the SS during the war. Kazimiera Hajda stated, "My brother served in the German military, in the SS." (Govt. Ex. 182 at 2 (English Translation)). Stanislaw Hajda stated, "My son went to Germany to join the SS." (Govt. Ex. 187 at 4 (English Translation)).
The Defendant's Contentions
The Defendant contends that he is not, and could not be, Wachmann Hajda because Defendant never served as a guard at Trawniki, Treblinka, or in the Streibel Battalion. While Defendant disputes that he served in these units and that he misrepresented his wartime activities in order to gain entry into the United States, he does not dispute that such activities, if proven, would have rendered him ineligible to receive a visa under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948 ("DPA"), Pub. L. No. 80-774, ch. 647, 62 Stat. 1009, June 16, 1950, Pub. L. No. 81-555, ch. 262, 64 Stat. 219 (1950).
I. DEFENDANT'S BACKGROUND
Defendant testified that he was born in the small town of Jordanov, Poland, on March 19, 1924. His mother was Zofia, and his father was Stanislaw, a shoemaker. Defendant had a brother Wladyslaw, and two sisters, Maria and Kazimiera. Before the war, Defendant had obtained six years of schooling.
Some time in 1942, Defendant was traveling by train to Warsaw to purchase leather for his father when he was arrested by Gestapo agents on the train. He was taken to Warsaw to a prison called Pawiak. Later he was taken to another prison in Warsaw, where he remained for approximately six months. He was then transferred to another prison in Krakow, called Montelupich. He remained there for less than six months before being transferred to Camp Pustkow (hereinafter "Pustkow"). He does not remember the date on which he arrived at Pustkow.
When he arrived at Pustkow, Defendant was taken to the office where those in charge took the names of the prisoners and gave them numbers. He does not recall his number, except that it contained the numerals "2 and 0" and the remaining number was fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen. The prisoners' numbers were sewn on the front and the rear of their clothing. At Pustkow, Defendant wore the same clothing that he was wearing when he was arrested on the train. He wore his prison uniform over his own clothing.
Defendant recalls cutting trees, unloading prefabricated barracks from rail cars, and digging tank traps at Pustkow. He also recalls seeing rockets at Blizna when he was working nearby. In addition, he remembers an incident when a V-2 rocket crashed and killed a German general and seeing the casket of the general with a flag draped across it. This was one of only a few times that he saw a dead person during his stay at Pustkow. The second time was when his work party was returning to camp one evening. The body of a prisoner who had escaped was placed on a chair with a sign around his or her neck which read, "I have returned again." The third time was when he had to carry a body out for cremation. Defendant further testified that he never saw a prisoner punished or beaten at Pustkow.
II. STANISLAW SWIECHOWICZ
While at Pustkow, Defendant says he saw Stanislaw Swiechowicz, whom he had known from Jordanov. According to Defendant, Swiechowicz approached him and said, "Bruno" to which Defendant replied, "Stashnik." Swiechowicz was wearing striped prisoner clothing when Defendant saw him. Swiechowicz lived in the barracks and Defendant could not recall whether they were the same barracks in which Defendant lived. He saw Swiechowicz one other time. Defendant contends that Swiechowicz can verify his imprisonment at Pustkow. Defendant also asserts that his family had knowledge of his imprisonment at Pustkow.
Defendant does not recall when he left Pustkow, except that the weather was cold. He left via a train that eventually arrived in Dresden, Germany. He was uncertain as to how long the trip took, but stated that it could have taken as long as five months. He arrived in Dresden either two weeks prior to the Allied firebombing of that city or two weeks thereafter. Defendant escaped in Dresden and made his way to the American lines.
The Historical Account of Pustkow
Before attempting to sort out the facts about Defendant's wartime activities, it is instructive to look at what the historians say about Pustkow. Most of what is known about Pustkow is contained in two exhibits: Government Exhibit 176 - Judgment against Hanns Prochinsky, November 14, 1973; and Government Exhibit 174 - Stanislaw Zabierowski, Pustkow: Hitlerowskie obozy wyniszczenig w sluzbie Poligonu SS (Rzeszow: Krajowa Agencja Wydawniczg, 1981) (hereinafter the "Zabierowski").
The facts herein described have not been disputed. Pustkow was located on the grounds of the SS Troop Training Base Debica, located near the Polish city of Debica (66 miles east of Krakow). The camp took its name from the nearby village of Pustkow. After the German V2 rocket base at Peenemunde was bombed by the Allies, Hitler decided on August 22, 1943, to move a part of the base to Blizna which was within the perimeter of the SS Troop Training Base at Debica.
Between the years 1940 and 1944, one of the components of the Nazi armed forces, the Waffen SS, established a large military camp in the forest adjacent to the village of Pustkow near Debica. The camp housed the command of the SS training ground which surrounded it. To build the camp and the numerous military facilities throughout the entire exercise area, the SS used the displaced inhabitants of nearby villages, who were paid starvation wages as well as an unpaid labor force of prisoners, and prisoners of war who had been incarcerated in the three extermination camps that had been set up in Pustkow: a labor camp for Jews, a camp for Soviet prisoners of war, and a forced labor camp for Poles.
(Zabierowski, Govt. Ex. 174 at 1 (English translation)).
The first Polish forced laborers arrived on September 16, 1942, consisting of almost 1100 criminals from Zamek prison in Lublin. It was from this original group of criminals that the appointed camp leaders were chosen. They preyed upon other prisoners and did not hesitate to humiliate, beat, or kill their countrymen. Polish prisoners continued to arrive throughout 1942. The following arrivals are documented:
1. October 6, 1942 - 33 prisoners from the
Gestapo prison at
2. October 1942 - 7 prisoners from Lwow;
3. October 1942 - 60 prisoners from Pawiak
prison in Krakow;
4. November 22, 1942 - 70 prisoners from a prison
5. December 5, 1942 - 49 prisoners from Warsaw;
6. Late December 194 - 70 prisoners from Warsaw;
7. December 1942 - 150 prisoners from Tarnow
8. December 13, 1942 - 16 prisoners from Tarnow;
9. December 31, 1842 - 9 prisoners from
(Zabieroski, Govt. Ex. 174 at 65 (English Translation)). By the end of 1942, approximately 1500 prisoners had arrived.
After each new prisoner transport arrived, the prisoners were shorn, photographed, and deloused. During the first period the prisoners wore their own clothing, but during the second period they surrendered their clothing at the warehouse and they were given camp clothing that had once been worn by Jewish prisoners. In winter, they received overcoats that had belonged to murdered Soviet prisoners of war.
After they changed clothing, the prisoners' names were entered in the register and their biographical information taken. Prisoners were then given numbers in place of their names.
From the outset the prisoners' clothing bore the letter P and their camp number. These designations were worn on the left breast and right shoulder blade area, as well as on jackets and coats and also on the right trouser leg. The letter P was 15 centimeters tall and three centimeters thick, and was applied in oil paint the trousers also had yellow stripes. The number was painted in red on white cloth. . . .