Paul Beder


litzmannstadt ghetto -tram 599

Lodz - Ghetto Tram

I am 29 years of age, of Polish nationality, born at Lodz, Poland. My permanent address is Pomorska 101 Lodz, Poland. I am at present living at Giessen near Frankfurt on Main, Ebelstrasse 11

I was taken to the Lodz Ghetto in March 1940 because I am a Jew and had to live at Wolborska 25 until August 1944. I was then sent to Auschwitz for three weeks and from there to the Dora Concentration Camp near Nordhausen. At the end of March 1945 I was transferred to Belsen where I was liberated by the British on 15th April 1945. On 31st December 1945 I was taken to the Belsen Detention Cells where during an identification parade consisting of five men, I picked out the man referred to in my deposition as Seifert. He was in charge of the administration of the Ghetto at Lodz.

I was employed by the Food Office at the Ghetto and so often came into contact with Seifert. I know that he was largely responsible for the appalling conditions in the Ghetto and especially for the inadequate rations and feeding arrangements which must have been the direct cause of the death of many thousands of the Ghetto inmates. Between 1942 and 1944 when the Ghetto was finally dissolved many different transports of men, women and children were sent away for extermination. Since on such occasions I was always employed on loading the victims on to the lorries I saw Seifert take an active part in the selections. The people had to come downstairs and line up in front of Seifert who made some stand to one side. These people were then loaded on to the lorries and never seen or heard again. In September 1942 I was present when Seifert selected my four sisters Mala Beder, Regina Beder, Ibka Beder and Sala Beder and my brother Schimson Beder, all Polish Jews, outside Wolborska 25 to be taken away with a transport that left Lodz for extermination. He also included an old friend of mine the Polish Jewess Fiedman who lived at Wolborska 25, they were made to mount the waiting trucks together with many others who had been selected by Seifert and that was the last I ever saw or heard of them. During the round up for this extermination transport in September 42, I was again employed on loading the people who had been selected on to the lorries. I naturally tried to make them as comfortable and so told them to sit as closely as possible. Seifert supervised the loading and when he noticed what I was doing came up to me and said “Don’t make such a fuss with these creatures, just pile them on, one on top of the other and when the lorry is filled, get up and jump on their bodies in order to make room for some more.” When I would not do so Seifert drew his pistol and threatened to shoot me for disobeying his order. During the same round-up in September 1942, I remember on one occasion our lorries drew up outside the Hospital in the Drewnoska Strasse. Seifert was with us at the time and as we arrived there were a number of people in the streets nearby. No one was supposed to be out and when Seifert saw the people he drew his revolver and fired at them. I saw him hit a boy of about sixteen who fell to the ground, screaming loudly Seifert thereupon went up to him and I saw him fire three shots into the boy’s head. The boy did not move again.

One day, in the summer of 1943, a Jew stole a piece of leather from a workshop in the Ghetto. The man was traced and a mass meeting was called on the Marysin field, which many inmates of the Ghetto including myself had to attend. When everybody was present I heard Seifert give the order for the Jew to be hanged and we were all present when the sentence was carried out. I have been shown various photographs and from these have picked out the man on photograph DPS1 as being Biebow, who was Amtsleiter of the Ghetto at Lodz. I am now told that his full name is Hans Biebow. Biebow was the man in charge of the Ghetto at Lodz and of all Jews living in the surrounding districts. He played a prominent part in the selections that took place on different occasions between 1942 and 1944. I saw him pick out people, from the ones lined up before him and these chosen were sent away on trucks never to be seen or heard of again. During the round up in September 1942 near the hospital in the Dewnoska Strasse a man and a woman, aged approximately 45 and 35 respectively, tried to escape from the transport that was just being made up. They were just trying to climb over a fence when Biebow arrived in his car. He saw them and drove his car up to them. I saw him take them to a nearby potato field and there he made them kneel down, facing each other very closely, so that their faces touched. He then went behind the woman drew his revolver and shot her through the back of her neck. The bullet must have penetrated her neck and then struck the man, because they both collapsed and did not move again. A further murder by Biebow was witnessed by me in early August 1944. I happened to be in Marynarska Strasse and saw an old Jew of about 70 sitting on a bundle of clothes, outside No. 81. The man was in a pitiable condition, his face was haggard, his feet swollen badly and he was wailing. Biebow noticed him and went up to him and discharged his revolver three or four times into the old man’s body. The Jew collapsed at once and did not move again.

Signed: Beder Paul

I hereby certify that I duly translated the above summary to the witness in the German language prior to his signature which appears above.

Sworn before me at Hohne (Belsen) Camp this 2nd

day of January 1946

Captain – Investigating Officer

Detailed to examine the above by Lieut- Colonel T.H. Tilling R.A Comd. No 1 War Crimes Investigation Team, British Army of the Rhine. Lieut- Colonel R.A.  


National Archives, Kew WO 311/1326/1

Photograph – Chris Webb Archive

© Holocaust Historical Society 2014