Sixth day of the hearing, 29 November 1947

Presiding Judge: Please summon the next witness, Stanisław Głowa.

Witness Stanisław Głowa, 48 years old, an office worker at the Municipal Board in Kraków, religion – Roman Catholic, place of residence – Kraków.

Presiding Judge: I would like to remind the witness of the obligation to speak the truth, pursuant to the provisions of article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Do the parties want to submit any motions as to the procedure according to which the witness is to be interviewed?

Prosecutors and defense attorneys: We release the witness from the obligation to take an oath.

Presiding Judge: I would request the witness to present what is known to him in the case, and in particular as regards the accused sitting today in the dock.

Witness: Before I say anything about the accused and give their surnames, I would like to turn attention to certain fragments – certain incidents – that I have remembered, which are known to me and which I lived through; they are forever etched in my memory.

Events that preceded the erection of this factory of death, unheard of in history, which in 1942 started operating at full capacity, in earnest.

I arrived in the camp in 1941, when it contained only Polish inmates, and I soon made a most interesting observation. I was given number 20017, while at the time there were some eight or nine thousand inmates in the camp. I wondered where on earth could have some 12,000 prisoners disappeared over a period of a dozen or so months, especially as at this time the Germans had still not introduced Zyklon B, while the phenol injections were applied discretely. I thought about this and rapidly came to the conclusion that the Germans were testing other, additional ways of exterminating people. First and foremost among them was the hard labor people had to perform on the River Soła; they died in their hundreds. Next, they would be liquidated in the mowing kommando. I worked in this kommando from 1941. It comprised 150 people, all from the Polish intelligentsia, including many priests. Within a few days, there were just a few of us left. 14 hours of work on a section of road to Babice, a few kilometers long, finished people off. In the evening we would return to camp dragging the bodies of our colleagues or carrying them on stretchers made from tree branches, while the next day, when leaving the camp, we did not know which of us would survive, or whether we would be dragged back dead. At the time the Germans brought a roller, which weighed a few tons, to the camp. It was operated manually by the priests and the Jews. There was an incident when a prisoner was crushed by the roller, and his blood was used as the binder for the sand and gravel mix.

But there was yet another way of exterminating the prisoners. I remember that in 1941, if one prisoner escaped, 10 others would be selected for death by starvation, and for this reason we did not attempt any breakouts, in order not to endanger our friends. In 1941, ten prisoners would be killed for each escapee. A Franciscan priest, Father Kolbe, voluntarily took the place of one such condemned man. He was joined by nine others, selected by Fritzsch, and they all perished in the bunker.

I know what went on in the camp and I was able to make observations, for I was a clerk at block 20, the block of death, where Zyklon B was used for the first time to gas Soviet officers. These matters have already been touched upon by my colleagues.

In 1941, the Germans gassed some two thousand people; 800 were "Muslims" from block 10 (people unfit for work), while 1,200 were Soviet prisoners of war, who had arrived at the camp a few weeks or even days earlier. Since at the time I worked as a nurse, I was forced to remove the gassed corpses from the bunker. This is what I saw once the doors were opened: the murdered victims stood like a field of corn, all crushed together. We used Rollwagen [roller weighers] to take them to Birkenau, for the small crematorium could not handle such large quantities.

It was very cold, with the temperature falling to minus 15 degrees. There was a strong gale [one day], a hurricane in the township of Oświęcim – it had not yet been evacuated – and the wind tore off the sheet covering a pile of bodies on one of the carts. Women from the town [who saw this sight] fainted and collapsed all around us, looking with horror at the heaps of bodies.

In Birkenau one of the SS men – I do not remember his surname – propped a body up with a stick so that it would “guard” us, thereby preventing our escape.

In 1942 I first encountered the accused Grabner, and I would like to state that the sentences bandied about Auschwitz were issued primarily by him.

I remember three professors of Kraków University – Gieszczykiewicz, Preuss and Zakrzewski. When they arrived in the camp, we took them to the infirmary. A few days later, a transport left for Flossenbürg, and Zakrzewski with it. He is still alive because he escaped Grabner’s attentions. Gieszczykiewicz and Preuss were shot dead. I will talk about the murdered Professor Gieszczykiewicz in the presence of the accused Aumeier.

The third incident occurred in August 1942. The infirmary received an order to draw up a list of all patients located in the block. There were 1,200 people there. I drew up the list, and after a few days I was notified that all of us – function prisoners, nurses and clerks – would be send to the gas chamber. Dr. Entress and the accused Grabner decided that the typhus fever epidemic could be brought under control only by murdering the sick. On 28 August 1942 – a beautiful August day – the Germans started summoning the patients. Everyone was herded into the block. In my hand I had a list with 1,400 surnames, which had been duly signed by Grabner. Maybe today the accused Grabner will learn – for the first time – that exactly 826 people from this list were gassed. We managed to steal the others out. Amongst those saved were many people from Kraków, including Professor Kopyciński, Doctor Goryczko (a lawyer), Mr. Oliwa, Mr. Liszka and a great many others.

As regards the accused Aumeier, I encountered him in 1942 when – while walking through the camp – I was summoned to him and beaten and kicked, ostensibly because I had not removed my hands from my pockets. The second encounter took place in the courtyard of block 11. A day before the execution of Professor Gieszczykiewicz, we received a document calling for him to report to the Schreibstube [office]. I wrote back that he was sick. I thought that I would be able to save him this way, but just after 10.00 a.m. we received an order to present the professor at block 11 in his current state. We could not lead him there, for I had written that he was ill. We therefore placed him on a stretcher and, assisted by a male nurse, a Slovakian Jew by the surname of Klein, we carried him to block 11. It took us some time to get to block 11, 20 minutes or so. After passing through the gate, we were met by Palitzsch (not present today) and Aumeier. Aumeier kicked me black and blue because he felt he had been kept waiting too long. Then I heard two shots behind me. At first I thought that Aumeier was shooting at me, but when I determined that I was unharmed, I heard an order: "Carry the body to the cellar of block 28". In the cellar I saw that Professor Gieszczykiewicz had received one shot to the ear and one to the temple. I cannot say who shot him, for I had my back turned; in any case, it was one of the two [Palitzsch or Aumeier].

I ran into Aumeier once more in 1943, when a transport of civilians arrived from Silesia. I was tasked with observing these people, and therefore went to block 11 frequently. At the time, the Germans were shooting civilians. I can describe the killing of two children. A mother had two children with her – a daughter aged around 12 and a small boy, a year or so old, whom she carried in her arms. Aumeier stood in the courtyard. He was accompanied by a Romanian SS man who grabbed the boy roughly, shot him in the head, and thereafter gave him back to his mother; the second shot was fired at the mother from behind her back, while the third killed the little girl. The girl died for Poland, silently, without giving any sound. She perished as a little hero. I saw by the looks on the faces of these thugs that the scene had left a certain impression on them. They turned around and left the courtyard.

As regards the other accused, I would like to say that I did actually encounter Liebehenschel – the man who created heaven on earth, did away with roll calls and abolished whippings. His actions were in any case unnecessary, for we did not bow to the SS men anyway, while they pretended not to see us. Indeed, they would often walk behind us and beg for bread, for by that time they were hungry too.

When looking at the accused, I cannot omit the accused Kremer, whom I encountered in 1942 when he came to block 20 with a male nurse, Klehr, to select people for a transport. There were two types of selections. In the morning, the accused himself explained the significance of these selections. One was a review of the sick – the objective was to select the sick and send them to the block for treatment. All of the patients taken from block 28 would be taken to block 20; they were earmarked for the crematorium. They wore the letter “T” on their shirts, and this meant that they were intended for transportation; the Germans only waited until some 600 – 700 were gathered, and then sent them off to the crematorium in Rajsko.

I remember the accused Münch. He would come up to block 20, and I was obligated to report the number of patients to him. To which Münch would respond: "Leave this be!" For he would come to visit a sick Jew, one Meisels. He brought him drugs and cared for his health, for his condition was most grave; as a matter of fact – and this was strictly forbidden – Münch let his wife visit him. This is all that I remember about the accused Münch.

Presiding Judge: Can the witness say anything about the other accused?

Witness: Since I had to remain in the infectious block, I did not have any direct contact with the other accused.

Presiding Judge: Are there any questions in connection with the witness’ testimony?

Prosecutor Szewczyk: Can the witness tell us about the difference between selections carried out in the camp during the tenures of Höß and Liebehenschel?

Witness: The difference was that when Höß was in charge, selections took place officially, while when Liebehenschel was commandant I remember two larger selections, but these were conducted discretely, with all possible precautions being taken.

Prosecutor Szewczyk: But at the time the witness continued to work in his previous capacity?

Witness: Yes. I can confirm this as a direct eyewitness, for at the time I was employed as a nurse.

Prosecutor Szewczyk: I am concerned here with a matter of the utmost importance. Since the accused has repeatedly stated that no one died by his hand, I would ask the witness to state – clearly and unequivocally – what Kremer’s role was in the selections, and how these selections were conducted in his presence. Can it be stated that he sent people to their deaths?

Witness: I can state with complete conviction that nurse Klehr, who accompanied Kremer during the selections, was no more than an assistant. Klehr had no influence whatsoever on the selections; these were performed by Kremer. Kremer carried out the reviews, and those prisoners who failed to put on a cheerful expression or make their withered bodies appear stronger, were set aside for the gas chamber; the others were sent for treatment. Klehr did not select on his own, but acted in accordance with instructions given by the doctor. A number of times Klehr selected people himself, on the basis of whether he "liked" or "disliked" a prisoner, turning particular attention to the ethnicity of inmates, checking whether or not they were Jews.

Prosecutor Szewczyk: Did the selections performed by Kremer differ from those conducted by other doctors?

Witness: Kremer conducted selections in exactly the same way as Doctor Entress.

Prosecutor Brandys: While working as a nurse, did the witness see Aumeier finishing off prisoners wounded in the course of shooting executions?

Witness: I did not see this personally, however I can give the surnames of people who did.

Prosecutor Brandys: The witness also mentioned the accused Plagge.

Witness: I encountered Plagge only briefly, in 1942. He was one of those criminal types who enjoy tormenting prisoners, and he could not stop beating a man once he had started.

The accused Kremer: I would like to give the following testimony regarding what the witness has just said. At the time, I was instructed to stand in – at certain times – for Doctor Entress, who was the camp doctor and who worked in this capacity throughout my period of service in Auschwitz. I went to the sick ward on only a few occasions. I once went there because the nurse, Klehr, told me that he would like to show me his ward. I accompanied him to the hall and he showed me "his" – as he said – patients. And I think that because of my visit the prisoners could have become convinced that I was carrying out a selection. I never received an order or an instruction to conduct a selection of inmates, and never did I carry out a selection at the block. Klehr was the one, for he worked with complete independence and freedom of action. The witness has just said that Klehr selected people himself, but on the instruction of the doctor. This is all that I wanted to say regarding the matter.

Witness: It is therefore interesting that after one such visit, when Klehr presented his "flock" – if I may use the term – the number of prisoners in our block soon decreased by some 100 or 200. This was how Klehr introduced "his" patients. Their case records were gathered, lists drawn up, and the people sent to Birkenau.

The accused: It was just as I have stated, namely that Klehr wanted to show me his ward and informed me of the condition of individual patients, etc. If Klehr then proceeded to conduct a selection, I had nothing at all to do with it.

Presiding Judge: Is this everything that the accused wanted to say?

The accused: Yes.

Presiding Judge: Does the accused Aumeier have any questions?

The accused Aumeier: No.

Presiding Judge: Does the prosecution have any further questions for the witness? There are no questions. The witness may step down.