Name of deponent: Katarzyna Mincer
Birth date: March 7, 1914
Birth place: Katowice
Parents: Marcin and Fania (maiden name: Schuftan)
Residence: Katowice, ul. Dabrowskiego 1/5
Occupation: Official of Provincial Jewish Committee in Katowice
When the war began, I was living in Katowice. In June 1940,
the Germans displaced me together with my parents, to Sosnowiec.
There, I lived until June 1943.
From August 1940, I worked in the Town Management - "Abteilung
Strassenverreinigung und Müllabfuhr" (Street Cleaning
and Trash Removal Division). Because I spoke the German
language, I worked in this division. In the office, I typed
reports given me by "Aufsehern" (supervisors)
in both Polish and German. My father also worked in this
division - namely, he swept streets. The number of people
employed in this work varied from 100 to 350 persons. Mainly
men worked in this division, but there was a small number
of women as well. At first, people for this work were taken
compulsorily by summons issued by the Jewish Community Council.
By the end of 1941, people themselves sought work in this
division because it saved them, for the moment, from deportation
to Germany. Later, special influence was needed in order
to be assigned there. The workers worked all week, without
a Sunday break, from 7 till 4 o'clock. On Sunday, they worked
until 1 o'clock. Earnings of the workers were 1 Reich Mark
50 Pfennigs, paid by the Town Management as an agency for
the Jewish Community Council (Judenrat).
In the winter, the workers were busy cleaning streets of
snow. The main Aufseher (overseer) was a Smolorz, a German
who often beat working Jews with a rubber baton. Several
times I witnessed as he beat them in the room where I was
working. Smolorz ordered me to leave the room and he tortured
them there. I have heard screams from the second room. The
manager of this division of Town Management was, at the
beginning, Elias, a German man from Katowice, who, before
the war, worked in the town’s slaughter-house. He beat Jews
terribly. After him, there was a management engineer named
Schmidt, a very young person, who came from Wroclaw.
I remember once when Schmidt and Smolorz called a 60-plus
year old Jew, a glazier, into the room where I was working.
The Polish Aufseher (supervisor) who remained in the room
with Schmidt told me later what had happened there. Schmidt
had ordered the old Jew to pray and the man began to pray.
Schmidt wasn’t satisfied and said that Jews prayed differently.
Then he ordered the Polish supervisor to bring a bucket
of water. This water, he poured behind the collar of the
Jew. That was in the winter 1940/1941.
In the summer of 1941, Smolorz one day after work was finished,
kept especially Jews working as street cleaners. There were,
among them, a few newcomers who had been registered just
in the last few days. He ordered me to go home earlier,
but I waited opposite the barrack of a Polish fire station.
The office and assembly point of the division was located
on Wspolna Street, on the left side. After an hour, about
20 "Schupos" arrived and surrounded the yard.
They ordered the Jews to set themselves in a file and took
them to the Dulag on Gleiwitzer Strasse.
At this time there were removed more than 300 persons -
only men of the ages from 20 to 45. This Aktion was done
in agreement with the office of the Sonderbeauftragte. Several
men escaped from the square through a hole in the fence.
Several were captured by Smolorz. They were those from whom
he had received bribes. They had brought him meat and other
After deportation of those people to Germany, Smolorz took
on other Jews and as well as Poles. The overall number was
lowered to about 100 persons. In June 1941, I was dismissed
from work in this division. The firing was in relation to
detected misuses by Schmidt. Among other things, there was
an accusation that he had accepted bribes from rich Jews
whom he noted in reports as working people, though, in reality,
they had remained at home. I also knew about it and on examination
in the Town Hall, I told that I knew of this. My father
himself brought geese to Schmidt’s home several times. The
geese were given Schmidt by Jews.
After dismissal from this work, I was employed in the Judenrat
in the registration of the Jewish population of Zaglembie.
There, I worked for five days, Then, I was ordered by the
Judenrat to perform office work for the Sonderbeauftragte.
The "Dienststelle des Sonderbeauftragte" was located
on Rathausstrasse #6. When I was employed in the "Dienststelle",
the organization of the office was as follows: I was the
18th Jewess accepted for work there.
At the end of 1942, there already were 40 Jewess working
in this office. Two Jewish women, Rywka Grünbaum and
Tusia Gutowska worked in cleaning the villa where German
employees of the "Dienststelle" lived. In the
financial division of the "Dienststelle" worked
several Jewish men whose work was concerned with packages
destined for camps, various reports and forms, etc.
Jewish women employees sat in separate rooms and worked
for various divisions of the "Dienststelle" as
assistants. At the head of the "Dienststelle"
was Gen. Schmelt who was, at the same time, President of
Opole region. He was a man of 40-plus years, short and wore
glasses. He rarely came to the office. He worked on the
second floor and we employees worked on the third and fourth
floors. We could not enter the building by its front entrance.
By order of Lindner, we could enter only by the rear entrance.
This office had the following divisions:
1. Wirtschaftsabteilung - the Wirtschaftsleiter was Polizeiinspektor,
later appointed as Polizeirat, Bernard Hentschel. He wore
a green police uniform. He signed all correspondence in
the stead of Schmelt. The Wirtschaftsabteilung was divided
into four sections: W1, W2, W3 and W4.
2. Abteilung Kasse - Cashier Division, was subordinated
3. Personnel Abteilung - was subordinated also to Hentschel
Abteilung “J” wasn’t subordinate to Hentschel: Abteilung
"J" had to do with deportations of Jews to camps
in Germany and the Sudetenlands. Abteilung "J"
was located on the fifth floor. There, Ateilung “J’s” department
managers, Kuczynski and Rolle worked. Rolle worked only
inside in the office while Kuczynski worked both inside
and outside the office.
There was still another division ("Kommando")
situated on the second floor. In this Kommando, Obersturmbannfuhrer
Heinrich Lindner and Hauptsturmfuhrer Bruno Ludwig worked.
Before I came to the work, there were employed also Knoll
and Messner. During my time of employment in the Dienststelle,
they didn’t work in the Sosnowiec Dienststelle. Knoll was
assigned as working in this office, but he worked outside
of Sosnowiec. Messner worked at this time as a teacher.
Kuczynski and Messner came from Bukowina.
The Wirtschaftsabteilung performed the following work:
1. W1 - accounting for the costs of transporting Jews to
2. W2 - sending forms to camps and different equipment necessary
3. W3 - supervised the stores of different goods.
I remember that, in 1942, people told that there were items
confiscated from Jews from the West by workers of "Dienststelle".
The Germans brought Jews from Holland, Belgium and France.
In Cosel, workers of the "Dienststelle" such as
Lindner and Ludwig performed selections. They separated
young and healthy persons, capable of working, for assignment
to labor camps and transported them to these camps. They
divided these victims to labor camps after taking their
jewelry and clothing from them. The stole the things they
brought later to the Sosnowiec "Dienststelle".
The women and children from those transports were directed
to Oswiecim (Auschwitz).