Recording no. 4

But I saw the vastness of the slaughter after a few dozen steps, in the camp in Radogoszcz, where I had been imprisoned a month earlier.
I first saw the iron gate wide open. There were still some flames and smoke visible inside the prison, among the smouldering ruins and human bodies. In the yard, there was a pile of human bodies with burnt clothes and hair; these were fellow inmates who, discovering the fire, made holes in the prison walls and tried to save themselves by jumping out to the yard in front of the building. There they were hit by the murderous bullets of degenerate executioners. (…)
I was walking about the whole area of this terrifying camp. I met a man who was taking all kinds of documents from the administration building and throwing them into the smouldering ruins. (…) He explained his deed saying he was afraid that the documents would fall into the Russian hands. At the time, I did not realise that they could be useful to identify and investigate the crime.
I was looking for the body of my friend Janek Wesołowski from Pabianice, who had dissuaded me from suicide. Unfortunately, the faces of the murdered were nearly impossible to recognise. I walked around the kitchen. The pots were full of frozen soup. Behind one of the pots, I saw a shot cook, who not long before had exchanged a slice of bread or an additional bowl of soup for a leather jacket. I also recognised three cook assistants, all dead. They were lying close to one another. I couldn’t identify anyone else. I heard one of them was medical doctor Józef Englert from Włocławek, whom I wasn’t able to recognise. I was told that by someone from a group of people standing nearby.
I went up the stairs I had had to run down so many times to exhausting assemblies. There were very many bodies between the ground floor and the first floor. Apparently, some prisoners had been looking for a way out of the building only to die in flames. I went up to the burnt attic, where the largest fire water tank stood. This was the only place one could have been saved in. Although water in the tank had been frozen, the ice had melt down due to the high temperature. This was where a few people from the top floor found their rescue.

A fragment of an account provided by a former prisoner Jan Wypijewski, who arrived at the grounds of the burnt prison in Radogoszcz in January 1945, looking for his cellmate Jan Wesołowski.

Wypijewski J., Wspomnienia 1939-1945, Włocławek 1999, pp. 278-279.