Presiding Judge: The Court calls the next witness, Władysław Siwek.
(Witness Władysław Siwek stands up.)
Presiding Judge: Will the witness please state his personal data?
Witness: Władysław Siwek, 40 years old, state official, Roman Catholic, no relationship to the defendants.
Presiding Judge: I advise the witness to speak the truth in accordance with Article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Making false declarations is punishable with a prison term of up to five years. Do the parties wish to submit any requests regarding the mode of hearing of the witness?
Presiding Judge: Therefore, the witness shall testify without taking the oath. Will the witness please state what he knows about the case, especially in relation to the defendants?
Witness: I came to Auschwitz on 8 October 1940. For the whole time, I worked mainly in the painting room and the Bauleitung [construction management]. While I was working there, I met defendant Müller a few times. From the moment he became Arbeitsdienstführer [work service leader] he made our lives a misery with inspections, searches and reports. When prisoners were reported, they received 25 lashes if they were lucky. If not, they ended up much worse – they were sent to the bunker and usually never came back.
One time, in the summer of 1944, when a prisoner was being hanged, the rope broke and the man fell into the gallows box. The SS men were bewildered. Müller rushed off to get a new rope and bring it to the gallows. Then, an SS man stopped him and told him a few words, so Müller got embarrassed and left.
Dinges was a friend of my supervisor Dongler, so I saw him often. He forced me, through my supervisor, to paint him pictures. I had to do it at my supervisor’s request, but at the same time I had to hide it from the camp’s authorities. Once when I had not painted him a picture due to lack of time, he called me a Polish swine. I saw Dinges come into the workshop, choose two prisoners and make them box. They didn’t do it the way he wanted, so he started teaching them and after a while they both lay unconscious on the ground.
Recently, I have read in Dziennik Polski that Aumeier claims that he has never beaten a woman. I remember that once when I was returning from work, there were also women with us. Aumeier jumped in between them, kicked them and hit them in the face. I saw it with my own eyes.
I often saw Grabner entering block 11. After his visits, corpses were taken out of the block.
In 1943 and 1944, I saw a strange car in the camp. At the back, it had something resembling a boiler. There were rumors that people were gassed in that car, but I didn’t find out anything specific about it during my stay in the camp. When I was released, I met a friend of mine, Jan Flis, who had worked in the Fahrbereitschaft [motor pool]. He told me that people had indeed been gassed in that car. From 20 to 30 prisoners were packed inside and before they reached the crematorium in Birkenau, they were already dead.
Presiding Judge: Are there any questions for the witness?
Defendant Dinges: Your Honor, I would like to make a statement in relation to the witness’ testimony. He accuses me of forcing prisoners working in the Wengler’s workshop to paint pictures for me. In my defense, I can say that in my own car garages I had a painter’s workshop where French artists worked. It should be understandable that since I had artists in my own unit, I had no reason to go to Wengler’s workshops and slander, scold and bash the prisoners there. What is more, I was so busy with my own duties, that is with supplying spare parts and repairing vehicles, that I was not interested in any sporting activities, including boxing and other such exercises. I do not know anything about athletics or strength athletics, and the only sport I am familiar with is riding a motorcycle.
Presiding Judge: Does the witness maintain his position?
Witness: I can testify to this under oath.