Warsaw, 19 March 1949. A member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Norbert Szuman (MA), interviewed 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 Franciszek Szczepka
Date and place of birth 4 October 1888, Jaksice, Miechów county
Parents’ names Franciszek and Julia, née Wilk
Father’s occupation farmer
Citizenship and nationality Polish
Religion Roman Catholic
Education MSc in pharmacy
Occupation pharmacist
Place of residence Warsaw, Różana Street 9, flat 9
Criminal record none

When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in the “Mokotowska” pharmacy at Puławska Street 79, in the corner building at Boryszewska Street, working my shift.

On 1 August 1944 the insurgents, operating from a base at Boryszewska Street, launched an attack – if I remember correctly – on the Germans grouped in Dworkowa Street. The assault was unsuccessful, and the insurgents withdrew to positions between Belgijska, Puławska and Boryszewska streets. On 2 and 3 August the insurgents fired upon the Germans in Dworkowa Street from their new location, and also erected a barricade that closed off Puławska Street at Dolna Street. On 1 and 2 August, and until the afternoon of 3 August, the German efforts were concentrated on keeping the area of Puławska Street under fire. I noticed only that on 2 August in the morning a detachment numbering a few dozen German infantry soldiers moved along Puławska Street from the south in the direction of Unii Lubelskiej Square. These soldiers did not do anything along my section, nor were they engaged by the insurgents.

In the afternoon of 3 August I heard the sound of gunfire, which increased in intensity, and also the rumble of tanks and loud shouts. These sounds were coming from the direction of Belgijska Street and approaching Boryszewska Street. After a few hours, while I was in the ground floor annex of the house at Puławska Street 79, I looked through the window and saw that a few German soldiers had entered the courtyard of the house, their weapons at the ready; they were also holding grenades. When these soldiers neared the entrance to the annex, I heard a loud command from the street: Zurück! The soldiers immediately withdrew into the street. Some time later, silence fell. After I came out into the courtyard, I learned that the Germans, under cover of tanks, were carrying out a pacification of the area delimited by Belgijska, Puławska and Boryszewska streets, setting fire to the houses located there and murdering the people whom they happened to stumble upon.

I cannot provide any details concerning their operation. I know that along our section on the even-numbered side of Puławska Street the Germans did not carry out any such operations, for the block of houses between Szustra, Puławska and Różana streets was successfully defended by the insurgents. I only heard that the Germans barged into the house at the corner of Szustra and Puławska streets, murdering a certain number of people there. However, I am unable to provide any details concerning this matter.

Up until the capitulation of Mokotów I remained in my pharmacy – at the time, the insurgents’ most advanced positions ran along Belgijska Street – supplying the civilian population and hospitals, or first-aid posts, with drugs. Among others, I supplied the Ujazdowski Hospital, which at the time was located at Chełmska Street, and the I Municipal Health Center at Puławska Street 91, which was administered by Dr Stypułkowski. Furthermore, I heard that the Hospital of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth and the first-aid post at Bałuckiego Street (subsequently transferred to the Szustra – Puławska – Różana block) were also operational; if I remember correctly, Dr Władysław Kunicki – currently residing at Bałuckiego Street 24, I think – worked there. I don’t remember the surnames of the other physicians.

On the day of the capitulation, my family and I were led out by a group of German soldiers to the Służewiec racetrack, from where we were taken by train to Pruszków.

I am unable to provide any specific information about any other crimes committed by the Germans in Mokotów during the Uprising.

At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.