On 22 May 1946 in Warsaw, Deputy Prosecutor Zofia Rudziewicz interviewed the person specified below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Mikołaj Łącki|
|Date of birth||30 October 1888|
|Names of parents||Paweł and Anna|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Chmielna Street 25|
|Place of birth||Loyew (Łojów) on the Dnieper|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Occupation||doctor, official of the Municipal Board of Warsaw|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
|Education||medical faculties of the universities in Cracow and Moscow|
During the war I was the head of the municipal health service; I had worked in that department already before the war.
After the Germans entered (on 2 October 1939), supervision over the department on behalf of the Wehrmacht was exercised by a German, Doctor Richter. After the German civil administrative authorities had been constituted, supervision was exercised by Doctor Schrempf (as Amtsarzt) from the German municipal board (Deutsche Stadtverwaltung). After 15 January 1941, Schrempf was replaced by Doctor Hagen, a German, who worked until February 1943, when Doctor Janik, also a German, became his successor.
The Amtsarzt, as a member of the municipal board, was subordinated directly to the Warsaw district.
Schrempf was incredibly brutal, ruthless, and cruel; it sometimes happened that, when talking to me, he would take out a gun and put it on the table to intimidate me. A person who came into contact with him could never be sure whether they would not be arrested. Hagen was much more decent. As to Janik, I got the impression that he was acting for the benefit of the Germans, but did not want to antagonize Poles.
I personally had contact with the Amtsärzte and with Leist’s deputy, Fribolin. I never met Fischer or the district officials. However, the regulations that I received from the Amtsärzte, were aimed at implementation of the general policy of the German administrative authorities, that is, of the district.
In my opinion, the Germans are responsible for the following activities to the detriment of the Polish population of Warsaw:
1. Schrempf reduced considerably the scope of medical care for schoolchildren, issuing an instruction to reduce the number of doctors and auxiliary medical staff in schools. This reduction was equal to almost 80 per cent. As a result of this regulation, children were deprived of medical care. This meant the destruction of schooling also in the area of healthcare.
2. No funded meals in elementary schools. At the beginning of the war, the financial situation of the population was very difficult; during that period the Germans deprived schoolchildren of funded meals altogether. Only in 1941 or in 1942 did the Main Welfare Council [Rada Główna Opiekuńcza – RGO] take care of this, thanks to a permit from the German authorities. Yet then, too, funded meals were much poorer than pre-war meals. I once had the Municipal Hygiene Institute [Miejski Instytut Higieny] analyze a sample of a soup given to children at schools; a serving had 120 calories. The Main Welfare Council could not serve better food, since the Germans did not deliver better supplies for this purpose.
3. No loans for medicines or glasses for children. Before the war, around fifty thousand kilograms of cod-liver oil were distributed among children. The Germans distributed no vitamins at all. I suggested replacing cod-liver oil with fat, but the German authorities did not agree to grant loans which would make it possible to make the relevant purchases. There was also no money to purchase glasses. Before the war, three to four thousand pairs of glasses were distributed in Warsaw.
4. Food for the entire population was poor. People were rationed seven hundred calories a day, without fats and with almost no animal protein. Products delivered to the Polish population were of very poor quality, for example potatoes were half-rotten and contaminated with a considerable amount of soil. As a result of this, the actual calorie count was much lower and varied between four hundred and fifty and four hundred and eighty calories a day per person, which constitutes only twenty per cent of the norm. The Germans living in Warsaw received around twenty-five hundred calories a day, and their diet was balanced. Germans received milk and butter, which Poles did not get at all. As a result of malnutrition, the mortality rate among the Polish population doubled. The prevalence of tuberculosis almost tripled. Before the war, the death rate was equal to four hundred and eighty-seven per one hundred thousand people. Also the number of infant deaths increased, caused by malnutrition or by the arrests of mothers.
5. The Germans are completely responsible for the development of a typhus epidemic in Warsaw, and in particular in the ghetto. When the ghetto was established in 1940, there were twelve cases of typhus in the whole of Warsaw. The epidemic could be considered contained. Staring from February 1941, the Jews were resettled from nearby towns and villages to the Warsaw ghetto. This increased the population density in the already overcrowded flats in the Jewish district, and made it impossible for the health services to fight typhus. The displaced Jews came to the ghetto in a horrible condition; they had already been robbed of everything, they were dirty and hungry. They brought typhus germs with them, and it was impossible to disinfect them, due to an insufficient number of baths. This created conditions that were conducive to the spread of the epidemic, which broke out in the ghetto again, peaking in the summer, which is never the case with typhus. The number of typhus cases in the ghetto in 1941 was equal to – according to official reports – around eighteen thousand. In reality, according to the opinions of the doctors from the ghetto, there were as many as up to one hundred thousand cases. In the Aryan quarter, three thousand people contracted typhus in 1941. The method of fighting the epidemic imposed on us by the Germans was not only futile, but sometimes even harmful. The Germans ordered compulsory closing of houses in which cases of typhus were detected. The same went for the neighboring houses. They ordered compulsory disinfection of all flats and all residents of households in which there was a case of typhus. This was connected with a two-week compulsory quarantine of the patient’s entire surroundings. In practice, these orders could not be followed and provided a pretext for abuse. The quarantine could not be imposed in the ghetto at all, since this would require the opening of an institution with several thousand beds. The fight against typhus was also difficult because the Germans distributed only 10 grams of liquid grey soap per person for the baths, and apart from that, since there was no coal, many baths were closed. The Germans did not distribute any towels either, which made it troublesome to use the baths.
6. The Germans contributed towards an increase in venereal diseases, issuing, at the beginning of the occupation, an order to unconditionally treat all women with gonorrhea in hospitals, even if it was completely certain that a given woman would not be an infectious carrier of the disease. As a result of this order, women ceased seeking treatment in healthcare institutions and private clinics, which resulted in the rising incidence of gonorrhea. Apart from that, the Germans established many brothels for soldiers and civilians.
The following persons can tell the most about the situation in the health service:
1. The head of the health service, Doctor Rutkiewicz (residing in Bagatela Street 10), 2. Doctor Kazimierz Sroczyński (residing in Łódź),
3. Doctor Mockałło (Chocimska Street 24, Ministry of Health),
4. Doctor Okolski, director of the Child Jesus Hospital [Szpital Dzieciątka Jezus] (Nowogrodzka Street),
5. Doctor Janina Misiewicz (the Wolski Hospital [Szpital Wolski], Płocka Street 26).