Friday, August 10, 2012



In July 1943, barrack 53  was set up in the living area for non-Jewish Poles as a so-called labour Re-Education Camp (Arbeitserzieungslager). On July 9, 1943 only 78 Poles were arrested, but this part of the camp was rapidly filling up to a strength of an average of approximately 1,000 inmates. The first prisoners arrived from St. Michael Prison (Saw Michala), where detainees were imprisoned with "lighter" sentences . Poles were admitted for various offences against the orders of the occupying power, such as a breach of the curfew, using a train compartment reserved for Germans only [the US Occupying Forces  until 1952 did the same in holiday spots of Germany, the best part of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria was sealed of and controlled by armed guards, places were marked  (Kein Zutritt für Deutsche) "Off Limits to Germans' sic] for black market or if they refused to go as Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeitseinsatz) into the Reich. [This may not be quite correct, depending under what terms recruitments were made, we had on our estate Polish families that rather worked in agriculture then lived in their own country, sic] Duration of the penalty was often varied from a few weeks to several months, and the commandant could use his own discretion and his rights to extend the penalties. In addition, the occupiers detained Poles as a preventive measure, which were usually taken into custody during street raids. In the Kracow Gestapo Prisons Pomorska Sraße and Montelupich political prisoners and suspected resistance fighters were detained. Most of them were shot, some 2,000 in the camp Ploszow. Only a few, that would give nothing away even under torture of their Underground Activities were admitted to Plaszow., and later deported after some time to other concentration camps.
That part of the camp had it's own Protective Custody Camp Leader, first SS Lance Corporal George Michalski, then Thomas Riesberg then, finally, SS Master Sergeant Lorenz Landsdorfer. Right from the beginning The I.D's of all the Polish prisoners were kept on separate files. The transfers into the camp was made ​​by the Gestapo. The prisoners were marked with a red triangle on which a "P" was noted, and red stripes on their trousers. The "Bandit suspects", i.e, suspected guerrillas would also wear a yellow circles on the back and on their knees. On June 26 they separated men from women. Between the two barracks a barbed wire fence was erected. Yet there was a common latrine, which offered almost no privacy. As the camp was a "Arbeitserzieungslager"(or hard labour camp), the working conditions set for the Polish prisoners meant to be deliberately hard, usually working in the quarry. In the 1944 criminal commandos were used there as well. So they had to, for example, build a potato cellar by hand in stone.  By September and October 1943 they worked in the street commandos. Food rations for non-Jewish Poles were issued in 1943 so inadequate (500 calories), [you would need about 1500 per day just to get along, sic] that the Jewish prisoners tried to help them. Many were suffering from illnesses as a result of hunger, starvation set in and 16 people people perished.[Aleksander Biberstein, in Zaglada, page 155, sic] Blankets were given not until early December, before they slept on bare cots in unheated barracks. The supply situation improved only after the 'Hauptfürsorgerat' a Polish Social Service Council (Rada Glowna Opiekuncza, RGO) in October 1943 was given permission, "in caring for the prisoners." The Council sent twice a week 2000 kg of bread into the camp and provided the hospital with medical supplies and lunch (Mittagessen).  Every other day Maria Zazulowa, an employee of the RGO, arrived in a car and brought food into Plaszow. During Christmas 1943 extra rations were allowed to be sent, 100 grams of sugar, 2 bread rolls, feta cheese, cheese and underwear. From April 1944 regular parcels of the Polish Relief Committee (Polski Komitet Opiekunczy) arrived in the camp, which also included cigarettes and toiletries. This assistance was then extended to the Jewish camp as well. [see correspondence between the Polish Hilfskommite and Hauptfürsorgerat 05/04/1944,  in ibid , Sygn. DOKr 21 k 73 and 75,sic]
Early September 1943, more areas for non-Jewish Polish prisoners were separated from other parts. To the right of parade ground were six barracks, two bunkhouses for men with a capacity of 280 inmates, an infirmary (led by Dr. Wladyslaw Sztencel, after his assassination by Dr. Stanislaw Jagielski) and a utility shed, also a latrine with running cold water. In January 1944 the barbed wire fence bordering the Jewish part of the camp was demolished and entry to this area was allowed. In conjunction with these changes the protective custody camp leader George Michalski was removed, and the situation improved for the imprisoned Poles. End of May, they had to move into three huts on the other side of the parade ground. The camp was to make room for the June 9th arriving Hungarian Jewish women.
Many Polish prisoners were taken into custody after raids on small towns and villages in Rybna, Piekary andd Sulkowice about 300 were arrested. They were classified as "suspicious bandits" and treated as Partisans , and most severely treated. [The German Army made a distinction between the villagers that would shoot the odd individual, as Bandits, and took reprisals immediately, as distinct from uniformed units like Tito's Partisans that often were accepted as POW, but rarely by the SS, sic]  Also, about 1,000 Polish prisoners from the forced labour camp for Jews and Poles at Szebnie were sent on February 2, 1944 over to Plaszow. The inmate numbers used for them for some reason started at 8826.  After the largest street raids on 2 and 3 July 1944  a total of 2000 Poles  had been arrested and brought into the camp. The Gestapo took over the barracks of the Polish hospital, where they tortured and interrogated the suspects one by one. Persons that were already noted in Gestapo files went into the prison at Montelupich.  500 of these, the Gestapo returned to Plaszow the next day and shot them on the "Hujowa Gorka," one of the execution sites on the camp grounds. Others were sent after a medical examination despite the intervention of their employers as forced labourers into the Reich.
During 1944, the SS still employed Polish prisoners in the few commandos that were still working in the city,  like the Außenkommando (Outside  Work Detail) for the"SS Panzer Grenadier Division" and "Truppenwirtschaftslager SS"(Economic Forces Camp SS). In each of the ten commandos between ten to 80 people were employed. The allocation of these commandos was very desirable, because contacts with the outside world made this ​​ possible, after you come to terms with the guards. Mothers or women could even bring food with them. The guards were bribed with vodka and bacon, it even happened that they made a quick trip to homes of the prisoners. [Sliwinski, Periturus, page 67, interview with Kazimierz Kozlowski in Krakow, April 2008, sic]
In March 1944 a total of 1393 non-Jewish Poles were imprisoned. On 11 March, the prisoner number 12 373 was assigned. At the end June arrived a group of prisoners from the Reich BV (Temporary preventing prisoners) in the camp jargon called "professional criminals", which were quartered with the Poles. On Sunday, the 6 August 1944,  in response to the Warsaw Uprising during street round-ups about 7,000 young Poles were detained as hostages in order to prevent an uprising in Krakow. They were taken to Plaszow and stayed there under terrible conditions, the first two days without food or water. On the following Monday all Ukrainians, and people from the German Reich had been set free, on Tuesday, all under 10 and over 52 years old left next. Due to the intervention of employers In the following week, workers returned back to their jobswere allowed to return to essential public infrastructure companies, such as the power station or the post office. Others had to spend several weeks in the camp, about 300 people were sent to forced labor in the Reich, hundreds Montelupich in the prison. [Ibid, page 69, statement Marian Krawczyk, in Proces Ludobojcy Amona Leopolda Goetha przed Najwyzszym Trybunalen Narodowym, Krakow 1947, page 223 ff, sic]

The textile merchant Julius Madritsch from Vienna in December 1940, became a trustee of two formerly Jewish clothing manufacturers in Krakow, where both, Jews and Poles were working that lived in the Krakow ghetto. Madritrsch sought to employ as many Jews as possible to prevent them from being deported to an extermination camp. His main achievement as far as contracts were concerned was the acquisition of large, for the war effort classified textile jobs, the procurement of raw material and not least in providing its workers with additional food. Madritsch was extremely successful: Prior to the evacuation of the ghetto, about 1800 Jews were working in his factories in Krakow and Tarnow. He himself wrote in his memoirs, that among these more than 40 percent were professionals, "60 per cent of my employees  had no idea of ​​the tailoring what-ever, they were by professions, like doctors, lawyers, engineers and merchants, on top of that among other things, it including their entire families". [Julius Madritsch, Menschen in Not Wien 1962, page 14, sic]

The difficulties faced, was to justify and generate for the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office the daily set output per worker for the allowances received.  After the closure of the ghetto on March 13, 1943 Madritsch's  people worked initially in the Krakow and Podgorze in workshops provided for them. When, during September the ghetto in Tarnow had to be vacated and Madritsch's workers together with the remaining  inhabitants were taken into custody, he succeeded on 14 September 1943, an impressive feat.  With the help of contacts and bribes he received permission, as a private entrepreneur to occupy five barracks set up as workshops in the part of the Labuor Camp, where his workers continued as before.  He also gained the approval that his people received "performance bonuses" in the form of food. Madritsch made full use of this privilege. In his memoirs he speaks of "6000 weekly loaf of bread, jam, even cigarettes," which he brought into the camp. With this amount he not only provided for his own workers, but extended this to other inmates.

Jews loading textiles from Madritsch factory warehouse 

Employees work in the Julius Madritsch clothing workshop in the Krakow
When the Krakow Ghetto was liquidated, Julius Madritsch transferred 232 men, women and children from Krakow to Tarnow on March 25 and 26, 1943. On September 1, 1943, the Tarnow Ghetto came to a brutal and violent end. The day before the liquidation, Madritsch and his Factory Manager Raimund Titsch,were invited to a ceremonial dinner for Commandant Göth and other high SS officials. When Madritsch requested to leave, SS-Obergruppenführer Scherner ordered him to stay until dawn and left him with two SS officers to keep him company. At 5 am on the following morning Madritsch and Titsch were released. They drove directly to Tarnow, where he saw Göth. Göth informed them that the Ghetto had been liquidated and was no more. Göth assured Madritsch that his workers were safe for the time being. Large bribes weren't offered but were demanded by Göth and Scherner. Madritsch later noted that there had been a fierce resistance in the Ghetto and that many Jews had been shot. All Jews who survived the onslaught were transported to Birkenau and gassed. Only the Madritsch Jews survived.
At the end of August 1943 a conference was held to fine-tune the plans for the final liquidation of the Tarnow ghetto. 200 Jewish men and 100 Jewish women were to remain in the ghetto to serve as a cleaning-up party. 2,000 Jews from the Madritsch clothing factory were transferred to Plaszow. The approximately 6,000 remaining Jews were to receive "special treatment" in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
On the morning of 3 September 1943 SS/SD and other forces surrounded the ghetto. The working Jews from Ghetto A paraded as on any other day, the Jews in Ghetto B also gathered in the Magdeburger Platz.  The Jewish clearing command was organised and made to parade in the grounds of the Singer crate factory, which proved to be extremely suitable for the purpose because it was already fenced. A sentry was posted at the entrance to the factory grounds to prevent Jews selected for deportation from slipping into the rear cleaning party.  Next followed the selection of Jews from Ghetto A for employment at the Plaszow forced labour camp.
 Many Jews realised the Jews in the Singer factory grounds were not slated for immediate deportation and tried to join them. Göth and his colleagues had anticipated this move, and set about ill-treating the Jews who attempted to escape.  Göth walked through the rows of Jews with his pistol drawn, shouting and dealing out blows. He immediately shot dead some Jews who were slow to act. He hit a Jewish woman called Zimmermann so hard that she fell to the ground, dead. Jews were shot out of hand and their bodies strewn across the square.Jews hiding in their houses were shot on the spot.
That same afternoon, Jews were led in groups from Magdeburger Platz to the railway station and loaded into goods wagons, 160 Jews per wagon. The air-vents of the wagons were closed and wooden planks nailed over them. Many Jews died of suffocation en route to Auschwitz, due to the lack of ventilation.
About 50 Jews who had attempted to smuggle small children with them out of the ghetto in rucksacks were taken out of the transport and driven back by lorry to the ghetto, where Göth and other SS-men started shooting at them. They were all killed.
Ghetto scene in Tarnow
Like Schindler, Madritsch was taking dangerous chances to protect his Jewish workers. Never did a week go by when these two entrepreneurs didn't risk their luck for the sake of their workers. Madritsch refers to many instances of help he received from the Wehrmacht and, in particular, a sympathetic German officer named Lt. Col. Mathisen, who assisted in evacuating Jewish families to safe areas. Schindler and Madritsch became friends, after the war, however, their friendship soured because of a dispute over the transfer of some of Madritsch's Jews to Schindler's factory in Brünnlitz and related matters.
Madritsch already learned on 9 January 1944, that his operation would be transferred as part of the conversion of Plaszow into a concentration camp under the administration of the DAW. Referring to past arrangements, that his contracts had the validity, "to the end of the war" (Bis zum End-Sieg), he succeeded, however, to gain time and finally on March 13, 1944, with SS colonel Opperbeck the Official of W IV representative of wood processing enterprises,(Holzbearbeitungsbetriebe) to make an appointment. He was allowed to continue to employ up and until June 30th his Jewish prisoners. After that date he would become a Sub-Contractor to the DAW., which should provide him that his orders  "receive to the greatest extent possible necessary to the war effort" ... Based on this agreement Madritsch succeeded to negotiate a contract with the DAC, which was signed on June 30 and should apply for the duration of the war. Through this agreement, the Madritsch Company became de facto an independent private big business in a concentration camp. Madritsch undertook to supply about 100,000 meters of fabric every month and undertook to process for the DAW Army Uniforms  as required for a set  monthly rate of 350,000 Polish zloty, this amount was not negotiable . The processing was carried out on machines for which Madritsch was responsible and had to maintain on his own expense. In return, the DAW undertook to provide him with 1300 inmates, with the additional proviso  that "appropriately ... the previously scheduled forces" would not be replaced. [Whatever that meant, sic] Economically considered, the agreement was a bad deal for Madritsch. That is how Mohwinkel had calculated in his report to the DAC Central Office, Madritsch had to spend 50 percent higher wage costs and spend at least 40,000 Polish Zloty per month in addition to insurance, delivery, transportation and machinery maintenance. The " voluntary prisoner bonuses",  and other privileges, Madritsch maintained the same in future, the food he purchased on the black market.
Thanks Madritsch's agreement with the SS his people managed to continue working until the final evacuation at Plaszow. Many of his workers were sent on 6 August 1944 to Auschwitz, one group of employees about 300 men and 200 women remained under the pretext of processing activities up to October. They were then transported to Gross-Rosen and Auschwitz. 60 of Madritsch's staff came onto the "Schindler List", so they could be shifted to Schindler's operation at Brünnlitz near Zwittau. Julius Madritsch was honoured in 1964 by Yad Vashem as "the Righteous one among the Nations". (Gerechter unter den Völkern)
A subject that is very rarely mentioned or ignored, is the contribution Jewish and Polish Scientists made in a number of breakthroughs within their field while interned and in that way contributed to Science although it benefited in the main the German war effort. With the initiative of SS Obergruppenführer (General of the SS) Wlhelm Koppe in particular, an academic Jewish prisoner department was established .... in part under the leadership of the German scientists of the Institute for German Ostarbeit  for research purposes.... Koppe had turned to Himmler as HSSPF in Krakow, with the suggestion to use Jewish scientists in war research projects. In the spring of 1944, he compiled names of Jewish Academics from the Plaszow concentration camp, Chemists, Mathematicians , Engineers, an invention team and further planned  a physics and bacteriology department.... Koppe reported to Himmler: "Those by me from KL Plaszow selected,  combined Jewish prisoners, in a particular the academic department, worked in the past few months under the guidance of the German scientists of the institute with good results in solving the various war economically important scientific challenges" .... [Wilhelm Koppe to Himmler, 8.9.1944, in: AIPN Warsaw, Signed DC 485, sic]
Due to the advancing Soviet Army, Himmler approved in September 1944, the transfer of the 51 scientists from the concentration camp in Krakow to Flossenbürg, which took place on 10 October. There, the prisoners took up their jobs on 1 November again. On 13 November 1944,  23 Jewish chemist for some reason went back again to Krakow, although the camp was already in disarray, 22 remained in Flossenburg. In Plaszow another seven chemists have been integrated into this group. Dr. Louis Broder, who had been transferred back from Flossenbürg reported that a Chemical Laboratory was set up in the Berg- und Hüttenakademie  were 29 Jewish and Polish chemists regularly worked but continued to live in the camp. The leading scientist was Dr. Schaffer, who behaved decently towards the prisoners.[Normally scientists treated each other as colleagues, race, religion or nationality did not matter, sic]  Two railway wagons arrived from Warsaw which provided them with chemicals, glass, porcelain and chemical literatures. On 14 January 1945, the date of the final clearance of Plaszow, together with other prisoners they were sent on foot to Auschwitz, from there, the SS transported them,  and 10,000 other prisoners to Gleiwitz. Dr. Broder was able to escape shortly after the Red Army marched into Gleiwitz. In Ravensbrück, a group of  Mathematicians led by Professor Kurt Walter, who had been evacuated in September 1944 from Plaszow continued to work there.. [See Fröbe, concentration camp inmates as a reserve, page 662, sic]
The transformation from a forced labour camp (Zwangsarbeitslager) into a concentration camp in January 1944, changed everyday life. The new prison clothes were not enough for all to receive, many of them still wearing civilian clothes. When a German once accidentally did shake the hand of a Jew, the Administration ensured that all employees working in offices would wear prisoners' uniforms.
The day in the camp began at 4:30 am, for visiting the latrine, little time was factored into this. Who made ​​it, took his morning coffee-like drink. [It certainly was Ersatzkaffee, which was made from roasted wheat, the entire German population did drink the same stuff, coffee beans were not available during war times, sic]  Some prayed before the block leaders rounded them up and brought the detainees  to the parade ground. At 6 am the roll call was normally completed and the prisoners went in groups to the assigned jobs. The work day ended at 1700 hours, At 1800 hours was evening roll call.
The living quarters for men and women were separated by a gate that was not locked. Men and women could meet in the evening outside their barracks. [some women did get pregnant, as we all know this requires close contact, so it was not only a matter of a friendly chat or just holding hands, sic] Every barrack consisted of two areas, each with two rooms, which had three-storey bunks providing sleeping facilities for 200 people.

Prisoners carry food ration at Plaszow
In the early days of the camp, many people still had their luggage containing  personal items, however,  during the subsequent period they had to hand them over. Two weeks after the evacuation of the ghetto on March 27, 1943 Göth initiated a revision of standard procedures. All the barracks were surrounded by security guards, no one was allowed to leave until all the valuables were made available: money, gold, silver, watches, jewellery, fountain pens. A block leader who was trying to hide something, was allegedly shot by Göth. An eyewitness during the trial of Göth testified: "We saw a couple cars with boxes on it and even a Stormtrooper told me that those cases contained our possession and the defendant (Göth) takes them to his family". Underwear was the only item prisoners were allowed to keep. The action was only for personal gains of Göth's, but also other SS men benefited from it. When Göth was arrested in September 1944 by the SS, this was partly due to the misappropriation of Jewish property. [The name Göth is often spelled Goeth, sic]
The role of the Orderlies, (Ordungsdienst) who had already occupied privileged positions in the ghetto, changed nothing with the conversion to a concentration camp. From the previously OD-men they simple changed their titles to Block Leaders, Block Scribes, or Kapos, and they retained their power, which had a particular impact on the work assignments. The work of outside commandos (Außenkommandos) was very much sought after.  Most of all, it was Marcel Goldberg whom you had to pay with money or other gifts, according to statements from survivors, to be assigned to a desired and easy work detail. Who was able to bribe Goldberg, had  also a greater chance of being placed by  him onto the life-saving "Schindler's List." [Ibid, page 165]
The Camp Elder Wilhelm Chilowicz was a confidant of Göth. He did the black marketing and was totally devoted to him. "I've heard that he had surreptitiously obtained masses of goodies, cognac,  preserved sausages, and all that just for Amon Göth," said the survivor Stella Müller-Madej.  Chilowicz did what Göth demanded of him, but in some cases,  he protected others. With his Intervention through the SS man Zdrojewski he succeeded, for example, to prevent the death of Victor Taubmann, who was the mastermind of the Jewish resistance before being shot. Chilowicz, his wife Maria and OD-man Mietek Finkelstein were murdred on 13 August 1944. For them a trap was set, probably by Göth and Grimm by pretending that they made preparations and would escape. After the shooting, the bodies were displayed as a deterrent on the camp grounds, and all prisoners had to march past the dead. [The exact events are impossible to verify, as each survivor describes his/her own version. But what is consistent in all reports, the actual concept of a trap on the part of the SS and the death by a firing squad, sic]
Göths personal servants did not live in the barracks, but in his villa and did not have to participate in the roll calls, but lived in constant fear of Göth's changing moods. The prisoners who worked in administration lived in separate barracks, they were excluded from the roll calls as well. Most of the "older" prisoners who were also housed in separate  barracks from the start, they too had a privileged position. They were assigned to better work details, for example in the paper mill. "I was an old inmate and moved freely [...] I knew the names of the SS-men," said Naftali D., who worked as Göth "valet". Some other detainees had the privilege to leave the camp. These included the Camp Elder Chilowicz and the OD man Mietek Finkelstein. But also Samuel Kempler, a member of the ZOB - Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa (in Yiddish: Yidische Fight Organisatzije) and a former cavalry officer in the Polish army, who taught Göth how to ride on horses.

Göths Villa  KZ Płaszów"  Despite the Hollywood implications drawn from Spielberg's film set (constructed in Liban Quarry a short distance away from Płaszów) and from the film scene in Schindler's List, Amon Göth could not shoot from this balcony, because his villa sits at the foot of a steep hill. 

In this villa lived the commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp, the notorius Amon Göth. Here only the roof of the house can be spotted. Photo taken from the inside of the former Plaszow camp.

Interior of Göth's house outside Plaszow (post war photo)" 

The most common punishment of the detainees were flogging. When a group of 30 people was caught smuggling food, Göth shot and killed three prisoners, the rest were thrashed with 100 lashes each. Inmate Joseph Bau describes Göths sadistic streak in his personality: " Anyone who was being whipped by him was forced to count in a loud voice, each stroke of the whip and if he made a mistake was forced to start counting over again. During interrogations, which were conducted in his office, he would set the dog on the accused, who was strung by his legs from a specially placed hook in the ceiling. In the event of an escape from the camp, he would order the entire group from which the escapee had come to form a row, would give the order to count ten, and would, himself, kill every tenth person. At one morning parade, in the presence of all the prisoners he shot a Jew because, as he complained, the man was too tall. Then, as the man lay dying, he urinated on him. Once he caught a boy who was sick with diarrhoea and was unable to restrain himself. Göth forced him to eat all the excrement and then shot him". [Difficult to believe, sic] The standing bunker, a dungeon of brick with a floor area of 70 x 70 centimetres and a small door at face height was also part of punishment. The prisoners had to endure there for 24 hours without drinking, eating and toilets. [This was as per KZ-Manual an accepted standard procedure and was in the early stages first used at Dachau, sic] A third type of punishment was a transfer to a criminal commando in the quarry, at times, led by SS-man Scheidt. The Kapos there, most of them German Reich "BV-Criminals, were known among the cruellest in the camp. Inmates with lesser offences, for example, in attempts to transmit letters were locked into the prison of the Orderly Service which the detainees  called "Krancowka". Often the prisoners did not know what they were punished for.
Amon Leopold Göth, before the war, was a modest clerk, with a passion for literature. A time bomb, many of whom one can find in offices. Unfulfilled murderers, domestic sadists – nice and likeable on the surface. Of whom a neighbour, who heard that by noon they killed half the kindergarten, would say “impossible, he was such a nice and well-mannered man”.
plaszow quarry

[To emphasise the brutality of Göth many of the incidents that formed the basis of the indictments against him when he was finally arraigned before the military court in Krakow shortly after the war are still available. The record also shows his complicity within the corruption of Plaszow Camp. The archive material on Göth is substantial, and the selection is based on record cards which contain factual accounts of incidents relating to Göth while he was Commandant of the Plaszow Concentration Camp. All the incidents are supported by evidence obtained during the course of Göth's interrogation—first, by the SS themselves during the war, and second, by post-war investigations into his conduct. This evidence formed the basis of the indictments against Göth in the Polish Courts during his trial and his conviction. sic]
The food in the camp was inadequate. The prescribed diets were indeed set at 2500 calories, but the prisoners never received them, except during  a visitation of the Red Cross, as a former inmate Joseph Bau describes it. The major part of the planned food for the prisoners was sold on the black market or bartered. Commandant Göth self-initiated and approved these transactions, because this enabled to purchase expensive wines, fine foods and luxury goods, which he offered at social gatherings at his villa to his guests. Göth ordered Jewish OD-men responsible for the procurement of these goods. Part of the meat entitled for the detainees Göth fed to his dogs. The prisoners were allocated 180 grams of bread per day (after the change-over to the SS Administrative Main Office, the amount of daily bread was doubled), served with coffee and thin soup without fat.[Bau's statement might be a bit biased, sic]

Amon Göth's dog Ralf"
another of  Amon Göth's dogs

As long as there were assignments for Jews to go on outside working commandos, the evening started with a lively trade with what the prisoners brought in. From the testimony of former inmates, but also from the behaviour of the SS itself can be seen that the SS guards were involved in these trades and exchanges. So wrote former prisoner Jakub Willner. "Most SS men had long forgotten the discipline, the progressive demoralisation was reflected in each and every one of them as long as they could be part of it. Schreiber, who had not been very long in the camp, quickly found an SS man, that obtained and bartered the most sought after luxuries for him. [...] these operations [...] were overlooked by others, because it started from the officers downwards who sought and searched all avenues for extra incomes and did not disapprove doing business with inmates. They sent packages of food and clothing back to the Reich, and organised evenings with lots of alcohol binges. [...] Thanks to Schreiber's contacts we were able to get the necessary food. During times in which there were no incoming Prisoner Transports or Actions, how to make money was the dominating theme above everything else. I made the necessary income by creating miniature cigarette lighters that were very popular in the camp. My customers were tailors, shoemakers and chefs who usually did not suffer hunger, as opposed to the other prisoners". [see: Willner, Moja droga, page 101f, sic]
Prisoners that were employed in the administration, or as physicians and in the kitchen were given extra portions. Even prisoners who worked as servants in homes or apartments of the SS officers were given better food. The other prisoners attempted to get work details outside the camp, although that was more and more difficult from late 1943. Halina Nelken, a survivor, recalls: "Krystyna planted somewhere peas and potatoes and boiled them into a paste, which she spread onto bread rolls and thus served us, it was delicious.". [See: Nelken, "Freiheit will ich noch erleben", page 270, sic] Despite the ongoing organising, the norm in the camp was Hunger. As Halina  received a piece of sausage, "maybe 50 grams",  which her mother had sent her, she used it on her bread sparingly so that this "delicacy" lasted several days.
In the satellite camps, the food was provided at the workplace, the employer deducted for this 1.20 Zotys per day from the 5 Zlotys they had to pay per inmate to the SS. From 30 April 1943, the SS changed the method and sent the meals twice weekly from the main camp (Stammlager),  which meant a deterioration for the prisoners, because the companies had provided better food and bigger portions. Most of the inmates of the satellite camps gave up their bread rations and let their families have them in the main camp.
In the summer of 1943, when Plaszow was still a forced labor camp, there occurred a tragic incident. SS corporal Willy Staib who controlled the returning commando "Boarka"  and reported to Göth that all prisoners had their pockets stuffed with bread and sausage. Göth had to respond to the message of his subordinate. All prisoners, whose number varies greatly according to witness statements (18, 49, 84, including one woman), were shot by  SS- men Zdrojewski, Arwin Janetz, and Grün on the "Hulowa Gorka" execution site. The corpses were still lying there  some time as a deterrent. [Testimony of Dr. Moshe B. 3.9.1969, in: BArch Ludwigsburg, B 162/III8, page 1345, sic]
Weichert, president of the JUS, and the Polish pharmacist Taeusz Pankiewicz served as Go-Between the camp and the world outside the barbed wire fence. Pankiewicz Apothecary was called "Pod Orlem" (Under the Eagle) was on Plac Zgody in the area of the Krakow Ghetto.

Under the Eagle Pharmacy, Kraków"
Tadeusz Pankiewicz
He himself writes in his memoirs immediately after the war, "When the Jewish neighbourhoods in Krakow were established by the Germans, I found myself as the owner of a pharmacy [...]  unexpectedly back as its inhabitant". From the initial inattention of the German authorities that they had simply missed  four pharmacies in the neighbourhood,  Pankiewicz put up successfully, conscious resistance to being driven out of the ghetto: "I did everything that was in my power to delay the served order of the German authorities. I used the proven method of "smearing"(bribery) in different variations". This unique situation, as the only non-Jewish inhabitant of the ghetto gave Pankiewicz the opportunity to help  many times Ghetto-Jews in need. Dr. Weichert took the orders to the pharmacy and delivered the items of which they had asked him, back into the camp. The pharmacy survived the two and a half ghetto years and the war until it was nationalised in 1951.  Since the 1980s it housed a small museum . Tadeusz Pankiewicz was honoured in 1983 by Yad Vashem as "Righteous One Among the Nations".

                                                                         continued under part 4

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