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Fragment of testimony by Bolesław Staron, , former Auschwitz prisoner, Camp number 127829

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
Oświęcim, Poland

Testimony describing Edek Galiński's time in the cells of the "Death Block" after his recapture

Details

  • Title: Fragment of testimony by Bolesław Staron, , former Auschwitz prisoner, Camp number 127829
  • Date: 1944
  • Location: Auschwitz, Poland
  • Transcript:
    A fragment of testimony by Bolesław Staron, former Auschwitz prisoner, Camp number 127829 (...) In the corridors on the ground floor as well as those in the underground bunkers of block 11, there was an almost constant racket, created by the opening of cell-doors and the conversations among the SS, including the yells and screams of prisoners, emanating from various cells. They were being brought from nighttime interrogations as well as led away during the day so that their sentence could be carried out: “to the gas”, to be shot or hanged. The penalty of flogging was also carried out, in a room on the ground floor of the building, on the left-hand side just after entering block number 11. My comrade in misery turned out to be Edek Galiński, Camp number 531, who came from Jarosław, who dressed, impersonating, an SS man escaped from the camp together with a Belgian Jewish woman, who had been born in Poland – Mala Zimetbaum. Unfortunately, after several days they were captured. Edek told me that this happened not far from the border with Slovakia. Mala had wanted to buy something to eat - while they were still on the Polish side – offering the seller gold as payment, which they had smuggled out of the Camp. She drew attention to herself of one of somebody, who reported her existence there to the Germans. She was arrested while returning from the store that Edek was near. They swore to that they will never part ways nor will they ever abandon each other. Edek did not escape and he carried out the order of the German gendarme: “Mützen ab !”, taking his hat off and revealing his shaved head, which gave away the fact that he is the prisoner who had escaped from the Camp. They were both brought back to the Camp in Oświęcim. While in the same cell with Edek, I never found out from him that Mala was also imprisoned in block number 11. I was intrigued by the behavior exhibited by Edek, who, always after each evening roll call, which took place in a similar manner to the one in the morning inside the cell, would stand near the diagonally-tilted window opening and beautifully sing the Italian song, “Seranata in Messico”. Apparently, it had been composed along with the lyrics – before the War - by Claudio Villa, something that I have only recently discovered. To this day, I can hum as well as play this melody, no longer remembering the words, which Edek sang almost every evening in which he was incarcerated in the Death Block. In the still of the night,
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