Warsaw, 23 October 1945. Investigating judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for giving false testimony and of the significance of the oath, the judge swore the witness, who then testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Marian Bielewicz|
|Age||b. 19 August 1911|
|Names of parents||Marian and Wacława née Marchocka|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Długosza Street 27, flat 18|
|Occupation||no occupation, turner by trade|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
Towards the beginning of June 1943, I took up a post at Schmidt & Masterman, whose offices were located at Frascati Street 4. They were a construction company, and I worked there as a technician.
We worked in the ghetto, starting from the trenches, through Gęsia Street, all the way to Dzika Street. Being in that area, I could watch the death camp at the junction of Gęsia Street and Dzika Street. Prior to 1939, these buildings housed a military prison.
Two weeks after I started, together with some other workers, I went looking for construction beams to the premises at the junction of Dzika Street and Gęsia Street, since it was accessible; they had not walled up the entrance. In the courtyard marked 4 and 3 on the drawing attached to the witness interview report of Janina Czesława Żelazowska (the said drawing was shown to the witness), I saw, at the spot marked 12, a pit which had recently been covered with soil. Scattered all around were burnt remains of human bodies: a fragment of a tibia, of a skull, some small bones and ash; on the walls, there were paintings of palm trees, castles, swans, a garden. The wall had plenty of bullet holes. By the pit marked 12 on the drawing, towards the door, three rails were set up to form a grate.
Since before the war, i.e. since before 1939, I had known a Jew by the name of Leon Tryski and his son, Tadeusz, I think. Both of them were part of a group of laborers that had been tasked with burning the bodies of the murdered once these were brought in. He was the one who told me the details of the death camp at the junction of Gęsia and Zamenhofa streets. Tryski was one of the ten people working in the camp. He told me that 3,000 Jews had been incinerated in the courtyard marked 3 and 4 in the drawing, and that members of the Judenrat had been buried in the pit marked 12. During the exhumation by the Red Cross, the bodies in the pit were rather well-preserved, as I saw myself, which I shall explain by the fact that chlorine and some sort of yellow powder had been poured on them.
As I learnt from Tryski, Jews had been executed there since the liquidation of the ghetto up until May 1944, when the Germans finished off the Jews. At that time, the Poles were being executed at 29 Nowolipki Street.
Towards the end of May 1944, once the final batch of 75 Poles had been executed on Nowolipki Street, executions of Poles were moved to the death camp at the junction of Gęsia Street and Zamenhofa Street – I learnt this from Tryski. He and all of his fellow laborers were killed by the Germans at the end of May 1944 in the death camp at Nowolipki Street 29.
Once they had terminated that group of Jews, the Germans picked 15 Jews from the Pawiak to burn bodies. They were kept under close surveillance and it was impossible to make contact. I knew this group by sight, and earlier this year, in April, I came across two Jews from the said group on Żelazna Street in Warsaw, and they were the ones who told me what I stated above. I also learnt that four Jews from the group have survived.
I do not know their names, and I could not possibly determine them now.
The issue of the death camp was of interest to me for conspiratorial reasons, and I saw myself, working as a technician in the ghetto, that the lorries transporting prisoners from the Pawiak would drive into the death camp at the junction of Gęsia and Zamehnofa streets, and into the courtyard marked 2 in the drawing. That was in June 1943. I could see that it was the second courtyard because I knew the premises and saw the billows of smoke rising from the burning bodies after an execution.
I cannot give the number of Poles executed in the courtyard marked 2 in the drawing, but I had noticed that the executions at the death camp were carried out twice a week, and this place was completely off-limits then. Executions of Poles also took place in the courtyard marked 1 in the drawing, and I knew this from the smoke billowing also from the first courtyard. I believe that whether it was the first courtyard or the second depended on the number of people to be executed.
I can only testify what I could witness from a distance, namely billows and volleys of gunfire. As I saw myself, the Germans at the camp on Nowolipki Street would gather five people per one volley. During the executions at the death camp at the junction of Gęsia and Zamenhofa streets I sometimes heard from eighteen to twenty-some volleys. As I noticed, executions were held between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Since the spring of 1943 until the Warsaw Uprising, the remaining area marked 5 through 11 on the drawing, apart from four courtyards, , served as a camp for Jews, German criminals, who wore green triangles on their sleeves, and political prisoners from Belgium and France. No executions were carried out there, but there was a crematory, marked 10 in the drawing. In the spring of 1943, this camp was being built by the company I worked for. Around this time, I noticed that the Jews who had already lived and worked in the camp were building the said crematory, despite the fact that some of the barracks had not been finished. The crematory was at that time off-limits. I saw it, together with Janina Żelazowska, this year, in the spring, during the exhumation carried out at the site by the Red Cross.
When I was involved in the construction of the camp buildings in 1943, Jews from the camp told me that the crematory was used for incinerating the bodies of Jews who had died of natural causes, but I do not know if this is true. Around that time, on average, 100 people died daily. Before the crematory was built, the corpses were burned at Gęsia Street, at numbers 45 and 25. I saw it myself. I do not know for what purpose the crematory was used subsequently. It was a one-storey building in which you could put up to 200 people, that was my rough estimation, looking from the outside.
As regards the additional question, let me clarify that I know that the Germans had poured chlorine and yellow powder on the corpses before they were buried because during the exhumation carried out by the Red Cross, I saw yellow powder in the ground. I saw packets of this powder and chlorine in the spring of 1943 at the execution site at Nowolipki Street 29.
The report was read.