Witness interview report of Kazimierz Głażewski, carpenter, [living at] Przemysłowa Street 2 in Warsaw, Poland, who, having been sworn according to law, testifies:
|Name and surname||Kazimierz Głażewski|
|Age and place of birth||34, Warsaw|
|Permanent place of residence||Warsaw, Przemysłowa Street 2|
|Current place of residence||Hohne (Belsen), camp in Germany, block 85, room 29|
On 12 August 1940 – I was living in Warsaw at the time – the Germans made mass arrests of all the Polish men living in my neighborhood. I was among those arrested, and on 15 August 1940 I was deported to Auschwitz, where I remained for four years and 14 days. On 29 August 1944 I was deported to Ravensbrück. I was there for nine days, and from there I was sent to the camp at Swinemünde [Świnoujście], where I stayed until 9 April 1945, after which I was sent to Belsen.
In prison at Auschwitz I worked as a carpenter. I was in a kommando made up of 50 carpenters and we were usually sent to work in factories near the camp.
At Auschwitz I frequently witnessed beatings and cruelty. I myself was often beaten by the kapo of our kommando, surname Balke, who would strike me with his hand and with a stick. Balke had a habit of saying that we were being beaten for what we had done to the Germans.
The head of the SS men in my kommando was Unterscharführer Blankie [Blanke?]. Although in charge of our kommando, he had no idea about carpentry and because of this he often gave us tasks that were impossible to perform. When we replied that we couldn’t do what he asked, he’d start beating us. His favorite tool was the whip; we had to line up and he’d walk down, striking us. I was often beaten by Blanke this way.
On 18 January 1942 Obersturmführer Aumeier arrived at the camp. I mention him because of two incidents. He was closely involved in both. I also remember one occasion on which he gave a speech to the prisoners, saying that no inmate had the right to remain alive for more than three weeks.
On 19 March 1942 Aumeier was, as usual, overseeing the roll call. He had a list of around 180 prisoners and was calling out the names. All [of those who stepped forward] were formed into a single group and I saw them marched off to block 3. At this time my kommando was working in close proximity to the camp. We left later than usual, and sometime later, after the Appell, I saw the same group of prisoners again; they were walking from block 3 to block 11.
In the afternoon, as I returned from work, I saw a number of carts loaded with corpses behind block 11. They were dripping with blood, and since all the carts were uncovered I was able to see the bodies, which looked as if the people had died moments earlier. There were around four carts.
A similar incident occurred during the Appell on 29 October 1942. Aumeier again called out a large number of prisoners from a list. I believe that a total of some 300 prisoners could have been called out. As before, they were marched to block 3, then to block 11, but this time I saw that their hands were tied behind their backs with wire.
During this time I was [quartered?] in block 11. It was the penal block. I returned from work in the afternoon. I asked my friends living there what had happened to the prisoners. They told me that they had seen them get taken into a small yard between blocks 10 and 11. We called this place the “death arena”. The prisoners had to go into this yard one by one and stand facing the wall. Then each was shot in the back of the head by Rapportführer Palitzsch. I made an effort to commit these two situations to memory in detail because even though there had been cases of prisoners getting killed before, I had never seen nor heard of any mass executions like those [two].
I remembered one man in particular – Pilarek. I first encountered him in June 1940. He was a kapo in charge of the kommando working in the wood yard and handling wood. The inmates working as part of this kommando had to unload wood and arrange it into stacks. It was considered punishment to be assigned to this kommando. I often had to go to the wood yard to get wood that I needed for my work, and I often saw Pilarek beating the prisoners.
In the autumn, a Polish Jew who had worked in my kommando before wound up working in Pilarek’s kommando. I don’t know his last name, but I knew him well by sight. One day during this period, I went to the wood yard to get wood and I saw Pilarek dragging this Polish Jew on the ground, kicking his body and beating him in the chest. The man looked as if he was passing out and Pilarek left him. After a few minutes the prisoner began to move and Pilarek again started to kick his body and chest, nudging his face with the heel of his boot. When I was leaving the yard, the man was lying on the ground unconscious.
Two or three hours later I saw four men from Pilarek’s kommando carry this man’s body to the block he was living in. I am sure he was dead, otherwise his companions would have taken him to the hospital (Revier). It was common practice to carry the body back to the block so that the prisoner count would not fall short.
Yet another incident concerned my friend and happened at the beginning of 1943. My friend’s name was Józef Ratajski and he worked in my kommando. His health declined so much that he was unable to work and he was transferred to Pilarek’s kommando.
One day during this period I found out that my friend was in hospital and I went to see him. His face was covered with bruises from having been beaten and had a deep cut on one side. He told me that the doctor had told him he had three broken ribs. He also informed me that the wounds resulted from a beating by Pilarek, who had struck him for working slowly. A few days after this visit, when my friend had not been discharged from hospital, I asked the block leader how he was doing. The latter told me that the hospital had notified him of my friend’s death.
Translator: I declare that I have duly translated the above interview report for the witness into his native language before the witness signed above.
Sworn before me, Royal Artillery Captain, no. 1, Military Investigations Division, 5 October 1945. Written down for the purposes of the British Army of the Rhine I confirm that the above translation corresponds to the English original presented to me.
Kraków, 2 April 1947, Dr. Karol Bocheński, lawyer and sworn court translator of French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese; Kraków, Świętego Sebastiana Street 16.
Witness interview report continuing the testimony of Kazimierz Głażewski. Testimony given under oath by Kazimierz Głażewski, Przemysłowa Street 2 in Warsaw, currently living at Hohne (Bergen-Belsen) camp, block 85, room 29 (camp in Germany). Oath taken before me, Captain Myles Lerner from the Royal Artillery, no. L, Military Investigations Division at Hohne camp, 30 January 1946.
I was shown testimony no. 383, given under oath on 5 October 1945. In item 15 of the said testimony I spoke of the beating of Józef Ratajski. I wish to declare that the person mentioned above who was beaten by Pilarek was, to my knowledge, a Polish national.
Stated voluntarily under oath by the abovementioned witness Kazimierz Głażewski in Hohne camp, 30 January 1946 before me, Captain Myles Lerner from the Royal Artillery, for the purposes of the British Army of the Rhine. I hereby declare that the witness does not speak English and his testimony has been translated to him by Stefan Markowski, civil translator, in my presence before he signed the report, and that he fully upheld its content.
I hereby confirm that I have faithfully translated this deposition from English into Polish for the abovementioned witness Kazimierz Głażewski and that he accepted the content of this report without exception.
Markowski, civil translator, Hohne camp, 30 January 1946
I confirm that the above translation corresponds to the English original presented to me.
Kraków, 4 April 1947, Dr. Karol Bocheński, lawyer and sworn court translator of French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese; Kraków, Świętego Sebastiana Street 16.