10 November 1967. District Court in Słupsk. Present: Judge Jacek Janowski
For the provision of court assistance at the request of the Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes in Warsaw, Świerczewskiego Street 127 no. Ds. 86/67 / OK. The judge warned the witness of the criminal liability for giving false testimony and of the obligation to tell the truth, and the witness then testified:
|Name and surname||Leopold Pacocha|
|Parents’ names||Paweł and Anna|
|Date and place of birth||10 November 1898 in Warsaw|
|Place of residence||Słupsk, 22 Lipca Street 28, flat 5|
|Relation to the parties||none|
Following this, the judge briefed the witness on the right [to refuse] to answer individual questions and on the meaning of the oath, and the witness took the oath. The witness then testified as follows:
During the occupation I lived in Warsaw, in Praga, at Wileńska Street 5, flat 39. On the third day of the Uprising, several SS men entered our yard, including one who spoke Polish. They demanded that all men who lived in this block of 150 families come down immediately to the yard, and whoever didn’t come down would be shot. I obeyed the order and went down to the yard with my son. In addition, there were about 80 other men. We were ordered to raise our hands, and the SS man speaking Polish said that the chosen ones would go with them, and that they needed to take some shovels with them. Nine were chosen, including myself and my son. The concierge was ordered to collect the shovels and hand them to us. We were taken to the Orthodox church (on the corner of Wileńska and Metodego Street).
After arriving there, I saw a larger group of SS officers, and among them the Orthodox priest. We were ordered to take off our jackets, and the same SS soldier who spoke Polish took us over to the church, where a large heap of dead people lay. Near the church he ordered us to dig a pit 20 m long and 3 m wide. He said that we should get digging straight away, because otherwise we would be lying in it. We dug a pit 70 cm deep within an hour. Then he ordered us to put the dead bodies into this pit as the SS officers looked on. Before putting the corpses in the grave, he ordered us to make a search, to remove their documents. This I did with my son. I sifted through the documents before handing them over to the SS man. They were Belorussians, Russians and several Ukrainians, young men aged 20 to 25. I should add that the church was a [transport] base for sending people to work in Germany. There were also some Russians there. Among them was one Pole (from Praga, Stalowa Street) who had a pistol in his trouser pocket. I didn’t take away the pistol and it was buried along with him. After all the dead had been buried in their grave (37 or 38 of them), they were covered with soil no more than 25 cm high. The corpses were fresh, and our hands were bloody, so one SS man washed our hands with spirits. The same SS man then said to us: ‘Polish bandits, you are lucky that our major took pity on you and ordered us to take you home, not finish you off.’ We were escorted home.
I don’t know the names of the SS men.
I gave the names and addresses of witnesses to this event in a letter to the Main Board of the Society of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy [ZBoWiD], but I can provide them once again upon request.
Besides this, I didn’t witness any other events during the occupation.
I have testified to everything and, having read this report personally, I hereby sign it as being truthful.