Warsaw, 19 March 1946. Judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person specified below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the gravity of the oath, the judge swore the witness in accordance with Art. 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Marta Helena Rządkowska née Lisiecka|
|Names of parents||Makary and Katarzyna née Szyszkowska|
|Date of birth||25 April 1897|
|Occupation||nurse in a children’s hospital|
|Education||secondary school and nursing course|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Kleczewska Street 13|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was a nurse in Karol and Maria Hospital in Warsaw, at Leszno Street 36, where I had worked for many years.
On 3 August 1944 the front between the insurgents and the Germans was approaching us. The area was being shot at and bombarded. Fires were breaking out all around, caused by German incendiary devices. On 5 August 1944 in the afternoon, German troops seized St Lazarus Hospital, which was situated opposite our hospital, and set it on fire.
I saw the building of St Lazarus Hospital starting to burn from the ground floor up. At that time German soldiers were already in Leszno Street, so the people who were in the burningbuilding could not escape in the direction of our hospital.
I don’t know whether it was possible to escape in the direction of Wolska Street.
At night, together with the crackle and roaring of fire, I heard desperate cries from the direction of St Lazarus Hospital.
People later told me that over six hundred people died in St Lazarus Hospital and that many partially charred corpses had been found in the burnt-out building. The cries I heard at night may have come from the upstairs room, where women with venereal diseases had been lying, who allegedly had not been permitted by the Germans to leave the burning building.
On 6 August 1944 in the morning (8–9 a.m.), a group of German gendarmes burst into the grounds of our hospital, but they retreated right away. Shortly after that German troops burst into the hospital again. They were “Ukrainians” and “Mongols” under German command. An order was issued for everyone present to leave the hospital.
When the soldiers entered, I was at the internal ward. Right after they entered, the German soldiers began looting. A “Ukrainian” tore the watch off of my wrist, others were taking valuables away from the patients. I also saw a “Kalmuk” raping my colleague, a paramedic, A.[...] K.[...] (I don’t know her present address).
I left the hospital with patients who were able to walk. The entire group, which included several seriously wounded patients on stretchers, was herded along Wolska Street. When I was passing by, I saw that the Redemptorist Fathers’ monastery on Karolkowa Street was on fire.
The group was halted on the corner of Młynarska and Wolska Street. During the halt, I was told that a gendarme had shot Dr Kmicikiewicz, I did not see this myself. On the way we met a German doctor riding a motorcycle, who ordered the soldiers escorting us to take us to Wolski Hospital.
Half an hour after [our] arrival in Wolski Hospital, Dr Rogalski notified us that the Germans had ordered ten nurses and ten patients who had come from our hospital to go back to Karol and Maria Hospital. In our hospital a group of children had been left in a separate pavilion, S, with Dr Boh [g] danowicz and nurses Stobierska (wounded by shrapnel), Wanda Moenke, Wanda Dąbrowska, Nelly Andruszkiewicz, Miss Miziołek and others.
I therefore returned to the hospital together with Gierałtowska, Szostakiewicz, Kalińska and others, ten people in total. We left Wolski Hospital together with ten of our patients, escorted by German gendarmes.
In front of the gate to our hospital (Karol and Maria Hospital) the escort ordered us to leave the patients, and [ordered us] to go into the hospital. The patients have not been seen since.
It was rumoured that they had been executed near the hospital. I myself did not see the corpses.
I don’t remember the names of the patients from that group.
At night, between 6 and 7 August 1944, “Kalmuks” stationed in the hospital set the pavilion in which the storage facility was located on fire. Since the basements of pavilion S contained a supply of fuel and spirits, we all left that building, settling in Rakowski’s garden beside the hospital. We had around twenty-five children and infants with us, a wounded elderly woman and around six wounded patients (one of them was a cousin of Dr Bohdanowicz) and the wounded nurse, Stobierska.
However, when a shooting broke out, we realised that we had placed ourselves on the front line. From behind a wall in Żytnia Street the insurgents were encouraging us to get away from there. Together with Dr Bohdanowicz, the nurses, and a few wounded patients, we went through the internal ward to a hill behind pavilion S. Nurse Dąbrowska stayed with the children in a pit, in Rakowski’s garden. We spent the night on the hill.
On the following morning (8 August 1944), a “Kałmuk” had been shot on the hill by an unidentified person. As if in response to that, a “Ukrainian” came running, ordering all healthy people to go down, leaving the wounded. We went down: Dr Bohdanowicz, Dr Gac, myself and all of the nurses with the exception of the wounded Nurse Stobierska and little Synowiec, a boy suffering from arthritis.
We were brought to the front of the hospital, and then we went on our own to Wolski Hospital. On the way Nurse Bronicka got hit by a shrapnel. A few days later a German soldier came to Wolski Hospital with a notification that a number of the patients and children in Karol and Maria Hospital were still alive and that they needed help.
The soldier was acting on his own initiative. He told us that he had small children himself, and that was why he was helping the little patients left in the hospital.
Having received this news, Dr Kurowska, Nurse Głuchowska, and I went several times to our hospital and brought back one wounded person who was still alive, Andrzej Tymowski, and a few children from Rakowski’s garden. Also, Nurse Dąbrowska came to the hospital, wounded. When I went back to our hospital for the first time after 8 August 1944, I saw corpses of several children in the pit in Rakowski’s garden (where we had left Nurse Dąbrowska with the children), on the hill I saw the corpse of Nurse Stobierska from the Hospital in Tyszkiewicza Street, I also recognized the corpse of Stępień, a hospital employee, who for a long time had been hiding in a sewage duct.
At that the report was concluded and read out.