Warsaw, 21 May 1949. A member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Norbert Szuman (MA), heard the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Zofia Odechowska, née Malinowska|
|Date and place of birth||25 June 1921 in Lublin|
|Names of parents||Marian and Leontyna, née Zakrzewska|
|Occupation of the father||social activist|
|State affiliation and nationality||Polish|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Occupation||student of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Krasickiego Street 31, flat 2|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in my house at Krasickiego Street 31. Until the last days of August 1944, the area between the following streets: Szustra, Puławska, Wielicka and aleja Niepodległości was relatively peaceful. In the last days of August (I do not remember the date, I know it was on Wednesday), a systematic shelling of that area began. On the day of "first cows in Mokotów" [nickname for a type of heavy rocket ], the shelling of the Hospital of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth at Goszczyńskiego Street began. From that day on, the hospital was shelled regularly at about 16:00 and after a few days one wing was utterly bombed during one of the air raids. On the very first day of the "cows" the hospital was partially evacuated, in very difficult conditions. It was under constant artillery and machine gun fire. The hospital was evacuated to Misyjna Street, to the convent of the Franciscan Sisters, where a hospital or a dressing point had already been operating under the care of doctors, and to some blocks at Bałuckiego Street, where the wounded were also entrusted to the care of doctors.
I did not witness any German crimes. I heard that in the first days of the Uprising the Germans stormed into the house at Puławska Street, where a mechanical bakery belonging to Mr. Magiera was situated, and shot his daughter Anna there.
I do not know whether they shot anyone else in that house. I know, however, that the houses at Puławska Street from Belgijska Street to Boryszewska Street were all burnt out. I saw it when I was in the area with my unit. It could not have been determined, however, whether they had been destroyed due to military activities or burnt down on purpose.
I also heard from a friend (nom de guerre “Gaba”) whom I met in the Stutthof concentration camp that on the day of surrender, that is on 27 September 1944, some people had been executed upon leaving the sewers at Dworkowa Street. Apart from military people, there were also civilians among them.
I do not know where "Gaba" lives now, but her address is probably known to Barbara Mojzes, currently domiciled at Odolańska Street 18 or 20 with the Wilantowicz family.
On 24 September 1944 I went from Krasickiego Street to Szustra Street with the platoon commanded by Lieutenant "Wacek". On 26 September I entered the sewer on Belgijska Street, at the corner with Puławska Street. The civilians stayed in Mokotów. More information about the manner in which the Germans evacuated civilians could be provided by Mr. Włodzimierz Lgocki (domiciled at Krasickiego Street 20, flat 22) and Mr. Stefan Wilczyński (I can submit his address in the nearest future).
On 27 September 1944 I was captured by the Germans, together with the platoon, at the sewer exit on Belgijska Street, where we found ourselves after a failed attempt at escaping through the sewers from Mokotów. The Germans took us to an assembly point for insurgents on Różana Street, from where we were marched along aleja Niepodległości and Racławicka Street to the Mokotów fort. From there I was deported with the wounded people to the Pruszków transit camp. Healthy people had to go to the camp on foot.
At this the report was concluded and read out.
Witness Zofia Odechowska, having been reminded about the criminal liability for making false declarations, makes an additional testimony.
On the evening of the day after I had been transported to Pruszków with other female soldiers from the insurgent forces, where at first we had been placed in the military ward of that camp, all women soldiers were taken from that camp and transported with civilians from the Pruszków camp to the Stutthof concentration camp. When, citing the promise of von dem Bach that we would be treated as prisoners of war, we did want to leave the wagon, we were thrown out of it with rifle butts and marched to the so-called "old camp” in Stutthof. In total, there were forty women soldiers, one of them nine months pregnant. We did not work in this "old camp", but we were subordinated to the general concentration camp authorities and the direct authority of an SS female Aufseher. A few times we sent delegates to the camp authorities, demanding that we be transferred to the prisoner-of-war camp. However, it was to no avail. Six weeks later we were divested of our military uniforms, given striped camp uniforms, moved to the proper concentration camp and joined to a block of civilian women. Just as it had been in the "old camp" but to a greater extent, the Aufsehers, kapos and the block leaders from the proper camp often used to threaten us with selection, sending to the crematorium or a bunker and would beat us. Fearing selection and in order to get additional food, some of us volunteered for work.
At this point, the report was concluded and read out.