On 9 August 1947 in Bydgoszcz, K. Dobrzański, Investigative Judge of the District Court in Bydgoszcz, with its seat in Bydgoszcz, with the participation of reporter Maria Kempińska, interviewed the person specified below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:

Name and surname Ludwik Banach
Age 30
Parents’ names Franciszek and Katarzyna
Place of residence Bydgoszcz, Lipowa Street 10
Occupation ship mechanic, tradesman
Criminal record none
Relationship to the parties none

I report that in connection with my previous deposition, given on 18 July 1947 (Kps 705/47) before a judge of the district court in Bydgoszcz, I am adding further details to my deposition.

The photograph presented to me, depicting a person in an SS uniform, shot at three different angles, who is holding a plate reading “Gehring Wilhelm”, is beyond all reasonable doubt a photograph of a non-commissioned SS officer, in the rank of Oberscharführer, I believe, who was an active member of the Auschwitz camp staff during my internment there. In particular, I recognize him on the strength of my exact recollection of his facial features, even though the photograph suggests that suspect Gehring has changed since, in that he has evidently lost weight. His facial expression is the same. Let me add that I remember the exact spelling of his name and that he was a portly man of average height, around 45 years of age.

I had had an opportunity to observe Gehring on multiple occasions ever since the said person was assigned to the block 11 staff at Auschwitz in December 1941. I saw him every day as he was fulfilling various camp functions.

Over that period, almost daily, the yard of block 11 saw mass executions of prisoners wearing camp outfits as well as civilians arriving on recent transports. Essentially, these persons were shot with small-caliber weapons; occasionally, they were hanged. As far as I recall, until July 1942, the man in charge of these executions was the infamous Palitzsch, and after he was transferred, suspect Gehring took over. Under Palitzsch, however, Gehring was always in attendance at these executions, in the company of other SS men, including Lagerführer [camp leader] Omayer, the camp doctor, whose name I do not remember, Kaduk, Fritsch, and others, whose names I do not recall. However, suspect Gehring was the person who implemented Palitzsch’s technical instructions. At that time, which was under Palitzsch, I did not see Gehring murder anyone personally.

After Palitzsch was transferred, the executions continued, and Gehring was the person who carried out executions, supervised by SS officers whose names I do not remember. The first mass execution during which Gehring personally executed prisoners with a small-caliber weapon took place in August 1942. I can remember that at the beginning of fall 1942, block 11 saw a “show execution”, by which I mean the execution of 24 men and 12 women, attended by high-ranking Gestapo officers, who had arrived from Berlin precisely for that reason. Of course, Gehring also participated, and – as I can clearly remember – he hanged the last victim, a man, himself.

I watched these executions secretly from a window on the second floor, room 3, this being all the easier given my function of room elder.

Due to the passage of time and everything I have gone through, I do not remember more accurate information concerning executions, especially their exact dates and the names and addresses of the murdered.

I see fit to add that suspect Gehring stood out positively from other SS men because of some sort of leniency and lack of brutality. I neither witnessed nor heard of any case whereby Gehring abused anyone, and I even saw cases where after executions he would “shake his head” with clear disgust and emotion. The prisoners nicknamed him “Papa”.

The report was read out before it was signed.