Eighth day of the trial
Brunon Małachowski, aged 37; Deputy Head of Department at the Office for the Reconstruction of the Capital; no relationship to the parties.
Presiding Judge: – Please present the statistical data regarding the scale [of the damage] and the estimated state of affairs with [respect to] buildings.
Expert Witness Małachowski: – In order to give an accurate picture of the damage inflicted on Warsaw as an urban organism, both in terms of measurable material value and non- measurable cultural value, and in order to present the scale, nature, and consequences of this damage, it is necessary to present the size, value, and significance of the city directly before the outbreak of the war. In August 1939 the capital had a population of 1.3 million within its administrative limits, and the number of buildings at that time was approximately 25,500, which is roughly equivalent to 103.5 million cubic meters. Apart from the cultural value of these buildings, their material value alone was estimated at about 6 billion zlotys according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to approximately 420 billion in today’s zlotys.
The above mentioned capacity included not only residential buildings but also about 900 primary, secondary, and vocational schools, 40 higher education institutions and academic institutes, more than 900 sacred and historic buildings, as well as about 200 museums, archives, libraries, theaters, concert halls, and cinemas. Warsaw’s hospitals and clinics had approximately 800 beds; apart from this, the health service and social welfare had numerous health care and social welfare centers, hostels and orphanages, swimming and bathing facilities, social insurance institutions, etc. The capital’s industry [was] comprised [of] about 2,800 work establishments with a total of approximately 90,000 employees, plus a large number of craft workshops; various branches of craft had earned their reputation on the global market, e.g. shoemaking. As a big city, Warsaw had many general facilities, such as hotels, slaughterhouses, market halls, garages, etc.
Still, the significance of Warsaw in the immediate pre-war period consisted, above all, in its status as the country’s center of power and influence. Multifaceted power and influence, not only in the political domain, but also in the cultural and economic spheres, was the city’s dominant feature, pushing the issues of economy and production into the background. That is why Warsaw was not predominantly an industrial and commercial city, even though it did account for a considerable proportion of Poland’s industry and commerce. Its location at the intersection of major European communication routes gave rise to another special feature – it was a major communications hub. These characteristic features translated into Warsaw’s contribution to Poland’s political, economic, and cultural life.
Warsaw was the center of political power and influence. Its contribution to the country’s economic life accounted for only about seven percent of the total number of commercial enterprises, but in wholesale trade this figure was nearly 40 percent. The trade turnover of the Warsaw market accounted for over 20 percent of the national turnover. Warsaw’s contribution was particularly high in the machine and tool trade, accounting for more than half of the national turnover.
While Warsaw’s population constituted only four percent of Poland’s total population, the capital’s professionally active industrial workers made up over 12 percent of all the workers employed in the Polish industry; their high percentage in the highly skilled industry, and in the precision industry, is particularly striking. For instance, in the electrotechnical industry, Warsaw’s contribution was as high as 44 percent of the workers employed in this branch, in the whole country. Warsaw’s incoming freight accounted for about 20 percent of the country’s freight shipments.
Even more prominent, in light of the figures, was Warsaw’s cultural role. The circulation of non-serial publications published in Warsaw accounted for over 50 percent of the national output, the circulation of periodicals accounted for 34 percent, state archival records stored in Warsaw accounted for 56 percent, and the number of volumes in the capital’s university libraries accounted for 38 percent of the national total. About 40 percent of all academic staff and students in Poland worked and studied at Warsaw’s higher education institutions, and in the field of technical sciences this proportion was close to 50 percent.
Warsaw was destroyed in three stages: in September 1939, from April 1943 to August 1944, and from August 1944 until January 1945. The damage inflicted during the first stage was partly repaired, exclusively thanks to the efforts of the Polish people during the occupation, against the occupier’s will and despite many difficulties made by the German administration. All of this contribution to the rebuilding of the city was made void again during the uprising [1 August to 2 October 1944] and – mainly – after its defeat, before the liberation of Warsaw in January 1945.
The estimation of losses resulting from the destruction of property restored by Warsaw’s residents between October 1939 and August 1944 is currently impossible because all the relevant inventory and statistical materials have gone missing. The figures given below do not include this property. They are based on a comparison of the pre-war state with the state of affairs after the expulsion of the Germans from Warsaw. Comprehensive inventorying was carried out in the city, in February and March 1945, by the Office for the Reconstruction of the Capital, which prepared a report on the damage done to Warsaw based on this data.
Due to the different character of the buildings on the right and left banks of the Vistula, and due to the fact that the right bank – the Praga district – was liberated much earlier, damage should be considered separately for right and left-bank Warsaw.
Damage to buildings in left-bank Warsaw were as follows:
lightly damaged buildings:
approximately 4,000, which accounts for about 24 percent of all these buildings; the capacity loss is about 3 million cubic meters; the value of the damage amounts to about 135 million [zlotys], according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to about 9.5 billion in today’s zlotys;
damaged buildings fit for repair:
approximately 3,000, which accounts for about 16 percent of all these buildings; the capacity loss is about 7.5 million cubic meters; the value of the damage amounts to about 340 million zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to about 24 billion in today’s zlotys;
destroyed buildings beyond repair:
approximately 10,000, which accounts for about 60 percent of all these buildings; the capacity loss is about 47 million cubic meters; the value of the damage amounts to about 2 billion zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to about 140 billion in today’s zlotys;
the capacity loss amounts to about 6 million cubic meters; the value [of the damage] is 1.7 billion zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to 120 billion in today’s zlotys.
The total capacity loss for buildings in left-bank Warsaw amounts to approximately 63.5 million cubic meters, and the value [of the damage] is about 4.175 billion zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to 294 billion in today’s zlotys.
Damage to buildings in right-bank Warsaw (the Praga district) were as follows:
lightly damaged buildings:
approximately 5,000, which accounts for about 60 percent of all these buildings; the capacity loss is about 3.5 million cubic meters; the value of the damage amounts to about 150 million zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to 10.5 billion in today’s zlotys;
damaged buildings fit for repair:
approximately 900, which accounts for about 10 percent of all these buildings; the capacity loss is about 1.7 million cubic meters; the value of the damage amounts to about 70 million zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to 4.9 billion in today’s zlotys;
destroyed buildings beyond repair:
approximately 1,400, which accounts for about 16 percent of all these buildings; the capacity loss is about 5 million cubic meters; the value of the damage amounts to about 200 million zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to 14 billion in today’s zlotys.
Thus, for Warsaw as a whole, the total loss in damaged or destroyed buildings amounts to approximately 73.7 million cubic meters, whose value according to prices as of August 1939 is 4.595 billion zlotys, equivalent to 323.4 billion in today’s zlotys.
The above losses, calculated on the basis of the state of affairs acknowledged at the beginning of 1945, continue to increase as the remaining buildings further deteriorate. Some of the buildings classified as fit for repair in 1945 will probably fall into complete ruin because it is impossible to repair, or even properly secure them, any time soon. Even though this process is not directly caused by the criminal activities of the apparatus that the defendants were in charge of, it does constitute a consequence of these activities; therefore, when calculating the city’s losses we should add the probable further capacity loss to the previously obtained figures.
This value is roughly estimated at approximately 9 million cubic meters, [which is] worth about 400 million [zlotys] according to prices as of August 1939, which is equivalent to 28 billion in today’s zlotys.
What should be added to Warsaw’s losses, in terms of buildings, is the cost of the demolition of buildings or parts of buildings damaged beyond repair. Rubble removal is a serious item here as well. The volume of the rubble is estimated at about 20 million cubic meters. The cost of carrying this amount away would have been approximately 100 million zlotys according to pre-war prices, which is equivalent to about 7 billion in today’s zlotys.
Damage figures for buildings in left-bank Warsaw were as follows: out of 17,053 buildings – 4,225 (24.76 percent) were lightly damaged; 2,973 (17.59 percent) were damaged but fit for repair; and 9,865 (57.81 percent) were beyond repair.
In right-bank Warsaw, out of the total of 8,435 buildings – 5,005 (59.34 percent) were lightly damaged; 906 (10.74 percent) were damaged but fit for repair; and 1,364 (16.17 percent) were beyond repair.
To describe the damage in different domains, we ought to note that:
primary, secondary, and vocational schools suffered 70 percent damage; higher education institutions and scientific societies suffered 70 percent damage; sacred and historic buildings suffered 90 percent damage;
museums, theaters, archives, libraries, concert halls, and cinemas suffered 80 percent damage; hospital and clinics suffered 80 percent damage.
The above figures concern damage to buildings that served the specified purposes; they do not cover equipment, which was almost completely looted or destroyed.
Let me now proceed to a more detailed description of the damage in each category.
Presiding Judge: – It is not necessary to go into details. Please report to us only the overall outcome.
Expert Witness: – The occupiers completely destroyed Warsaw’s industry, with damage exceeding 90 percent. Apart from pulling down and burning down buildings, they took away or destroyed appliances and machines. Even if they are in a fairly good condition, the machines found and dug out from under the rubble constitute mere fractions of the former factories, and are therefore of little value for production.
Relatively less damaged than buildings, were street facilities and the network systems connected with them. It is, however, not yet possible to determine the total scale of the damage or to estimate the losses in this domain. This is because the condition of underground facilities and their practical utility cannot be examined until they are gradually incorporated into active networks. The figures given below are therefore incomplete: road surface damage – approximately 24,000 square meters; pavement damage – approximately 25,000 square meters; damage to the water supply and sewage system – a value of about 35 million zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, equivalent to 2.45 billion in today’s zlotys; damage to electric power grid together with appliances – approximately 90 million zlotys, according to prices as of August 1939, equivalent to 6.3 billion in today’s zlotys. There is no data concerning damage to the gas supply system.
The municipal works operating these facilities suffered more damage: the power station, the water and sewage pump station, the water filters, and the gasworks. Also in this case, it is possible to observe the systematic character of the destruction work, aimed at depriving the city of facilities crucial to its life. For example, while the power station and the river pump station, as well as the sewage pumping facility, were almost completely destroyed, the gasworks suffered relatively less damage. Warsaw’s losses in the domain of communications were not as huge as those in industry, but still great. On some stretches, the damage was nearly complete. All the bridges were torn down along nearly all their length, the Cross-City Line was blocked by the total collapse of the Central Railway Station and mail railway station and by damage to the tunnel, stations in the Praga district were blown up or burned down, and the airport was destroyed.
To illustrate the damage suffered by the Municipal Communication Company, it is necessary at least to outline the state before August 1939. The capital was served by 30 tram lines: day lines with a total route length of 305 kilometers and night lines with a route length of 77 kilometers, as well as by 19 bus lines with a total route length of 83 kilometers. The length of tracks was 205 kilometers of single track, there were 728 tram cars and 135 buses. The tram service had its own power station with a power of 12,900 kW and three traction current converter substations with a total power of 6,200 kW, five tram depots, three bus depots, as well as large tram repair and car repair shops, roadwork facilities, etc.
The capacity of the buildings was approximately 800 cubic meters.
According to the data provided by engineer Jan Kubalski (1939), in the first phase of destruction the buildings, the power station, and the tracks were damaged, the overhead wiring was torn off, the depot was burned down, nineteen tram cars were destroyed, and more than a hundred buses were taken away or destroyed. Despite obstacles from the occupier, the damage was repaired.
The Germans’ wasteful management of the Warsaw Tram Company in the years 1939- 1944 left half of the fleet of trams unfit for use, machines and tracks were destroyed, and the rest of the destruction was done in 1944. The tram power station was blown up and destroyed, the appliances of the three substations were taken away or damaged, more than 250 kilometers of overhead wiring was carried away or completely destroyed, 560 tram cars were burned down and totally destroyed, 31 were taken away, and the remaining ones were mostly damaged; 90 percent of workshop machines were taken away or destroyed; tracks were damaged in 3,000 places, all five depots and four garages were blown up or burned down; repair shops, roadwork facilities, and car networks were burned down or destroyed; management, administration, and station buildings were burned down or blown up; 95 percent of utility buildings were burned down and destroyed; all warehouse stocks and tools were taken away or destroyed. The overall losses, according to prices as of August 1939, amount to approximately 86 million zlotys.
This would be the picture of the damage done to Warsaw. I am not going into details, which are presented in the attachments.
Presiding Judge: – Thank you.
Attorney Śliwowski: – Didn’t restrictions on renovation and repair coincide with the outbreak of the German-Soviet War?
Expert Witness: – I suppose they were earlier, but I don’t remember.
Attorney Śliwowski: – Did the implementation of Die neue Deutsche Stadt Warschau [The New German City of Warsaw] actually start, or was it a strictly theoretical plan?
Expert Witness: – I believe its implementation started with the demolition of the northern part of the city center, because this is consistent with the plan.
Attorney Śliwowski: – I have no further questions to the expert witness, but I would like to ask the defendant one question. Was defendant Leist familiar with the map of Die neue Deutsche Stadt Warschau?
Defendant Leist: – No, I was not.