Warsaw, 29 March 1946. Judge Stanisław Rybiński, 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, following which the witness testified:

Name and surname Leon Danielewicz
Parents’ names Józef and Józefa
Date of birth 20 February 1878
Occupation technical advisor in City Council
Education gardening school in Geisenheim
Place of residence Kabaty, post: Wilanów
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Criminal record None

From 1909 I was the director of the Municipal Gardens of Warsaw. I was holding this post when the war broke out in 1939 and subsequently throughout the German occupation. The supreme controlling authority was claimed on behalf of the Reich government by the so- called Stadthauptman (municipal starost), Ludwik Leist.

Due to the position I was holding, I often had to encounter Leist, receiving orders from him to deliver flowers to various ceremonies and to decorate tables during banquets thrown by List himself and other German dignitaries. Nobody paid the city for the plants and flowers provided. Refusing their demands was not an option.

One day in 1943, I was summoned by Leist. I came to Blank’s Palace with president Kulski and Mr. Kipa, who served Kulski as an interpreter. When we entered Leist’s office, he shook hands with Kulski, ignoring me, and then, red with anger, he started screaming about how a crime against our own nation had been committed, and why Młociny garden hadn’t been sown. I started to explain that the Młociny gardener’s wife was severely ill, and that’s why he hadn’t managed to sow the garden. Despite this, Leist replied that I could have procured hands for the work, and if he saw a similar situation in the future, there would be consequences for me. Next, he ordered me and Kulski to go to Młociny and see for ourselves that the garden hadn’t been sown. We had to do as he said. I moved the Młociny gardener to another department.

The greatest offense Leist committed, though, according to my observations, is that he ordered the municipal parks closed and Poles to be kept away from them. In this way the Saski Garden, Krasińskich Garden, Żeromskiego park and Praski park were closed, while the botanical garden and Łazienki park had been closed since the very beginning [of the occupation]. For the people of Warsaw, mainly for children and teenagers, it was a disaster. I explained to Leist several times that the parks should be opened for the people. In theory he agreed, but stalled, blaming his superiors. I sensed that he didn’t care. He promised he would open Praski park, but he stalled and eventually didn’t keep his word.

My encounters with Leist were rather scarce, I didn’t know his background. I’m aware he was from Wurzburg on the Main. I don’t know if he had been to Poland before the war or whether he took any valuables from Blank’s Palace. The servants close to him were German. Polish janitors didn’t have access to his private apartment at all.

I got to know Leist’s deputy, Fribolin, better. He was overseeing the Municipal Board’s budget and tried to cut it wherever he could. It was a real challenge to pay all the workers’ wages, especially considering that we tried to help the unemployed Polish intelligentsia, despite the German prohibition against hiring them. This way, university professors were employed in my gardening department, including rector Pieńkowski. I was exaggerating the expenditures of municipal gardening for German needs, as Fribolin was more generous about them. This way, risking my safety, I was trying to save the intelligentsia and the workers, who would have been threatened with being deported to Germany if they had become unemployed. Fribolin is dead by now. He died during the Uprising.

The report was read out.