Memoria [EN] Memoria [EN] Nr 45 (06/2021) | Page 18

of another patient. As one can see, he had a weakness for poultry jokes. Hundreds and thousands of victims lay in the hospital after castration - Michał Wójcik states.

Did Dr Dering actually have a proclivity "for poultry jokes"? - Probably not; former prisoner Dawid Szarbel (no. 83397) contradicts it. He states in his account that these were SS doctors' words, uttered during the castration surgeries: "The ceiling consisted of mirrored sheets, such that I could observe the entire surgical procedure. Besides the nurses (Krankenpfleger), who handed out the instruments as instructed by Dering, many German officers were present, who watched the operations with curiosity and made ironic remarks that today there would be plenty of eggs for scrambled eggs. The excised testicles were placed into glass jars (...)."

 Michal Wojcik cites statements of Jewish witnesses subjected to criminal castration procedures by this physician "torturer." They include David Szarbel and Hanoch Hipka mentioned above.

On seeing a photograph of Dr Dering, Dawid Szarbel recognised him as the doctor who allegedly performed a castration procedure on him in early 1943, removing his left testicle.

However, this is contradicted by an entry in the camp surgical book preserved from that period, with information regarding this procedure, performed on 28 May 1943, indicating irrefutably that the first operating physician was Dr Jan Grabczyński (no. 83864), assisted by nurse Zygmunt Skibiński (no. 6763), whereas Dr Dering was not present during the surgery. The procedure was recorded as amputatio testis sinistri (amputation of the left testicle), while the diagnosis column contained the entry: casus explorativus (experimental case)

 On the other hand, Elias (Hanoch) Hipka testified that during the first procedure, he was operated on by a high-ranking SS officer, assisted by Dr Dering, who allegedly said, "Please let me also cut a pig". According to his testimony, this prisoner-doctor removed one of Hipka's testicle and, after a few months, the other.

The camp's surgical book affirms that Elias Hipka was operated on by SS-Obersturmführer Friedrich Entress on 24 June 1943, assisted by Dr Władysław Dering as the second operating physician. It should, however, be noted that his crude behaviour probably saved the patient's life. He successfully completed the procedure to remove the left testicle, which was improperly performed by an SS doctor with questionable surgical skills. The second surgery on 1 November 1943, during which Hipka's right testicle was removed, was performed by Dr Dering assisted by Dr Zbigniew Sobieszczański (no. 77022).

Michal Wójcik writes: "Was he aware of "Dziunek's" involvement in the mass sterilisation of men and women?" and, in justifying Pilecki, he immediately adds: "For the time being, let us assume he wasn't. The overwhelming majority of the operations took place in 1943 and 1944, but he must have learned something else".

It must be stated here that when these two surgeries above took place, Witold Pilecki was no longer an inmate of KL Auschwitz, as he had escaped from the camp on the night of April 26-27, 1943. Accordingly, he could not have known about the castration surgeries carried out in the camp hospital at a later date. "What else", then, could he have possibly known about?

Dering is accused of conspiratorial collaboration with another criminal among the prisoners. Allegedly, it was Alfred Stössel (no. 435), also an officer of the Polish Army, who, along with Dr Władysław Dering, was in the upper "top five" of the conspiracy organised by Pilecki.

It is worth clarifying and rectifying here that this officer was a member of the camp's conspiracy called the Union of Military Organizations (ZOW) but never belonged to the top five, nor to any of the subsequent four, created in the camp by Cavalry Captain Pilecki, who does not corroborate this fact in the "W" Report of 1943, prepared for the Home Army Headquarters in Warsaw. The text was published as "Witold's Report" in the "Bulletin of the Auschwitz Preservation Society", No. 12, 1991.