On 5 August 1947 in Kraków, a member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Deputy Prosecutor of the Court of Appeal in Kraków, Edward Pęchalski, acting in accordance with procedure provided for under the Decree of 10 November 1945 (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland No. 51, item 293), with the participation of a reporter, Trainee Judge Krystyna Turowicz, and pursuant to Article 20 of the provisions introducing the Code of Criminal Procedure in connection with Article 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, heard the person named below as witness, who testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Maria Buś|
|Marital status||wife of Michał (deceased)|
|Parents’ names||Wincenty and Anna, née Makowicz|
|Date and place of birth||1897, Kraków|
|Place of residence||Kraków, Sołtyka Street 10/5|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
On 3 November 1940, the Gestapo arrested my daughter Władysława, then 20 years old, and me. Three weeks later my husband was also arrested. We were suspected of membership in an underground political organization. In the second half of December 1940, my husband was sent to Auschwitz, where he perished. My daughter and I were incarcerated first in the prison at Montelupich Street in Kraków and later in the prison in Tarnów. At the beginning of 1942 we were deported with a large transport of Polish women to the concentration camp in Ravensbrück. I stayed in that camp until 28 April 1945.
During the first year of my stay in Ravensbrück, the prisoners suffered most at the hands of Oberaufseherin [senior overseer] Maria Mandl, who in the autumn of 1942 was transferred to the camp in Auschwitz. She was an extreme sadist with a bestial soul. She hated all prisoners, especially Poles, and took every opportunity to make our stay in the camp harder. She always walked whip in hand, and used it to beat any prisoner she chanced upon. For the slightest dishevelment of clothing, such as an unfastened button or a wisp of hair showing from under the scarf, she would beat the prisoner in an inhumane way and send her to the bunker. In March 1942, she forbade us to wear wooden shoes, and we had to walk barefoot. During long morning and evening roll calls, the prisoners tried to protect their feet from the cold with scraps of paper. When Maria Mandl noticed this, she worked herself into a frenzy of rage and beat the prisoners without mercy. She had the streets in the camp gravelled. On Sundays, she made us march on this spiky ground for several hours straight, flailing our legs and stamping our feet. Shortly the route was marked with our blood, and many prisoners stumbled and fainted. Maria Mandl would then come running to those lying on the ground and kick them savagely. I also know that she personally appointed those from among the prisoners on whom the German doctors would carry out their medical experiments in the camp in Ravensbrück. As a punishment, she used to deprive the prisoners of food for a certain period of time or organize barbarous punitive exercises. Very often in the dead of night, when exhausted prisoners wanted to get some rest after the day’s toil, Mandl would storm into the block and conduct a search, checking whether the prisoners managed to obtain some food or clothing. She was the most vicious person from among the Ravensbrück camp personnel, and all former prisoners of that camp cannot think about her without terror to the present day.
At this point the report was brought to a close and, after being read out, signed.