On 31 December 1947 in Radom, Investigative Judge B. Papiewski from the administrative area of the District Court in Radom interviewed the person specified below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the Judge administered an oath pursuant to Article 254 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The witness then testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Dina Winder|
|Parents’ names||Sucher and Estera, née Lipnicka|
|Place of residence||Żeromskiego Street 5, Radom|
|Occupation||manager of a canteen, currently unemployed|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
I met Böttcher for the first time in 1942, when I worked in the Bauleitung [construction management] office in Radom, at Słowackiego Street 13. Over a hundred Jews, mostly craftsmen, worked in this office. We also did gardening there. I remember well that Böttcher usually inspected the office on Mondays, but he also often made unexpected visits.
One time in December 1942, one of the craftsmen who worked there – Ickowicz, who used to own a candle factory – brought Christmas tree candles and tried to sell them through a fence to Poles, in exchange for food. Böttcher was on the premises on the Bauleitung office and saw that. Strictly speaking, Untersturmführer Nel was the one who saw that and reported it to Böttcher. On Böttcher’s orders Ickowicz was detained in a cell, where he spent half a day. Then a car drove up with driver Martin (whom I knew a little) behind the wheel.
I saw Nel escort Ickowicz, who was carrying a shovel and half a sack of lime, to a car. I asked Martin where they were taking Ickowicz. He replied that they were taking him to Planty, following Böttcher’s orders. The car returned later without Ickowicz. Everybody said that he had been forced to dig his own grave, and he was shot at Planty.
At some point in the spring of 1943, a Jewish policeman, Chaim Mandelbaum, brought to the Bauleitung office breakfast for his sister, whose surname I don’t remember. During breakfast time Böttcher noticed that. I and some other people heard Böttcher say that he will order that the policeman be killed, but for the time being he would be detained in a cell. As it turned out, Mandelbaum’s sister was working as a putzfrau [cleaning lady] at a place which belonged to Blum – Böttcher’s deputy. As Blum’s personal employee, Mandelbaum’s sister begged, pleaded with him, and kissed his feet. Due to everyone’s pleas, Blum intervened with Böttcher in order to save Mandelbaum from death.
It worked and Mandelbaum was released after a while, but if we and the policeman’s sister hadn’t begged and pleaded, and if Blum hadn’t intervened – Mandelbaum surely would have been killed.
Böttcher lived in a small palace near Ogrodowa or Sienkiewicza Street. About seven women from the ghetto and one gardener would go there to work in the garden. I also worked there for four weeks.
This was in the spring of 1943. With no children of his own, Böttcher was raising a thirteen- year-old boy. The boy once gave us water when we were thirsty. Böttcher noticed that and immediately summoned him to the house. Later we heard the boy screaming. The next time the boy said that it was prohibited to give water to Jews, because Böttcher had strictly forbidden it.
Around that time I also saw one Jewish gardener, who worked with us, break a branch while he was in a tree. Böttcher noticed that, summoned his German gardener – Rottenführer Pool – and ordered him to punish the man who broke the branch. Pool bashed the gardener over the head a dozen times. The man was covered in blood when we were coming back from work together.
In 1943 – I don’t remember the exact date – divided into groups, we were marching in the city streets in the direction of a washroom at Starokrakowska Street. A Jewish policeman walked past us. At the time the Jewish police’s right to walk around the city was limited. Incidentally, Böttcher was driving in the street – I saw him clearly. He saw the policeman, ordered to stop the car and called upon him. We kept walking, because stopping in the street was forbidden. Shortly afterwards we heard a shot, which meant that the policeman was killed.
Chaim Mandelbaum is definitely alive, but most likely not in Poland. I don’t know if Mandelbaum’s sister is alive.
I must add that Böttcher was so ruthless and inhumane that whenever he came by during work, everyone trembled at his sight.
This is all I have to say.
The report was read out.