Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Eichmann Trial -- Session 71 -- Testimony of Vera Alexander, Nachum Hoch, Gedalia Ben-Zvi

Film | Accession Number: 1999.A.0087 | RG Number: RG-60.2100.090 | Film ID: 2090

Footage begins during testimony from witness Vera Alexander. The witness is shown various sketches of scenes depicting life in Auschwitz which were drawn by another survivor following liberation (the sketches are shown on screen).

00:09:38 Vera Alexander is excused and leaves the witness stand and the next witness, Nachum Hoch, is called to the stand. Hoch is sworn in and testifies in Hebrew (00:10:37) beginning with his deportation from Transylvania to Auschwitz and the selection process at the camp. He then goes on to describe being beaten (00:13:28) for attempting to get another ration of food and an instance in which he was taken with a group for disinfection (00:15:12). Hoch gives an account of how his block was locked up for several days, how they planned to break out, and how they were caught (00:16:52). Following this, Hoch states that they were taken to crematorium #3 where a selection took place and he was among fifty boys selected to remove potatoes from railcars and bury them (00:27:35). Nachum Hoch is excused and leaves the stand.

Attorney General Gideon Hausner calls Gedalia Ben-Zvi to the stand. The witness walks down the aisle to the stand and takes the oath (00:34:12). Ben-Zvi begins his testimony by describing his deportation from Bratislava to Majdanek then to Auschwitz, followed by his arrival at the camp. He provides a long explanation as to the difference between Auschwitz and Birkenau (00:36:19). The witness goes on to give an account of how arrivals were quarantined (00:45:01) and then distributed into labor groups. Ben-Zvi recounts how he and his brother-in-law tried to obtain food and tells of his work detail, moving bodies to the mortuary (00:48:28). He then describes being sent to the punishment unit and the Bunakommando. The remainder of his testimony concerns a description of the mass executions that happened in the block (00:54:14), his imprisonment in a Stehbunker (a small vertical cell where he could only stand), (00:57:54) and the presence of good and bad block elders. Testimony ends with Ben-Zvi beginning to describe his work detail in "Canada" (01:02:22). "Canada" was the prisoners' name for the looted property taken from arriving transports, and referred the supposed riches possessed by people who lived in Canada. The section on "Canada" is duplicate footage also found on Tape 2091 (at 00:00:38 to 00:02:46) but is less complete on this tape. The footage on this tape becomes distorted beginning at 01:03:24.

Film Title
Eichmann Trial
Event Date
1961 June 08
Jerusalem, Israel
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Expand all
Record last modified: 2018-11-27 10:58:59
This page: