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Number of pages: 32
Reference number: 1656/3/8/233
Catalogue ID: 105745
Subject: Medical crimesSlave labourRescue
Summary:

Original title: Bericht aus der Verfolgungszeit.

Recorded by: Dr. H. G. Adler

Original form and contents: Personal report of a young girl, born in 1927, from the Protestant Secondary School In Budapest. _ Prosecution began with the German occupation of Hungary, on the 19th March, 1944. Restrictions. Yellow Star (p.1,4) The “Avokatenliste” called the author’s father, together with abt. 300 solicitors and lawyers, to the internment camp Rökszilad utca, then to Magdolna utca, Horthyliget(Csepel), Kecskemt and lastly a camp unknown, probably Auschwitz; no survivor. Moving Into a “Jewish house“(June, 1944). Forced labour (throwing up entrenchments) at Ujpest, super - vised by Hungarian “Pfeilkr euzler“ most primitive youngsters (p.5). Marched to Austrian frontier; several people sent back to Budapest, as “Schutzpaesse“ arrived for them from foreign legations (p.6). On the frontier, the transport was taken over by SS; seven days’ journey of the men to Buchenwald, of the women on to Ravensbrueck; arrival 21st Nov. 1944 (p.7). Description in detail of the camp, holding abt.60.000 at the time (p.8-12). -”Blockaelteste” and assistants mostly antisemitic Polish women, but also wicked Slovak Jewesses. - Ill-famed gynaecological experiments. By lorry through burning Berlin (5th Dec.1944) to BENZ-DAIM- LER FLUGZEUGMOT0RENWERKE, GENSHAGEN, Kreis Teltow (p.ll-20). Among 1000 foreign women abt. 80 Jewesses, treated in a friendly way Supervisors SS women. Very long working hours. - Anti-Nazis among German workmen (p.17). - Increasing difficulties of the Works from February, 1945 (p.17-19). Transfer to camp Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen; ghastly experience of the Jewish women (p.20,21) and their transport back to RAVENSBRUECK; here the crematorium had been destroyed an hour earlier. Situation improved. - Red Cross parcels. - Evacuation on the 28th April, 1945 under escort of SS who shot at the German soldiers throwing chocolates and cigarettes to the prisoners passing by (p.23). On the 30th April, escape near MIROW (p.23-25). Freedom under RUSSIANS who proved very helpful (p.25-28). Adventurous journey to Budapest, partly on foot(p.27-29). Quarantine in Berlin because of typhoid fever (p.27). Arrival at home on the 2nd June; back to school, for a fortnight.

Number of pages: 10
Reference number: 1656/3/8/367
Catalogue ID: 105785
Subject: Riga (ghetto)Stutthof (concentration camp)Terezin (ghetto)
Summary:

Mrs Valk and her husband were arrested on 10 December 1941 at Goch and deported to the Riga Ghetto. The men were soon taken to Salaspils where most of them perished. In the ghetto, Jews exchanged clothes against food provided by the Latvians; this transaction was punishable by death. Amongst the SS officers who carried out executions were Krause, Roschmann and Gimmlich. During the night, Latvian SS guards raped women and children in the ghetto. In February 1942, 1,500 elderly persons were deported from the ghetto; they ended in prepared mass graves in the forest.

Mrs Valk did various kinds of forced labour under horrible conditions. In August 1944 both Mr and Mrs Valk were brought by sea to Stutthof concentration camp, where inmates again suffered physical violence thirst and hunger. Afer 5 weeks Mrs Valk was detailed for work on the railway lines at Bromberg. “Reichsbahninspektor” Ballhorn and the female SS guard Gerda Hesper from Essen, are mentioned for their cruelty. In January 1945, the Russian army approached and the death march of concentration camp inmates began. Out of 1,300 women only 40 survived and arrived at Falkenburg, where Mrs Valk escaped. She made her way to Pommerania and pretended to be a German “OstflÜchtling”. She was, therefore, well fed and clothed. Finally she crossed the Elbe and reached the American army.

Mr Valk had been seperated from his wife at Stutthof; he went to Buchenwald and Theresienstadt. They met again in their native town of Gogh. Their child perished in Belsen or Auschwitz.

Number of pages: 2
Reference number: 1656/3/8/381
Catalogue ID: 105790
Subject: Mixed marriageTerezin (ghetto)Children
Summary:

Some vague recollections of Theresienstadt by Gerda Siegel (born 1940), most probably the child of a half-Jewess married to a Jew, who was taken to Theresienstadt when she was three years old. She describes her life there, where she found a “K.Z. Omi” [Camp 'Granny'] who took care of her and hid the child for about a year in a cellar in order to protect her from one of the “transports” to Auschwitz.

Number of pages: 40
Reference number: 1656/3/8/382
Catalogue ID: 105791
Subject: ChildrenKindertransportLublin-Majdanek (concentration and ex...
Summary:

This is a remarkable story told by an outstanding personality who seems to combine courage, intelligence and the gift of leadership to an unusual degree.

Mr Weichselbaum emigrated from Frankfurt am Main to Belgium towards the end of 1938; he was then 16 years of age. After considerable difficulties, he made his way via Dunkirk, Antwerp and Lille to Paris. He passed the final school examinations and, furnished with false identity papers, began to study medicine. Discovered, he fled to the south of France. At Limoges he founded a youth organisation which sent food parcels to Jewish concentration camp inmates; he also made contact with the Resistance. In August 1942, on the point of being arrested, he managed to escape together with all the fourteen young people under his care. At Lyon he worked for the Resistance, getting Jewish children across to Switzerland. (p.1-5). Again he was compelled to flee, became a 'Rabbi for young people' in the Jewish Resistance in the south of France, and joined the French Maquis (p.6).

When after the Italian capitulation the Germans began to occupy the whole of France, Weichselbaum, in the uniform of a French Army Captain, succeeded to obtain six lorries at the Italian Headquarters at Abbeville; these lorries were used as transport for escaping Jews (p.7).

Weichselbaum became a leader of the Maquis. In the disguise of a French Volunteer for the Waffen-SS, he managed to save 9 Jews from arrest, when the SS ordered the arrest of all Jews (p.10).

In September 1943 Weichselbaum was arrested by the Germans and after heavy torture confessed to being a Jew (p.11). He was deported to Birkenau concentration camp, where he was again maltreated. He then worked as a railway worker near Krakow, was then taken to Majdanek concentration camp, where the new arrivals were sadistically exposed to the winter frost, and when he returned to Birkenau he saw his mother, father and two sisters being dispatched for the gas chambers (p.12).

Between periods of extreme hunger there were short periods during which Weichselbaum, at the danger of his life, took part in the black market in foodstuff. He was able to provide his third sister with some food shortly before she, too, was gassed (p.17).

When about 15 coaches with children under 7 years arrived, SS-men killed the children in a horrible manner and afterwards shot the prisoners who had watched the scene (p.19). Another time Weichselbaum observed SS-men first raping, then shooting women and children (p.23).

Weichselbaum became a male nurse, and in the absence of the doctor had to operate on boils. When the paper dressing did not stay quite clean, the patients were beaten on their wounds (p.24)

In April 1944 Weichselbaum together with 20 other male nurses was taken to the concentration camp at Tannhausen near Waldenburg in Silesia. He contracted pneumonia, but had to continue work without being cured (p.27). In January 1945 the Death March, i.e. the flight from the approaching Russian armies commenced; after three weeks only 40 out of 400 prisoners survived. On 9 May the commandant and the SS left the camp and the Russians took over (p.30).

Weichselbaum remained in order to look after the burial of the dead and the necessary medical care for the many sick.

Number of pages: 10
Reference number: 1656/3/8/441
Catalogue ID: 105806
Subject: CrematoriumsHealthEscapees
Summary:

The personal report of a young girl who was deported from Stettin to Poland. Stating many details she describes the unbelievable sufferings she has witnessed and gone through herself in twelve camps. Before crematoriums were built, people were suffocated in disinfecting stoves (p.2). “Aktion”: the shooting of 29,650 Jewish men and women at Majdanek from 6am to 9pm, on 30 November 1943 (p.4). 100,000 people were marched to Gross-Rosen through the cold of January 1945 for eight days; the way was shown through thousands of corpses lying on both sides on the road; no food; then they continued the journey by train for another week without food; finally, there were fifty dead in each wagon. And for the next fortnight they had to live under circumstances which made the women kill each other (p.5-6). Typhoid fever (p.5-6).

Together with six boys and three girls, the author succeeded to rescue fifty sick internees from being burnt by the Nazis at the approach of the Americans. Three cyclists pretending to belong to the American Red Cross, followed by others with machine guns (p.7-8); definitive escape. youth transport to Switzerland.

Number of pages: 11
Reference number: 1656/3/8/665
Catalogue ID: 105890
Subject: ResistanceAuschwitz-Birkenau (concentration and...Austrian
Summary:

A report by Mrs Sussman, an Austrian Jewess, who had been living in Paris with her husband, an artist, since 1937. After the outbreak of war both were interned. They were not supplied with gas masks by the French as they also considered Austrian Jews as their enemies. When the Germans approached Paris the Sussman's marched together with about 2 millions French people into the so called “Free Zone”.

In 1942 Mr and Mrs Sussman decided to return behind the demarcation line in order to work against the Germans (Resistance). Seven times their identity papers had to be changed but in the end they were handed over to the Germans by the “Special Brigade” collaborating with the latter. Mr and Mrs Sussman were taken to the military prison at Fresnes. For two months Mrs Sussman was there in solitary confinement in her sixth month of pregnancy, but excluded from the care of the Red Cross. Thereafter she came to the reception camp Drancy.

In 1944 she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Nightmare transport in cattle trucks with a notice board: “8 Horses or 40 Persons” but they were about 120 in each. Mrs Sussman describes her arrival at Auschwitz and the already well-known conditions there.

All pregnant women were ordered to register ”in order to obtain a daily supply of 1/4 pint of milk”. Mrs Sussman was warned by a Polish doctor not to do so and thereupon she warned also the other pregnant women. But when almost starved one of them did register. For 3 days she received the milk whereupon the other women - with the exception of Mrs Sussman - registered too. They were all called for and never seen again. When Mrs Sussman, as a punishment, had to carry a very heavy sewing machine without help she gave premature birth to her child, a little boy, in a corner of a hut, covered with filthy rugs infected with Dysentery Bacilli. She screamed only once but this brought Dr. Mengele to her block who took the child from her and threw it in the open fire. Then a Polish doctor took her - at her own risk - to the hospital hut.

In Auschwitz Mrs Sussman became a kind of philosopher. She did not expect her co-prisoners there to behave like human beings anymore and even did not blame the nurses who stole the sick rations of their patients. On the other hand she speaks with the greatest admiration of the exceptions, the few heroic people who risked their lives in order to save others. Her fellow prisoners were women from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Greece, Austria, and Soviet Russia. She observed that none of them spoke of a future, they were all deeply concerned with the past.

After 3 months in Auschwitz, Mrs Sussman was transferred to the concentration camp Kratzau near Reichenberg-Zittau, affiliated to the Gross-Rosen camp.

Addendum :

     1) On her and her husband's Illegal Work in France : They produced and distributed illegal literature.

     2) On her pregnancy at Auschwitz : It was not conspicuous as almost every woman, because of malnutrition, had a swollen stomach.

     3) On sabotage in an SS armament factory in Kratzau : She pretended to be a good technician and succeeded, together with a Hungarian girl, in damaging the precision, mashine to such an extent that it did not work any more.

     4) On her husband's survival : He was already selected for the gas chambers when a SS-officer called for someone able to design Christmas cards and when he said he could was given back to life.

Number of pages: 7
Reference number: 1656/3/8/793
Catalogue ID: 105945
Subject: ResistanceDeath marchesRavensbrück (concentration camp)
Summary:

This report deals with a little-known extermination camp, the “Jugendlager Uckermark”. In January 1945 the authoress, Mrs Breinin of Vienna, who spent a year at Auschwitz-Birkenau had to join the death march of thousands of women to Gross-Rosen, from where they were transported in cattle trucks to Ravensbruck. She was then sent as “Lagerlaeuferin” to the so-called “youth” camp Uckermark. It turned out that this youth-camp was an extermination camp, especially for old, sick and weak women, were still, in the middle of February 1945, about 6,000 people were either gassed or poisoned, also healthy women, women of many different nationalities and of all ages.

Number of pages: 13
Reference number: 1656/3/8/823
Catalogue ID: 105961
Subject: ChildrenKindertransportDeportations
Summary:

Mrs Sternberg-Sitte is a Christian and emigrated to Amsterdam in 1933 with Mr Sternberg-Sitte, a Jewish lawyer from Berlin. The Nuremberg laws prohibited a legal marriage. At first the couple lived precariously, he as a taxi-driver, she as a dressmaker. Later, Mr Sternberg-Sitte had an agency for groceries. After the German invasion, Mr Sternberg-Sitte ostensibly left their flat and lived illegally as an “onderduiker”. In September 1942 they were denounced and arrested and taken to the Amsteveensche Weg prison. Mr Sternberg-Sitte was sent to Amersfort camp and later gassed in Auschwitz (p.2). Mrs Sternberg-Sitte remained in prison until 1943. Conditions there were tolerable, although the cells were badly overcrowded. She was then put on a transport of prisoners which stopped at the prisons of Scheveningen, Cleve, Utrecht, Düsseldorf, Hannover and Berlin, collecting prisoners of all types and nationalities, finally to end in Ravensbrück. There were approximately 50,000 prisoners in Ravensbrück, both political and criminal.

The account goes into the details of the appalling conditions there, describing the organisation in the various blocks (p.4), the insufficient food and clothing (p.5), the brutal treatment under the command of supervisor Binz ( p.5) and the atrocities and penalties for the least lapse (p.5-7). There were three brothels in the camp (p.7-8) whose inmates had preferential treatment, but if they became ill they were gassed. Pregnant women had to submit to abortions, and if a child was born, the prisoners killed it and considered this an act of humanity. Of two smaller camps nearby, one was turned into an extermination camp, and of the 4,000 women sent there only 30 survived (p.8).

The women were allocated to various “commandos“ and Mrs Sternberg-Sitte got into the group working for Siemens. This entailed various privileges e.g. an extra ration of bread - “Siemensbrot”- and housing in special blocks (p.7). In March 1945 Siemens no longer had work for the prisoners, and they returned to the general camp. In April 1945 the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg prisoners had to report to the “Volkssturm”, the SS having disappeared, and were told by some Swedes arriving at the camp that they were free. When lorries arrived to fetch them, they took other prisoners as well, and Mrs Sternberg-Sitte was one of them. They were first taken to the International Red Cross centre in Lübeck and from there on a hazardous journey (p.10) with frequent air attacks and breakdowns via Bremen, Kiel and Hamburg to Flensburg, and after a short stop at the Danish frontier town of Padborg they went to Malmö in Sweden. From here Mrs Sternberg-Sitte was later repatriated to Holland.

Number of pages: 12
Reference number: 1656/3/8/912
Catalogue ID: 106008
Subject: AntisemitismHealthKapo
Summary:

When the Tiso regime in Slovakia introduced anti-Jewish laws, Bleich and his brother had to leave high school and attend a Jewish school. Their father’s business was aryanized. On 7 April 1942 Bleich, then aged 17, and his younger brother were arrested by the Hlinka Guard and were sent to Poprad and from there to Auschwitz. The account reports particularly vividly and with many details the unspeakable horrors of that camp. At first Bleich was allocated to road work, later to the building of the crematorium and the Buna works. Atrocities, suicides of the prisoners and murders by the Kapo were daily occurrances. When prisoners, Bleich among them, reported sick, they were given fatal injections or sent to the extermination block 7. Miraculously, Bleich was spared, although twice the lorries to take the victims to the gas chambers, halted in front of the block. Due to starvation and excessive work Bleich became one of the Muselmänner.

His brother Eugen also eventually came to Block 7, and after some time Bleich was told that all the inmates had been gassed. Caused by utter lack of sanitation and vermin, typhoid and boils spread and killed hundreds. When the epidemics endangered also the SS. extensive delousing operations were carried out, but the interminable roll-calls and inspections gave renewed chances for brutalities. In 1943 Bleich was ordered to peel potatoes. As he ate the raw peels, he contracted dysentery and skin diseases and lost this coveted job. He was sent back to building work and collapsed.

In March 1943 he accidentally met a friend, Meyer Mittelmann, who worked in the “Canada” Commando, and due to the energetic efforts of this man and despite many obstacles, Bleich was given medical care, some food and eventually a job in Mittelmann's commando, where he worked until August 1943 and enjoyed the various advantages involved. During that time with the Aufräumunskommando Bleich recalls the arrival of 2 transports: all the 3,000 prisoners of one were suffocated, while the 1,200 prisoners of the second were gassed immediately. Finally B. could not stand the handling of corpses any longer, and in August 1943 he volunteered for work in Warsaw on the site of the old ghetto. During their work, prisoners found hundreds of corpses, but also quantities of goods and valuables.

When the Russians approached, the camp was evacuated, the ill and weak prisoners were shot, the others had to march in the summer heat without water, and the SS shot anyone trying to quench his thirst. In Silesia they were crammed into cattle trucks; many of the prisoners went almost mad with thirst. Dachau was in a state of liquidation, the prisoners stayed there only for 2 weeks and proceeded to Ampfing. They worked on an underground factory and lived in underground huts. When Germany collapsed, an order was given to shoot all inmates, but the commandant of Ampfing did not obey this order and send the prisoners on yet another transport which led them to the liberating American army. After short periods in Munich under American care, at his home town and in the DP Camp Feldafing, Bleich married and emigrated to Australia.

Number of pages: 1
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1021c
Catalogue ID: 106213
Subject: HealthDeath marchesChildren
Summary:

The author was deported from Hamburg to Riga/Jungfernhof on 7 December 1941, together with his wife, 7-months-old child and his parents. The Camp-Commandant was Unterscharfuehrer SS and SD Rudolf Seck. After a few days the camp contained about 5,600 persons. They were crammed into dilapidated stables with no protection from the cold (30-35° Celsius below 0). A special squad had to pull out the corpses of those who were found frozen to death in the mornings; they were piled up in the yard. Seck tried to have them burned, which did not succeed, so 700 were buried in a mass-grave.

At regular inspections Seck took those too feeble to rise from their bunks, outside to have them “bumped off”. The sick quarters were evacuated regularly: the sick were thrown into lorries and taken away to be killed. At roll call Seck made selections of elderly people to be taken away and killed. He boasted of having killed around 5,000 Jews.

On 26 March 1942, Aktion Duenamuende was carried out by Seck and numbers transported to their death. The people in the transport had been told that they were being sent to work at Duenamuende, hence the name.

The author lost his entire family at Jungfernhof in one or the other of the described ways. He reports of savage beatings of men and women on their bare buttocks in front of the assembled crew, carried out by Seck with a cane, until they fainted.

Number of pages: 4
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1030j
Catalogue ID: 106240
Subject: Mass killingsRiga-Kaiserwald (concentration camp)Riga (ghetto)
Summary:

A voluntary statement by Max Gymnich in his own defence. He was born in Cologne and was a driver by trade. In June 1940 he was conscripted and became driver to the Gestapo. Four weeks before the attack in Russia, he was sent to the police school in Pretsch/Elbe, from there to Schawli in Latvia and finally to Riga. He became the driver of Obersturmführer Krause, the Commandant of the Riga Ghetto.

Gymnich denies any responsibility for, or participation in the innumerable crimes committed there. He states that he had never beaten or shot a Jew, on the contrary,he had been punished with imprisonment for his kindness to Jews. He also denies any knowledge of the conditions in Kaiserwald or the mass murders of “Dünamünde”. He admits that on orders by Krause he inspected flats in the Ghetto “for cleanliness”. He believes that he was denounced by “the only Jew he knew by name”, Marx of Cologne, because he had to wear SS uniform.

He cites the following persons as witnesses for his innocence: Hauptscharführer Georg Ogiermann, Oberscharführer Fritz Luedecke, Hauptsturmführer Ziegler, Sturmbannführer Azeis, Oberscharführer Heinz Cords, Hauptscharführer Harry Frielrichsohn.

Number of pages: 11
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1059
Catalogue ID: 106263
Subject: RescueHealthChildren
Summary:

Mrs Laszlo was a schoolgirl of thirteen when the German Nazis occupied her native town. The report describes the two ghettoes in Debreczen and her deportation in May 1944 (p.3-4) to Auschwitz, however the train which carried the girl and her family instead took the deportees to Vienna. The children - between 7 and 13 years old - had to clear the bomb-sites in the suburbs. They were always hungry, but sometimes non-Jews helped them to an additional ration, another time they helped to find their way back to the Camp when they got lost in the streets. Others hid them after a bomb hit the school in which they were interned (p.5-6). The children always lived in abandoned school-buildings and occasionally had to sweep the snow off the street around others.

Epidemics; transport (p.7-8), during which a disastrous attack ruined a station at Vienna; the survivors were taken back to the Camp, which was abandoned by the guards the next morning. Vivid description of the days that followed and the way home, partly covered on foot.

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