Recording no. 4

The Special Criminal Court for the Appellate Court District in Warsaw with its seat in Łódź, having considered on May 17 and 24, 1946, the case of Stanisław Baśko born on April 25, 1918, in Łódź as the son of Ludwik and Stefania née Grzybowska, accused of helping the occupation German authorities at the end of 1943 and at the beginning of 1944 in Radogoszcz by taking part in abusing Polish prisoners as head of cell no. 4 in the Radogoszcz prison, beating them with a whip without a reason until they fainted, decided to acquit Stanisław Baśko on this charge. This sentence is final and binding.

The defendant pleaded not guilty and explained that during the occupation the German court had sentenced him to five years in prison for assembling a radio station. He started serving his term in Sieradz, where he became a driver assistant, so he had some freedom of movement, which he used to transport parcels or letters from prisoners. He was denounced and on November 11, 1943, under the administrative procedure, he was transferred to Radogoszcz, from which he was to be sent to the Auschwitz camp. In Radogoszcz, he found himself in cell no. 4, which occupied the same room as cell no. 3. The head of cell no. 3 was a certain Kołodziej, and the head of cell no. 4 was a doctor who was soon released. The defendant repaired a radio of one of German officers, who in return appointed him as the secretary of cell no. 4, and after the release of the doctor, the previous cell head, the defendant became the head. He did not use any of his rights or privileges on this position, and particularly he did no beat prisoners without a reason. Prisoners were very different; apart from common criminals, there were people imprisoned for their political beliefs or minor offences. The defendant claimed that had been trying to maintain discipline among these people through persuasion and had not resorted to the whip used by other heads. Sometimes, at the request of theft victims, he had to intervene, and if he detected theft, he had to inflict punishment, accepted and sanctioned by all prisoners, in the form of whipping the thief or slapping his face. However, he denied having beaten prisoners without any reason, particularly when they were going down to wash, during the so-called “treadmills”, or on their way back. The masters of the situation were two SS men, hosts of cells no. 3 and 4 – “Józio” or “Rudy” and “Rolowany”, and they, along with Kołodziej, abused prisoners; heads sometimes got it in the neck for failing to maintain order or to follow rules.

It was established that prisoners transported to Auschwitz or a different camp, who had been too eager to please Germans to the detriment of their colleagues, were killed upon arrival at a new camp. The defendant had no such reputation. It is difficult to image that the defendant who had put himself at risk in Sieradz by delivering parcels and letters from his fellow inmates, risking he would lose the possibility of doing his time in acceptable conditions, could change so much with respect to his fellows in Radogoszcz.
To sum up the above findings, the Court is convinced that the reason for the defendant’s actions was the good of his fellow inmates in the camp’s reality, and not being the lackey of Germans, and that he acted to the detriment of his fellow inmates in order to fulfil the head’s responsibilities assigned to or imposed on him, and for these reasons he was acquitted on the above charge.

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

Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance, ref. no. GK 209/1163, Special Criminal Court for the Warsaw Appellate District with a seat in Łódź. Files concerning the case of Sebastian Baśko, pp. 46-51.