Warsaw, 10 March 1946. The investigating judge, Alicja Germaszowa, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, heard the person mentioned below as a witness. After informing the witness about the criminal liability for giving false testimony and about the meaning of the oath, the judge took the oath from the witness, who then testified as follows:
|First name and surname||Henryk Surgiewicz|
|Date of birth||9 May 1896|
|Parents’ names||Tomasz and Marianna|
|Occupation||Engine house dispatcher, Warszawa-Praga|
|Education||Vocational school in Warsaw|
|Place of residence||Golędzinów Street 6|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
From 1936, I lived in the community at Golędzinów Street 6 in Praga, in my own home. In the second half of August 1944, I observed the following events from the windows of my apartment and the backyard of the house. On 23 August, at 3:00 p.m., a limo arrived at Odrowąż Street and stopped before entering the Jewish cemetery in front of the synagogue. This was opposite my house, about two hundred meters away. A few German gendarmes got out of the car and looked around the area of the Jewish cemetery and the nearby Catholic cemetery (Bródno). Then they left after half an hour. At 7:00 p.m. on the same day, a large covered car drove up to the same spot, a few gendarmes got out of it and ten meters from the synagogue they dug a large pit in the cemetery. Then they started moving some men out of the car. Behind every man walked a German gendarme, who led him to the pit and shot him in the back of the head with a revolver, after which he fell straight into the pit. Four men were brought out and killed in this way. The gendarmes covered the pit lightly with earth and drove off. The next day, again at 7:00 p.m., the same car arrived in the same place, in front of the Jewish cemetery. The gendarmes got out of it, dug a pit near the one they had dug the previous day, and in the same way they escorted five or six men out of the car and shot them over the ditch. Then they left and after fifteen minutes they returned with a new party of people, whom they again shot in the same way over the same pit. This time there were seven people, including a priest and a little girl (the rest were men). They covered the pit and drove off. On 25 August, at 2:00 p.m., the car drove up to the same place and six gendarmes got out, together with three civilian men. The gendarmes ordered the civilians (they were very young people, dressed in bathing suits) to dig a deep hole near the previous ones. Then everyone left. On 26 August at 7:00 p.m., the same car came again to the same place. At that moment I heard a great scream coming from the car, two young men jumped out of it and started to run; a couple of gendarmes ran after them who started firing with hand machine guns, shooting both dead on the spot, after which they dragged them by the legs and threw them in there. Then, like the previous days, they took five men out of the car and shot them in the back of the head over the pit with a revolver. They covered the pit with soil and drove off. On 27 August at 2:00 p.m., the gendarmes arrived and dug one more pit in the same place. At 7:00 p.m. that same day, they brought five or six men and shot them in the same way as the previous days. I didn’t see any executions after that day. Over the next few days I only saw the same gendarme car driving through Odrowąża Street, towards the Catholic cemetery in Bródno, and shortly thereafter single revolver shots could be heard. I think that there were still executions being conducted, only in a different place.
A few days after the events described above, I was told by Russian prisoners of war who were in a German military facility in the vicinity of my home that the gendarmes were asking the German commandant to provide people to carry out the executions, because they didn’t want to do it anymore.
At the beginning of March 1945, in the place where the above executions had taken place, an exhumation was held at which I was present. About fifteen people were exhumed at that time and identified by their families. To be clear, I was present at the exhumation of two pits, from which nine men were removed, all young. I don’t remember their names, I only know that they were all Poles and they lived in Praga or Targówek. I wasn’t present at the exhumation from the third pit, but I heard that a few people were exhumed from there. The rest of the bodies remained in the pits, where they still lie today, marked with crosses.
Whether or not the exhumation was carried out on behalf of the authorities, I don’t know.
[attachment, a sketched map]
The report was read out.