Warsaw, 7 February 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 Krystyna Wanda Wilkowska
Parents’ names Romuald and Eugenia, née Trusow
Data and place of birth 27 September 1920, Radomsko
Religion Roman Catholic
Place of residence Warsaw, Białostocka Street 2E, flat 33
Nationality Polish
Education Faculty of Humanities of the University of Poznań
Occupation clerk at the Ministry of Culture and Art

When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in the Carmelite Church at Krakowskie Przedmieście Street 52 in Warsaw. On 1 August 1944, the Germans occupied the following buildings in the immediate vicinity of the church: the Presidium of the Council of Ministers, the Bristol Hotel, the Europejski Hotel, some military barracks (between Królewska Street, Saski Square and Krakowskie Przedmieście Street), the Brühl Palace, the Schicht House, the Royal Castle, the Copper-Roof Palace, a small palace at the corner of Dobra and Bednarska streets, and a station of the Blue Police at Krakowskie Przedmieście Street 1.

The students of the seminary were in contact with the insurgents who, in the first week of August, were occupying the area of Bednarska, Sowia and Mariensztat streets and the lower part of Karowa Street, including the house at no. 5. The Germans then sent tanks from Saski Square to Krakowskie Przedmieście Street up to Trębacka Street, shelling the whole street in such a way that there wasn’t any way of getting from the even-numbered side of the street to the odd-numbered side.

In the first days of the Uprising, I heard the Germans announce through loudspeakers along Krakowskie Przedmieście Street that we were under siege and therefore forbidden to appear in the street on pain of execution. On the evening of 3 August I heard their last announcement through loudspeakers, in which the Germans informed us that since shots had been fired at German soldiers from the houses on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, each house from which shots might be fired would be burnt down.

On 3 or 4 August (I don’t remember the exact date), a transport of boys from the Reformatory of Michaelite Fathers from Struga, which had been evacuated through Praga and the Kierbedzia Bridge, arrived at the seminary, led by three or four priests. The transport comprised some 30 people.

On the night from 4 to 5 August, I watched the Germans burn houses on the odd-numbered side of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, from Trębacka Street to Wende’s Pharmacy. On 8 August, the German soldiers brought a group of civilians to the seminary (some 5,600 people) from the even-numbered side of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street and from both sides of Bednarska Street up to Sowia Street. Almost all the houses were immediately set on fire. The number of people who had arrived was established because Father Jakubiec or Father Wesołowski was ordered by the Germans to make an accurate list. With that group came my friend Danuta Karczewska (currently working in Łódź, in Szterling’s Hospital), a professional nurse, and the two of us hastened to set up a first-aid post in the seminary’s pharmacy.

The German soldiers picked young men from among the people brought in, and led them in small groups to Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, where they used them as human shields for the tanks attacking the Old Town, the area of the Castle Square, Bielańska Street and Śródmieście district – the area around Królewska Street – and as a workforce for taking down barricades. They continued to do this until approximately 16 August. On the same day, 8 August, the German soldiers ordered that a transport of civilians be prepared, saying that these people would be led through the Saski Garden and out of Warsaw. Then some people left, led out in small groups in the direction of the Saski Garden. The first to leave were the Michaelite Fathers with their charges and one Sister of Charity (Sister Maria from the Ujazdowski Hospital). Soon after the Uprising, I heard that this group had been executed in the Saski Garden.

After the first transports of civilians had been sent away from the seminary, choosing people for transports became less and less frequent (it usually took place on Wednesdays). Women were also being taken. People staying in the seminary suffered many tribulations. Beginning on 9 August, groups of German soldiers from the neighboring houses would storm into the seminary under the pretext of looking for insurgents. They took young women by force, and they didn’t always come back. Those who did come back had been raped and were sick. I heard from my friend Danuta Karczewska that one of the women who had been taken by the Germans was found murdered in a bathtub in one of the flats on Focha Street; the body was lacerated. One woman (whose surname I don’t know) was raped on the seminary premises a few days after she had given birth; similar incidents were plentiful. The German soldiers who searched our premises threatened the priests with execution whenever they attempted to intervene. Due to the fact that the “Kalmyks” who were stationed at Bednarska Street 23, while shooting up the area, had wounded some German soldier who was in the corridor of the seminary, the Germans intervened and three “Kalmyks” were executed. From then on they didn’t open fire on us any more. The German soldiers, however, continued their depredations.

On 18 August, I managed to obtain a pass from a German non-commissioned officer who worked in the building by the gate of the seminary. The pass authorized me and Danuta Karczewska to travel down Krakowskie Przedmieście Street to St. Roch’s Hospital in order to carry one gravely wounded young man to that hospital. We used this pass several times to transfer wounded people to the hospital and to bring dressing materials and medicines from there. During one such excursion I encountered a German commander of the University section, Major (I’m not sure of the rank) Uhlich.

On 23 August, two SS men appeared at the seminary and demanded Die zwei blonde schwestern für Herr General (two blond nurses for the general) – meaning me and Karczewska. Fearing for our lives, we hid in the seminary garden, and the two SS men left after searching unsuccessfully for us. However, they came back at 11.00 p.m. and again conducted a search, but didn’t find us this time either. On the following day, on the morning of 24 August, the same SS men came once more and demanded that we report to them, threatening that they would execute a hundred women should we fail to comply, following which they went downstairs and waited for us to show. Thus Danuta Karczewska and I – wearing nurses’ scrubs and carrying an emblem of the Red Cross – went to the building surrounding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, that is, to the Saski Palace, to the wing on the side of the Brühl Palace. We managed to get to General Stahel. We were received by the general’s adjutant, von Hosenfeld (I think he was a captain). It turned out that Stahel had never summoned us, so I told Hosenfeld about the atrocities committed at the seminary by the Wehrmacht soldiers and the SS men. After Stahel had himself ascertained that I had told them the truth, a sentry post was set up in front of the seminary. Stahel, however, didn’t agree to the presence of so many Poles in the vicinity of the command office (there were some 4,000 people in the seminary at the time) and ordered an evacuation. From that time on, the evacuation transports were formed more frequently, and before the fall of the Old Town some people had already been evacuated from the seminary.

On 25 August, a staff physician with the rank of major arrived for an inspection. He said that he had been sent from Sochaczew, where General Stahel was with his staff at the time.

On 30 August, two women arrived at the seminary premises: Dr. Szatkowska, head of the maternity hospital at Karowa Street, and Krystyna Mrotek, who had found herself at that hospital by accident, and they asked for help in organizing an evacuation of the hospital. I took this case to General Stahel, who referred me through Hosenfeld to Major Nothe (I could hear Stahel’s characteristic voice), as he was to assume command of that section after Stahel’s departure. Hosenfeld told me that the staff and General Stahel were moving to Sochaczew. Stahel left Warsaw on 30 August 1944, but I don’t know where to.

And so I went with Krystyna Mrotek to Major Nothe, to ask for means of transport for the evacuation of the maternity hospital at Karowa Street. They placed a car at my disposal, and I transported my mother from Praga to the seminary. The car was driven by Nothe’s adjutant, Oberleutnant Rosemeier. Krystyna Mrotek, who claimed to be a Volksdeutscher, was then hired by Major Nothe as an interpreter, and from that time on she stayed in the Saski Palace.

Mrotek didn’t show me any papers concerning her status.

Major Nothe gave us two trucks for the evacuation of the hospital, and before the evening fell we managed to transport the sick women, food, surgical instruments and dressing materials – in short, the entire hospital – to the seminary.

On 2 September, a unit of “Ukrainians” took quarters in the house at Bednarska Street 23. Soldiers from that unit raped and murdered three women from the seminary who had left the premises in order to fetch water from the basements on Bednarska Street. On the morning of 3 September, Danuta Karczewska found the massacred bodies of these three women by the tap in the basement of the house at Bednarska Street 23 or 21 (I am not sure). I myself didn’t see the corpses.

On 3 September, a transport numbering up to a hundred civilians from the Old Town, escorted by German soldiers, passed along Krakowskie Przedmieście Street by the seminary. The escort didn’t allow us to approach these people, but I somehow managed to learn from one of them that this transport had come from Długa Street. This transport contained, among others, Father Rott, a Jesuit from Świętojańska Street, who told me that on Długa Street there were wounded people in need of immediate assistance, as the Germans were executing all wounded people in the Old Town. I relayed this news to Krystyna Mrotek, who began making efforts that very day to obtain a pass from Major Nothe for the nurses to go to the Old Town in order to evacuate the wounded.

On the morning of 4 September, the maternity hospital from Karowa Street left the seminary for Milanówek. On the same day, before 2.00 p.m., Krystyna Mrotek notified me and Karczewska that a transport of 6,000 people from the Old Town would shortly be marching by the seminary. Indeed, at about 2.00 p.m. a transport of people passed by the seminary. Together with Karczewska and other girls, I began to administer antidiarrheals to the people from the transport, and we also kept about 40 of the more seriously wounded people in the seminary. Krystyna Mrotek secured permission from Rosemeier, who was watching the marching column, to keep the wounded from the transport in the seminary. On the same day she brought a group of some 20 people of Jewish descent into the seminary– men, women and children. Between 7 and 14 September (I don’t remember the exact date), she sent this group by bus to Łowicz. Shortly afterwards, before 20 September, Krystyna Mrotek also left for Łowicz, taking her children along with her.

On the afternoon of 4 September, Krystyna Mrotek obtained a pass to the Old Town for a sanitary column comprising 22 stretchers (with two people per stretcher). On the evening of the same day, at about 6.00 p.m., we went to the Old Town. I carried the Red Cross banner, and we all wore Red Cross armbands. Apart from me, the following people were in this transport: Krystyna Mrotek, Danuta Karczewska, a few young girls, Professor Father Szlenk, Professor Father Kulesza, two seminary students, brothers Zbigniew and Zygmunt Miszta, a cousin of Krystyna Mrotek – some 50 people in total. We went along Podwale Street to the former building of the Ministry of Justice at Długa Street 7. The building was already burned out; the ceilings on the side of Długa Street had collapsed, and the floor on the ground floor was on fire. I saw a dozen or so bodies lying in two layers in the gateway from the street; the corpses were charred. I ran around the whole area, shouting in search of the wounded. Since I was occupied with searching for the wounded, I didn’t pay much attention to the vicinity of the hospital, which could be described in more detail by Karczewska. We tore the grating from the window of the basement on the side of Długa Street and got the wounded who were lying among the corpses out of there. Some members of our team took the wounded from other parts of the building, so in total we transported some 40 men and women to the seminary on that day.

On the night from 4 to 5 September, at 2.00 – 4.00 a.m., our sanitary column, headed by Danuta Karczewska, once again left for the Old Town, this time for the hospital at Długa Street 7. I don’t know any details pertaining to this expedition since I didn’t participate in it, but such details could be provided by Karczewska.

On 5 September before noon, our sanitary team went to the area of Długa, Freta, Mostowa and Stara streets in the Old Town. We split into two groups. I stayed with one group at the corner of Długa and Freta streets, collecting the wounded from the gates and basements in the immediate vicinity. I found eight people in serious condition and a few slightly wounded people. The other group went with Danuta Karczewska to Stara Street. When I was notified by Danuta Karczewska that an execution of wounded people was about to be carried out on Stara Street, I spoke with the sectional commander, an officer of Alsatian origin, and we ran together along Mostowa Street to Stara Street. At the corner of Mostowa and Stara streets, I saw a group of about 80 men – covered with bits of sheets, extremely emaciated and using brooms as crutches – standing against the wall. In front of them were German soldiers, with their guns at the ready. The officer stopped the execution and allowed us to take these wounded people. We filled all the stretchers (22 of them), and the rest of the wounded came with us on foot. We took some 80 wounded people from there, that is, from Stara Street. We joined them to the group of the wounded whom I had collected at the corner of Freta and Długa Streets, and we transported the whole group, some hundred people in all, to the building of the seminary. On the afternoon of the same day, 5 September, Danuta Karczewska and I led another expedition to Stara Street. This time we entered the area through the gate on the side of Freta Street and went to Stara Street through the courtyards and next to St. Hyacinth’s Church (that is through the premises of the Warsaw Charitable Society). First, one of the seminary students and I went to the basements of the first building to the right of the entrance. In the basement, which was situated immediately to the right of the entrance, I found dressing materials, and in two basements on the left side I encountered some bodies. In the first basement there were mutilated and charred human bodies. In the second basement I saw four charred corpses, which seemed twisted out of shape. There were traces of a fire in both basements. Further basements had caved in. I went outside to join my group and we went together in the direction of Stara Street. We crossed a sports field fenced with wooden boards, partially burnt. On our left we passed a statue of the Mother of God, near which, behind the fence already, there was a hearth. A few pairs of bloodied and charred stretches lay by the wall to the right of the statue. We left through the gate to Stara Street. On both sides of the gate, several dozen meters of ground were strewn with mattresses, blankets and so forth, on which there lay some 30 gravely wounded people, mostly women. Our team had eight stretchers then. All were occupied. A certain number of the wounded who could manage on their feet went with us. We also took a nurse from that group, who was also wounded. On the way, we joined a dozen or so civilians from the neighboring gates and houses to the transport. Following this larger expedition to the Old Town, Major Nothe refused to issue us a new pass to the Old Town (which would have been effective as of 5 September 1944), on the grounds that the fifth defense line was to march through that area and therefore houses in the Old Town would be torn down.

On the afternoon of 6 September, I, Danuta Karczewska and a few other people went to the Old Town without a pass. We went along Piwna Street to the Old Town Market, from where we took several civilian women. We didn’t find any wounded people.

I don’t remember the exact date, but it was before 11 September: together with Krystyna Mrotek we went to Smulikowskiego Street from the side of Tamka Street, and there I saw the bodies of 14 men with gunshot wounds, lying next to a barricade. As I learnt from women from the neighboring houses, these men had been executed by the Germans. Some time later, with the help of Krystyna Mrotek, we obtained a pass for a sanitary team to go to Drewniana Street.

On 11 September, with 28 stretchers, we went to Powiśle. We went along Bednarska, Furmańska and Browarna streets to Drewniana Street. On the way, in the side streets off of Browarna Street, we collected the remaining civilian populace, including a few wounded people. In the school on Drewniana Street we found an insurgent hospital with 28 wounded patients. Dr. Staszewski was working there. He refused to leave with the wounded, and the wounded asked only for a priest to be sent to them.

After the liberation, in April 1945, I read in a newspaper that 28 charred corpses were discovered in the school on Drewniana Street. Doctor Staszewski is allegedly alive.

I don’t remember the exact dates, but many more times, around the middle of September, Danuta Karczewska and I, and many others, went to the area of Drewniana Street, but we didn’t find any more wounded people.

After 5 September, Major Nothe moved from the Saski Palace to the Presidium of the Council of Ministers, and after 10 September he left Warsaw altogether. At more or less the same time Krystyna Mrotek also left. According to Mrotek, on the same day that Major Nothe left, Colonel Schmidt arrived to assume his post, and the sentries at the seminary were replaced with new ones. I had the impression that all the units occupying the surrounding area were replaced (I saw German units marching away and new units coming to take their place).

I don’t remember the exact date (it was sometime between 18 and 20 September), but one day a large sanitary team left the seminary and went to Czerniaków. We took some 200 wounded people from the premises of the Municipal Gasworks, the majority of whom were the wounded from the Social Insurance hospital while the rest were from the adjacent streets. There were a few paramedics and nurses in the group, but I don’t know the surnames of these women.

Schmidt ordered the evacuation of the seminary. From 19 to 23 September, the wounded were transferred on carts and in cars to the Wolski Hospital, Podkowa Leśna and Włochy. The priests and the civilians were sent to the transit camp in Pruszków.

I left Warsaw on 23 September 1944 and went from the Wolski Hospital to Opacz, avoiding the transit camp in Pruszków.

Danuta Karczewska left after me, on 28 September I believe.

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