16 January 1946, Warsaw. Acting as investigative judge, Halina Wereńko, appointed to serve on the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false statements and of the significance of the oath, the witness was sworn and testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Helena Woźniak|
|Date of birth||56 years old|
|Education||illiterate, unable to write, reads a little|
|Place of residence||Bema Street 56, flat 27, Warsaw|
In August 1944, at the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising – I don’t remember the exact date – I saw the Germans set up a train carriage with a machine or a gun on it (I don’t know exactly as I don’t have any knowledge of such things), opposite Kowalski’s house, at Bema 54. The Germans on the carriage turned a crank on the machine. As a result of the cranking, which could be heard from our house, shots were fired and the house at Bema 54, made of wood, immediately caught fire.
At the time the Germans were in the Lilpop factory, firing at every person who went out into the street. For this reason we stayed at home and I didn’t see who was in the house at Bema Street 54, or whether the house was fitted with Red Cross signs.
The house I am talking about burned down, leaving a stench of burning fat. This frying continued for two weeks, the stench lingering in the air. I told my neighbor, Maria Kowalska (she now lives at Bema Street 56), that the air was filled with the smell of fat. She said that people must have made a stock of fat. The same Kowalska came to me later and told me that an on-duty railwayman heard from a German who, in turn, received this information from a gendarme, that 60 people were burned alive in the house at Bema Street 54. The Germans had removed these people from transports headed for the Western Railway Station. This group consisted of the elderly, invalids, the sick, and pregnant women. Someone else (I cannot remember who) told me that a boy had jumped out of the burning building and tried to escape along the railway tracks, but the Germans shot him as he was running. This fact would prove that people were burned alive.
But I didn’t see it myself. All I can say is that for two weeks I felt the smell of the burning fat.