Warsaw, 15 June 1946. Judge Antoni Knoll, acting as a member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below, who testified as follows:
My name is Stanisław Gromelski, son of Teodor and Julianna, born 29 October 1900 in Ratwy, district of Maków Mazowiecki, railway office worker, married, residing in Piaseczno, Koperkowa Street 18, criminal record – none. From 28 April 1942 to 22 July 1944 I worked at the Polish Police station in Pyry as an officer. My commander was Mieczysław Dąbkowski.
During my period of service at the station in Pyry, I was present at three mass executions performed in the Kabacki Forest at the Pyry section.
I would like to correct my statement and say that I was not present at the execution itself, I just secured the road so as to ensure that no one drove along it.
On 17 July 1943 I received an order from the station commander to report to the station at 4.00 the next day, that is, on 18 July, for it would be necessary to go on a patrol into the forest. When I arrived I learned from Dąbkowski that a mass execution was to take place on that day in the forest, at a location previously pointed out to him by the German Gendarmerie. Two night watchmen, Gawarkiewicz and Stodulski, were called and tasked with digging graves, while I was told to guard the road leading from Pyry to Kabaty so that no civilians would enter the forest during the execution.
The point at which I was positioned was some 500 – 600 metres distant from the execution spot.
At around 5.00 I heard the rumble of vehicle engines from the direction of Dąbrówka. The vehicles stopped in the forest, and fifteen minutes later I heard a salvo followed by individual shots. From the point where I was standing I surmised that the salvo came from machine guns, for the shots were uneven. The subsequent individual shots, as I think, came from a revolver, for they were somewhat weaker.
I don’t know whether Stodulski and Gawarkiewicz were present at the execution.
Dąbkowski later told me that the execution was carried out by the Gendarmerie.
It did not come to my knowledge that the firing squad was comprised of Polish policemen.
Half an hour after the salvo, the vehicles left, and a moment later Dąbkowski walked up to me and said that the execution was over and that I should go and see the location.
When we arrived at the spot, I saw a freshly filled-in grave. This grave was not […], it was only levelled. I saw a pool of congealed blood some 10 metres from the grave.
Immediately after looking over the spot, we went on a patrol into the forest. While we were on the beat, Dąbkowski – who during the execution had secured the road from the direction of Kabaty – told me that after the vehicles arrived he had walked up to the execution spot at such a distance that he could hear one of the victims and Gendarmerie captain Lipscher talking. As he recounted, the exchange went thus: the prisoner asked why they were about to be shot. Lipscher responded: ‘because you are bandits’. To which the prisoner replied that he was no bandit, but engineer Bogacki. Ten men were killed during this execution.
The next execution took place on 18 August 1943, in the same way as before. My role was to guard the road from Pyry to Kabaty at a distance of some 500 – 600 metres from the place of execution, so that no civilians travelled over it at the time. Dąbkowski, who was on the other side of the execution spot, also on the road from Kabaty to Pyry, had the same task.
After the second execution Dąbkowski told me that this time some twenty-odd people were to have been shot.
During all of the executions, the firing squad was commanded by a captain of the Ordnungspolizei for the Warsaw district, Liepscher, who one day summoned Dąbkowski and asked why he was not guarding the locations, upon which people had planted a cross. He added that he had been forced to remove the cross himself.
The third execution took place on 28 September 1943. The condemned persons came from the same direction as before, and the execution proceeded similarly to those conducted on 18 July and 18 August. As Dąbkowski told me, 14 people were killed in the course of this last execution.
I declare that I do not consider it out of the questions that the reserve of the blue police from the district headquarters in Warsaw at Dworkowa Street took part in the execution. This reserve, made up of volunteers who joined the police during the War, was tasked with protecting the German Gendarmerie.
I would like to stress that only two of us, that is, Dąbkowski and myself, served at the station in Pyry. Following the liberation, Dąbkowski was arrested and reportedly detained in a camp for Germans in Rembertów. Since the Polish authorities harboured no suspicions regarding myself and my work during the occupation, I was accepted for work at the Polish State Railways in Piaseczno.
The report was read out, and the interview closed.