This part of the exhibition is devoted to the investigation into the crimes committed in the Radogoszcz Extended Police Prison during the German occupation. It revealed shocking facts of cruel treatment and murdering of prisoners, and it allowed to identify some members of the prison staff; gather evidence confirming warden Walter Pelzhausen’s responsibility for the inhuman treatment of prisoners in his prison; and recreate the course of events that led to the liquidation of the prison on the night of January 17, 1945, when about a thousand men were murdered.
In the “Investigation Files” section you can see documents gathered in relation to Radogoszcz crimes. The files include official letters and correspondence connected with launching the investigation, collecting evidence, and looking for eyewitnesses. You will also find there selected reports on interviews with former Radogoszcz prisoners, including survivors from the January massacre. These documents convey the atmosphere of the first weeks and months after the end of the war, when officials of the restored judiciary made attempts to prosecute Nazis for the crimes committed in the territory of Poland.
The case files are supplemented with fragments of official letters, accounts provided by witnesses, and reports on court inspections of the crime scene, all gathered for you in an audio format. Listening to them will allow you to create an image of judicial activities, often dry and formal, but offering investigators thorough knowledge of the events investigated.
Testimony to the Radogoszcz crime includes also, or perhaps mostly, items and documents found at the site of the fire, which you can see in the part entitled “Evidence of the Crime”. It presents prisoners’ personal belongings damaged by the fire in January 1945 as well as documents and letters retrieved from the burnt ruins, which belonged to the massacre victims. All the exhibits gathered not only make you realise the legal and moral dimension of the Radogoszcz tragedy, but also tell the story of its individual, human face.
An infographic showing the layout of the Radogoszcz prison during the Second World War will let you locate the events described in space, thus creating a site plan of the crime scene.