Warsaw, 19 November 1945. The investigating judge Alicja Germasz heard as a witness the person specified below. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the importance of the oath the witness was sworn and testified as follows:
Józef Wasilewski, son of Bolesław and Feliksa, born 1 February 1904 in Warsaw, domiciled in Wawer, Sportowa Street 3, construction technician, Roman Catholic, nationality: Polish, criminal record: none.
Since 1929, I had lived in Wawer in my own house. On the night of 26/27 December 1939, about 12.00 midnight, when I was already in bed, I heard someone hammering at my door. My sister opened it. Three men in uniforms, with rozpylacze [“sprinklers,” i.e. submachine guns] in their hands, stormed into my house; I think they were gendarmes. They said that they had come to take away all the men from the flat.
They did not give any reason, of course.
Acting very brutally, they searched the entire flat for men. I was told to dress quickly. One of them stayed in my room with a rifle to watch me. Others went to the rooms occupied by my lodgers, Stanisław Ojżyński and Kowalewski. They told us all to dress quickly and led us out of the house, guns still pointing at us. They took us to the police headquarters in Anin. We still did not know what it was all about.
In front of the headquarters (the whole street was guarded by the Gendarmerie) we were searched for weapons. There were already a dozen men there. We were made to stand in three rows on the other side of the road, with faces to the paling. We remained there for about two hours, while new men were being brought and made to stand in rows. We were forbidden to turn around, and if someone moved, he was beaten with a rifle butt or a revolver. Then we were taken away by tens. When the time came for my ten, we were taken to the yard of the headquarters. It was completely dark in there and I could not see anything, but I heard voices, Germans laughing and the groaning of the Polish men.
These sounds were coming from the direction of the building. From the yard we were being taken by threes. We were going to the corridor up the stairs, guarded on both sides by the gendarmes. There another gendarme was standing by the door to a room. We were admitted to the room one by one. It was being carried out the following way: the gendarme who was standing by the door would take one person by the collar and throw him into the room. There was a second Gendarme standing there by the door who was tripping everyone, and as I could see when people before me had been entering the room, every single person fell. I avoided falling down and only tripped. At that moment I was kicked so hard in the lower abdomen by that gendarme that I had to bow. I had the impression that they wanted to make us bow upon entering the room. When I raised my head I saw a dozen gendarmes or Gestapo men, I cannot exactly tell, but they were all wearing uniforms.
The report was read out. At this point the report was suspended.
On 22 November 1945 in Warsaw, the investigating judge Alicja Germasz resumed hearing Józef Wasilewski as a witness (known in the case). The witness testified as follows:
I would like to add that when I was waiting in the corridor for my turn, I saw that when the previous person went out of the room and approached the stairs, he was pushed so hard by the gendarmes that he fell to the bottom of the stairs.
When I entered the interrogation room, I was called to a side table, where a German in a uniform was sitting. He asked me in Polish about my name, birth year, and occupation. Then I was told to go out. When I approached the stairs, I was kicked by the gendarmes just like the others and I found myself lying at the bottom of the stairs, without my hat. When I got up, I went up to the group of men standing by the wall. Many of them were covered in blood, without hats, some without overcoats. Then we waited for the rest to return from interrogation.
None of us knew why we had been arrested.
The Gendarmes with rozpylacze were standing in a semicircle around us. Then one of the Germans whom I had seen in the interrogation room came downstairs and read to us, first in German and then in Polish, the following sentence: “Two German soldiers were killed today on a road in Wawer; the perpetrators were not caught. For this act, you all are condemned to death by execution by the sentence of the court martial”.
Whether the sentence was signed and by whom, I do not know.
When the sentence was read some men began to ask that German man, calling him “mister major,” to pardon us, and they promised him that we would then find the perpetrators. It was, however, to no avail. They began to group us in twos and the gendarmes were taking ten twos at a time to the street. I was in the 5th ten, and when I was taken some dozen men remained. Only then I could see that there were more than a hundred men. Among us there were some teenage boys and some old men, for instance Godiszewski from Anin who was about 60 years old. The twenty of us were led through a railway tunnel, the building of the Wawer station and then the streets of Wawer, near a café. There I saw a hanged man, who was hanged on a rope fastened to the chimney.
Then we were led through the streets to the field, all the time escorted by the gendarmes with their rifles pointing at us. On that field I saw about 80 corpses of men and a row of gendarmes with rozpylacze ready to shoot. They put us in a line with our faces to the paling. The gendarmes were about three paces behind us. Someone gave a command “get down on your knees” in Polish and they fired. I dropped to the ground immediately, I felt some stings on my back and I had some haemorrhaging from the mouth, but I did not faint. Shortly afterwards I heard behind me some steps approaching from the left and single shots. I held my breath so they would not see that I was alive, as I realised they were killing the wounded. They passed by me.
After some time I managed to get up; there were no gendarmes in sight, and dead people were lying next to me. I would like to add that before I got up, I heard one more volley of shots, I think they were executing the next group after mine. I went to the house of an acquaintance in Wawer, where I immediately received medical aid, and then I was taken by a private ambulance to the Child Jesus Hospital in Warsaw. I remained in the hospital until 21 January 1940. (The witness shows a certificate from the Child Jesus Hospital of 13 April 1945 no. 122/45 and a certificate from Dr Zbigniew Skotnicki of 18 April 1945, and a discharge report from the Child Jesus Hospital of 21 January 1940 no. 3717139/40 which testify to the fact that Józef Wasilewski was treated in the hospital for gunshot wounds from 27 December 1939 to 21 January 1940).
I had to leave the hospital as I learned that the Germans were looking for me because I had survived the execution in Wawer. From that time on I had to hide for the rest of the German occupation.
I know from Dr Skotnicki that he was arrested by the Germans for helping me.
I would like to mention that I received first aid from Dr Krasocki, who was domiciled in Wawer at that time.
The report was read out.