On 22 December 1946 the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, represented by Marian Kaczmarek, heard the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Antoni Barełkowski|
|Date of birth||18 April 1908|
|Names of parents||Wojciech and Pelagia, née Martyniska|
|Place of residence||Poznań, Kraszewskiego Street 11|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
I was in Warsaw from March 1940 to 14 October 1944. At the outbreak of the Uprising I was in Elektoralna Street, from where, on 7 August 1944, I went to the Old Town. I did not have a permanent place of residence – I kept moving as the fighting unfolded. I witnessed the capturing of the following streets: Elektoralna, Franciszkańska, Solna, Leszno and Miodowa. The first phase was always an attack by tanks, followed by the infantry. The soldiers were of various nationalities, they were not speaking German but other languages which were unknown to me. The fighting was fierce, and the streets were taken house by house. We, the men, were retreating, but the women and children stayed in the basements.
I witnessed the capturing of Elektoralna Street. As soon as the Germans entered a basement, they would immediately separate the men from the women and children. They were forming groups of men and marching them somewhere without delay, but I don’t know where to. When they found someone hiding in a basement on their own, not in a group, they would immediately kill that person, no matter if it were a man, a woman or a child. They were also killing men who were ready to be marched away, choosing those in particular who wore high boots. Also, those who did not keep a straight line or else fell behind due to exhaustion were immediately killed. Those who attempted to escape were also shot at, regardless of sex or age.
I saw how a soldier grabbed a wandering child by the legs (the child was about 5 years old) and smashed his head against the wall. Another one shot a small child who had a bandaged leg and could not move freely.
I also saw how they shot a man who was partially buried under the rubble and could not get out on his own.
Fighting in the Old Town ended on 31 August, and from that day until 14 October 1944 I was hiding out in the Old Town, from where I was taken in a car by some pharmacist who came there for medicaments.
At the time there were no Polish people in the Old Town, apart from those who were hiding among the rubble, just as I was. I cannot say anything about the crimes committed at the time, for I did not see anything.
At the time I witnessed only the arrival of some German general and his entourage. This general held a briefing in an open square (I don’t know its name). As I speak German, the distance was some 50 meters, and the general spoke in a loud voice, I managed to overhear some fragments of his speech. He was giving orders pertaining to the manner in which subsequent districts were to be captured. He ordered that the planes begin bombarding from the borders of a district, in order to force the populace to gather in its center, as in a dense crowd the people would be an easier target for bombs.
Since I had not lived in the Old Town before the Uprising, I cannot provide surnames of other witnesses.
I have nothing more to add to the case.