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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.

Number of pages: 5
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1066
Catalogue ID: 106267
Subject: Death marchesBuchenwald (concentration camp)Sachsenhausen (concentration camp)
Summary:

Mr Larsch, a house-painter by profession but out of work at the time, was an active socialist. On 3 November 1933, he was arrested at Bielfeld and sentenced to penal servitude for three years. On 19 May 1935, his wife, mother of four children, was arrested at Essen; ill-treated by detective Schweim (later interned at Recklinghausen); sent to hospital, transferred to Düsseldorf, where she died on 29 May 1935; her smallest child was then three year old.

After his release from jail, Mr Larsch was interned at the police station at Düsseldorf, then sent to Buchenwald. Sadistic atrocities committed by Sommer (sentenced at Munich, 1958).

Free from 26 April 1939 until September 1939; from that time to the end of the War at Sachsenhausen. Foreman in brickyard. April 1945, most efficient bombing of a foundry: 300 dead, all of them prisoners - the free workmen could rush into safety. SS-Lagerführer Freesemann killed an officer who had bailed out of a plane. Ficke, Commander of “Totenkopfdivision.”

Evacuation and death march, April 1945. Destination was the Baltic Sea, where the prisoners should have been embarked and drowned. This was prevented by the quick arrival of the Allies, but many of the exhausted prisoners died on the march.

Number of pages: 10
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1077
Catalogue ID: 106273
Subject: AntisemitismChildrenJudenrat
Summary:

After the German occupation of Lodz in September 1939, anti-Jewish measures started immediately. Author lived with her mother and brother and sister; they were driven from their home in January 1940 and taken to Krakow. Hoping to save their possessions, author walked back to Lodz, but found everything seized by the Germans. She found a miserable, small room and was joined by her family in March 1940. When the Lodz Ghetto was set up in May, Lasmann's could remain in this room, as it was within the ghetto boundaries. Food became very scarce, as only those registered for labour had ration cards. The morale was extremely bad. The SS undertook frequent Aktionen, and author's mother had a narrow escape. Her brother was captured, but author succeeded in getting him released. Being trained as a secretary, she found work in the food office, but in addition she had to do hard, manual labour.

She joined the Resistance movement, and her office work enabled her to translate and type radio messages for distribution. Due to famine and overcrowding epidemics broke out. The sister was taken to the hospital and author, disguised, as a nurse, tried to save her from extermination, but all the patients had already been taken away. At the request of the SS., Jewish militia men had to select people for extermination. The victims were thrown into ditches and killed with quick lime. Sonderkommandos of the militia had to round-up children and hand them to the SS. for killing. Author reports the case of Mrs Leon Naymann who had hidden her two children and had to decide whether to save her husband who was taken as a hostage or surrender one of the children. She sacrificed the child, but the whole family perished later. At the end of 1944 Lodz Ghetto was liquidated. Its survivors, author and her family among them, were taken to Auschwitz. During the selection of the young and fit on arrival, a Jewish prisoner, attracted by the author's personality, saved her mother from death.

The women were then driven into a bathhouse, stripped, shaved and given dreadful rags for clothing. They were housed in horse stables, five to a bunk. The man, who had taken a liking to the author, continued his importunities until he was caught trying to enter the women's camp C and killed. In 1944 the author's mother died from Starvation. Later on, 200 girls were taken to work in an ammunition plant in Oederan near Chemnitz. Although the conditions were better, work was hard. The author tried to sabotage their work but was warned by an overseer who disclosed his anti-Nazi feelings to her. At the end of April 1945, with battle noise approaching, the factory was evacuated. 500 women under SS guard had to march for 2 days and travel for 8 days in coal lorries without food and water, until they arrived at Theresienstadt, already taken over by the Swiss Red Cross.

After the liberation, the author returned to Lodz. Here she learned that her brother, having been liberated from Auschwitz, died from over-eating. Another brother who had escaped before the Germans entered Lodz and joined the Polish Army under General Anders was in Italy and helped her to emigrate to Australia. She arrived there in 1948 and later married Paul Konewka.

Number of pages: 9
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1119
Catalogue ID: 106291
Subject: DeportationsDeath marchesResistance
Summary:

The authoress was the only child of a well-off manufacturer in Vienna. In 1935 under the influence of the political situation, he moved with his family to Krakow, where he owned another factory. They lived in a most comfortable flat and the daughter studied philology, German and English. She reports here on the situation in Poland of the Jews, after the German army had occupied Poland.

In 1940 they were in Cracow (p.1, 3), in 1941 the Czknstochow Ghetto. This report includes details on Gestapo-chief Degenhard, the deportation to Treblinka of the older people (p.2), forced labour and ill-treatment for the remaining thousand by German SS, Ukrainians and Latvians (p.2-3). The authoress escaped together with her husband to “Nutzjuden” working outside the Ghetto, from there to Warsaw. Details forged documents and a job with the German “Ost Energie A.G.“. After several months of living with the family of a Polish army-officer (belonging, then unknown to them, to the Resistance Movement), everybody living in and arriving at the house was arrested and put in irons (p.4). Then, the men were taken to prison (Montelupe) and later back to the Ghetto, where the intellectuals were shot. The authoress whose husband was a doctor, never saw him again (p.4-5).

The women had to spend two months at Helclow after which all prisoners were transported to Auschwitz. Non-Jews helping Jews: an SS-official, like the authoress a grammar-school mistress, and a lady-doctor, interned as a Resistance-member, helped her to get a job with the Commando “Bauleitung“, where she worked for two years for the Chief, Sturmbannführer Bischof who proved to be human and helpful (p.6); their ‘Model Block’shown to Swedish Control Commission, in 1944; another model block was the ‘Experimental Block’ with lady-doctor Brewda, now London, and Dr. Fleck, his wife and child - the only child at Auschwitz - who returned back to Paris (p.6).

On 17 January 1945 she was evacuated and sent on a two-week death march to the Jiell of Ravensbrück. In February, she was transferred to nearby Malchow labour camp. Liberated on 9 April 1945 (p.6), the march back to Poland.

Since 1946 the author has been working with the Polish embassy in London. She has remarried and had a child; when she was called back to Poland; she left her job and stayed in England.

Number of pages: 8
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1127
Catalogue ID: 106293
Subject: ChildrenDeportationsEscapees
Summary:

A report on ill-treatment of the worst kind, atrocities, horrible conditions of life in camps and during transports; mass-murders. Also includes information on the author's deportation from Frankfurt am Main to Minsk where he arrived in 22 November 1941; unbelievably bad conditions; vermin (p.1, 4, 6). The Robert Ley-House (p.1). Wehrmacht and SS (p.1). When a gun was found at the Loot-Commando, left there by Russian workmen, every seventh of the Jewish detainees was shot including a former reserve officer who held both Iron Crosses.

High death-rate because of starvation (p.2, 6, 8) and mass-murder (p.2-5). Unteroffizier Peter Greven late of Cologne, saved the lives of five men of the Heeresbaudienst Stelle on occasion of the massacre of 60 internees. In July 1942, 8,000 Jews were murdered during one Aktion (p.2). Heeresverpflecmagazin: Oberzahlmeister Heinrich (p.2-3) ordered the Yellow Star not to be worn in the Office, his successor did not object, but Oberscharführer Rübe (on 13 March 1943) had the 12 girls and 4 women of the Office led to the cemetery by sixteen Russians to be shot there, including the author's twenty-year-old daughter, his only child. On 26 May 1943, Gestapo-men shot dead every living being at the sick-bay, patients, nurses, children and visitors alike. On this occasion, the author lost his wife who had fallen ill when she learned of her young daughter's fate.

In September 1943, all bachelors and girls were taken to the SS-labour camp in Minsk; the married people and children were never heard of again. In vans said to be transporting 120 men each to the labour-places, the passengers were being killed by burnt gas (p.3).

The author was transferred to the Heinkel-Flugzeugwerke in Budztn, Poland (p.3-4). Ill-treatment by the German foremen; wretched conditions of life; vermin and epidemics (p.4). Loudspeakers recording music during the mass-murder of twenty thousand Jews, on 23 November 1943 (p.4). At Heinkels’ at Milec, a Hauptwachtmeister, late of a police-station at Frankfurt am Main, shot the Baracken-Älteste Zimmermann, because he found the place not clean enough; he was also responsible for cruel punishments and atrocities.

In July 1944, the author was transported to Welicka and in September was sent on a horrible transport to Mauthausen (p.4-6) which turned out to be worse than any of the dreadful places before. Doing incredibly heavy work in the quarry, rushed and beaten up constantly. Mass-murders. After three months, he was transported to the Hermann-Goring Works at the Camp of Linz of about two thousand men. Cruel ill-treatment. Public execution of three Russians who had tried to escape. Air-raid; a bomb killing 110 detainees at Block 13 (p.5). Starvation (p.6); frost; vermin. On 5 May 1945, the author was liberated by the Americans. The Spanish Legion. The Hermann-Goring-Lazarett (p.6).

Number of pages: 6
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1156
Catalogue ID: 106298
Subject: Concentration campsDenunciationsKapo
Summary:

The author lived in Vienna as a partner and manager of the Austrian Fleischverwertungsgesellschaft (Import and export of meat). When the Nazis came, he lost his job immediately and, some wekes later, was arrested and detained in a school-building, Karajangasse, together with many other Jews, until 1 June,1938, when they - about three thousand - were sent from the Westbahnhof to München; they were horribly ill-treated, and twelve of thern died on the journey (p.2).

At Dachau, the author met some decent and even benevolent people among the SS (p.2-3); he stresses also the decency of two camp-doctors, Dr. Wohlrat and Dr. Bader, whilst the doctor-in-chief would behave beastly as well as all the other SS-men; cruel punishments; informing Blockälteste, especially Dr. Ziffer who was slain by some detainees, after the transfer to Buchenwald (p.3-4). At Buchenwald, conditions were most dreadful - typhoid fever (p.4).

The author who already at Dachau had been a patient at the sick-bay was taken to Sachsenhausen, where the camp-doctor was rightly feared as a devil. Constant bribes for Blockälteste and Kapos, corruptible and informers all of them (p.4).

When his wife sent him a sham-visa for Argentina, procured by the friendly Consul General at Vienna, the author was released and came via Italy to England (p.5).

Number of pages: 16
Reference number: 1656/3/8/1159
Catalogue ID: 106299
Subject: Anti-NazisChildrenDenunciations
Summary:

Mrs Ehrenberg lived with her first husband, an engineer holding a French diploma, Schlama Goldstein, and their little daughter (born 1938) in comfortable circumstances at Lodz, Poland (p.1, 10, 11, 13). Together with innumerable others, they fled from the approaching Germans in September 1933. The situation on the main road proved to be chaotic; she went back to Lodz through burning villages, under the fire of German planes shooting recklessly down at the fleeing people (p.1). Terror at Rawa-Mazowiezka; hostages (p.2); a pastor (Volksdeutscher) ordered the murdering to be stopped. After the occupation of Warsaw, the author's husband and brother returned to Lodz, too, but as the oppression was getting worse, fled to Bialystok (p.3-9), a Polish town, belonging to Russia at the time. When, in February 1940, the author's family had to move into the Ghetto Lodz she pretended to be a Polish Aryan and tried to join her husband with her little child (who soon died there) at Bialystok, occupied by the German troops since June 1941. Although she enjoyed the help of several people, the dangers of her illegal life finally proved too much for her nerves, and she went to live in the Ghetto, in August 1943. Dreams coming true (p.5-6, 9-10, 12). In view of the pending liquidation, her husband insisted that she left the Ghetto, and she used her Aryan document to get released; as she was leaving, the SS-officer who was guilty of the murder and [illegible]JÄ misery of innumerable human beings, gave her a kitten to save its life (p.6).

She then made several - interesting - attempts to rescue her husband (p.7), but could not save him from the worst. At last she was denounced by an informer, Czeslaw Bielilo (p.7, 13) and imprisoned at Bialystok, as, since November 1943, Jews who had escaped from the Ghetto were no longer shot dead on the spot, where they were discovered, but had to be taken to an annihilation camp.

Horrible transport to KZ Stutthof near Danzig. Selected and sent to Auschwitz (p.9-11). There she was an eye-witness of all kind of horrors and atrocities. With the aid of a Polish detainee, she would succeed to hide and rescue Jewish girls from the selections (p.11).

In October 1944, transfer to Bergen-Belsen (p.12-13). Typhoid. She would see Irma Gresse repeatedly but never saw her ill-treating a detainee (p.12). Liberation, on 15 April 1945. Visit to Lodz; of her large family only one aunt had survived.

At Konstanz, Bodensee (p.13), she made the acquaintance of Mr Hajim Ehrenberg, a survivor of Treblinka, whose wife and children had perished. She got married to him, in December 1946, and with the help of the Joint, they emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, in 1949, where they are both working successfully, after a son was born to them, in 1950. (p.13,14).

Number of pages: 48
Reference number: 1656/3/9/66
Catalogue ID: 106325
Subject: RescueChildren
Summary:

The author was a Landgerichtsrat in Danzig (p.1-6). In 1933 he was compelled to renounce his high position at the Court and had to go into retirement on “his free will”, in 1937, receiving a small indemnity for the loss of his pension (p.3). He wanted to emigrate to the USA, but an official of the consulate had been bribed so that he lost his opportunity. After trying in vain to get an entrance visa to other countries, the author and his wife succeeded in getting a tourist visa to Italy for four months. Italians as well as Danzig authorities proved helpful (p.4-6).

The only opportunity left to emigrate from Italy was to go to Central or South America which the author wanted to avoid as too many refugees had been robbed by the respective go-betweens (p.8).

In the summer 1940, there was a tansport of several hundred male refugees to Campagna near Eboli. Women and elderly couples were evacuated to Potenza (p.11-12). In both camps the refugees were permitted to live in private quarters. The author was transferred to the small camp of Tortoreto (province Teramo) which had a very unpleasant commander.

He was reunited with his wife in the large internment camp of Ferramonti - Tarsia near Cosenza. 1,500-2,000 prisoners behind barbed wire; self-government; the author’s wife became a teacher in the school for 100 children. The author himself was the leading judge in two weekly Judicial Sessions. Eager activities in various trades; a remarkable synagogue; 90 doctors and dentists doing good service; excellent musical performances, lectures, etc. (p.13-18).

Transfer to Picinisco near Cassino (p.18-34), where a remarkable part of the population had earned a fortune in England manufacturing ice-cream. Pleasant life in a beautiful villa of an absent Englishman; certain restrictions, unpleasant political official (p.20, 23, 33). The author underwent an operation in a nearby hospital where a Jewish prisoner was the chief doctor and his wife the chemist. Increasing difficulties to get food, i.e. the most necessary quantity. In 1943, the Germans began to collect Jewish refugees and to send them to Germany.

From October 1943, life in a small cave in the mountains near Fonteduno for 12 weeks, during which food was provided for the whole party by the author’s wife under the most difficult and dangerous circumstances (p.26-31).

On 28 December 1943 the couple journeyed back to Picinisco, where the German troops were behaving rather decently. Yellow Star. The interpreter at the Ortskommandantur gave them legal identity cards for a journey to Rome and later told them that he was a former Jewish prisoner of Ferramonti. On 6 January 1944, he warned them to flee the same night. German military drivers gave them a lift and one advised them to stay at Isola Liri, but the place and their nice room was bombed out already on the following morning. Lifts to Rome (p.36-44).

Signor Chierichietti gave them a room in Via Vittorio Veneto, the most beautiful street in Rome, where they stayed for 2½ years next to the German Generalkommando and the lodgings of the Commanding General, a district protected by specially strict measures. They got documents through the Red Cross, and through the most helpful and courageous Mr Levy, ration cards and orders for weekly payments. Convents provided soup and bread. When a lorry was blown up by a bomb, raids took place and 241 arrested were shot dead (p.40).

In June 1944 the last German troops left and the first Americans entered Rome. They were hailed enthusiastically and many refugees who had not dared to leave their houses for months went out into the streets to welcome them. The author’s wife found her mother in a dreadful state, as a beggar, in rags, living on refuse of vegetables in a half-rotten stable. She recovered in the camp of Cinecitta from where she emigrated to Mexico (p.42-43). Help through Joint and UNRRA. The USA offered all Jewish refugees free immigration, a year’s stay in the camp of Ontario and then complete freedom. About 900 accepted (p. 44). The author and his wife left for England in September 1946 where they joined their children after seven years of separation.

Number of pages: 21
Reference number: 1656/3/9/375
Catalogue ID: 106390
Subject: Star of DavidChildren
Creator: Rothschild, Ernst Franz Josef
Witness: Rothschild, Ernst Franz Josef
Summary:

Mr Rothschild, born 1930 in Hamburg, emigrated with his parents to Antwerp. In 1940 all Jews there were forced to leave their flats, and Mr Rothschild went to Loewen, where he attended school until spring 1942.

When the Association Des Juifs De Belgique distributed the socalled “Labour Demand Notes“to the Jews, Mr Rothschild's mother, two brothers and several other relatives reported for work. They were deported and all of them perished. Mr Rothschild, with his Jewish nurse, went to an aunt, who managed to obtain a Haitian passport and pretended that Mr Rothschild was her child. They reported for internment in a camp for enemy aliens, and in June 1944 they were taken to Vittel near Nancy where they stayed until liberation.

Mr Rothschild's father had been interned first in St. Cyprien, then in Gurs, and from 1941 until 1944 he worked in the so-called “Groupement de Travailleurs Etrangers“.

Number of pages: 4
Reference number: 1656/3/9/439
Catalogue ID: 106397
Subject: Mixed marriageChildren
Summary:

In order to protect her younger daughter, the author took the advice of a friend of hers and approached a branch of the German ‘Arisierungs Kommission’, Den Haag (Dir. Dr. C Allmeyer) with the help of a Dutch solicitor. She declared that her daughter was the illegitimate child of an ‘Ayran‘ since living in America. The solicitor succeeded to get the young girl registered and by chance also her mother, and all of them (including the husband) got stamps certifying that they were excempt from the ‘Arbeitsdienst’. A year later, the young lady underwent a racial-biological examination at the university, where everybody proved eager to be helpful.

As conditions grew more and more difficult, the parents preferred to go into hiding, and their daughter had to pass another racial examination undertaken officially by a German professor of biology from Kiel who came to the Hague for that purpose twice a year. She was told he would charge fIs. 600 for her certificate, but would be satisfied to get a hundred. And for fIs.100 she became a Mischling Grade 1 and was saved from the yellow star and all difficulties and dangers.

Number of pages: 3
Reference number: 1656/3/9/563
Catalogue ID: 106413
Summary:

These two documents issued during the German occupation of Romania show how the Volksdeutsche population were forced to enter the Nazi institutions and especially the Waffen SS.

In the second document an agreement is mentioned through which the military service of Romanian citizens of German nationality in the Waffen SS was compulsory.

Here the staff-office even tries to blackmail the father of the youth who had withdrawn himself from the service.

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