On 18 May 1945 in Oświęcim, Regional Investigative Judge Jan Sehn, member of the Commission for the Investigation of German-Nazi Crimes in Oświęcim, at the request, in the presence and with the participation of Deputy Prosecutor of the Regional Court Dr. Wincenty Jarosiński and Dr. Jan Jodłowski, a medical doctor and expert witness, pursuant to Article 254 in connection with Articles 107, 109, 115, and 124 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, interviewed Leon Malecki as a witness, former prisoner no. 191,750 of the Auschwitz concentration camp, who testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Leon Malecki|
|Date and place of birth||9 February 1922, Stanica Słomichinskaja (Russia)|
|Parents’ names||Stanisław and Halina, née Lisowska|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence before the arrest||Warsaw, Raszyńska Street 44|
|Current place of residence||the Auschwitz camp|
On 10 August 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, Russians serving in the German army (Kalmyks) came to the house where I lived in Warsaw at Raszyńska Street 44, and – at the order of the German authorities – arrested all the residents present in the house. As far as my family is concerned, apart from myself, my brother Stefan, my father and mother were also arrested. Immediately after the arrest, without any interrogation, we were taken to “Zieleniak” at Opaczewska Street, and from there we were transported by train to Pruszków.
Pruszków was a gathering point for all people arrested at that time in Warsaw. There were about 6000 people, or rather there were many more of them, but 6000 were sent in two transports to
the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. After they unloaded us in Birkenau, we were placed in an empty square surrounded by wires. They kept us there for two days without any food or drink. Then, we were taken to the bathhouse, where we were told to shower and cut our hair. Following the registration, we were sent to blocks. Initially, I was placed in block 6, and then, after a few days, I was moved to block 8, because I had fallen sick with Durchfall [contagious diarrhea].
I have been constantly ill since that time until today. I am currently suffering from heart and lung problems, and oedema in my leg. Before the arrest, I did not suffer from ailments of any kind. I would like to explain that I developed oedema in my leg after the Germans had left Auschwitz and after I was moved from Birkenau to Auschwitz I. I do not know the reason of this illness.
(Following a question from the expert witness, the witness testifies:) When I was a child, I suffered from measles, scarlet fever, chicken pox, and mumps. I have not contracted any other disease so far.
After three months in the Birkenau camp, I was transferred to section C; I believe it was block 5 or 7. The block was damp and completely cold. Six men slept in one cubicle and we had only a blanket to cover ourselves with. At that time, I started suffering from sore throat so severely that I had difficulties swallowing, I felt pain in my wrist joints, and then in the right elbow and leg joints. In addition to general exhaustion, I felt that I was suffering from a fever because I had shivers. This condition lasted for a whole month. At that time, my job was to peel potatoes in the kitchen, which was very damp.
One day, I wanted to “organize” a few potatoes for myself. The Kapo who was supervising our work saw this and came up to me. He hit me several times with a stick on different parts of my body: the head, arms, legs and back. I don’t remember the name of that Kapo. Anyway, he was a bad man – a “dog” who did nothing but sniff around to catch somebody red- handed, committing the pettiest offence. He was of Hungarian descent. Since my condition was getting worse with each day, the doctor sent me to the hospital. Before I was admitted, I had to go to the bathhouse. I stood there naked for about half an hour in the cold, on the stone floor, together with other prisoners, before we were allowed to shower, and then again, for about an hour and a half afterwards. Next, we received shirts, coats and clogs, and we were ordered to go to hospital block no. 18 in section E. I only stayed in that block for a week. Then, I had to take a shower again, in the same conditions, before I was transferred to block 4, intended for patients with heart and lung problems. I stayed in that block until the arrival of the Soviet army. I would like to add that in all hospital blocks, the block seniors and the hospital personnel would beat the patients and reduce their food rations. The hygienic conditions were deplorable. Although we slept in seperate beds, the sheets were very dirty and there were lots of lice and fleas.
When I was still in section A, I had the opportunity to meet a writer from block 12, a certain Burghardt. I do not know where he came from and what nationality he was, but he was a very bad man. He enjoyed harassing the weaker and sicker prisoners, he beat them ruthlessly and reduced their food rations on purpose. There were more functional prisoner like him, in that and in other blocks, but I cannot recall their names at the moment.
At this point, the report was concluded, read out, and signed by witness Leon Malecki as consistent with his testimony.
The report is accompanied by a copy of the patient’s file retrieved today from the Auschwitz concentration camp.
A copy of Leon Malecki’s medical file was made on 17 May 1945 in the hospital of the concentration camp in Auschwitz. For the purpose of this report, the patient’s file will be read out by Dr. Jan Jodłowski.
Leon Malecki, 22 years old, no. 191750
Anamnesis: chickenpox at the age of four, followed by numerous childhood diseases. In 1940, the patient was operated on for appendicitis. Since September 1944, the patient has stayed in the Birkenau camp. He has chest pains, coughs, and he cannot see with his right eye. For four days, liquid stools four times a day. Stuttering since childhood.
Current condition: tall, emaciated, pale pink mucosa. Lungs and heart unremarkable. Abdominal cavity: abdominal integuments sensitive to pressure, slightly bloated. Other organs unremarkable. Temperature: 36 degrees.
Diagnosis: enteritis acuta [illegible]
Therapy: tanalbina five times two tablets
5 March 5 1945. The patient has been unable to walk for three weeks. The right knee joint is sensitive to pressure. Less diarrhea. Diet I.
9 March. Bronchitis. Liquor ammonii anisatus
13 March. Pain in the right upper and lower joints of the upper limbs. Muscles react with pain to pressure. Aspirin three times a day (Dr. Wolken, neuritis). The patient will remain in bed.
14 March. The patient is complaining of pain in his chest and legs. Physical examination: heart and lungs unremarkable. Therapy as on 12 March.
17 March. The swelling of the right lower limb is slightly larger. Cold compress, half an aspirin three times a day.
19 March. Slight redness and swelling of the right ankle. The joint is slightly warmer; no pain upon movement. Acidic water compress.
20 March. The patient is complaining of severe pain, especially upon pressure, in the right calf. Knee reflex particularly intensified on the left side. Aspirin four times a day.
21 March. Strong pain upon pressure in the right calf. Today, reflexes not intensified; possible thrombosis. Acidic water compress. Vitamin B.
22 March. Pain in the right calf.
23 March. Pain in the left calf. 0.3 piramidon, twice.
24–27 March. Condition unchanged.
28 March. Pain in the right ankle.
30 March. The patient is complaining of severe pain upon movement in the right knee joint. Slight swelling in this joint. Acidic water compress, piramidon three times a day.
2 April. The patient is complaining of severe pain in the right leg. Strong swelling. Tomorrow, the patient needs to be examined by an orthopedist.
3 April. The patient is still complaining of pain in the right lower limb. Dr. Alschorf, orthopedist, has applied a protective band.
4 April. A slight improvement.
5–6 April. Condition unchanged.
9 April. X-ray examination (radioscopy) results. Cardiovascular silhouette slightly widened to the left. In the left hilum, a calcified, round nodule of the size of five pfennigs. Lungs unremarkable. The patient coughs a lot. Bronchial sounds above the lungs. 20 drops of decoot. senegae.
10 April. A slight improvement.
11 April. Condition unchanged.
12 April. Referred for X-ray.
13 April. Weaker murmurs above the right lung apex. Aspirin, twice.
14–16 April. Condition unchanged.
17 April. Loud respiratory sounds above the left hilum. Quiet heart sounds with a slight (illegible) murmur. Diagnosis: Bronchadenopathia activa sinistra. Myocarditis chronica. Therapy: calcium, phytin, vitamins C and A (Dr. Urbański).
22 April. The patient feels good, but is suffering from insomnia.
23 April. The patient feels good, but is complaining of itchy face. Clear heart sounds. Treatment: calcium, phytin, vitamins C and A, bromulal. sepso.
26 April. The patient is complaining of pain in the heart area. 15 drops of cardiasol twice a day.
27 April. No complaints. Shortened sound on percussion above the lungs, weakened respiratory sounds, widened heart borders, heart sounds not clear.
28 April. Normal appetite and stool. Poor sleep. The patient does not cough or spit. Elastic oedema of the right part of the lower leg and ankle joint. Lungs unremarkable. Heart borders slightly shifted to the left, quiet and muffled heart sounds.
29 April. The patient feels well; normal appetite and stool, good sleep. Treatment as before.
1 May. Temperature 36.5–36.9 [degrees], the patient is not complaining. Slightly muffled heart sounds, treatment as before.
2 May. Temperature 36.8–37 [degrees]. The patient twisted his left foot when he was being moved from block 22 to block 13. Oedema of the dorsum of the left foot, pain upon pressure in the metatarsal bones and the ankle joint. Reduced mobility of that joint. Compress.
3 May. Blood pressure 120/75, weight 73 kg, height 177 cm. The condition of the left foot has improved. Heart rate 84 bpm, good, tense, regular.
6 May. The patient is in good condition; he is suitable for light work.
7 May. Temperature 36.2–37.4 [degrees]. Elastic swelling of the right lower leg and right ankle joint. Pain in the right lower limb. Susp. rheumatismus; treatment: natr. salicil. Half tablet of natr. bircarb. three times a day. Cloth compress, urine for analysis.
8 May. Slightly less swelling. Urinalysis showed no pathological changes in the kidneys.
9 May. Blood pressure 115/75. The patient feels well; his feet are less swollen. He must remain in bed.
10 May. Weight 75 kg. Visibly smaller swelling of the limb; normal ankle joint mobility. The patient has put on weight.
11 May. The patient feels well. The patient’s condition has not changed; no changes in the right lower limb.
13 May. The patient doesn’t feel well; he is complaining of pain in the lower back and lower limbs. Smaller appetite, normal stool and sleep. Muffled heart sounds, quite tense and steady pulse. Oedema of the lower limbs.
On 15 May. The patient is complaining that at night he felt a strong squeeze of the heart, which does not prevent him from leaving the ward on his own by day and visiting his family. A slight swelling of the right ankle persists. Treatment as before.
16 May. Radioscopy. Left hilar densities. Free diaphragm. Transverse diameter of the heart slightly widened to the left and upwards to the left. (Dr. Magnuszewska)
17 May. Blood pressure 145/70, heart rate 104 bpm, regular.
1 April – blood sedimentation (21 mm after the first hour),
29 April – urine test (specific gravity 1017, protein absent),
8 May – urinalysis (specific gravity 1010, protein absent, two-three epithelia in the field of view, one–two leukocytes, urine collected without a catheter)