Warszawa, 30 January 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||Stanisław Stępień|
|Date of birth||5 March 1903|
|Names of parents||Stanisław and Maria née Gołębiowska|
|Occupation||owner of a shop on Wolska Street|
|Education||seven grades of elementary school|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Wolska Street 66, flat 55|
I was in my flat at Wolska Street 64 when the Warsaw Uprising broke out. From that moment on, there was constant fighting between the insurgents and the Germans in the vicinity of our house.
On 3 August 1944, around 10 a.m., the insurgents retreated to Młynarska Street and an SS troop burst into the yard of our house, yelling that all residents were to get out (raus). In the street, men, women, and children were separated, and then a group of civilians from Wolska Street 66 was added. Women were taken to St Lawrence church, and men, whose number was around fifty, were taken to demolish a barricade in Młynarska Street, near the tram depot.
At the beginning we were ordered to push a tram car down Wolska Street to Młynarska Street, in the direction of the barricade. We were followed by German tanks. When we reached the barricade with the tram, a German officer yelled in Polish: “Run to the right and to the left”, and the soldiers from the tanks began to fire at us and at the insurgents. Eighteen men from our group fell, the rest scattered. Only then did the insurgents start firing at the Germans.
With a group of around eighteen men I made it over to the insurgents’ side.
On 3 August 1944, together with Stanisław Kuran, a police officer by profession, I went to a flat at Płocka Street 31 to get a gun and ammunition. It was impossible to get back, since the Germans had cut us off.
On 6 August 1944, soldiers threw residents out of the house, and Kuran left with them. Wojtczak (now dead), two men whose names I don’t know, and I did not go out when we were ordered to, and we stayed hiding in the basement, although the soldiers had set the house on fire. At night, looking for water, Ginczor and Biernacki joined us as well. Wojtczak and the two men hiding with me went out into the garden, trying to get out of the burning house. They were shot dead by German soldiers.
Having left the basement (I don’t remember the date), I saw their corpses, when Biernacki, Ginczor and I went out into the garden between Płocka and Syreny Street. We got there through the properties at Wolska Street 27, 25 and 23.
I then saw around thirty corpses near the house at Płocka Street 27, moreover I saw a few dozen bodies at the wall of the house at number 25 and in the yard of number 23, near the caretaker’s house. On that property, in the garden adjacent to the macaroni factory (Wolska Street 60), I saw corpses of around fifty people. Everywhere I saw bodies of men, women, and children. We went through the macaroni factory to the garage at Jabsa Street 64. In the garden I saw corpses, mostly male, arranged in a pile that was one metre high, three metres wide and four metres long.
I am unable to specify the number of corpses.
Tadeusz Trajda, whose parents and two brothers had been murdered in Jabsa Street, told me that residents of houses at Wolska Street 66, 64a, and 64 had been murdered there. Trajda presently resides in Grójec.
In the evening I saw that the pile was on fire. At present there is a grave with a cross in that location.
From the garage we went back to Płocka Street, to the basement of the house at number 25. I don’t remember the date, but one or two days after we had settled ourselves there, I saw a group of civilian workers arrive with a wagon. They were collecting corpses from the neighbouring properties and transporting them in the direction of the “Ursus” factory. The group was accompanied by a man and a woman in white aprons.
I observed for three days how the workers were rushing about, collecting corpses from the nearby area. I heard that Stanisław Czyżewski, presently employed in the Warsaw City Board, had survived the execution of the residents of the house at Płocka Street 25.
I remained hiding in the basement for a few months. Only two weeks before the liberation did I go out of the basement; I joined the workers engaged in digging trenches, and I left Warsaw with them.
At that the report was concluded and read out.