On 17 September 1947, the Municipal Court in Rybnik, with Judge A. Grzybek presiding and with the participation of a reporter, court clerk L. Brachman, heard the below mentioned as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the witness was sworn and testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Karol Miczajka|
|Date of birth||15 July 1919|
|Parents’ names||Karol and Franciszka, née Mandrysz|
|Place of residence||Rybnik, Zamysłów, Graniczna Street 147|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
The witness testifies as follows regarding the case:
I stayed in the Auschwitz concentration camp as a prisoner from 13 February 1943 until the camp was evacuated. Among the accused included in the list presented to me, I know the following:
1) Hans Aumeier was the SS-Hauptstumführer and the Schutzchaftlagerführer [camp leader] in the Auschwitz concentration camp. I came into direct contact with him only once. This was in May or June 1943. As the so-called KartoffelkellerkommandoSchreiber [clerk of the potato work detail], while on duty I passed from one basement to another and came across Aumeier on a camp visit, who was in the company of some officer. When asked what I was doing in the camp, I answered that I was moving from one basement to another.
Aumeier shouted at me using abusive words that I can’t recall today. He wrote down my number, and the next day after the roll call I was called to the roll call square, where a kapo named Jakub and another one called “Mietek” gave me 25 lashes on the orders of Aumeier, who was present, and in the presence of other officers in front of the entire camp. Aumeier stood there smiling, counting out the blows. While I was being beaten, he changed one of the kapos, whom he thought was not beating hard enough. The kapo Jakub was once the coach of the boxer Schmeling and he was an athlete himself. They used a bullwhip on me, with a steel rod inside. As a result of these strokes, my backside was torn to shreds. In spite of this, after the last one, I had to stand to attention for Aumeier. At the same time, several other prisoners were beaten along with me at Aumeier’s behest. Such procedures took place almost every day in the month of May and June. More often than not, Aumeier would be present.
I often saw Aumeier personally punch or slap the prisoners in the face, and I often observed the satisfied look on his face when a prisoner who was taller than him fell to the ground as a result of such an attack.
In addition to the above-described cases, I have no information on any other crimes committed by Aumeier.
2) Max Grabner was the head of the Political Department, which was a kind of camp Gestapo. From there, all the orders regarding the annihilation of the prisoners were issued. They gave opinions about prisoners for the RSHA [Reichssicherheitshauptamt] in Berlin, where death sentences were issued. I have no information about Grabner’s criminal activity towards the prisoners.
3) Josef Hiller was an SS-Rottenführer with the rank of senior rifleman, not very significant in the camp. He was an assistant in the canteen for civilian workers, and at the same time a prisoner escort. I don’t recall any incident of Hiller persecuting any prisoners.
4) Arthur Liebehenschel was SS-Oberstrurmbahnführer and the camp commandant. In addition, he was the commander of all the army and SS units in the camp. The general opinion among the prisoners was that, after Liebehenschel had taken over the command of the camp, the prisoners’ situation improved in terms of their treatment by the SS men. In particular, there was less beating and the SS men had to address the prisoners using the formal “Sie” and not the informal “Du” as before. However, it is not clear to me whether the relaxation of the prisoners’ situation was the result of Arthur Liebehenschel’s order or from the central authorities. I don’t know of any incident of Liebehenschel committing any crimes against the prisoners, or giving orders for such crimes. In any case, in the days when he was the commandant, death sentences were still carried out. Whether the number of death sentences in his time increased or decreased, I can’t really say.
5) Wilhelm Stegmann was SS-Hauptsharführer. He was the manager of the military equipment and weapons warehouses. I worked in the military equipment warehouse for about two months. Stegmann betrayed us every step of the way in his fervor to do his duty and the great zeal he showed to the subordinates of the SS men. Stegmann beat the prisoners for the slightest foolishness, mostly with a slap to the face. I even got slapped in the face for passing him in the corridor. I came too close to him, in his opinion, although there was a distance between me and him of at least a meter and he thought that I doffed my cap too late. I was a frequent witness to Stegmann beating the prisoners.
The report was read out before signing and concluded.