On 26 September 1947 in Nowy Targ, the Municipal Court in Nowy Targ, with Judge M. Rawa (MA) presiding and with the participation of court reporter Jan Hinkiewicz, heard the person named below as an unsworn 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||Wanda Tarasiewicz|
|Parents’ names||Antoni and Franciszka Kornobis|
|Place of residence||Nowy Targ, Długa Street 32|
|Occupation||clerk at Spółdzielnia “Podhale”|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
Hans Aumeier was the head of the Auschwitz camp. He is guilty of murdering people. He was distinguished by a special type of sadism. His specialty was shooting at every group of prisoners who had gathered not on the orders of the camp authorities.
In 1942, he personally shot all the prisoners from the penal company (SK [Strafkompanie]) for some alleged offense. How many people were in this group, I don’t know. As far as I know, there were about 100 of them. [Aumeier] terrorized the prisoners.
Max Grabner was the head of the Political Department and was the initiator of all the tortures that were inflicted on the prisoners during interrogation – for example, the post, waterboarding, a contraption for beating people. He is guilty of the death of about a million people. Personally, I was not interrogated, but I know of Grabner’s activity from what fellow prisoners told me who worked in the Political Department. They were only Jewish women, mostly Slovaks and Hungarians. Information overheard at the Political Department was then passed on to us female prisoners – we told the male prisoners and they informed each other. Among other things, we were told of plans to murder all the prisoners that had been overheard at the Political Department.
We passed this on to the men (prisoners) who communicated this to the whole world using a radio broadcasting apparatus, which triggered a strong response from the Allies who threatened to retaliate against German prisoners and exacerbate their conditions in the [prisoner of war] camps.
Because Grabner made himself famous around the world with his cruelty, at the end of 1944, he was ousted from his position, charged with abuse of power and allegedly punished with house arrest, somewhere outside Auschwitz.
Therese Brandl was the head of the underwear warehouse during our entire stay in Auschwitz, and I was there from 22 April 1942 until the end. She was an absolute slave- driver. Pleading didn’t work on her and she never give out clean underwear. She often beat anyone who begged her. She carried out inspections in the camp looking for underwear which had not been assigned by her – anyone caught was up for punishment, as a result of which prisoners were often sent to the penal company.
Elfride Kock [was] in Auschwitz for the whole duration of my stay, and she served various functions there. I got closer to her in 1942 and 1943 when she came as a substitute to the SS laundry, where I worked. [Illegible] her substitution in the laundry lasted about two months. She was quite forgiving and showed a little heart. She looked the other way when it came to minor offenses. She pretended not to see a female prisoner talking with a man, while for other Germans such a conversation was a major crime.
Hildegarda Lächert served as an overseer in the solitary confinement unit in Rajsko in the summer of 1944, for about a month or a month and a half. She was a sadist, often setting her dog on the prisoners, and with an expression of contentment on her face she watched the dog bite the prisoners. Usually, however, she didn’t allow the prisoners to get too heavily injured, as did some overseer – whose name I don’t know – on work details outside the camp in the winter of 1942 (a tall, slim brunette, with short hair, about 30 years old), who set the dogs on the prisoners, above all Jewish women, Slovaks, and the dogs sometimes gnawed their entire calves. Then she herded them into the water, where they had to stand until the end of the working day. The victims were totally finished off due to loss of blood. I saw such incidents.
Maria Mandl was the head of the women’s camp in Birkenau and the sub-camps of Rajsko, Budy, Harmense from the end of 1942 until the very end of [the camp’s existence]. She was an absolute sadist, she personally supervised all the selections, that is, picking out people for the gas. During the selections hers was the decisive voice and she often personally pointed out the prisoners whom she had destined for death. One day, she ordered a German prisoner to give another German woman prisoner – whom she had found with a pack of cigarettes – 25 strokes of the stick. When she didn’t want to do so, she tortured both prisoners. At other times, she beat and kicked people unconscious for not ironing her handkerchief, and she threw a prisoner employed in the ironing room, who had ironed her handkerchiefs, against the wall. She did so in front of all us prisoners working in the laundry, whom she summoned for a roll call. Then she slapped some of the prisoners around the face. She often used to kick.
On 22 June 1944, she carried out a personal search in the Rajsko camp in the company of Kramer, his chauffeur [from] the SS, and the overseers Hasse and Weniger as well as some others. At 5.00 a.m. all the prisoners were lined up in the roll call square. At 7.00 a.m., when the men went off to work, we got new dresses and underwear, after which we were led off to work after the roll call. During our absence, a detailed inspection was carried out and all the food, cooking utensils, spare underwear and clothes and all our other items were taken away so that we only had the clothes we had been given in the morning. They took away packages from our families under the pretext of storing food. These packages filled two cars. During these inspections, Mandl personally beat and kicked the following: Krystyna Cyjankiewicz from Kraków for trying to hide letters from her family, Józefa Kaleta from Kraków for a ring found in the camp, where there was the badge of the Polish political prisoner and the prisoner’s camp number, and [illegible] sentenced to the penal company for no reason. During this search, she beat a number of prisoners. We didn’t receive any food that day. The evening roll call was from 6.00 p.m. until 11.00 p.m. She was deprived of all human feeling. As the commandant of the women’s camp, hers was the decisive voice and she was responsible for what was happening there.
I don’t have any information about the other members of the Auschwitz crew mentioned in the attached list or I just don’t recognize them from their surnames. As an elderly prisoner, I had the right to choose the type of work I would do and tried to do work outside the camp, just to be outside the epicenter of the camp hell.
I also know the following members of the crew, who in the opinion of my fellow prisoners were the most bloodthirsty:
1) Taube, the Rapportführer [report leader] in Birkenau, then employed at the gassing. He
terrorized the prisoners, he beat and kicked them horribly. When he met me once, when I was bringing some compote and toiletries for my sick fellow prisoner Zofia [illegible] from Nowy Targ, he took those things from me and beat me up.
2) Mohl [Moll], head of the crematorium.
3) Hasse, a senior overseer, was particularly happy to supervise the sending of prisoners to the gas.
4) Franz, an overseer in the laundry.
5) Weniger, also an overseer in the laundry, her sister.
6) Volkenrath from the house of Mühlau.
7) Drechsel, a sadist.
8) Bormann, who carried out inspections, took things away, made people stand in the freezing cold in winter for a few hours.
I know that the following were in the Auschwitz camp as prisoners:
a) Marta Jabłońska,
b) Zofia Kacprzyk, née Zalewska,
c) Władysława Chudoba,
d) Elżbieta Wondraczek,
e) Jadwiga Apostoł from Nowy Targ.
The report was read out and signed.
Concluded and signed.