Warsaw, 6 July 1946
THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
THE PRESIDIUM OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
THE INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE
IPN no. II/4/14/46
To the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, c/o Judge Skorzyński
Aleje Jerozolimskie 41, flat 9
With reference to the pre-trial proceedings in the case against Fischer, Governor of the Warsaw District, I enclose a copy of a report on the penal camp at Gęsia Street 24, along with a copy of a plan of the camp.
The report, signed pseudonymously “Hanna,” comes from the remnants of the archive of the Occupation Forensic Division at the Military Bureau of History of the former Home Army [Wydział Kryminalistyki Okupacji Wojskowego Biura Historycznego b. Armii Krajowej.]
Deputy Head of the Institute Dr. Stanisław Płoski
Former Head of the Military Bureau of History [Wojskowe Biuro Historyczne] of the former Home Army
Penal camp for Poles
Six weeks ago, a penal camp for Poles was set up. The said camp is located at Gęsia Street 24, inside a former military prison. Poles are sent to the camp for smuggling out of the ghetto, illegal crossing of the ghetto borders, detention after curfew, being stopped without documents. Those released from Pawiak prison (those not proven guilty) and those sentenced for administrative offences are also sent there.
Everybody is given the same sentence – 56 days.
When they have served their sentence, those who were employed prior to their arrest are released and resume work, while the unemployed are transferred to the Arbeitsamt and then sent to the Reich.
Number of inmates – 350 persons.
Inmates wear special grey clothes and clogs. Their civilian clothes, after disinfection, are kept in storage. The wake-up call is at 4:30 a.m. After breakfast, everyone except the cleaning personnel goes outside for a roll-call at 6 a.m. and stays outside until the lunch break. Inmates are housed in two buildings. Jews (140) sleep on the ground floor. Living and sanitary conditions are tolerable. Inmates are outdoors all day, working.
Upon arrival, each inmate receives a set of clean underwear and linen: a shirt, underpants, socks, a bed sheet, a blanket cover and a pillowcase. Each bunk has its own bedtick filled with sawdust. The linen comes from Jewish flats.
The food in the camp is poor: one loaf of military bread per three people – this equals two slices 30 decagrams each, one spread with margarine, the other with marmalade, plus bitter coffee. This serving is issued at 5:30 a.m. The lunch break is half an hour. At 1 p.m. inmates get only black coffee, at 6 p.m. – soup.
Work starts at 6:30 a.m. The inmates are tasked with cleaning the courtyard or building barracks (one is already finished and the Jews are supposed to be transferred there). Some inmates go to work in town for German companies. The company Achidt & Musterman (Musterman is a major with the G.O., he employs 40 people to break rocks at the City Trams Head Office [Dyrekcja Tramwajów Miejskich] on Młynarska Street).
The camp commandant is a Gestapo man in the rank of Leitenant by the name of Moder, a lawyer from Poznań. He is helped by two Hauptscharführers: 1) Kreczman and 2) Fleidscher, and an SS-man, Maurer, a Volksdeutch from Warsaw, as well as 14 Polish Criminal Police plainclothes officers, whose task is to condition the inmates by applying such treatment as would make them maximally afflicted and drained.
The Germans are usually passive, unless the Polish plainclothes officers add fuel to the fire. Scharführer Fleischer is the most indifferent to any violations of rules by the prisoners, he doesn’t care about anything and always turns a blind eye.
At night, the camp is patrolled by six uniformed policemen carrying small arms, rifles and small German submachine guns. There is one plainclothes officer on duty.
The inmates come from different backgrounds. Each day, a new batch comes in.
The one going about his duties most zealously is Sandomierski (as I reported), a Criminal Police master corporal transferred from Mińsk Mazowiecki. Evidence of his attitude towards Poles: new inmates had lined up, waiting to be issued attire; Sandomierski did not like their idleness, so he ordered strenuous exercise, such as running and falling to the ground. Even though theexercises had been done flawlessly, Sandomierski was not happy with the inmates he was abusing. One of the 20, who was probably mentally ill, took off his shirt, as he was overtired. Sandomierski started to hit him on the head and back. The inmate fell to the ground, and when he got up and wanted to carry on, he got kicked in the underbelly and could not stand on his feet. At that point, Roder started to abuse the inmate – helped by Kreczman, he hit him with a whip. Sandomierski was extremely satisfied with how things had played out and threatened that if he was not obeyed, he would do what the aforesaid perpetrators had done. Sandomierski orders this kind of exercises very often, even though he has no permission to do so. When people return from their duties in town, he frisks them thoroughly and if he finds the smallest piece of bread, he slaps heavy exercises on the whole unit. In Mińsk Mazowiecki, he was known as the paratrooper hunter. Another criminal act of his was beating two prisoners from the Pawiak, who had been assigned to the camp, unconscious. These prisoners had permission to bring some bread and lard. They were beaten up for it and Sandomierski took the food.
Another perpetrator is Antoni Rozmus, master corporal with Criminal Department 26, residing at Krechowiecka Street 5. Proof: On 29 April, he gathered everybody and started exercises: falling down and getting up on his command, sit-ups, etc. Then he ordered a gathering. One of the inmates did not form up properly, Rozmus noticed this, ordered him to step out of line and come up to Maurer, the SS-man, to receive a single whip blow as punishment. Maurer beat the inmate unconscious.
Rozmus is commandant of the yard, he selects people to work in town. Everybody is eager to go because their families can bring them extra food. In exchange for being selected to work in town, Rozmus charges from 100 to 200 zlotys a time. Once, he delivered a note to the wife of inmate Kubiak, she gave him 500 zlotys so that he would buy her husband food. Rozmus kept 250 zlotys for the effort, gave 150 zlotys to the inmate, and spent the leftover money on a tiny loaf of bread and 15 decagrams of sausage. When he visited Kubiak’s wife again, she gave him 250 zlotys, half a kilo of butter and half a kilo of tobacco for her husband. Rozmus retained everything. Such occurrences are commonplace. Inmates are afraid to talk for fear of Rozmus’s revenge.
Inmates are allowed to have short hair. Rozmus has ordered shaving. Whoever wants to keep his hair has to pay him off lavishly. In the presence of the Germans, he intentionally exaggerates his attitude towards Poles (as described in my previous reports).
Report submitted by a prisoner and verified by a Criminal Police officer.
[figure] Plan of the camp at Gęsia Street 24.