There were more than 1,000 patients in the Babinski Hospital in Kobierzyn when the war broke out. The Germans
appointed two directors of the hospital - Zweck
(a tradesman) until
and then Aleksander Kroll
(an official from the Warsaw
Health Service) until
. There were 3 phases of liquidation
of the hospital: starvation, deportation of Jewish patients and finally mass murder.
From the time when Kroll
took over the post, patients started to receive half
of their usual food rations. Before the final deportations almost half of the patients died of malnutrition.
On 9 and 11 September 1941
, Germans moved all Jewish patients,
, in two transports, to the
Sanatorium in Otwock
. This group shared the fate of all Otwock
Jews - some were gassed on 19 August 1942
others shot at premises of the sanatorium and buried in the garden.
The preparations for the final liquidation started in May 1942
hospital was visited by
SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Krüger
, who pressed for quick liquidation.
needed the hospital for his "Hitler Youth". The place for the burial pit was chosen. On
18 June 1942
, Polish doctors,
working at the hospital, received orders to move to the Drewnica Hospital
. They were banned from entering the hospital departments and ordered to
provide the personal files of all patients.
On 23 June
, Dr Werner Beck
together with SS men under the command of
SS-Sturmbannführer Karl Meyer
. The rest of the Polish personel were locked in an old theatre
building during the time of the "action". 30 patients, who were temporarily on rehabilitation in a nearby Catholic
convent, were transferred back to the hospital and were the first to be loaded on a truck and delivered to the
Swoszowice railway station
. Later, Kroll
opened the wards and counted the patients, assisted by the German male nurse Leo
SS men herded the patients to the trucks and transported them to the railway station. In the evening the train
carried 535 patients to Auschwitz-Birkenau
where they were gassed in Bunker I.
30 patients, unable to walk to the trucks, were killed by lethal injections, probably by
himself, and buried at the local cemetery, together with 25 Jews from
who had been shot. One patient, Maria
who worked as a maid at Kroll
's house, was later murdered
at the cemetery by an SS man, assisted by Kroll
The names (700 KB!)
of the murdered are known and engraved on the monument at the
Kobierzyn hospital. There was one survivor, Wanda Bialonska
, who hid herself
behind the closet during the action.
The demand for transportation was found in the files of Swoszowice railway station
together with the Ostbahn
bill for the transportation of 535 passangers from
was never tried. His case (112 Js 9-10/69) was dismissed by the
prosecutor's office in 1971
ground of insufficient evidence of crime.
wasn't punished either. As the head of the
Staatliches Institut für Gerichtsmedizin im Geneneralgouvernement
- State Institute for
Medical Jurisprudence and Criminology (former Judicial Medicine Dept. of Jagiellonian University) in
he assisted in the investigation of graves at
and became the main custodian of all
material evidence taken from the graves of Polish officers to be used against the Soviet regime.
He was evacuated to the West with all of the evidence and was responsible for the destruction of it.
He was questioned by the Americans in 1950
and became a valuable witness regarding Soviet
crimes. He died in 1988
Mateusz Szpytma, (Instytut Pamieci Narodowej, Oddzial w Krakowie): Zbrodnie na pacjentach w Panstwowym
Zakladzie dla Umyslowo i Nerwowo Chorych w Kobierzynie
, Krakow 2002
Zaglada chorych psychicznie w Polsce 1939–1945, Warszawa 1993
Batawia Stanislaw, Zaglada chorych psychicznie.[in:] Biuletyn Glownej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w
Polsce, vol. III, 1947 pp. 93-106
Kielkowski Roman, Zbrodnia niemiecka w Zakladzie Psychiatrycznym w Kobierzynie, Warszawa 1949.
J. Menge, Berufskolleg Bethel
© ARC 2005