4 January 1946, Warsaw. 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 Bogdan Duda
Age 50 years old
Parents’ names Stanisław and Marianna
Place of residence Ludwiki Street 8, flat 29, Warsaw
Occupation janitor in the hospital in Wola
Religious affiliation Catholic
Criminal record None

During the Uprising I worked as a janitor at the Wolski Hospital at Płocka Street 26, and I lived at Wolska Street 11. On 4 August 1944 I was on night duty as a janitor at the hospital, and during the morning of 5 August 1944 I went home. That day at 10 p.m., “Ukrainians” arrived at the house where I lived and told everyone to come out. When I came out, accompanied by other people, I saw four “Ukrainians” standing near the gate and many others on the street. All of them were armed with grenades and submachine guns. After coming out of the house all the men were sent by the “Ukrainians” to the courtyard at Krochmalna 90, while the women were told to go to Karolkowa Street and then, as I learned later, to St. Adalbert’s Church on Wolska Street.

In the gateway of the house we were all subjected to a thorough search. The Germans robbed us of our watches, wallets, money and jewelry. I saw the corpses of our janitor, Jan Siekuta, and another man, whose name I don’t know, lying near the gate. People told me that right after their arrival, the “Ukrainians” murdered more people in the gate. One of the “Ukrainians” asked me about my watch. When I said that I didn’t have one, he hit me in the face so hard that I fell down.

We were taken from the courtyard of the house at Krochmalna Street 88 to the courtyard of the house at Krochmalna 90. There were 20 dead bodies lying in the middle of the courtyard near the fence enclosing Mother Mary’s altar. I didn’t recognize anyone among the corpses. There were about 14 of us – Rutkowski, Zawadzki, Żmudzki, Zawistowski, Rutkowski’s father-in-law, I don’t know the others’ names. They all lived at Wolska Street 11. We were lined up by the fence near the corpses, facing the gate. There were four soldiers, probably Germans, standing opposite us, commanded by a “Ukrainian” non-commissioned officer. I don’t know the names of any of them. The “Ukrainian”, as could be inferred from the way he spoke, gave an order in German and the soldiers reluctantly discharged their rifles. The moment they fired I fell – but I had not been hit by a bullet. I was lying on one side, leaning against two corpses, splashed with the blood and the brain of one of them.

After the salvo the officer walked around the victims, finishing off the wounded from his gun. As he fired he uttered abusive words, both in German and Ukrainian. He stood near my legs and shot at the man next to whom I was lying. He probably thought that he had hit me too. Besides, it was dark, only the burning house produced some light, and he probably didn’t notice that I was still alive. After 10 or 15 minutes all fell silent and I ran into the basement situated under one wing of the house. There I found other men who had survived the same execution and who were my neighbors from the house at Wolska 11. These were Jan Wiśniewski (he now lives in Gdańsk or, to be more precise, in Wrzeszcz, at Lelewela Street 33), Jan Konarski (he now lives at 3 Maja Street, flat 2, in Warsaw), and his brother Wacław Konarski (the same address). Along with them, and with others who joined us later, I hid in the basement until 20 September 1944. That day we were captured by the Germans, field gendarmes, who delivered us to St. Adalbert’s Church, from where I was released as a hospital worker thanks to Dr Krakowski with whom, from then on, I didn’t part company.

While still in the basement at Krochmalna 90, one week after the execution, I saw through the basement window that some German soldiers, accompanied by Polish laborers, had arrived in the courtyard. The latter arranged the bodies into a pile, added some wood, boards and a door, and set it all on fire. The bodies burned weakly for a few days.

After my return to Warsaw I went to the courtyard and concluded that the remains of the deceased had been collected and buried in the courtyard.

The families of the murdered victims sometimes lay wreaths on the spot. There is also a plaque commemorating the victims.

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