 1942, Kamienski received a package that was supposed to weigh approximately twenty-two pounds but all that was left was a loaf of bread and some spilled marmalade (129b-130).
“The bathing of invalids” took place, according to Kamienski, from approximately September 1941 until October or September 1942 (130) mostly in the afternoon or evening under the supervision of Camp Leader Schmielewski [sic] and SS Master Sergeant Lynch (146, 162). Kamienski tells that the naked invalids were taken in large groups. He goes on to describe them as “walking skeletons” (130). In March or April of 1942, Kamienski was in the dispensary visiting his friend the “wardmen” (131). On leaving, he tried to “pass through the gate that was between Block 27 and Block 28” (131) but was stopped by the gatekeeper. From the door of the dispensary, he witnessed a group from Block 32 being taken to the baths (131) at the end of Blocks 27 and 28 (142) by SS Master Sergeant Grill and block eldest of Block 43 [sic], Karl Schraegle [spelled Shroegle on 130-131]. After getting the group to the bathhouse, the inmates understood what was going to happen to them. They were beaten with sticks and kicked to make them go into the baths by SS Technical Sergeant Brust Brust and the Block Eldest of Block 32. Grill stood in the entrance and kicked or beat inmates with a stick he held in his left hand (131). Those who remained lying outside in front of the bathhouse were dragged into it by Brust and the block eldest of Block 32. Approximately 25 to 30 corpses were taken to the washroom in Block 22 and those still alive were lead back to Block 32 by Block 32’s eldest (132). According to Kamienski, the bathhouse was “a covered building. In the center of the floor was a depression approximately 30 centimeters deep. The sides were cement walls. During the bathing the drainage was closed so that the water rose to the edges” (132). The invalids were then forced to go into the water after receiving beatings. In their weak state, most of the invalids fell into the water and drowned (132).
Erick Schuettauf or, as Kamienski calls him, “General Bauch,” meaning “belly”(129), was the “commander of one of the companies in Gusen” (133). While his duties concerned the guards only, he also became involved in the treatment of prisoners (149). According to Kamienski, when Schuettauf gave orders to his guards, prisoners knew well that beatings would occur shortly thereafter. Kamienski discusses one instance when Schuettauf threatened SS Sergeant Peist with a report if he didn’t get some prisoners in the lower Kastenhof Quarry to “start working” (133). The capos and head capos were called together and ordered to take care of the problem in work detail Kieppe 2, where mostly Russian POWs worked with sand. This order was shortly followed with a severe beating of those prisoners, after which 35 to 40 bodies were carried away (134). Kamienski was told by a member of the SS that Schuettauf had even told his guards that if one of them shot a prisoner, they would receive cigarettes and a furlough (134). Kamienski even over heard Schuettauf telling his men “not to consider us [prisoners] as human beings, but as murders and criminals, and that they ought to shoot us to death or to beat us to death. And furthermore, for doing that they would receive cigarettes and leaves” (150).
Kamienski reports that conditions in this quarry were so bad up to 150 prisoners were killed there a day (133). As clerk in Kastenhof, Kamienski was personally responsible for telling the roll-call leader how many prisoners were returning and how many corpses were returning (150).
Tandler took charge of the 2,000 Russian prisoners of war (POW) who arrived in the camp in November or December, 1941 (134) and occupied Blocks 13,14, 15 and 16 (150) as well as the young Russians in Block 24 after 1942. By March 1942 only a few were still alive (134). Tandler, who didn’t speak Russian well, was in sole control of the Russian POWs wherever they worked. Most worked in the Kastenhof quarry where Kamienski worked. From the first day they went to work after being quarantined for six weeks, Tandler mistranslated the orders for the Russians, and then he beat them severely for not carrying the orders out properly (135).
The Russians were also grossly underfed, receiving only half the rations that the rest of the prisoners received (135). Russians would, when leaving the camp for the quarry, pass to the left of the garbage from the kitchen. The prisoners would “jump over” to the place with the food, “potatoes mixed with dirt” (136), and get as much of it as they could. They were then beaten heavily as Tandler watched. According to Kamienski, in his two and a half years at Gusen he had never before seen people so run down and beaten they would eat manure (136).
The Russians worked on the ground in the quarry pushing material in the carts on the narrow gage railway. Half an hour before prisoners returned to the camp, the “kippe” where filled with dead or half-dead bodies, the half dead on the bottom, by Tandler’s order, so that the dead would crush them to death. They were taken back to the camp on the rail-lines, where prisoners could see those still alive open-mouthed and struggling for air while the SS abused them (137-138). Once in the camp, these bodies were “dumped (137). The SS block leaders would kick those still living in the head, saying things like, “Look at that dirty pig. He is still alive” (138).
In approximately February 1942, Block 16, which was 90% Russian, was gassed by the guards (138). Tandler was personally present on July 20, 1942, when a Russian officer was hanged from a lamppost by the kitchen. Kamienski stated that Tandler was present at 3 or 4 executions, probably as an interpreter (139).
Because the worst criminals were specially selected to fill positions in the camp, such as block eldest and room eldest, Kamienski testified that they would steal half of the food that the Russians were supposed to receive, either for themselves or to give to a friend. Even prior to this theft, the Russians’ food was already halved from the normal prisoner ration (139). Kamienski recounts an example where the Block Eldest of Block 15, a prisoner wearing a green triangle, gave away a loaf. When prisoners lined up for their food, so much had been stolen fifteen rations were missing. To compensate for this, the block eldest took the 15 weakest prisoners of Block 15 to the washroom and had them strip naked. He then made each one drown the man in front of him, and then be drowned himself until all fifteen of them were dead (139-140).
Kamienski testified that although the screams of those being bathed-to-death could be heard as far away as roll-call square, those prisoners who worked ten hours hard labor would come back to camp so tired they could barely eat before falling asleep. There were two groups in the camp. One worked ten hours a day. The other were “prominent people” (144) prisoners had free time and spent it playing soccer or playing cards and “did not have time to discuss the murders in the camps. Some of them, only those of the group of intelligent people, showed some interest in that regardless whether they had a position or not” (144). Only “special occasions, executions, shooting” (144) were generally discussed by prisoners. While prominent prisoners, who were mostly German until 1942 when some Poles were given positions as block clerks, could play soccer on Sunday, the only spectators where block elders. Everyone else was resting. Polish prisoners were also doctors or technical people (145). Many prisoners knew about the murders in the washrooms, but few new the details (149).
Testimony of Joseph Kowalski
Joseph Kowalski, a thirty seven year old locksmith and Polish national living in
at the time of the trial, was called as a witness for the prosecution (10). Before the war he worked “at a Polish Magistrate” (38) At Gusen, where he was a prisoner from August 2, 1940, to May 5, 1945 (10), he carried stones, “put stones together as a plasterer,” worked as a locksmith, as a stonemason, and transpor Linz tedcoal to the SS barracks in a wheelbarrow. He was assigned to different details often, sometimes every few days or so, until 1943 when he was permanently assigned to be a stone mason. He worked inside both the protective custody camp and the SS camp. He construc tedthe brothel for prisoners as well as the brothel for the SS. Once put in a punishment detail for carrying too few stones, he also transpor tedstones “for the construction of the tunnel” (48-49).
Kowalski worked as a stone cutter in the large hall (12) which was eleva
tedseven or eight meters above ground. This gave him a good view for fifteen or twenty meters. In the summer the stonemasons worked outside the hall to avoid the dust inside (12). Kowalski identifies Seidler as the camp commandant (10), and the SS roll-call leader at the time he worked in the stonemasons’ hall was Kiedermann. He says the first roll-call leader was Brust, the second was Damaschke, and the third was Kiedermann (13). While these men were in charge of large guard details, Schuettauf was in charge of the “distribution of the guards” (10), especially detail leaders and guard leaders who guarded the prisoners (13).
Schuettauf was in charge of a guard company outside the main compound of Gusen. There was a total of three or four guard companies of which Schuettauf eventually became commander. He was called “General Bauch” at this time (40) which means “Belly” (50). No guards were allowed into the camp or allowed to look in the camp except for the roll-call leader, the block leaders, and the men from the post office or guards taking part in executions (40). The prisoners would line up inside the camp on Roll-Call Square in their different details and the guards would take charge of the men as they came out of “camp 1 or camp 2, those camps surrounded by guards” (41). “In the case of larger details, for instance, St. Georgen, where bricks were made, and also the stone quarry outside the camp, there was a detail leader, there were guards, and there was also a guard commander” (41). Once prisoners arrived on the worksite, the guards were stationed around the detail to guard them and the detail leader walked among the men, showing them what to do along with civilian workers. Prisoners were prohibi
tedfrom approaching guards (41). There was a wire around the Gusen Quarry, but not in all places and it was loca tedat a great distance from the quarry (44).
Although guards were also prohibi
tedfrom approaching prisoners, when they were changed every two hours or so, guards often beat prisoners, sometimes to death. Volksdeutsche Polish guards who had been draf tedinto the “army” (42) at the end of the war often talked to prisoners, Kowalski reports, and they said that guards were rewarded with cigarettes or furloughs for beating or shooting prisoners (42). Once the head of the Fire Guard, Gaertner, chased a prisoner toward the wire in order that he be shot (49) by guards pos tedon the tower between Blocks 17 and 9. The guard did not shoot the prisoner, however, but shot at Gaertner, who fled. A Ukrainian guard named Matejo told Kowalski that Gaertner was motiva tedby the hope that he would receive cigarettes from the guard (50).
From 1941 on Kowalski saw and heard Schuettauf order executions of prisoners (12) and order the detail leaders as to the treatment of prisoners (11). Most often, executions would be ordered in the afternoons, but Schuettauf stood in front of the Jourhaus in the mornings and afternoons when details were put together and guards were assigned (12). Kowalski also recalls Schuettauf giving orders to the guards standing in “front of the office between the barracks and the kitchen.” This happened most often in the afternoon (12). While Kowalski could not always hear Schuettauf’s exact words over the sound of the stonemasons’ hammers (13), he did see Schuettauf observing prisoners being kicked and beaten with rifle butts (14)
Kowalski recalls that the guards were not always given directions by Schuettauf, but when he did address the guards, the prisoners were beaten and some dead prisoners were brought back to camp from the work details, perhaps two or three out of 25 (14-16). In March or April of 1942, Kowalski saw Series [spelled Ziereis in connection with same incident on page 46] talk to Schuettauf near the kitchen between the “barracks with walls” (17) barracks 6 and 7 (46). He saw two men shot to death (17) behind the kitchen by six guards led by Schuettauf (46). Although the block leader chased Kowalski and other prisoners away, Kowalski heard Schuettauf give orders and then heard further shots. Kowalski also saw Schuettauf give orders when five Russian prisoners-of-war were shot in 1942 (17) and five young Poles under the age of 15, stone cutters, in 1944 (18). Nine times in Kowalski’s recollection prisoners were shot in this manner, sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon, after having to partially strip. Prisoners would be called out during morning roll call to either be shot or taken to Mauthausen (53). There were seven or eight executions near the crematorium in 1944. One involved the execution of seven young Poles (55).
Grill and the Mail
Kowalski testifies that from the time he first saw him in 1941, Wil
helmGrill was a staff or technical Sergeant of the SS. Grill was in charge of censoring the mail which Polish inmates sent to or received from (18). Kowalski never entered the post office himself but was told that Grill was in charge by the clerk who also told prisoners that Grill could give them 25 lashes for writing something that was not allowed in a letter (66). Grill would steal bread and sausages from the prisoners’ packages and give them to the hierarchy of personnel in the camp (21) (79), as well as other SS, and sometimes to “permanent” prisoners or prisoners who had special jobs in the camp (20-21). The number of packages that arrived at the camp was from 20 to 500 a day, up to 1800 a month, but prisoners got only one or two a month (56). Despite a 1942 order that heavy laborers should receive extra food from these packages, Kowalski recalls that this only happened for a short space of time (58). The Red Cross packages which he believed came from Poland (87) were also pilfered toward the end of 1943 and during 1944, although of the 2,000 men who worked in the stone quarry as well as those who worked at the tunnels, only a few received extra rations from the packages (58). One of Kowalski’s friends got Red Cross package with a packet of cigarettes, one or two tins and dry bread. He felt that most of the package had been stolen (79). Switzerland
Grill also took inmates to the baths. In January of 1942 Kowalski saw the block leader of Block 32 [unnamed] lead invalid inmates to the showers. Brust, accompanied by roll-call leader Brust and Jetz [sic] who may have been the work-commitment leader” (19) made the prisoners take cold showers and ordered them to “stand and fall down and stand and fall down” in the cold water. All the SS present beat the inmates. Grill is said to have carried a whip made out of an oxtail or a stick. Perhaps 25 to 30 inmates died on this occasion. The corpses were taken to the washrooms of Blocks 22, 23, and 24, and then in the evening to the crematorium. Kowalski saw this happen three times, once in the winter of 1941 and twice in 1942 (19). Most of these victims were Polish or Spanish prisoners (20).
Corpses from Gusen Taken to Mauthausen
Kowalski also says that when new transports arrived and the Gusen crematorium could not handle the corpses, they were taken to the Mauthausen crematorium (20). “Our crematory was burning without interruption day and night. The rest was taken on a truck in the direction towards Mauthausen” (79).
Drying Tattoos on Human Skin
Kowalski also saw Grill removing human skins with tattoos from the hospital to dry in the window of Barracks 28, where the medical personnel used to congregate (21).
Guards returning or arriving from the guard house often beat prisoners with rifle butts or kicked them if they did not work hard enough at their various commands, or if they were seen eating bread or a raw potato (74). Kowalski was twice beaten by Hartung (81). Kowalski reports that Willi Jungjohann was a work detail leader in the upper quarry where mostly Poles and Russians worked although the capos were German. Kowalski is not sure during what time frame Jungjohann held this job (21). Kowalski’s job was to transport the stones from the upper quarries of Kasten Hoffen [sic] and above that, Ove
rbrook [sic]. Jung, as Kowalski calls him, was the leading stone cutter of the detail. He and the capos often beat prisoners, sometimes pushing them into the 20 meter deep hole. After these beatings, corpses and prisoners with broken arms and hands were set aside (21) where they could be watched (35).
In July or August 1944 (23), around on a sunny, pleasant day (87) Kowalski saw seven or eight American planes crash near Gusen and St. Georgen. The flyers descended with what looked to Kowalski like “balloons” (22). Two flyers landed in a field near him and he saw SS men take one of them into the Gusen guard house (22). Kowalski saw “Jung” shoot the flyer two or three times with a rifle. Although prisoners were ordered into the tunnels during the air raid, Kowalski and a few others stayed outside (23) because the guards beat prisoners in the tunnels and there were dead bodies there (86). The tunnel entrance was only 4-5 meters, and entering was often chaotic and Jung would beat men who could not go in quickly enough (23-24).
Kowalski stood on a hill in Gusen when he saw Jungjohann point his rifle toward the flyer, heard shots, and saw the flyer fall (86). Kowalski did not see the second flyer shot but heard about it later from the Czechs, Poles and Jehovah Witnesses who were shot for taking notes about the incident (87). They saw the corpse of the flyer as the SS who caught them outside the tunnel led them through the guard house. Kowalski and the other two men received 25 blows for not going into the tunnel (23).
Hartung, as Kowalski recalls, was a staff Sergeant and detail leader in the Kasten Hofen [sic] Quarry and detail leader of the stone masons (28). He once beat an American prisoner whom he thought had cut off a bolt in an act of sabotage. It is not clear what was done with the man. “The next day they brought him back to the stone quarry until up to the toilet” [sic] (29). The man was starved to death in front of the prisoners over the course of the next six days (29).
Kowalski remembers Tandler was a noncommissioned officer in 1941. Tandler was in charge of Blocks 13, 14, 15, and 16 where Russian POWs were kept. Block 16 was used as an invalid block. These prisoners were not allowed to go into the main camp. In March or April of 1942, 156 Russian prisoners were gassed to death under Tandler’s direction (24). Jetz, Zeidler [sic], Brust, and Slupescky (in a Tyrolean outfit) were also present during the gassings, which took place at approximately while half the camp was being de-loused. Camp Commandant Chmielewski was also there at . Guards made sure that stronger inmates could not escape the gassing inside the block. In the afternoon, Slupescky announced the prisoners were dead. The next day they were taken to the crematorium on carts (25).
In 1942 and 1943 Tandler was present as an interpreter when Russian POWs were hung for trying to escape (25-26). Another time Tandler gave a Russian POW 25 blows in the middle of
Roll-Call Squareand then, after Seidler ordered the prisoner taken to the crematorium, Tandler drowned him in a barrel of water in Barracks 4, forcing him to admit he had tried to escape on the coal car (26, 88).
Kowalski also recalls up to 650 people being gassed in 1945 (30) about eight weeks before the end of the war at around nine pm in Block 31 which was part of the dispensary (32). Kowalski observed the beginning of the gassings from between Blocks 23 and 24 (32). At that time Kowalski saw Heisig patrolling the exterior of the barracks making sure that none of the stronger prisoners was able to escape (36). Kowalski was not able to see when the doors and windows of the barracks were opened in order to air it out because a “home guard” was present all night helping the fire guard control prisoners and keeping them from leaving their barracks to do anything but go to the bathroom (33). During this incident two Poles were caught by Kirschner trying to locate the position of the Allied armies on a map. Kirschner insis
tedthey would be gassed despite the roll-call leader’s objections [unnamed] and then forced the men to stand in front of the guardhouse for a day. Heisig and Hartung were also guarding them. As many as 650 invalids were gassed along with the two young Polish men whom Kowalski says were perfectly healthy (30). Kowalski was working on the road to Mauthausen at the time and Zeigler [sic] yelled at him for not covering up the bodies with blankets. Hartung left that afternoon on a truck carrying the dead bodies in the direction of Mauthausen. The Gusen crematorium could not handle all the dead bodies (31).
At the same time as the gassings, the block eldest and room eldest of Block 12, of which Hartung was block leader, also killed people (32). Heisig’s duties at the camp included deputy block leader, detail leader in the stone quarry, and finally a detail leader in the Messerschmidt factory (33). One afternoon before roll call in January of 1943 or February 1944 Kowalski saw Heisig, who was deputy detail leader of about 1500 to 2000 men in the stone quarry at Gusen (34), order cold water to be poured on 30-35 “already weakened” people and then ordered them loaded onto carts and thrown into the coal bunker at the guardhouse (33). These prisoners were still in civilian clothes, but a section of cloth had been cut out of the back and thigh and a piece of striped prisoner-uniform cloth was sewn in to identify them as inmates (34). Kowalski explains that Heisig ordered the dousing to be done in the “ordinary manner” (35), which is to say that water was poured on anyone who “had weakened so much that he would fall to the ground” (35). Few got up again. Sick or injured people stayed in one spot where the capos responsible for them could keep an eye on them. At roll call, they were taken on carts to the “stone bunker,” and from there they were taken in a larger cart into the camp (35).
Very few survived this sort of treatment, perhaps one in two hundred. “People at Gusen who were too weak to work or to run were brought into a block of invalids where they later on were gassed or killed or bathed-to-death” (36).
Breakfast was coffee. At mid-day prisoners received one liter to one and a half liters of soup. In the evening they were given one-third or one-quarter loaf of bread. Sometimes they received a small piece of sausage, a little margarine or a little piece of cheese. On Saturdays they were given a bit of jam and a spoonful of cottage cheese (80).
In 1940-41 prisoners dona
tedmoney for the canteen, for which they signed up during roll call. In 1943 and 1944 50 to 100 Reichmarks were taken out of prisoners pay for plates, spoons and forks. If Kowalski earned 60 RM a month, he was given five coupons. Kowalski reports that his wage varied from 30, 32, or 40 RM per month, and he was given 2 or 3 percent of those wages in coupons. No money could be sent home. He was occasionally given beets or “three potatoes” in addition to coupons (82).
Testimony of Gotthard Krause
Gotthard Krause, a forty-seven year old construction specialist working for Landrat, Neustadt Huardt was called as a witness for the defense (225). Before the war, he was convicted of high treason and served four years, from 1933 until 1937, in a penitentiary. After his release, he was taken in 1938 to Buchenwald, was transferred to Mauthausen in 1940 (226). He was at Gusen from late 1940 (225) to December 1943 (226) when he was transferred to Auschwitz. In January 1945, as the Russians advanced, he was again evacuated to Gusen II.
First placed on the “snow detail” at Gusen, he spent November and December 1940 and January 1941 “taking care of the transport of snow” (226) until he was made block clerk of Block 23, the “block of Spaniards” (227). He later moved to Block 2, where prisoners who had special duties in the camp, such as canteen duties or clerk duties, lived (231). In addition to being Block 2’s clerk, he was assigned to the mailroom. His assignment to the mailroom was unofficial, however. “The labor-service leader and the roll-call leader didn’t make any objections to this work of mine, but the camp commander wasn’t permitted to know about it because no prisoner was allowed to work in the mail room” (244). He remained there until summer 1943 when he went to work as a specialist on construction detail on sanitary installations outside the camp, work in which he had specialized as a civilian (231).
At the time he was clerk of Block 23, he says four thousand Spaniards arrived in Gusen I and they were “distributed over some of the blocks” (227). At the time, he estimates there were perhaps six or seven thousand prisoners in KZ Gusen I (227).
German Prisoners in Gusen I 1942
Krause estimates the number of German prisoners in Gusen in 1942 to be 600 to 800 out of a “total strength of 9000” (246).
Camp Hierarchy: Prisoners and SS
As block clerk, he kept up to date lists of prisoners, their religions, their work details and reported the causes of deaths as well as passed along slips about the food. “That means I had to take care of all clerical work which had to do with these prisoners in their relations to the camp commander” (227). “If a prisoner was lost, we filled out two slips which went to the camp office, and in our personal book which we kept in the block we entered behind the name, deceased, then and then” (269). Each prisoner contacted the block clerk about his rations, work detail, and need for hospitalization. If there were arguments or if a prisoner broke the rules or stole bread “we were a close community” (228) and “there were slaps handed out” (228). Krause affirms the defense council’s suggestion that “prisoners told the block clerks everything that came into their minds and hearts” (228).
As block clerk, Krause’s duties took him to the camp clerk’s office three times a day where he had “exclusive” (228) contact with the camp clerk and his assistants who were under the supervision of the roll-call leader (228-229). The Gusen death register was kept by Camp Clerk Nos. 1 and 2 (275).
Roll-call leaders were responsible to the first and second camp leaders. Krause agrees with the defense counsel that, in relationship to the camp commanders’ daily contacts, there was similarity between the roll-call leaders’ duties and the duties of the adjutant of a regimental colonel. Similarly, the second camp leaders could be considered the camp leaders’ adjutants along with the roll-call leaders, labor-service leaders and labor-commitment leaders (229).
SS Administration at KZ Gusen I
Ziereis was Camp Commander (240). Chmielewski was the Camp Leader until “around the change of 1941 and 1942” (230) when he was sent to Herzogen-Busch and replaced by Seidler who remained in command until Krause “returned in 1945. He was there until the end” (230). Krause reports that when he returned in January 1945, Chmielewski was there again “but not anymore as camp leader” (230). The Second Camp Leaders were Lowicz and Beck (230). Krause identifies SS Technical Sergeant Kiedermann, Damaschke [sic], Kluge, and Brust as the different Roll-call leaders and tentatively identifies Gross as one as well (229).
SS Guard Companies
There were four guard companies that were under the supervision of SS Lieutenant Colonel Obermayer, and the names of the officers in these guard companies are Schmutzler, Rismer, Vaessen, and Buler, although he also says they “changed in between” [object of preposition unclear] (234). In relation to furloughs given to guards, Krause is unsure who had the final decision. It might have been Obermayer or even Ziereis because he recalls several orders for furloughs or leaves arrived from Mauthausen (235).
Neither Obermayer or other guard leaders had much to do with prisoners in Krause’s memory (234).
“Real Camp,” “Large Camp,” Chain of Guards, and Work Details
Krause defines the “real camp” as the camp within the electric fence and the wall. He defines the “large camp” as including the SS barracks and the workshops. When prisoners were working in the quarry, a large “guardening detail” [sic] (236) or chain of guards was required. Thus, during the day, the SS barracks were surrounded by the chain of guards, but at night only the protective custody camp was surrounded by guards (236).
In the morning, prisoners would be on Roll-Call Square inside the protective custody camp. At the order “Work details fall out,” (236) the details would form and the labor service leader would be given a report of their “numerical strength” (237). After this, those who worked outside the guard chain left with a special guard detail (237). Those details working in the quarry, inside the “large guard chain” (237) left with only a detail leader and capo. The large guard chain would have formed “in front there” (237) and formed a column to march to their stations either along the “normal street” (237) through which a path had been made and to the right of which was a hilly area up which one could see them climb. After that, “the guard details moved in every direction, one to the right, one to the left, one to the back, and so on” sometimes through the quarry itself. (238). The guard companies alternated duties daily. One would take out prisoners to be watched by others stationed along the chain of guards and then remain on alert (239).
Krause reports that guards had little influence over prisoners. However, if a work detail “got a bad reputation through the camp commander and then special command details were organized with the dog detail, etc.” (238). This happened frequently and when it happened there were always a few dead bodies in the evenings (238).
Schuettauf and Prisoners
As Krause recalls, the prisoners never had any connection with the accused Schuettauf (238). Schuettauf had just one general reputation among the prisoners, that of General Belly. Krause testifies that Schuettauf did not have any influence on the work details as far as the carrying out of the work was concerned (239). He also goes on to say that he never heard the name Schuettauf in connection with any incidents of inmates getting worked to death (238) or in connection with the executions that took place in Gusen (242).
Krause does recall seeing Schuettauf within the protective custody camp in the morning when he would approach the desk of the labor-service leader to get instructions for the guard details.
Krause also recalls seeing Shuettauf within the protective custody camp when the entire administrative staff was present for executions. Krause witnessed six or seven such executions by shooting or hanging. On these occasions Ziereis would order the execution and the entire camp would be assembled (240) in the evenings and an announcement would be made about why the man was to be hanged (241). In regard to the hangings, these were carried out in the Roll-Call Place where an arm had been attached to one of the two electric light poles there. A rope was thrown over this arm (240). Krause gives the example of a Russian who had tried to escape. A table was carried by prisoners, a rope was placed on the table, and the man had to get on top of it. This was done in the presence of the entire camp and headquarters staff (241).
Krause witnessed two shootings and heard a few others. He states that six SS men carried out the shootings at Gusen between the two stone blocks, Nos. Six and Seven before which was a pile of gravel and bricks which were used to catch the bullets (241). He believes that it was probably the duty of the command leader to select the execution detail, and that this was an assignment of the guard company (242). Krause explains that the execution was witnessed by “the company leader, camp leaders and the command, the physician, and perhaps one or two people from headquarters staff which were interested in this business” (242). He recalls that SS Schmitt, Vaessen and Riemer were present at one time or the other. During the executions the neighboring barracks were evacuated and prisoners were not allowed to leave their blocks (242). Prisoners in the kitchen, the “so-called delousing institute” (243), and the quarry could still observe the executions and witnesses would discuss them with other prisoners for some days (243).
When an execution was going to take place, everyone in the camp knew about it. Such events were commonly discussed amongst the prisoners, along with the names of the SS men who participated, although Krause could not remember any of them. Krause says that the possibility to witness these shootings existed, first by personnel who had stayed behind in the kitchen, then by those in the delousing institute was quite close to the execution place. Furthermore, one could look into the execution place from the stone quarry Gusen (243).
Wilhelm Grill and the Mail Room
After getting moved from Block 23, the “Block of Spaniards,” to Block 2, Krause worked in the mailroom unofficially, in addition to being the block clerk. Krause was assigned to the mail room where he would work under SS Staff Sergeant Wilhelm Grill (244). Although Krause never became friendly with Grill (249), he does state that he got closer with him because of the close working area (244), but Krause does maintain that Grill was always the SS, and that he was always the prisoner (249).
Krause testifies that Grill was a member of the headquarters staff but was not close enough to the Camp Commander to be considered a member of the inner circle (244). He says on page 245 that Grill’s only duties involved the mailroom, but on page 277 he says that when Grill was “charge of quarters” he was “in the camp” and that he was “charge of quarters a few times” between 1941 and 1943.” Outside of the camp, Grill was working for the National Socialistic Welfare Organization (245) whose offices were opposite to the mailroom (278). Grill lived in the SS settlement, St. Georgen, about six kilometers from the camp (257). He was married and went home every evening (278).
Along with Krause and Grill in the mail room were the “so-called censors” (245). These were usually SS men who, on account of illness or some physical disability, were unable to go on duty in their companies. Prisoners were employed there as censors only when Krause was working: “I was a German, a Spaniard, Amadea Zinkervrell, a Pole, Marian Schiffzcyk, then the Pole, Edward Cynajek, then Stanislaw Nogaj, and then there was an Austrian employed, I don’t remember his name anymore (245).
Krause recalls that the camp’s postal guidelines and regulations for Gusen were established by SS Altfuldisch at Mauthausen (246). The instructions were brought to the knowledge of the prisoners by being “printed on each letterhead” (246). Also, block clerks and other block personnel gave this information to the new arrivals when they entered the camp (247).
Originally, the letters could be twelve lines long, the same number as lines on each page (247). But when the one or two censors (whom Grill assisted when he had time) had to censor 400 to 500 letters, the workload and accompanying “technical reasons” (247) necessitated Grill to order the “so-called short letter” (247) which Altfuldisch ordered at Mauthausen as well (251).
Prisoners were allowed to write two letters a month, and some prisoners tried to give hidden messages in their letters. These prisoners were punished directly with five to ten blows with a stick or just a few slaps to the face (248). If official reports were made of the violation of the general postal rules, the individual would receive twenty-five blows or would have been sent to the punishment company (248).
Krause himself testifies to being punished for handing out a letter to prisoner Rudi Meixner uncensored, a letter which Grill had seen already (249). Krause’s punishment for this was ten blows with a stick. This violation, in the understanding of the SS, might have involved the exchange of messages endangering the security of the camp would normally be punished by a transfer to a punishment detail after a report to the camp commander. However, Grill only reported him to Roll-Call Leader Brust. Grill, Brust and Reitloff decided that Krause would only receive ten blows with the stick (249) and that he could stay in the mail room after this event (250).
When asked how many packages the camp received, he states “I don’t know the exact number, but per month there were 1800 to 2000. Months around Christmas time, of course, we had more” (252).
Usually two SS men, SS Staff Sergeant Grill, or SS Corporal Reitloff, or SS Iffert and two inmates, handled the packages as soon as they arrived in camp (252). When packages arrived, if they were damaged prisoners entered the item in a special log in the presence of “of the woman who delivered the mail. The entries had to be made then because the Postal Office had to make good for insured packages” (275). Originally, the censoring was done in a room in the headquarters building, and then in a special room within the camp (253).
In 1942, the camp administration ordered that “a part of the contents of the packages had to be removed when the packages were censored and these contents were to be kept separately for special uses” (252). There was a limit as to quantity allowed per prisoner of certain items, but Krause says this rule was never adhered to (253). “The inmate would open the packages, the SS man checked the content of the package for forbidden articles, then the part to be removed was removed, and the other contents of the package returned to the package, and the package went to the mail room for distribution” (253) to the inmates after evening roll call by “either Grill, Reitloff, or Iffert from the mail room, and from the headquarters staff, either the camp leader himself, or the roll-call leader, or some person detailed for this duty” (253).
The items removed were distributed among prisoners who did not receive any packages or as “a premium for work” (254)) or for having been “especially industrious” (254). Krause states that the distribution of the removed items was done on order of Security Camp Leader SS Captain Chmielewski. This was done fairly without respect of the camp hierarchy, but allows that in some cases certain prisoners might have taken advantage of their position (253). He then states that Roll-Call Leader Killerman or Seidler might order the prominent people in the camp to receive extra food simply because they were favored, not because they did heavy labor (254). He himself received items from packages every evening because, the SS reasoned, it was better to give him and the other postal workers items than to have them steal them (278). Krause reports that it was possible prisoners saw packages of food being taken to the Jourhaus with mostly cigarettes and chocolates (274).
Krause recalls that there were cases of inmates believing Grill had ordered parts of their packages be removed and either kept, or given to other inmates, but these persons were then informed of their error (254). Along with articles getting removed to give to other inmates, there were some articles that were removed and were taken to the Jourhaus for the sole use of the SS (255). These were on some special order that had nothing to with Grill. These were incidents that just happened arbitrarily: a Block Leader would just come in and “organize” something (255). The block leaders had much more freedom of movement than Grill, who worked in the mail room all day, because block leaders could come as they pleased. In addition, block leaders could have punished the prisoners working in the mailroom if they had complained (272). On page 255, Krause says that Grill never enriched himself in that manner, but the inmates did complain to him about the removal of articles from their packages (255). On page 270, Krause says that he could not say if Grill did or did not take items for his personal use, but that if Grill did, it was not when Krause was present (270).
In Grill’s defense, Krause says that prisoners seeing packages of the deceased or packages that had been misaddressed and therefore were undeliverable carried from the mailroom assumed that these were packages intended for them (267). Red Cross packages were sent to the addressee, usually “Red Spaniards” (278).
Krause relates that he was a “prisoner buyer” when he was in the mailroom. In explaining how much power the block leaders had over prisoners, he says, “Another example of how I worked---for a time I was the camp buyer. If I had for example bought tobacco for the inmates and this tobacco wasn’t in my block, the block leader comes in and takes for himself two or three or even four packages, I couldn’t say anything about it though the packages would be missing because if he didn’t punish me immediately, the next day he would find fault with me and punish me for sure. I couldn’t possibly save myself” (272).
Chmielewski and Night Beatings
There were rumors of Chmielewski going through the prisoner billets between one and two o’clock at night. The name Grill was once mentioned in connection with these rumors. Krause states that it was possible that Grill might have had night duty in the Jourhaus, but if so, he would have then had to report to the mailroom the next morning as usual. He did not live in the SS barracks but in St. Georgen. Although he heard once from a block clerk that Grill had been involved in an episode with Chmielewski when prisoners’ barracks were entered at night, he could not remember which block clerk he had heard this from (257-58).
According to Krause, the first showers were constructed after the crematory in 1942. There is some misunderstanding as Krause seems to be saying at first that there were two “bath houses” (232), one uncovered “with only pipes installed, without a roof. The second one was constructed later on, and came then into a covered building” (232). Later, he clarifies this by saying “I am not talking about two adjacent barracks, but one was made out of the other. The picture is like that, the first bathroom was used as a foundation for the second. At first there was nothing but a cold water shower there, one large basin. Later it was made into a dressing room, a shower room, and a heating plant. Thereby being used as a foundation” (267-268). The water heater, installed in 1942, reduced the number of people who were murdered in the baths (279).
The open shower existed in 1941 and many prisoners met there deaths there (268). The bathhouse in 1942 began as a building without walls, then boards were put around it and still later it was covered (268). The covered bathhouse was a simple 15 or 16 meter-wide by 9 meter-long room without any of “the secret installations that perhaps existed in other camps” (233) by which he testifies that he meant “gassing installations” (233). People entered to undress through a double door and then went through a single door because “the people were always counted when they entered a room” (233). Looking in, one could only see the doors prisoners passed through in order to undress, not the inner room where they bathed (233). “Inside the bath house, there was a sort of basin formed with a depth of about sixty to eighty centimeters in the shower room. The drains could not drain the water as fast as the showers got the water in the room, and if a person fell down on the drain and stopped the drain, the water would rise quite high. If the persons were weak, they simply drowned in the water” (258).
Usually, when inmates in a block heard the orders “Fall out for bathing” (260), they would strip and then go to the bathhouse. No one led them to the bathhouse. “The healthy ones arrived there first, and the sick and weak ones stumbled behind and they were generally the ones who remained there.” If the SS personnel arrived to supervise, the inmates then knew what was going to happen because usually the inmates took the baths alone (260). The order to bath happened several times a week, and the number of “so-called baths” (261) happened so frequently that he could not give a number (261).
Krause tells that he learned of such events only hours afterwards because the inmates had to carry away the bodies and the block clerks had to go there to make the identification of the bodies (258). One evening in 1942 around nine or ten at night, Krause was in the dispensary and heard “quite a bit of hollering outside. To my question, what was going on there, I was told the SS are bathing inmates again” (258). At that time Krause was not a block clerk, as he was sick in the dispensary, but he maintains that all of the block clerks knew about these incidents because they had to identify and register the bodies that other inmates had taken from the showers. These incidents were generally talked about among the inmates (259).
Krause said he could not personally identify any of the defendants in this trial as having been involved in bathing-to-death and had never heard any of the defendants names mentioned in relation to bathing-to-death (261). Schmitt, Jungblut and Jentsch were mentioned as having participated, and Krause says he knew personally that Killerman was involved once (259). Krause also explains, “Jentsch was one of the persons in the camp who was a beater and liked to handle his ox tail whip” (260). He knew Damaschke was present, being the Roll-Call leader at the time (260).
Gassing of Russian POWs
Krause heard of gassings in Gusen but only remembered the time 132 Russians were gassed in Block 16. That night, Krause’s block was ordered to leave their clothes behind and go to sleep in another block (262), and then their block was gassed, something he recalls happening three times in all his experience in Gusen I. Later they heard that a physician had ordered Russian Block Number 16 to be “deloused” as well, by which he ironically meant gassed (262). That night, when he arrived at his temporary quarters, a “block in the twenties” (263), he heard that the Russians in Block 16, who were suffering from minor ailments, had been told they, too, would be deloused, but that they were to stay in place (263-264). “They were told that that if the gas would cause them to sneeze they should simply pull their blankets over their faces and that would stop” (264). The next morning at roll call 132 of them were announced to have died in Block 16. The only name Krause recalls connected to this was Dr. Kiesuwuetter (264), a Czech SS man whose last name had been Germanized who was camp doctor in 1942 (275).
Hartung, who lived with Schoenewolf in the SS non-commissioned officers home outside the camp, worked in the “telephone central” (265). He was not prohibited from entering the camp but, as far as Krause recalls, had no reason to enter it (265).
Jews at Gusen 1943
Krause testifies that there were Jews in Gusen in 1943 (265).
Americans at Gusen
Krause does not recall any Americans at Gusen I (266) and does not recall the name of Willi Tuttas (274)
Tandler and the Young Russians
Oscar Tandler was the block leader of the young Russians in Block 24. Krause recalls that Tandler was often called the Father of the Russians because “while he was very strict with the young Russians, he did try to educate them” (266). He would bring in the camp band to the block and teach the young Russians marching songs. Krause says, “It was surprising for us old persons who were never allowed to sing somewhat surprising to see these young Russians marching through the camp singing the German marching song, ‘Erika’” (266). Krause also reports that Tandler argued with Block Eldest Ernst Halle over Halle’s failure to properly carry out his duties and maybe even have reported Halle at one point (266). He does not recall hearing of an incident in which young Russians were shot, nor does he recall hearing an incident in which Hartung was said to have either beaten or drowned young Russians (266).
According to Krause, the first transport of Russians arrived in the end of 1941 and were put on stone quarry detail. Those that survived the stone quarry labor were later gassed by March or April of 1942. A sign was even placed on the barracks that read “Prisoners of War” (270-271). As a block clerk, Krause knew it was not out of the norm at Gusen to have six, seven, even ten deaths a night, but in Block 16, where Russians were held in the winter of 1941 and spring of 1942, 20, 25 or even 30 deaths a day was not unusual (270).
The delousings were an attempt to control fleas and insects in the barracks. Due to these fleas, spotted fever broke out in the camp in 1941, and Krause was infected himself in 1942. Altogether, 70 or 80 people died according to Krause, 8 of them Krause’s close friends (275). Once the heated water was available, deaths diminished because prisoners were more likely to wash. Before, they were “filthy and full of fleas and lice because nobody wanted to get under that cold water” (279).
Construction of Crematory 1942
According to Krause, there was no crematory at Gusen when he arrived there in 1940. Commander Ziereis ordered the construction of the crematory at Gusen (234) in 1942 (232) to burn the corpses of the people who had died on account of undernourishment because the crematory at Linz could no longer accommodate them (234).
Testimony of Anton Ledderstatter
Anton Ledderstatter, a German mason from Munich, was in Mauthausen and Gusen from August of 1940 until the liberation (219) because he was a Christian Scientist although “the Nazi special report says ‘for offenses against people and state’” (224). He worked in the administration buildings in St. Georgen and then in the carpentry shop in Gusen (220).
Ledderstatter recalls that at time Heisig was deputy detail leader of his detail [unclear if this is in St. Georgen or Gusen] (220), he saw him slap a prisoner and beat another with a stick badly but “he was not too bad” (221).
Ledderstatter recalls Schuettauf giving orders to the guards standing in front of the Jourhaus (221) outside of the camp. “We had a little fun about him standing there because we knew he had been a parson at one time” (221). He was known as General Bauch. Ledderstatter does not recall hearing him give orders to the guards nor if Schuettauf ever had anything to do with work details (221).
Ledderstatter once received three pictures in the mail which was against the rules, but was not punished by Grill (222).
Ledderstatter recalls that Jungjohann always carried a stick and personally witnessed him beat prisoners on several occasions (222)
On 25 July 1944 Ledderstatter saw seven American flyers shot down during an air raid on the Herman Goering works [in Linz]. An American major with shrapnel wounds in his stomach was interrogated by Seidler then taken not to the SS dispensary but to Dr. Vetter in the prisoner dispensary who also interrogated him. The American died several days later (222). He did not hear if any of the other American flyers were beaten (223).
Ledderstatter reports that he only knew Tandler as “the Father of the Russians” (223). Of the six defendants, he says that in comparison with other guards Ledderstatter thought they were generally tolerable. “It may be that some of these did somewhere something else that I or we do not know about but so far as is known to me, they were tolerable” (223). He declines to say that Grill was one of the worst and says he did not know Hartung closely. He does not recall any of them being nicknamed “the Beast” (223).
Testimony of Heinrich Lutterbach
Heinrich Lutterbach was a 38 year old German national from Munich. He is not sworn in as a witness but makes a statement instead (205). A Jehovah’s Witness (218), Lutterbach was an inmate of Gusen I from October 1941. He first worked in the stone quarry and then in the camp office (206) as a clerk (211). When he became ill in January 1942, he was transferred from the stone quarry office outside the camp to the administrative offices inside the camp (211).
Block 2 Main Office
The main offices of the Gusen I were in Barracks 2. “A small part of it was the office and then came the parcel distribution room and the rest of the barracks was taken up by living quarters for inmates” (211).
Lutterbach lived in Blocks 24, 1 and 3 (206). He first lived in Block 3, a stone quarry block, and then in Block 24 “where only young Russians lived” (12) although later Poles and Germans were added, and finally he lived in Block 1 (12). While the young Russians were originally spread over other blocks, eventually they were put in Block 24 where there were some Ukrainians and Poles, as well, who were put there because of their youth (212). Their ages ranged from 16-20, 21 or 22 (217). He reports that the Germans in Block 24 who were put in positions of authority over the other nationalities did not always treat them well. These Germans were also favored by the SS like Tandler, who was block leader, and Heisig (213). He knew Heisig as deputy block leader of Block 24, Tandler’s Block (208) and does not recall that he had a bad reputation in this block (209).
Lutterbach was a room eldest of Block 24 (216) but says that at Gusen, unlike other camps, the room eldest worked outside the block. The administration of the block was all done by the block eldest (217), in the case of Block 24, by a German a-social named Ernst Halle (217). Lutterbach also lived with the young Russians, and testified that he could say nothing against Tandler for his treatment of the young Russians (206-207) and that he was called “Father of the Young Russians.” Lutterbach, a musician, recalls teaching the young Russians songs which they sang on order of the camp administration (207). He taught them to sing different songs out of a song book at intervals over a period of months but could not remember which songs he taught them (213).
Grill and the Mail
Lutterbach also recalls that Ziereis “made known” on Roll-Call Square that inmates were not to get more than two days of food from their parcels (208).
Lutterbach testifies that most packages came into the camp unopened and were opened in the camp, but he does not know if the contents were given to the SS (214). Although he remembers Grill as an SS Master Sergeant, he has nothing to say against him (215).
Schuettauf and the Chain of Guards
He recalls that Schuettauf had the nickname “General Bauch” (209) and that he was in charge of the guards. There was an order that all SS but camp administrators, such as detail leaders and block leaders, were forbidden from entering the camp. Although these men also did guard duty at times outside the camp, they were directly under the “security camp headquarters” (210). Lutterbach seldom went on outside details himself and so could not testify as to Schuettauf’s treatment of prisoners, but said Schuettauf had a bad reputation in the camp (210). He believed Obermayer was Schuettauf’s superior over the guards (210-211).
He recalls SS Staff Sergeant Jungjohann as a block leader but has nothing to say against him. He also recalls SS Sergeant Hartung as a block leader and later the head of the camp’s fire brigade but cannot testify about his treatment of prisoners (216).
Gassings of Russian Prisoners-of-War
Lutterbach recalls hearing about gassings and beatings at Gusen I caused by the SS belief that prisoners should not live if they could not work. He also recalls a large transport of Russians arrived in the camp in November or December 1941. They were quarantined for “a while” (218) and then sent out to work after which a large number of them died. Tandler, because he spoke Russian, was block leader of this group. He recalls hearing that a number of them were concentrated into a block and gas canisters were thrown in, but he did not witness this himself (218).
Testimony of Eric Schuettauf
Eric Schuettauf, a 60-year-old technician, native of Dresden, Germany, finished technical school in Vienna at 18. He was a non-commissioned officer in the World War I. Between 1918 and 1933 he worked in steel and heating plants, before “becoming interested in the manufacture of chocolate”(287) and after 1920 he worked as a technical leader in one. He states, “The last 25 years I worked as a technician in a chocolate factory” (287). He was drafted in 1939 within 24 hours of the start of World War II, despite protests from the chocolate factory and his own concerns about his health (287-288). Prior to this, he says he never took part in any military training but belonged to a “motor company of the General SS” (288). At the age of 54, he was sent to a guard company at the Concentration Camp Flossenbuerg as an SS Tech Sergeant, where he remained until December 1941 (288-289). He was promoted to Second Lieutenant in April or May of 1940 when “the Reich’s leader” [sic] (289) visited Flossenbuerg and promoted him on the spot without ever having gone to officer’s training school (289). As a result of his complaints about his poor health, he says he was transferred to Mauthausen and then to Gusen I in December 1941 where he stayed with the exception of June-August 1944 when he was sent to Vienna (289) on the order of Ziereis (290) to “install a camp for Afa” (289) at Floridsdorf (290). There he supervised prisoners transferred from Schwechat [sic]. He had complained again about his health was examined for two days and declared unfit for work, but the diagnoses was ignored and he was transferred anyway (290).
He was commander of First Guard Company at Gusen I (290), later named 19th Guard Company (313). In November of 1943 or January of 1944 he was promoted to First Lieutenant. He performed the duties of officer of the day for a week, which included checking SS quarters and the SS guard details (311).
Duties of Guard Companies at Gusen I
The four Gusen SS guard companies were under SS Major Obermeier [sic]or his deputy SS First Lieutenant Mueller. Mueller was chosen as deputy by Ziereis, who didn’t like Schuettauf (291). The guard companies rotated responsibilities thus: One day, guard duty, then supply the chain of guards, then take charge of “out details” (291) or prisoner details who worked outside the chain of guards (291). The fourth day was for “training, sport” (291).
Prisoners in the quarry details (294) were accompanied only by their block leaders and capos because these worked within the chain of guards (295). Detail leaders and block leaders were subordinate to the commandant of the protective custody camp (296).
Enlisted men in the guard companies requested furloughs and leave from guard commanders who then passed the requests to Obermeier. Ziereis had the final say. They were signed either by Ziereis or Obermeier. They were never given to guards for killing prisoners. Guards were never given rewards for performing their duties to his knowledge (291).
Every day, the headquarters of the protective custody camp would request the guard company on duty that day to furnish details. The company Sergeant would place the request for an out-detail, for instance, on the bulletin board to notify the men (292). Schuettauf says that guards were only instructed about “the general order and the special order of the camp” (296) in the guards quarters where a prisoner could only overhear if he had sneaked in (296). The guards would assemble in their details in close formation and march down to the camp and wait a few steps from the entrance. If Schuettauf was on duty, he would take the “guard mount” (292) there. The guards would have been instructed the day before about any special orders (292). Once the chain of guards was closed, they would report to Schuettauf through their commissioned and non-commissioned officers that the last man had taken his post. Schuettauf would be told as much and then he in turn would tell the protective custody camp commander that the guard chain was standing and the guards for the out details were ready. Then the prisoners would march out, beginning with the quarry details (294) accompanied only by their block leaders and capos because these would work within the chain of guards. Schuettauf says his duties pertained only to the guards, not to the prisoner details or their work. He says he never visited the quarry to observe the prisoners’ work even out of curiosity. He denies having said that the prisoners were lazy criminals and says that even if he had said such a thing, he had no power over the detail leader, who could simply have told him, That is known of your business” (295).
At no time did he witness a beating that left 25 men dead. He instructed his guards never to talk to prisoners outside the line of duty and to keep a distance of six meters from prisoners. He sometimes found these orders were violated and he reprimanded the guards and brought it to the attention of the company commander. He had no knowledge of the bunker in the Jourhaus. Any prisoner taken to the bunker was taken there on order of the custody camp leader (296).
SS Officers at KZ Gusen I
While Schuettauf was commander of First Guard Company, the three SS officers Jungjohann (308,316), Heisig (308), and Grill (308) were all members of headquarters staff and were not a part of his company (316). Jungjohann had served in the company but was later transferred to headquarters staff after which time he had nothing to do with the company (316).
Protective Custody Camp and Guard Companies
Schuettauf never entered the protective custody camp (311). He was not allowed under any circumstances to enter it (312), nor did he have any contact with what went on inside the camp (313). He was only permitted to go as far as the gate where he received his guard slips (311). Guard details and guard posts had to walk on a path inside the fence outside electrically charged wire (312). Guards in the chain took their posts half an hour before prisoners arrived, were relieved by the second shift of guards only once at noon, and remained in place until all prisoners were accounted for during evening roll call (312). Schuettauf claims that this made contact with prisoners impossible (313).
Even as officer of the day, he only checked the SS quarters and SS guard details (311). The protective custody camp had its own officer of the day, who performed these duties within the camp (312).
The Beatings and Shooting
Schuettauf acknowledges that he saw beatings, but never a “brutal beating” (303). He might have seen Grill, Heisig, and Jungjohann beat prisoners on one occasion or another, but he cannot swear to it (303-304). He heard Grill’s name in relation to an incident in which he once beat a prisoner to the ground and another in which Grill supposedly threw prisoners out of their billeting. On page 305, Grill says that he made an earlier statement (Prosecution Exhibit P-15) having “a nervous breakdown one day” (305) after being kept in solitary confinement and then interrogated, but that he now says that he never saw this personally. He again retracts these statements regarding Grill, and Heisig, Jungjohann on page 308. He says the crowd was too big and there was too much commotion to recognize who was doing the beating (308). He denied giving orders to guards in front of “block house” (309). All orders were given in SS quarters (309). He never gave any instructions to the guard details during the day and never ordered guards to beat or mistreat prisoners in any way (309). He ordered them to stay away from the prisoners (310).
He said that guard posts around stone quarries could not have had time to beat prisoners. They arrived at their guard posts half hour before work details moved out of the camp and returned when all prisoners were accounted for at evening roll call in the protective custody camp (312). These guard posts were relieved once at noontime, while prisoners ate lunch, and once at forenoon (313). When the guards returned, the head of the detail reported to him (314).
He never received a report of brutality or shooting from a man in charge of guards (315). All out-details received their prisoners at the Jourhaus with a receipt for the number of prisoners (314). Details never returned with an injured or dead prisoner (314), and he never received a report of brutality or shooting from out-details (314). If these incidents occurred, it would have been reported to him. If shots were fired at a prisoner trying to escape, it had to be reported right away (315). Unusual events that affected work were only required to be reported to him if they occurred with guards (315).
While at Gusen I, he never saw Kowalski in camp. “His testimony is hair raising and absolutely impossible” (311).
Prisoners in Quarry and Chain of Guards
Schuettauf never had contact with prisoners in the quarries so he did not know about their working conditions. Generally, he could not see into the quarries from the areas where his duties took him. “The main worksite was in Hallam. And one couldn’t really look into the quarry. One quarry in Gusen one couldn’t watch from the big semi-circle in the road. It was covered. And the upper quarry, one couldn’t see it at all. And in the general quarry there was a big mix up. There were a lot of lorries there and a lot of stone cutting mills. One really couldn’t make out anything there. I could only see that from quite a distance when I inspected the guards” (302). He knew little about what happened inside the camp and only a little about the out-details because once they left the camp, they were in charge of the detail leaders (one to every ten prisoners) and capos (303).
Schuettauf never heard of large numbers of deaths in the camps because he did not have, nor could have, contact with what was going on in the camp (313). He could only go to the Jourhaus where the work lists were given out for the guards. Walking by the camp inspecting guards, he only saw prisoners loading [sic] or playing football (302). He only learned about the ways people were killed at Gusen when he was a prisoner at Dachau where the only charges made against him after three line-ups were that he had cursed prisoners, called them criminals, and prevented them from escaping by instructing the guards (297). He never saw bodies lying around the camp (314). He didn’t know why these people would be dying. Perhaps it was from undernourishment or sickness (313). He admits that some new comers and other prisoners looked undernourished, but others looked very well (313). Although guards on the chain of guards had to report to him if a prisoner tried to escape or was harmed, he never received such a report while he was at Gusen I (315).
As far as prisoner deaths on out-details, he says that out-detail guards were given a receipt for the number of prisoners they took to work and had to return the same number. In the years he was at Gusen, he never saw a prisoner returned beaten or dead. The guards would return the prisoners and say, “Guard Detail St. Georgen has returned.” If there was an accident or attempted escape, a report would have to be made to him, but he never received a report that a prisoner was shot or killed or harmed (314).
Schuettauf denied going into camp and carrying out executions (310). He knew nothing about executions unless he heard about them later from Riemer or Vaessen (297). His guard company never furnished men for this duty. He did hear about two or three executions by shooting and one hanging and thinks this might have been in 1943, but he cannot be sure (300). He says on page 301 that he cannot remember who told him of such things and says he might have heard about it in the officers’ club. He did not give the orders to shoot four or five Russians in June or July or the orders to execute seven young Poles in 1944. He was not in Gusen I at that time: he was in Vienna for a camp installation (310).
Deaths from Bathing and Gassing
Schuettauf knew nothing about bathing-to-death or gassing (310).
Shooting of American Flyers
The murder of parachuting American flyers was not reported to Schuettauf. He learned of it on his charge sheet the next day or in his interrogation in prison after the war (297). He was in Vienna (316) from June to August 1944, living at No. 16 Elizabeth Street, and was registered with the Viennese Police (297). When he was interrogated about the flyers, he still had his “Army paybook” [sic] (299) which would have given the exact dates, but it was taken from him. He was nevertheless sure he did not leave Vienna before August 1944 because he received his ration tickets there for all three months (299). He does recognize the interrogation sheet he filled out at Dachau on which he said that he was in Vienna from June to July 30th, 1944, but he notes that he put “approximately” because he was not sure of the actual dates. The interrogation is entered as Exhibit 14 and the translation as Exhibit 14A (300). If he had been there, it would have been reported to him. In fact, he probably would have seen it because an alarm would have gone off (316). He says that other prisoners have said that he was present when enemy planes landed (316).
SS Colonel Ziereis instructed that prisoners could only receive as much food as they could eat for one or two meals from their parcels, and the rest of the food was to be handed out to prisoners who worked very hard, had not received a package, or to juveniles (333).
Testimony of Stefan Szmura
A Polish national living in Lipstadt, Stefan Szmura was a prisoner in Gusen I from January 27, 1941, to May 4, 1945, where he worked in the Kastenhof and Gusen quarries (154), as a stone cutter from February 1941 to March 1944 (168), in a camp detail and finally in the Holzplatz Detail (154).
While working as a stonecutter, Szmura saw the capos lead the work details to the quarry and saw the detail leaders take the guards assigned to them (168). The labor-service officer “wrote the details’ cards, that is to say how many people were to be on that detail and who would lead it and the detail leader took that guard and went out to the detail with it; and those who took details out for some distance to work had a guard detail attached to them who read the cards and I don’t know how many guards he had with him” (169). From his workplace inside the halls he could not see if officers actually gave orders, but he reports that sometimes Himmler or other top SS visited and then prisoners would be driven to work even harder (169). In answer to a question from the defense about whether he ever saw guards in the area of the stone quarry, Szmura answered, “You could see them looking uphill on one side of the Kastenhoffen” [sic] (170).
Szmura could not see what route the guards took to the quarry in the morning because they were stationed before he arrived. But the evening was different. “After the evening roll call, they just went anywhere, wherever they pleased” (171). When they were relieved during the day, they would take the most expedient route, either around the quarry or over the rocks and through the quarry to pass by the buildings and bread store (171). On one such occasion, an SS slapped Szmura for failing to take off his cap (172).
Extermination and Labor
In the winter, many prisoners lost their lives in the sleet and snow and were carried back to camp. It looked like “a review of invalids” (169). They would sometimes be carried back to camp by other prisoners, one prisoner taking the legs, and sometimes taken back on a cart. At roll call, the invalids would not be able to stand but would be put on the ground in front of their blocks “...you would see them lying there, their shirts went up, their bodies would touch the bare ground and they would be lying there for an hour or more. There would be ten such invalids at least ten for every block” (170). In the winter of 1942 Russian prisoners would carry 50 dead bodies back to camp on sleds, and Chmielewski would laugh (170).
Grill and the Mail
Grill would only allow five lines to be written in letters containing the words, “I am healthy. I am well off. I receive packages also money. Regards to the parents and so on, your son” (155). Szmura assumes this was Grill’s decision because he recalls being able to write four pages every other week in Mauthausen, but says that they were limited to writing once a month (155, 161). The rules regarding how many lines one could write were posted in the barracks by the block clerks who said “it was ordered” (161) and that the order came “from the orderly room” (161). Those who attempted to write more had their letters returned and some were reported, which resulted in 25 lashes across the buttocks (155). Szmura was told that even the dying in the dispensary had to write that they were well and had received their packages (174).
Packages were censored in the SS residential barracks on the other side of the Jourhaus gate. Szmura was present on one occasion near Christmas 1942 when Szmura saw Grill, prisoners, and the kitchen capo in the barracks surrounded by oranges and food from the packages. Szmura was ordered to dispose of the waste paper from the packages (175) Grill also removed cigarettes, baloney and chocolates from packages (155). Bread and margarine from the packages were given to work details, but the more valuable contents were given to capos, the firemen and the block eldests (156).
The packages were opened in Block 2 inside the protective custody camp. Prisoners Sunajek, Nogaj, and Krause worked there. Krause was clerk of Block 2, then Block 3 before working in the post office (161), and he was also room or block elder in Block 4 (172). Krause also had an affair with one of the women in the brothel which cost him his position as clerk (162). “He organized all sorts of articles from parcels which came in and carried them to his woman in the brothel” (172). Although Szmura did not see his package being opened, he says he knows the contents because his mother had written to him about them and because he saw Grill “take away a loaf of bread and part of a bologna” (162).
Szmura was not aware of any rule that prisoners should only be allowed enough food for two days (162). First Sergeant Fuessel, Master Sergeant Reichert and Block Fuehrer Iffert were not involved in censoring the packages, according to Szmura, but only in distributing them (162). Fuessel was known for taking little from the packages (176). Chmielewski and Seidler also distributed packages. The mail was distributed in the evenings only (176).
Grill and Bathing-to-Death
Szmura also testifies that he knew Grill was involved in bathing invalids to death (156). One Sunday evening (163) he was in the dispensary in Block 21 and on his way back to Block 17, which was near the crematorium (163). As one left the dispensary, there was a gate between Blocks 27 and 28. Going along the road toward Roll-Call Square, facing the square, there was a bathroom to the right and a washroom for either Blocks 21 or 22 on the left (177) There was a pit, perhaps for refuse, between Blocks 31 and 24 (178). He passed the wash house and paused for a few minutes (163). Several capos were outside washing (179) and he looked in before being beaten with a stick and told to leave (163). Chmielewski (156) was present wearing a leather coat and a bent hat with a rim (179). Also present was the “at that time the roll-call leader, Gross, and then Seidler” (156). The SS were wearing green coats with darker velvet collars (179). Also present were the eldest from Block 32, the invalid block (156).
The meter wide double doors to the washroom were fixed at both sides to the ceiling and the floor with bolts. On this occasion they were both open (181) Inside the wash room water was standing to the depth of about one foot (179), red from the blood of prisoners (180). He said some of them yelled “Jesus” and “Maria” in Polish while others yelled out in Spanish. Grill, with an oxtail whip in hand, would order the prisoners “to fall down into the water and to get up and then to fall down” (156). Prisoners who tried to leave were beaten and forced to stand under “the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th shower heads and nobody was allowed to stand between the shower heads” (156). When asked what the cause of death was, Szmura says that these exhausted men were beaten and forced to stand in a cold shower in the winter of 1942 (156).
The following day, a Monday, as he was sweeping the street in front of the crematorium for a plate of food from the crematorium capo he recognized the corpses as those from the bathing episode the previous evening (163). He saw corpses with marks indicating they had been beaten (156). In addition to recognizing them the crematorium capo told him they were brought from the bathhouse (163)
Tandler and the Young Russians
While working as a stone sculptor, Szmura had occasion to observe Tandler’s treatment of the young Russians who worked first in Hall 3 and then Hall 2. One Sunday afternoon (157) in May or June of 1944 a young Russian escapee was brought back to camp by Ziereis. (156) Szmura was lined up outside of Block 3 for the evening roll call and saw from a distance of perhaps three or four meters (174) as Tandler, acting as an interpreter, struck the man on the face and asked him about the escape. When the young man would not reply, a wooden horse was brought in and Tandler, Ziereis, and Chmielewski “conducted the beating” (156) across the man’s bare buttocks (156). When the man did not respond, Ziereis took Tandler’s whip and beat the man himself, then ordered that he be taken to the crematorium and shot (156) which Tandler and Seidler promptly did (157). Ziereis then drove out of the camp with his son in the car. Later Russians who worked in the crematorium said that the prisoner was in fact shot (157, 164). Although Szmura did not see how the man died or if he died, he reports that anyone who attempted to escape was killed (164).
Szmura recalls Hartung as the work leader at Kastenhof Quarry as well as the leader of the firemen and driver of a truck within the camp (158).
Engineer Wolfram and Death of Willie Tuttas
In the winter of either 1943 or 1944 between Hall 1 and the blacksmith’s shop was a machine used to dig up sand which had a belt three-quarter to one centimeter thick all around it. One day the Capo Schimmel (perhaps not his real name 159) and Engineer Wolfram yelled that a piece had been cut out of this belt (158). Wolfram told Schimmel that if the perpetrator were not found he would “take up the whole spare time from noon and evening and have you exercise” (158). That afternoon Seidler, Hartung and Schimmel indicated the culprit was the American prisoner Willi Tuttas (159), a worker in the stone quarry. Hartung took him from the quarry (160), or from the “hole” (164) to “the bunker” where he starved to death after nine or ten days. The Polish stone cutter Kalemba told Szmura he had seen the corpse of the American in the crematorium with marks on his hands indicating that he had tried to eat his own flesh (160). Szmura could not say if Hartung had responsibility for the prisoner once he was in the bunker (164).
SS and Selections
Although Seidler was responsible for the administration of the camp, Szmura reports that “every SS man could kill a man and do whatever he wanted and was not responsible to Seidler or anybody else. The same goes for the Germans, the block elders, and the capos. They killed people and they were not responsible for it” (165). “It was quite simply the aim of the SS to kill as many people as possible. The SS would say either you are in good health and then you can work, or you are not well, in which case you must be removed. There were no sick people here” (181). At every roll call Chmielewski, Roll-Call Leader Brust or Yentzsch [sic], whom SS prisoners called “invalid welfare officer” would select prisoners thought to be too sick to work (183). Szmura recalls one Saturday afternoon in 1941 when perhaps 2000 or 2500 invalids were selected “to go special blocks” (182). Everyone was afraid of being selected, but on this occasion, even if an inmate looked well he would be made to run fifty meters back and forth “on the double” (182) and if he limped he would be selected. The entire administrative staff was present, including Grill, and the selection took the entire afternoon. “It looked like a horse sale, a sale of horses at the fair” (182).
Gaertner and Executions
Szmura recalls Gaertner, who was on the fire brigade, sometimes gave him food (165), but also says that he was always present at “executions, shootings and the black market” (166). On one occasion in 1944, as Szmura looked along the street passed Blocks 21 and 22 and past the crematorium, he saw men waiting between Blocks 17 and 18. Although he could not see the place where they were shot, he saw Gaertner lead them to that place one by one and then heard the shots. Seidler arrived for the execution on a motorcycle (167).
Szmura recalls the hanging of a Russian man who had tried to escape which he says all prisoners and SS “on the other side” witnessed (166) [It is not clear, however, if he is speaking of the “other side” of the courtroom or of the camp] “More I cannot say. I was standing in the back” (167)]
Testimony of Antoni Szulc
Antoni Szulc, a Polish 32 year-old treasury official, lived in Salzburg DP Camp 10 (184). In Gusen I from June 1, 1940, until May 5, 1945, he worked removing soil in the quarry, and then as a stone cutter for four years (184).
Schuettauf and Chain of Guards
He recalls Schuettauf, called General Bauch or General Belly by prisoners, in relation to the chain of guards (184). An SS guard stationed at Lungitz (186) named Patalas whom he knew before the war in Gaynia [or Goynia The word is almost unreadable in the copy] told Szulc that Schuettauf would tell all guards new to Gusen that all prisoners were criminals and most were under a death sentence. The prisoners, Schuettauf told the guards, were extremely dangerous and should have been shot, but under Hitler’s orders were brought to Gusen to be worked to death (185-186).
Murder of American Flyer
One evening around 7 pm in July or August 1944 Szulc was returning from Lungitz where he worked in the “messerchmitts” [sic] stores. The car in which he was riding stopped in front of the Jourhaus and he saw an American pilot with a bandaged head standing among several SS, including Schuettauf. Schuettauf beat the pilot and called him an “American dog” among other things, before the pilot was taken away out of Szulc’s site. Later a Polish medical student named Filipiak told him the pilot was dead (187).
Heisig and Bathing-to-Death
Szulc recalls seeing Heisig involved in bathing to death (187).
Jungjohann and Beatings
He recalls Jungjohann at the stone quarry, always looking in the window of the hall. Since prisoners were not supposed to cook potatoes, they kept the door closed with a hook, but one day Jungjohann knocked on the door. When Szulc opened the door, Jungjohann struck him in the face causing him to fall to the ground and then kicked the stove so the roasting potatoes would fall out. When a gypsy [sic] by the name of Toni admitted the potatoes were his, he received a beating with a spade handle from Jungjohann (188).
Exhibit P-8 and P8-A are admitted, the testimony of French prisoner Captain Louis Bousell (189)
Exhibit P-9, the interrogation and translation into English of Polish prisoner Miecyslaw Jaroszewicz (190)
[Here the prosecution explains that they did not seek to call Jaroszewicz as a witness because the number of witnesses they could call was limited and they were not allowed to call corroborating witnesses or witnesses that might duplicate testimony. They must submit a list of essential witnesses and are not allowed more. So the prosecution called those witnesses who could testify against as many of the accused as possible] 190-191
Exhibit P-10 and P-10A German testimony and English translation of Heinrich Glowacki (193).
Exhibit P-11 Interrogation of Heinrich Glowacki and translation (195).
Exhibit P-12 and P-12A Testimony of Ludwig Neumeier, a German national (197). Later withdrawn (198).
Exhibit P-13 and P-13A, testimony of Dusan Teodoronic is admitted (199).
Tandler and Gusen III
Tony Szulc testifies that he first met Tandler in August 1944 when Tandler was demoted from his position as detail leader of the young Russians to detail leader at Lungitz or Gusen III (201). Not all of the 300 Gusen III inmates worked at the “messerschmitts shop” [sic] 205. There was also a bakery under construction. SS Sergeant Mak was in charge of Gusen III (205).
In Gusen III Tandler was in charge of the detail which worked in the Messerscmhitt factory depot in a former brick factory (204). The demotion was a result of Tandler’s order to the capos to stop beating the young Russians. As a result Seidler interrogated and then demoted him (201) and continued to check up on him at Lungitz. Tandler was afraid of Seidler as a result and often asked prisoners to make sure everything was in order because he expected to be checked frequently. Szulc gives another example of Tandler’s good character when, in 1945, it was announced the Poles could leave Gusen if they would join the German Army. No one from Tandler’s detail volunteered. When the detail began receiving half portions of food as a result, Tandler took Szulc and Paproski, another inmate, to discuss the matter with the block eldest [number of block not given], slapped the block eldest for shorting the detail on food. After this incident, the normal portion of food was received (202). Szulc testifies that Tandler’s reputation in Gusen I was generally good (204, 205).
Szulc also heard of Tandler being called “Grandfather” by the young Russians (202), although he never witnessed the treatment of the young Russians directly he does remember them singing as they left camp (203).
Testimony of Oskar Tandler
Oskar Tandler, a 57 year old weaver (395) was born in Lodz, Poland. By the time he moved in 1904, at the age of fourteen, he spoke “perfect Polish” (408). A Sergeant in the First World War, Tandler was a prisoner of war from 1916-1918 (395, 408). He tells the court he was treated “very well” by the Russians when he was a prisoner of war (429) and learned Russian at that time (408). After his discharge from service, he returned to his occupation. In 1920 he published an invention for his business (395-396).
Tandler joined the NSDAP March 1, 1937. He denies any involvement in the SA or SS before the war but explains that because of his knowledge of Polish and Russian which he revealed in “muster meetings” (396) before the war started in 1939, he was drafted into the SS Oranienburg Sachsenhausen, Berlin, July 20, 1940 (396). He remained at Oranienburg for only one day and was transferred to Mauthausen. He arrived at Mauthausen on the 22 or 23 of July and remained there for only eight days. Because of his previous experience, he received weapons training before being sent to Gusen I on August 3, 1940 (397). When asked what his rank was, he stated “At that time it didn’t matter at all whether one were a non-commissioned officer or an officer candidate, one had to do duty as a guard” (398) He was reinstated to the rank of Sergeant on February 12, 1941, and did guard duty in the First Guard Company outside the camp. For the most part he was used as a messenger because of his age. Guards were instructed to keep prisoners from escaping and to not beat prisoners (398). As long as he was on guard duty, he never saw a prisoner beaten (399). He was transferred to the headquarters staff in the beginning or middle of June 1941 where he reported to Camp Commandant Chmielewski (399). Tandler received all his orders from Chmielewski (423). He also was an interpreter for all of Gusen I (402). In March or April 1942 he became detail leader in the “industrial yard” (403). Some of his details included the breeding of angora rabbits, charge over all construction materials, and charge over the cabinetmakers’ shop (403). Then in June or July 1942 he was put in charge of “the Young Russians” (403). He became a block leader in July 1942 (416).
Tandler is asked a series of questions about statements he made in an earlier interrogation:
Asked if he recalled saying in the earlier interrogation (416) that he was a block leader “from the end of 1941 until November 1943” (417). Tandler explained, “That has to be understood in this way, that one could be used at all times as a block leader as well as an interpreter or as a detail leader” (418).
In the earlier interrogation, directly after this answer, Tandler had explained his duties as block leader. “I had to look after the welfare of the inmates, to see that there was cleanliness and discipline in the blocks over which I had charge, that the inmates got their food distributed in the right manner and that there was discipline among them” (418). Tandler, during this trial, says that he had only meant to explain the general duties of a block leader when he had answered this earlier question about his own duties as a block leader (418).
In the earlier interrogation, he had then been asked, “As block leader, where you in charge of other inmates?” His answer had been, “Yes, in the block I was in charge of there were only Russian inmates. They were under my orders and I had to take care of their food supply and see that they were clean” (418). Tandler, in the present trial, says that he does not recall having made this statement: “Not in this sense” (418).
He was unaware that he was referred to as the “Ukrainian” (429).
Chmielewski and His Group
SS Captain Chmielewski was in charge of Gusen I until he (Chmielewski) left sometime in 1942. Tandler got to know Chmielewski’s group, (399) “the officers in the immediate vicinity of Chmielewski’s office” (400), Tech Sergeant Gross, Kluge, Fassler, Jentzsch, Dameshke, and Brust, the latter “one of the quietest men I have ever gotten to know as a role-call leader” (399). Jenstzsch was in the SS office, the right-hand man of Chmielewski. Gross and Kluge were labor-commitment leaders. Brust and Damaschke were roll call-leaders about whom Tandler says, “I do not include them in the group around Chmielewski” (399). Chmielewski’s group consumed large quantities of alcohol which led to violent behavior. Under the influence they would break everything in the non-commissioned officer’s club (400). Chmielewski’s group consisted of only active SS men (401).
Chmielewski gave Tandler the Detail Well Construction Weihe [sic] “approximately from the beginning to the middle of November 1941” (401) which he completed either at the beginning or the middle of 1941 (402).
Duties of Interpreter
After the Detail Well Construction ended Chmielewski made Tandler the interpreter of Polish and Russian for all of Gusen I (402). Tandler had to interpret for the Political Department in inheritance cases, criminal investigations, and divorce cases. His main interpretation work was for work details. He had to tell inmates how to use their tools and tell them what work had to be done [presumably in Polish](402) until the Russians arrived, and then he was translator for the Russian block and for the work details (403).
Tandler told the court that he never saw Grill with Chmielewski’s group. He testifies that the only time he saw Grill was when he went to the post office. Grill went home after work. Tandler also testifies that he rarely saw Grill at the non-commissioned officers club and does not remember with whom Grill associated. If he was in the non-commissioned officer’s club, it was only to drink a beer and then “disappear again” (401). On cross-examination, Tandler tells the court he only heard about Grill (425). He testifies that he heard prisoners cursing about the censoring of the mail, and he relates a time he saw a Pole reading his mail that had been censored (425). In his interrogation, he admits to hearing prisoners cursing Grill about the way he beat them, but in cross-examination he denies it (426).
In June or July of 1942, approximately 300-400 young Russians came from Mauthausen and were put in Block 24. SS Technical Sergeant Kluge was in charge of the block for three or four weeks until he was given the job of labor commitment leader (404). Initially just the interpreter for the young Russians, Tandler took charge of the young Russian block from “the end of June, the beginning of July 1942, until May, 1944 with the exception of the time from November, 1943 until March, 1944, during which time I was sick” (404) (416). He characterized his relationship with the young Russians as “a father to his family.” This characterization was given to him not by the Russians but by his “SS buddies” (404). He told the court that when the young Russians marched to work, they sang. At first they sang German and Russian songs, but SS Captain Chmielewski forbade them to sing any Russian songs (405).
According to Tandler the young Russians’ average day went thus: A half hour after roll call they were marched, singing, to their place of work where Tandler handed them over to an SS man, a skilled worker, under whose tutelage they worked as apprentices to become stone cutters (405). The Young Russians worked shorter days than the older inmates. They worked a half an hour after roll call and they returned a half an hour earlier (405). Tandler gives the court a description of a Wednesday afternoon: “On Wednesday afternoon I drilled them in marching while they were singing or did athletics, and on Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock I went with them to a movie” (405). Saturday afternoon they were “altogether free” (405). Tandler tells the court that he enjoyed marching with “the boys” (405) and that they enjoyed it as well (405). He denies that, as Pedro Gomez testified, he used singing and marching as a form of punishment which killed many (431). He tells the court that he knows they enjoyed it because after he had received the orders from Chmielewski that the Russians had to sing (405), several inmates who spoke German (ten to twenty) offered to write the German words in Russian so that others would be able to sing (406).
No relationships were built between young Russians and the older Russians because they were prohibited from going into the prisoner-of-war blocks. The young Russians did not wear striped uniforms. “They were clothed in captured Belgium uniforms, trousers, jackets, overcoats, and caps” (406).
He told the court that none of the young Russians from Block 24 were ever executed (404). As to the charge that one Sunday afternoon in summer 1944 (414) he, Seidler, and Ziereis beat a young Russian prisoner who had tried to escape, then kicked him and drowned him three times in a barrel (413) before taking him to the crematorium to be shot, Tandler says this never happened, and that if it had happened during roll call, as reported, the whole camp would have witnessed it. He says that in the summer of 1944 he worked as detail leader in Lungitz at the airplane manufacturing detail, but also says that on a Sunday afternoon, all prisoners would say “during noon roll call on Sunday all prisoners are in camp” (414).
He also denies Pedro Gomez’ testimony that prisoners contracted tuberculosis as a result of hard labor. Tandler states that the young Russians would receive an extra meal because of their hard work as they were supposed to, contradicting Gomez’ testimony. He also contradicts Gomez’ testimony that the block leader would steal the young Russians “regular meal” (431).
Russian Prisoners-of War (POW)
Tandler says he never beat a Russian POW (415).
The Russian POWs arrived at Gusen I at the end of September or beginning of October 1941 (416). For the first four to six weeks, they were put into “quarantine” (419) and then sent out into work details at the beginning of December, mostly to the stone quarries to be used as stone cutters (419). They were in Blocks 13, 14, 15 and 16, which became known as the “Russian Camp” (406). Tech Sergeant Knockl was in charge of the Russian Blocks. “Block leader and detail leader in the stone quarry were SS Staff Sergeant Becker and SS Kuehtreier” (408). Later, Smernov, a Russian and former captain of the Cossacks was added as a block leader and also served as interpreter in the camp when Tandler was with outside details (408). The Russian blocks were fenced off from the rest of the camp and there was wire going around the fence. There was a guard posted and no one was allowed to enter. The only persons allowed to enter the blocks were Russian block leaders and Tandler, but only in his function as interpreter (406). Tandler tells the court that he had no administrative position or authority within the Russian camp (406). Other than for interpretation, the only time Tandler came to the camp was when one of the block leaders wasn’t present or to supervise food distribution (407). He denies ever being block leader in the Russian camp even after a witness of his, Lutterbach, told the court he was (422). He tells the court that it was understandable for the prisoners to think he was a block leader, as anyone on duty may have seemed like a block leader to them. He relates that even some SS officers thought he was a block leader, but he insists that he was never block leader in the true sense of its meaning (423).
Tandler says that he never heard anything about the gassing of Russians in Block 16 or other crimes while in the camp, although “Lately I have heard a lot of stories about it” (408). He denies ever having heard, as Kowalski testified, of the gassing of 156 Russians or ever having stood near Jentzsch in the camp, or with Jentzsch, Seidler, Brust or Slupinski while Slupinski wore a Tyrolean outfit. He does remember one evening when Block Leader Knockl told the block eldests that prisoners had to clear the barracks the next morning because their barracks had to be disinfected and that gas would be used (409). When gas was used for “disinfection,” he says that the windows and doors of Blocks 13, 14, 15, and 16 were sealed with paper strips. He didn’t see this done, but he saw the paper strips later (410).
According to Tandler the Russians were infested with vermin when they arrived (410). Daily checks were made to see if they were infested. If the infestations were not too bad their clothes were taken to a disinfection installation “solely for the delousing and disinfection of clothes” (411). He says that the first time he recalls a gassing for the purposes of getting rid of vermin was 1941 (411) in the summer (412) when the fleas were so bad “not only the inmates’ camp but also the SS barracks and the industrial yards were infected. The whole camp was done over because the plague was so bad one only had to walk on the street and be beset with fleas” (411-412). Individual barracks were gassed again in 1942 and 1943 but not the entire camp (412).
Tandler again stated he has no recollection of the gassing of Russian POWs in Barracks 16 and says that he did not observe, on being asked, if those administering the disinfection of barracks wore gas masks (412).
He tells the court that when the Russian prisoners arrived “from a front collection camp” (410), they were badly undernourished (410, 429). They used to pick up garbage, such as old potato peels and carrots (419), and put them in their pockets for later consumption (411, 419). Tandler’s “attention had been called” (411) to this, and he himself saw how they filled their pockets with garbage to bring back into the camp and that they ate “this garbage without cleaning it first and that they ate quite a quantity of it while outside the camp and ate quite some quantity of it while inside the camp, that their pockets were literally filled with this garbage. I made them empty their pockets and told them that they not only made themselves sick by eating this stuff but also endangered the health of the entire camp” (411). Tandler says the Russians’ eating of garbage was the cause of the typhoid epidemic in January 1942 (419).
Kamienski had testified that while the Russians were in quarantine they were only given half a ration and that is why they would eat garbage (432-433). Tandler denies Kamienski’s testimony that some of them ate manure (433).
“Freezing” of the Russians
The worst deaths came in January 1942. Tandler tells the court that no one gave consideration to the fact that the prisoners were weak and undernourished. Everyone had to work whether they were able to or not. Tandler describes January 1942 as being a “hard winter” (419). He goes on to testify “during the month of January a few hundred of them were brought back from the stone quarry frozen to death or nearly frozen to death. For this reason out of my own initiative several times I went to the camp commander Chmielewski. He told me: ‘That is none of your business. Take care of your own affairs”’ (419). Work was stopped at the end of January when the number of deaths increased (420).
Tandler states that he was never a detail leader in the work details of Gusen I and so had nothing to do with the prisoners being taken to work or the manner in which they were loaded onto cars (420). Staff Sergeant Becker and Kuehtreier were the detail leaders and block leaders in the stone quarry (408).
Tandler denies Krause’s testimony in which he (Krause) states that those Russians who survived the winter were gassed in the spring (421). Tandler also denies defense witness Lutterbach’s testimony that Tandler was a block leader in the Russian camp when many Russian’s died (422). Tandler explains that he was an interpreter for the Russian block, that he got his orders directly from Chmielewski, and so both SS and prisoners mistakenly thought he was a block leader because he was one of the few allowed in the POW camp. “Neither SS nor prisoner if they had no assignment were allowed inside the camp. No, for this reason they were unable to know and to find out what I was doing in this camp” (432).
Tandler also denies (433) Kamienski’s testimony that Tandler beat the Russian POWs and kicked them with his feet when they did not understand his poorly translated orders on their first day of work in January 1942, and that by March 1942 almost all of them had died (432).
Deaths at Gusen
During the middle of December 1942 a large number of inmates died (419). The most deaths at Gusen occurred during the fall of 1941 and winter and spring of 1942 (433).
Tandler does recall hearing about bathings-to-death while at Gusen. He did not witness these incidents and cannot estimate how many died, but he did hear about it often (433).
Tandler states, “Invalids were given baths and many of them died on account of it” (433). According to Tandler Chmielewski and his group were responsible for administering these baths at night after consuming large quantities of alcohol, and that they were known for doing other things [unspecified] as well (434). He goes on to say, “I never saw anything like that, and I wouldn’t have let them do it if I had seen them” (434).
Tandler recalls that a Russian was brought down from Mauthausen in either 1941 or 1942, but says that he witnessed this Russian’s execution as a spectator (424). In an earlier interrogation, he had said he never saw an execution but only heard about them (425).
Tattoos and Soap
Tandler says that he never saw any tattooed skin being dried or heard about soap being made from human beings. He calls these stories “fairy tales” (432).
Sources: Jan-Ruth Mills, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona KZ Gusen Memorial Committee Digital Archive Project