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May 12, 1961 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1961-05-12

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS -- Friday, May 12, 196 1

Systematic Slaughter Chronicled


(Continued-from Page 1)
tried to convince the Dutch
Jews that they did not realize
how grave their situation was,
but that the Jews, fortified by a
Dutch general strike against
. the Nazi occupiers, were cer-
tain that the Dutch people
would protect them from Nazi
Melknian described the fright-
ful conditions in the.Bergen Bel-
sen • Camp established near Han-
over which was .originally set up
for a few thousand inmates but
which eventually held scores of
thousands. In later stages, he
testified, the only food was watery
soup. The dead were lying on the
Streets, barracks holding, • 500
persons had a single latrine and
that was usually broken, he said,
adding that the Nazis would shut
down the .water supply for days
at a time. .
The witness testified that there
were even cases of cannibalism
among the hunger-crazed in-
mates. If, during the morning
line-up, totals of prisoners did
not tally, the starving victims
were kept standing in the snow
for an entire day.
The witness described a
group of Mitch Zionists who
had certificates to Palestine
and who were kept at a camp
at Westerborg pending an ex-
change for Germans in Allied
Countries. He told how he had
smuggled his own 18-months-
old child to a Dutch Christian
family and how en route to
Westerborg the Melkmans took
a baby of the same age from a
Jewish woman who had no cer-
tificate and thus saved the
baby. The mother_ eventually
reached Palestine and became
a member of a Jewish agency
youth instructor seminar.
He said the Jewish leaders of
Westerborg received from the
Germans weekly orders to pre
pare lists for deportation to
Auschwitz. He recalled that each
transport included a few score
more than, the quota since peo-
ple died en route and the Ger-

mans required that the exact
quota of live victims be deliv-
ered to Auschwitz.
The witness told the court that
"of all the horrible things I saw
nothing was so horrible as the
preparation of lists for deporta-
The Judenrat, or Jewish lead-
ers, received the required num-
ber on Saturdays and began pre-
paring lists. On Monday nights,
the barracks were closed down
and at 3 a.m. the barracks' com-
mander read out the names of
those who in effect had been
sentenced to death by fellow
Jews. These were herded into
freight cars for Auschwitz the
next day. •
• The witness added, "to this
. very day, Tuesday morning is
the worst day of the week for
those of us who survived."
The witness said that Dutch
Christians took in and saved
about 4,000 Jewish children dur-
ing the Nazi terror. Even the
fate of the children thus saved
was. a hard one, Melkman testi-
fied, since they were compelled
to remain in hiding in severely
cramped quarters lest they be-
tray their own presence and that
of their benefictors.
Most of the witness' family
were among the -134,000 Dutch
Jews who perished in the Nazi
annihilation, with only 6,000 sur-
One inmate said the Bergen
Belsen commandant, Josef Kra-
mer, told the transport crews
that "the more dead Jews you
bring here the better." Kramer
and the women's camp boss, Irma
Girese, were hanged by the
The prosecution also submit-
ted documents that at the
Breendonck camp in Belgium,
through which 3,000 Jews
passed en route to murder
camps, 150 were executed by
hanging and shooting. One
report submitted to the court
revealed the introduction of a
special type of Nazi sadism.
'Whenever a victim was dragged'




Yawning Pit Awaits Yet Another . .

out to be killed all the other brought the children to Drancy
Jews had to file by the body in buses and dumped them into
singing "Breendonck, my Breen- a bare barracks 120 children to
donck" in a ditty which called a room with only burlap bags on
the camp a "Jewish paradise" the vermin-ridden floors. He said
and which ended "we shall never they were ragged, starved and
forget thee, 0 Breendonck."
filthy. They received soup occa-
The prosecution meanwhile sionally but no spoons to eat it.
continued to submit photostats
He testified he helped to orga-
of documents, reports and let- nize four teams of women to give
ters which linked Eichmann with the children some care, but the
every phase of the actions against Nazis refused to allow adults in
Dutch 'Jews in support of .Melk- the children's barracks at night.
man's testimony.
He said the children would
In closing testimony Tuesday, awaken "and cry for their moth-
Bach added some additional ers—sometimes all the ,children
documents- on the Nazi murder in one barracks at one time."
program in France. He present-
The scientist said that the de-
ed an order from Gestapo Chief portations from France reached
Himmler to assemble in a special a peak in the -summer of 1942
camp 10,000 French, Hungarian when the children were brought
and Rumanian Jews "with in- to Drancy and then shipped to
fluential relatives in the United their deaths. He said that alto-
States." The camp letter was gether he saw between 40,000
placed .under Eichmann's super- and 50,000 Jews sent to their
Among the documents sub-
He said that when the Nazis
mitted to the court were pro-
first ordered the wearing of the
tests from French Catholic
yellow star by Jews, non-Jew-
clergy, including an appeal , to
ish Frenchmen tried to oppose
the commander of the German
the abuse by pretending stu-
occupation forces from the
pidity. He said some would put
cardinals of France protesting
yellow stars on their dogs and
the outrages against the Jews
in other ways pretend they did
"in the name of humanity and
not understand what the Nazis
were doing. He said that such
Several documents demonstrat- non-Jews were arrested and
ed that Italian and civilian Mili- sent to the Drancy Camp
tary authorities in southern where they were forced to wear
France actively opposed the anti- the yellow star with the in-
Jewish actions and once they scription "friend of the Jews."
even used force '‘• when 'German
Weller said that French civil-
-authorities acted in Italian-occu- ian authorities tried to hide Rene
pied territory. According to one Blum, brother of former Premier
of the documents, Eichmann Leon Blum, but the Nazis found
wrote directly to Foreign Min- him and sent him to Drancy with
ister Von Ribbentrop asking in- instructions for prompt shipment
tervention with the Italian gov- to Auschwitz where he was
ernment against such pro-Jewish tortured and killed.
He testified that the first im-
Other documents showed that portant persecution of the Jews
even the completely submissive in France was in May, 1941,
Vichy regime. opposed Nazi mea- when foreign Jews were ordered
sures against French-born Jews, to report to the police station

and .that Pierre Laval, the col-
laborationist head of the French
regime, told the Germans he
would not make French police
available for the arrest of
French-born Jews.

Another document intro-
duced Tuesday indicated that
another Eichmann representa-
tive in France, SS Capt. Theo-
dor Danneker, regarded depor-
tation of Jewish children as an
"urgent" matter. Bach cited
the "urgent" report from Dan-
neker to the Eichmann office
in Berlin on July 4, 1942, in
which Danneker asked wheth-
er the 15th deportation of
Jews from France could "in ,
elude • children under the age
of 16."

The Assistant Prosecutor said
that Pierre Laval consented to
the deportation of children.
Another letter from Eichmann's
office contained the statement
that "since a long stay of these
Jewish children with non-Jewish
children is undesirable, I want
your answer as to whether these
children can be deported." Eich-
mann was quoted as replying to
Danneker that the transports . of
children "may roll as soon as
room is ready to. receive them."
After presentation of the docu-
mentary evidence, the prosecu-
tion called as first witness. Prof.
Georges Wellers, director of the
French National Medical Re-
search Laboratory and a Sor-
bonne professor.
Weller, a French scientist who
survived the Auschwitz murder
factory, described the abuse by
the Nazis in France of Jewish
-children before they were shipped
to the gas chambers.
As a doctor he was permit-

officer aims at the head of a Jew, who crouches at the edge
of a mass grave somewhere in Poland. The picture was dis-
tributed in Chicago by a former concentration camp prisoner
to show what went on during the reign of Adolf Eichmann. A
witness at the former Nazi colonel's trial in Jerusalem quoted
an Austrian sergeant as saying that "a dog called Eichmann"
was organizing the murder of Jews in Lithuania. The sergeant
was later arrested and executed by the Gestapo for his ties
with the Jews.

ted to move about the Drancy
Concentration Camp in France
and could see what most other
inmates never saw. He testi-
fied that he saw 4,000 children,
many as young as two years
of age whose parents were
already at Auschwitz, abused
and then deported to join their
parents in death.

He testified that the Germans

necks of the children. Later it
was found that the doomed
little ones had playfully ex-
changed the discs so that girls
wore boys' names and boys
wore names of girls.
"This didn't matter much,"
the witness said. "We never knew
their real names and we simply
improvised them."
"expertise" on
Jewish history was portrayed in
court in a report he sent to the
German Foreign Ministry in re-
sponse to a request that he halt
deportation of some Jews claim-
ing Persian nationality.
In the report, Eichmann was
quoted as replying that "the
claim they are Iranians of the
Mosaic faith is the usual attempt
at camouflage."
He also wrote that during hun-
dreds of years and in a period
of flourishing development — the
era of Esther and Purim = the

Jewish question did exist in
Persia "and according to all po-
litical aspects it was 'quite seri-

However, Eichmann, added
in his -report, since the 17th
century, there had been "strict
bans against the Jews of Persia
and therefore they should be
placed in ghettoes and regard-
ed as Jews in all respects."
This report, the prosecution
said, meant Auschwitz for the
Jews in question.
The first witness on the stand

Monday was Mis. Rivka Yoselev-
ska, formerly of the -town - of
Povusk, near Pinsk. She.told

for registration. Some 4,000 were
arrested and taken to Orleans
and Thiviers, the first two camps
in France.
He said the second big round-
up took place on Aug. 2, 1941,
when the Nazis made a house-to-
house search of a section of
Paris and seized 6,000 Jews.

He said he was arrested in
December, 1941, and he and
others taken to Military Acad-
emy in Paris- where SS men
said that one day earlier Hitler
had declared war on the United
States. The witnesses said that
the SS men told the group that
since .Hitler "had promised
earlier thailf such a war broke
out the Jews would be • called
upon to foot the bill, we Jews
would have to pay the bill."

The witness replied to a ques-
tion from Judge Benjamin Ha-
levi, one Of the three justices
presiding, as to whether the Jews
were unaware of the nature of
the Auschwitz camp before they
arrived there. He said that they
did not know and that the Lon-
don radio had broadcast reports
about gas chambers but that
French Jews, believed this was
simply war propaganda.
Wellers said the group of in-
tellectuals with whom he was in-
cluded numbered 750 and that
they included a former govern-
ment minister and leading mem-
bers of the French bar, as well
as other notables.
He recounted that in the first
two months at Drancy, about 100
inmates committed suicide. He
said the Jewish intellectuals took
a dim view of these suicides,
arguing that if an inmate did
decide on suicide he should have
waited until after he was shipped
from the camp because the sui-
cides meant that other Jews were
called to replace the suicides in
the transports.

He said that most of the
4,000 Jewish tots did not know
their names and that men and
women inmates made wooden
discs with names chosen at
random to hang around the


how the Nazis plundered, killed
and humiliated the Jews of Po-
vusk before they annihilated all
500 of them.
A rabbi whose 10 children had
been killed had been forced to
don his prayer shawl and ordered
to conduct the funeral service for
his own children in the town
square, in the presence of all the
Jews of the town. When he re-
fused to sing and dance, he was
beaten. Finally, as he 'led Povusk
Jewry in reciting the "Shema,"
he was tortured to death.
Mrs. Yoselevska told how

her parents, sisters and her
own infant child were shot to
death, naked, in a grave all the
Jews had been forced to dig.
She had been wounded, and
lay in the grave with the dead,
but managed to escape, being
sheltered by a Christian family
living near the mass grave.

Mrs. Leanna Neumann testi-
fied about being part of a trans-
port of Jews shipped from Vienna
to Riga. She said she was among
350 Jews - packed. into a small
boat which tried to land at Lue-
beck, Germany. The boat was
forbidden to dock, and was set .
afire. Some saved themselves by
jumping overboard. Mrs. Neu
mann was given refuge on
another boat anchored nearby. .
Shmuel Horowitz, formerly of
Golomaya, Galicia, told the court
he was permitted to remain in
his town because he was one of
four tailors forced to make cloth-
ing for the Nazis. The entire
Jewish community of Kolomaya
was finally wiped out on one day,
a Saturday, in 1943 ; he said.

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