Seventh day of the hearing.
Witness: Marian Rubach, 54 years old, builder-architect; religion: Roman Catholic; no relation to the defendants.
Presiding Judge: I remind the witness as per Art. 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure he is obliged to tell the truth. False testimony is punishable by incarceration for up to five years. Do the parties offer any motions regarding the manner of questioning of the witness?
Prosecution: We do not require the witness to swear an oath.
Defense: Nor do we.
Presiding Judge: The witness will be heard without taking an oath. Let the witness present what he knows about the case, particularly as it regards the defendants. Which of the defendants can he recognize?
Witness: From the defendants I see here I recognize commandant Liebehenschel, Aumeier, Grabner, Schumacher. Please ask Schumacher if he was at the warehouse.
Defendant Schumacher: Yes, indeed, I was in the prisoners’ food warehouse.
Witness: He is the same one.
Presiding Judge: Was the witness harmed by these defendants?
Witness: Yes, indeed.
Presiding Judge: Please tell us about it.
Witness: In mid-January of 1943 I was brought to Auschwitz from the Będzin-Sosnowiec prison. It was freezing. At the entrance to Auschwitz I encountered one of Aumeier’s “criers”, who just ordered us kept in the cold in front of the barrack for several hours. We did not get into the camp for another several hours. The next day we were abused. We were ordered to bathe in alternating hot and cold water and immediately to go outside, where it was minus 28 degrees [Celsius].
Presiding Judge: Was the witness beaten by Aumeier?
Witness: Not personally.
Presiding Judge: Does the witness know any cases of torture?
Witness: Yes indeed, I saw it with my own eyes. It happened that three of our colleagues – two engineers and a young assistant – escaped. As a reprisal, thirty or thirty-odd prisoners were taken for interrogation. They were kept in block 11 for a couple of weeks, they were constantly interrogated by Grabner, and then sentenced to hanging. I saw how Aumeier (it was back in the Höß era) tested the nooses himself, laughing, and he watched the execution with great delight.
Presiding Judge: Has the witness seen specifically Aumeier torturing someone?
Witness: I have, during the execution of a Jewish Czech colonel. The Czech colonel was brought to the gallows. Kapo Jakub from block 11 arrived. He was an athlete, forced to perform the executions. The kapo gave Aumeier the rope. The execution took part during a roll call and we all had to watch it. Aumeier looked at the rope and handed it back to Jakub, who wanted to perform the execution. But the rope broke during the execution. We were all very happy, thinking it would save the life of the convict. However, Aumeier laughed and half an hour later the execution took place in block 11. In the evening, the man was carried dead on the cart before our eyes. The cart went in front of everyone during the evening roll call, between blocks 16 and 17, and we all had to watch blood drip from it.
Presiding Judge: I am not interested in the witness’s opinions, but specific facts.
Witness: As for Aumeier, I can say I saw him beating and kicking prisoners, and I heard a lot about him from a kapo I knew.
Presiding Judge: What can the witness say about defendant Liebehenschel?
Witness: We expected change upon Liebehenschel’s arrival in the camp, as there was a rumor that things would get better. In fact it improved inasmuch as Liebehenschel did his work with gloves on, but the essence remained the same.
Presiding Judge: As for defendant Schumacher, did the witness experience any offense from him?
Witness: He would punch people left and right, chase them around the basements, catch them, break ribs.
Presiding Judge: Thank you.
Prosecutor Pęchalski: One question. Was the witness ever called to the political department for interrogation? Was the witness ever interrogated by Grabner personally?
Witness: He would come for my interrogations.
Prosecutor: Was the witness tortured then?
Witness: I was not, personally.
Prosecutor: Can the witness tell me how the beatings were performed, were people taken to the bench, etc.?
Witness: Some were beaten so badly they would be taken to the hospital on a two- wheeled cart.
Prosecutor: Was Grabner present for this?
Prosecutor: Thank you. I have no more questions.
Presiding Judge: I call a brief recess.