Recording no. 1

The District Court in Łódź, in the 7th Criminal Department, having considered on November 17, 1947, the case of Józef Zawierko born on March 14, 1896, accused of acting to the detriment of persons persecuted by the authorities of the German state in 1941 and at the beginning of 1942 in Łódź as a cell head in the Radogoszcz prison, particularly by:
Beating his subordinate fellow inmates;
Denouncing his fellow inmates to the German prison staff for various offences, which led to the torturing of his fellow inmates;
Providing his fellow inmates with food of lower quality, and leaving better food to himself and his colleagues;
decided to:
acquit Józef Zawierko of the charge described above.
Grounds of judgement:
The witnesses interviewed established that Zawierko, as cell head, had beaten his fellow inmates for stealing bread, but at the same time they stated that no one had held that against the defendant. Moreover, all witnesses established that the defendant had had a good reputation among other prisoners. Only the read out testimony of Pawłowski and Górski differs from the general testimony.
Pawłowski, who himself was accused of abusing prisoners, describes Zawierko in the worst terms possible, however, as such an attitude can also be motivated by the intention to place some of his blame on a different person, the Court could not treat this testimony as objective evidence, particularly that the Court was not able to determine the significance of this testimony by hearing it directly.
Neither does Górski’s testimony contribute anything concrete. Górski wants to incriminate Zawierko with one sentence: Józio would come to the cell and say: “give me thirty for whipping,” and Zawierko would select these thirty men. But even if we assume, which is contrary to the testimony of witnesses, that Zawierko indeed selected those 30 people, a question should be asked about whether he could select only 25 instead of 30. A prisoner during the occupation was only a tool and could not argue or bargain with SS men. For these reasons, the Court decided that neither the behaviour nor the actions of the defendant bore traces of the crime he was accused of, and this is why he was acquitted.

A fragment of the conclusion of the judgement in the case of Józef Zawierko, former prisoner functionary in the Radogoszcz Extended Police Prison.

Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance, ref. no. Ld 498/179, Prosecutorial files relating to the case of Józef Zawierko, c. 90-91.