On 19 February 1947, the prosecutor of the Special Criminal Court in Kraków with its seat at Grodzka Street 52, District Deputy Prosecutor Dr. Kordecki, with the participation of a reporter, Trainee Judge Wielgus, heard the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Maria Zumańska|
|Parents’ names||Józef and Maria|
|Place of residence||Kraków, Łobzowska Street 43|
|Occupation||clerk at the Society of Former Political Prisoners|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
From January 1943 until January 1945 I was in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and during this whole period I had contact with the defendant Maria Mandl, who was the Lagerführerin [camp leader] at that time – the commandant of the women’s camp.
In the first months of 1943, together with the other prisoners, I went to work outside the lager in the Auserkommando. When passing through the camp gate, the accused used to inspect all the prisoners, paying attention to the smallest details of dress and, for example, she would beat the prisoners severely for badly tied headscarves, for dressing to protect themselves from the cold, for imprecise marching etc. She paid attention to the smallest details of dress and conduct in order to harass the prisoners and take out her hatred on them. In May the accused Mandl issued an order that the prisoners were not allowed to wear shoes. This only affected the prisoners who left the camp for heavy earthwork. Those who worked in the camp wore shoes.
The accused M [aria] Mandl and the camp doctor decided which persons should be sent to the gas chambers and she selected them herself. She was ruthless and insensitive towards the pleading and supplications of those who were destined to be gassed. Only Jews were selected for gassing. The accused Maria Mandl behaved cynically when the transports were departing for the gas chambers. She beat and kicked anyone who resisted – who didn’t want to voluntarily enter the car that would take them to the crematorium.
As the camp commandant, the accused Maria Mandl terrorized all the prisoners. She strictly obeyed the camp regulations, and used them to harass the prisoners at every opportunity, beating them sending them to the “bunker” or to the penal companies.
The accused Margot Drechsel was Maria Mandl’s deputy commandant of the camp. Her conduct in the camp was quite similar to that of Maria Mandl except for the fact that she was even harsher and more ruthless to the female prisoners than Maria Mandl.