Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
Revolt & Resistance
Acts of Resistance
Statement by Ilse Domke
49/50 Breitestrasse, Stettin
Made at Bergen- Belsen 1 May 1945
I was evacuated from Stettin in February 1940 and went to Belzyce, 25km from Lublin. This was a small town, which was inhabited by Poles and Jews.
In 1941 most of the Jews were evacuated from the town. Those who remained were put into the working camp which was in that town.
This is what happened in this camp:
One day SS- Untersturmführer Feix who was Camp Commandant in Budzyn and Krasnitz gave orders that all Jews, men, women and children should parade.
Then he selected 150 women, 300 men and 20 children, all very young and strong people and these were brought to the concentration camp in Budzyn.
All the others were stripped of their clothing and had to stand in a ditch which had been dug by the Jews before. Untersturmführer Feix had a bottle of alcohol in one hand and a revolver in the other and he fired at these people at random.
Many people were killed instantaneously but those who were not were buried alive in the ditch with the others.
One girl cried, “Herr Untersturmführer , I am still alive”.
Thereupon he approached her and cut her head off with a spade.
Later the Ukrainians went with Untersturmführer to the children’s home, took the newly born babies and threw them against the wall, so that they died instantaneously.
Then all children between 12 –16 had to parade. They were stripped of their clothing and their heads were chopped off. I myself ran away with 15 children – the Ukrainians fired at us but we hid in the corn and they did not get us.
After two days we ran into the camp at Krasnik where Untersturmführer Feix , as above, was also the camp commandant. I have nothing to report of this camp.
From there I came to Budzyn, as above, where Feix was also camp commandant. Every week they had parties at which they sorted people out to be killed, but as the camp commandant knew me, as I had served as a maid to look after his children, he excluded me from these selections.
Untersturmführer Feix was called up for front line service and he was succeeded as camp commandant by Oberwachtmeister Mohr.
This man ordered my foster father to be hanged. He had been company leader in that camp and three of the men of his company had to escape, so he was to die.
I was called to say good-bye to my foster father – his name was Paul Bauchwitz and he came from Stettin. He was hanged in the normal way but later it was stated, that this was too good for a Jew and he must suffer more pain, so they hanged him with his feet up and apart, from that they gave him a whipping with the cat-o-nine tails.
When dying, my foster father said “ If you ever see my wife and children, who are in America, tell them what death their father has died”.
In May 1944 I was sent to the concentration camp in Lublin. There was one of the worst SS men – Feldführer Engel. He gave the order for 50 people to be taken out and shot every day.
In August 1944 I came to Auschwitz. There I was selected by the Camp Commandant Kramer, as the only one to go to the gas chamber because I was too weak, but Engel who knew me from Lublin, stated that he knew me and he took me out again.
Since 3 November 1944 I have been in Bergen – Belsen.
Our journey from Lublin to Auschwitz I want to relate shortly.
One day in June 1944 we were all told that we had to go on parade. We got shoes, but very small and pointed shoes with high heels, which we could not put on, and some food.
At 3 o’clock there was an air raid and Lublin suffered a terrible bombardment from Russian bombers. We could not get out because the German’s were retreating, and all the roads were blocked.
At 6’oclock at night we had to leave the camp immediately because the Russian tanks were already inside. We ran bare-footed over the fields under the supervision of the Germans.
There were 8 SS men to every prisoner – they shot at us, constantly set dogs on us.
Before that we had been told that we had to run 30km’s per day, but in reality we had to run 140km.
After two days constant running we came to a brick factory in Krasnik. Everything was prepared there to burn us alive. We saw fires and we got the order to strip, but all of a sudden , the order came that the Russians were in sight and we had to go on, so we kept running.
I am sure however, that half of the prisoners had been burned by then.
We ran another two days without stopping until we had crossed the Vistula and there we were packed into cattle-trucks and transported to Auschwitz.
This trip lasted for another three days.
Ilse Domke , Stettin
I, Margot Saalfeld, born in Stettin and living in Stettin to February 1940 was evacuated together with Ilse Domke and 1500 Jews. We were separated but met again in September 1944 in Auschwitz.
Of all the 1500 people who were evacuated from Stettin in 1940, Ilse Domke and myself, as far as I know, the only survivors.
5 King Albert Str [Streets in Stettin -nowadays: Szczecin- did not bear English names, I suppose; in Gernan: König Albert Straße]
Witness: Sgt. N. Tingel
I hereby certify that the above is a true translation of the German original which is attached and marked ‘A’
HQ 21 Army Group
List of SS personnel in Concentration Camps to which I have been
FEIX – SS-Unterstürmfuhrer, Camp Commandant, Budzyn and Krasnik, 35 years of age, medium height, slim, dark hair. He chopped children’s heads off himself, shot them and buried them himself
MOHR – SS- Oberwachtmeister, tall, slim, 25 years of age, fair, broad shouldered, blue eyes.
He hanged my foster father himself
TAUSCHER - SS- Obersturmführer in the camp at Budzyn. Small, fat, round face, roughly 42 years of age. He took pot shots at people in the barracks at random.
LEIPOLD – SS- Untersturmführer at Budzyn Camp. Small, blonde, blue-eyed, dark complexion. He had a wound in his left leg. He made a habit of searching people and if he found only little things like potatoes on them, he shot at them.
Note : Throughout the report Feix is spelt as Veix. Feix is the correct spelling.
National Archives Kew - WO 309/374
Copyright – Rowland Hille, Heart 2007
Copyright SJ H.E.A.R.T 2007