On 18 June 1947 in Kraków, a member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Deputy Prosecutor Wincenty Jarosiński, with the participation of reporter Władysław Sterba, a secretary of the Prosecutor’s Office of the District Court in Kraków, acting in accordance with procedure provided for under the Decree of 10 November 1945 (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland No. 51, item 293), and pursuant to Article 20 of the provisions introducing the Code of Criminal Procedure, in connection with Article 107, 115 and 254 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, heard the person named below as witness, who testified as follows:

Name and surname Zbigniew Zasadzki, inmate of the Auschwitz concentration camp no. 293
Date and place of birth 28 October 1913 in Kraków
Parents’ names Roman and Józefa, née Horowita
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Occupation shopkeeper
Citizenship and nationality Polish
Education seven classes of elementary school and two classes of construction school
Marital status married
Place of residence Kraków, Emaus Street 10
Criminal record none

I was transported to the Auschwitz I concentration camp in the first transport of prisoners, that is, on 14 June 1940, and if my memory serves me right, I was incarcerated there until September 1943. I don’t recall SS man Paweł [Paul] Szczurek from that period of time, but I remember him very well from the time when he held the post of a Blockführer and an SS man supervising the working brigades of prisoners of both sexes on leaving the camp in Birkenau for work. I saw many a time and from a short distance – I was standing next to him – how Szczurek, when counting pairs of female prisoners leaving for work, beat them with a stick or with his hands about the head or blindly all over the body, paying no heed to the effect of his blows. He would do it either for no reason at all or because some prisoner fell out of step or failed to keep pace. I also saw the SS men, Paul Szczurek among them, beat the female inmates with a stick on the buttocks and breasts and prod them with the stick at their intimate parts when the prisoners went stark naked to the bathhouse for delousing.

I very often saw Szczurek beat and kick a prisoner for no reason whatsoever or, for instance, for failure to take off his hat upon seeing Szczurek. Beating prisoners with his hands or any other object that he chanced upon, he never paid any heed to whether his blows landed on the head, nape, chest or any other body part. Szczurek was notorious for beating prisoners from behind, with a stick on the nape of the neck. I also saw and heard from my fellow inmates that Szczurek used a stick for whipping, and when he couldn’t find one he resorted to a level (waserwaga) and beat the prisoner not on the buttocks, but about the kidneys.

I was once involved in the following incident: when I was in one of the blocks in the women’s camp and talked to some woman, Szczurek noticed it, approached me and, shouting in German, demanded an explanation of why I was talking to that prisoner. When I told him that I didn’t understand what he was saying, Szczurek beat me forcefully with his hand in the face and stomach and kicked me, and then said to me in Polish, “Now you can speak Polish, you son of a bitch”. I heard from my fellow inmates (whose surnames I don’t recall at the moment) that Szczurek – when supervising with other SS men the loading of female prisoners who were to be transported in cars to the gas chambers – behaved in an inhumane manner, and tortured the women “just like a beast”, kicking and beating them blindly with a stick or a cane and forcing them into the cars.

When I mention prisoners who told me about this, I would like to explain that these prisoners worked in the bricklayers’ kommando, which was tasked with building washrooms and toilets in the blocks. They were Jews only, and 10 to 15 of them were always left in the block on purpose so that they could help in loading women, corpses or sick people onto the cars.

I learned from my fellow inmates that Szczurek had the reputation of a “bastard” and sadist. My testimony concerns only these events from Birkenau that I witnessed or learned of myself during my stay in that camp from September 1943 to 28 October 1944.

Witness Zbigniew Zasadzki was confronted with Paul Szczurek and declared as follows: Paul Szczurek is the SS man from the personnel of the Auschwitz concentration camp about whom I have presently testified. He is the one who beat and tormented prisoners of both sexes, including me. I recognize him beyond a shadow of a doubt, with the exception that he was slightly fatter back in the camp.

At this point the interview and the report were brought to a close and, after being read out, signed.

Suspect Paul Szczurek, in whose face witness Zbigniew Zasadzki repeated his testimony, declares that everything the witness has testified is untrue.

The suspect testified in Polish.