Warsaw, 30 April 1946. Investigative Judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the Judge took the oath according to Article 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, following which the witness testified:
|Name and surname||Stanisław Wasilewski|
|Date of birth||19 December 1897|
|Parents’ names||Klemens, Malwina née Bustys|
|Occupation||member of a Verification Committee of the Blue Police by the Presidial Board of the Council of Ministers|
|Place of residence||Anin, Królewska Street 52|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
At the time of the outbreak of war I was the head of the Investigative Office of the City of Warsaw. I remained in my post during the siege, cooperating with President Starzyński and the remnants of the judicial authorities. After Warsaw’s capitulation, from November 1939, I was a member of the ZWZ [Związek Walki Zbrojnej - Union of Armed Struggle]. By the orders of my ZWZ superiors I remained in my pre-war position until 11 July 1942, when I had to escape, warned that I was in danger of getting arrested.
After Warsaw’s capitulation, on 4 October 1939, a criminal police crew headed by Dr. Wal approached me to create a criminal police in Warsaw. Dr. Wal didn’t stay around long – as a soft man, he was quickly ousted out. From the beginning, the attitude of the German authorities towards the Polish police officers was clearly negative. I was given the function of a liaison officer at the criminal police headquarters. The supervision of the activities conducted by the former office was done by the above mentioned twelve Germans from the German criminal police. The situation was that the headquarters were subordinate to these twelve Germans, while they were subordinate to the safety services, that is, the Sicherheitspolizei, whose headquarters was located in Szucha Avenue 25. The Germans called our police Hilfspolizei, that is, assisting police.
I should digress here and present the way the pre-war police was organized. The police force in Poland was divided into uniformed and investigative forces. The head of the uniformed force was a commandant, in Warsaw – the city commandant; the investigative force was led by the head of the investigative department, who was also the deputy of the uniformed police commandant. In Germany, before the war and before Hitler’s revolution, there were criminal police too, independent from the political police. After Hitler took charge, a merger of the criminal police and the political police occurred, performed by the so-called Sicherheitspolizei. After taking power in Warsaw in 1939, the Germans found that only the criminal police existed here, as the political police had already been dissipated.
Initially, as I mentioned above, the Germans didn’t undertake structural changes in our police. The following forces were functioning on the premises of Warsaw: our police, subordinated to the Germans, the so-called kripo; the German political police – the Gestapo, geheime Staatspolizei; and the uniformed German police, which supervised the Polish uniformed police. Matters regarding Polish citizens were handled by the Polish criminal police; mixed cases, where a German was a party, were dealt with by the German criminal police. The uniformed Polish police were an order service. However, the Germans would involve them in operations unpopular with the public, such as fighting illegal trade. When it comes to the Gestapo, it seems to me that it was more dependent on instructions from Berlin, even though the Germans from the civil administration who belonged to Hitler’s party also had a say in the Gestapo. Sicherheitspolizei Commandant Meisinger was the head of the Gestapo. I don’t recall the exact date, but I know that already in 1942 that position was held by Dr. Han. The head of the criminal police in 1939 was Dr. Wal, a Viennese man of a placid disposition; before the end of 1939, Kluge took over from him, and then – very soon – Britz, and from 1940 – Greizler, who held that position until the uprising in 1944.
The uniformed police had its supervision. I don’t recall all the supervisors, only a couple of surnames: Major Hohenauer, Lieutentant Colonel Badke. Both worked in 1942. Hohenauer was fiercely bent on destroying Polish identity, and I also heard of Badke that he was a true Pole-eater, too. It seems like apart from the departments I’ve mentioned there were others, but I don’t know that much about the whole structure.
Regarding the creation of the ghetto, I don’t know who issued the ordinance to create it. I presume that the order had to come from Berlin. I can recall that before the war, during his visit in Warsaw, Himmler asked to be driven around the Jewish district, so he had already been interested in that part of Warsaw by then.
The street round-ups were carried out by the Gestapo. Who gave the orders, I don’t know. The same with public executions.
If it comes to my personal observations, I need to add that from the beginning of my tenure under the German occupation I found the Germans’ attitude towards Poles to be hostile, especially towards the citizens of Warsaw. There were cases, for example, when criminal offenses were reversed to political ones. That was the case with the murder of the mayor in Żerań, which was just an ordinary murder. As a repressive measure, the Germans murdered a certain number of hostages on the spot, brought 97 to Warsaw, and I managed to have them released. It was the year 1940, I don’t recall the date.
I didn’t encounter either Leist or Fischer directly.