On 3 December 1947 in Kraków, Investigator Dr. Eryk Dormicki, Head Doctor of the Montelupich Prison at the Ministry of Public Security in Kraków, interviewed the person mentioned below as a witness, having advised him, in accordance with Article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article 64 of the Code of Military Criminal Procedure, of the criminal liability for making false declarations under Article 140 of the Penal Code.
|Name and surname||Josef Martin Franz Alscher|
|Parents’ names||Franz and Rosalie Oberlendor|
|Date and place of birth||5 June 1894, Legnica|
|Place of residence||Montelupich Prison|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Education||6 grades of normal school|
|Criminal record||from 1926 to 1930 stayed in prison for a fraud and theft; and from 1933 until liberation by Americans in nine concentration camps|
|Relationship to the suspect||none|
I am aware of the criminal liability for concealing the truth or making false declarations, and I solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and not to conceal anything I know.
/-/ Josef Alscher
Question: What does the witness know about defendant Wilhelm Gehring?
Answer: During my stay in Esterwegen in 1935, I provided assistance to Jewish prisoners in the form of food and water, as a result of which I was punished with 25 lashes. The punishment was administered personally by the defendant. I also received the punishment of being tied in a circle (Krummschließen) for three nights.
Question: What did the punishment of being tied in a circle consist in?
Answer: It consisted in tying the right arm to the left leg and the left arm to the right leg with chains. The arms and legs would swell to unusual size.
Question: What does the witness know about the defendant’s activities towards other prisoners?
Answer: Gehring volunteered to administer the punishment of flogging to prisoners, ordered by Lagerführer [camp leader] Koch, for which the defendant received three days of leave and cigarettes. In Esterwegen the defendant did this for four years, from 1933 to 1937.
Question: Which prisoners were flogged by Gehring?
Answer: In particular Jews, Germans, Poles, Russians, and Englishmen.
Question: Did the witness see the defendant shoot at prisoners?
Answer: Yes, I saw it in 1935. He shot his revolver without authorization, with no special order from his supervisors.
Question: When did the witness meet Gehring during the occupation?
Answer: In 1944, from June to August, in Monowitz.
Question: What was Gehring’s position at that time?
Answer: He was a Rapportführer [report leader].
Question: What was the prisoners’ reaction when Gehring came to Monowitz?
Answer: Old prisoners, who knew him from previous camps as a sadist, were terrified.
Question: What did Gehring do in Monowitz?
Answer: Right after his arrival, he ordered the construction of three standing bunkers (Stehbunker). He was present when the punishment of flogging was administered.
Question: What was the attitude of other SS men towards Gehring?
Answer: SS men despised Gehring for his wickedness and sadism.
Question: What else can the witness say about Gehring?
Answer: I can also say that in 1936 he was the head of the bunkers (Bunkerverwalter). Besides, he was transferred from Monowitz to the “Laura” mine, where he ordered the construction of the notorious Stehbunker [standing cell] right after his arrival.
Question: Are there any other witnesses who could say something about defendant Gehring and his activities in the camps?
Answer: Yes, I know a man named Willi who is staying here, in the Montelupich prison. He can also testify against Gehring. Also Emil Worek (?), who was a kapo, can confirm that and say more about Gehring’s activities in the camps.
That is everything I could testify. I confirm and sign the above to be true.