On 30 September 1946 in Kraków, Regional Investigative Judge Jan Sehn, acting in accordance with the Decree of 10 November 1945 (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland No. 51, item 293) on the Main Commission and Regional Commissions for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, as a member of the Main Commission, pursuant to Article 255, in connection with Articles 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, interviewed the person specified below, who testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Stanisław Głowa|
|Date and place of birth||15 September 1898, Igołomia, Miechów District|
|Parents’ names||Jan and Julia|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Occupation||clerk at the Municipal Board in Kraków|
|Place of residence||Kraków, Kołłątaja Street 8, flat 4|
I was imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp from 18 August 1941 to 30 August 1944, when I was transferred in a penal transport to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. I stayed there until 3 May 1945. In Auschwitz I was given the number 20017. In the initial period, I worked as a goatherd.
In October 1941, I fell sick with camp diarrhea (Durchfall) and I was placed in block 20, which was then a hospital block for patients with infectious diseases. When I had recuperated, I was forced to stay in the block for Durchfall patients as an orderly. For several weeks, I worked as a watchman in that ward (Nachtwächter). On average there were a hundred patients. My task was to remove buckets with feces. According to the doctors, Durchfall was a type of diarrhea caused by hunger. People affected with this disease would spend almost all night on buckets. Within a week, they would lose over a dozen pounds. The patients had big, ravenous appetite and were very thirsty. At that time, the SS management generously supplied the canteen with beetroot salads, which were salty, peppery, and seasoned with vinegar. You could get any amount of the salad, so inmates fed the sick with that dish. Of course, consuming it made the sick more thirsty, so they drank a lot of water. After they ate the salad and drank the water, there were a dozen or so corpses on the ward in the morning. On average, about 40 percent of patients with Durchfall died every month in 1941. As I have already mentioned, a hundred sick people were crammed in one ward. The bunks had three levels with straw mattresses, each intended for two or three people, who covered themselves with a single worn-out blanket. The sick people received 200 grams of bread, coffee from a cauldron in the morning and in the evening, just like other prisoners, and a half-empty bowl of overcooked oatmeal or semolina at noon. The convalescents received normal camp food, so the same food as completely healthy prisoners. In 1941, that food was: a quarter of bread a day, a cup of coffee (about a quarter of a liter) in the morning and in the evening, and a bowl of watery rutabaga soup at noon. If I remember correctly, the nutritional value of that food calculated by doctors was less than a thousand calories a day.
In the initial period of the camp’s existence, roughly until the middle of 1941, prisoners were executed by being shot in pits in the gravel pit, outside the camp fence. It was a form of mass extermination of prisoners. According to my knowledge, until that date only the prisoners who were sentenced to death by the local Gestapo or the headquarters in Berlin were being executed. From the middle of 1941, the camp authorities began to look for other ways of murdering prisoners which would allow them to carry out their own operations. Such methods were: the killing of prisoners by means of lethal phenol injections, shooting in the yard of block 11, and finally attempts at gassing, initially on a small scale, in the basement of block 11, then in the crematoria chambers and special bunkers located in cottages.
The method of killing people with phenol injections was introduced and organized in the Auschwitz camp by camp doctor (Lagerarzt) SS-Obersturmführer Entress. This operation began in the middle of 1941. At that time, the hospital consisted of blocks 20, 21 and 28 of the main camp.
Initially, the injections were administered in the basement of block 28, where the morgue (Leichenchalle) was located. Later on, the operation was moved to block 20, where nobody was allowed, because it was an infectious diseases block. Every week, all hospital blocks had to deliver several patients. A specific weekly number for each hospital block was set in advance by Entress. In block 20, all delinquents sentenced to death were gathered in the washroom (Waschraum), from where they were escorted through a corridor to the infirmary. The corridor was separated from the infirmary by a tight curtain. The sick were taken by nurses to the curtain. Behind the curtain, there were two prisoners: a Slovak Jew, Kalman Schwarz, and a Polish Jew, Szaja Gelbhardt. They grabbed the victims from behind the curtain and took them to the infirmary. There, the convicts were forced to sit on stools. Gelbhardt held one of them, while Schwarz held the other one. They pushed the prisoners’ chests forward by pressing their back with a knee, while Mieczysław Pańszczyk, or others whom I will list later, stuck a syringe filled with 30% carbolic acid (phenol) into their chests, straight into the heart. The capacity of the syringes was ten centimeters. After the injection, the victims immediately lost consciousness. Schwarz and Gelbhardt picked them up and pushed them into the corridor, from where other two prisoners dragged the corpses to the opposite bathhouse (Baderaum). The corpses usually stayed there until the evening roll call. In the evening, they were loaded onto carts and taken to the crematorium. During the transport, prisoners in the whole camp were not allowed to leave their blocks (Blocksperre). The injections were administered in the presence and under the supervision of Entress, or his subordinate German paramedics: usually Klehr, Scherpe, Hantl and Nierzwicki. Following the operation, Klehr took away the list of the dead and the bottle of phenol. Therefore, when a prisoner carrying corpses realized that one of the injected was still alive, Pańszczyk, who had performed the procedure, injected him with hydrogen peroxide.
The first injections were administered by prisoners Feliks Walentynowicz and Dr. Dering. Mieczysław Pańszczyk performed the most injections. Apart from him, Alfred Stössel, Jerzy Szymkowiak, and a French Jew, Dr. Landau, also administered the injections later on.
Pańszczyk himself reported that he had killed 15,600 people with phenol injections. As for Stössel, the estimated number was about 4000; in the case of Szymkowiak, about 6000; Landau, 5000-6000; Dering, about 1000 [people].
The majority of the prisoners killed by injections were Jews. However, Aryans of all nationalities were also murdered in this way. In the winter of 1942/1943, Rapportführer Palitzsch brought from the Birkenau camp two boys from a transport from the Zamość region. Initially, he placed them in block 11, and the next day he took them to block 20, where Pańszczyk injected them both. These boys were: Mieczysław Rycaj and Tadeusz Rycyk. The parents of both boys were gassed along with their younger siblings. From the entire transport, only about ninety boys aged between 8 and 14 were selected. Rycyk and Rycaj came from that group. The rest, that is, about 90 boys, were brought by Palitzsch to block 20, and they were killed there by injections administered by non-commissioned officer Scherpe.
Pańszczyk had a breakdown after he killed Rycyk and Rycaj, so he stopped injecting people and was transferred with a transport to Neuengamme. I have just been shown the files of the two boys, that is Rycyk and Rycaj, about whom I testified a moment ago. I would like to point out that no. 83911 refers to Mieczysław Rycaj, so the name Ryca given in the file is incorrect.
As for other cases, I clearly remember the case of a professor from Kraków University, Marian Gieszczykiewicz, who was shot by Rapportführer Palitzsch in the yard of block 11. At the request of my colleagues, Dr. Kłodziński and Zygmunt Kapusta, I tried to get Prof. Marian Gieszczykiewicz admitted to the hospital in block 20. If I remember correctly, it was in June 1942. He was exhausted but healthy. In block 20, he suffered from mild typhus for a few days. Then he recovered and worked as a paramedic’s assistant in the block. At the end of July 1942, the Schreibstube [camp office] summoned Gieszczykiewicz to report there the following day after the morning roll call. I knew that he would be transferred to block 11 and executed by firing squad, so I wrote a note that Gieszczykiewicz was not suitable for transport due to his state of health (Transportunfähig), and he remained in the block. A dozen or so other prisoners from the whole camp who had been summoned that day to the Schreibstube were escorted after the morning roll call to block 11, where they were shot dead. After
9.00 a.m., I received a note signed by Rapportführer Palitzsch stating that prisoner no. 39197, that is Professor Gieszczykiewicz, had to be immediately taken to block 11, regardless of his condition. I could not allow Gieszczykiewicz to go there alone, because it would reveal that I had lied the previous day, so – together with Pfleger [nurse] Klein, a Slovak Jew – we placed Gieszczykiewicz in underwear on a stretcher, covered him with a blanket and took him like that to block 11. When we got to the yard of the block, Rapportführer Palitzsch kicked me for delaying the delivery of the patient, lifted the blanket, checked Gieszczykiewicz’s number and shot him twice in the head. We carried the bloodstained corpse on the same stretcher to the basement of block 28. As I can see now in the files, the German camp physicians, particularly Entress, falsified Gieszczykiewicz’s medical history. Except the dates of his admission to the hospital and his death, all the facts provided in the files are false and fabricated. This also applies to the time of death, because Gieszczykiewicz did not die at 3.35 p.m., but was shot a few minutes before 10.00 a.m.
The same applies to other colleagues from my transport, namely prisoners no. 20007, Andrzej Kochanowski, and no. 20047, Adam Ullman. In June 1942, they were both taken from block 20, where they had worked as assistants since their recovery. They were taken to Birkenau and gassed. I was interested in what happened to them because they came from Kraków and had been brought to Auschwitz with the same transport as I. Therefore, I am convinced that they died in the way I have described. Thus, the whole medical history of Ullman that I have been shown is fake. Such files were prepared by prisoners employed in the hospital office, under the supervision and according to the instructions of a German doctor, in this case Entress.
At the end of October 1942, over 200 people from different transports from Lublin were selected from the entire camp. All those people were first gathered in block 3, from where the whole group was escorted by many SS men to block 11. Among others, doctor Henryk Suchnicki from the Lublin region was selected from block 20, where we both worked – he as a nurse – and a friend of mine, Leon Kukiełka, from block 21. Suchnicki left block 20 because he had been instructed to pose for a picture (Erkennungsdienst). When Suchnicki, Kukiełka and a third man, Janek – I do not remember his surname – were placed in the Waschraum [washroom] in block 11, they tried to remove the window bars and get out to the camp. Some SS men saw it and shot them through the window. The medical history included in the files of Suchnicki and Kukiełka that I have been shown, which state that they had died of natural causes, is completely false. This also applies to the date of death because they both died on the same day, while different dates were provided in the files. I would like to point out that the group that was killed together with Suchnicki and Kukiełka was shot dead in block 11 as part of repressive measures in the wake of sabotage operations that were taking place in the Lublin region at that time. Of course, those people could not have participated in those operations, because at that time they had been in the Auschwitz camp for over a year. The majority of them were people who occupied some position in the camp, so they were healthy and strong. When the operation in the yard of block 11 ended, the gutters were filled with blood.
As for other specific cases, I remember a lawyer from Kraków, Max Weber. He was imprisoned in the camp as a Pole and an Aryan, as prisoner no. 39610. On 14 October 1942, he was admitted to the hospital in block 20 and placed in room 10 on the first floor. He often talked to me about his personal matters. For example, he mentioned several times that before the arrest he had made a will in which he left most of his property to the Academy of Learning [Akademia Umiejętności]. He had also left a lot to charities and scholarships, and the rest to his family. Moreover, he told me that he had deposited the will with the owner of the property on Staszica Street. He made it clear that in his will he had disposed of his assets voluntarily and had made the will while being of sound mind and body. He asked me to testify in case of any disputes within his family and to state that even in the camp he behaved in a completely normal manner and that he was of perfectly sound mind. In the morning on 27 October 1942, I received a note from the Schreibstube stating that Weber and a few others, including the young boys Mieczysław Krupisz, prisoner number 13909, and Dąbrowski, whose number and name I do not remember, were to report to the Schreistube the next morning. I replied that the sick were not fit for transport. The next day about noon, Rapportführer Palitzsch came to block 20, called over the deputy block leader, Pańszczyk, and handed him a note he had brought with him. Pańszczyk came to me, demanded the files of Weber, Kurpisz and Dąbrowski, ordered Blocksperre, called over his two injection assistants – Schwarz and Gelbhardt – and gave an order to take Weber and the four others to the Waschraum located on the ground floor of block 20. As a result, all the selected prisoners were taken to the Waschraum, where they waited for SS man Klehr, whose task was to bring phenol to block 20. They waited there for about 45 minutes. In the meantime, Weber asked me to come to the Waschraum and when I arrived there, he told me that he knew he was going to be killed by an injection, and he asked me to let him go first and set an example of how to die for the young boys who were also to be killed but were afraid. He recited “Ode to Youth” [a poem by Adam Mickiewicz] to calm them down. His wish was granted – he was taken first and disappeared behind the curtain. Later on, I found his body in the room located opposite the infirmary where he had been injected. The same happened to the four men who were killed with him.
The names of Weber and Kurpisz, along with their numbers, personal details, the date of arrival in the block and the exact date of death, are provided on page 42 of the book I have been shown. Those dates are not true. This book was kept by a lawyer from Kraków, Dr. Roland Goryczko. Skimming through this book, I saw that it includes information on the death of prisoner no. 52425, a Dutch Jew named Heiman Kohen, whom Klehr murdered with a poker on 11 September 1942 in a corridor of block 20. Klehr met Kohen accidentally in the corridor, grabbed a poker and beat his victim until he died. Klehr gave an order to take the corpse straight to block 28 and instructed me to issue a death report, according to which Kohen had died of natural causes.
Other prisoners reported to have died of natural causes are: prisoner no. 51438, Franciszek Cyganik, a policeman from Kraków; prisoner no. 58062, Mozes de Pries, a Dutch Jew; prisoner no. 62565, Jan Zasiura, a Pole; prisoner no. 68764, Zdenko Polak, a Slovak Jew; and prisoner no. 43608, Szyja Stern, a Polish Jew. Cyganik was gassed on 14 September 1942, and the rest on 15 September 1942. They had all been selected from the infirmary in block 20 and sentenced to death by Klehr.
In the late summer of 1942, a group of about 200 Poles captured during an operation at the Artists’ Café [Kawiarnia Plastyków] in Kraków was brought to the camp. They were hostages imprisoned as part of a retaliation for the murder of some Germans at the airport in Rakowice. The newly arrived prisoners were immediately placed in block 11. Some of the people in that group were my friends: Jan Staszyszyn, Dr. Jan Reyman, Zygmunt Kapusta, Professor Stanisław Weiner, Teofil Cyroń, attorney Józef Buś, Józef Laden, and Józef Węgrzyn. I wanted to help them and I believed that the most important thing to do was to get them out of block 11. Therefore, they were given an injection, as a result of which they all developed a high temperature and were transferred as patients to block 20 – the block for patients with infectious diseases. After a few days, their whole group was released from block 11 and taken to Birkenau, where they were gassed in the gas chambers. A few days later, Klehr came to block 20 and called over all the prisoners from the Artists’ Café group who were in block 20 – except for Reyman and Kapusta – that is, Weiner, Cyroń, Buś, Kaden, and Węgrzyn. He took them to the infirmary and injected them. Reyman survived the camp, Kapusta died of typhus fever.
On 25 December 1942, the curator of the National Museum in Kraków, Dr. Stefan Muczkowski, prisoner no. 75688, died in block 20. When he was brought to the hospital from the camp, he was so battered and beaten up that he died on the same day as a result of the injuries. I do not know who had beaten him.
In October 1943, a famous national activist, Mosdorf, prisoner no. 8230, was shot dead in block 11. He was a Schreiber [clerk] in block 19. Together with him, I wrote a chronicle – a diary from the Auschwitz camp. An informer called Ławski, a Belarusian who worked in block 21 as an orderly, reported us to the Political Department. Following an investigation performed by Lachmann, Mosdorf was executed by shooting. I saw his file and I declare that it included a medical certificate according to which Mosdorf had died of natural causes, namely of Herzmuskelschwäche [heart failure].
At the end of 1942, Pańszczyk, acting on the orders of Klehr, murdered Lieutenant Stark. He was killed only because he was a Polish officer. I emphasize this fact because Stark was a school friend of Pańszczyk – they had gone together to Secondary School no. 4 in Kraków.
The photographs I have been shown are copies of the lists, prepared by myself, of prisoners who died in Auschwitz. People who usually prepared the lists were Stanisław Kłodziński, a doctor from Kraków, and prelate Szajnoch from Katowice. Above all, those lists included all prisoners who were murdered in the course of operations, that is, those who were killed by injections, executed by shooting or gassed. However, I cannot say whether the lists also included inmates who died in the camp of exhaustion, starvation, diseases, or due to other reasons related to the living conditions in the camp. As far as prisoners killed by injections – whose corpses were transferred from block 20 to block 28 – are concerned, the lists include the names contained in notebooks from the basement of block 28, described in the report of inspection of 24 June 1946, in paragraph 3.
Based on the work I performed in the Auschwitz camp hospital, I declare that the camp management did not create any conditions for treating the patients. This applies both to the sanitary conditions in the hospital, where the patients were placed, in particular to the lack of space and beddings, to the diet fed to the patients, and above all to the lack of medications, which the hospital did not receive from the camp management at all. The medications available to the doctors who were also prisoners had been “organized.” In such conditions, Auschwitz hospitals were pre-funeral parlors, where the prisoners who were no longer fit for work were to die by the will of the management. Instead of dying in a work detail, such prisoners were to perish in the hospital.
The report was read out. At this point, the interview and the present report were concluded.