15 May 1945. The testimony of Franciszek Skibniewski, resident in Warsaw – Praga district, Targowa Street 64, flat 8.

Concerning: the execution of people transported from Pawiak prison, carried out by the Germans in the Osuchowski Woods on 12 February 1943.

In connection with my testimony regarding the death of my son, who was shot dead by the Germans, I would like to testify additionally as follows:

My son, Dr Kazimierz Skibniewski, who had been arrested on 15 December 1942, was executed by firing squad on 12 February 1943. I learned of this in March 1943. I received no official notification of my son’s death. I learned from employees of the prison administration that on the night of 12 February my son was taken from his cell in Pawiak in his underwear and, together with several dozen other people, driven by motorcar out of the city and executed by firing squad. I was told that the execution took place in the so-called Osuchowski Woods, located between Piaseczno and Góra Kalwaria. I proceeded to the execution spot immediately.

In order to get to the woods, one has to take the narrow-gauge railway to the first stop after Piaseczno – Stefanów. Next you walk half a kilometre along the railway tracks until you reach the crossing, where you need to turn left, without actually reaching the forest nursery. The graves are located in a high forest at a distance of 119 paces left of the road. While there, I met the local ranger who witnessed the execution on 12 February 1943, sitting hidden in a nearby tree. He stated that these were prisoners from Pawiak, for they had been transported in Black Marias from the direction of Warsaw. In all, there were 70 people. They were executed in groups of 10, with shots to the back of the head. The prisoners were in their underwear or naked.

When I visited the Osuchowski Woods for a second time, I happened upon an old woman and her son, and they told me that the Gestapo officers had come to their village and forbidden them to take care of the graves, explaining that Jews were buried there. One of the residents then proposed that they should dig up the graves in order to identify the bodies, to which the Germans obviously did not consent, and even threatened that they would kill anyone who dared to do so.

I saw the graves of the murder victims with my own eyes. On a number of occasions Gestapo men trampled the mounds with horses, however each time the local populace would restore the graves. There are two graves. Both have mounds that are covered with moss on the sides, while in the centre a large cross was arranged from moss and decorated with a few smaller crosses whittled from wood.

Local inhabitants mention one more execution, which was said to have taken place at the beginning of February 1943; the victims were said to have been 20 women and 20 men transported from Pawiak.

I have testified truthfully. I have read the report before signing it.