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Eichmann Trial -- Sessions 68 and 69 -- Testimonies of Y. Dinur, Y. Bakon, A. Oppenheimer, A. Beilin

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.081 | Film ID: 2081

Session 68. Witness Yehiel Dinur is sworn in. He identifies himself as a man born in Poland, and as a writer. 00:02:14 He is asked about his pseudonym K. Zetnik. He explains the meaning of his books, particularly the Auschwitz chronicle, he explains how in the camps time passed on a different scale, the inhabitants of the planet breathed and lived under different laws and nature - "their name was the number 'Kazetnik'". That's why he uses this name. He talks about the uniform, and the "Auschwitz planet." 00:09:20 The witness asked to listen to questions, as he continues to speak about what is on his mind and does not directly address the questions put before the court. Suddenly the witness faints. It is later discovered that he has had a stroke while testifying. There is commotion in the courtroom; the witness's wife comes to his aid at the witness stand, along with court personnel and medical personnel. Recess is called. He is taken out of court on a stretcher. 00:13:00 Cuts out.

00:13:03 Witness Yehuda Bakon describes his time in the camps, recalling a time when he was taking wood to the crematorium fire, incidents when the Sonderkommando took pity on the children and allowed them to warm themselves from the harsh cold outside by staying near the ovens and in the gas chambers. He recalls that he used to have to spread human ashes on the road in winter so that people would not slip and fall on the ice and snow. 00:15:27 Cuts out. He then describes his experience in Zeltenlager - there was an air raid, a bomb hit the camp and the next day he saw people eating human flesh. 00:17:17 Cuts out.

00:17:20 Witness Alfred Oppenheimer. The witness was in Birkenau. He describes a selection, lying about occupation and age to save himself. 00:22:35 Cuts out. Describes the train on which he was deported - and managing to get a place by the window. 00:24:57 SS men trying to find out who opened the window to the carriage - shot at the men opposite him. Asked about the fellow passengers from Terezin. Not allowed to help a man who survived his bullet. 00:28:28 Cuts out. He continues to describe his camp experience, as he talks about sleeping on a concrete floor, whilst having to dismantle machines, peeling potatoes. Describes himself and a fellow inmate being caught having 'organized' potatoes - sentenced to death by hanging. First man hung, Oppenhiemer was allowed to live - hung by the arms for two hours because he only stole one potato. 00:34:32 Describes his fellow workers trying to ease his work burden the next day. 00:34:52 Cuts out. He describes again how he narrowly avoided death. He was left behind when a death march took place, two acquaintances stayed behind with him. They slept in a hut. 00:37:50 The woke up to the sounds of shouting, the SS men were back. He went to hide in public lavatory, guards were shooting, setting fire to huts and shooting those who tried to leave the huts. 00:38:51 They jumped through the seat of the toilets into the pit below to escape the fire/shooting. 00:41:30 Eventually the Russian army liberated them. He said that he weighed 39 kilos when Russians came. 00:42:30 Cuts out.

Session 69. Witness Dr. Aharon Beilin. Describes telling fellow inmate that the crematorium was not a bakery - that inmate then committed suicide. 00:45:13 Cuts out. Describes what 'Muselmann' were. 00:48:17 Cuts out. Explains about "Goebbels Calendar" - on Jewish holidays sick wards and Muselmänner blocks were emptied out and sent to the gas chambers. 00:49:55 Cuts out. Beilin lost consciousness for three days. Describes Mengele approaching him whilst he was cleaning the floor. Beilin knew Mengele would want him dead as he was a witness to the liquidation of the Roma camp and it was clear that the Germans had now lost the war; he was removed however, and taken to the hut of dying people. 00:52:20 He was liberated four days later, and he recollects that he awoke in a clean bed with flowers next to him.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event:  1961 June 07
Production:  1961 June 07
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: 2022-07-28 22:00:40
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