On 12 September 1947 in Warsaw, a member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Appellate Investigating Judge Jan Sehn, acting upon written request of the first prosecutor of the Supreme National Tribunal, this dated 25 April 1947 (file no. NTN 719/47), and in accordance with the provisions of and procedure provided for under the Decree of 10 November 1945 (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland No. 51, item 293), in connection with Article 254, 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, heard the inmate of the Auschwitz concentration camp named below as a witness, who testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Maria Hanel-Halska|
|Age||45 years old|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Żelazna Street 101, flat 9|
I stayed in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from 15 March 1943 to 18 January 1945 as a Polish political prisoner. I had no. 38396.
From the period of my stay in the camp I know and remember Maria Mandl, who served there as an Oberaufseherin [senior overseer] and Lagerführerin [camp leader]. At the time I knew her by her name, which was widely known in the camp. She was a cruel person and took every opportunity to beat and torment the prisoners, and she also took part in all the actions aimed at destroying the prisoners, as well as in selections, including those at the ramp, where mass transports to the gas were arriving.
Some time in April 1944, when I was coming back from my friend who was employed in the white Effektenkammer [storerooms] at sorting personal belongings of the Jews, I saw Maria Mandl. She was at the ramp in the company of SS officers; a transport had just been led away from there. I saw these people when I was coming back from the storerooms located near the crematoria. Then, Mandl caught me carrying food and some clothes, which I managed to “organize” with the help of a few friends and the above-mentioned friend from the storerooms for us and our fellow inmates. Mandl beat up a few of us right on the spot, including me, took down our numbers, and sent us to the penal block. I stayed there for three weeks, and my head was shaved as a punishment.
In the photographs placed on public display, I also recognized SS officer Tauber, who served as a dentist in the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps. He was the head of the dental station in that camp (Zahnstation). In comparison with the boorishness and barbarity of the other SS men, he stood out with his humane and kind treatment of the prisoners. I had a chance to experience it myself, as I was employed at the dental station of the women’s camp in Birkenau. Tauber comforted us and tried to cheer us up, saying that the war would end one day and it wouldn’t always be that bad. When he was leaving his post, he bade us goodbye, shook hands with us and left a pack of cigarettes. It might have been a trifle, but since it occurred in the camp conditions, it was very telling of the way Tauber behaved. Tauber put himself in danger of severe punishment for doing so. I suppose that he was dismissed from Auschwitz exactly because of his humane and kind treatment of the imprisoned women. He made our work easier, allowing us to perform dental procedures such as treating cavities with porcelain fillings, which was strictly forbidden.
The report was read out. At this the hearing and the report were concluded.