Memoria [EN] Memoria [EN] Nr 45 (06/2021) | Page 19

The 1945 report has been misinterpreted by historians in that it purports to include Alfred Stössel in the top "five". In reality, the number 4 in this report should be Eugeniusz Obojski (camp number 194), not Alfred Stössel.

Michał Wójcik did not notice this difference in both of Pilecki's reports from 1943 and 1945. Nevertheless, he accused Pilecki of covering up the case of the orderly Alfred Stössel, who killed sick prisoners with phenol in the camp infirmary. He discerned the cover-up of this crime in the 1945 report in the Captain's comments about him: "he had a certain disagreeable manner".

After quoting these words filled with agitation, Michał Wójcik subjects Witold Pilecki to devastating criticism: "It is a terrible sentence. It is short and enigmatic; although ripped out of context, it loses its dread. However, when one realises what it is all about, it strikes like a blow to the head. But, unfortunately, it's been said and hurts. It is unbearably painful. After all, Stössel's "disagreeable manner" is the killing of his fellow prisoners.

He further states: "Pilecki, therefore, admitted that he knew about it, knew the truth about serving the Nazis, and it did not bother him at all. He clearly belittled this practice. He implied that in the noble work of building up the resistance movement, needling the weak was a trifle".

However, it is difficult to agree with such an interpretation of Pilecki's words contained in the report of 1945: "The last 4 (Alfred Stössel) had a disagreeable manner, but one must do him justice, that he bravely endured the torture-tests in the bunkers and did not say a word, albeit knowing a great deal".

The founder of the military conspiracy in KL Auschwitz knew that opinions about Stössel among the prisoners varied. On the one hand, the officer had rendered outstanding service to the Union of Military Organizations in KL Auschwitz, but on the other hand, he was complicit in killing sick prisoners with phenol injections. His actions were incomprehensible to Pilecki, which is probably why he described them as a "disagreeable manner".

Ultimately, as a result of reports made by prisoners to the camp Gestapo, stating that Stössel had connections with Leon Kukielka (no. 16465),

Władysław Dering