By Carlos Porter
Note the sloppiness of this procedure. The sworn statement is a
true copy and an original document at the same time, and was "found"
by Allied forces, although it was obviously written by the Allied
Neither Becker, Höfer, or Dahm ever appeared as witnesses at Nuremberg.
The torture box was never introduced in evidence.
Note the grin on the face of the British solder photographed standing in the box.
The signatures of the "witnesses" said to have signed of their "own free will" seem to indicate starvation, torture, sleep deprivation, or extreme illness.
The obvious acceptance of hearsay
(a Russian woman tells the witnesses something, the out of court written statement is used in evidence, the witnesses never appear)
is camouflaged by jargon about the "usual course of official business" borrowed from the Federal Rules of Evidence on the "business records" exception to the Hearsay Rule.]
Certificate no. D-382
ESSEN, 22 October 1945
I, Capt. N. Webb, Int. [Intelligence] Corps, British Army, of the British War Crimes Executive (European Section), hereby certified that the attached statement, consisting of 2 (typewritten) 4 (photostat) pages and entitled Sworn Statement of Raimund Becker Aloys Höfer, dated 4 Oct. 1945, is a true copy [!] of a document which the a/m Summary Court, Essen delivered to me in my above capacity, in the usual course of official business, as the original [!] of a document found [!] in the German archives, records and files captured [!] by military forces under the command of the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces.
Translation of sworn statement forming part of Document D-382, Nuremberg Trial [photos of "torture box", etc.]
Essen, 4 October 1945
We, the undersigned Raimund Becker, born on 23.3.1905, residing in Essen-Steele, Dreiringstr, 30, Aloys Höfer, born on 28.9.106, residing in Essen-Borbeck, Heckelsberg 15, and Josef Dahm, born on 6.12.1898, residing in Essen-Borbeck, Borbeckstr. 130, make the following statement of our own free will:
We, the undersigned Becker and Höfer, were shown photographs of the torture box located in the foreigner camp on the grounds of the reinforced structure 4, and the dirty, delapidated Russian camp and we report the following:
Photograph A shows an iron box specially manufactured by the Krupp firm in order to torture Russian civilians in a manner which it is impossible to describe with words. In one side of the box, in which hardly 1 man could stand upright, the height is 1.52 m, the width and depth 40 50 cm respectively. Men & women were often locked in for long periods, often two at once, kicked, and crushed in. We were told by a Russian woman that she, who was seven months pregnant, that she was crushed into the box in a bestial manner. Above in the box are a few sieve-like air holes, through which cold water could be poured on the pitiable victims during the winter.
Photograph B shows the same box, the way it looked closed.
Photograph C shows the box open. One can see exactly how deep it was and one must wonder how it was possible to crush one person into the box, much less two.
Photograph D shows us the camp intended as lodgings for the Russian civilian workers by the Krupp management. The width of the individual rooms was 2 2.5 m, the length was approximately 5 m, the height 2 m. In every room, up to 16 persons were lodged in double beds. The beds were equipped with straw sacks, and these were only changed when they fell to pieces or when they were completely full of lice. Throughout the camp, it depended only upon the mood of the commandant, when and at what time the straw sacks were changed. The roof of the camp was covered with steel sheeting. The sheeting was damaged by air raids, But it was not permitted to repair the roofs and in bad weather the rain came right through. The individual rooms were humid. Every day, 3 5 persons got sick because of these conditions. The civilian workers were forbidden to set up stoves in the severest cold during the winter. If the camp commandant saw a stove which had been secretly set up it was immediately removed by the camp management. The floor was of stone and very hard. Nothing was done to cover the floor and in so doing to make the rooms warmer.
The camp was visited by the supreme camp administration, Mr. Kupke, and recognized as a model camp for the Krupp works.
[Page 2 of statement]
As we were told by camp leader Löwenkamp, the supreme management issued special praise for the exemplary care of the Eastern workers. We attach two letters, [not attached] which camp leader Löwenkamp smuggled out of prison, in order to influence the undersigned Höfer to testify favourably for him.
The undersigned Dahm has personally seen that during New Year' night three Russian civilian workers, after they were first beaten, were locked in the box. Two of the Russians had to stay in the box the whole New Year's night, and cold was even poured over the people.
[signatures indicate extreme ill health even though
not one is even 50 years old] Raimund Becker Aloys Höfer Josef Dahm
[healthy signature of well-fed Allied officer]
[signature illegible, it is not N. Webb]
For graphics, click here
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