Warsaw, 21 February 1946, Judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the Commission for the investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, about the significance of the oath and the contents of Art. 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
Name and surname Stanisława Maria Preksler née Zielewska
Date of birth 7 May 1920, in Warsaw
Names of parents Antoni and Ewa née Puławska
|Occupation||living with parents|
|Place of residence||Wołomin, Kościelna Street 39|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Marital status||widowed, 2-year-old daughter|
During the German occupation I lived in Wołomin with my husband Władysław, who was a train operator at the railway.
I knew that my husband belonged to an underground organization, but he wasn’t active in the period directly preceding his arrest.
On 6 November 1943, German gendarmes and some army units organized a manhunt in Wołomin. The town was surrounded by the military, the whole population was driven down to the market by the gendarmes, women and children included. There, they separated the youth, whom they assigned to be deported to forced labor in Germany, temporarily directing them to a transit camp on Skaryszewskiej Street. Some 35 men were arrested from a list, in their homes and in the market, and were sent to Pawiak prison. None of them returned.
I remember some of the names, they were: Henryk Rudziński, 27 years old, Władysław Laskowski, 24 years old, two Kościewski brothers, 18 and 20 years old, I don’t remember their first names, Zdzisław Haberko, 22 years old, Waldemar Gilski, 25 or 26 years old, and my husband Władysław Preksler, 32 years old. I don’t remember the surnames of the other people arrested at that time.
My husband was taken from the market. Initially, a gendarme added him to the group for forced labor, but later someone must have pointed him out or recognized him, because he was added to the group taken from the list. At that time, there were many members of underground organizations in Wołomin and we thought that the Germans must have had information about this and that is why they were sifting the youth.
That day, the gendarmes conducted an inspection at Majewski’s place (resident of Długa Street) and found a weapon depot there. They knew exactly where to search and tore off boards from the floor and wall exactly where the weapons were.
I don’t know who the traitor was who snitched. The gendarmes then took Jerzy Majewski and his wife, I don’t know her name, she was eight months pregnant.
A few days later, the 35 people from the list taken from Wołomin and Radzymin, including my husband, appeared on a notice as hostages. On 3 December 1943, my husband and 17 or 18 captives from Wołomin, out of a total of 100 people, were executed on Puławska Street by the tram depot. The next day, notices were published with names, including my husband’s, with the information that the execution had been in retaliation for killing gendarmes in Warsaw. The next 18 or 17 detainees from Wołomin were executed two weeks later, they were also on the list, but I don’t know the exact location.
Mrs. Nadwodna (who resides in Wołomin), whose husband was executed, could testify about all of the above. I hereby undertake to deliver a summons for 4 March 1946 to citizen Nadwodna.
Women living close to the execution sites (I don’t know their surnames) told me that the execution went on from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. People were placed along the wall in sixes, all had bags on their heads. The convicts were passive, weak, moved like automatons.
From among the families of those murdered I am naming: Halina Rudzińska, wife of murdered Henryk (residing in Wołomin at Kościelna Street 43), Laskowska (residing in Wołomin, the bakery by the crossing), Kościelska (residing in Wołomin, a shop by the market), Haberko (residing in Wołomin, Ogrodowa Street 113), who has a list with the surnames of those murdered, the Gilskis (who lost a son) have a sweets shop opposite the railway station in Wołomin. Concerning the Majewskis, he was taken to Pawiak prison and she was executed on the outskirts of the town. Her execution was revealed by boys from Wołomin (sadly I don’t know their names), whom the Germans ordered to dig a grave for her.
I no longer see those boys, and neither I nor my friends know where Majewska’s grave is. At any rate, I know that there was no exhumation. I saw Majewski on the morrow of his arrest when, looking for my husband, I went to the gendarmerie station (I myself was not arrested because I was pregnant). I saw that Majewski had bruises on his face and that his face was swollen, he was terribly changed, his hands were chained, and there was a thick piece of rubber lying next to him.
I heard (I don’t remember from whom) that Majewski had been beaten and tortured in the Pawiak. He was executed over a month after my husbdand’s death, he appeared on a notice as a hostage, and then as an executed.
The report was read out.