Session No. 48
8 Sivan 5721 (23 May 1961)
Presiding Judge: I declare
the forty-eighth Session of the trial open. Please proceed,
State Attorney Bach: With
the permission of the Court, we are now proceeding to the
chapter on the Jews of Romania. I will first submit one
document, Prosecution document No. 496. This is a report by
a commander of one of the units of Einsatzgruppe D,
reporting on a successful operation carried out at
Czernowitz on 7 July 1941, and describing how they managed
in the course of their operations, as he put it: "... to
carry out a major operation, during which practically the
entire Jewish leadership was rounded up." He then describes
the process of killing those Jews, and how together with the
Romanians, they managed to kill five hundred Jews in
Czernowitz at that time.
Presiding Judge: This
document will be marked T/1000.
State Attorney Bach: In
order to illustrate the content of this factual report, with
the Court's permission, I call as witness Mrs. Perla Mark.
Presiding Judge: Do you
speak Hebrew, Madam?
Witness Mark: Yes.
[Witness is sworn.]
Presiding Judge: What is
your full name?
Witness: Perla Mark.
State Attorney Bach: I
understand the witness would prefer to speak in German.
Presiding Judge: Can you
Witness Mark: It is easier
for me in German.
Presiding Judge: Very well -
State Attorney Bach: Mrs.
Mark, were you born in Romania?
Witness Mark: No.
Q. Where were you born?
A. I was born in Poland.
Q. When did you come to
A. In 1926.
Q. What was your late
husband's function in Czernowitz?
A. He was the Chief Rabbi in
Q. From when to when?
A. From 1926 to 1944.
Q. Till which year, Madam?
A. Till 1941.
Q. Mrs. Mark, you studied at
the University of Czernowitz?
Q. What did you study?
A. I studied pharmacology.
Q. Were you living in
Czernowitz in 1941?
A. Until 1941.
Q. Were you in Czernowitz in
A. Yes, we were in
Q. Do you remember what
happened on 7 July 1941?
Q. Perhaps you would tell
the Court what happened on that day.
A. On 7 July 1941, at 10
o'clock in the morning, four SS men came into our house,
with two armed soldiers. They went into my husband's room
and demanded 1,000 trucks from him.
Q. What was your husband's
A. Abraham Jakob Mark.
Q. Please continue. What
happened then? What was your husband's reaction to this
A. He didn't reply to their
demand. Then they asked about jewellery. They asked: "Who
has jewellery?" He replied: "It is out of the question for
the Chief Rabbi of Czernowitz to give the names of people
who have jewellery!" Then they took him with them and left.
Q. Do you know now where
they took him?
A. I didn't know then.
Q. Do you know now? Perhaps
you would tell us what you know today? Where did they take
your husband and what happened to him?
A. They took him to the
synagogue and asked him where the sacramental ornaments and
the synagogue's silver vessels were, and again he did not
answer. They then took him to the Schwarzer Adler Hotel,
took him down to the cellar, to the lift shaft - I didn't
know this - kept him there a whole day, and I only found out
the next day.
Q. Was this synagogue a
A. A special synagogue.
Q. The main synagogue in
A. Yes, the main synagogue
in Czernowitz, with special architecture.
Q. And what happened to him
A. The next day they
demanded that a young man, who was also in the cellar,
polish their shoes. And when they did not like the
polishing, they beat him until he had a haemorrhage. And
since he was a neighbour of ours, when his wife got to know
about it, she let me know that my husband was also being
held in the cellar of the "Schwarzer Adler".
Q. How many others were with
A. I cannot say. I don't
Q. What happened the next
day to the synagogue and your husband?
A. The next day they brought
some barrels of petrol and oil into the synagogue and set
fire to it. They threw the sixty Scrolls of the Law into the
flames and led my husband up from the cellar to the roof of
that building - which was opposite the synagogue - and
showed him: "Look, there's your synagogue burning."
Q. After the burning of the
synagogue and the Scrolls of the Law, what did they do with
A. On Wednesday morning,
they took some 150 or 160 more people from the Cultural
Centre and from the Schwarzer Adler Hotel out of the cellar,
down to the river Prut, and there they were shot.
Q. You said that people were
taken from the Cultural Centre - were these Jews?
A. Yes, only Jews.
Presiding Judge: What sort
of cultural centre was this?
Witness Mark: It was a
Romanian cultural centre.
Q. Were Jews assembled
State Attorney Bach: Were
these special people, according to a list?
Witness Mark: They didn't
choose them specially. They went to houses and hunted people
down and took them away. They even pretended to let them
leave in the evening, and those who tried to leave they
shot. Then the rest of them stayed there.
Q. Do you know where your
husband's grave is?
A. No, I don't know.
Presiding Judge: Have you
not learned anything since then about your husband?
Witness Mark: Oh yes, since
then I have learned - I ran from one person to another, and
I found out where my husband was; one of the people I went
to was the Archbishop's representative, with whom my husband
had friendly relations. He asked me to come several times in
order to tell me something, but said nothing. It was not
till one Sunday, when I met him on the street, that he said
to me: "If the Jews had not shot at the Germans, the Germans
would not have murdered the Jews." Then I knew what had
happened. Until then I did not actually know.
State Attorney Bach: Did you
later find out that your husband was one of the 160 who were
Witness Mark: No, not yet.
Q. But eventually you did
find this out?
Q. When did you find out?
A. I went to my university
professor, a very good friend of my husband's, and I asked
him to tell me where my husband's grave was, because I
wanted to bury the body; and he said to me: "We cannot do
anything against the Germans; they are behaving not as if
they own the country, but as if they own the entire world."
Q. What happened to the Jews
of Czernowitz after that?
A. The Jews were put in a
ghetto - all the Jews. That was a month later, in September.
Q. How many Jews were there
A. There were 70,000 Jews.
Q. How long did it take for
these Jews to be moved to the ghetto?
A. They were there for
perhaps eight days, and then they were transported to
Q. No, that wasn't my
question. I asked how long it took for the Jews to be moved
to the ghetto.
A. I think it all took just
Q. Was your family also
moved to the ghetto?
A. Yes, myself with my
daughter and my son-in-law and a two- week-old baby. Of
course we did not take anything with us - the most important
thing was to get the child out.
Q. Could you briefly
describe to the Court the process of getting the Jews into
the ghetto, and life in the ghetto?
A. The Jews stood on the
street, waiting to be taken to the railway carriages - we
were among them as well, and we waited the whole day; it was
not until evening that they told us there were no more
carriages, so we went back into the dwellings where we had
stayed in the ghetto.
Presiding Judge: Did you
ask, Mr. Bach, about the move to the ghetto or the move from
State Attorney Bach: To the
Presiding Judge: Because
Mrs. Mark is talking about the move from the ghetto.
State Attorney Bach: [To the
witness] I am asking you now not about the move from the
ghetto, the deportation to Transnistria, but to the ghetto
and life in the ghetto. Can you briefly tell the Court what
the conditions were like there?
Witness Mark: You can
imagine what it was like when the inhabitants of an entire
town were put in two streets, which had been evacuated for
the purpose. People lay on the floor, outside on the
balconies - everywhere.
Q. When did the first
deportations to Transnistria begin?
A. From the ghetto? They
began immediately. A few days later they started taking
people away from there.
Q. You have already said
that you were actually supposed to get into a carriage, but
the carriage was full and so they did not take you.
Did you have to wear the yellow
A. Yes, we definitely wore
the yellow star, the whole time.
Presiding Judge: Who
deported you to Transnistria, the Germans or the Romanians?
Witness Mark: The Romanians.
State Attorney Bach: Perhaps
you can also tell us who the Romanians were who carried out
this operation of rounding up the Jews - the police, the
army, or others?
Witness Mark: No, that was
all instigated by the Germans.
Q. I was asking who actually
were the people, the Romanians, who carried out this
operation? Was it the police or the army?
A. It wasn't at all
necessary. We were taken there like sheep.
Q. By whom?
A. I cannot say - I did not
see anybody there. The people went of their accord. Perhaps
there were a couple of guards, perhaps some policemen.
Q. Were many of those you
knew deported to Transnistria?
A. They murdered my parents.
My parents lived in Poland. They led them off to the ghetto.
Father was 80, Mother 74. They fell down somewhere and did
not get up again, and they were killed where they lay.
Q. Were many of those you
knew in Czernowitz deported to Transnistria?
A. An enormous number.
Practically all our acquaintances were deported to
Transnistria. Those who did not get permission in time to
remain in the town were also transported to Transnistria.
Q. Do you know what was the
fate of most of these people who were deported to
A. Many, many of them died
there. They did not all return - an enormous number of them
never came back. There was typhus there, there was
starvation typhoid. Generally people starved there. Among my
own relatives, a very large number died there.
Q. Mrs. Mark, how did you
manage to get out of the ghetto?
A. A colleague of mine
obtained permission for me to remain in the town.
Q. And how did you live from
the time you left the ghetto until the end of the War?
A. We lived off what we
sold, we sold everything from our house - all our furniture,
all our things. My son-in-law, who lived with me, was not
allowed to practice, so we lived only off what we sold from
Presiding Judge: What was
your son-in-law's profession?
Witness Mark: He was a
State Attorney Bach: Mrs.
Mark, apart from your parents, whom you have told us about,
who else in your family was deported?
Witness Mark: My son - my
middle son - he was in Prague, he was studying medicine
there, they deported him to Theresienstadt, and my brother,
too. He was an editor on the Prague newspaper called the
Prager Tageblatt. They were both sent to Theresienstadt. My
brother died there. They sent my son to Auschwitz. There the
people they sent to the gas chambers were received with
music; he played the cello. And they set up an orchestra
there; he played there until 1944. In 1944 he was killed, he
was sent to the gas chamber.
State Attorney Bach: Thank
you very much, Mrs. Mark.
Presiding Judge: One moment.
Dr. Servatius, do you have any questions?
Dr. Servatius: I have no