Suchedniów, 13 July 1948, 1.00 p.m., I, officer Wacław Smolarczyk from the Citizens’ Militia Station in Suchedniów, acting on the basis of Article 20 of the provisions introducing the Code of Criminal Procedure, with the participation of reporter Jan Wójcik, a Militia officer, whom I have informed of his obligation to attest to the conformity of the report with the course of the procedure by his own signature, heard the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the right to refuse to testify for reasons set out in Article 104 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and of the criminal liability for making false declarations, pursuant to Article 140 of the Penal Code, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Stanisława Krogulec|
|Parents’ names||Walerian and Maria, née Świercz|
|Date and place of birth||25 January 1893, Parszów, Wąchock commune|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Michniów, Suchedniów commune|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
With regard to the matter at hand I can provide the following information:
On 12 July 1943 at about 1.00 a.m., the German gendarmerie and Gestapo surrounded the village of Michniów and waited until 4.00 a.m. Then they stopped everyone who wanted to leave the village and went from house to house, inquiring about partisans. Then the Germans gathered a group of villagers and, just before leaving, they killed about 120 people and burned 7 houses. They left Michniów village at about 2.00 p.m. I would like to emphasize that when they were in our village that first time, they caught my two sons, Stefan and Walerian, both about 20 years old, killed them, and burned them.
When they had left, nobody expected them to return, but on the second day at about 8.00 a.m. several trucks full of Germans arrived in the village, and some 2,000 Germans came on foot from the direction of Krzyżki village. They dispersed in the village and started herding all the residents into their houses, following which they executed them and set fire to the buildings where these murdered people were lying. The Germans came to my house as well. I had two more children: a 25-year-old daughter, Maria, and a 16-year-old son, Julian. These Germans forced us from the courtyard into the house and ordered us to lie down on the floor. Then they fired a shot at my son Julian, the second shot at me and the last one at my daughter Maria. The bullet hit the left side of my body, wounding me superficially, and went through my left arm. I could hear my daughter and son rasping, but after a few seconds the sound stopped. I was lying still, pretending to be dead. I heard a German say in Polish that it was done.
When the Germans left the house, I raised my head to ascertain that they were gone, but I heard their voices outside. I lay down again, pretending to be dead. I felt as if I had lost my left arm, and I saw blood streaming from the bodies of my son Julian and daughter Maria. Then the Germans returned to my house. I was lying as a corpse between my slain children. The Germans began to plunder the house, stealing all objects of greater value, whereas one of them came up to us, the corpses, and began to tap us on our arms and backs with his cane – it was a miracle he didn’t notice that I was alive. After this examination, the Germans left the building and set it on fire. I could hear the fire cracking and see the flames licking the walls. I was lying there among the dead, wondering whether I should stay put and burn to death or leave and let the Germans finish me off. There was still one door that I could use to exit the building. Suddenly, seeing that the entire house was ablaze, the Germans left, so I rushed through the door and hid in the vegetable garden, that is in broad beans and peas growing near the house. I lay there for about an hour.
Although the Germans had moved away from the house, I continued to hear various shots and saw that the entire village of Michniów was afire. Therefore I crawled into the corn and then ran off to the woods. Near the woods I met a few people and soon lost consciousness. Reportedly I passed out twice. When I came to, these people led me to a doctor in Suchedniów, who tended to my wounds and referred me to a hospital in Kielce. I want to emphasize that the whole village of Michniów was burned down and all the residents were shot to death and burned. The sole survivors were those who managed to flee or were not in the village at the time of the massacre. I cannot provide the surnames of the perpetrators since I don’t know these Germans. I can submit the name of one of the witnesses, Wacława Materek, currenly residing in Kielce.
I have nothing more to add, for I have testified all I know. After reading the report, I have signed it with my own name.