Menu JTA Search

Witnesses Testify at Dachau Trial on Flogging of Jews

Grim details of the daily flogging routine at the Dachau concentration camp, and of living prisoners being included in cargoes of dead, destined for the crematorium, were unfolded during the week-end at the hearing of charges against forty persons concerned with running the camp.

Alphonse Pelles, a native of Luxembourg, told the court he saw a Polish Jew sitting up and talking among a heap of corpses at the door of the crematorium, and that one of the accused then took a hauling pole from a cart and beat the Jew to death. Pelles explained that he had been one of a working party detailed to unload trains arriving at Dachau with dead and living prisoners. He and his colleague took several of the living to hospital, but were often sent back with live prisoners to the crematorium wards. Many of the bodies had gunshot wounds he said. He had no personal knowledge of any of the living being cremated.

Describing daily floggings in the camp, Wolfgang Furrer, a Swiss, said that a 68-year-old Jewish prisoner was fastened to a whipping post and beaten by two block leaders, after which one of the accused joined in with a cat-o-nine-tails until the victim was unconscious, and was hurled to the ground in a pool of blood.

All the women prisoners of a Dachau subsidiary camp were compelled to witness the hanging of five men, Riva Levy, a pretty 29-year-old Jewish woman from Lithuania told the Court. The five men were hanged for cutting up a blanket to make foot coverings. Riva was a prisoner at Kaufering subsidiary camp. She described how her father was so badly beaten that he was sent to hospital and finally left camp on an “invalid transport.” She never saw him again.

Dr. Selman Greenberg, a Lithuanian wearing the Jewish badge on his neat suit, testified that one of the accused, Johan Victor Kirsch, was the most brutal. On arrival of Greenberg’s transport, Kirsch delivered a speech to them. “Filthy Jewish swine, you must know that from now on you will eat the bread of Dachau,” he said. “That means if you do not do your duty you will go to hell before your time. Do not think that Germany will lose the war. If Germany loses the war, you will not live longer. Anyway, Germany is not going to lose the war- the world is more likely to come to an end.” Elderly people were so badly handled by Kirsch that 75 died in one month, Greenberg said.

NEXT STORY