Warsaw, 6 April 1946. Judge Stanisław Rybiński, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in the Capital City of Warsaw, interviewed the undermentioned as a witness. The witness was advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath. The Judge took an oath therefrom, whereupon the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Apolonia Zabieglińska, née Kępińska|
|Parents’ names||Wojciech and Józefa, née Wojciechowska|
|Date of birth||7 February 1875|
|Place of residence||settlement of Gołąbki, Śniadeckich Street 7, district of Warsaw|
When the War broke out in 1939, I was in my flat in the Żoliborz district of Warsaw, at Mickiewicza Street 18, flat 34. I lived there with my husband, Kazimierz Zabiegliński, our older son, Jerzy, and our younger daughter. Our younger son, Władysław Zabiegliński (born in 1905), lived with his wife in a different part of Żoliborz, at Krasińskiego Street 20, flat 199. My elder daughter, Anna Zuchowicz – who was married – lived at the time (as she does now) in Gołąbki together with her son, Janusz (born on 30 March 1925), and her daughter, who was then two years old. Her husband, Kazimierz Zuchowicz, an officer pilot in active service, had left home even before the War broke out in order to actively participate in combat. After the September Campaign of 1939 he got through to Romania, from there to France and – finally – to England. My daughter’s son (and my grandson), Janusz Zuchowicz, a young man, very talented, graduated from secondary school during the War and enrolled at the clandestine Technical University. At the same time, he completed clandestine officer cadet school. In all probability, he was also a member of the resistance. Officially, he worked at some office as an interpreter, for he was fluent in German, French and English.
This was in the beginning of 1944. At the time, my grandson no longer lived at his mother’s house in Gołąbki, but in the flat of his grandmother, Mrs Zuchowicz, in Warsaw at Grójecka Street, corner of Korzeniowskiego Street. On 8 January 1944, my grandson was arrested by the Germans, whereas my daughter – his mother – later learned that he had been detained together with a friend of his (whose name and surname I do not know) while they were traveling in a cab. Apparently, my grandson had decided to take a cab due to the fact that it was getting late and because he had to deliver home a food allowance. They were stopped in Poznańska Street. I was later told that gendarmes had surrounded the cab and detained them.
My daughter received this information from some woman who had lived in Gołąbki before moving to Łódź. She also told my daughter that when my grandson was being arrested, an underground newspaper reportedly revealed itself from his sleeve.
We were unable to determine the exact cause of the arrest of my grandson and his friend. Suffice it to say that our attempts at securing his release from prison were unsuccessful. My daughter received only one letter from him. In it he informed that he was sick, and had an arm and two ribs broken. This letter was delivered by some man who had been released from Pawiak; he informed my daughter that my grandson had been cruelly beaten by the Gestapo at aleja Szucha and, while being taken back to his cell after the interrogation, had lost consciousness, fallen, and broken his arm. None of us received any more information from my grandson. Towards the end of February 1944, a poster was put up on the walls of Warsaw with a list of people who had been executed by firing squad. My grandson’s name and surname figured in this poster. All of our efforts to save him from prison came to naught. My grandson’s personal belongings were not returned. Neither did the Germans issue my daughter a death certificate. My daughter gathered 100,000 zlotys in order to save him. The Gestapo men accepted these monies through intermediaries, made promises that my grandson would be freed, and in the end did nothing.
My grandson was shot together with his friend, with whom he had been arrested by the gendarmes.
A few months later my son, Władysław Zabiegliński, was also detained. He had been a secondary school student, and thereafter graduated from the Wawelberg Technical School, following which he commenced work as a trainee at the munitions factory at Duchnicka Street; he worked there before the War and subsequently. Immediately after the Germans entered Warsaw, my son joined a political organization that had as its objective fighting the invaders. He continued as its member throughout the War. In the beginning of 1944, my son informed me that he could no longer work at the factory, for he suspected that he was being followed. After a German doctor gave him a certificate confirming that he was sick, my son removed himself from the factory and stopped appearing at his own flat, finally ceasing to visit us, his parents.
However, he continued to work in the organization. Before my son stopped coming home, he confided in his wife that he was a member of this clandestine grouping. She became so anxious that she fell ill, and we had to place her in the St. John of God Hospital. We would visit her there, and also meet with our son Władysław – something that was not possible elsewhere. On Sunday 11 June 1944, as per usual of late, I met with my son at my daughter- in-law’s bed in the hospital. He told me that next day, a Monday, he would meet with some school friend of his after work. For this reason he had to leave sooner, in order to arrange the hour of next day’s meeting with his colleague. I never saw my son again.
On Tuesday we were visited by some laborer, unknown to us; he did not introduce himself, but only said that the previous day, on Monday, 12 June 1944, my son Władysław had been detained by the Germans, and that he had seen him in Okopowa Street, cuffed and bloodied, being put into a car and driven off towards aleja Szucha. On Saturday, 17 June, this same man visited us once again and said: – Władysław Zabiegliński was shamefully murdered at aleja Szucha.Such a terrible pity, a waste of a man. Whereupon he left.
Over the next few days I tried to gather some information about my son. And indeed, it turned out that my son was no longer at Pawiak, and also that he had not been taken anywhere from aleja Szucha. We had to resign ourselves to the fact that our son had perished in the Gestapo building at aleja Szucha. Three months later, towards the end of the Uprising, on 29 September 1944, my husband Kazimierz Zabiegliński (64 years old) and a cousin, 15-year old Leszek Lisecki, who was living with us at the time, were killed by the fragments of shells fired by German tanks.
I presently live in Gołąbki with my son Jerzy, daughter Anna Zuchowicz and granddaughter Zofia. My son-in-law, Zuchowicz, has not yet returned from England. My younger daughter lives separately in Warsaw.
The report was read out.