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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 32 and 33 -- Presentation of documents; Wellers testifies about the plight of children

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.045 | Film ID: 2044

Session 32. Iranian Jews are being discussed in the reading of a document into the record by the Prosecution. This document includes Iranian Jews who practice other faiths in the extermination, to be treated the same as the Jews of Europe. The document is signed by Eichmann.

00:03:54 A document is being read into the record by the Prosecution, signed by Eichmann, saying that as soon as transports were possible from the General Government area, children are to be included. Six transports of children are to be sent.

00:05:37 Tape jumps. George Wellers is brought in as a witness, asked to cover his head, and sworn in. He saw the French children transported, in four transports from Beaune-la-Rolande and Pithiviers transit camps (from these transit camps Jews were then transported to the killing centers in occupied Poland). The children were accompanied by 200 adults. They arrived at the camp by bus. He is asked some very basic questions about himself, including his profession. He is the Director of the Physiology Research laboratory of the Sorbonne, Paris, France.

00:08:14 Tape jumps. Wellers describes the children's transports, of these children with adults who were not their parents. They were brought into the camps in buses. He describes these young children being put into groups of 80 or so, and led to places with only mats on a dirty floor. They were too young to know their family names, and were impossible to keep track of. He describes the practice of attempting to identify the children by putting names on disks and hanging them around their necks. Soon it was realized that the children were playing with the disks, and that many exchanged them, so boys would be carrying girls names and visa versa.

00:16:35 Tape jumps. Wellers describes the look of the children, their tattered clothes, often without buttons or with shoes missing. They were covered in wounds. They had diarrhea, and could not make it to the lavatories in the courtyard, and the chamber pots given to them were too large for small children to use. Some women who were going to be removed from the camp were chosen to wake before dawn to go and care for the children. They had nothing with which to work, but attempted to mend clothes and clean them, but had no cloth or soap. When soup arrived, there were no spoons anywhere in the camp. They had tins, but they were too hot for the children to use. They did not know to raise their voices in protest. Nobody was allowed to be with them at night. They would wake and cry, calling for their mothers. Sometimes all 120 would wake together, waking each other up with their crying. This would wake up other barracks of children, and it would continue.

00:22:59 Tape jumps. Wellers is testifying about the Germans ridiculing the yellow badges that the Jews were forced to wear, making fakes that featured other inscriptions, and put them on their dogs and paraded them around. They were arrested, sent to camps, treated like the Jews and wore yellow stars that said "Jew-Lover" on them.

00:25:02 Tape jumps. Wellers is testifying about a well dressed man walking through the camp, asking questions of a happy boy, who said that his parents were in the office, with his mother playing the piano. He asked if he would be leaving to rejoin his parents soon. They all knew that they were lying when they said that the children would be reunited with their parents later. They continued to lie. The boy pulled part of a ration biscuit, and said that "this half I save for mother". The German put his hand on the boy, and he burst into tears.

00:28:44 Tape jumps. Wellers is asked about the amount of suicides in this camp. He says that there were some, but every time there was a suicide, someone had to take their place on the transport in order to maintain the shipment of 1,000 people.

00:31:13 Tape jumps. Wellers is testifying about trucks arriving at the camps filled with furniture from the apartments of deported Jews. They had to be sorted to be given to "needy Germans". Certain objects of higher value were set aside at another warehouse, and high ranking Germans would sometimes arrive, select something, and have it sent to their house. He says that 50-60 trucks a day would arrive.

00:35:38 Session 33. The Judges are just entering the court. They open the 33rd session of the trial. Documents are being submitted by the Prosecution. These documents describe the beginning of the transportation and the authorization to round up children and then take care of them. A secret cable from Gunter says that children should be mixed into all transports to Auschwitz. Individual transports of only children should be avoided; it should be done in stages. Documents concerning numbers of deportations are submitted.

00:49:12 The President of Court scolds the Prosecution, demanding that they stay to the point. Documents are submitted by the Prosecution concerning the special treatment of certain peoples, their requests to not be deported, and the ordered deportation of many to the East. All of these are signed by Eichmann, or were sent to Eichmann.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 May 09
Production:  1961 May 09
Jerusalem, Israel
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:45:21
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