On 3 September 1947 in Kraków, a member of the Kraków District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Municipal Judge Dr. Henryk Gawacki, 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, interviewed the former inmate of the Auschwitz concentration camp, named below, as a witness, who testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Jadwiga Koczyńska, née Goldmann|
|Date and place of birth||11 September 1909, Vienna|
|Parents’ names||Maurycy and Cecylia|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Place of residence||Kraków, Berka Joselewicza Street 19, flat 2|
I was arrested on 5 February 1943 in Kraków, and on 14 March 1943 I was imprisoned in the Auschwitz camp, where I stayed until 18 January 1945. Due to the evacuation of the camp, I was transported together with other inmates to the Ravensbrück camp, and after a month to the camp in Malchow, where I stayed until the very end, that is until 2 May 1945.
In the Auschwitz camp, I spent the first six weeks in Birkenau, including four weeks in quarantine in block 1. I was in the first transport of women who underwent quarantine. More or less for the next two weeks I worked in various working brigades.
Since a dentist assistant was needed in the parent camp and the conditions in Birkenau were simply awful, I applied and was accepted for the job, and therefore I was transferred to the parent camp. I worked in block 10 in the parent camp to the end of my stay.
On the ground floor of that block there was a dentist’s room, comprising only the laboratory (Zahnstation); Prof. Klauberg’s X-ray room; Dr. Wirths’s station; station of the so-called professor, Dr. Schumann; and Dr. Weber’s hygienic laboratory. The first floor was occupied by inmates who remained at the disposal of all these facilities, with the exception of the dental laboratory.
For about the first six weeks I worked in the dental laboratory, and later I worked as a nurse (Pflegerin). I took care of prisoners who lay sick in two Revier [camp hospital] rooms on the ground floor, and when requested I assisted in surgeries performed by Dr. Wirths, or more often by his helpers (prisoner-doctor, Dr. Samuel and a French female doctor whom I remember only by her first name: Adelheit). As a prisoner I was assigned number 38,318.
I recognize defendant Monika Miklas as a former SS-Aufseherin [overseer] who performed her duties in block 10 of the parent camp. Miklas worked in that block during two periods of time. The first time was in the summer of 1943 – in June and July, and this period was shorter; then, if my memory serves me right, she carried out her duties in that block for about three months in the spring of 1944.
Miklas maintained strict discipline and often beat prisoners from the first floor in the face, using her hands, which I witnessed myself. She beat the inmates for the slightest offence, or rather what she deemed an offence. Moreover, she threatened the prisoners that she would report on them, and I remember that she filed a report against one Slovakian prisoner who went by her first name, Magda, and who was a block leader at the time and who as a result of that report was transferred to Birkenau.
Miklas conducted many searches, especially of prisoners’ beds, and took or threw away all discovered objects, mostly foodstuffs or spare change of underwear. She watched the prisoners very closely so that they wouldn’t come into any contact with men, who offered very generous and effective help to all women imprisoned in that block. On the other hand, Miklas was partial to those prisoners who bribed her with various gifts, mostly food. The privileged included block leaders and room leaders. I recall one of them, a Belgian Jew called Cyli. Her friend, a man who worked in the butchery, was allowed to visit her at all times. I remember another privileged woman, a deputy to a block leader, Różanka, and Slovakian Margita.
I didn’t suffer any harm at her hands, but I could sense that Miklas didn’t like me and therefore I was mortally afraid of her. I cannot say how Miklas behaved in other places where she performed her duties.
As I have mentioned at the beginning, in 1945 I was in the Malchow camp. There I met Aufseherin Luise Danz, who at the time held the post of Lagerführer [camp leader]. Her behavior towards prisoners was marked with exceptional severity – she blindly whipped them and kicked them in the lower abdomen.
As soon as we arrived at that camp, that is in February 1945, all prisoners had to strip naked in the field, and the overseers checked whether we didn’t wear two pairs of underwear, and in case someone had two, one was taken away. It was said in the camp that such an order was given by Danz.
Usually, almost every day, she was present at the evening roll calls, and very often, when the number of prisoners didn’t add up, she wouldn’t end the roll call for many hours. All prisoners who were sick and couldn’t walk on their own also had to attend these roll calls. I saw many of them pass out and fall to the ground. Friends of such inmates had to hold them up to save them from a sound beating by Danz.
I well recall the following event which occurred during one of the evening roll calls. A prisoner who was standing in front of a block to which she wasn’t assigned was whipped and kicked by Danz so severely that blood came out not only through her nose and mouth, but also ears. Upon this unusual sight, a prisoner who was standing right next to me, Felicja Pleszowska (residing in Kraków, Wita Stwosza Street 7), suffered an epileptic heart attack. She swayed and staggered, so I had to keep her upright, and with the help of another prisoner we hid her from the sight of Danz.
The inmates of the camp suffered great hunger, so the prisoners scoured the premises for all edible leftovers, and Danz, whenever she saw someone searching for food, beat and tortured such a woman. Towards the end of April 1945, the Swedish Red Cross sent approximately 4,000 5-kilogram packages with food, one package per prisoner. The women who worked in the administrative office of the camp management told us that the camp commandant and Lagerführerin Danz gave the Swede who brought the packages a word of honor that all prisoners would receive the packages, and naturally the inmates couldn’t wait for it to happen. Instead, some 30 packages were distributed only among the block leaders and room leaders, whereas the rest remained in the storeroom. I don’t know the reason for this. When a few days later the situation got worse for the Germans, about a thousand packages were distributed among male prisoners who arrived in a transport from Ravensbrück. The rest of these packages were stolen by the SS men. When we were liberated, it turned out that the food storerooms in the Malchow camp were full of all sorts of foodstuffs.
At this point the report was concluded and, after being read out, signed.