The ninth day of the trial.
Presiding Judge: Next witness, Maria Budziaszek.
I am advising the witness in accordance with art. 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the obligation to speak the truth. Making false declarations is punishable by conviction with a maximum penalty of 5-year imprisonment. Do the parties wish to file motions as regards the procedure of interviewing the witness?
Prosecution: We are exempting the witness from taking the oath.
Defense: As are we.
Witness: Maria Budziaszek, 26 years of age, employee of the “Społem” company, Roman Catholic, no relationship to the parties.
Presiding Judge: Please state if you have come across the defendants, either all or any one of them, and if you can provide any specific information regarding these persons.
Witness: I know defendants Mandl, Brandl, I have heard about defendant Orlowski, and further, I know defendants Aumeier and Szczurek. I do not recognize any other faces.
Presiding Judge: When did you arrive at the camp and how long did you stay there?
Witness: I arrived at the camp in 1942 and I remained there until 1940. Then I was transferred to Dresden.
Presiding Judge: What have you heard concerning defendant Mandl?
Witness: As regards Mandl, I can say that up to 1942, while I was working at the Efekt, i.e. at the place where the belongings of the deceased were sorted, I spotted two SS men, standing on either side, hitting women returning from work in the neck.
There was to be a thorough inspection at our block, that is block 25. Block 25 was the death block. We were forced outside naked and we stood in front of the block. After the inspection, we were supposed to be decimated and receive 10 whip blows each, but that did not happen; maybe they did not have time.
Presiding Judge: And to what end was this inspection to be carried out?
Witness: To check if we were in possession of any belongings stolen from the Efekt. Guards with the women’s SD had leashes and used them to drag people to block 25. Among the women, there was an elderly person whom Mandl ordered back. This woman was taken away and never returned.
Selections were performed for no reason whatsoever. One night, Mandl held a roll call and selected a lot of sick women, and also some of the weaker ones, to be sent to the gas chambers.
At the so-called general roll calls was an SS man holding a stick 50 cm above the ground and if a woman failed to jump over it, she was moved aside.
When I worked at the kitchen, toward the end of 1942 or the beginning of 1943, I remember I appropriated some bread for a comrade of mine. For that, defendant Mandl assigned me to the SK [penal company] for four months. I remember it was scorching hot and I wanted to get to her with a report. Finally, after four days, she admitted me and asked who I had taken this bread for. I replied that it was for myself. Then defendant Mandl shouted, in a dominating way, “ heraus” [out] and I was given time with the Strafkommando, SK.
As regards defendant Brandl, she used to unleash dogs on women and beat them with a wrench. When we had been designated for a transport and one comrade of mine had prepared some warm clothes, Brandl took them away from her and carried out a general inspection because of it. We were divested of anything of quality and given rags.
Defendant Szczurek was a Blockführer [block leader]; he would come to the block and whip women.
Presiding Judge: You have named Aumeier.
Witness: Defendant Aumeier would come to the block on a horse, dash towards the women who were collecting garbage and disperse them.
Presiding Judge: And concerning defendant Mandl?
Witness: I remember that defendant Mandl used to come to the women’s quarters and select women for the brothels, promising that they would get good food and good clothes there.
Presiding Judge: And concerning defendant Orlowski?
Witness: I heard she was at Budy, with the SK. When the women returned, they would say that Aufseherin Orlowski unleashed dogs on women and that they were chased into a bog.
Presiding Judge: Did defendant Mandl take part in selections?
Witness: A selection could not be performed without her.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Did Mandl decide which women were to be gassed and which of them were to be sent to the camp?
Witness: That is correct.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Were there cases whereby any of the camp elders tried to protect certain persons and defendant Mandl did not let that happen?
Witness: I remember that block elder Stenia moved her acquaintance aside, but Mandl forced her back into the row, anyway.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Were there cases whereby defendant Mandl tortured women, dragging them to block 25?
Witness: I remember cases whereby women, beaten, were thrown to the ground, tied up with straps, and dragged to block 25, face down.
Prosecutor Pęchalski: You claim that female prisoners were taken to brothels and that initially they volunteered and later were forced to go. Do you know who selected them?
Witness: It was done by Mandl and Hössler.
Prosecutor Pęchalski: So Mandl decided about that?
Witness: Yes, she did. But there were women who stood up to do it, and sometimes came of their own volition.
Prosecutor Pęchalski: Were they only Poles, or also women of other nationalities?
Witness: There were Germans and also Russians.
Presiding Judge: Does the defendant wish to make a statement?
Defendant Mandl: Your Honor! I want to clarify some parts of the witness’s statement, namely as regards the selection of women for brothels. Women only went there voluntarily and we were not allowed to force anyone to do it. I also wish to state that I never selected a woman for a brothel. Only Hössler did. Russians, Germans and Poles volunteered. This is everything I wanted to say.
Presiding Judge: Are there any other questions for the witness?
Defense attorney Rymar: I want to make sure if I understood you correctly. You said that the women who would not be forced to go were not taken to the brothels but assigned to the Sonderkommando [special kommando] as a punishment.
Witness: Initially they were forced to go and then they would go voluntarily.
Defense attorney Rymar: I am asking about what happened to those women who would not go to the brothels.
Witness: I do not know exactly. I only know that Mandl selected them herself and forced them.
Presiding Judge: Are there any further questions for the witness?
Presiding Judge: Then the witness is excused.