Warsaw, 26 February 1947. The investigating judge Halina Wereńko heard as a witness the person specified below. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Jadwiga Barbara Gacówna|
|Date of birth||4 December 1926 in Łomża|
|Parents’ names||Bolesław and Zofia|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Nowy Świat Street 24, flat 16|
|Education||student of the Faculty of Chemistry at the Warsaw University of Technology|
|Occupation||clerk in a nursing home|
During the Warsaw Uprising, I was a courier in the “Zośka” battalion. For the last three days before we undertook to get to Śródmieście, the “Zośka” company from the “Zośka” battalion was stationed in the Retirement Home at Franciszkańska Street. I know that there were many old people there, mostly women.
On 29 or 30 August 1944 (I don’t remember the exact date), the Home was bombed and the majority of the elderly were killed. The part of the building which was adjacent to the church of the Franciscans was demolished, but the one in which we were barracked survived. I know that the old people who survived the bombardment of the Home were very exhausted. How many of them there were, I cannot tell, but there were many. On 30 August, we moved to Bielańska Street and I do not know the subsequent fate of the elderly. On the night of 31 August/1 September, the “Zośka” battalion was tasked with getting from the Bank of Poland through the rubble to the back of a house at Senatorska Street, opposite the St Anthony church. Only 40 people, including me, reached the destination. On the rubble between Bielańska Street and Senatorska Street, as I heard later from my fellows, more than 200 Home Army members from the battalions “Zośka”, “Wigry” and others were killed.
How many people were killed on that spot and how many were injured, I do not know, but when I was in the house at Senatorska Street, I could hear the horrifying groaning of the injured. In the morning I saw a dozen Germans soldiers (I didn’t recognize what kind of force it was) entering the rubble. I heard shooting and the groans of the members of the Home Army who were being killed (I don’t know the number of these). At about 7.00 a.m., I retreated with my unit.
In the spring of 1945, I saw on the rubble between Bielańska Street and Senatorska Street a pile of ashes and bones. Among the human remains, I saw burnt helmets with “G.S.” [Assault Group], eagles, and flags on them, belt buckles, and fragments of camouflage jackets. These remains were exhumed and buried in the military cemetery in Wola, in the “Zośka” battalion quarter.
On about 5 September, I went to Czerniaków with the “Zośka” battalion. As I took part in the action, I heard from my fellows and from the civilians that on about 16 September the Germans had seized a house at Okrąg Street 2, where there was a sanitary post for injured insurgents. The Germans murdered the injured and set the house on fire. On about 20 September, as I heard from my fellows and from the civilians, the Germans murdered the injured insurgents gathered at Wilanowska Street 18. How many people were killed that way, I do not know. On about 22 September, as I heard from my fellows and from the civilians, the Germans murdered the injured insurgents in a sanitary post at Wilanowska Street 5.
In the spring of 194 I was present during an exhumation carried out there by the Polish Red Cross, and I saw uncovered corpses in Home Army uniforms.
On the night of 22/23 September 1944, our entire “Zośka” battalion, with 40 people remaining, was at Wilanowska Street 1. As we were surrounded by the Germans, we tried to save ourselves by crossing the Vistula to reach the right bank on a “Bajka” cruiser, but in the morning the cruiser was gone and did not come back. This being the case, we grouped again at Wilanowska Street 1 and the Germans found us there (some 30 people including eight girls, as some of us had managed to get to Śródmieście). We were placed with our hands up by the “Społem” building near Solec Street. Then one of the SS men took one of our couriers, “Inka”, in the direction of a square at the back of a house at Solec Street 53. After harassment and pushing (drawing on us with lipstick, pulling on the military eagles etc.), we were taken to al. Szucha, where I managed to join the group of civilians.
During an exhumation carried out in 1945 by the Polish Red Cross at Solec Street, close to the Vistula, I recognized the body of the courier “Inka”, who had a rope around her neck, so she must have been hanged. I recognized also the body of a courier from the headquarters, who had been taken from Wilanowska Street 5, and she had also been hanged. I saw the body of a priest whose name I don’t know, also with the marks of hanging.
On 23 September 1944, lieutenant Kozłowski, crossing the square at the back of a house at Solec Street 53 from the direction of Wilanowska Street 1 with a group of civilians, saw the courier “Inka”, an unknown woman, and a priest all hanged from beams on a roof of a demolished house in the middle of that square.
I would like to add that seven girls from the “Zośka” battalion were seen for the last time in a church in Wola, and nobody has heard from them since. Men were in the POW camp and some of them have returned.
At this the report was closed and read out.