Block 11

The room where prisoners had to strip before their execution. Foto: Paweł Sawicki
The room where...

Prisoners also underwent punishment in block 11, in regular cells, dark cells, or standing cells. Punishment here was usually connected with suspected sabotage, contact with civilians, escape attempts or aid to escapees, or apprehension while escaping. The windows in the normal cells had windows that were partially bricked up from the outside, and the inmates could sleep on wooden bunks. Rather than windows, the dark cells had vents covered on the outside by metal screens with air holes punched in them. Prisoners slept on the bare floor. Confinement in the dark cells lasted from several days to several weeks. Prisoners confined to death by starvation for escape attempts, or after being selected as hostages in reprisal for escapes by others, were held in the dark cells. From the beginning of 1942, prisoners were also punished by confinement in standing cells. These were four spaces measuring less than 1 sq. m. each. The only source of air was a 5 x 5 cm. opening covered with a metal grille. Entry to the standing cell was through a small opening at floor level, closed with bars and a wooden hatch. Four prisoners were confined in each of these spaces for the night. They had to go to work in the morning. The punishment was applied for periods from several nights up to several weeks in a row.