On 23 June 1947 in Kraków, a member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, judge of the District Court, Jan Sehn, acting at the written request of the first prosecutor of the Supreme National Tribunal, this dated 25 April 1947 (file no. NTN 719/47), in accordance with the provisions of and procedure provided for under the Decree of 10 November 1945 (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland No. 51, item 293), in connection with articles 254, 107, and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, heard as a witness the below mentioned former prisoner of the Auschwitz concentration camp, who testified as follows:

Name and surname Bronisław Staszkiewicz
Date and place of birth 18 July 1921 in Żywiec
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Citizenship and nationality Polish
Occupation butcher
Place of residence Kraków, Straszewskiego Street 5 flat 14

In the Auschwitz concentration camp, I was political prisoner no. 1225 from 25 June 1940 until 27 February 1943. From June to August 1940 I was employed in various kommandos, and from that time until the end of my stay in the camp I worked in the SS kitchen (SS-Küche). The kitchen was initially housed in the main headquarters’ building, from where it was transferred to the basement of the staff building (Stabsgebäude) and then to a specially built and designated wooden building marked as Wirtschaftsbaracke on the grounds of the tobacco company. At the head of the kitchen stood SS men with non-commissioned officer ranks. Among them, I remember Oberscharführer Blaufuss, Unterscharführer Stenzel, Oberscharführer Bautz and Unterscharführer Werner Paschke.

In addition, the following SS men worked in the kitchen: Schefler (Uscha), Franciok (Rottenführer), Geppel (Rotten), Leszcz (Rottenführer), Kraus (Rottenführer), Stampe (Rottenführer), Schebeck (Sturmmann), Schaffenberg (Sturmmann), Schulz (Uscha) and others whose names I don‘t remember. I also remember Neumann.

The head of the SS kitchen was also responsible for a potato room fitted for the SS men, the co-called SS-Kartoffelschellerei. In both institutions, the staff were almost all Polish prisoners apart from the German kapos. There were 25 prisoners in the kitchen, and about 70 in the potato room. Among those employed with me in the kitchen I remember the following workmates: Bohdan Wnęczak (Radymno), August Franczyk (Łęcko near Nowy Sącz), Adam and Tadeusz Kluz (Łańcut), Włodzimierz Turczyniak (Bierutowice, villa Perełka), Jan Springer (Częstochowa), Kazimierz Albin (Kraków), Antoni Olejowski (Hocznia near Wadowice), Artur Rablin (Kraków), Stanisław Witek (Jelenia Góra) and others whose names I can’t remember or who didn’t survive the camp.

In the early period, when the kitchen was in the headquarters building, the SS men received their food in mess tins. After the kitchen moved to the staff building, and then after the canteen was fitted in the Wirtschaftsbaracke, they ate on the spot. They were fed three times a day, lavishly and abundantly, with sweetened coffee (breakfast), lunch mostly with two courses, often with a compote as a third course and a dry dinner consisting of cold cuts, cheese, marmalade, butter or other fats, bread and tea. In addition, the SS men were often given candy, oranges, grapes and lemons. They often received rum with their evening tea. There were very often drunken parties in the canteen, so-called Kameradschaftsabend, most often separately for each company. At such meetings the SS men drank vodka, and cakes and bread were baked specially for them.

SS men employed in the Sonderkommando [special unit] received, for their service, special vouchers – the so-called Sonderverpflegung – which could be used to obtain items from the SS-Küche. For such a voucher, an SS man, as I recall, could get 10 decagrams of sausage, 1/5 liter of rum and five or ten cigarettes. These were vouchers for the bearer and the SS men usually came in with five vouchers so that they could get a full liter of vodka. These vouchers were for SS men involved in executions by shooting, gassing and other special actions. Among the most widely known to use these vouchers for Soderverpflegung were Rapportführer Palitzsch, Kaduk, Plagge, Wosnitz and Lachmann, and among those I now recognized in the photographs: Paul Szczurek, Kurt Müller, Werner Blaufuss, Andree Heinz Joachim, Artur Breitwieser, August Bogusch, Böhm and Pisdulla. I also remember that Schope and Paschke used to come in with vouchers for Sonderverpflegung, as well as all the Blockführers, since all of them were involved in some special actions.

I recognized Kurt Müller beyond a doubt, both in the photographs and also when I was shown him in the prison on Montelupich Street. There’s no mistaking that person. This is the SS man who, during my stay in the camp, was Blockführer in block 11. It contained the punitive unit and a bunker. From this block prisoners serving as assistants in block 11 would come to the SS kitchen for food for the SS men who were serving some kind of sentence in the bunker. These guys (I don’t remember the names at the moment, one of them works in Gliwice and the Society of Prisoners there might be able to point him out) told me that Kurt Müller as Blockführer was treating the prisoners in block 11 inhumanely, that he beat them, harassed them and mistreated them without any reason. In addition – I was an eyewitness to this – Müller, during inspections of kommandos returning from work to the camp, beat some prisoners until they lost their strength, and when a prisoner fell over, he kicked him. I observed these events very often, because I was in block 24, so right next to the entrance gate to the camp.

I also recognized the imprisoned SS man Plagge beyond any doubt. I came across him immediately after my arrival at the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was then a Blockführer in the quarantine that was at that time in the Stabsgebäude. I was quarantined for four weeks. At all time, Plagge would bother the prisoners in the quarantine with aggravating, and in many cases murderous, “sport” activities with all the means of harassment applied by the SS in this ordeal. When the prisoners were exhausted and, without any remaining strength, fell to the ground, Plagge would beat and kick them. As a result of such a beating, one elderly Jew died while in quarantine. When he fell over, exhausted, Plagge approached him, beat and kicked him unconscious so that the beaten Jew remained on the square, from where he was transferred to the hospital, where he died the next day. Plagge then served as a Blockführer in the parent camp, where he harassed prisoners with “sport”, beating and abusing them. One of Plagge’s sports exercises was performing squats on a stool while holding a second stool and forcing the prisoner to perform this exercise on tip toe with a broken bottle placed under his heel. From what one of the SS men employed in the kitchen told me, I know that Plagge was involved in the first gassing of the Russian prisoners of war and captives in the bunkers of block 11. Then he worked in the gas chambers in Birkenau. For such services rendered, he would collect special food with Sonderverpflegung vouchers.

The report was read out, upon which this hearing and report were concluded.