Warsaw, 16 October 1945. Investigating Judge Mikołaj Halfter interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the judge swore the witness.

The witness testified as follows:

Name and surname Jan Bronisław Janikowski
Age born 14 May 1888
Names of parents Piotr and Stanisława
Place of residence Anin, II Poprzeczna Street 1
Occupation major of the Polish Army in active service
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Criminal record none
Relationship with litigants none

On 26 December 1939, between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., I noticed an unusual movement of people on the streets of Stary Anin. Having asked one of the neighbors (I don’t remember the surname), I learned that that day (I don’t know when exactly) in Otwock a Polish thief had shot or killed a Polish policeman on duty and had then come to Anin, gone into one of the better restaurants and organized a drinking bout there with his friend. Having been informed of this (it isn’t clear by whom) the commander of the garrison of Stary Anin and vicinity, German Army lieutenant Stephan (as I heard, a pastor of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession somewhere near Hamburg before mobilization) ordered two soldiers to go to the restaurant (it was a restaurant next to the Otwock road, to the right of the railway track, looking from the direction of Warsaw), to check the thief’s ID and arrest him (I don’t know the name or surname). As people reported, the soldiers had started checking the man’s ID in a rather clumsy way, that is, they didn’t order him to raise his hands, didn’t search him, but merely demanded that he show his ID. Then he purportedly took out a gun instead of the documents and shot in the direction of the soldiers several times, the result being that he killed one and shot the other, and then fled with his friend in an unknown direction.

When this news reached the Germans, the soldiers started to beat all the Polish men and women they met on the street, regardless of age. As a result, people began to hide. The ensuing panic and confusion were what drew my attention, as I mentioned above. Around 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., I noticed increased movement of (armed) German soldiers on the street (I have to add that I lived in the same house as I do now). I realized that apparently they had announced a state of emergency. I did not leave my home, that is I did not go beyond the fence, but watched the succession of events from my garden.

At around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. I went to bed. At night, around 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. (from 26 to 27 December 1939), I was woken up by loud banging on the door of my flat. Having asked “Who’s there?,” I heard a demand in German (I should add that I understood some German at the time) to open the door. When I came out onto the veranda, I noticed that my house was surrounded by German soldiers, and when I opened the door, four armed soldiers entered my flat. Two of them went upstairs (probably looking for men, as they asked primarily if there were any other men or weapons), and two others stayed in my flat.

After those conducting the search upstairs came back, they told me to get dressed and go with them. There were no other men except me in the house.

The soldiers led me to II Poprzeczna Street, where several dozen people were already standing in three rows. They were Polish civilians of different ages. It was around 20 degrees below zero. It was very bright, because there was a full moon. Every now and again, a few people were taken to the back of the house at number 3 II Poprzeczna Street, where they were interrogated.

As I stood there under guard, I noticed that there were two units of soldiers in the street – gendarmerie and Gestapo. I then saw, when I was led to the backyard and was walking to the interrogation, that every now and again the arrested would go out of the house accompanied by a gendarme who commanded “links” or “recht,” [sic] usually kicking the Pole exiting so that he flew down from the porch (10 or 15 steps) into the backyard. I also saw that two large groups were standing on both sides of the porch – a very large group on the left and a handful of people on the right.

By the steps of the porch – separately – stood a man without a hat or shoes. I was told that he was the owner of the restaurant where the thief had killed and shot the German soldiers.

There were many soldiers in the backyard. All the groups of detainees were surrounded by armed soldiers. For no apparent reason they shot and punched the arrested Poles, beat them with the butts of their rifles and kicked them. I was also hit with the butt of a rifle in my side. Before I was led to the interrogation, I stood in the bitter cold for an hour and a half.

When I was led into the room, I noticed 10 officers and a number of armed soldiers. Standing next to a table were a lieutenant colonel (he had brown cloth lapels on his sleeves), a major, two captains and the rest lieutenants and second lieutenants. A non-commissioned officer was sitting at the table in the role of a translator and a scribe.

The arrestees were brought into the room one at a time. Having come in, I was pushed by the soldiers towards the table. The officers obviously must have seen this.

When I approached the table, I noticed that the non-commissioned officer was making a list of those interrogated. He asked me to state my personal details, including my occupation. When he learned that I was a Polish Army major (I was dressed in civilian clothes), the lieutenant colonel made a gesture expressing doubt. Then I showed them my officer registration card issued by the German authorities and my officer ID card issued earlier by the Polish Ministry of Military Affairs. The lieutenant colonel looked at these documents, I was given back the officer ID card, however he tore up the registration card saying “this is invalid,” adding in German: “now there is no document.” I said that the registration document (I was speaking in Polish, the non-commissioned officer was interpreting into German; I’m adding that the lieutenant colonel was reacting to my words before they were interpreted, so I concluded that he must have understood Polish) was valid, since it had been issued in accordance with the decree promulgated in October 1939 by the commander of General Kochenhausen’s 8th German Army; in addition, I observed that by tearing up this document in my presence (having to treat me as an enemy), and in the presence of junior officers and soldiers, he had shown disrespect for orders issued by his superior authorities and breached the basic rules of army discipline and organization.

I saw that as I spoke, the lieutenant colonel’s face showed surprise, then anger. However, he composed himself and started asking additional questions, e.g. whether I was a legionary, to which I answered no. I highlighted that I had served in the Russian Army. In response to a question, I clarified that I had fought against the Germans and the Austrians near Lublin during World War I in 1914. After the examination, the lieutenant colonel personally crossed my name out from the list made by the non-commissioned officer and told me to report within three days to the headquarters in the Sejm grounds on Wiejska Street to get a new certificate. He then ordered one of the soldiers to walk me home. This was around 2:00 a.m.

At that, because of the late hour (10:00 p.m.), the report was interrupted and read out.

17 October 1945, Warsaw, Investigating Judge Mikołaj Halfter interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the judge swore the witness. The witness testified as follows:

Name and surname: Jan Bronisław Janikowski
Known from the case

Having returned home, because my dwelling was located only 50 meters away from the house where the interrogation was taking place, until around 5:00 a.m. (I did not go to bed) I heard shouts, insults in German and moans from the groups standing in the backyard of number 3 II Poprzeczna Street. I must mention that the property where I lived was separated from the property at number 3 only by a barbed wire fence. Based on these sounds I concluded that the inhabitants of Stary Anin gathered there were being beaten by the soldiers.

Around 5:00 in the morning – it was still dark – the abovementioned sounds and cries stopped and I went to bed.

The next morning (27 December 1939), before 8:00 a.m., I went outside and saw women running and lamenting in Warszawska Street. From their words I gathered that executions had taken place. I must add that around 4:00 – 5:00 a.m., when in my flat, I had heard single shots and a dozen series of shots from machine guns from the direction of the Wawer narrow-gauge railway station.

Walking towards Wawer railway station, I noticed a hanged man over the entrance to the restaurant or the adjacent house (the restaurant, where, to my knowledge, shots had been fired at the two German soldiers). As I was later told, the hanged man was the owner of the restaurant. When I arrived at the station, I learned from the people waiting there (the train in which I was going to leave for Warsaw had been standing at the station since around 6:00 a.m.) that the Germans had supposedly dragged passengers out of the railcars and taken them to the yard where they conducted the executions. Some of the people waiting there stated that some of the passengers were executed, others that the passengers were used only for digging graves.

I left for Warsaw with no obstacles. I did not ascertain anything else personally.

I have to add that Stanisław Piegat, a hairdresser who had his salon near the Wawer narrow- gauge railway station, told me in 1939 that he had been captured at that time, was put in a row of people to be executed, and only survived thanks to the fact that he fell to the ground just before the shots were fired, which the Germans didn’t notice because it was still dark when they conducted the execution.

The groups to be executed were lit up with a spotlight (I personally learned this information from him). The execution was conducted with machine guns, in series.

Another co-owner of the house next to Wawer station, Lessma (I don’t know his first name) told me that he also had been arrested on 26 December, but was released by the Germans thanks to the fact that he had presented his ID stating that he worked in the tax office.

I also know that the owner of a house on Warszawska Street, a railwayman, was released as well after an interrogation because he had an Ostbahn band.

I was at the execution site several times and identified four and a half rows of graves, on which crosses and plaques were later placed, with the names, surnames and dates. Among those plaques were several marked “unknown.” I also saw two surnames of Jews known to me from the Wawer community – carters Płatkowski and Fogelnest.

Of my acquaintances and neighbors from the Anin estate the following were executed: engineer Szalewicz (aged over 60), Przedlecki, Suchodolski, Falencik, Gering, Gabriel Jastrzębski and a host of others whose surnames I currently don’t recall. I remember that altogether I counted (sometime after the executions) 105 graves.

As I heard, the current head (who was also head at the time) of the Stary Anin estate, Stanisław Kępiński (resident in his own house in Stary Anin on VIII Poprzeczna Street) has a detailed list of the surnames of those executed.

I have to report that – as I was told by neighbors – Gering was executed only because when asked by the Germans whether he had German origins he said no. He was a bookkeeper at the Bank of the Association of Sugar Producers, located at the Bristol hotel in Warsaw.

The widow of the executed Suchodolski lives in Stary Anin, in her own house, on Leśna Street, I don’t remember the house number.

I know that the efforts of the families of those executed, who sent special appeals to the governor of Warsaw, Fischer, and then to Frank, were successfully processed only after a long time. The families asked for permission to exhume their loved ones and move the corpses to a cemetery. Some of the corpses were moved to Warsaw, others were buried in the Glinki cemetery, under the heading “war victims.”

I will prepare a situation plan of the area highlighting the house where the interrogations took place and the site where the executions took place, and will deliver it to the judge.

I have to add that – as I heard – the executions and arrests of the inhabitants of Anin, Wawer and vicinity on 26 and 27 December 1939 were conducted by gendarmes from the 2nd and 3rd Company of the 6th Battalion, with its headquarters in Warsaw in the Sejm grounds on Wiejska Street.

I am adding that I don’t know the surnames of the German officers or soldiers who took part in the execution of Poles, apart from the surname of the commander lieutenant Stephan.

Read out.

23 October 1945, Warsaw, Investigating Judge Mikołaj Halfter interviewed the person named below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the judge swore the witness. The witness testified as follows:

Name and surname: Jan Bronisław Janikowski
Known from the case

I am delivering a situational plan, made by me, of the grounds where on 27 December 1939 the Germans committed the crime of mass executing Poles, about which I testified before (here the witness supplied the plan, which constitutes an attachment to this report).

At that the report was read out.

[the situation plan]