The thirteenth day of the trial, 23 January 1947.
Witness Stanisław Jaworski, b. 1898, resident of Warsaw, office clerk, no relationship to the parties.
Presiding judge: You were an office clerk with the so-called Arbeitsamt [employment office]. How long did you work there?
Witness: From 1 November 1939 until the end, that is, until the surrender of Warsaw after the collapse of the Uprising.
Presiding judge: How were people supplied for the Arbeitsamt? Do you know what the methods were?
Witness: They brought people captured in the streets, from lines, sometimes from houses. The Gestapo also brought people from the Pawiak prison. Our office issued proper forms and then everybody was sent to Skaryszewska Street 8, to a so-called transit camp.
Presiding judge: Did the Arbeitsamt itself compile lists of people to be ordered to work?
Witness: That was not until 1943, when the files were already complete. Orders would come from the district. The Arbeitsamt directors attended briefings in the Brühl Palace once a week, and after each such briefing there were various orders and restrictions.
Presiding judge: Did people volunteer?
Witness: One or two percent.
Presiding judge: What prompted such a decision?
Witness: Some of these people were evictees from different Polish cities which had been incorporated into Germany. There were many displaced families who had neither any friends in Warsaw nor a place to stay, so they had to volunteer.
Presiding judge: But most of the time people were brought to the office, is that correct?
Witness: Yes, they were caught during street round-ups, mostly people lining up somewhere. People from major round-ups in Warsaw were sent either directly to the Pawiak or to Skaryszewska Street.
Presiding judge: Do you know who ordered these round-ups? Was it the Arbeitsamt?
Witness: No, after each briefing of the Arbeitsamt German directors, who were coming back from the Brühl Palace – I do not know who worked out of there – I heard them mention the names of Fischer and Leist. One notified the other. I also remember the names of Leist and Fischer in connection with their frequent visits, that is, inspections carried out in the Arbeitsamt.
Presiding judge: Where was the Arbeitsamt located?
Witness: At first, on Marszałkowska Street, at the intersection with Królewska Street, and then on Kredytowa Street.
Presiding judge: Did you see Fischer at both those addresses?
Witness: Yes, once, when Pauli was director.
Presiding judge: And what about Leist?
Witness: Yes, I saw him too. Director Pauli ran briefings with us. During one briefing, he said that Fischer had arranged for a fresh camp for us, Majdanek, if they did not like our commitment or in the event of any sabotage.
Presiding judge: How often did Fischer and Leist come to the Arbeitsamt?
Witness: I saw Fischer once, on Królewska Street, and as regards Leist, I saw him two or three times on Kredytowa Street.
Presiding judge: Did you happen to hear from other people how frequently they visited?
Witness: No, I did not.
Presiding judge: What was the nature of their visits?
Presiding judge: Who did they speak to?
Witness: The directors.
Presiding judge: Germans?
Witness: Yes, exclusively.
Presiding judge: Were you ever present during any such conversation with Fischer?
Witness: No, and I do not speak German, so I would not have understood anything, anyway.
Presiding judge: What was the nature of your responsibilities at the Arbeitsamt?
Witness: I worked at the financial aid department. My job was to fill in forms for the families deported to the Reich. I was also a teller. These families received particular sums of money. I also issued the so-called bulletin, which was sent to the Social Insurance.
Presiding judge: So you were a teller, right?
Witness: Not just me. There were ten of us. We received our salary once a week, and then, near the end, once a month.
Presiding judge: What was the rate?
Witness: Nine zlotys a week.
Presiding judge: Nine zlotys a week?
Witness: That is correct, nine zlotys for the wife, and nine zlotys for each family member aged under 14.
Presiding judge: For the entire occupation period?
Witness: In time, the rate was increased to – if memory serves me right – 18 zlotys. Only the families of those who worked for the Bauers received money for the entire period, while the families of those who worked in factories only received any money for three months, and then they were no longer paid.
Presiding judge: How long was 18 zlotys the going rate?
Witness: Throughout 1941 and 1942.
Presiding judge: What was the price of a kilo of bread at that time?
Witness: 25 or 20 zlotys. Lard was 140 zlotys.
Presiding judge: And 18 zlotys was the sum paid weekly, is that correct?
Witness: Yes, and initially it was even as little as nine zlotys.
Presiding judge: So that was not enough to even buy a kilo of bread daily, is that correct?
Presiding judge: Did you meet any of those people who were taken for labor to Germany? Do you know anything about the working conditions under the so-called Bauers and in factories?
Witness: Most of the time, they returned sick. I only had contacts with sick people. It may be said that some 70 percent of those returning had tuberculosis, 20 percent were pregnant, and 10 percent suffered from such injuries as a fractured arm, leg, ribs, jaw, or carried similar injuries.
Presiding judge: Was there any medical examination before these people left for Germany?
Witness: Yes, they did not send sick people.
Presiding judge: So those leaving for Germany were healthy people, correct?
Witness: Correct, and they returned sick. Pregnant women only returned when they were eight months pregnant and the baby was due in three or four weeks, and even though such a woman did not want to go back, she was taken to a station, bought a ticket, and put on a train. From those who returned I know that rapes were perpetrated by gendarmes, with as many as five or seven men raping one woman.
Presiding judge: Did you have access to documents which would allow to estimate the number of Polish citizens from Warsaw, in the jurisdiction of that Arbeitsamt, who were deported to Germany during the occupation?
Witness: Yes, I did. At the beginning of July 1944, I was granted a three-week leave. At that time, I lived at Skaryszewska Street, near the house where the Dulag was located, from where the deportations originated. People would jump out of the windows, poison themselves, etc. While at home when the Germans panicked and vacated the building, I could see people removing flour, sugar, etc. I seized that opportunity and together with a few tenants of that house we removed documents – not the complete archive but the complete set of waybills listing all those who were sent for labor from the beginning of the occupation to July 1944.
Presiding judge: Where are these documents?
Witness: These documents were lodged with prosecutor Rudziewicz. Then, after these people were deported, they put a stamp indicating they were volunteers. Volunteers made up some 1 or 2 percent of all, and the stamp was still put on, as if they were all volunteers. I later learned that this was done because each transport departing from Warsaw was delivered to Berlin, to a similar Dulag. There, directors of factories would choose people to work for them. If there was no stamp indicating that the person had volunteered, they refused to hire him.
Presiding judge: How many people volunteered yearly?
Witness: It is hard to say.
Prosecutor Siewierski: Please tell us about the guards posted to the Arbeitsamt. Who were these people?
Witness: The Blue Police and employees wearing brown uniforms with a swastika.
Prosecutor: Was it the SA?
Witness: Yes, it was the SA.
Prosecutor: Would you please tell us when you saw defendants Fischer and Leist, and in what circumstances?
Witness: It is hard to say.
Prosecutor: You saw Fischer once, and what about Leist? Two, three times?
Witness: Yes, but I heard these names more often.
Prosecutor: When they paid visits, did they go to the director of the office? Did they talk to each other?
Witness: That is correct.
Prosecutor: Please tell us about the files found on Skaryszewska Street.
Witness: We did not just find them, we searched for them. It was impossible to obtain these lists. We tried to photograph them and then we wanted to make copies. However, it proved undoable. I seized an opportunity when the Germans panicked, left the warehouse, and there was nobody there aside from the civilians.
Prosecutor: Where did you keep these documents?
Witness: In my cellar, but on 20 August (?), I was deported to Stutthof, like everybody else from our street.
Prosecutor: And your ID of an Arbeitsamt employee was of no help?
Witness: No, it was not.
Prosecutor: Can you, more or less, specify how many of those people brought in forcibly tried to squirm out of leaving? Did the people who were examined by this panel, by the Arbeitsamt, try to avoid this deportation?
Witness: Everybody was trying, aside from those who volunteered.
Prosecutor: Was the number of those who pulled it off considerable?
Witness: That is correct.
Prosecutor: Can you say if maybe half of them succeeded?
Witness: No, it was one or two percent. I can tell you what was happening in the Arbeitsamt on Marszałkowska Street, near Królewska Street.
Prosecutor: Did they bring there people from Warsaw, or also from other locations?
Witness: They also brought people from the countryside.
Prosecutor: Did your office send people to Skaryszewska Street?
Witness: Yes, our office.
Judge Grudziński: What was the local jurisdiction of this Arbeitsamt?
Witness: City Center.
Judge: How many Arbeitsamts were there?
Witness: Four (inaudible). There was the Polish employment office, then there were branches in Mokotów, on Ciepła Street, and in Żoliboż. Later, 36 branches were set up.
Judge: Was this Arbeitsamt the head office?
Witness: No, it was one of the branches.
Presiding judge: Does this information only pertain to your branch?
Witness: Yes, but all branches had their waybills on Skaryszewska Street, so this is a complete list for all the Arbeitsamts.
Presiding judge: Were you present during medical examinations?
Presiding judge: Do you know the percentage of the batch brought in that was excused by a doctor?
Witness: I do not know that.
Presiding judge: You only remember that they deported healthy people, right?
Witness: That is correct. Employment offices sent people to Skaryszewska Street. If someone was excused due to sickness, they returned to us and were then recorded.
Presiding judge: Was the Jewish population affected too?
Witness: Yes, but quite a lot of Jewesses were not sent away by the employment office because they swapped this document with Polish women, who left for Germany instead. But there were cases whereby Jewesses were recognized, and the Gestapo was then called in.
Presiding judge: That suggests that the Arbeitsamt did not oblige the Jewish population to work, and this was all scheming, and the Jews tried to save themselves that way and leave using these Polish documents. If they were found out, the Gestapo was called in, and if the Gestapo took somebody in, then this person was liquidated.
Prosecutor Sawicki: Were deportations ongoing or did they take place in waves?
Witness: In waves.
Prosecutor: Did all the officials know that there was an order from the top and that a given number of people were to be supplied? Is this what informed the intake, or was it the other way round?
Witness: There were cases whereby a few people were brought in by the Gestapo or gendarmes, and then the director of that department would come and announce that we were to deliver some specific number.
Prosecutor: So it was not regular. One day, an order would be issued that one thousand people were needed, or some other order would come from the top to have 20,000 workers ready for the first day of each month.
Witness: There was always an order from the top and the employment office had to follow it.
Prosecutor: If I were to say that the top imposed a certain quota, would that be a fair assessment? Was the number requested from the Arbeitsamt specified in advance?
Prosecutor: Would you by any chance know who made decisions concerning the numerical strength of the deliveries? Did the Germans maybe discuss it between themselves?
Witness: I did not hear that. Only director Pauli said during briefings that we were supposed to deliver a particular number. Pauli answered to Hoffmann, director of the Arbeitsamt, and Hoffmann probably answered to the Warsaw district. Why? Because inspections were carried out by Fischer and Leist, and there were always briefings in the Brühl Palace. This is why I think that he answered to the district.
Prosecutor: Who signed the addresses to the citizens about recruiting workers for labor in Germany?
Witness: I do not remember.
Presiding judge: You do not remember the poster?
Witness: I have problems with my memory. A German hit me in the head with a rifle and I was bedridden for three months.
Prosecutor Sawicki: When a batch of, say, 10,000 people was received, meetings with particular officials had to be held.
Witness: These people were delivered to us. We were only advised that “300 persons will be delivered, please get everything ready for them”.
Prosecutor: Did the Germans who worked there know that these people had been rounded up?
Witness: We would only find out then.
Prosecutor: And did the Germans know that these people had been rounded up?
Witness: Yes, they did know that.
Prosecutor: How long did people stay in these Durchgangslager [transit camps]?
Witness: Between three and four days.
Prosecutor: Did the Arbeitsamt provide for them during that time?
Witness: Yes, they received breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Defense attorney Chmurski: If I got that right, there were four Arbeitsamts in Warsaw, is that correct?
Witness: These were not Arbeitsamts, but the four branches of the Polish employment office. After the director and manger were arrested, the Germans established the Arbeitsamt and 36 branches were created. There was one branch for white-collar workers on Chopina Street, and the remaining ones were for manual laborers.
Defense attorney: You mentioned the head office. Was it located on Długa Street?
Witness: Yes, at Długa Street 38.
Defense attorney: The entire palace. Did Hoffmann and Pauli work out of there?
Witness: Only Hoffmann, as the director. Pauli worked at his branch on Marszałkowska Street, near Królewska Street. Hoffmann had the authority over all branches. He inspected the branches once a month. The branches filed various written reports at the head office on Długa Street. I would go there because I collected the money.
Defense attorney: Were you present during governor Fischer’s inspections? Were they long?
Witness: Yes, I was. They were slightly upward of 15 minutes.
Defense attorney: You said that there were waybills of those departing for the Reich. Did you know that the Polish resistance destroyed these lists?
Witness: Records may have been destroyed, but not the waybills.
Defense attorney: Maybe you know that those in Falenica were destroyed.
Witness: Yes, I found out about it by word of mouth, from my comrades.
Defense attorney: You said that out of those who returned, 70 percent suffered from tuberculosis and 20 percent were pregnant women. Are these the numbers for your office?
Witness: There were ten clerks, including myself, who filled in the questionnaires. Those returning asked to be recorded.
Defense attorney: Did the figures of 70 and 20 percent apply over the long haul, or did they cover one year? You were employed for the entire occupation period.
Witness: According to the statements sent to the insurance office, these were monthly figures. These percentages would fluctuate each month: one month, it would go up, and the other it would go down. These are mean values.
Defense attorney: You claim that it was possible to extricate one percent of the workers. Did that apply to your office?
Witness: Correct. I said there were cases where it was possible to avoid it.
Defense attorney: I am curious about your method of calculation. How do you arrive at this one percent figure?
Witness: I look at how many were released on average.
Defense attorney: Did the Gestapo interfere with the operations of the employment offices?
Witness: No, they only delivered people.
Defense attorney: And did they not have trusted people in all these offices?
Witness: I cannot tell.
Defense attorney: What would be your assessment after a six-year stint?
Witness: My job was to fill in forms and handle payments. I did not come across anything like that.
Defense attorney: But the clerks know everything. I am not a clerk and I still knew what was going down in employment offices. Do you know that the Gestapo meddled in all the major affairs in the Arbeitsamt?
Witness: No, I do not. In our office, the Gestapo had no authority, they only delivered people to us.
Defense attorney Śliwowski: You said that you frequently heard the names of Fischer and Leist mentioned in conversations. What did you find out from these conversations? Were they in German?
Witness: Yes, they were in German. I only know that whenever a briefing was about to be held, one director would say to another, “Go see Leist”, or “Go see Fischer”.
Defense attorney: Do you know German?
Defense attorney: So you could only pick out the names, correct?
Defense attorney: You said that while you only saw Fischer once, you saw Leist more frequently. How many times did you see him?
Witness: Some three times during the entire period of my employment.
Defense attorney: What was Leist’s function?
Witness: I do not know.