Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Holocaust denial and related subjects.
User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:13 pm

On this thread I'm going to post some of the allegations about torture, beatings, and false confessions made by the defendants at the US military trials held at Dachau.

First up, that of the chief Gestapo agent at Dachau, Johann Georg Kick.

Image
https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1161098

Q [by defence counsel]. Kick, did the treatment which you received following... immediately following your arrest have any influence whatsoever on the statements that you made on 5th November.

Prosecution: I object to that question many it please the court on the same grounds assigned to the previous question.

President: The objection is overruled, the witness will answer the question.

A. The treatment at that time influenced this testimony to that extent, that I did not dare to refuse to sign, in spite of the fact that it did not contain the testimony which I gave.

Q. Now, Kick, for the court, will you describe the treatment which you received, immediately following your arrest?

A. I ask to refuse to answer this question here in public.

President: The court desires to have him answer the question.

A. I was here in Dachau from the 6th to the 15th of May, under arrest; during this time I was beaten all during the day and the night....kicked....I had to stand at attention for hours; I had to stand under the lamp for hours and look into the light, at which time I was also beaten and kicked; as a result of this treatment my arm was paralyzed for about 8 to 10 weeks; only beginning with my transfer to Augsberg [sic], this treatment stopped.

Q. What were you beaten with?

A. With all kinds of objects.

Q. Describe them please.

A. With whips....with lashing whips, with rifle butts....pistol butts, and pistol barrels and with hands and fists.

Q. And that continued daily over a period of what time?

A. From the morning of the 7th of May until the morning of the 15th of May.

Q. Kick, why did you hesitate to give that testimony?

A. If the court hadn't decided I should talk about it, I wouldn't have said anything about it today.

Q. Would you describe the people who administered these beatings to you?

A. I can only say that they were persons who were wearing the United States uniform and I can't describe them any better.

Q. And as a result of those beatings when Lieutenant Guth called you in, what was your frame of mind?

A. I had to presume that if I were to refuse to sign I would be subjected to a similar treatment.
- US vs. G. Weiss et al., 1st December 1945, Vol. 5, pp.368-369.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:41 pm

Dr. Wilhelm Anton Witteler, chief physician of KL Dachau and its subcamps 01.01.44 - 20.08.44

Image
http://archive.thebreman.org/detail.php?type=related&kv=13033&t=objects

Q [defence counsel]. Now, doctor, Dr. Blaha also testified that the hospital in 1944 was completely overcrowded and that four patients had been placed in one bed. What do you have to say about that?

A. I can only talk about the time I was there from January 1944 to August 1944. The hospital was occupied by 15 to 17 hundred patients. There were nine blocks in the hospital. At that time I had twenty percent single and eight [eighty?] percent double beds, so every prisoner had his own bed. Furthermore, I can't imagine how four people could _lie in one bed—that is technically impossible.

Q [defence counsel]. Dr. Witteler, when did you come to Dachau this last time?

A. On 4 November 1945

Q. And where did you come from?

A. I came as a patient from the prisoner hospital of Mergentheim.

Q. How long were you there?

A. Two months

Q. What time of the day was it that you left Mergentheim?

A. At 8 o'clock in the morning. I left on the truck to an unknown destination

Q. What time of the day did you arrive in Dachau?

A. I arrived in Dachau towards five thirty

Q. During the day, from 8 o'clock until 5:30, did you have anything to eat?

A. No

Q. When you arrived in Dachau on the evening of 4 November 1945, where dd you go?

A. To the bunker. There the valuables which had been taken away from me in May were given to me and thereupon I was told "Give me those things again and follow the guard." I asked what was the matter and I was told I would see. Thereupon, I was put on a closed truck which made a terrible impression on me and the trip went in the direction of the crematory. I figured on an execution, but I was sent from this vicinity and was sent to Lt. Guth.

Q. What tine did you get to Lt. Guth's office?

A. At 6 o'clock

Q. Did you receive anything to eat yet?

A. No

Q. Did you tell that to anybody?

A. Yes, in the bunker and also on the trip I told the guard

Q. You arrived before Lt. Guth. Did you tell him you came from the hospital?

A. No

Q. Did you tell him, at any time during the interrogation, that you had just come out of the hospital?

A. No

Q. How long were you interrogated by Lt. Guth?

A. Until 1:30 in the morning

Q. During that period of time, did you have anything to eat at all?

A. No

Q. I show you here Prosecution's Exhibit No. 94, consisting of a page and a half of typewritten testimony and ask you what that is?

A. That is a statement

Q. Is that the statement you made of seven hours of interrogation?

A. It must be

Q. There is handwriting on the top of page 1. Is that your handwriting?

A. No

Q. Will you take a look on page 2. Did you make the correction on the 3rd line?

A. Yes

Q. This handwriting at the bottom of page 2. Is that your handwriting?

A. I would like to explain to the court.

Q. Will you do that?

A. During my interrogation I had to sit in front of the desk of Lt. Guth. A spotlight was turned on me which was stand [stood?] on the desk. Lt. Guth stood behind the spotlight and the interrogation started: "We know you, we have the necessary records about you. You worked with Professor Schilling and Rausch [Rascher]. You had malaria cases lying in your ward." I wanted to make an explanation. I was immediately stopped. I was yelled at. He called me a swine, criminal, liar, murderer and that is the way the interrogation continued. I couldn't give any explanations. I was only told to answer "yes" or "no".

Q. Just a minute. Would you demonstrate for the benefit of the court, as you have demonstrated for me the manner in which you were required to answer "yes" or "no"?

A. You worked together with Professor Schilling, "yes" or "no"? No, was my answer. Dr. Blaha says that the malaria patients were put into the medical ward, "yes" or "no"? I said, "I don't know about it." I said, "It can be possible." It is possible that in a case where complications set in the malaria patient would be transferred to a medical ward. But I couldn't even explain that. I was interrupted immediately and told that all I was to do was answer "yes" or "no". He said, "There are various cases that are put in the malaria ward. I said, "It could be only one case." I couldn't even explain it. I was told to shut up and to answer "yes" or "no". But I didn't even got to say that it might be only one case. When there was a pause that existed, I could neither say "yes" or "no". Thereupon, I had to give a binding statement—or answer—"yes" or "no", and since it was not like he thought it was, I had to get up and stand. So I stood up until 1:30 in the morning—seven hours.

Q. How long did you stand to answer these questions?

A. I stood up about seven hours

Q. At the conclusion of the drafting of this statement you signed it?

A. No, I answered that it is not correct what is written about Professor Schilling. This statement was not written in my presence. It was written in another room. The reporter was with me in the room all the time, but the statement was written in another room. After I couldn't stand up any more this statement was put in front of me at 1:30. And then when I said that this testimony about Professor Schilling is not by me, that it is the testimony of Dr. Blaha, who was present for various hours that night and who told me that is the way the circumstances are, that so many malaria autopsies had been carried out, and I don't know about a single case of death, so I didn't want to sign it. Lt. Guth said he would interrogate me until tomorrow morning, that he had other methods, that he would have a battalion of SS men pass by, who would walk by and spit at me

Q. How many people were present at the time you were interrogated?

A. Altogether, three: Lt Guth, Dr. Leiss and I, and, for a short time, Dr. Blaha.

Q. This handwriting in [is?] your own handwriting. Was that dictated or did you make it up?

A. When I found out that the interrogation would end that way, I wrote down this last part and signed my name to it

Q. Was it your own words or was it dictated to you?

A. Lt. Guth dictated those words

Q. After 7½ hours you got 1½ pages of the statement?

A. It was almost all concerned with the experimental station of Professor Schilling and Dr. Rascher. I never had anything to do with it. Before I came to Dachau I had the order of Lolling that I had no influence with the malaria station and that it was in charge of Professor Schilling and he is only under the Reichsfuhrer. I had nothing to do with it and I was not to impede him in any manner. I was very much interested in getting Professor Schilling out of the hospital. If one case of death occurred, I would have had the opportunity to get Professor Schilling out of the hospital. Dr. Rausch [Rascher] didn't make any more experiments at that time. He was a few times in any hospital and was arrested in 1944.

Q. Prior to the time that you signed that statement, had you been served with any papers in this particular case?

A. No, I didn't know why I was in Dachau. I had no idea I was one of the accused. After the interrogation at 1:30 I was sent to the colonel and the colonel then read the charge to me. The first time I heard I was supposed to be a murderer, was then

Q. You mean Colonel Denson read the charges to you?

A. Yes
- US vs. G. Weiss et al., 4th December 1945, Vol. 6, pp.155-161.
[edit: typo]
Last edited by BRoI on Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

User avatar
Jeffk 1970
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3840
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:53 pm

All of this is very interesting, Rabbit. Is there a point?

User avatar
Jeffk 1970
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3840
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:04 pm

Why don't you give us some background, more information about the trials themselves, a timeline, etc. I'm willing to read what you have to say but I would appreciate some context along with these tales of woe and torture.

User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:33 pm

Currently I'm working through the allegations made at the first, the big, Dachau trial:
https://www.archives.gov/files/research/captured-german-records/microfilm/m1174.pdf

See "CASE NO. 60", p.6f:
https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/Law-Reports_Vol-11.pdf
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

Xcalibur
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:56 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Xcalibur » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:30 am

Okay, so the point here is a compilation of those claims or on a a case by case basis inquiry into their veracity?

Mary Q Contrary
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1175
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:30 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Mary Q Contrary » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:45 am

I have yet to see any trial testimony where a defendant uses the word 'torture' to describe his treatment. Ergo, no defendants were tortured. Besides, they didn't need to be tortured. Every German who was questioned by any allied personnel were more than happy to relieve the burden of guilt for what they had done to the poor Jews by telling their captors every state secret they knew.
Thanks from:
Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed, Satan, Tinky Winky

User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:37 pm

Xcalibur wrote:Okay, so the point here is a compilation of those claims or on a a case by case basis inquiry into their veracity?

A compilation of the claims made by the defendants whilst in the dock.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:41 pm

Alfred Kramer, office clerk. Posted to Dachau in mid-August 1944, worked at the sub-camp of Kaufering 08.09.44 - 12.11.44, then returned to Dachau.

Q. [defence counsel] Kramer, were you interrogated after your arrest anywhere except Dachau?

A. Yes, Fuerstenfeldbruck.

Q. Did that interrogation have any effect on the statement that you made here?

Prosecution: I object to that question as being immaterial and irrelevant.

President: Explain exactly what happened

Q. Will you explain exactly what happened at that interrogation?

A. I do not want to talk about it

Q. The court desires you explain what happened?

A. I was beaten by an interrogation officer from the CIC. Present were former prisoners. I was supposed to tell how many people I had shot and hanged. I can say with a conscience that I never killed a person. Thereupon, I was beaten over the head with sticks and rubber hoses until I broke down.

Q. Anything else to say about that?

A. No
- US vs. G. Weiss et al., 4th December 1945, Vol. 6, pp.128-129
Q. Kramer, do you know what this is?

A. It is questions

Q. Whose questions are they?

A. My questions

Q. Is that Your own handwriting?

A. Yes

Q. Will you read the last two questions to the court

Prosecution: I object to this kind of questioning on the grounds that it is immaterial

President: What is the reason?

Defense: The defendant requested that I ask those questions in court which is in his handwriting.

President: What is the purpose in introducing it?

Defense: To prove that those are the questions that he wanted me to ask him in court.

President: We see no reason for that line of questioning.

Defense: Kramer, were you present during the evacuation of Camp No. 1 [Kaufering]?

A. No

Defense: No further questions

Prosecution: No questions [re-cross examination]

EXAMINATION BY THE COURT

Questions by a Member of the Court.

Q. Whereabouts was this that you were questioned in Fuerstenfeldbruck?

A. At the Air Corps Base close to the camp

Q. What date were you questioned?

A. On 11 June 1945

Q. You mean in a camp where they had all the prisoners enclosed in barbed wire?

A. No, I was taken out to the Air Corps Base to a room

Q. How long mere you kept there?

A. From three in the afternoon until ten or ten-thirty at night

Q. Who was the CIC officer that questioned you?

A. I don't know

Member of the Court: That is all

President: The witness is excused
- Ibid., pp.133-134
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 24509
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:40 am

Mary Q Contrary wrote:I have yet to see any trial testimony where a defendant uses the word 'torture' to describe his treatment.
Did it occur to you, as a general rule, that Germans speak German? :roll:

User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:54 pm

Dr. Fritz Hintermayer, physician at KL Dachau March 1944 - 01.10.44, chief physician from 01.10.44 to liberation.

Image
http://archive.thebreman.org/detail.php?type=related&kv=13032&t=objects

Q. Have you ever been afflicted with Saint Vitus dance?

A. Yes.

Q. When?

A. As a child of twelve years.

[...]

Q. Do you have any further ailments that you wish to tell the court about?

A. Yes.

Q. Will you tell of them?

A. Since my injury in Moosburg [Civilian Internment Camp no. 6], I was strangulated at my throat at that time, and since that beating on Fuerstenfeldbruck, where I was beaten unconscious, I have difficulties in thinking. I have headaches.

Q. How frequent are these headaches?

A. At the time being, I really have it all the time.
- US vs. G. Weiss et al., 7 December 1945, vol 6, pp.484-485.

EXAMINATION BY THE COURT

Q. You say you were beaten over at Moosburg?

A. That was in the middle of August.

Q. Who beat you over there?

A. That was on the occasion of an interrogation by the CIC, and former prisoners were present.

Q. When did you join the Allgemeine SS?

A. I am not a member of the Allgemeine SS.

There being no further questions, the witness was excused and resumed his seat in court.
- US vs. G. Weiss et al., 8 December 1945, vol 7, p.22.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

Xcalibur
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:56 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Xcalibur » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:44 am

Which might be the most "so what" testimony in the history of US juris prudence.

Next...

User avatar
Denying-History
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1529
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:01 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Denying-History » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:04 am

Got it... they were beaten, which is mistreatment. Got anything along the lines of NKVD torture? If so then I am happy to listen.

If you are looking for torture methods of the NKVD see Conquest "The Great Terror", 2008 page 121 or Applebaum "Gulag: a history" 2003 page 131-145.
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
- James Mace

User avatar
Jeffk 1970
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3840
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:15 am

I've read Applebaum, not Conquest.

User avatar
Denying-History
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1529
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:01 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Denying-History » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:29 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I've read Applebaum, not Conquest.
Applebaum's pretty good, though her study is based mainly on memories. Though I can say her work paints a very chilling image of the Soviet Gulag and the torture methods used against Prisoners. The Soviet's cold room method of freezing a person into constantly shifting from sleep to movement. She sadly still cites Conquests "The Harvest of Sorrows" saying it was the most indepth study of the famine

Conquest however is a bit more revealing in his book showing those whom were victims to torture during the great purge suffered greatly. He highlights some rather grotesque things that make Hoess's beatings appear like child's play.
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
- James Mace

User avatar
Statistical Mechanic
Has No Life
Posts: 11195
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 pm
Custom Title: Dostawca - sciany tekstu
Location: still in Greater Tomainia

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:17 pm

not an area I've researched but dropping some stuff I've read about the topic, and which may be of interest, here:

"The Malmedy Trial and the Myth of Confessions extracted under Torture" with criticism from Sergey Romanov

"137 Crushed Lies, or Why Denial Is Beyond Repair" - blog piece by Sergey Romanov on crushed testicles - Remy (The Malmedy Massacre: The War Crimes Trial Controversy) reaches conclusions similar to Sergey's, and in Heberer & Mattaus, Atrocities on Trial, Yanai has a very brief discussion of the general charges investigated by the Simpson Commission which argues that the investigations of "misconduct did not find substantial wrongdoing on the part of the Army" and that accusations were mostly a defense strategy

U.S. Senate Malmedy investigation report

I can't conjure this up fully but the worst Allied abuse connected with Dachau camp in particular was the shooting of dozens of SS men by American troops who'd entered the camp, estimates ranging from dozens to 100s. Some of the victims were in the act of surrendering IIRC (white flag and all). Some were machine gunned to death, some shot in the head, and some turned over to the ex-prisoners. Likely among the victims were men literally assigned to Dachau in the very last weeks and days of the war. These murders were pure vengeance actions and not connected with allegations of torture/abuse to extract confessions or related to any legal proceeding.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

User avatar
Jeffk 1970
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3840
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:02 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I can't conjure this up fully but the worst Allied abuse connected with Dachau camp in particular was the shooting of dozens of SS men by American troops who'd entered the camp, estimates ranging from dozens to 100s. Some of the victims were in the act of surrendering IIRC (white flag and all). Some were machine gunned to death, some shot in the head, and some turned over to the ex-prisoners. Likely among the victims were men literally assigned to Dachau in the very last weeks and days of the war. These murders were pure vengeance actions and not connected with allegations of torture/abuse to extract confessions or related to any legal proceeding.


Here is more on that:

https://www.google.com/amp/www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/revealed-allied-soldiers-massacred-nazi-5725805.amp

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3088025/How-American-doctor-witnessed-Dachau-s-SS-guards-tortured-shot-dead-GIs-cold-blood-coming.html

Patton dismissed the charges against these men.

Frankly, the whole thing is appalling, the soldiers should have been prosecuted for war crimes.

User avatar
Statistical Mechanic
Has No Life
Posts: 11195
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 pm
Custom Title: Dostawca - sciany tekstu
Location: still in Greater Tomainia

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:24 pm

Your wording is better than mine, sorry about that, it was more than "abuse" and that is what I was trying to say in my vacuous last sentence: those killings were an atrocity, they should have been prosecuted as mass murder (war crimes).
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:43 pm

One from the Buchenwald trial aka The First Lampshades trial

Heinrich Otto Barnewald, Chief Administrator of Buchenwald 28.01.42 - 11.04.45.

Q [defence counsel]. Mr. Barnewald, please explain to the court now how the difference in your statements and in your testimony before the court came about.

A. The interrogations partly had a bitter taste. I was supposed to be interrogated in Oberursal [Oberursel; at Camp King nee "Dulag Luft"] . There for 12 days I was looked up in a small room, naked, without fresh air, without windows, which was closed up air-tight, with three large electric heaters which were going day and night. The first three days in the morning one received half a cup of water and in the evening half a slice of bread, and there I was taken out for interrogation after one had taken off the chains to which I was chained to my comrade.

Q. Who was this comrade?

A. Schobert.

Q. Please continue.

A. There I was questioned about zu Waldeck and various other persons, the names of whom I do not remember any more. I fainted during the interrogation. After this I received every hour a cold water shower and beatings with whips and all possible instruments. I point again to the fact that we were naked. Eight days later we were taken to the water for the first time, but not for drinking purposes, only for a shower, in order to shave. That was one interrogation.

Q. Please describe now the interrogation in Freising.

A. The interrogation in Freising was less dangerous. We were locked up together with nine men in a smell cell without any heating facilities, without anything. We got a kettle with food into the cell, without blankets in between the interrogation. The men who went into this room before me came out bleeding. I was not beaten. I was only threatened. In another place one had to dig his own grave after this interrogation.

Q. Mr. Barnewald, do I understate: you right that by this you want to explain some contradictions contained in your statements and in your testimony here before the court?

A. Yes.

Q. Mr. Barnewald, before the evacuation of April 11, 1945, was the food properly cooked in the kitchen so that the food rations were sufficient for tho prisoners or nor?

A. Even on the 11th of April the food was cooked properly and I used all existing possibilities in order to give the prisoners what could he given to them. If men were brought to camp during the past few weeks to were very much undernourished, this was not my fault, I couldn't help that.

DR. WACKER: No further questions.

PROSECUTION: I would like to ask a few more questions, may it please the court.

RECROSS EXAMINATION

QUESTIONS BY PROSECUTION:

Q You were beaten at Oberursal, is that the place?

A. All the time, yes. We were specially brought to Oberursal and were brought there right away, to the so-called "sweating" roam and the next day we were taken away again.

Q. Just answer my questions. You were beaten with whips, is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. How badly were you beaten with those whips?

A. I was badly beaten.

Q. Did the blood come?

A. Yes. Deliberately we were pushed with our bodies against the hot electric heaters so that my back and the end of my back were burned. I would like you to question Dr. Bender about that because in addition to our sweating treatment he received a special treatment.

Q. From how many places on your back did the blood come?

A. From the end of my back.

Q. From how many places?

A. I don't know.

Q. Do you have any scars on your back today?

A. I did not see them yet but Dr. Bender can testify about that as a physician.

Q. Were you told by Dr. Bender that you had any scars on your back from the beatings with the whip?

A. I didn't show my back to him and we didn't talk about the same. Dr. Bender was in another different cell.

Q. Then you do not know whether you have any soars on your back at the present time or not, is that correct?

A. No, I don't know that.
- US vs Josias Prince zu Waldeck et al, 15 July 1947, pp.4041-4043.

Barnewald must have been locked in the infamous "sweat box" of "Dulag Luft", a room that featured prominently in the British-run Nov-Dec 1945 trial of Erich Walter Killinger et al.

The US Army were using the room to torture prisoners despite the fact that the nazis had eventually banned use of it for interrogations, and the British had recently tried and convicted several Germans for having used "heat torture, among other things, as a method of extracting information" in the very same room.

Image

Nach der Niederschrift des Kriegsverbrecherprozesses von Killinger im Jahr 1945 gab es dreizehn konkrete Vorfälle, in denen RAF Kriegsgefangene zu Verhörzwecken in einem kleinen Raum eingesperrt wurden, in dem die Temperatur sehr hoch gehalten wurde. Die Zeiträume, in denen die Kriegsgefangenen diesen extremen Temperaturen ausgesetzt waren, reichten von einer bis zehn Stunden.[14] Diesem Zustand wurden die Kriegsgefangenen jeweils einmal ausgesetzt. Von den dreizehn Fällen wurden schließlich elf zur Anklage gebracht. Zehn betrafen den Sommer 1943 und eine den Sommer 1944. Es gab demnach keine Aussagen darüber, wie hoch die Temperatur gewesen war. US-amerikanischen Kriegsgefangenen wurden dieser Behandlung nicht ausgesetzt. Nach Angaben der Staatsanwaltschaft und dem Zeugnis der Verteidigung hatte Killinger diese Behandlung nicht angeordnet und wurde erst später davon in Kenntnis gesetzt. Daraufhin ordnete er an, dass spezielle übermäßige Hitze nicht als Verhörmethode verwendet werden dürfe. Kein Mitglied der Dulag Luft Mitarbeiter wurde offiziell gerügt oder für die Anwendung der Wärmebehandlung bestraft.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Walter_Killinger#Zweiter_Weltkrieg
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

User avatar
Jeffk 1970
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3840
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:03 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Your wording is better than mine, sorry about that, it was more than "abuse" and that is what I was trying to say in my vacuous last sentence: those killings were an atrocity, they should have been prosecuted as mass murder (war crimes).


I generally take a pragmatic view of such things, both sides shot POW's during the course of the war. It was worse in the Pacific, the atrocities the Japanese committed against Allied POW's and civilians rivals anything the SS ever did. But, US soldiers murdered Japanese POW's as a matter of course, it got so bad that incentives like ice cream and leave were offered to the marines so that they would actually take prisoners instead of shooting them out of hand (there was some justification for what the marines did, the Japanese refused or faked surrender in order to kill more marines).

I look at the circumstances involved and when it happened. If the incident happened during battle or right after a battle occurred then it is understandable that mistakes were made. I'm not condoning it, I'm just saying it's understandable. But, if the soldiers on either side clearly surrendered and were shot then this is blatant war crime, no matter who did it. So, the Germans who massacred the soldiers at Malmedy and the G.I.s that murdered the SS guards clearly committed war crimes and deserved to be punished.

User avatar
BRoI
Poster
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby BRoI » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:41 pm

[Konrad] Morgen also did his best to convict Ilse Koch, the wife of the Buchenwald commandant. He was convinced that she was guilty of sadistic crimes, but the charges against her could not be proven. After the war Morgen was asked by an American official to testify that Frau Koch made lampshades from the skin of inmates. Morgen replied that, while she undoubtedly was guilty of many crimes, she was truly innocent of this charge. After personally investigating the matter, he had thrown it out of his own case. Even so, the American insisted that Morgen sign an affidavit that Frau Koch had made the lampshades. Anyone undaunted by Nazi threats was not likely to submit to those of a representative of the democracies. His refusal to lie was followed by a threat to turn him over to the Russians, who would surely beat him to death. Morgen's second and third refusals were followed by severe beatings. Though he detested Frau Koch, nothing could induce him to bear false witness. Fortunately, Morgen survived and is presently practicing law in West Germany.

- John Toland, Adolf Hitler, NY: Anchor Books, 1992, p.774.


Firstly, it's not true that Morgen investigated the lampshades nonsense:

Buchenwald trial transcript wrote:
Q [Captain Lewis, Kock's counsel]. During your investigations at Camp Buchenwald after the arrest, even before the arrest of Mrs. Kock, until May of 1944, was any report mode to you by anybody that Mrs. Koch had a lamp shade or gloves or a photo album or a book made of human skin in her possession?

A [Konrad Morgen]. No, I didn't even hear a rumor of any such thing.

- US vs Josias Prince zu Waldeck et al, 11 June 1947, p.2806


US vs. Oswald Pohl et al, NMT transcript wrote:
Q [Kurt Ponger, prosecutor]. You also know that the feeling for art in Buchenwald was so great that the wife of the former camp commader Koch who we know very will [sic], collected the tattooings of the prisoners in order to give them to people later one, and sometimes she even helped them turn it in much sooner and faster.

A [Konrad Morgen, witness]. Excuse me, I think about this question: I am very well informed and both there and in the Buchenwald trail [sic] I would like to explain explicitly that that was a propaganda lie. I have visited the house of the commander from top to bottom and for two days after, that I saw three criminal agents there and we searched the entire house, piece by piece, and not one single occasion did we find one single item which had anything to do with lampshades of human skin or picture albums which were covered with that skin.

[...]

Q. [...] it is absolutely possible that the question of the lamp shades and gloves of which Frau Koch was convicted to a life sentence in jail, is true, and I can also tell you that the lamp shades and gloves were found among the inmates of Buchenwald, that general Eisenhowever [sic] saw them personally.

A. Then those items should have been used in the Buchenwald trial and the Dachau trial as evidence. I know they were not introduced. There was a piece of skin which was tatooed [sic] which was in the Laborantory [sic] camp there but according to my knowledge Frau Kock had nothing to do with it. I personally arrested Frau Koch and I indicted her.

- Pohl Trial, August 27, 1947, transcript, pp. 6732-6733


I don't believe Morgen's claim to have been beaten by the Americans over this lampshade business. At the Buchenwald trial both Pister [camp commandant] and Nett [Morgen's junior colleague] also denied having seen anything made out of human-skin during their search of Koch's house. I suspect Morgen was alluding to threats or beatings he received regarding other matters.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

User avatar
Statistical Mechanic
Has No Life
Posts: 11195
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 pm
Custom Title: Dostawca - sciany tekstu
Location: still in Greater Tomainia

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:57 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:Your wording is better than mine, sorry about that, it was more than "abuse" and that is what I was trying to say in my vacuous last sentence: those killings were an atrocity, they should have been prosecuted as mass murder (war crimes).


I generally take a pragmatic view of such things, both sides shot POW's during the course of the war. It was worse in the Pacific, the atrocities the Japanese committed against Allied POW's and civilians rivals anything the SS ever did. But, US soldiers murdered Japanese POW's as a matter of course, it got so bad that incentives like ice cream and leave were offered to the marines so that they would actually take prisoners instead of shooting them out of hand (there was some justification for what the marines did, the Japanese refused or faked surrender in order to kill more marines).

I look at the circumstances involved and when it happened. If the incident happened during battle or right after a battle occurred then it is understandable that mistakes were made. I'm not condoning it, I'm just saying it's understandable. But, if the soldiers on either side clearly surrendered and were shot then this is blatant war crime, no matter who did it. So, the Germans who massacred the soldiers at Malmedy and the G.I.s that murdered the SS guards clearly committed war crimes and deserved to be punished.

IMO shooting and hacking to death SS captured and attempting to surrender is far beyond the pale.

David Kennedy's book from 15 years ago on the Roosevelt era, IIRC, is brutal on American atrocities in the east; my father, who fought in the Pacific, had told me about things he witnessed that he throughout his subsequent adult years felt made him, as a sailor on a US ship, complicit in war crimes.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

User avatar
Jeffk 1970
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3840
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:17 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:David Kennedy's book from 15 years ago on the Roosevelt era, IIRC, is brutal on American atrocities in the east; my father, who fought in the Pacific, had told me about things he witnessed that he throughout his subsequent adult years felt made him, as a sailor on a US ship, complicit in war crimes.


If you haven't done so I recommend a book by Michael Burleigh called Moral Combat. He discusses this extensively, the treatment of prisoners.

User avatar
Statistical Mechanic
Has No Life
Posts: 11195
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 pm
Custom Title: Dostawca - sciany tekstu
Location: still in Greater Tomainia

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:40 pm

Thanks, I will look at that.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

User avatar
Statistical Mechanic
Has No Life
Posts: 11195
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 pm
Custom Title: Dostawca - sciany tekstu
Location: still in Greater Tomainia

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:04 pm

@Jeffk: In this lengthy thread ("Massacre of SS guards at Dachau"), a chap called Rob - wssob2 and others have a spirited and informative discussion of the killings during the liberation of Dachau. Someone named "xcalibur" participated and made succinct and incisive points along the way, reminiscent in fact of our own Xcalibur :)

(thanks to you who linked me to that thread - it was indeed excellent)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

User avatar
Statistical Mechanic
Has No Life
Posts: 11195
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 pm
Custom Title: Dostawca - sciany tekstu
Location: still in Greater Tomainia

Re: Dachau: Confessions obtained thru torture

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:23 pm

Mary Q Contrary wrote:I have yet to see any trial testimony where a defendant uses the word 'torture' to describe his treatment. Ergo, no defendants were tortured. Besides, they didn't need to be tortured. Every German who was questioned by any allied personnel were more than happy to relieve the burden of guilt for what they had done to the poor Jews by telling their captors every state secret they knew.

What an insipidly stupid post. Btw do you take the word of all witnesses? IIRC you have a longstanding and equally dumb thing about witness testimony that cuts just one way.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927


Return to “Holocaust Denial”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest