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Excerpts from the Bielefelf Trial

1. Final Verdict

In the name of the people!


The defendant Altenloh has been found guilty of being a joint accessory to murder in two cases:

1. the murder of at least 6,500 persons from the Bialystok ghetto and 3,500 individuals from Ghetto 1 in Grodno (ghetto liquidations in February 1943);

2. the murder of at least 100 persons in the Bialystok ghetto.

The defendant Heimbach has been found guilty of being a joint accessory to murder in three cases:

1. the murder of at least 6,500 persons from the Bialystok ghetto (ghetto liquidations in February 1943);

2. the murder of at least 100 persons in the Bialystok ghetto;

3. the murder of at least 15,000 persons from the Bialystok ghetto (ghetto liquidation in August 1943).

The defendant Errelis has been found guilty of being a joint accessory to murder in two cases:

1. the murder of at least 3,500 persons from Ghetto 1 in Grodno (ghetto liquidation in February 1943);

2. the murder of at least 15,000 persons from the Bialystok ghetto (ghetto liquidation in August 1943).

The defendant Dibus has been found guilty of being a joint accessory to murder in two cases:

1. the murder of at least 6,500 persons;

2. the murder of at least 15,000 persons, all from the Bialystok ghetto (ghetto liquidations in February and August 1943).

The above accused have therefore been sentenced to the following penalties:

the defendant Altenloh to 8 (eight) years imprisonment;
the defendant Heimbach to 9 (nine) years imprisonment;
the defendant Errelis to 6 (six) years and 6 (six) months imprisonment;
the defendant Dibus to 5 (five years) imprisonment.

All defendants are hereby stripped of their rights as citizens, in the case of Altenloh, Heimbach and Errelis for a period of 5 years, in the case of the defendant Dibus for 4 years.


The accused have been acquitted on all other counts.


The period spent by them in detention awaiting trial will be credited against their full term of confinement.

District Court, Bielefeld, April 17, 1967

(Source: Documents Concerning the Destruction of the Jews of Grodno, Vol. IV, pp. 505-506).

2. Involvement of the Accused in the "Final Solution"

The primary charge against the accused Altenloh, Heimbach, Errelis and Dibus is as fol1ows: as members of the local Security Police, they were actively involved, in varying degrees and extent, in the destruction of the Jews from Bialystok District within the framework of the co-called "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," as ordered by the National Socialist leadership (Hitler, Himmler, Kaltenbrunner, Mueller). They are accused of having carried out, according to orders, the removal and transport of many thousands of Jews to the extermination camps Auschwitz and Treblinka from the ghettos of the district: Zambrow/Lomza (Altenloh, January 1943), Grodno (Altenloh, Errelis, January/February 1943), Pruzana (Altenloh, January 1943), Bialystok city (Altenloh, Heimbach, Dibus, February 1943; Heimbach, Errelis, Dibus, August 1943). They perpetrated these acts while being aware and cognizant of the fate of death awaiting the Jews in those camps.

In addition, the defendants are accused of having been instrumental in the killing of individual Jews - in varying numbers and for various reasons, acting under order or by their own will and decision - either by shooting these persons themselves or ordering their murder.

Proceedings were originally also directed against two further defendants:
1. the former Oberregierungsrat (senior councillor, Higher Civil Service) and SS Obersturmbannfuehrer (Lieutenant Colonel) Dr. Zimmermann, who served as head of the Commander of the Security Police (KdS) in Bialystok beginning in June 1943 at the latest;
2. the former Kriminalsekretaer (Detective Lieutenant) and SS Sturmscharfuehrer (Sergeant-Major) Hermann Bloch, a member of the Gestapo in Zambrow in January 1943.

These two individuals committed suicide: Dr. Zimmermann on December 31, 1965, just before being rearrested, and Bloch on September 23, 1965, during detention in Karlsruhe awaiting trial.

(Source: Documents, Vol. IV, pp. 516-517.)

3. Transports to the Death Camps after November 2, 1942

Removal and transport of Jews in individual instances was initiated shortly after November 2. At the same time, Jews were deported from the Zichenau ghetto at the nearby Gestapo border post of Zichenau-Schroettersburg. They were transported to Auschwitz in eight trains, which arrived at their final destination in the period from November 7 to December 11, 1942.

In Bialystok District, initial deportations were from the Grodno area. Ghetto 2 in Grodno and the greater proportion of the Kelbasin camp - which was not designed to quarter persons during the winter months - were liquidated, and persons were deported to Auschwitz before the end of 1942 in at least six train transports. These trains arrived in Auschwitz on November 9, 14, 18 and 25, 1942, as well as on December 2 and 8, 1942. The first and last two train transports were from the Kelbasin camp, with Jews from Skiedel, Sydra, Lyda, Ostryna, Grodno, Lunna and Porzeze. The middle two transports contained persons from Ghetto 2 in Grodno. Orders for the transports were sent from the RSHA to Dr. Altenloh; Altenloh then passed on these orders to his Grodno outpost, headed by Errelis. Trains and departure dates were specified in the orders. The 'official' purpose of the operation was listed as 'relocation' of Jews for the purpose of conscripted labor.

A temporary halt to transports was issued effective from December 15, 1942 to January 1, 1943, due to the primary logistic need of ensuring the flow of supplies to Stalingrad. As far as can be ascertained, this transport stoppage was circumvented only by two trains from Bialystok: train No. Pj 39 (Pj = Polnische Juden /Polish Jews) on December 17, 1942, destination Treblinka, and the liquidation train from the Augustowo area, which arrived in Auschwitz on January 7, 1943. Thus, Treblinka was already a final destination for such transports in 1942, even though perhaps only on rare occasion. In any event, it is possible to conclude on the basis of the empty train No. LP Pj 30, from Treblinka to Biaylstok and Grodno on November 29, 1942 - by comparison of the routing number with the fully loaded train Pj 39 - that there were a number of transports in this series. Moreover, it is clear that Centipolk was liquidated during this period, and probably on into January 1943, and its inhabitants transported to Treblinka.

Basis for Proof. Evaluation of Evidence.

These findings are based, aside from the already mentioned documents, on testimony presented by the defendants Altenloh, Errelis and Dibus, insofar as this was credible, and testimony by the witnesses Graf von der Groeben, Hieronymus, Tubenthal, Dr. Teichert, Dr, Bejlin, Dr. Datner, Karasik, Szacman and the Friedel manuscripts, the Macholl manuscript of October 25, 1949 (Documentation Volume VI, No. 71), and the calender of events in the concentration camp Auschwitz as contained in the publication Hefte von Auschwitz, Nos. 3 and 4 (Doc. Vol . I , No. 38a) , November/December 1942 and January/February 1943 (cf. below pp. 128 ff.), along with the prisoner personal data sheets pertaining to a number of Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz (Doc. Vol. I, No. 39a-h) and testimony by the witnesses Dr. Danuta Czech, Regina Gercek, Moses Gercek, Laka and Altschuld.

Dr. Altenloh's contention that he was unaware the concentration was a preparatory measure for the later transport of Jews has been refuted. His subordinate Errelis was aware of this fact, the Wehrmacht had been informed about this (Dr. Teichert), and all Subdistrict Commissioners (Kommissare) involved with the concentration operations derived their knowledge from the Gestapo in Bialystok, under whose orders and direction they were acting in this instance. They were told that the purpose of these measures was to deport all Jews from Bialystok District. Moreover, the conditions in the assembly camp Kelbasin excluded, right from the start, any possibility of quartering persons there over the winter months.

Various testimony has indicated that Jews were also concentrated at assembly points in or near Augustowo/Grajewo, Sokolka (though Altenloh claims he no longer has any recollection of this), the camp Centipolk and in Pruzana. The defendant Altenloh contends he heard about the latter two for the first time in the course of the present trial proceedings. Data pertaining to Augustowo and the Centipolk camp are contained in the Friedel manuscript (Doc. Vol. VI, No. 70). The Centipolk camp is also mentioned in this connection in testimony presented by the accused Dibus and the witnesses Dr. Bejlin, Dr. Datner, Karasik and Szacman. The witness Tubenthal has given testimony regarding Pruzana. The above-mentioned Hefte von Auschwitz list Augustowo, Sokolka and Pruzana as points of departure for deportation transports of Jews to Auschwitz.

Knowledge of the court about the train transports to Auschwitz is based on the chronicle of events contained in these Hefte. These chronicles in calendar form constitute reliable evidential basis for proof (see Sec. 7 below). The Polish historian Dr. Danuta Czech, staff researcher in the Auschwitz Museum, compiled the transport lists in these calendrical chronicles strictly on the basis of documents of the camp command found in Auschwitz. For all train transports mentioned, there are lists with the name, birthdate and number of each prisoner. It was therefore possible to infer the area of origin of a given transport from the places of birth as listed for the prisoners on the given train. In addition, prisoner personal data sheets exist for a portion of the transports, such as for all trains to Auschwitz from the district which have to date been definitely identified (see the selection in Doc. Vol. I, No. 39 ff.). These data sheets even made it possible to differentiate between Ghetto 2 and Kelbasin for transports from the Grodno area in 1942. Although these transport lists may not be complete, the data they contain are correct.

The copy of the Hefte von Auschwitz in the possession of the court was checked by the witness against the Polish original edition. The absolute reliability of the work and testimony of the witness Czech has been repeatedly confirmed during these proceedings by the fact that the Auschwitz prisoner-numbers tattooed on the arms of several of the Jewish witnesses can be found precisely in the lists for those transports with which the witnesses testify they were sent to Auschwitz.

There are only minor discrepancies in the data, since the lists usually indicate the date of arrival of a specific transport in Auschwitz, while the witnesses generally, if at all, are able to indicate only the departure date, and nothing definite was determinable in most cases regarding the length of travel time for a specific transport. In the instance of Zambrow, for example, the witness Mrs. Gerzek, Auschwitz No. 29.507, claims she recalls the arrival date of January 18, 1943, and this is confirmed by the list. In regard to Pruzana, the witness Gercek, Auschwitz No. 97.939, stated that this was the first transport from Pruzana to Auschwitz - this is confirmed by the list. The witnesses Laka (Auschwitz No. 99.383) and Altschuld (Auschwitz No. 99.222) stated correctly that they were on the final transport to Auschwitz from Pruzana (see Doc. Vol. 1, No. 39n and 40a).

Spot checks of the railroad documents available to the court, such as that pertaining to the composition of the train transport of January 15/16, 1943, or documents on the Pruzana/Oranczyce transports, likewise confirm the reliability of the Auschwitz chronicle of events contained in the Hefte.

This selection of the numerous confirmations should suffice. Moreover, it is important to note that the reliability of the Auschwitz transport lists was not challenged by those involved in these proceedings.

Data on the liquidation of Centipolk camp are based principally on testimony given by the witnesses Karasik and Dr. Datner, as well as the defendant Dibus. The Hefte von Auschwitz, which remain silent about transports from Bialystok other than those of the partial liquidation undertaken in February 1943, also provide us with an indication that Centipolk was not evacuated to Auschwitz. Despite the extensive testimony presented, there have been no indications - and it can thus be safely excluded - that there were any other Jews (aside from those who had gone into hiding or the underground) in Bialystok District at the beginning of February 1943 except for the residents of the ghetto in Bialystok city and the remaining reduced ghetto in Grodno.

(Source: Documents, Vol. IV, pp. 554-559.)

4. Transports to the Death Camps in January 1943

The transport of Jews from Bialystok District was carried out according to plan and with greater intensity during January 1943. The SS leadership regarded the district thereafter as "judenrein" in accordance with Nazi parlance, aside from the exceptions mentioned. From the numerous deportations during this period, the prosecution chose to-include the transports from Zambrow/Lomza (Dr. Altenloh) and Grodno (Altenloh and Errelis) in the charge sheet. The liquidation of Pruzana (Dr. Altenloh) was likewise included among the charges as a result of the supplementary suit filed by the head of the Section for National Socialist Mass Crimes, State of North Rhine-Westfalia in the office of the Senior State Prosecutor in Dortmund dated October 31, 1966, No. 45 Js 5/66. That charge was ruled on and allowed by the Third Penal Chamber of the District Court in Hagen, November 30, 1966, and included as part of the present proceedings (decison of January 4, 1967).

The Third Penal Chamber, District Court, Hagen, at the request of the state prosecutor, declared Dr. Altenloh not subject to prosecution for deportations from Sokolka, Wolkowysk and Centipolk (decision of November 30, 1966). It remains an open question whether - and if so, to what extent and under what presuppositions - it might be possible to include these acts within the charges dealt with by this trial. A conviction of the accused in regard to the entire complex of liquidations implemented in the district in the month of January 1943 is not possible. It is true that Dr. Altenloh has admitted being involved in the deportations from Zambrow/Lomza and Grodno, and he has been convicted of participation in the liquidation of Grodno. Moreover, the accused Errelis has admitted his part in the deportations from Ghetto 1 in Grodno. However, both defendants have denied any knowledge of the criminal intent of the transports they were ordered to carry out; that contention has not been refuted for the time period in question here.

(Source: Documents, Vol. IV, pp. 560-561.)

5. Deportations from Grodno, January 18, 1943

The operation in Grodno began on January 18, 1943, immediately after the liquidation of the army barracks in Zambrow. The large Ghetto 1 was still in existence there at that time. It was liquidated and its residents sent to Auschwitz, except for a small number of several thousand Jews. There is definite knowledge about a total of five transports on subsequent days from Grodno; these arrived in Auschwitz from January 20 to 24, 1943. The Jews call this partial liquidation of Ghetto 1 in Grodno >Operation 10,000<. This name is quite apt and can give some indication of the magnitude of the operation. Exact figures cannot be determined. One can assume an absolute minimum of 7,500 deported Jews. Errelis was responsible, in his capacity as head of the post, for local organization and implementation of the transport. Errelis had received the order from Dr. Altenloh. The former Detective Sergeant Wiese played a primary role in the liquidation action.

The horrifying details of the implementation of this liquidation operation are significant for - and characteristic of - the personality and state of knowledge of the defendant Errelis. Correspondingly, these have been described in detail and evaluated in the presentation of his legal responsibility. At this juncture, only one general point should be underscored: the subordinates of Errelis shot and killed at least 100 persons without sufficient reason during this liquidation operation.

Basis for Proof

Findings in the first section are based on the calendar of events in Auschwitz camp (Hefte von Auschwitz 4. Doc. Vol. I, 38a), as well as testimony presented by the defendants Altenloh and Errelis.

(Source: Documents, Vol. IV, pp. 579-581.)

6. Deportations from Grodno and Kelbasin

A. The January Liquidation

This liquidation - the so-called >Operation 10,000< - was part of the evacuation of the entire district, final destination Auschwitz. Both Altenloh and Errelis admit their part in these operations. Errelis gave credible testimony that he was frequently in the ghetto and supervised the composition of each individual transport. However, he denies having had any knowledge of the destructive intent of the order. As in the case of Altenloh, the court is not convinced that it can be proven beyond doubt that Errelis was aware of this in January 1943. That is evident from the following findings and considerations regarding the final liquidation of Grodno in February 1943.

B. The Final Liquidation and Removal, February 1943

On February 13, 1943, immediately after the partial liquidation of the ghetto in Bialystok, the final liquidation of the remainder of Ghetto 1 in Grodno commenced. Altenloh had received the liquidation order along with transport documents from the RSHA together with the order for evacuating Bialystok city. He passed this on immediately to Errelis. Treblinka was listed as final destination. Errelis carried out the liquidation together with his subordinates. He himself was frequently inside the ghetto, and supervised the composition and departure of each transport. The principal person responsible for implementation of the deportations in Ghetto 1 was Detective Sergeant Wiese, especially in operations relating to rounding up of Jews. The assembly point was the main synagogue. During >Operation 10,000<, Gestapo officials killed at least 100 Jews - men, women and children without reason; at least 50 Jews were killed in this way in February. At least three transports were sent to Treblinka on February 13, 14 and 16, 1943. Ghetto 1, and thus Grodno town, was cleared of Jews as a result, except for a remaining 1,000 artisans. The Jewish craftsmen had proved themselves to be excellent workers in duties for the Gestapo, and were later transferred on March 12, 1943 to the ghetto in Bialystok city. With these three train transports, a total of at least 3,500 Jews were sent to their death in Treblinka.

Altenloh and Errelis were cognizant of all this. They knew the intended destination of the transports, the criminal intent of the order, the certain destruction awaiting all deported Jews in Treblinka. Errelis was also familiar with the type and extent of the excessive killings which took place during these operations. Both defendants were aware of the gross criminal nature of the deportations. It was also clear to them that racist reasons could never justify such acts.

The Evidence and its Evaluation

These findings are based - aside from the statements by the defendants Altenloh and Errelis, insofar as these were credible - on findings and considerations in earlier sections of the proceedings, the expert testimony of the historian Dr. Scheffler, the Hefte von Auschwitz already mentioned, testimony by the witness Dr. Danuta Czech, Zabecki, Gnichwitz and Nowik, as well in particular on evidence presented in the following individual descriptions.

The accused Altenloh and Errelis admit their participation to the extent established. They did not make any statement regarding the number of transports and the total number of deported Jews.

There were at least three transport trains. One train, No. Pj 163, left Grodno for Treblinka on February 14. This can be derived from the schedule No. 552 of the General Direction, Eastern Railway in Cracow of February 1, 1943. This train had been planned for a long time, since it is included in the list of special trains agreed on January 15, 1943 in Berlin by the General Direction, Eastern Railway (Jan. 16, 1943, Doc. Vol. IV-7, 117 ff.). The train bears the serial routing number 122. An additional train, Pj 165, left Grodno for Treblinka on February 16, 1943. This is indicated by two railway telegrams (Doc. Vol. II-5, 11 f.). After this, the train Pj 163 was redirected back to Grodno as an empty train, LP Pj 164, and was not sent to Ostrolenka, as originally planned (cf. list in Doc. Vol. V-7, 117 ff. , 121 ff.). On February 16, 1943, that same train, now designated Pj 165, brought a further transport of Jews to Treblinka. Only after this was it sent on as an empty train, designated LP Pj 166, to Ostrolenka.

Moreover, the court is convinced that a transport train departed Grodno for Treblinka already on February 13, 1943. This can be ascertained from the following: according to the schedule No. 552 of February 1, 1943, the special trains agreed upon on January 15, 1943 in Berlin and the associated rerouting plan for the freight trains to be used in multiple fashion, Pj 135 was scheduled to depart Bialystok for Treblinka as a fully loaded train on February 13, 1943. However, this did not occur. The partial liquidation in Bialystok had been concluded already on February 12, 1943, one day earlier than originally planned. The court considers it impossible that a train already made available by the Reichsbahn was not utilized by SS officials for deportation of Jews. The court believes that this train is indeed identical with Pj 135, which was scheduled to depart Bialystok for Treblinka, but was rerouted to Grodno, and then departed Grodno with a full load of deportees for Treblinka on February 13.

This is a reasonable conclusion, since the date of February 13 was mentioned in contemporary - and thus particularly reliable - statements as the day on which liquidation operations in Grodno commenced. The diary of Tenenbaum-Tamaroff (Doc. Vol. V, No. 7) contains the following entry for February 14, 1943, p. 34: a certain person by the name of Chaim from Grodno said that they had started there with the final liquidation of the Jews. Barrasch stated that four members of the Judenrat, a few craft artisans and the factories of the Grodno ghetto were to be transferred to Bialystok, and that several machines had already arrived. If the dating for this entry is accurate, i.e., February 14, it can be assumed that the liquidation in Grodno had begun already before February 14, i.e., on the 13th at the latest. The court is satisfied that the dating in the diary is accurate.

This was a relatively quiet period in Bialystok. Tenenbaum-Tamaroff had time to write in his diary. Another entry tends to support the reliability of these remarks on the Grodno liquidation: for February 17 (p. 37), the diary notes that 15 freight cars containing Jews had passed Bialystok travelling in the direction of Malkinia (i.e. Treblinka). This entry is confirmed by the railway telegrams, according to which Pj 165 left Grodno on February 16 for Treblinka, i.e., via Bialystok. It is also confirmed by the freight lading slip of Pj 129, which designates trains with the routing series no. 122 - and thus Pj 165 as well - as short-distance trains.

At least 3,500 persons were deported during these operations.

The Grodno Jews recall the February liquidation as the so-called >Operation 5,000<. That designation indicates that they believe this final liquidation involved the deportation of some 5,000 persons to the death camp. The defendants Altenloh and Errelis do not dispute the figure. It also is in agreement with the plans as can be derived from the composition of the trains and the routing plan, both put together by the General Direction, Eastern Railway in Berlin. According to this, trains with the routing serial no. 122 transported a total of 2,000 persons each. Trains with serial no. 122 included Pj 163 and Pj 165, which departed Grodno for Treblinka on February 14 and 16 respectively. Since they had the same routing number, they consisted of the same freight cars.

However, the court has doubts as to whether a total of 4,000 individuals were in fact transported by these two trains. A lading slip from one of the freight cars of Pj 129 has accidentally been preserved (Vol. B II-5, p. 9). Pj 129 likewise had the serial routing no. 122. Thus, the same freight cars were on trains Pj 163 and Pj 165, a total of 13 cars. Even if one proceeds on the assumption that each car contained 80 persons, this gives a total of just over 1,000 people transported by each train. The court has no reason to doubt that an average of at least 80 persons per freight car were transported. According to all testimony presented (cf. statements by the witnesses Frelichmann for the transports from Grodno 1942, Regina Gercek for Zambrow/Lomza, Steinberg for >Operation 10,000< in Grodno /Auschwitz prisoner no. 92 802, arrival in Auschwitz on January 22, 1943, cf. Hefte von Auschwitz, ibid./ and Sol Gelchinsky, Isaak Gielczynski for the August liquidation in Bialystok; there are no known survivors of the February transports from Grodno), so many Jews were packed into the freight cars that there was no room left to sit. If one bears in mind that during World War II, a total of 40 men per freight car was common practice in transporting infantry units, and that these 40 men had enough room to sit and even to stretch out, then a load of 80 persons, densely packed and standing, seems a reasonable figure to assume.

There is no documentation on the number of cars in the train of February 13, 1943. According to the schedule, which lists the train as Pj 135 from Bialystok to Treblinka, it should be recalled that this train was rerouted to Grodno rather than Bialystok, and then on to Treblinka from Grodno; its routing serial no. is 121. The schedule indicates the train had a planned load of 2,000 persons. It is the opinion of the court that the number of persons in fact transported was at least of this magnitude. In a diary entry for February 19, 1943, Tenenbaum-Tamaroff notes reports on Grodno from "L" and "Sch": they said that on Saturday, February 13, a total even of 2,500 Jews were deported from Grodno. In order to be on the safe side, however, the court decided, to the benefit of the accused, that the three trains had transported no more than a total of at least 3,500 individuals to Treblinka from Grodno during the February liquidation operation.

Errelis, as local head of operations, had an exact picture of the extent of the deportations. It was his responsibility to report on the operation to his superior KdS. Dr. Altenloh knew how many Jews were still left in Grodno. Not only the orders to Grodno passed through his hands, but also the train documents with scheduling changes as well. Those changes were probably even initiated by Bialystok with the consent of Grodno officials, depending on local requirements. The figure of 3,500 deported Jews is such a low estimate that one thing remains certain: Altenloh was undoubtedly aware of the magnitude of the action (at least) in respect to deportation operations from Grodno in February 1943.

However, Altenloh and Errelis deny they knew that the final destination was Treblinka, and that the intent of the order was the extermination of the Jews. They claim they believed the purported official motivation: relocation of Jews for conscripted labor. Moreover, Errelis contends that only one Jew died by violence during the entire period of his command in Grodno, namely Dr. Brawer, and that his death had been due to an error committed by a police officer.

That contention has been disproven. In the case of Altenloh, this is clear from findings and considerations in earlier sections of the final verdict. Errelis was also aware, at the latest when he received the order to proceed with the final liquidation of Ghetto 1, that the deported Jews were being sent to their death. However, the findings based on the hearing of testimony below are insufficient to prove that he was already aware of this while supervising >Operation 10,000<, even though there is a strong suspicion of his guilt in this connection.

In order to substantiate his actual awareness of these facts, it is initially necessary to recall the situation as it existed in Grodno during the period from November 1942 to February 1943. After Jews throughout the district were gathered together and concentrated in a small number of localities on November 2, 1942, the responsibility of the Gestapo for the ghettos in Grodno was also expanded. Up until that time, guarding of the ghettos had been the responsibility of the local police, and essential supplies to the ghetto had been handled by the local civil administration.

From this point onward, the Gestapo also took over these duties. The Jewish inhabitants living in the vicinity of Grodno were gathered together in the camp Kelbasin located near Grodno. This camp had served the Russian and, at a later date, the Polish army as a base camp during manoeuvers. Trenches big enough for a company of men had been dug. These trenches were fitted on the inside with wood and covered by a wooden roof. After the Grodno area was captured by the Germans, Russian POWs had been interned in this camp.

The camp had since been evacuated and placed at the disposal of the Gestapo for concentrating Jews from the Grodno area. There were at least 8,000 Jews in the Kelbasin camp. The witness Shulkes testified to the court that some 22,000 Jews had been quartered there. There were a total of approximately 20,000 to 25,000 Jews in Ghettos 1 and 2; Ghetto I was much more heavily populated than Ghetto 2. Living conditions in the Grodno ghettos had been poor since their establishment. Ghetto 1 was somewhat more privileged, since it contained the so-called "useful" Jews. In contrast to Bialystok, however, there was no armaments industry of any importance in the Grodno ghettos. As far as is known, the only war industry factory was a plant for felt boots in Ghetto 1. In addition, there were several other factories, but they were not working for the German Wehrmacht.

The Gestapo outpost in Grodno was not divided into departments. Formally, it was under the direct command of the head of Dept. IV (Gestapo) in Bialystok. It carried out all the tasks of the Gestapo. Errelis, as head of the post, was responsible for their implementation. Where necessary, he made use of the 10-12 officers under his authority. Thus, Errelis was familiar with all events concerning his post. Errelis' immediate subordinate in rank was Detective Staff Sergeant Schott, who is no longer living.

Although the post was not structured into separate sections, Errelis had designated several staff who had special responsibility for Jews. Thus, the Detective Sergeant Wiese, with his corresponding SS rank, was responsible for Ghetto 1. A certain Streblow, since deceased, was responsible for Ghetto 2. Responsible for Kelbasin were ei ther Best or another of f i ci al , Rinzer, likewise dead, who was assigned as translator. These three - Wiese, Streblow and Rinzer conducted a reign of terror in the two ghettos and the Kelbasin camp.

A short time after the concentration on November 2, 1942, there were small numbers of deportations of Jews from Ghetto 2 in Grodno and the Kelbasin camp to Auschwitz. During these transports, 1,000 Jews regarded as productive workers were taken aside in Ghetto 2 before deportation and transferred to Ghetto 1. Parallel with this, some 1,000 Jews deemed unable or unwilling to work were transferred from Ghetto 1 to Kelbasin, and from there were subsequently deported to Auschwitz. Only a few were successful, most probably by bribery, in gaining transfer from Kelbasin back to Ghetto 1. At the end of December 1942, the entire Ghetto 2 and the Kelbasin camp were completely liquidated, except for a small remainder in Kelbasin. The few Jews remaining in Kelbasin were transferred back to Ghetto 1 due to the extreme cold.

From January 18-22, 1943, during >Operation 10,000<, a total of at least 7,500 Jews - men, women and children - were deported from Ghetto 1 in five trains to Auschwitz, where most of them were murdered. The aim of >Operation 5,000<, which began on February 13, 1943, was the total and complete liquidation of the ghetto. On March 12, 1943, the Jews "useful" to the Gestapo, the last Jews still remaining in Grodno, were transferred to Bialystok.

Beginning in November 1942, the subordinates of Errelis tortured or shot numerous Jews in Grodno arbitrarily, without adequate reason. Such acts were perpetrated in particular during liquidations in January and February 1943.

(Source: Documents, Vol. IV, pp. 583-597.)

7. Testimony of a Historian at the Auschwitz Museum

My name is Dr. Danuta Czech, I am 44 years old and a researcher on the staff of the Auschwitz Museum in Auschwitz.

At the Museum, I am department head of the Institute for the History of Auschwitz Concentration Camp. I have edited publications on events which occurred in the camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. These are based on documents from our archives and trials which took place after 1945. The transports of Jews were called RSHA transports, because they took place at the order of the RSHA. The designation "RSHA transports" is an official German term, and we are in possession of various original documents in which it appears.

The following RSHA transports, listed in No. 3 of the Hefte von Auschwitz, are documented and can be proven:

November 7, 1942. Jews from the Ciechanow ghetto. 465 men with the numbers 73531-73995, 229 women with the numbers 23734-23962 were sent into the camp.1 The others were gassed.

November 9, 1942. Jews from Bialystok District. 190 men with the numbers 74199-74388, 104 women with the numbers 24046-24149 were sent into the camp; the others were gassed.

November 14, 1942. Jews from Bialystok District. 282 men with the numbers 75378-75659, 379 women with the numbers 24659-25037 were sent into the camp. Children, mothers and old men were gassed.

November 18, 1942. Jews from Grodno. 165 men with the numbers 75952-76116, 65 women with the numbers 25065-25129 were sent into the camp. Children, women and old men were gassed.

November 25, 1942. Jews from Grodno. 305 men with the numbers 77720-78024, 128 women with the numbers 25793-25920 were placed in the camp. Children, mothers and old men were gassed.

December 2, 1943. Jews from Grodno District. 178 men with the numbers 79390-79567 and 60 women with the numbers 26287-26346 were sent into the camp. Children, mothers and old men were gassed.

December 8, 1942. Jews from Grodno. 231 men with the numbers 80764-80994 were sent into the camp. Children, mothers, and old men were gassed.

RSHA Transports noted in No. 4, Hefte von Auschwitz:

January 7, 1943. Jews from the ghetto Augustow. 296 men with the numbers 85525-85820 and 215 women with the numbers 28069-28283 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 13, 1943. Jews from Zambrow. 148 men with the numbers 86785-86932 and 50 women with the numbers 28634-28683 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 15, 1943. Jews from Bialystok. Four women received the numbers 28727-287301.

January 16, 1943. Jews from Zambrow. 211 men with the numbers 67168-87378 entered the camp. The others were gassed.

January 16, 1943. Jews from Lomza. 170 men with the numbers 88581-88750 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 17, 1943. Jews from Lomza. 255 men with the numbers 88751-89005 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 18, 1943. Jews from Zambrow. 164 men with the numbers 89845-90008 and 134 women with the numbers 29451-29584 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 20, 1943. Jews from Grodno. 155 men with the numbers 90822-90976 and 101 women with the numbers 30035-30135 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 21, 1943. Jews from Grodno. 175 men with the numbers 91115-91289 and 112 women with the numbers 30136-30247 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 22, 1943. Approx. 3,650 Jews from Grodno. 365 men with the numbers 92544-92908 and 229 women with the numbers 30771-30999 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 23, 1943. Jews from Grodno. 235 men with the numbers 92909-93143 and 191 women with the numbers 31000-31190 were placed in the camp. The others were gassed.

January 24, 1943. Jews from Grodno. 166 men with the numbers 93313-93478 and 60 women with the numbers 31362-31421 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 26, 1943. Jews from Sokolka. 161 men with the numbers 93755-93915 and 32 women with the numbers 31559-31590 were placed in the camp. The others were gassed.

January 28, 1943. Jews from Wolkowysk. 280 men with the numbers 94196-94475 and 75 women with the numbers 31948-32020 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 30, 1943. Jews from Wolkowysk. 140 men with the numbers 97685-97824 and 140 women with the numbers 32744-32883 were placed in the camp. The others were gassed.

January 30, 1943. Jews from Pruzana. 327 men with the numbers 97825-98151 and 275 women with the numbers 32604, 32884-33157 were placed in the camp. The others were gassed.

January 31, 1943. Jews from Pruzana. 249 men with the numbers 98516-98764 and 32 women with the numbers 33326-33357 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

January 31, 1943. Jews from Pruzana. 313 men with the numbers 98778-99087, 99110-99112 and 180 women with the numbers 33358-33537 were placed in the camp. The others were gassed.

February 2, 1943. Jews from Pruzana. 294 men with the numbers 99211-94504 and 105 women with the numbers 33928-34032 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

February 6, 1943. Jews from Bialystok. 85 men with the numbers 100523-100607 and 47 women with the numbers 34728-34774 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

February 7, 1943. Jews from Bialystok. 123 men with the numbers 100608-100730. The others were gassed.

February 8, 1943. Jews from Bialystok. 75 men with the numbers 100731-100805 and 85 women with the numbers 34779-34873 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

March 23(?), 1943. Gypsies suspected of having typhus from the Gypsy camp in Birkenau. 1700 men, women and children - without numbers - were gassed.

April 19, 1943. One Jew from Bialystok with the number 41869.

May 12, 1943. Transport of prisoners from Bialystok. 971 Polish Gypsies. 468 men and boys received the numbers Z7666-Z8133; 503 women and girls were given the numbers Z8331-Z8833.

RSHA Transports listed in No. 6, Hefte von Auschwitz:

August 29, 1943. Jews from Bialystok. 210 men with the numbers 143962-144171 and 17 women with the numbers 57015-57031 were sent into the camp. The others were gassed.

August 31, 1943. Jews from Bialystok. 280 men with the numbers 144183-144462 and 795 women with the numbers 57033-57828 were placed in the camp. The others were gassed.

October 7, 1943. 1,260 Jewish children with 53 accompanying adults from Theresienstadt. They were gassed.

(From testimony given by the witness on October 3, 1966)

(Source: Documents, Vol. IV, pp. 500-504.)

Translated by Bill Templer
Institute for German History
Tel Aviv University

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