All activities undertaken by the Polish judiciary from January 1945 were aimed at determining the course of events in the Radogoszcz Extended Police Prison, gathering evidence in the case of the crimes committed there, and properly judging and punishing the perpetrators. In the post-war years, they led to trials in Łódź courts against persons responsible for acting to the detriment of the Polish nation, including guards from Radogoszcz. Today, you can get to know some materials concerning these trials.
The best-known and the most discussed was definitely the trial of Arthur Greiser, former Reich Governor of the Wartheland, which took place in Poznań in June and July 1946. The indictment against this criminal included liquidation of the Radogooszcz prison, with former prisoners testifying during the trial. The presented material of the Polish Film Chronicle will allow you, as it did its contemporary viewers, to look in the face of a Nazi criminal during his trial and the pronouncement of sentence.
In this section of the exhibition, you can also see the trial files of Walter Pelzhausen, former warden of the Radogoszcz prison, and three other Radogoszcz criminals. They allow to get to know the evidence gathered, learn the less known details of the dramatic events that took place behind the walls of the Nazi facility, but also, which is equally interesting, discover the arguments provided by the accused and their line of defence.
The audio recordings we prepared include selected sentences passed in cases connected with the crimes committed in the Radogoszcz prison. As you will see, not all of them were convictions. When listening to the arguments presented, it is worth thinking about the complexity and the multi-dimensionality of the wartime reality, in which it is sometimes difficult to make clear judgements.
The infographic prepared shows the chronology of the events surrounding the trials. Analysis of the dates and numbers should make you realise the scale of the problems related to holding people accountable for Nazi crimes committed in the territory of Poland, which included gathering evidence (frequently destroyed by Germans before evacuation), finding living witnesses, identifying and arresting the accused, and classifying in legal terms crimes not included in penal codes at the time.
We hope that the materials gathered in this part of the exhibition will also encourage reflection on the limits to justice meted out to those responsible for the Radogoszcz crimes.