Testimony of Sacha Mowschowitz

This testimony was sent to the World Jewish Congress as part of a search to locate witnesses to war crimes committed in the Lida area, so that the perpetrators could be brought to trial in Germany.  The records of this search are now preserved at theJacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati OH in Box C210, files 3, 4 & 5.  Translation by Irene Newhouse

From box C210, file 4, p 106.  This is a typed latter dated 2 November 1963;  apparently written in German by the author to Nehemiah Robinson of the World Jewish Congress:

"I saw your article in Aufbau, 'Witnesses Sought' & wish to contact you & tell you the following:  I lived in Lida & was there from 1941-43, in the ghetto with my family - wife & child.  I succeeded in escaping during the call "Juden rein" [either "Jews in" or "Jew-free"], while my wife & child died in the transport to Majdanek.  This horrific phase is still in my memory.  The Gebietskommissar was Hanweck, & his chief of staff was Windisch.  Should you require further information, I would be glad to provide it"

From  box C210, file 4, pp 97.  Headed "Translation" & with a handwritten note that the original was sent out Feb 24 or 25, 1964.  This is also probably a translation of a filled-in questionnaire.

"The Gebietskommissar Hanweg & his representative Windisch directed the annihilation of the ghettos in Lida.  They determined who would live & who would die.  (Left or right). Without command from Hanweg or Windisch, there were no mass murders.  In Lida it was SS, police = Gestapo of the Regional Commissariat & special SD forces (Kommandants, Hanweg, Windisch) Gestapo, SS Police & SD security service.   Werner had a large shepherd dog.  If he called "Jew" to the dog, it bit the man up.  (This happened before my own eyes).  Werner executed the commands.  From the Gestapo, Dietze; from the SS, Koletke.  SS Officer Koletko carried out the 1942 execution of the Judenrat, with Hanweg's concurrence.  (The president of the Judenrat was LICHTMAN).  SS. Koletke shot my sister-in-law.   During the night, closed trucks would come and load up young people who were never again seen in the ghetto. They were gassed.  I was seriously beaten by a Gestapo man & signs remain.  I have forgotten his name.  He was black (brunet), large, a sadist.  He beat many people half to death".

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