Warsaw, 17 May 1945

Władysław Walczak

Historical Bureau

in situ

Otwocka Street 3, room 8

As a supplement to my note submitted on 5 May, I provide the following details concerning German crimes perpetrated at the Auschwitz concentration camp against Russian officers and soldiers, prisoners of war.

1) In July or August 1941, the first transport of POWs from the Lwów area was brought in, some 700 or 900 people. They were Soviet officers and soldiers. Meanwhile, according to what the kapos, the German supervisors, were saying, they were “Soviet commissars”.

These POWs were murdered in the space of half a day, that is, between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., in the following way: they were taken behind the camp, near the storerooms, to a partly- wooded glade, and were then allegedly told to work in a most sophisticated and cruel manner, clearing trunks, moving soil, and digging pits. They worked, being severely beaten with rods and rifle butts. Only SS men were enlisted for this assignment. After the captives were broken both physically and mentally, they were finished off or buried alive in the pits. The so-called swinging followed: the captives were grabbed by their legs and arms and thrown against the benches so that their spines snapped, and then, in agony, they were thrown into a pit.

In that way, all the POWs from that transport were murdered.

2) On 3 or 5 September 1941, the penal block (block 13) was turned into a gas chamber. At night, all Polish prisoners, very sick, around 300 or 400 people, were brought from the hospital. They were left there without any ventilation until morning, and these people, for lack of air, suffocated, the majority of them dying an ugly death. In the morning, a transport of Soviet POWs arrived, around 1,500 people, who were stripped naked and driven to said barrack 13, on the pretext of taking a shower. They were locked up and choking gas was pumped in through the central heating system (this was the only block with central heating). That way, the second transport of Soviet POWs perished.

The bodies were ferried off and buried on the camp’s grounds during several days, 500 corpses per pit. Polish prisoners were put on the job.

3) Between October and December 1941, around 17,000 POWs, aged from 16 to 26, were brought in. They were Russians and Poles (the latter made up approximately 5 percent). These captives were murdered with cold and hunger. They were kept in a barrack with no windows. They slept naked, without blankets, on a concrete floor. They had taken their clothes on the pretext of delousing them. This “delousing” took around three weeks. Prisoners crying out at night were silenced with the help of dogs brought by the SS men. People crying out for hunger and cold were liquidated that way.

I can provide the details of crimes perpetrated against the POWs in person, at the request of competent authorities.

As regards German crimes perpetrated against Poles, Jews, and Catholic priests during my time at Auschwitz, that is at the time the camp was set up (15 June 1940), I am not describing these because I presume that the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes is already in possession of the entire relevant material, all the more so since one of the members of the Commission is justice minister H. Świątkowski, who was interned in the same block as I was, so I would likely repeat his statements (Mr. Świątkowski was released in 1941 and I was released in 1942). If the Historical Bureau sees fit to publish the above statements in the press, I hereby give my consent; I also authorize any corrections stating the author as “Wł. W. no. 2,695”.

Let me also ask a question as to whether there is a union or a society of former political prisoners operating in Warsaw. I know that such a union has been founded in Kraków by Mr. Kuryłowicz, a former Auschwitz member.

Please send the response regarding the above issue to the following address: Warsaw, Nowogrodzka Street 49, “Wzajemna Pomoc” [“Mutual Help”].