Translation of caption:
The orchestra of musicians held prisoner in the Janovsk Camp play the "Death Tango"; tortures and executions are carried out in time to the music.
“The internees of this camp were exterminated for no reason at all, often as the result of a bet. A woman witness, Kirschner, informed the Investigating Commission that a Gestapo Commissar, Wepke, bet the other camp executioners that he could cut a boy in half with one stroke of the axe. They did not believe him. So he caught a 10-year old boy on the road, made him kneel down, told him to hide his face in the folded palms of his hands, made one test stroke, placed the child’s head in a more convenient position and with one single stroke cut the boy in half. The Hitlerites heartily congratulated Wepke, shaking him warmly by the hand.
“In 1943, for Hitler’s birthday – his 54 th – the commandant of the Yanov Camp, Obersturmführer Willhaus, picked out 54 prisoners of war and shot them himself.
“A special hospital for prisoners was organized in the camp. The German hangmen Brambauer and Birman checked up the patients on the 1 st and 15 th day of each month; and, if they discovered that among the patients there were some who had been in the hospital for over 14 days, they shot them on the spot. Six or seven people were killed during each investigation.
“The Germans executed their tortures, ill-treatments, and shooting to the accompaniment of music. For this purpose they created a special orchestra selected from among the prisoners. They forced Professor Stricks and the famous conductor Mund to conduct this orchestra. They requested the composers to write a special tune, to be called the ‘Tango of Death’. Shortly before dissolving the camp the Germans shot every member of the orchestra.”
Later on I will present to the Tribunal, as a photo-document, photographs of this “orchestra of death”.
What took place in Yanov Camp was in no way exceptional. In exactly the same manner the German administration behaved in all concentration camps in the occupied area of the Soviet Union, Poland, Yugoslavia, and other Eastern European countries.
I submit to the International Military Tribunal Exhibit Number USSR-29 (Document Number USSR-29). It is a communiqué of the Polish-Soviet Extraordinary State Commission for the investigation of the crimes committed perpetrated by the Germans in the extermination camp of Maidanek in the city of Lublin. The Tribunal will find this communiqué on Page 63 of the document book. I quote