The Trial of Adolf Eichmann – Participants, Then & Now

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Chen, Dr. Mordechai
Witness to conditions in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after liberation, which he inspected as a captain in the British Army Medical Corps

Photo 1961: Chen, Dr. Mordechai1961 Quote: 6/8/61: ATTORNEY GENERAL GIDEON HAUSNER: On your way, you met a BBC photographer?

CHEN: I met him there- in Bergen-Belsen itself.

HAUSNER: Did you see that he was shocked at what he had seen?

CHEN: Yes.

HAUSNER: Did he tell you that he was taking these photographs so that people should believe his story-for otherwise they might possibly not believe him?

CHEN: It was slightly different. He was shocked and I was shocked. That was something understandable-for it was impossible for a normal human being to believe it. I said to him “I’m sure that in ten years’ time nobody will believe what we have seen, and we ourselves will also not believe it.” And I asked him to give me photographs of what he had seen, so that I could relate, ten years later, that I had witnessed these scenes, and possibly one would be able to utilize them against those responsible, against those who were responsible for the situation we had witnessed.

HAUSNER: And you received a number of photographs from him?

CHEN: Yes.

Photo 1996: Chen, Dr. Mordechai1996 Quote: Gideon Hausner said that he was interested in having the evidence of somebody who had not himself been in the camps, but had seen the horrors himself. I went through the camps with the Allies as a photographer. The sights were so horrible, and so unbelievable, that I was sure that in another ten years I myself wouldn’t believe that I had seen these things. At Bergen-Belsen, this place that you see here, they hadn’t got the crematorium. They had a much more simple method. They simply stopped giving them food and water. And that was it. Looking back today, I can’t feel the same revulsion that I felt then, because it seems so far away. It’s almost impossible to believe.

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