Warsaw, 14 January 1948. Judge Halina Wereńko, a member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as a witness, without taking an oath. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:

Name and surname Jan Ignacy Przełomski
Parents’ names Ludwik and Ernestyna, née Nentwig
Date of birth 15 May 1897 in Zagórze, district of Sanok
Religion Roman Catholic
Citizenship and nationality Polish
Education Master of Arts in Law
Place of residence Warsaw, Lindleya Street 14, flat 4
Profession department manager at the Treasury Office

When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was living at Inflancka Street 1 in Warsaw. From 1 to 14 August 1944 our house formed a point of resistance for a small detachment of insurrectionists (around 20 people) and was fired upon by the Germans from the direction of the Western Railway Station and the Citadel. During this time I remained in the cellar along with the other civilians.

On 14 August (I am not sure of the date) the insurrectionists withdrew. At around 16:00 on that day German units entered our premises from the direction of Stawki Street; I could not tell their branches of service or units. While occupying the area, the soldiers threw grenades into the cellars (the side bunker), resulting in the death of Wiśniewska and the wounding of a few people. An order was given for everyone to leave the house (in the morning). The group of residents from our house, numbering some 30 people, was taken to the municipal warehouse adjacent to the courtyard. Next, a few people – including myself and my wife – were sent to the tenement at the corner of Inflancka and Bonifraterska streets with the instruction to notify the residents that the Germans demanded the civilian population leave the building. There were insurrectionists still in this house, however some of the residents – around 30 people – exited. The house was inhabited mainly by bank office workers.

The entire group, numbering up to 60 people, was marched off by the soldiers to the warehouses at Stawki Street. At the entrance to the gate a German soldier (I didn’t recognise his unit) checked identity cards. The women were separated from the men. The women were sent to the left of the entrance, and the men to the right. When we came near the wall of a building parallel to Stawki Street, we were instructed to lie face down on the ground.

While lying there, I got the feeling that the soldiers were preparing an execution. My neighbour hid some illegal newspapers in a tin, which he then pushed towards me. Acting on my instinct of self-preservation, I called to a guard and told him that there was something that I wanted to tell him. After a while – contrary to all expectations – the guard ordered me to go with him, and led me to the warehouse building. I found myself face to face with a few servicemen who, as I judged by the behaviour and demeanour of the guard, were officers. I have no knowledge of ranks. They had grey-green uniforms and black lapel badges. I declared that I was the head of the criminal department at the customs office, and that my colleagues in the courtyard and I were not insurrectionists. I demanded that the men’s identity cards be checked and that they be released. The officer hurled abuse at me, calling me a bandit, whereupon we were approached by my neighbour, Kułyniak, the head of the tobacco monopoly department (currently in Czechoslovakia), of Ukrainian nationality, who confirmed that I was telling the truth. I was then taken to the far end of the courtyard and told to stand opposite the lying men. I saw how the soldiers took each of those who were lying on the ground, in turn, to the buildings, where I think they were checking their identity cards. Five men, amongst them Piotrowicz (now in Western Europe) and Rudnicki (currently residing in Józefow, Leśna Street), were stood beside me and the others, and then ordered once again to lie face down on the ground.

When dusk had fallen, our group of six men was taken to the group of women, who were gathered near (…) another wall of the building. I spent the night with the women. I didn’t hear any shots, but there was an air raid during the night, and in addition our ‚Ukrainian’ guards abducted some of the women and were having drunken brawls. Two women from my group were abducted (both returned). I heard the cries of a mother, to the effect that her daughter was only 11 years old. Despite her objections, her daughter was abducted and raped.

I don’t know the surnames of those people.

At around two in the morning the guard changed – the ‘Ukrainians’ were replaced with Cossacks (they had round caps with a sheepskin rim) who now took their turn at abducting women and raping them.

I don’t know the surnames of the rape victims.

The night was cold, and the women begged for cover. Hearing this, one of the guards brought some coats; Delęgowa, Bartelerska, and others recognised that these were the garments of their husbands.

The next day in the morning I saw that the group of men had disappeared from the courtyard; to date, their fate remains unknown. Our group was taken to St Wojciech’s Church in the Wola district.

At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.