Mokotów Prison

In a part of Warsaw called Mokotow there is a prison built by the Russians in the early 1900s (when Poland was part of the Russian tsarist empire). Until Poland was resurrected as a nation in 1918, it was used by the Russians and after 1918 until 1939 by the poles. After the Germans occupied Poland in September 1939, it became one of several prisons that the germans established in Warsaw. Those who were imprisoned were everything from real enemies to supposed or potential enemies of the Nazi occupation. Abuse, torture and executions were part of the prisoners’ everyday lives. Some of the prisoners were sent to other prisons or concentration camps in occupied Europe.

During the Warsaw uprising of 1944, the prison was attacked by the Polish home army and about 300 prisoners were able to escape. However, the SS repelled the attack and in retaliation killed about 500 prisoners. The prison survived relatively uninjured and after the war it came to house several Nazis who were awaiting trial or execution for crimes committed during the war on Polish territory. For example Jürgen Stroop, who struck down the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw ghetto in april and may 1943, was hanged in prison in march 1952. The Nazi governor of Danzig-West Prussia Albert Forster was also hanged in prison the same year for crimes against the Polish people.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2022).

Location: 52°12'28.91"N 21°00'39.34"E

Get there: Tram.

My comment:

The prison is still in use but there should be a smaller museum that I think focuses on the time between 1944 and 1989. On the wall and outside of the prison are several memorials.

Follow up in books: Höhne, Heinz: The Order of the Death’s Head: The story of Hitler’s SS (1969).