Warsaw, 05 March 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||Stanisław Trzciński|
|Parents’ names||Franciszek and Maria, née Jurczak|
|Date of birth||15 February 1920 in Przedziałka, district of Warsaw|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Przyokopowa Street 31, flat 13|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Education||vocational school; Konarski vocational school|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in my flat at Okopowa Street 53. On 8 August 1944, due to the fact that German units were closing in, I went to the Old Town and stopped at the house at Franciszkańska Street 9. Around 20 August I was seriously wounded in my left leg and lost the ability to walk.
On 31 August before noon German detachments, amongst whom I recognised German soldiers (I am unable to specify their unit) and Ukrainians, occupied Franciszkańska Street and led the residents out of house no. 9 and other buildings. We were driven on foot to the warehouses at Stawki Street. Since I was unable to walk unaided, the Germans ordered some other people to help me, which they did.
When passing near Inflancka Street, I saw a truck carrying only elderly people driving towards Dzika Street from the direction of Żoliborz.
We stopped at the warehouses for some three hours, and during this time new groups of people were brought in from the Old Town. Among others, I saw a group of elderly women from whome I learned that they had been taken by the Germans from the old people’s home at Zakroczymska Street. They said that some of them, together with the sisters, had already been driven off in trucks to a hospital – or so it was said. During the stop at the warehouses one of the Germans, speaking Polish and wearing the uniform of a gendarme (I frequently saw these uniforms during the occupation), carried out the segregation of the populace gathered there, ordering the healthy and younger people to form transport columns, which – as it was said – would be taken to St Wojciech’s Church at Wolska Street. The elderly, sick and wounded – myself among them – with no differentiation between sexes, were to be taken – as he said – to a hospital. And indeed, after some time a truck arrived, driven by a uniformed German (I could not tell the unit), and the people whom the gendarme had allocated to the hospital were loaded onto it.
I don’t know how many were on the truck. It was full. Among others, they took the group of elderly women from Zakroczymska Street and me. The night was closing in and we were driven to the premises of Pfeiffer’s factory at Okopowa Street. We spent the night there, but the truck that had transported us made two more trips (I got to know the driver), bringing in the rest of our group, segregated at the warehouses at Stawki Street.
While on the premises of Pfeiffer’s factory, I noticed that a detachment of SS and SD men (I recognised them by their uniform insignia) was quartered at the villa in which Pfeiffer used to live. On the morning of 1 September the same vehicle, with the same driver who had taken us from the warehouses at Stawki Street, drove a part of our group to the square located more or less opposite Pfeiffer’s factory, at Okopowa Street 59. Some of the people from our group were led on foot, while the rest were conveyed by the truck, which made two trips. I was in the vehicle and noticed how the Ukrainians and Kalmucks in German uniforms were taking raw leather from Pfeiffer’s facility.
Our whole group was placed in a wooden barn on the square at Okopowa Street 59, standing along Kolska Street. Our group was accompanied by four or five SD men and SS men, who were armed with machine pistols. The Germans were assisted by two Jews of foreign nationality. On of the Germans guarded our group – numbering some one hundred people – in the barn, while the others remained in the square. The one who was in the barn ordered us to put our valuables into a box that he was holding. After a while, one of the Germans from the square entered the barn and took ten people. Once they had been led out, I heard ten individual shots, which I counted. A few minutes later the same German entered the barn and led out a group of 15 people, myself amongst them. He walked in front and took us towards the Jewish Cemetery, which was adjacent to the square. Seeing that our group had stretched out and that no Germans were walking behind us, I jumped out of the column. I ran a few steps to the side and threw myself into an air-raid bunker that had been dug into the ground, burying myself in straw. Initially, no one reacted to my escape. After a while I heard the Germans shouting; I think they were looking for me. I remained in the shelter until the evening, waiting out the repeated waves of single shots.
When it grew dark and silence had fallen, I crawled out of the shelter and proceeded to the garden, which was separated from the square by a wooden fence. From there I saw a burning pile, further up the square, more or less between the barn in which we had been located and the shelter to which I had escaped, however closer to the Jewish Cemetery. I would like to add that logs of wood were arranged in strips along the square. I hid in the tall grass between the fence and the square. During the day I would lie in the grass, and at night go and pick the tomatoes and other vegetables that were growing close by. I hid in this way for some two weeks. Throughout this period I would hear groups of individual shots (the shooting would always last a few hours) on a daily basis, while in the night I saw the glow of the burning pile in various parts of the square. However, I did not try to approach the pile. During the day I looked through the fence and saw, at a distance of some 40 m, some Germans moving around, the Jews who I mentioned previously (I saw the Jews leading someone who could not walk on his own towards the spot where the fire burned in the night; sometimes they even carried people on a cart), and vehicles driving along Okopowa Street, transporting civilians.
I would like to add that my view was obscured, for the square was partially covered by piles of wood and the buildings of the workshops that stood there. After more or less two weeks, making use of the fact that the Germans had ceased coming to the square and the shots had ceased, I moved to the premises of the burnt-out building at Okopowa Street 53. A week or so later, I moved again, to the premises of the Jewish Cemetery, where I hid in one of the tombs. During one of my forays for food, I stumbled upon a group of six people hiding in the school at Okopowa Street 55: four women (Korzeniak, Śledź, currently residing at Okopowa Street 55, Korzeniak, and Jankowska) and two men (Korzeniak Bolesław, currently residing in Warsaw at Spokojna Street, and a boy). I joined them and together we hid on the premises of the school until 8 December 1944. Prior to this date we were joined by Stanisław Komar, who related how he had seen an execution of civilians on the square at Okopowa Street 59, stating that these people were then burned in the night on piles.
I don’t know Komar’s current whereabouts.
On 8 December we abandoned our hiding place and left Warsaw.
At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.