On this day, 12 July 1948, in Radom, Bolesław Papiewski [?], Investigating Judge of the District Court in Radom with headquarters in Radom, with the participation of trainee reporter [illegible], interviewed the person named below as a sworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the judge swore in the witness in accordance with Article 254 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, whereupon the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Chaim Boruch Zajde|
|Parents’ names||Mendel and Bajla Maria née Wizenberg [?]|
|Place of residence||Radom, 2 Malczewskiego Street|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
Upon the deportations of Jews to the ghetto in Radom and organizing craft workshops, I worked in these workshops as a master brush-maker. I remember exactly how after the deportations of Jews from the less important outposts from Radom to Szydłowiec on 3 August 1942, Böttcher came to my workshop accompanied by several SS dignitaries. He watched the workshops, but said nothing, whereas the accompanying people were interested in production. Böttcher came into the ghetto rarely and it was widely known that his every appearance meant some disturbance. This inspection of the workshop by Böttcher was aimed at – as it soon turned out – the acquisition of all workshops by SS officers from the Stadthauptmann. I have not seen Böttcher personally shoot at people or take their property, but I am convinced that each action, [such] as the resettlement of the population [or] the killing of civilians, all occurred by the order of Böttcher, who was the supreme supervisor of the SS, SD [Security Service], and all police formations in the former district of Radom.
Böttcher was dreaded by the Polish citizens, but I remember that when I was doing work for the members of the lower ranks of the military, they uttered Böttcher’s name almost with fear. I remember also the conversation with Böttcher’s personal secretary, Holer, in my workshop; of course, in secret. This Holer said that Böttcher belonged to one of the commanding German criminal [?] within the general government.
In the summer of 1943, Böttcher came to inspect the labor camp on Szwarlikowska Street in Radom. Noticing some strawberries in a basket in the window of a certain Abramowicz, he asked the Chief of Police whether he knew who lived in this room, then he said astonished: “What is that? Strawberries? And we do not have them outside the ghetto!” Shortly after Böttcher’s leaving, the Jewish command received a phone call ordering the arrest of Abramowicz and that he be brought to the SS. The Jewish police fulfilled the order and Abramowicz never came back. I am convinced that he was murdered on the orders of Böttcher. Anyway, I heard from the Jewish police that the order of his arrest was signed by Böttcher.
The same summer of 1943, Böttcher came one day to inspect the territory [of the peat bog] in the Old Town, and when checking the number of people, it turned out that on this day several people had not come to work. Then, Böttcher ordered the arrest of these people and after two or three days, the Ukrainian guards under the command of Rottenführer, Merder, executed them all in the camp on Szwarlikowska Street.
I remember such an incident from 1943. Böttcher called the head of workshops, Grebin – a German – and said that he wanted to have a leather coat tailored in the workshops but did not wish, and even forbade, a Jewish tailor to take his measurements – [he] must do his job roughly “from the look”, and if the coat was not right, this tailor would be shot dead. Tailor Sandomir made this coat. He completed his work well and on time.
At Bergman’s – a picture framer who was doing some work in my workshops – I once saw a photograph, in which upon magnification, the heads of Hitler and Böttcher next to each other could be seen.
Also, on the entry gate of the camp at Szwarlikowska Street, there was a board with an inscription in Polish and German, stating that the crossing of the [gate] of the forced labor camps was punishable by death, with the signature of Böttcher, commander of the SS and Police in the district of Radom.
The report was read out.