Testimony by Henrietta Van Zuiden, born on 21 August 1905, resident in Hoogeveen, Hoogstrest 207, Drante [Drenthe], The Netherlands.
I arrived at Auschwitz on 26 August 1943 and I received the number 56015.
After I came to Auschwitz, Dr. Rohde, an SS doctor, chose 42 young married women for sterilization. The women were singled out from a transport of Dutch women. First, all married women were bathed, had their bodies shaved and were examined by an SS doctor. Then, we got numbers tattooed on our bodies and we were placed in a block in the men’s camp.
Jewish prisoners told us they worked under the direction of a well-known Jewish doctor, Dr. Samuel, who was 70, and that they came from Hamburg. They told us that the doctor performed surgeries on 16 and 17-year-old Greek girls. He placed an apparatus with an electricity control board on the woman’s abdomen, which caused a sensation of internal burning. Then, the woman was operated on and some of her internal organs were tampered with. The women had to lie in bed for three months, after which they were sent back to Birkenau to work in exacting kommandos, which soon led to their death.
New experiments were performed on those 42 women. I was operated on after about 40 days following my arrival. Some tracts (reproductive organs) were tampered with and I spent 10 days in the hospital. From time to time, the women’s blood was collected from different parts of their bodies: ears, arm, etc. Many women had their blood taken about a hundred times on different occasions. Every day for a week, they had a small test tube of blood taken. The women would receive an additional small portion of meat. We were also given injections, which caused horrible pain. I received three such injections.
They laid me on a table with a glass top in a completely dark room. Two nurses, with little experience, were holding me in that position. One of them was holding me by the head, the other by a leg, and an SS doctor did the injections. He was a barber working as an assistant to Professor Clauberg, an SS man from Berlin, whose task was to do those injections. The injections were not given to virgins, because they would cause fever, forcing the woman to stay in bed for a week without being checked on by any doctor. One person could not be given more than three injections.
Type of offence: sterilization of women
Place and date: the Auschwitz camp, 26 August 1943
42 Dutch women; the survivors are:
Henriette Von Zuiden Hoogeveen
Henny Vaz Dias Amsterdam
Metv. Caro Cohen De Haag Amsterdam
Nettie Van der Laan Amsterdam
Liesje Roet Amsterdam
Lientje Nordt Amsterdam
Selma Bouman Hilversum
Riel Lievendag Amsterdam
Short description of the surgery:
Sterilization was performed with electricity, and then internal organs were operated on. Proof of the circumstances confirmed by medical examination.
Dr. Rhode, SS doctor in Auschwitz
Dr. Samuel, Hamburg
Prof. Clauberg, SS man from Berlin
The doctors were assisted by barbers, who had nurses under their supervision.