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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 46, 53, 62, 64, 68, and 71 -- Testimonies regarding badges, postcards, furnaces, ditches, suicides, selections

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.058 | Film ID: 2057

Session 46. May 19, 1961. Alexander Arnon talks about wearing the Star of David badge. He is interrupted by the Prosecution, and asked about the forced payment of 100,000,000 Denars, with 60 Denars equal to an American Dollar at the time. Following that, legislation that required wearing the Jewish Star was put into effect. The court decides that photographing the badge he holds up will suffice for evidence. He was given the task of supplying the Jews of Zagreb with the badges, as ordered by the Gestapo officer Mueller.

00:10:46 Session 53. May 25, 1961. Margit Reich testifies. A translator reads a postcard from her husband that describes the deportation and the trip. She describes that the postcard was thrown from the train and sent by a passerby. The translator reads another postcard describing conditions in the train and her father's goodbye to the family, though he hoped to survive.

00:17:33 Tape jumps. Dr. Martin (Marcel) Foeldi testifes about the postcards they were forced to write in Auschwitz, as dictated by the Kapos. He was forced to write about being put to work and that he was fine. He says that it was very reassuring to receive postcards from the previous transports, making them feel better about the situation.

00:21:51 Tape jumps. Ze'ev Sapir testifies about Adolf Eichmann's visit to the ghetto Sapir was in, and how it was cleaned to welcome him. He has difficulty expressing the story.

00:26:43 Tape jumps. Ze'ev Sapir is still testifying. He says that after three hours in the train, he saw furnaces and smelled a horrible odor at Auschwitz. He asked other inmates what it was, and they said burning rags. He understood his fate when a prisoner who forgot his prayer shawl in the coach was told he wasn't going to need it by another prisoner who unloaded the train. Sapir is asked about his family, and he describes them, and says that all of them died.

00:30:02 Session 62. June 1, 1961. Leslie Gordon testifies that he was searching for food for his family in Bucharest when he was captured. He was told to dig ditches, and they believed that they were anti-tank ditches. This was controlled by the SD. He describes that people were told to remove their clothes, and were executed by Germans, some sober, some drunk. Not all of them were killed, but only injured, and buried alive. He says that those executed were those able to resist, all of them Jews.

00:43:02 Session 64. June 5, 1961. Ya'akov Friedman testifying. He describes inmates committing suicide by running at the electric fences in Majdanek. He says that the guards tried to stop them, not because they cared, but because it was a lot of work for them.

00:44:09 Session 68. June 7, 1961. Joseph Zalman Kleinman testifying. He describes the call for everyone to run to the football field, which he believes was there for the Roma. He says that Dr. Mengele rode up on his bike and he began the selection. He asked a young sunburned blonde boy, and asked this 15 year old how old he was. He lied, saying he was 18. Mengele was furious, demanding a plank with a hammer and nails. He created a measuring device, demanding that everyone must walk under, and those not tall enough would be sent to their death. Though it was not said, they knew what the purpose of this was. He put rocks in his shoes, painfully elevating himself, forcing himself to stand at attention with that. He survived, though 1000 out of 2000 did not. The tape jumps before he can elaborate.

00:53:03 Session 71. June 8, 1961. Nachum Hoch testifying. He was forced into a room with serial numbers and hooks and told to undress. One of the Sonderkommando told them in Yiddish not to show their fear, but to sing. He believes Hoess then came to the hallway and grabbed the first boy in the line, asking him to prove physical fitness. The kid talked back to Hoess, and he was sent back to the chamber. Hoch was forced to do knee bends and then to run to the wall and back before being sent with the first boy. 50 were selected in this fashion.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 May 19
Production:  1961 May 19-1961 June 08
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 12:45:26
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