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Stutthof trial and inspection of the camp

Film | Accession Number: 2004.715.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4331 | Film ID: 2744

Opening titles in Polish. The defendants in the Stutthof trial enter the dock. The judges enter and are seated. The camera focuses on each defendant as he or she is named, including Commandant Johann Pauls, Kapo Josef Reiter, Kapo Waclaw Kozlowski, Jan Breit, and Kapo Tadeusz Kopczynski. There are several female defendants, including Gerda Steinhoff, Jenny Barkmann, Elisabeth Becker, Ewa Paradies, Wanda Klaff, and Erna Beilhardt. A female witness comes forward to point out one of the women defendants. Several of the defendants are shown speaking animatedly, presumably in their own defense. 00:25:06 Postwar shots of Stutthof camp, including barbed wire, barracks, and guard towers. A large well-kept house, presumably the home of Commandant Pauls. A large group of men, among them Soviet soldiers, accompany the shackeled defendants through a gate on the grounds of the camp. Defendant Breit is shown giving information to a man in civilian clothes (he looks like the judge who appeared earlier, in the courtroom). Exterior and interior shots of the infirmary (some 60,000 people were killed by lethal injection by doctors in the camp). Interior shot of the gas chamber and the crematoria as they are inspected by a large team, accompanied by the defendants, who demonstrate procedures, including cremation, to the team. 00:27:30 Close-ups of a pile of shoes. One of the female defendants stands in front of a huge pile of shoes. A woman (one of the defendants?) weeps as she holds a child's shoe in her hand. Shots of the crematoria ovens with memorial wreaths in front of them.

Thirteen defendants were tried before a Soviet/Polish special criminal court in the first Stutthof Trial, which took place between April 25 and May 31 1946 in Gdynia (Gdansk). They were all found guilty and most were sentenced to death.

Event:  April-May 1946
Gdynia, Poland
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Filmoteka Narodowa
Record last modified: 2020-08-04 09:21:35
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