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George Wellers testimony from the Eichmann Trial

George Wellers

Testimony about Conditions in France & Deportations from France

At the Eichmann Trial 9 May 1961

(Selected Extracts)




George Wellers (right)

Presiding Judge: What is his full name?  


Witness: George Wellers


Presiding Judge: Please answer the questions put to you by Mr Bach


Answer: Yes


State Attorney: Where are you now living?


Answer: 6 Rue du Loing in Paris


Question: And what is your occupation?


Answer: I am Maitre de Recherches (Senior Researcher) at the National Centre for Scientific Research


Question: You also work at the Faculty of Medicine at the Sorbonne, don’t you?


Answer: Yes, I work at the Faculty of Medicine at the Sorbonne


Question: In what capacity?


Answer: I direct a laboratory of physiological research


Question: You were awarded a prize of the Academy of Medicine, weren’t you?


Answer: Yes


Question: Where were you born, Mr Wellers?


Answer: I was born in Koslov in Russia


Question: And when did you arrive in France?


Answer: In 1929


Question: You got married in Latvia and have two children?


Answer: Yes

Question: You have been a French citizen since 1938?


Answer: Yes  


Question: In 1939 you joined the French Army when the war broke out?


Answer: Yes


Question: Where were you in June 1940, when the Germans occupied France?


Answer: In the Bordeaux region


Question: And you were then released from the army and returned to Paris?


Answer: Yes


Question: And you went back to your work in the physiological laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine?


Answer: Yes


Round up of Jews in France

Question: Mr Wellers, which was the first razzia (round-up) carried out by the Germans against the Jews in France?


Answer: Well, the first major round –up took place in May 1941


Question: Who were the people arrested on that occasion?


Answer: Foreigners – the German, Austrian, Polish and Czechoslovakian Jews in Paris. They were asked to go to the Police station to check their civil status, and when they showed up they were arrested. These were all men, adult men.


Question: Where were these people taken?


Answer: They were taken to the Orleans region, a hundred kilometres to the South of Paris, to two camps called Beaune- la- Rolande and Pithviers. Those were the first two camps which were set up.


Question: When was the second time Jews were arrested?


Answer: The second great round-up took place on the 2 of August 1941 in Paris. They combed the 11th arrondissment of the capital which had the densest Jewish population, and in one day – going to one house after another, one shop after another, and checking the personal documents of passers-by in the streets – they arrested all the Jews, all able-bodied men.


I forgot to point out that, in the course of these arrests, about 4,000 people were arrested, and in August, about 6,000 and in addition, in the city, outside the 11th arrondisement, they arrested about forty of the most prominent advocates, including Pierre Masse, for instance, a very well known lawyer who formerly, in Clemenceau’s time had been a Minister.


Question: Which camp were these people taken to?


Answer: They were taken to the Paris suburbs, to the suburb called Drancy. They were put into a place which was a kind of “city” – a collection of buildings forming a square with an interior courtyard.


The buildings were not yet completed, so that the staircase led to large rooms of somewhat strange appearance. Each of them was to contain two or three apartments.


Presiding Judge: Was he at the place he has described?


Witness Wellers: No, not at that time, but I arrived there a few months later.


State Attorney Bach: Mr Wellers, when were Jews required to register as Jews in Paris?


Witness Wellers: It was a German ordinance signed by the Millitar- Befehlshaber in Frankreich (Officer Commanding the Military Forces in France) and dated 27 September 1940.


A short time afterwards – I think two or three days afterwards- there appeared in the French press – which at that time we called the German press in the French language – an announcement of Petain’s Police giving a timetable of the dates at which people had to present themselves for registration in alphabetical order. Thus, I personally was called on 19 October 1940.


Question: Mr Wellers, could you please tell us briefly how you registered, and also tell us what particulars you gave in the case of your wife?


Answer: Well, one had to present oneself and to declare oneself and one’s children. I declared myself as Jewish and I declared my children as Jewish, but I did not declare my wife, which was tantamount to declaring her as non-Jewish.  


Question: When were you arrested Mr Wellers?


Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/trials/wellers.html


The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team




Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010

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