Two sides of the Holocaust-Innocence and Evil.

May 16 is a date which links two events in relation to the Holocaust, even though they are 15 years apart.

Hana Bradyová was born on 16 May 1931 in Prague, the daughter of Markéta (née Dubsky) and Karel Bradyová. Her family lived in Nové Město na Moravě in the Vysočina Region of Czechoslovakia.

Most people will know Hana Bradyová as Hana Brady, her story was brought to light in the book “Hana’s Suitcase” by Karen Levine.

Hana was described as a happy, active and athletic little girl who was very close to her family. Hana was just eight years old when the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia. The family’s life became restricted, and they were forced to hand over their radio and other valuables to the Nazis. Their Christian friends stopped playing with Hana and her brother George(Jiří ) , because their parents feared they would be punished for playing with Jewish children. Hana and George remained close and supported one another during this time.

In March 1941, their mother, Marketa, was assigned to a Nazi transport and taken away. Soon after, they were forced to sew yellow star badges to their clothing along with all the other Czech Jews. When one man in town refused to comply, a Nazi officer was furious and ordered the arrests of all the other Jewish men in town. Hana and George’s father Karel was arrested and taken away a few days later, and the two children were left with the family’s housekeeper.

In 1942 Hana and George were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Hana was assigned to the girls’ home in barrack L410.In 1944, Hana was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. While her brother survived by working as a laborer, Hana was sent to the gas chambers a few hours after her arrival on 23 October 1944, she was murdered aged 13. Her body was cremated with other victims in the ovens at the crematorium.

Bruno Tesch

15 years after Hana’s birth Bruno Tesch and Karl Weinbacher were executed, on May 16,1946.

Karl Weinbacher worked at Degesch (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung, which translates as German Corporation for Pest Control) until 1924, and then at Tesch & Stabenow (Testa, for short), where he received the position of manager in 1927, and by 1943 was director and deputy executive under owner and chief executive officer Bruno Tesch. Testa manufactured and sold Zyklon B, which was used control in the gas chambers of Auschwitz to murder people, including Hana Brady. Weinbacher received royalties on sales of Zyklon B.

Bruno Emil Tesch (14 August 1890 – 16 May 1946) was a German chemist and entrepreneur. Together with Gerhard Peters and Walter Heerdt, he invented Zyklon B, He was the owner of Tesch & Stabenow (called Testa), a pest control company he co-founded in 1924 with Paul Stabenow in Hamburg, Germany, which was a major supplier of Zyklon B to the Nazi concentration camps.

Below is the transcript of a statement at the trial of Bruno Tesch.

By

Dr. Bruno TESCH

Dr. Bruno TESCH, having been duly sworn, states:–

My name is Dr. Bruno TESCH, born on 14th August 1890, in Berlin, and living at HAMBURG-BLANKENESE, Wittspark 14.

In 1924 I founded, together with Mr. STABENOW, the firm of TESCH & STABENOW, which, since 1927, has been under the direction of the Deutsche Gasellschaft für Schaedlingsbekaempfung. Our firm had the sole right to supply Cyan-Gas in the form of Zyklon B to the country east of the ELBE. On the foundation of the firm I held thirty-three and a third percent of the shares; in 1927, some time before the alleged suicide of my colleague, STABENOW, I acquired another eleven and two-thirds percent, so that my share was forty-five percent. In 1942 I acquired the remaining fifty-five percent and was therefore sole proprietor of the firm.

In 1933 I joined the NSDAP and in the same year became a supporting member of the SS.

Since 1927 Mr WEINBACHER was the Prokurist of the firm. All incoming orders went through his hands, and in my absence, approximately two hundred days a year, he took over the managament [sic] of the firm. Dr. Joachimhans DROSIHN was the biological adviser of the firm. He, too, was travelling most of the time. Mr. ZAUN was the head book-keeper. Mr. SEHM was a book-keeper. He had no reason to wish me ill; on the contrary he should be thankful as I once helped him in a situation.

I kept no ‘black book’ in which I recorded the misdeeds of my employees. Neither did I keep a sealed envelope about Dr. DROSIHN.

I wrote very exact travel reports about my journeys, which on my return I divided evenly over my secretaries for typing. My private secretary was Miss RATOKE; but also Mrs. UENZELMANN and Miss BIAGINI and the others wrote my reports.

I was never told in BERLIN at a conference, or by any other source, that Zyklon B gas should be used against human beings. I mentioned this fact in none of my travel reports and I have never spread no[r] heard such a rumour in my office.

Except Zyklon gas, my firm also supplied circulation plant for gas chambers of 10 cbm size. Chambers of the capacity of more than 50 cbm are not known to me, and therefore I did not know that the SS was our best customer. I also know nothing of the huge deliveries which we made to AUSCHWITZ in the years 1942-43. Since 1943 all orders of state customers went through the Haupt-sanitaetspark, BERLIN. Our firm never supplied the Wirtschafts-Verwaltungs Hauptaert (WVHA) either directly or indirectly. My accounts books were checked by Dr. PLINKER and I only know the yearly and monthly general balance.

SUMMARY PRODUCTION No. 10

Of sales of ZYKLON B to Concentration Camps during 1942 and 1943, extracted from Exhibits HG and HH.

KZ Camp 1942 1943
DATE Kg RM DATE Kg RM
AUSCHWITZ 6 Feb 480.0 3,038.0 13 Jan 1,004.4 6026.0
9 Mar 516.0 3,266.0 19 Jan 1,026.0 6156.0
3 Jun 50 317.0 29 Jan 999.0 5,994.0
3 Aug 495.0 3,133.0 24 Mar 999.0 5,994.0
6 Aug 1,756.8 11,120.0 10 Mar 999.0 5,994.0
31 Aug 1,008.0 6,381.0 22 Mar 999.0 5,994.0
8 Sep 504.0 3,190.0 29 Mar 1,018.0 6,108.0
8 Oct 489.6 3,099.0 31 Jul 216.0 1,231.0
8 Oct 489.6 3,099.0 30 Apr 1,018.0 6,108.0
28 Oct 1,497.6 9,480.0 17 Aug 810.0 4,617.0
9 Dec 192.0 1,152.0 30 Aug 972.0 5,540.0
7,478.6 44,575.0 14 Sep 999.0 5,694.0
30 Nov 999.0 5,694.0
31 Dec 116.5 699.0
12,174.9 71,849.0
SACHSEN-HAUSEN 10 Feb 72.0 456.0 22 Jan 192.0 1,152.0
25 Mar 96.0 608.0 5 Feb 192.0 1,152.0
24 Apr 96.0 608.0 26 Feb 288.0 1,728.0
15 Jun 96.0 608.0 8 Mar 288.0 1,728.0
18 Jul 96.0 608.0 17 Feb 192.0 1,152.0
13 Aug 96.0 608.0 18 Mar 288.0 1,728.0
31 Aug 96.0 608.0 6 Apr 288.0 1,728.0
28 Sep 96.0 608.0 6 Jul 288.0 1,641.0
28 Oct 96.0 608.0 31 Aug 288.0 1,641.0
6 Nov 96.0 576.0 28 Sep 288.0 1,641.0
26 Nov 192.0 1,152.0 17 Dec 288.0 1,641.0
15 Dec 192.0 1,152.0 31 Dec 33.6 201.0
23 May 118.0 683.0 2913.6 17,133.0
1,438.0 8,883.0
NEUEN- GAMME 3 Mar 24.0 152.0 21 Jan 60.0 360.0
9 Jun 12.0 76.0 29 Jan 60.0 360.0
14 Aug 12.0 76.0 17 Feb 60.0 360.0
9 Sep 36.0 228.0 10 Mar 60.0 360.0
9 Nov 36.0 216.0 10 Jun 60.0 342.0
18 Dec 60.0 360.0 30 Aug 60.0 342.0
180.0 1,108.0 19 Oct 60.0 342.0
31 Dec 7.0 42.0
427.0 2,508.0
GROSS-ROSEN NIL 8 Jan 60.0 360.0
27 Feb 120.0 720.0
8 Jun 124.5 710.0
17 Sep 125.0 713.0
429.5 2503.0
LUBLIN nil 19 Jul 513.0 2,924.0
14 Sep 999.0 5,694.0
31 Dec 115.5 693.0
1,627.5 9,311.0
Signed A. ZAUN.
PRODUCTION No. 10

KZ Camp 1942 1943
DATE Kg RM DATE Kg RM
RAVENSBRUCK NIL 19 Apr 114.0 684.0
10 Jun 114.0 650.0
15 Sep 90.0 313.0
19 Oct 30.0 171.0
31 Dec 3.5 21.0
351.5 2039.0

(Signed) Alfred ZAUN

Hamburg, the 26th of October 1945

Sworn before me Capt. R.A. Nightingale Int. Corps of No. 2 War Crimes Investigation Team this twenty-eighth day of October 1945.

(Signed) R.A. Nightingale

Capt

sources

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/holocaust/trial-bruno-tesch/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/inside-house-zyklon-b-180965184/

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