On 19 June 1946 in Warsaw, the Deputy Prosecutor Z. Rudziewicz, with the participation of court reporter Mieczysław Kalata, interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Article 106 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Mieczysław Kalata|
|Date of birth or age||12 September 1905|
|Parents’ names||Szczepan, Stanisława|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Solec Street 62, flat 31|
|Place of birth||Warsaw|
|Education||secondary trade school|
Before the War, I was an office worker at the Employment Fund, and during the occupation I automatically became an office worker of the German Arbeitsamt employment office. Initially, there were numerous employment offices; from October 1942 there was only one central employment office in Warsaw at Kredytowa Street.
I worked in various offices, as I was transferred from place to place. For a month in 1942, I worked at Kredytowa Street.
On 1 November 1942 I managed to resign from my job. Throughout this time I was an ordinary office worker; I processed work referrals, sick notes, and correspondence connected with these affairs, but only as regards certain professions.
My work was on the whole mechanical, decisions were made by the Germans.
I was able to observe the approach of the German authorities to the issue of employment in Poland. Both blue-collar and white-collar workers were treated as slaves. No freedom of employment existed. An order had been issued whereby you were not allowed to change your place of work, nor give up your job without the permission of the Arbeitsamt. I don’t remember who issued this order; I think it was the authorities directly superior to the Arbeitsamt, that is, the district. Furthermore, no one could be employed without the consent of the Arbeitsamt.
Holidays were abolished pursuant to an order of the German authorities; an employer could grant his employee a holiday, however this could total at maximum 6 to 12 days, depending on the age of the worker. If I remember correctly, another order increased the number of working hours per day above the current eight. Wage rates were very low and decided by the German authorities; they could not be exceeded.
Wilful evasion of or absence from work was punishable by repressive penal measures, such as deportation to the camps, for example Treblinka. I remember that an unequivocal order had been issued whereby those who failed to observe the obligation to perform work were to be sent to Treblinka.
The obligation to perform work was enforced through the following:
1) Obligation to register. The pertinent orders were issued on a number of occasions and initially applied to people aged between 18 and 60; later on this age limit was shifted, so that finally registration became obligatory from 14 years on. It was a frequent occurrence for children to be deported to Germany immediately after finishing vocational school.
2) Personal summons. If the Germans required labourers from specific branches of industry, the Arbeitsamt summoned by name not only those who were unemployed, but also employed persons, and referred them to work in Germany.
3) Round-ups. Some were small-scale, while others took the form of mass dragnets. The order to carry out round-ups came from the superior authorities, from the district authorities I think, for in these matters the employment offices engaged in correspondence with the districts, however I don’t know the details of this correspondence. German officers of the Arbeitsamt, police agents, the Gendarmerie, SA units and the blue police all took part in the round-ups.
When the operation was larger in scale, those arrested were taken to the transit camp at Skaryszewska Street, and from there, under a German police convoy, to trains that transported people to Germany. Arrested people usually figured in the Arbeitsamt register as volunteers.
Contingents of people were [also] levied in the provinces. Poles were transported from the provinces to Skaryszewska under escort. They too figured in the register as volunteers.
Those deported to Germany for work returned home in a terrible state. Due to my official obligations, I sometimes met the returnees. They were no longer fit for work, and suffered from tuberculosis. Girls returned pregnant; they were fired from work in the last days of pregnancy, when they could no longer be used as labour. Women were infected with venereal diseases.
On the basis of observations made when performing my official duties at the Arbeitsamt, I can state that the objective of the orders issued by the Germans was to ensure that Polish employees would be treated as slaves.