Warsaw, 3 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||Zdzisław Rytel|
|Date and place of birth||26 December 1895 in Ufa (Russia)|
|Names of parents||Aleksander and Jadwiga, née Żeleniewska|
|Occupation of the father||member of the armed forces|
|State affiliation and nationality||Polish|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Education||engineer, mechanic (Warsaw University of Technology)|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Odyńca Street 49, flat 1|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in my house at Odyńca Street 49. From the beginning of the Uprising until 26 September 1944, the area of my house was in the hands of insurgents. Already in the first week of the Uprising, a sort of demarcation line had been established between the Polish and German positions, and – as far as I know – it ran as follows: aleja Niepodległości – Madalińskiego Street – Puławska Street – Belgijska Street – Grottger colony (in German hands) – Chełmska Street – Dolna Street – Czerniaków village (almost for the entire Uprising, until the fall of Sadyba, in the hands of insurgents) – Służew fields – Southern Railway Station – the line of aleja Niepodległości (at the level of Wężyka Street).
In the very first days of the Uprising I encountered two Poles who had escaped from Mokotów prison. They told me that on the prison premises, the SS-men murdered almost all prisoners in groups. Few people managed to survive. Unfortunately I do not know the surnames of my interlocutors, or rather informers, who witnessed the execution in Mokotów prison.
Shortly after this incident I encountered an unknown man who had witnessed an execution at Olesińska Street, committed on the civilians from that street by the SS-men and so-called Vlasovtsy [Russian Liberation Army members]. The German soldiers herded the civilians into the basement of one of the houses at Olesińska Street, planning to cause a concurrent explosion of several explosives and in effect bring about the collapse of the house and bury the civilians under the rubble. This plan, however, worked out partially, as not all the explosives went off, and some people whom the German soldiers had condemned to death managed to survive.
Until 26 September the area of Odyńca Street was under heavy fire, which resulted in many casualties.
On 26 September the insurgents retreated under a ferocious German assault, carried out from the direction of aleja Niepodległości, and stopped at the line of Krasickiego Street. The area of my house, delineated by aleja Niepodległości – Odyńca Street – Krasickiego Street, was seized by SS detachments of some armored unit, if I am not mistaken. They entered our area from the west. I know that at the same time they had been attacking also from the south, along Puławska Street.
The residents of the newly -aptured area were gathered in basements. The Germans forced them out by throwing grenades into the basements. I know that many people were killed this way. A grenade was thrown also to our basement, but fortunately that part of it was empty at the time.
When we went out to the fields, we were joined to other civilians and marched to Mokotów Field, where in the vicinity of Promienistych Street we were taken over by air force personnel. They picked a group of men for labor (the men actually returned after some time) and carried out a "search" combined with robbery.
The rest of people were marched through Mokotów fort to the horse race tracks, from where after one night they were deported to Pruszków.
I managed to flee on the way.
At this point, the report was concluded and read out.