Warsaw, 4 June 1946. Deputy Prosecutor Z. Rudziewicz interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for giving false testimony, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Tadeusz Radwański|
|Date of birth||13 February 1893|
|Names of parents||Michał and Maria|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Chocimska Street 24|
|Place of birth||Białystok|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Occupation||deputy special commissioner for epidemic control at the Ministry of Health|
|Education||Medical Faculty, University of Warsaw|
In 1939, as a career army major, a Polish Army doctor, I was commandant of the Warsaw Military Hospital. I remained in this capacity until the end of 1940, when all the military doctors were dismissed and then we worked as civilian doctors at the municipal board.
As for myself, I had worked in Ujazdowski Hospital since 1940. The municipal board, invoking an order issued by the German authorities, ordered that every member of the hospital’s medical and auxiliary staff fill out a questionnaire concerning their Aryan descent. Next, an order came which blocked the payment of salaries to persons of non-Aryan descent. In November 1940, I quit my post and, because of my descent, took up residence in the ghetto.
From 1 July 1941 to 28 January 1943, I was the director of the department for epidemic control in the ghetto. At the same time, (in July 194?) a medical council was set up, with Prof. [Hirsz]feld as its head and Dr. Kowalski, head of sanitation of DOW in Szczecin, Dr. Gołębiowski, Society for the Protection of Health [TOZ], Łódź, and myself as the council members. The other members are dead. The Judenrat healthcare department together with the office for epidemic control was subordinate to the official doctor, the Amtsarzt, a district member. When I became director, Dr. Hagen was the Amtsarzt and Dr. Kubliński his deputy.
As the commissioner of the epidemic office, I can confirm that the Germans had successfully caused a typhoid epidemic and wrongfully claimed that the disease was spread by Jews. The following German orders indirectly caused an increase in the number of cases of typhus:
1. Sealing the Jewish district and cramming a vast number of people into a very small area. Apart from the residents of Warsaw, Jews from all small county capitals were moved to the capital by May 1941, having previously been despoiled. These people arrived in a terrible condition: emaciated, dirty, with no spare underwear, no food and no money, all these things having been taken away from them during the journey. The newcomers were placed in so- called points, which were indescribably crowded and dirty. There were not enough bathing facilities (five per half a million residents […]); soap, coal and towels were in short supply. Due to the impossibility of bathing and changing their underwear, the newcomers became carriers of typhus. Living conditions in the ghetto in general were appalling because there were five to eight persons per flat, depending on capacity, which also contributed to the spread of the epidemic.
2. The famine in the ghetto. Ration cards could buy around 700 calories while servings at the “points” did not exceed 200 calories. Famine led to very low disease immunity among the population.
3. The German system of controlling the epidemic was inefficient: this system (the so-called policing system) involved compulsory disinfection and disinfestation of the entire domicile and all the residents of the building where a case of the disease had occurred, including locking the house for a day. In practice, this was totally inefficient and was only conducive to extensive malpractice on the part of the Jewish Police and members of disinfection teams.
Because of these orders, the typhus epidemic reached incredibly high levels. Before the closing of the Jewish district, only 140 cases of typhus had been recorded in the entire city of Warsaw. Once the ghetto was sealed, the number of sick continued to grow, not only in the Jewish quarter, but also on the Aryan side. By the end of spring 1942, around 80,000 cases of typhus had been recorded in the ghetto.
Due to malnourishment and poverty, tuberculosis spread across the ghetto. I don’t have any statistical data because all the records were burnt.
The Germans did not supply medications to the ghetto. All medications were bought by the office for epidemic control on the private market, at market rather than at fixed prices. The high prices of medications prevented the poor from receiving treatment.
There were not enough hospital beds. The only hospitals were the one on Stawki Street, with 400 beds, if memory serves me right, and the one on Leszno Street. With scores of sick people, there were two patients per one bed. Any attempts with the Germans to increase the number of hospitals were in vain.
The German auxiliary healthcare staff was brutal and dishonest: oftentimes, the people going into disinfection were beaten or even killed, and the flats of those sent to compulsory bathing were looted.
In the ghetto, there was neither a medical care unit nor a Social Insurance hospital; despite this, Jews – workers – had to pay insurance contributions. The poor were treated in the community’s care unit.
I learned of the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the East while in Otwock, where I was temporarily staying due to illness. I returned to Warsaw immediately. That day, I saw a lot of German police (Schutzpolizei) and Polish gendarmes (Feldpolizei) patrolling Leszno Street. From 22 July 1944 to September of the same year, every day, units of the SS- Polizei, German gendarmerie and Latvians, Estonians, Sauliai and Ukrainians would surround blocks of flats, force people out, regardless of age, sex or health condition, and take them in groups to the reloading point, where they were kept until the evening and only then was a transport to Treblinka dispatched. Often, a transport would depart on the next day, and then the detainees had to spend forty-eight hours in a very small room, packed together in filth. The building, originally designed for 600 people, had to accommodate 1000. As people boarded the train, Germans would shoot at those they thought were lagging behind. The disinfection unit removed the bodies and disinfected the building with Lysol.
This is how I know what was going on at the reloading point. With my own eyes I saw walls splattered with human brains. In September 1942, the deportations became less frequent. The only people left were Judenrat officials, people employed in the so-called szopy (factories in the ghetto producing for the Germans) and at factories and institutions on the Aryan side. The Jews employed in the Aryan quarter were barely fed and were treated very badly. After fourteen days of work, a returning worker was terribly exhausted, dirty and louse-ridden; there were numerous cases of death from starvation or exhaustion. At that time, the operation in the ghetto was run by SS-Polizei Unterstumführer Brandt and his deputy, Oberscharführer Mende.
If I remember correctly, Auerswald, director of the Transferstelle, issued an announcement calling on Jews to “depart” for labor, enticing them with the prospect of being issued two kilograms of bread for the road.
In September 1942, the area of the ghetto was considerably diminished. The Jews were ordered to move out at once while SS columns looted the area.
On 18 January 1943, SS-men, the Gestapo and the gendarmerie surrounded all the houses in the diminished ghetto. They ordered everybody to leave their homes and shot a lot of people dead, while deporting others. The operation went on for six days and was carried out in an inhuman fashion. All the Judenrat officials and many other people were taken away. All of them were people who had received so-called “life cards” from the German authorities and were now murdered.
I hid with my family in a bunker and survived almost miraculously because the Germans had unleashed dogs in order to track people down. Since the bunker exit was stacked with Lysol and cresol, the dogs could not track us down. After six days, when the murders died down, I escaped to the Aryan side. My contacts with the ghetto ceased at that point.