The twelfth day of the hearing, 6 December 1947

Chief judge: The next witness, Stanisław Hys.

I must warn the witness of the obligation to speak the truth pursuant to article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The submission of false testimony is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years. Do the parties submit any requests regarding how the witnesses should be interviewed?

Prosecutors: We would like the witness to be heard without oath.

The defense: We too.

The witness Stanisław Hys, aged 38, tailor, religious affiliation – Roman Catholic.

Chief judge: May the witness please state in what circumstances the witness encountered all or any of the accused? What can the witness say specifically about them? Please take a look around and see whom the witness recognizes.

The witness: I recognize Aumeier, Grabner and Schumacher.

Chief judge: Under what circumstances did the witness meet Schumacher?

The witness: In early 1942 I got to the food warehouse, and there I was until the evacuation. During my stay in the warehouse I used to go to the ramp where Schumacher came, and where the transports from Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and recently from Hungary came in. I saw everything with my own eyes. Our kommando picked up the food from the warehouse, the rest was done by the Jewish Sonderkommando [special kommando]. It was winter [at the turn of] 1942 [and] 1943, there were transports in which there were lots of dead bodies of frozen children. Schumacher personally hurried the kommando to throw the corpses and even some still alive onto their heads on the ramp. Personally Schumacher didn’t hurry me to do this.

Once there was a transport in which there were a whole mass of frozen children. I saw a frozen little girl, about three years old, and wanted to take her to an ambulance. I was hit on the head with a stake by the guard [sentry], so I didn’t take the child away. Schumacher had a cane and used it to pull the child, calling out: Jüdischer blëder Hund [Jewish dogs].

The elderly were cruelly beaten by Schumacher with his stick. He put a wire or his cane around their necks and choked them. In this particular way, he crushed the children and the elderly.

First of all, I should point out that Schumacher was involved in the selection process, directing the prisoners to the left or to the right, and I suppose this wasn’t really his responsibility since he was supposed to be taking care of the food.

The elderly, children and cripples were taken to the gas, and those who could still work were set aside.

As for me, I can’t say that he was bad in terms of how he treated the others who worked in the warehouse.

As for the other prisoners, I have already stated how he was.

Chief judge: And Aumeier and Grabner, what did the witness observe about them?

The witness: Aumeier was a Lagerführer [head of the camp]; that was in, if I’m not mistaken, 1943. Maybe March. Some prisoners were working behind the wire in Kiesgrube [gravel pit]. Aumeier drove the prisoners, kicked and tormented them cruelly. A kapo, whose name escapes me, was armed with a stake and brutally murdered prisoners who were in the SK [Strafkompanie, punitive unit]. Aumeier slapped the kapos on the back and handed out cigarettes to those who’d put in a good performance. One of the kapos came to the first crematorium and behind the toolshed, he pulled the teeth out of someone who was still alive.

There were so many corpses that some Pflegers [nurses] couldn’t manage to bring the murdered to the crematorium.

In the lager, Aumeier shot, kicked and took food away, even packages from the International Red Cross, which contained canned sardines for the Jews and then gave them to the SS men instead.

Chief judge: Did the witness see that?

The witness: Yes, because I was in the warehouse, and those packages with sardines were sent to the SS-Führers.

Chief judge: What does the witness know about the defendant Grabner?

The witness: From 1942 I worked in the Effektenkammer [warehouse]. Later, I was arrested after being ratted on by a German. Before the New Year of 1943 the whole Effektenkammer, the so-called Canada, was taken away to block 24 and held from morning till evening. Of course this was Grabner’s job, the boss of the office. In the evening Lachmann arrived and began to read out our names, and he told us that we were sentenced to death. After reading the names, they began to split us into three groups. The first group went to block 11, the second was placed at the disposal of Palitzsch, the greatest executioner of them all, and the third group was sent to the punitive company, the Kiesgrube.

Chief judge: Are there questions for the witness?

Prosecutors: No.

Defense attorneys: No.

Defendant Aumeier: The witness said that I gave the order in February 1943 ...

The witness: I need to clarify this – it was in 1942.

Defendant Aumeier: Can I ask the witness where the gravel pit was?

The witness: Just behind the wires, in the place where the shootings took place.

Defendant Aumeier: I don’t know about that. At the same time, I declare that I don’t know anything about the Red Cross packages. Nor do I know that any had arrived. One thing I can assure you is that I never committed any wrongdoing with regard to the packages sent to the prisoners.

Chief judge: Does the witness maintain his testimony?

The witness: Yes.

Chief judge: The witness may stand down.