On 7 August 1947 in Tarnowskie Góry, the Municipal Court in Tarnowskie Góry, Fifth Branch, with Judge J. Dobkiewicz presiding and with the participation of a reporter temporarily acting as a copyist, Lis, interviewed the person specified below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the judge swore the witness in in accordance with the provisions of Art. 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The witness then testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Rajmund Zajer|
|Date of birth||30 August 1901|
|Parents’ names||Dionizy and Joanna, née Malok|
|Place of residence||Radzionków, Oświęcimska Street 71|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
I was imprisoned in the following camps: Auschwitz – from 24 January 1941 to 20 April 1942, Birkenau – from 21 April 1942 to 30 June 1943, Jaworzno – from 1 July 1943 to 17 January 1945, Groß-Rosen – from 10 to 28 February 1945, Litomierzyce – from 1 March to 7 May 1945.
Rudolf Höß, now executed, was the camp commandant at Auschwitz. The camp leader, Captain Fritzsch, was his deputy. Höß held his posts from 1940 to 1942. He was hostile toward prisoners, treated them sadistically, especially the Poles. Whenever prisoners asked for easier work, he assigned them to the penal company, where hard labor and brutal beatings caused them to die. He always took part in daily executions. He was succeeded by one Aumeier, who was the head of the camp until the evacuation. He treated prisoners worse than his predecessor. Executions in which he participated took place every day at that time. In the autumn of 1943, Aumeier once personally shot 20 Polish prisoners when he was trying to find out who had initiated an escape plan.
A person who decided upon life and death of the prisoners at Auschwitz and Birkenau was Untersturmführer Grabner. He was head of the Political Department, that is, the camp Gestapo. He ordered executions, determined the forms of punishment – whether they were supposed to involve the "post", hanging, beating and so on. The following people were Grabner’s confidants, who carried out his orders: Hauptscharführer Palitzsch, Unterscharführer Bachmann and Boger. They controlled the camp by reporting to their boss about everything and by selecting prisoners for executions in the bunker. They conducted investigations during which the detainees were beaten senseless, and they abused prisoners.
I was detained at the camp in Jaworzno from the very beginning of its existence. It was established to provide some relief to the camp at Auschwitz. Besides that, it contained coalmines and power plants. The point was to assign prisoners to work in these institutions. On average, there were 6,000 prisoners in the camp. The camp was destructive for prisoners, since the working conditions and the location increased the mortality rate. The building process alone claimed the lives of about 3,000 Greek Jews. I was a clerk at this camp, so I know that the majority of the prisoners were Jewish, and Poles were the second largest group. Untersturmführer Pfütze was the camp commandant at Jaworzno the entire time. He treated prisoners with hostility and demanded that they work beyond their strength. If a prisoner was too exhausted to work, he ordered a kapo to kill him. In 1943, he ordered that 35 prisoners be hanged in front of the barracks for planning an escape, because they had dug a tunnel beneath a fence. His assistant, Hans Olejak from Bielsko, treated prisoners in a brutal way and, following the orders of the head of the camp with respect to torturing prisoners, he took an active part in beatings and hangings. When carrying out these crimes, he had help from Otto Hablesreiter, who was Rapportführer [report leader] – he tormented prisoners more than Olejak. During the evacuation from Jaworzno to Groß-Rosen, 6723 prisoners left Jaworzno and only 271 got to Groß-Rosen – the rest had been shot by the crew.
I do not recognize the person from the photograph and I don’t know who this man is. At the camp in Jaworzno, there was one Bajerke [Bayer?], I think his first name was Ludwig. He was an SS-Sturmmann transferred from Lublin. He spoke perfect Polish. He was strongly built, broad-shouldered, about 2.10 meters tall. He had prominent facial bones, a high forehead, a full set of teeth, dark blond hair and a clean-shaven face. He came to the camp in 1944 and held the function of Kommandoführer [squad leader]. Compared to the other führers that I mentioned, he treated prisoners with moderation. Two thirds of prisoners worked in the mines, others on the premises of the camp or in the power plant.
The report was read out.