MARIANNA KAROLAK

Warsaw, 6 January 1970. Assistant public prosecutor Zbigniew Grędziński, delegated to the District Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes in Warsaw, heard the person named below as a witness, without an oath. The witness, after being warned about the criminal liability for giving false testimony, testified as follows:


Name and surname Marianna Karolak
Parents’ names Stanisław and Weronika
Date and place of birth 28 January 1904 in Warsaw
Place of residence Warsaw Praga-Północ, Modlińska Street 14, flat 3
Occupation housewife
Criminal record none
Relation to the parties none

[The text is identical to the preceding one pertaining to Helena Karolak. I researched the original court report and it turns out that the text indicated as Helena Karolak’s is in fact Marianna Karolak’s. As far as I can tell, Helena Karolak’s testimony was not transcribed.]

From 1927 to the present day I have lived with my family in Żerań, in Warsaw, on the Pelcowizna housing estate at Modlińska Street 14. I lived with my family in the same building throughout the Nazi occupation. The building in which I live is located on the opposite side of the current Żerań power station, on the other side of the road from the power station. My building now lies now about 100–150 meters from the power station.

I remember that in the spring or summer of 1940 or 1941, my tenants who lived at the top, whose names I cannot remember at present, informed me that an execution was being committed by some Nazis in the place where the Żerań power station currently stands. I would like to emphasize that the tenants who at that time lived at my place and who informed me about this fact, are now definitely both dead. I then went up to their apartment, because their windows overlooked the execution site. Through the window, I personally saw a group of people and a group of Nazis at a distance of about five hundred meters, who were dressed in green or gray military uniforms and wearing steel helmets.

I don’t know what division the Nazis belonged to.

I saw a dozen or so Nazis armed with machine guns. A group of about fifty or sixty people stood nearby, and as far as I remember, they were men rather. I don’t recall if there were any women there. I emphasize that the window from which I was observing was closed. It was in the morning, but I cannot say exactly what time it could have been then. However, I remember very well that it was light at that time and the visibility was good.

Despite this, I couldn’t distinguish the faces of the civilians who were standing there, and only later, from other people whose names I cannot remember at present, did I learn that they were Jews. Observing from the window, I personally saw these Nazis dressed in German military uniforms aiming the barrels of their guns towards the group of civilians. Then I personally saw these people fall to the ground en masse.

I don’t recall at the moment whether I heard shots, because I was very upset and overwhelmed by this sight. However, I am absolutely sure that this was a mass execution carried out by the Nazis on a group of standing civilians. There were about fifty or sixty victims of this murder. When only a few people were still to left be shot, I couldn’t stand the terrible sight of this Nazi crime and I was so distraught that I stopped looking and went down to my apartment, so I didn’t see what happened next.

On the same day and in the following days, I talked to various people about this crime but I don’t remember their names at present due to the significant passage of time. I learned from these people that the Nazis had shot 250 Jews or more, 250, but I don’t remember which Nazi division the criminals belonged to.

At present, from those still alive it may be possible that only Józef Karolak or Janina Zakrzewska might be able to say anything about it. Apart from them, in my opinion, no one could testify to the above circumstances.

I have read this report personally and I have signed it as being truthful.

In addition, I would like to emphasize that it is not out of the question that Józef Karolak’s stepmother might be able to say something about it.