14 Dec. 45

the Jews. A description of these vehicles of horror and death and the operation of them is fully set forth in a captured top-secret document, dated 16 May 1942, addressed to SS Obersturmbannführer Rauff, 8 Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, Berlin, from Dr. Becker, SS Untersturmführer. I offer this document, 501-PS, Exhibit USA-288. I quote:
"The overhauling of vans by groups D and C is finished. While the vans in the first series can also be put into action if the weather is not too bad, the vans of the second series (Saurer) stop completely in rainy weather. If it has rained for instance for only one-half hour, the van cannot be used because it simply skids away. It can only be used in absolutely dry weather. It is a question now of whether the van can be used only when it stands at the place of execution. First the van has to be brought to that place, which is possible only in good weather. The place of execution is usually 10 to 15 kilometers away from the highway and is difficult of access because of its location; in damp or wet weather it is not accessible at all. If the persons to be executed are driven or led to that place, then they realize immediately what is going on and get restless, which is to be avoided as far as possible. There is only one way left: to load them at the collecting point and to drive them to the spot.

"I ordered the vans of group D to be camouflaged as house-trailers by putting one set of window shutters on each side of the small van and two on each side of the larger vans, such as one often sees on farm houses in the country. The vans became so well-known that not only the authorities but also the civilian population called the van 'death van' as soon as one of the vehicles appeared. It is my opinion the van cannot be kept secret for any length of time, not even camouflaged."
And then I read the fourth paragraph on this page:
"Because of the rough terrain and the indescribable road and highway conditions the caulkings and rivets loosen in the course of time. I was asked it in such cases the vans should not be brought to Berlin for repairs. Transportation to Berlin would be much too expensive and would demand too much fuel. In order to save these expenses I ordered them to have smaller leaks soldered and, if that should no longer be possible, to notify Berlin immediately by radio, that License Number . . . is out of order. Besides that I ordered that during application of gas all the men were to be kept as far away from the vans as possible, so that they should not suffer