Recording no. 1

I live near Abbe’s factory, where there was a camp during the occupation. On January 19, 1945, I knew that the camp was burning, I could see clouds of smoke hovering above it, and I could here shots. The camp was surrounded by soldiers and policemen in yellow uniforms. Patrols were scattered all over Radogoszcz so that no one left home that day. On the following day, about 3 a.m., as soon as Germans had withdrawn and I saw Russian troops, I ran towards the camp. The gate was open. There were piles of dead men lying in the yard. I could see they were shot in the head, and their clothes were burnt. I saw a man and a woman in the camp. They entered the building and shouted that some men were still alive. With the help of Russian soldiers, we pulled a man alive from under a pile of bodies on a blanket. Then they got out another one. I took one of the survivors home, and the other was taken by a friend of mine, Mrs. Szulc. The man I took home was as if drenched in tar, his clothes were completely burnt. His name was Franciszek Brzozowski, aged 23, now living near Wieluń, in the village of Suchowola. He stayed at my place for five weeks. From what he told me I know that Germans shot prisoners in the camp in groups. Brzozowski managed to fall down and the bullets only ripped his clothes. He was lying under a pile of dead bodies. When Germans set fire to the camp, he went up on the roof, which is why he was smeared with tar. Then he went down to a glass roof, and then, after the fire had died down, he returned to the building. He said there were eighteen other prisoners with him on the roof. In my flat, Brzozowski was visited by a surviving prisoner named Franciszek Zarębski from somewhere in Bydgoszcz. Possibly, the 7th Militia Station has his address because officers gave him a bicycle and took care of him there. The surviving prisoner who lived with Mrs. Szulc is called Urszulak and lives somewhere near the airfield. I can also say that about two weeks before the camp was burnt down the fact that they were tarring the roof drew my attention because it was winter.
Read by: District Examining Magistrate S. Krzyżanowska
Signed by: Maria Pawełczyk

Witness interview report of an interview with Maria Pawełczyk of December 18, 1945. The testimony concerns the events that unfolded in the grounds of the burnt prison in Radogoszcz on January 19, 1945, and the help the witness provided to prisoner Franciszek Brzozowski.

The District Court in Łódź. Prosecutorial files on the case against: Walter Pelzhausen, ref. no. Ld 498/28, vol. 4, pp. 90-91.