Presiding Judge: Next witness.
Witness: Stanisława Marchwicka, 47 years old, wife to a merchant; religion: Roman Catholic; residing in Prokocim; no relation to the defendants.
Presiding Judge: I remind the witness of the obligation to tell the truth. Do the parties offer any motions regarding the manner of questioning?
Prosecutors and defense: We do not require the witness to swear an oath.
Presiding Judge: The witness will testify without an oath. Would the witness tell us if she recognizes any of the accused, and if so, what she can testify and as to what circumstances?
Witness: High Tribunal, I recognize defendant Maria Mandl.
Presiding Judge: Please speak loudly and slowly. In what circumstances did the witness meet defendant Mandl?
Witness: I recognize her because I was in Ravensbrück since the very beginning, and she was an Oberaufseherin [senior overseer] there. I worked in a column of 60 women. One time, when I was guiding them through the lager, an elderly lady could not keep up. Defendant Mandl then jumped at her and hit her a few times. I asked her what right did she have to hit the lady if we were going to work. Then she leaped to me, slapped me twice in the face and kicked me, saying: “You Polish swine, you should be going faster with your column”. Later I worked at block 15, with “guinea pigs” that were used for medical experiments. Mandl was present when the women were selected. At first they picked out 10, we were scared because we did not know what that selection meant. Only in the evening did we learn that the women were taken for medical experiments.
Later Mandl ordered a search of the block. We were all thrown outside and stayed there for something like four hours. They searched both the block and our pockets. All prisoners were searched, she was looking for some documents, but could not find anything. Then she told us to enter the block.
One time we were standing for the morning roll call, it was horribly cold, because we were thrown out at five in the morning and barefoot. When Mandl arrived at the roll call square and saw pieces of paper under our feet, she started beating and torturing us in an incredible way, kicking us with her boots until we lost consciousness. A lot of women were injured by her then. She beat up an elderly lady who was taken to the Revier [hospital] and died there a few days later.
Defendant Mandl is a demon in human form. When she ruled in the camp, we were convinced it was the end of the world for us. Mandl persecuted Poles, Jewesses and Czechs and said to us all: “You are all here to die and to work, you must work and do nothing else”.
Presiding Judge: Has the witness concluded her testimony?
Presiding Judge: Has the witness observed the facts of kicking, beating, torture?
Witness: I was an eyewitness to kicking.
Presiding Judge: How did it happen, what did she beat people with?
Witness: Usually a gloved hand.
Presiding Judge: Did the defendant have a particularly cruel attitude only towards Polish prisoners?
Witness: Yes, she was the worst to the Poles.
Presiding Judge: And for what did she oppress the Poles?
Witness: Because the Poles in Ravensbrück kept themselves clean, although they were wearing striped prisoner garb, they had their hair tied, and the defendant hated that, saying they were curling their hair.
Presiding Judge: Did the defendant invent any special punishments?
Witness: Making prisoners stand in the lager and denying them food.
Presiding Judge: Are there any questions?
Prosecutor Szewczyk: The witness has mentioned Mandl took part in prisoner selections. Did these include the so-called guinea pigs?
Witness: The selections were only for the guinea pigs. Between seven and eight thousand women from SD were sentenced to experimentation.
Prosecutor: There must be a misunderstanding, as the previous witness just said only about a hundred women were picked. Did the women know what they were being chosen for?
Witness: They did not know that at all.
Prosecutor: Did these selections take place more than once?
Witness: A few times.
Prosecutor: Did defendant Mandl know what kind of experiments the female inmates were chosen for?
Witness: I cannot say.
Prosecutor Pęchalski: The witness mentioned denial of food, what was that like?
Witness: If Mandl noticed any disorder, she ordered the block searched and all food taken away from the lager – the food the inmates received from home. This left nothing in the block. Mandl ordered that food be denied in such a way that block 15 was completely locked down by a police cordon. Not a spoonful of food was given during those days. If anyone wanted to give us a piece of bread, then the prisoners were threatened with harsh punishment.
Prosecutor: When prisoners were sent to the bunker and the penal company, what did it look like and what part did defendant Mandl play in it?
Witness: If defendant Mandl noticed that any of the inmates had disorderly clothing or linen, she would send her to the bunker or to the penal block for four or five months.
Prosecutor: What consequences did this have for the inmates?
Witness: It caused a complete nervous exhaustion.
Defense attorney Walas: How long did the witness stay in the Ravensbrück camp?
Witness: From 1940 until July of 1945.
Presiding Judge: Does the witness know anything about the other defendants, aside from defendant Mandl?
Presiding Judge: The witness is excused.