Warsaw, 29 July 1949. A member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Norbert Szuman (MA), interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Marek Henryk Rudnicki|
|Date and place of birth||24 January 1923 in Warsaw|
|Parents’ names||Stanisław and Maria de Grovie|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Education||4th year student of architecture|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Narbutta Street 17, flat 1|
On 26 September 1944 I entered the sewers at the corner of Szustra and Bałuckiego streets, together with my insurgent unit and a group of civilians. After wandering around for more or less nineteen hours, during which time grenades and carbide were thrown at us, we found ourselves under a sealed manhole – as it turned out later – in Dworkowa Street, directly opposite the houses at Dworkowa Street 1 and 3. While standing in the rising water, we determined that there were Germans above us. Due to the deteriorating conditions in the sewer, brought about by the rising water level and the gases generated by the carbide thrown into the sewer, a few people committed suicide, and so we decided to come out into the street. One of my friends tied a white rag to his rifle barrel and stuck it through the manhole. This resulted in the manhole being opened, and we started to exit. I was more or less the fifteenth to come out. I found myself in Dworkowa Street, and a group of gendarmes were standing near the manhole. Immediately after exiting the sewer I was beaten up by one of the gendarmes; he used the cane that I, being wounded in the side, had been supporting myself with (I had, incidentally, been hit by a dum-dum bullet). After a while I noticed that an officer standing near the manhole in a gendarme’s uniform was beckoning me. I recognized him instantly; I knew him quite well as a regular of the “Maxim” coffee shop, in which I used to draw caricatures of customers during the War. Back then he would always be dressed in civilian clothes, and I did not know that he was a German, for he spoke only in Polish – impeccably, to boot.
His description: tall, broad-shouldered, with dark, smoothly combed hair, and without any special distinguishing features. In Dworkowa Street he was in a gendarme officer’s uniform – insofar as I remember, he had a silver plaiting on his epaulets, with one or two gold stars. This officer spoke to me: – Well, well, is our artist a bandit, too? I replied, also in Polish, that I was a Polish soldier. Nevertheless, the officer separated me from the group of insurgents and told me to stand with the civilians. This group, comprising civilians, female nurses, female liaison officers, and two or three selected insurgents – myself among them – numbered some fifteen people. We stood next to the wall of the house at Dworkowa Street no. ... (the second house from Puławska Street); the insurgents, numbering more or less sixty people, including one female liaison officer (I counted the group automatically) – I would like to correct myself, this group was not made up only of insurgents – stood on the other side of Dworkowa Street in double file, along a barbed wire fence.
Suddenly I heard a shout from the group of insurgents. I turned round and saw – and heard – one of the insurgents, “Góral”, cry out: “– We will not let ourselves be slaughtered like lambs” as he tore the rifle from the hands of the gendarme standing closest to him. Immediately, he was shot by another gendarme. This was the signal for massacring the group of insurgents – all of them were shot. The firing was wild, there was chaos, and everything calmed down only when the officer whom I knew intervened. I may state that this officer of the gendarmerie was in charge of the execution of the entire group of insurgents.
We, having been taken aside, were spared this fate – apart from one insurgent who was shot because he had German boots.
On the evening of the same day, 27 September 1944 (the execution was carried out that day at around 5.00 p.m.), we were led under escort to the racetrack, from where in a group of two hundred men I was regularly taken to Siekierki to dig trenches. When an opportunity presented itself, I managed to escape from Warsaw.
At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.