On 31 July 1947 in Katowice, Investigating Judge A. Bubik, with the participation of a reporter, Trainee Judge Zbrojowa, heard the person named below as a witness without taking an oath. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:

Name and surname Elza Berkowicz
Age 30 years old
Parents’ names Adolf and Rozalia
Place of residence Katowice, Żwirki i Wigury Street 3, flat 7
Occupation married woman
Criminal record none
Relationship to the parties none

I was incarcerated in Auschwitz as a political prisoner from April 1942. I worked and lived on the premises of the Auschwitz camp, while Maria Mandl served as an Oberaufseherin [senior overseer] in the women’s camp in Birkenau (since 1944). I lived in Auchwitz in one block with Maria Mandl. She left for work every day with a whip and a malicious dog.

Mandl personified all evil and cruelty in Birkenau. I recall a major incident in the camp: a young girl called Mala, a Dolmetscher [interpreter] in Birkenau, fled the camp. When she was caught, she was to be hanged, and Maria Mandl volunteered to carry out the sentence herself. I would like to emphasize that no sentence was passed against Mala, and Mandl just wanted to hang her of her own accord in order to set a deterrent example. When the scaffolding and the gallows were ready, and some 6,000 prisoners and the camp personnel were gathered, Mala was led out of the bunker. Seeing what lay in store for her, Mala cut her veins with a razor.

The punishment was not meted out since Mala, still unconscious, was taken directly to the crematorium where she was burned.

I recognize Luise Danz in the photograph. I came across her on 3 February 1945 in Malchow, in the so-called Nebenlager [subcamp] which was part of the Ravensbrück camp. Luise Danz served as the camp commandant and was notorious for her extreme cruelty. She was present at all the roll calls and kept the prisoners standing for hours; I have to emphasize here that we were starved at the time, as one loaf of bread was distributed among ten prisoners. When once two women plucked up enough courage to go to her and ask for bigger rations, she punished us all with standing the entire afternoon at a roll call. Shortly before the evacuation, Danz carried out a selection with one of the SS men.

The selected persons, however, were not exterminated, as on 1 May we were evacuated. Luise Danz’s conduct clearly showed that she wanted to starve the prisoners, as the storerooms were full of food.