31. Polish woman full of murder lust foams with rage

Murder of the 2 Rapps, father and son


Frau Helene Stein of Bromberg, 79 Frankenstrasse, was summoned to appear and stated:


On Sept. 3, 1939, I was on air raid duty in front of my house and I saw the gang go to the Bettins . . . Some hours after these occurrences, another gang came and took Frau Reinhold away. I recognized only the woman Goralska among the party. She kept raining blows on Frau Reinhold until the latter fell to the ground. Goralska seized her from behind, by the hair, and Frau Reinhold screamed terribly. Goralska also kicked her and maltreated her so severely that the men belonging to the party got between Goralska and her victim, whom she would otherwise have murdered then and there.


The witness further stated:


Before the incident with Frau Reinhold, above described, Goralska told some women she knew that a minority German, Rapp, had shot the Polish baker named Vlatowski (Ulatowski is however still alive) and that the Rapps had then been taken away and she mentioned how she had enjoyed seeing the Rapps knocked down and shot, both the elder and the younger Rapp, and their wives and she had been amused over it all. During her recital of these happenings, Goralska literally foamed at the mouth. The witness added that Goralska had already betrayed many Germans.


Source: Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 88/39.

32. "I die for my Country!"

The murder of Betitzer


In accordance with the findings of the investigation, the witness Lassa stated on oath:


On Monday, Sept. 4, 1939, at about half past seven in the morning, the father of a casual labourer named Max E. Jankowski, whose whereabouts are still unknown, appeared with seven Polish soldiers at the farm of his neighbour, Lassa. The father of Ejankowski, pointing to Lassa, said to the soldiers: "This is a Hitlerite, you could shoot him straight away." At the same time he struck him in the face with his fist. When Lassa's wife, in fear for her husband, protested to the soldiers that he was innocent, Ejankowski's father shouted: "You shut your mouth. You're all in for it now!" Thereupon Lassa was led away from the yard on to the road by the Polish soldiers.


On the road there was a horde of Polish bandits, among them Max Ejankowski. He drew the attention of the Polish soldiers who were taking Lassa off to a house on the opposite side of the road, where a butcher named Bruno Belitzer, a minority German, aged 65, lived, and he shouted out to them: "There's another Hitlerite over there, you could take him with you at the same time." Max Ejankowski and his father went on to tell the soldiers that Belitzer and Lassa had fired on Polish soldiers. Then they both accompanied two soldiers across to Belitzer's house, fetched him out and took him off with Lassa. At their headquarters, they had to stand against the wall with their hands raised above their heads. Several dead minority Germans were already lying on the ground, shot. After Belitzer and Lassa had been standing about 5 minutes against the wall, a Polish soldier ordered Belitzer to repeat a Polish sentence after him. As Belitzer had no command of Polish he knew at once that he was going to be murdered, so he said to Lassa: "Goodbye Josef, my etid has come. I die for my country!" The soldier then shouted to him: "What is that you are saying, you pig?" Belitzer called once more to Lassa: "Goodbye! Heil Hitler!" Thereupon the soldier shot Belitzer, first in the arm, then in the head and then smashed his head in with the butt of his rifle. Lassa was released the same day through the intervention of two former school chums who at the moment happened to be in the Polish army.


Source: Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 21/39

33. German mother with six young children begs in vain for shelter

The following experience, reported by Frau Amei Lassahn, wife of a clergyman (Bromberg Schwedenhohe), relating to her wanderings in quest of shelter for herself and her six children, is indicative of the deep hatred felt for the Germans, inspired and fostered by Polish agitators (1).


. . . Suddenly the thought came to me: "Quickly, to the House of the Catholic Sisters of Mercy!" They have been having things from our garden for years. We rang the bell. The door was opened. The nun in charge of the children, whom we knew well, stood before us, an open prayer book in her hand. "Sister, do take pity on us and take us in."


A torrent of abuse broke from her. "Go back to the place you came from. We have no room here for cursed Germans. Be off with you."


(1) Extract from the detailed report in manuscript of the writer's experience concerning the occurrences in and around the rectory and church of Bromberg-Schwedenhohe.


[p. 70]


Then I flung all my pride away and entreated her once again in all meekness. "Sister, I implore you, have pity on me. I don't ask for myself, I won't come in myself, but save my children from the mad crowd."


To soften her heart, I pushed my little boy forward. "Be off with you! There's no room here for you cursed Germans." The door was slammed. We had not moved 4 paces from the door when the mob tore the old sexton from my side. When I tried to hold him, I received such a blow in the back that I stumbled forward. . .

34. Father shot--Daughter outraged--Both robbed

The murder of Gannott.

Staff Field Court of the Air Force, Commander 3rd District. Bromberg, Sept. 14, 1939.


Dr. Waltzog, Military Judge Advocate of the Air Force acting as judge.

Hanschke, Senior Court Clerk of the Air Force acting as secretary.

In the case of the inquiry into the International Law case Bromberg I, the witness, Frl. Vera Gannott of Bromberg, 125 Thorner Strasse, appeared, and after being cautioned to tell the truth and reminded of the significance of the oath made the following statement:


Re person: I am 19 years old, protestant, of no occupation.


Re matter: When it was known in the town that German troops were marching in, the populace and the Polish soldiers began committing acts of violence against us, too. On Sunday at about 2 p.m. some Polish soldiers and civilians approached our house at 125 Thornerstrasse, situated 3 miles from the town. The civilians said: "There are Germans living here," upon which the soldiers at once started shooting. We fled into a shed. In my opinion they also threw hand grenades. First of all they hauled my father out of the shed. He was asked by the Poles where he had the machine gun. My father, however, did not understand the question, as he did not understand Polish. Then I came out of the shed as well. I wanted to stand by my father as I could speak Polish. I asked the Poles what we had done to them and pleaded for my father. The Poles, however, shouted: "Down with the German pigs!" My father received several blows from rifle butts in the face and on the body and was also stabbed with bayonets. He thereupon fell to the ground and, as he lay there, he received 6 bullets; he died The mob of soldiers then withdrew, after telling the civilians they might plunder the house if they liked, otherwise they would set fire to it. Then my mother too came out of her hiding place. We wanted to wash my father's body which was covered with blood. We had just began to do this when another Polish horde appeared armed with staves and cudgels. My mother as well as my aunt were beaten with the cudgels; I myself was cuffed left and right. Then they went away again. After a time another horde of Polish soldiers and civilians appeared on the scene. On their approach I ran into the water of the Brahe; a river which flows behind our house, but I was pulled out by the hair. Ten or 15 civilians dragged me into the house. They said I would see that Poles were not at all such bad fellows and they would allow me to change my wet clothes. As however none of them made any move to go out, I refused to change, whereupon the Poles tore the clothes off me and laid me out naked on the floor. About 10 men held me down by the head, hands and feet, while one of the Poles raped me during which I sustained several injuries. The first days I suffered considerable pain. but not now. No other Poles violated me. While this was going on, my mother was led to a room upstairs and kept there at the point of 'a rifle.


The Polish soldiers robbed my father and me of our money, handbag, watches and rings. Our house was completely wrecked. The furniture was smashed with axes. All the crockery as well as the linen was stolen.


We had no weapons in our house. We had already delivered them over to the police in accordance with the general order.


Read, approved and signed


Vera Gannott The witness took the oath.




(signed) Dr. Waltzog (signed) Hanschke


Apart from Willi Gannott, six other persons in the same house were murdered, namely: The son of Frau Emma Gannott, the minority German Karl Kohn, his wife and their 3 children, aged from 16 to 24. Willi Gannott and Karl Kohn were murdered on the "Blood Sunday" and the other five Germans on Monday, Sept. 4th.


Source: WR I (1)


35. Violation of German Schoolgirls


The witness, Hedwig Daase, teacher's wife of Slonsk, makes the following statement on oath:


On Friday, Sept. 8, 1939 a mounted patrol consisting of about 20 men, entered our village. They were looking for weapons and literature from Germany. A military search was also made in our house again. The search was so thorough that everything out of cupboards, drawers, dressing tables, etc., also in the classroom was taken out and scattered all over the floor. The leader of the patrol put my husband's new fountain pen into his pocket. A soldier stole six new soup spoons, another soldier stole 180 zlotys, my gold watch, a penknife, some spirits and some honey from me.


The inspection commission were greatly disappointed to find that my husband had already been interned. I had the impression that the soldiers were looking especially for German men.

(1) The record is reproduced in the original (see photostatic copy on page 272-273).


Towards the evening of the same day two auxiliary policeman came in a waggon, drove up before our house and took away bread, hay and honey. At about 11.30 p.m. they both came again, accompanied by a third. I was forced to stay in the kitchen under guard, whilst the second auxiliary policeman took my youngest daughter into the bedroom and the third went into the living-room with my eldest daughter. I heard my eldest daughter screaming horribly. As she later related to me, she was beaten, half-strangled and threatened with shooting unless she gave herself up to him. The resistance put up by my daughter prevented the auxiliary policeman from carrying out his intention. He therefore let her go, she came to me in the kitchen and he went to the official who was with my youngest daughter. Together they succeeded in overpowering her. After that the two turned their attention to my eldest daughter and overpowered her in the same way. They had previously torn down the knickers of both girls. Both men were natives of Ciechocinek.


Source: WR II


The witness Melitta Daase, schoolgirl, of Slonsk, deposed on oath as follows:


On Friday night, three civilians with red and white armlets came into our home. One had a sabre, the second a rifle and the third a Browning. My mother had to stay in the kitchen, with an armed civilian beside her. My sister, two years younger than myself, and I were led into separate rooms each one by another civilian. I was forced to sit on the sofa, the civilian sat down beside me and began to make a physical examination. Then he grasped under my skirt, tore my knickers and demanded that I should be intimate with him. I defended myself frantically, even when, with the Browning to my breast, he threatened me with death. Only after bringing over to his assistance the second civilian, who in the meantime had raped my younger sister, was he able to force me to sexual intercourse with him. The doctor, whom I visited the next day, confirmed that sexual intercourse had taken place. The same result was shown by the examination of my younger sister. They beat me and tried to strangle me; I have not, however, sustained any considerable open wounds.


Source: WR II

36. Her Daughters as Targets

The Witness Else Siebert, nee Dey, of Rojewo, in the Hohensalza district, deposed on oath as follow.


On Sept. 7, 1939, we observed Polish soldiers marching along the high road in the direction of Hohensalza. One band came to a halt by the roadside and several soldiers came into our house and asked us if we were perhaps "waiting for Hitler"; they demanded of us that we should leave immediately. We loaded the most necessary things onto a waggon as hastily as we could, sharing another waggon with the Trittel family, as each of us had only one horse. My brother-in-law, who also went with us, had harnessed both his two horses to his cart. We travelled over Hohensalza-Rojewo to an estate near there. Here we made a halt but were betrayed by a family of the name of Hallas, of Liskowo, to the Poles on the estate, of whom some wore armlets. These Poles ordered my husband to come with them, led him to the boundary of the estate and there shot him. I did not see the actual shooting myself but heard the shot and, later, saw him lying there. Shortly after, the men with the armlets fetched my brother-in-law and took him to the same place and killed him with two shots. Soon after the taking away of my husband, I went with my three daughters to the place in question and was in time to see him drop to the ground. Then the men with the armlets fetched our neighbour Trittel and shot him also, although he begged ceaselessly for mercy. And afterwards Trittel's daughter was shot, likewise from the front, and, some time later, the son, who received the bullet from behind and fell upon the body of his sister. All the assassinations were carried out by one and the same man and with a rifle. I presume that he was from the estate in question and that he there played a role similar to that played by the men wearing the same armlets on our own estates here. After the shooting of these five persons the turn of myself and my three daughters came. We were forced to lie on the earth, face downwards, and then the man with the rifle took aim at us. I myself did not see him do this, but I was told about it by my daughter, who repeatedly turned round. The people of the estate stood around us and shouted continually that we must be shot. The man with the armlet, however, did not shoot us, but allowed us, after we had lain there for about two hours, to go into a barn, into which he locked us.

I wish to add that Herr Trittel, when he resisted being taken to the spot where he was later shot down, was struck by civilians in the most brutal manner with whips and sticks.

Source W R II

37. Mass Murder in Jägerhof

The murder of Pastor Kutzer -- Eighteen fettered Men shot down one after another

Extract from records of the Reich Police Headquarters - Special commission in Bromberg - Ref. No. Tgb. V (RKPA) 1486/16.39.

With what cold-blooded deliberation the murders of the Bromberg "Blood Sunday" were carried out has been revealed with particular clarity by the investigations into the case of Kutzer, the Protestant pastor of Bromberg-Jägerhof, and into the other mast murders committed in that part of the town. In Jägerhof alone, during the course of Sept. 3, 1939, sixty-three minority Germans of ages ranging from 14 to 76, were collected from their homes by search-parties of Polish soldiers, acting either under the leadership of armed Polish civilians or on denunciation by the latter, and murdered in various parts of the district, in some cases in its centre.

The mass murders of Jägerhof were started with the murder of the 45-year-old Protestant pastor Kutzer, a married man and the father of four children, of the ages of three to fourteen years. This German, imbued as he was with the German tradition, was particularly hated by the Poles because he conducted a parish consisting almost entirely of minority Germans in an exemplary manner, urging them unceasingly to courage and tenacity in those difficult days before the outbreak of war, so that, for instance, by the time the morning of "Blood Sunday" arrived, fewer minority Germans had fled from Bromberg-Jägerhof than from any other part of the city. Pastor Kutzer went so far as to give the shelter of his home, which until then had been used as a billet by Polish officers of a regiment stationed in Jägerhof, to German refugees from other parishes.

In the course of Sept. 3, 1939, seven different visits were made by seven different search-parties, under the pretext that weapons were believed to be hidden in the Rectory and in the church; these parties were led on, or incited by, the same civilians in every case. The absurdity of such an accusation is proved sufficiently by the one fact alone, that until after the beginning of the war Polish officers were billeted in the Rectory. After failing to find weapons or any other objects considered by the Poles as dangerous, in spite of repeated searching, the pastor was taken, at 1.30 p.m. the same day, from the circle formed by his family and the refugees he had taken under his protection, and led away. About 3 p.m. a new search-party appeared, again searched the Rectory on the same pretext, incited by the same Polish civilian element of Jägerhof. The party, after a further vain search, took away with them the 73-year-old father of the pastor, Otto Kutzer, the 14-year-old refugee Herbert Schollenberg, the 17-year-old refugee Hans Nilbitz and three other refugees.

These Germans, taken at 3 p. m. from the Rectory. without any justifiable reason, were, as is shown by the evidence of Polish and German witnesses, led to an embankment in the neighbourhood of the church grounds and there, with twelve other German men-and one German woman, Frau Köbke-who had been likewise dragged from their homes, they were stood, fettered, in a row. Then 12 Polish soldiers standing at a distance of about 8 yards, shot them down, one after another. After the first man had fallen, Frau Köbke, who was standing in the middle of the group of unhappy victims and whose husband had been murdered earlier that day on their property, Fell senseless to the ground. Heedless of this, the remainder of the eighteen fettered men were shot down, and following this, they released the hands of the witness Köbke and forced her, after she had recovered her senses and before they allowed her to go, to look once more at the murdered men, one by one. This "entertainment" was watched by about 200 Polish soldiers and men and women of the civilian population.

The corpse of Pastor Richard Kutzer was found, together with the bodies of the three other murdered minority Germans, near the canal bridge in Jägerhof, on Sept. 6, 1939. According to the medico-legal post-mortem on his body, the pastor received a fatal shot just above the shoulder-blade, accompanied by severing of the vein; the lower jaw had been smashed by a blunt instrument.

[p. 75]

38. Twenty Minority Germans shot at Jägerhof

The Murder of Köbke, Schröder and others


Present: Bromberg, Sept. 20, 1939


State Attorney Bengsch as examiner,


Court official Kraus as court clerk.


In the inquiry into the case of Gniewkowski, accused of murder, the witness, Anna Kobke, widow, n6e Wietychowski, of Jägerhof, 1 Okopowa, born on July 2, 1882 at Susannental, district of Rosenberg, after having been made acquainted with the reason for her interrogation, deposed as follows: 


When my husband, my daughter and son and myself heard on Sunday, Sept. 3, of this year, that all Germans were to be killed, we went for refuge into the cellar of a friendly neighbour, Schroder, and locked ourselves in there. At about 12 o'clock there came a great crowd of soldiers and civilians, beating against the cellar-door, throwing hand-grenades and shooting through the cellar-window. My daughter was wounded by a shot in the hip. I was the first to flee from the cellar and I ran into our garden. So terrified was I when I came out of the cellar that I did not recognise any of those among the big crowd. I recognised only our neighbour, the mason Klimczac, as the latter attempted to catch hold of me and cried out that I was a German and must be struck down. I was able, however, to escape from Klimczac and to get into my garden.


After about a quarter of an hour; I went to the Polish family, Gorny (a shoe-maker), that lived near by. I hoped perhaps to find protection with them. Gorny and his wife and some others who were there spat upon me and insulted me, until soldiers appeared and led me away into a wood, where I found about 20 other minority Germans. I was then fettered, and they began to drive us to and fro, striking us with the butts of their rifles and kicking us. They told us that we were to be shot in Schleusenau. On the way to Schleusenau we were followed by a great crowd of Polish civilians, women, men and even children, who were continually cursing us, demanding our death and striking at us with axes and sticks. Among this crowd were Gniewkowski, the butcher, whom I know personally, and a certain Paschke, of Schleusenau. I quite definitely heard their voices among the crowd, shouting that we should be shot down. Whether either Gniewkowski or Paschke were carrying axes or sticks I do not know. We minority Germans-there were about 20 men, amongst whom I was the only woman were then halted at an embankment in Schleusenau and every one of the German-born men was shot by the soldiers and railwaymen in the presence of the Polish crowd. Gniewkowski and Paschke were among this crowd. I became unconscious and fell to the ground, and, at the command of an officer, I was set free. As I was about to leave; the Polish crowd forced me to return to look at the bodies and to shout "hurrah for Poland" several times.

Among the 20 persons shot were:

Artur Gehrke, Hans Bolowski, Horst Stuwe, a certain Goertz, a man named Arndt, another named Stöckmann, another called Redel, a Grammar School pupil, Mielwitz, and Trojahn, a house owner, all of Jägerhof.

Of the people left behind in the cellar the following were, as I afterwards learned, shot whilst attempting to escape:

My husband, Emil Köbke, butcher; my son Arthur Kobke, butcher's journeyman; Schroder, owner of a market garden, and Hans Schrodei his son; Gerhard Vorkert, market gardener's assistant; and a servant, girl employed by Schroder junior.

Read, approved and signed


Anna Köbke.


The second witness, Fräulein Elli Köbke, of Jägerhof, 1 Okopowa, born on June 3, 1912 at Jägerhof (Bromberg), declared after being told the reason for her interrogation:

After my mother had fled from our neighbour Schroder's cellar on Sept. 3, 1939, we also rushed out of the cellar, into which the Poles were not only shooting but also throwing gas and hand grenades. Overcome by the effects of the gas and the wound in my hip, I fell down almost immediately in the court. All the men amongst the other persons rushing out of the cellar were at once shot down by the soldiers; and with them died also a Polish servant-girl. Frau Schroder had been badly wounded in the cellar. Among the crowd which stood before the cellar, shouting continuously that we were Germans and must be shot immediately, were:

a certain Grabowski, who lived opposite us; a certain Klimczak, others named Rynkowski, Szymanski, Lewandowski, Domzewski (about 16 years old), Mme. Wolnik, Mme. Borek, all from our street.

I quite definitely saw and heard the above-named persons shouting with the rest of the crowd that we were Germans and must be killed. When I collapsed, and in this way escaped death, the crowd screamed (and with it the above-named persons) that I also should be shot. A Polish soldier, however, declared that the women should be spared. For several hours I remained, exhausted, together with Frau Schroder, lying near the bodies, whilst the crowd dispersed.

I also wish to state that Mme. Wolnik and Mme. Borek, Szymanski and Rynkowski stole things from our home during the events of Sept. 3, 1939. We found the things ourselves in the homes of the above-named when we visited them accompanied by German soldiers. In the apartment shared by the Boreks and the Wolniks we found our sofa, a linen-press, two bedsteads, chairs, a settee, a can, wash-boiler and other smaller things.

At Rynkowski's I found our wardrobe.


At Szymanski's, our wash-basket with some linen.


Read, approved and signed.




(signed) Bengsch


(signed) Kraus


Certified: Kraus. court official.


Source: Sd. Is. Bromberg 95/39

39. Thirty-nine shot at Jesuitersee

Badly Wounded thrown into the Lake and further fired upon.


Extract from the records of the Reich Police Headquarters-Special Commission in Bromberg-Ref. No. Tgb. V (RKPA) 1486/9.39.




On the day after the Bromberg "Blood Sunday," that is on September 4, 1939, late in the afternoon, thirty-nine German-born men of Bromberg and its immediate surroundings were murdered by members of a regular Polish army unit, at the Jesuitersee, which lies about 13 miles south of Bromberg on the road to Hohensalza. Among those whom it was intended to murder were the minority Germans, Gustav Gruhl of Bromberg and Leo Reinhard of Zielonka, who escaped death by a lucky chance.


From the statements of these witnesses, it appears that on the morning of September 4, 1939, a large band of men, women and children, amongst whom was Gruhl, were driven along the ditch at the side of the high road in the direction of Hohensalza. In a glade, five miles south of Bromberg, the women and children were separated from the group and the men lined up before a machine-gun for execution. On the command of a Polish officer, however, the murder was not carried out on this spot. Whilst the Germans were being lined up for the intended murder, a second group of German-born men, fettered in such a way that the left wrist of each man was secured to the right wrist of his neighbour, were driven along the high road. This second group, among; whom was the witness Reinhard, was joined to the first group all ready to be shot, and the men, accompanied by soldiers and Polish field-gendarmes, who continually mishandled them, were led on to the Jesuitersee where they were handed over to a military formation stationed there (1).


(1) The fact that a regular army unit was concerned here is borne out by both the statements of German and Polish witnesses, including Gruhl and Reinhard, and the discoveries made on the actual spot of the crime; particularly those discoveries made in buildings used as shelters and stables which stood in the neighbourhood of this spot.






Whilst the foregoing report is based upon statements made by the witnesses Gruhl and Reinhard, which from the strictly legal standpoint it is not possible to verify completely, the following details are based almost exclusively upon objective and remarkably well-preserved evidence found on the spot of the crime:

The 41 Germans--39 bodies from the group in question were recovered--were lined up in a row, some still in their fetters, with their faces to the lake and about 13 to 15 yards from its shore. The soldiers then began to shoot wildly at the minority Germans with their rifles and, as is revealed by the post-mortem results and by the bullets found lodged in the victims' bodies, with highly effective automatic pistols. The marksmen stood, as is shown by the spent cartridges and other objects which have been found, in a half-circle behind their victims, standing at a distance of sometimes less than five yards and sometimes more than 20 yards away from them. After this shooting orgy had begun, a German aeroplane appeared high above the lake, with the result that all the murderous marksmen ran for cover. Six still unwounded, or only slightly wounded Germans took advantage of this opportunity to flee towards, or along the sides of the lake. The witness Reinhard, who had freed himself from the loosened fetters, was able to escape by swimming and wading, into a dense strip of reeds at the water's edge, whilst the witness Gruhl succeeded in hiding himself under a bathing but built upon posts from 9" to 18" high. Two of the Germans attempted, with the aid of a boat which had lain at the lake's edge, to reach the other shore: a third of the witnesses attempted to swim across. This incident can have lasted only a few moments, and in the meantime the German aeroplane had passed, so that the Polish soldiers could continue their shooting orgy and they succeeded in hitting the three fugitives last mentioned, who were not yet far from the shore. Another wounded man obviously dragged himself to an old boat lying in a shed near by and there succumbed to his wounds. And then--this is the most monstrous part of the behaviour of the Polish soldiers at the Jesuitersee--those of the Germans who were not yet dead but in a badly wounded condition were dragged along a landing stage built 60 yards out into the lake and thrown from there into the water, and, as is again clearly proved by the post-mortem results, fired upon from the landing stage. This fact is proved not only by the statements of the two witnesses who escaped with their lives, in particular that of Gruhl who was able to watch the incident from his hiding-place, but also by the extensive traces of blood on the planks of the landing stage and by objects dropped there and in the water and washed on to the lakeshore. The findings of the medico-legal examination complete the picture. It would take too long to enumerate here the wounds of the 39 victims (1) as ascertained by the medico-legal experts, and to draw the conclusions therefrom. To show the nature of the "humane" death which the Polish soldiery accorded to their victims, it will doubtless be sufficient to say that one German, apart from a bullet wound, in itself comparatively harmless, had received 33 bayonet-thrusts in the region of the neck, of which only one was a fatal stab. Another victim was deliberately shot

(1) 38 unknown dead, of whom 28 could be later identified, have been exhumed and subjected to post-mortem examinations.


in the anus, whereby it must be remembered that, as is shown by the wound on the abdomen where the bullet left the body, the German, although not in a lying position, must have been in such a position that his face was to the ground. A number of victims received up to 15 ricochet and grazing bullet-wounds, of which not one shot was absolutely fatal. In the case of the last-named victims--and this will be proved even more conclusively after completion of the examination of the parts of the lungs taken from the bodies--death by drowning is to be assumed. Under these circumstances, it hardly appears worth while to mention further that almost all the victims show extensive wounds caused by blows, stabs or cuts--two of the Germans showed clear traces of having been stabbed in the eyes.





Despite the brevity of the above description, representing the copious results of the investigations made by the police and medico-legal authorities, it is sufficient evidence of the indisputable fact that, at Bromberg, a regular Polish Army unit murdered 39 German-born men, in a manner hard to describe and of almost unbelievable brutality, not only by shooting but also with the aid of the bayonet and the rifle butt, and throwing badly wounded men into the lake.

40. A Murder in almost every Home!

The witness Dora K u t z e r , of 14 Kroner Strasse, Bromberg, deposed on oath as follows:


In our Protestant parish there is, so far as I know, hardly a single house which has not to mourn the murder of one, two or even three minority Germans. Up to the present moment 59 dead are lying in our Protestant churchyard, and we are still far from having found all the dead.


Source: WR I

41. "Put a Bullet In his Head!"

The Murder of Gustav Fritz.


The witness, Walli Hammermeister, a servant-girl in the employ of Erich Jahnke, Langenau near Bromberg, deposed on oath as follows:


. . . When the soldiers discovered that Herr Fritz could not speak Polish, one of them told him that he himself, although a young man, could speak both German and Polish, whereas Fritz, despite the fact that the Polish State had been in existence for 20 years, could not yet speak Polish. Herr Fritz replied that he was 75 years old and could not learn Polish at this age. To this, another Polish soldier said: "Put a bullet in his head!" The first soldier then shot Herr Fritz in the right side of his head. I saw this with my own eyes and I fled into the hay-loft.


Source: WR I


[p. 80]

42. The Massacres of Eichdorf

38 Victims of Polish "Civilization" - Minority Germans aged from 3 to 82 years shot indiscriminately

Extract from the records of the Reich Police -- Special Commission in Bromberg -- Ref. No. Tgb. V (RKPA) 1486/3.39.





From the late evening of September 4, 1939 until the evening of September 5, 1939, 38 minority Germans, from infants of 3 years up to old people of 82 years, belonging to the parishes of Eichdorf and Netzheim on the road from Bromberg to Labischin, were murdered by members of a Polish infantry regiment, whose regimental number has been ascertained.


Eichdorf, in the neighbourhood of the smaller parish of Netzheim, is a settlement established by German peasants centuries ago, which contained until 1918 not a single resident of Polish race. As a result of the fact that, up to the time of the Polish war, the population was 80 per cent German, there was, even on the "Bromberg Blood Sunday," comparatively speaking, a peaceful atmosphere in the parish, parti-


cularly as no Polish military unit occupied the immediately surrounding area until that date Baiting and threatening on the part of the Polish inhabitants of the village, who were so much in a minority, were not taken seriously and it was the first reports coming from Bromberg 10 miles away, about the massacre there, which caused uneasiness among the Germans. This uneasiness, however, did not bring with it any relaxation of discipline, and particularly the women and children remained calm. Only the Eichdorf men fled on the night of September 4, 1939, into the fields and meadows, returning to their homes only with some caution. Frightened men who tried to persuade their wives to hide with them, were reassured by these brave women (some of the evidence given by witnesses on this point is heart-rending) who said that the Poles would surely not harm the women and children and that, at the same time, somebody had to look after the cattle.

Late in the evening of September 4, 1939, Polish soldiers, pouring back along the road from Bromberg to Hohensalza, entered Eichdorf and Netzheim. These troops occupied provisional positions, and shortly after began, with the murder of the farmer Emil Lange of Eichdorf, an orgy of murder probably unparalleled in the history of all civilised nations.



Unimpeachable discoveries made at the various places of murder, show quite clearly the positions in which the murderers and their victims were standing when the crimes were committed, whilst spent cartridges found lying about corresponded in some cases with shots lodged in the bodies of the dead men, and a handkerchief stamped by the Polish military authorities revealed the battalion involved. Also parts of letters and cards, the senders of which were Polish soldiers.--All these facts help to substantiate the following:.

On the road which branches off at Hopfengarten Station from the Bromberg-Hohensalza road and leads to Gnesen, over Labischin, lie a few houses of Hopfengarten and those of Netzheim and Eichdorf, all more or less together on a strip of land just 2 miles long, so that there is hardly any noticeable interstice between each of the three parishes. Among these houses were 21 houses of German families, who, with 38 murder victims on one single day, have been almost completely wiped out.

In this particular case, Polish "civilisation" was demonstrated, by 38 victims in eight different spots, of which six are of the smallest possible area and none more than 100 yards from the road and the houses of the bereaved families. Here, the victims--as is proved beyond all question, even where there is insufficient evidence of another nature, by the post-mortem examinations made on all the 38 bodies--were killed in the most incredibly bestial manner. Two of these places lie at a little distance from the others and in one of these died Max Teske, aged 34, and Wilhelm Stolte, aged 55, both of Eichdorf, together with the 13 year old boy, Gerhard Pijan, whom the two men had found wandering helplessly about in the woods. All three had attempted to find a hiding-place in the meadows 2 miles north of Eichdorf, but were

caught by Polish soldiers and shot. In the other place, three children, Else, Gertrud and Ernst Janot, of the ages of 12, 15 and 18 respectively, (whose 50 year old father was also found shot in yet another spot) were murdered.

On the advice of the Polish village-elder, the Janot children, together with their mother, attempted to escape in the early morning of September 5, 1939, two days after their father had gone into hiding in the fields. Frau Janot, however, was stopped by Polish soldiers and forced to return to her farm, where she was to hand over the horses and waggon of the family to them. On the advice of the mother, the children were to await her return, but through some unknown agency were caused or compelled to go on alone. They chose the way through the wood south-east of Eichdorf, which would lead them, on the other side of this wood, over a stretch of meadow, bog, and pasture-land, miles wide and completely open, to Netzfeld, where their grandmother lived. Unimpeachable witnesses, residents of Netzfeld, who were lying hidden in the willow bushes on the outskirts of the village, state that the children, on leaving the open ground, were simply shot down by military sentinels who were in hiding at the entrance to Netzfeld. And this the sentinels did after a short debate and--as is revealed by the discovery on the spot of pieces of the birth certificates of the children--after examining the papers of the children.

Shocking even for experienced police officials, hardened against sentimentality by constant investigation into daily capital crimes, was the examination of two particular spots--two of five such places all lying close to one another--where 80 year old Ottilie Renz and her two grandchildren, Gisela and Günther, aged four and nine, were murdered. And equally shocking to examine, another place where the Poles massacred 15 minority Germans, among them 8 women, a seven year old child and a 3 year old child.

The house of the Leo Benz family lay some distance from the road, and for this reason Erich Renz, the brother, whose farm was near the road, sent his two small children and his aged mother to Leo, whilst he himself; together with his wife, remained on his own property. But on the morning of September 5, 1939, Polish troop formations appeared at Leo Renz's farm. Little Gisela and Günther Renz--made afraid by the anti-German agitation of the past weeks, which had frightened even the children of the village--made use of the first confusion and escaped through a gate at the back of the farmyard into the wood. A short time later, the Leo Renz family were ordered also to leave their home, without being able to take with them the old woman, of whom they then lost sight. A few days afterwards members of the family found a grave in the wood, 50 yards distant from the road. From this grave stuck out a child's head and hand. It was the grave of Gisela and Günther Renz and their father, hurriedly buried. Inquiries revealed that Erich Renz must have seen the danger of his children from his hiding-place in the fields, and in attempting to help them had been murdered together with his little son and daughter. The old woman, Ottilie Renz, was found hurriedly buried near the wall of her son Erich's house, underneath a large potato box. How the old woman went from Leo's house to Erich's can only be surmised, but the traces found in the living-room and kitchen of the latter's home point clearly to murdering by several persons.


Thrown into a cattle-trough together with the body of a dog


Of a quite different nature were the discoveries made at a place in the woods near Targowisko, about 300 yards from the high-road at Eichdorf. Soldiers, directed by officers, had led 46 Germans, aged from six months to 80 years, and of both sexes, to a small slope in the wood, forced 15 of them to run up the slope and shot these 15 down after they reached the top. The names of the 15 shot in this manner were:


Emma Hanke, 40 years                                 Gustav Schubert, 65 years


Walter Busse, 7 years                                   Richard Binder, 50 years


Erhard Prochnau, 3 years                             Emanuel Hemmerling, 35 years


Johanna Schwarz, 45 years                          Erna Hemmerling, 30 years


Max Jeschke, 55 years                                 Frieda Ristau, 31 years


Hedwig Jeschke, 47 years                            Frau Blum, 28 years


Else Dahms, 19 years                                    Frau Golz, 50 years


Kurt Kempf, 22 years


Of the 46, 23, i.e. 50%, were women, only 5, that is 10.8%, men, and 18, i.e. 39.2%, children, amongst them one infant.

The distance from the place where the group of Germans stood herded together, to the top of the slope was a little less than 20 yards, and to the place where the victims fell, between 30 and 36 yards. If one may mention special cases in a deed so uniformly horrible, then one must mention the lame children's nurse Johanna Schwarz, who had to run up the slope together with her little charge Erhard Prochnau and Frau Hanke, who ran with her step-son Walter Busse--all four died together on the other side of the slope. The most important witness here--though even without her the evidence of 31 other witnesses is overwhelming--is Frau Prochnau, who, after her three-year old son had been led over the hill and murdered, had also to go through the same ordeal, carrying her six-months-old infant in her arms, and leading her little four-year-old daughter by the hand. According to her statement-which is borne out completely by subsequent investigation-she reached the top with the two children and saw there, grouped about the place where the murders were carried out, hundreds of soldiers lying about, a field kitchen with which soldiers were cooking, and a civilian playing modern dance music on an accordion. This man, whom other witnesses also heard playing, it was later possible to arrest. Frau Prochnau added further details which made it possible to reconstruct, quite without any doubt, the whole sequence of events.

[p. 85]

Examination of the other places in this group yielded discoveries which, although in each case different in themselves, are yet not sufficiently different from those described in the foregoing paragraph to merit a full description. It would mean merely considerable repetition to go fully into murder-cases of Martha Tetzlaff, 45 years old, Heidelies Tetzlaff, 11 years old, Else Behnke, 35 years old, Gustav Behnke, 82 years old (all members of one family) or into any of the other cases.




Even in the form of extracts from extensive records, the descriptions given make it impossible to doubt for a moment that the Polish soldiers not only committed the murders on the commands and before the eyes of their officers, but also gave expression to their loathing for everything German, in every conceivable way. Apart from the fact, ascertained by medico-legal experts at the post-mortem examinations of the victims, that shots were fired from military rifles and highly effective firearms, from all ranges and from all sides and angles, and at children carried in their mothers' arms, and that the Germans were stabbed and slashed with the bayonet--apart from all this, the treatment of the bodies merits special mention. The brother and sister Janot were simply left lying in the place where they had been murdered, so that animals had already begun to feed on the bodies before the relatives, after the departure of the troops, were able to bury them. The bodies of the Tetzlaff family lay in a disorderly heap, covered with a layer of earth about 8 inches deep, whilst parts of the bodies of the murdered Renz children actually protruded from the earth and, in this way, were discovered by the searching mother. Typical is the case of the murders in the Targowisko wood, where the 15 murdered men, women and children were thrown, together with the body of a dog, into a cattle-trough.




The foregoing report indicates clearly in how great a measure this systematic murdering by the Polish military wiped out the German population of the country, as for instance that of Eichdorf.

Of the 130 Germans of Eichdorf, up to September 3, 1939, eleven had fled, five had been called up for Polish military service, and five others called up for other service by the Polish authorities. Thus, on September 3, 1939, i.e. before the appearance of the Polish soldiers, the German population of Eichdorf was still 109 persons. Of these, in the night of September 4, 1939, and during September 5, 1939, thirty persons (1) were murdered, that is 19% of the whole population, 23% of the German population as it was before the outbreak of war, and 27.5% of the persons belonging to the German minority who were still in Eichdorf at the beginning of the war. The thirty victims are distributed, among 15 of the 30 German families of Eichdorf, that is to

(1) 8 victims were natives of the little parishes of Netzheim and Hopfengarten, which also have to mourn others murdered at other spots.

say that 50% of the German families were bereaved, some in so terrible a manner that, as in the case of the Jeschke family, there was not one survival, whilst of the Janot family, after the murder of the husband and the three children, only the wife was left alive. Of the Renz family, Frau Renz was also the sole survivor after losing husband, her two children, father and mother-in-law. To be emphasized is the fact that of the whole 38 families of Eichdorf 79% were purely German.


With reference to sex and age, the, thirty dead of Eichdorf can be classified as follows:


There were 15 men murdered, that is 50% of the total of the dead, of which 46.6% were over 50 years old, 20% over 60 years and 2 only 17 and 18 years old. Of the others, there were 8 women, i.e. 26.6% of the dead, aged 15 to 80 years, and 7 children from 3 to 13 years old--so that 23.4% of the total number of those murdered consisted of children under 14 years.



43. Legs and hands broken, tongue, nose and ears cut off


Massacre in Schrimm


The witness Oskar Hartmann, brick-works manager, of Schrimm, deposed on oath as follows:


. . . Nine of these comrades were attacked, in Schrimm, by the populace and so maltreated in the open street that they died. My comrade Willi Mantei had the entire base of his skull smashed, Herbert Raabe had his eyes gouged out and his fingers cut off. Others also lost fingers, in some cases legs and hands were broken or dislocated. Still others had their faces completely mutilated by blows, their tongues, noses and ears cut off.


Source: W R II


44. The arteries severed


Discovery of hideously mutilated corpses in Schrimm


The witness Oskar Hartmann, brick-works manager, of Schrimm, deposed on oath as follows:


. . . In one grave there was a person who could not be identified. Further, in the Protestant graveyard of Schrimm, the bodies of the following persons were found: Conrad Lange, Wilhelm Schulz, Heinrich Haussler, Wilhelm John, Erich Gaumer, Richard Weibt, Wilhelm Jeschke. All the bodies were more or less mutilated. The heads were knocked in, tongues, noses and ears cut away. Hermann Raabe had had his eyes gouged out. There were arteries severed and the shin-bone of one body was completely smashed.


Source: W R II


45. Father, husband and uncle murdered

The witness Gertrud Lemke, of Hohensalza, deposed on oath as follows:


My name is Gertrud Lemke, nee Kadolowski, born on April 8, 1906, in Elbing, married since 1937 to Herbert Lemke, compositor, of Hohensalza.


Re matter: On Wednesday, September 6, 1939, at about 11.30, a member of the Polish Army in uniform, and carrying a carbine, and eight or ten civilians with bludgeons entered our home. The soldier ordered my husband to go with him at once. As my husband had forgotten his passport, I ran after him a few minutes later, but was only in time to see him, accompanied by my father, the soldier, and the civilians, turn the next corner.


I heard no more about the fate of my father, husband, and uncle until Sunday, September 10, 1939, when my father-in-law came to me and related that eight bodies, partially burnt, had been found in the neighbourhood of our flaying-house. The bodies had lain on the ground and dogs had already been at them. I begged him to go himself and find out whether our relatives were among the dead. When my husband and father were taken away, I had already a feeling that I should never see them again, as for some time there had already been intensive agitation against Germans in Hohensalza.


A short time later, my father-in-law came back and confirmed my fears. Between two straw-ricks lay my husband, my father, my uncle, three men of the Fuchs family and an assistant of Herr Fuchs. The eighth victim was unknown . . . .


Source: W R II