Warsaw, 22 May 1947. A member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Warsaw, Acting Judge Halina Wereńko, interviewed the person named below as a witness, without an oath. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the obligation to speak the truth, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Bohdan Tadeusz Ludwik Urbanowicz|
|Parents’ names||Tadeusz and Gustawa, née Krzyżanowska|
|Date of birth||3 January 1911, Suwałki|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Konstantego Górskiego Street 4|
|Education||Master of Laws and graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts|
|Occupation||Department Head at the Ministry of Culture and Arts|
In August 1944, as a delegate of the Minister of Culture and Arts, I was sent to Austria to recover the works of art taken away from Poland by the Germans.
In the OSS (American Office of Strategic Services) in Bad Aussee, I obtained permission to interrogate Dr. Kajetan Mühlmann, former Undersecretary of State for Securing Artworks in the General Government, special envoy of Hitler and Göring, who stayed in Poland from September 1939 to 1940, and in the summer of 1944.
Dr. Mühlmann described to me all his activities in which I was interested, due to the recovery of artworks.
Mühlmann described the robberies committed by the SS, mentioning the name of Untersturmführer Paulsen, who, in September 1939, initiated an unplanned and massive operation to take away cultural goods from Poland on behalf of the SS. He explained that – being opposed to that operation – he prepared lists and, having a legal basis to do so, he gathered the collections as planned in safe spots in Kraków, and then he sent them away to be examined, repaired, and protected.
I did not make any reports from our conversations. I don’t remember the name of Dr. Tratz.
The American authorities (the Fine Arts and Monuments Office) in Salzburg informed me that the zoological collections stolen from Poland were kept in the Haus der Natur (a zoological museum) in Salzburg. During a conversation with the director of that museum – I don’t remember his name, but I think it wasn’t Tratz – I determined that there was indeed a collection there, but it was already being secured by a Polish doctor of zoology (I don’t remember her name) on behalf of Mr. Jaczewski and a liaison officer from the II Corps of Anders. The collections were being listed and sorted.
I did not investigate the rest of the collections, when the German director and the Polish doctor of zoology told me that no more Polish collections had been kept there. The above -mentioned collections were packed, included in the transport of recovered artworks from Fischhorn, and returned to the Central Directorate of Museums and Monuments Protection [Naczelna Dyrekcja Muzeów i Ochrony Zabytków]. The person who packed the collections was Zbigniew Filarski, a warehouse keeper at the National Museum in Warsaw.
At this point, the report was concluded and read out.