On 3 October 1947 in Gliwice, Investigating Judge of the District Court in Gliwice, with its seat in Gliwice, with Judge Zygmunt Switalski presiding, 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 administered the oath pursuant to the provisions of Article 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The witness then testified as follows:
|Name and surname.||engineer Władysław Plaskura|
|Parents’ names||Józef and Maria, née Kowalczyk|
|Place of residence||Gliwice, Daszyńskiego Street 28|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
I came to the camp in Auschwitz on 21 June 1940 and was forced to work on the camp premises as a Construction Office worker from June 1943 until 12 January 1945. During that time, I met the SS men listed below, who worked in the camp and about whom I can say the following:
1) Untersturmführer Meier – he held the function of deputy Lagerführer [camp leader]. When we were forced to stand as punishment following the escape of prisoner Wiejowski in July 1940, despite the promise that those who confessed something about the escape would not be harmed, he tortured them to force the confession out of them. He brutally beat the first transport from Silesia and ordered putting iodine on their wounds. During penal exercises called “sport”, he shot at prisoners who got down on the ground too late during the exercise hinlegen.
2) Hauptsturmführer Fritzsch – Lagerführer in the years 1940–1941 and at the beginning of 1942, an insane and sick man. He punished people for most trivial offences or even without any – by post, beating, bunker and penal company. On his orders Oberscharführer Palitzsch hanged a Jew on a tree branch, like he would on a post, during roll call. He punished people by post for the slightest offences. For instance engineer Wojnarski from Mościce was punished after one of the prisoners from his group rearranged the bandage on his leg. He didn’t allow the sick to get to hospital. He was incredibly mean and harassed people at every opportunity. In the summer and autumn he took the prisoners’ shoes away, causing them to get sick because of the wounds on their legs. Several times when some prisoners escaped, he personally chose 20 other prisoners who were meant to be starved to death in the bunker. He introduced the punishment of public flogging during roll calls. He often sent people to the penal company, which at the time was tantamount to a death sentence. He sentenced several prisoners for life in the penal company because they were listening to the radio. Witness: engineer Jan Pilecki, Polish Radio Katowice.
3) Hauptsturmführer Aumeier – Lagerführer in the years 1942–1943. Drunkard, hateful towards the Poles, beat prisoners (the Poles). He selected prisoners from the bunker for execution without trying to establish their guilt, shot them by the “death wall”, and often fired from his weapon at random in the camp. Following an unsuccessful mutiny of the prisoners in the penal company in Birkenau, together with other Blockführers [block leaders] he carried out a bloody massacre of the prisoners, torturing them and shooting at them with a revolver. He shot engineer Kielanowski from Kraków waterworks, who was lying unconscious on a stretcher, as he had been brought unconscious from the hospital on his orders. When he was in command, the first gassing in the basements of the penal company and the first public hanging in the camp occurred. He personally arranged the beam with 12 nooses for prisoners from Bauleitung [construction management]. His top priority was that “prisoners stayed in the camp two months at most”.
4) Obersturmführer Seidler – deputy to camp commandant Fritzsch. He was definitely an evil, sadistic, conceited man who enjoyed the sight of blood. He once kicked a dying prisoner in the head while the man was lying by the camp gate, having been shot as he was trying to escape. He administered the harshest camp punishments for each minor offence. Searches were his specialty, and they were always followed by many punishments. After one such search in block 24, he punished 18 prisoners with standing in a small cell. Fifteen of them suffocated in great pain because of the lack of air, and three of them were barely revived. He ordered to pour water over Russian prisoners during 20-degree frost, freezing them to death. He personally finished prisoners off by shooting them in the eye or in the head, while he pressed them to the ground with his boot, so that they couldn’t move. He expected the kapos from the penal company to kill as many prisoners as possible during work. He observed all of this, and threatened kapos if too few corpses were carried when the penal company was coming back to the camp from work. He introduced long roll calls in the rain and frost, killing hundreds of people as a result.
5) Hauptsturmführer Schwarz – first Arbeitsdienstführer [work service leader], then Lagerführer at “Buna”, a conceited, looting soldier, who diligently followed orders without thinking. He beat prisoners while he was drunk. Prisoners from “Buna” could say a lot about him.
6) Untersturmführer Grabner – head of the Political Department, with particularly criminal tendencies. He was a first-class sadist, who hated the Poles very much – especially the Polish intelligentsia. He selected prisoners for execution after an escape, sentenced people to be shot on his own initiative, conducted brutal investigations and tortured people during interrogations. He carried out gassings. The tattoos for prisoners were his idea. He proposed to create them using special stamps with needles and even brought such a stamp as a model to the workshop. He conducted the selections for execution among the prisoners from the bunker. After three technicians from the construction office escaped, he sent a fake report to Berlin, saying that 12 prisoners were sentenced to death by hanging, while he shot 13 others without orders from Berlin. They were engineers and technicians from the construction office. Grabner was an exceptionally cruel criminal, scourge of the camp and Höß’s right–hand man.
In order to avoid responsibility, he caused a fire in the barracks of the Political Department to get rid of the evidence of his criminal activities. Feliks Myłyk, residing in Gliwice, could provide more information about his actions.
7) Untersturmführer Wosnitza from Zabrze (Upper Silesia). Probably of Polish descent. Exceptionally clever worker at the Political Department in the camp. He would regularly come to the camp to attend executions of prisoners by firing squad and to spy on the locals. He conducted investigations concerning escapes. He could mask his criminal tendencies very well.
8) Untersturmführer engineer Janisch – worked at Bauleitung, a mean man who would kick and beat prisoners. I saw him abusing a prisoner who was a driver for failing to move the cart out of his car’s way on time. He was a fiancé of the head of the camp for women – the criminal Mandl.
9) Untersturmführer Wallerand – irrigation engineer (Kulturbau), especially mean Prussian Junker. He created the toilet and sewage disposal facilities, which are an affront to all sanitary regulations. He beat prisoners, for instance he hit an old surveyor, the late Wąsowski from Lublin in the face, having asked how old he was first.
10) Obersturmführer Pollok – worked at Bauleitung. A former Polish Army sergeant who in 1939 escaped from a regiment in Tarnopol two weeks before the war broke out, because he used to spy for the Germans. He hated the Poles very much. He beat them and collaborated with the Political Department in the camp. He was the Political Department’s informer and he denounced prisoners who worked in Bauleitung.
11) Sturmbannführer Bischoff – head of the central construction offices at first, then head of the construction inspectorate for Silesia. He was a very conceited and arrogant German, for whom prisoners and Jews were nothing. He eagerly engaged in expanding the camp and building the crematoria. He took part in burning prisoners. For his services, he was decorated with the War Merit Cross. He prepared the space and buildings for all criminal operations carried out on the camp premises, forcing all SS men subordinate to him and civilian workers to work as efficiently as possible to speed up and prepare the crematoria to serve their disgraceful purpose.
12) Oberscharführer Palitzsch – the first Rapportführer [report leader] at the camp, a first-class sadist. He terrorized the camp, beating, torturing, tormenting prisoners. He bathed in blood, hanged people on a post, there was generally no crime that he wouldn’t commit. Prisoners sentenced to death were first tortured, flogged and severely abused by him. He personally conducted the executions by firing squad and became very professional in this regard. He could shoot over 200 people within two hours and show up at roll call, soaked with blood. This criminal conducted his first gassing of 700 people in the basement of the penal company’s barrack, and the subsequent gassings in the first crematorium in the Auschwitz parent camp. He has thousands of people on his conscience.
13) Unterscharführer Stiebitz [Stiewitz] – Arbeitsdienstführer, then Rapportführer, beat prisoners, abused them, shot them by the “death wall”, exterminated Jews in the general anti-Jewish action. He beat and punished prisoners very eagerly, and harassed women in the camp for females.
14) Unterscharführer Frys [Fries] – Rapportführer, dumb brute, he beat and abused people, beat and kicked dying and weak prisoners lying on the ground during roll call, and after roll call he would play a game in which he was a “doctor”, calling out the sick who stayed in the camp and did not go to work, and making them stand in front of the block. He would then “treat” them by bashing them with a thick pole and hitting all over the body. Such a treatment obviously always ended in a massacre, since other SS men joined in. Fries had an incredible physical strength, lumpish figure, and he was very brutal. He actively participated in all actions against prisoners, administering the punishment of flogging with great pleasure.
15) Unterscharführer Schoppe – Blockführer, later Arbeitsdienstführer, a mean man, who hated the Poles, abused prisoners, very gladly reported their most trivial offences, and caused many prisoners to receive very harsh punishment (as evident from [the testimony of] engineer Łachecki, Mościce – about the late Jarzębowski). He personally beat prisoners.
16) Oberscharführer Emmerich – Arbeitsdienstführer, dangerous man, very mean sadist, he beat and abused male and female prisoners. He took part in brutal unloading of the transports and tormenting of the prisoners. An altercation broke out during one such brutal action, and as a result he got injured. He often conducted searches and denounced prisoners to the camp authorities.
17) Unterscharführer Köhler – a mean Blockführer, a sadist who beat prisoners and harassed them; enemy of Poles. He would regularly say things like “Ihr Sau – Polaken, Speckmütze” and so on.
18) Oberscharführer Plagge – a drunk and a sadist, he executed verdicts and punishments (hanging on the posts, beating on the sawbuck, shooting prisoners, conducting penal exercises called “sport” on his own initiative) – this is what this criminal did in the camp. Prisoners called him “Fajeczka” [Little Pipe] and feared him as much as they feared Palitzsch.
19) Sturmmann Blanke – head of the carpentry workshop, very tall and strong. He beat prisoners until they bled, he was stupid and dull and he tortured people in a horrible manner for the most trivial offences. He searched prisoners and harassed them at every opportunity. He especially persecuted the Polish intelligentsia. More detailed information can be provided by: engineer Łachecki, Mościce [and] Paweł Szpyrka, Chemical Reagents Factory in Zgorzelec.
20) Rottenführer Schinner – an insidious, cunning informer. He did not beat anyone, but encouraged Blanke to do so. Enemy of the Polish intelligentsia, bribable.
21) Hauptscharführer Wiechmann – a nasty piece of work, who came to the camp in 1943 from Sachsenhausen. He was a sadist who enjoyed beating, kicking, and abusing prisoners, toward whom he was exceptionally hateful. He often reported them, which resulted in harsh punishments.
22) Hauptscharführer Böttcher – the same as Wiechmann. He beat and abused prisoners, reported them and forced them to do various things, under a threat of punishment.
23) Oberscharführer Engelschal – Blockführer at first, later head of the camp guard and of the workshops. A large, very strong man. He was regularly used for administering the punishment of flogging, which he did with great skill and satisfaction. He made an effort to punish prisoners thoroughly and selected special whips in the slaughterhouse.
24) Unterscharführer Lachmann – worked at the Political Department. He was supposedly from Bydgoszcz and spoke beautiful literary Polish. He was well-groomed, suave, polite, and especially dangerous during investigations. He specialized in getting confessions while using most elaborate tortures in cold blood. He was in charge of the action forcing prisoners to sign the Volksliste. More detailed information could be provided by: engineer Jan Pilecki, Polish Radio Katowice and Feliks Myłyk, Gliwice.
25) Oberscharführer Boger – worked at the Political Department, a scumbag and scoundrel. He terrorized the camp, tortured prisoners during interrogations, abused them, selected prisoners from the bunker for execution, and shot them on his own initiative. He forced prisoners to commit offences. Witnesses: engineer Sledziński, Mościce and Józef Plaskura, Oświęcim-Dwory.
26) Oberscharführer Kamann – worked as a gardener at the construction office. He was dull and stupid. He hated the Poles, harassed and beat prisoners. Witness: prisoner Ludwik Lawin, Warsaw, Marszałkowska Street 8.
27) Unterscharführer Gatza [Gatzsch?] – a Silesian from around Pszczyna, informer, harassed prisoners.
28) Oberscharführer Gehring – had criminal tendencies, conducted penal exercises on his own initiative, encouraging kapos to abuse prisoners. Engineer Pilecki, Polish Radio Katowice could say a lot about his activities.
29) Doctors (Enters [Entress], Kleer [Klehr] and others) – the following former prisoners could testify in detail on the subject of their activities both in the parent camp and in the
|camp for women: Dr. Fejkiel, Krak||ów||, Dr. Granczyński, Krak||ów||, Dr. Dimm, Warszawa, and Dr.|
On top of that, I must mention some of the kapos who committed especially many crimes, namely:
30) Kapo Grönke – a cobbler and a mean man who abused prisoners. After he was released from the camp, he became head of the supply workshops. He performer his duties very eagerly, became the Political Department’s informer, harassed prisoners and abused them. He would organize shows in the courtyard of the workshop, setting dogs on the so-called “Muslims”, who were then torn apart. He was very dangerous and even SS men feared him. Witness: Franciszek Balzar, Mościce.
31) Kapo Bonitz – a German thief, who beat and tortured the Poles. He harassed all prisoners in the block, in which he was the block elder. I was hit by him several times.
32) Kapo Arno – a chef. I don’t remember his surname. He had a heavy hand and killed a man with one blow. He beat and abused prisoners when he was angry.
33. Kapo Schikowski – he couldn’t speak Polish very well. He was a sadist and a criminal. The road to the camp in Birkenau is a testimony to his activities. He performed the function of the senior kapo of the work columns and along with other kapos, he caused several thousand Russian and Polish prisoners to die in the process of building this road.
If asked, I can provide many more details with regards to the criminals from the camp in Auschwitz. At this I conclude my testimony.
The report was read out.
I would like to add that I was detained in Auschwitz as Polish prisoner number 1000.
The report was read out.