Warsaw, 25 May 1949. Norbert Szuman (MA), a member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as a witness, without taking an oath, with the participation of Andrzej Janowski in the capacity of court reporter. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Article 107 and Article 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Anna Wiśniewska, née Kibler|
|Date of birth||22 January 1894, Anielin, district of Mińsk Mazowiecki|
|Parents’ names||Jerzy and Karolina, née Richert|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Religion||evangelical of the Augsburg confession|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Puławska Street 11, flat 9|
Before the War, and then after an interval of several years, I worked as a domestic help, from 1942 at the residence of a Volksdeutscher, Edward Werner, who owned a house in Warsaw at Puławska Street 11. This was a large house, with approximately ninety apartments. I think that between three and four hundred tenants lived in the house. For the most part the house was occupied by Germans, however Ukrainians also lived there. One of the German tenants of the building, by the surname of Stücher (?), worked for the German police at aleja Szucha. As far as I know, he was killed in 1943. I remember one of the Ukrainians, who if I recall correctly worked in the German army; he was cruel and dangerous to Poles. Unfortunately, I don’t remember his surname. I would like to add the Ukrainian’s surname: Murawski. Only some thirty Polish families lived in the house, over one hundred people in total.
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was at home. Apart from a portion of the tenants, a larger number of people who were passing by in the street took refuge in the house. Some two hours after the uprising broke out, German soldiers entered the shelter located in the house and drove all the people they found there – they didn’t go through the apartments – out into Puławska Street 17. I went to this house very quickly, so I could not precisely assess the situation developing in the vicinity of the next house. I saw German vehicles in Puławska Street, and I also saw how the Germans were stopping passers by, particularly men. However, at the time I witnessed no crimes.
I stayed at Puławska Street 17 together with other tenants from our original building until 3 or 4 August, after which I spent one day (4 or 5 August) at the apartment of my friends at Puławska Street 21, where – I would like to add – no crimes were committed by the Germans throughout the uprising. On 4 or 5 August (I don’t remember the exact date) I returned to the house at Puławska Street 11; this was in the morning. Around noon the same day other tenants, thrown out on 1 August into Puławska Street 17, began to return. They told me that on that day, that is 4 or 5 August, the Germans had murdered a certain number of people at Puławska Street 17, among them the caretaker of the house. On the same day the owner of the house, Werner, hung a German flag with a swastika from the building, and successfully begged a couple of German officers from the barracks at Puławska Street for a certificate stating that the house at Puławska Street 11 would not be destroyed.
Nevertheless, in the afternoon on the same day we were approached by a detachment of some ten SS men. We heard them calling “Alle Deutsche raus”. The Germans started to exit the building. Two SS men stood at the gate and checked the ID’s of those leaving. In the meantime the two officers from the barracks at Puławska Street 11 [sic] returned and intervened, trying to save the building: however, the SS men responded that they had their orders, and they – that is to say the two officers – had nothing to say in the matter.
I begged the SS men to let me go out onto the street, and was allowed to leave the building together with the Germans. A few other Poles, among others Antonina Frey (residing at Puławska Street 11), Ołdakowska, and Ronowicz with her daughter, also left the house. Right before my eyes, in the doorway, the Germans shot four nieces of the building’s owner, Werner, dead, when they tried to leave the surrounded house. The vast majority of Poles were locked up in the house.
Standing in the street, I heard shots fired in the courtyard. I heard terrible screams of women and children. I then heard the Germans ordering the Poles to leave the courtyard and go back to their apartments. I would like to add that the Germans had with them bottles filled with some liquid.
Us, that is the Germans and a few Poles, were at this time led to Litewska Street 5.
Later on, after the uprising, I learned that immediately after our departure the Germans, the SS men, doused the house at Puławska Street 11 with the liquid that they had with them and set it afire – together with the Poles who were still inside.
A few people managed to take refuge in the cellars and survive, among them Konstancja Nagot and Anna Kąpczyńska. The vast majority, however, perished.
It is estimated that some ninety persons died in the conflagration at Puławska Street 11. Even during the uprising the Germans tasked citizen Filipek, an employee of the PZH, currently residing there (Chocimska Street 24), with organising the burial of the bodies of those killed at Puławska Street 11.
To return to the day of the crime at Puławska Street 11. The group of Germans and myself were escorted to Litewska Street 5. I stayed there for three days. Other Poles present there included Antonina Frey (currently residing at Puławska Street 11), Ołdakowska, Ronowicz – I don’t know where they currently live. Basically all of us had to work, for example building barricades (Poles), while the Volksdeutscher women worked mainly in the Gestapo kitchen. One of the Volksdeutscher women, a certain Krüger (I don’t know what has happened to her), said that she observed, from a distance, the shooting of men and women in the square at the back of aleja Szucha. The victims were forced to undress before they were killed. Their bodies were placed on log piles and set alight. Throughout my stay at aleja Szucha I smelt the characteristic whiff of burning flesh. After three days spent at aleja Szucha, I was taken to Włochy, where I met my aunt, who was a nurse, and escaped to freedom.
At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.
At this point the witness declared that she is illiterate, and instead of a signature placed crosses in her own hand.