Presiding Judge: Next witness, please. Dr Zofia Mączka. I advise the witness as per Art. 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure they are obliged to tell the truth. False testimony is punishable with incarceration for up to five years. Do the parties offer any motions regarding the manner of questioning of the witness?
Prosecution: We do not require the witness to swear an oath.
Defense: Nor do we.
Witness: Zofia Mączka, 42 years old; religion: Roman Catholic; doctor; no relation to the defendants.
Presiding Judge: What does the witness know about the defendants the witness can recognize here?
Witness: I recognize Oberaufseherin [senior overseer] Mandl, against whom I testify for my time in the Ravensbrück camp. Oberaufseherin Mandl, having been trained in the bunker, was assigned in spring of 1942 to the Ravensbrück camp as Oberaufseherin.
The rule of defendant Mandl was the harshest time in that worst of camps, where prisoners were persecuted the most. The defendant had a specialty: ordering prisoners to remove their shoes. After she arrived we all had to walk barefoot. Roll calls started in the early morning. We stood without shoes for two, three hours and felt bitterly cold. To protect ourselves from the cold, we would put pieces of paper under our feet. When we protected our feet with paper, Mandl would look for those bits and pry them out from under our feet. Another torture was cutting hair for every tiniest offense. The women prisoners in the camp had to keep their hair tied into a bun with a ribbon, but they were shaved whenever Mandl noticed a strand peeking out from under the headscarf. But these are minor details compared to other matters. In July of [year missing] a medical committee was commissioned from Hohenlychen to conduct experiments. This research was directed by Prof. Gebhardt with the assistance of Ravensbrück camp doctors. […] Mandl selected about a thousand Polish women for this experimental research. In July of 1942 I was hired as a medical worker. It was in [that] period that the experiments were first conducted. A period of brutal orders began. We were not allowed to provide help to Jewesses by dressing their legs wounded because of walking barefoot. When one of those Jewesses asked a nurse in the Revier [hospital] for help, she was kicked out by the [word missing] nurse from the Revier and sentenced to the bunker. In the bunker she died of hunger, as by Oberaufseherin Mandl’s order the prisoners in the bunker were executed by starvation. A second example of death through starving was a prisoner whom, as medical station workers, we had to carry out of cell 64. In August of 2 she died of hunger. [As far as I] know, before and after the reign of defendant Mandl the punishment of death by starvation was not used. [One of] my duties was to carry the dead bodies of [those who had] died from starvation out of the bunker. The deaths from hunger in the camp were the most numerous under defendant Mandl. That is all I would like to say about the conduct of defendant Mandl.
Presiding Judge: And how did defendant Mandl act towards the witness herself? Did she ever beat the witness?
Witness: She did not beat me because she knew I was a doctor.
Presiding Judge: And how did defendant Mandl behave in other situations?
Witness: Not a roll call went by without someone receiving a beating for the tiniest infraction.
Presiding Judge: And what did the defendant use for the beatings?
Witness: She hit prisoners in the face with her hand, she almost always wore elegant gloves.
Presiding Judge: And were they bloodied?
Witness: I do not recall that.
Presiding Judge: The witness mentioned experiments on the women. What kind of experiments were those?
Witness: I wrote about these experiments for the “Tygodnik Lekarski” [“Doctor’s Weekly”]. They were conducted by Dr Gebhard’s school between July of 1942 and August of 1943. The experiments were conducted on the lower limbs and were divided into two groups. The first group was for limb surgeries and the second was for aseptic experiments to research tissue regeneration. Five Poles died as a result of these surgeries and six were shot after the surgeries.
Presiding Judge: Are there any questions for the witness?
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Could the witness tell me what effect did those experiments have on the constitution of the patients they were performed on, setting aside the death cases?
Witness: They mostly led to permanent disability. The group that went through the infection tests would get better after a few months, aside from a few people who suffered tissue damage. The ones who went through surgeries, particularly of the lower limbs, all had some degree of damage. But the worst part was the mental experience, as they waited during their entire stay in the camp for the order that would send them to be shot. They lived with that fear for a year, two, or three of their time in the camp. 59 of the people who were experimented on are still alive in Poland, three are dead.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: What kind of diseases were they infected with?
Witness: The first group was infected with staphylococcus, the second with tetanus, gas gangrene or clostridium.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Did defendant Mandl take part in the selections?
Witness: Mandl had no say in who was picked, she only executed an order from higher up.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Does the witness know anything about select people being sent to other camps outside of those instances of selection?
Witness: I know nothing of transports leaving with some select people. I know for certain that a number of mass shootings were performed – e.g. on 10 May, when 13 Poles from the Lublin region were shot, the young secondary school girls, or the university students (the Chrostowski sisters), then the Częstochowa transport and many others. To what extent defendant Mandl is to blame I do not know and thus cannot say. In any case, the shootings took place during her rule.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Does the witness know why those executions were performed?
Witness: The four transports that arrived at that time all contained politically committed prisoners from the prisons of Tarnów, Kraków and Warsaw.
Prosecutor Szewczyk: Did the witness encounter defendant Mandl in Auschwitz as well?
Witness: No, only in Ravensbrück.
Presiding Judge: Are there any further questions for the witness?
Presiding Judge: Therefore the witness is excused.