On 18 May 1946, I, Antoni Knoll, Borough Court Judge, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, at the office of the Commission in Warsaw, in the presence of court reporter Janina Grunrowa, interviewed Wacław Kornatowski as a witness, who having been advised of the criminal liability for making false statements testified as follows:
[My name is] Wacław Kornatowski, born on 20 January 1896 in Warsaw, son of Jakub and Józefa, religion – Roman Catholic. An upholsterer by profession, residing in Warsaw at Bracka Street 18, flat 39.
I don’t remember the date, in any case it was in the year 1943, I was walking along Matejki Street in the direction of Aleje Ujazdowskie. When I was on the corner, I saw that in the vicinity of Aleje Ujazdowskie 22 and opposite two light machine guns had been set up, with their barrels facing in opposite directions. It was the same directly opposite Chopina Street, at Matejki and Piusa XI Streets, and on both sides of Aleje Ujazdowskie. I stopped at the corner of Matejki Street, for I was afraid to run, and waited to see what would happen. The men handling the machine guns were lying down beside their weapons. First there came a detachment of SS men, numbering around thirty, placing themselves in the middle of the road, at a distance of more or less 15 m from the exit of Pius XI Street. They stood with their backs to Ujazdowski Park. After a short time there arrived a couple of vehicles with folding hoods (Black Marias), from which civilians were led out, tied in twos, with blindfolds over their eyes and – as I recall – gags over their mouths. Four people in a group were placed at the iron fence at the house. Two such groups were brought forward simultaneously.
The soldiers standing in the middle of the road split into two groups, of which one shot at the first group of civilians, and the other at the second. When the first groups had been executed, two new groups were led forward and placed near […] the people who had been shot earlier.
I would like to state categorically that they were led blindfolded and tied in twos directly from the trucks.
Initially I counted the prisoners exiting the trucks, and I counted up to more than fifty, however, due to the impression left upon me by the execution, I then made a mistake in my calculations. The final groups were shot dead on the road. I think that in total there may have been more than one hundred people.
The whole execution lasted more or less one hour, and thus took place very fast. After it was all over, one of the SS men, an officer, walked up to each body and used his leg to check whether anyone was still alive (he just kicked them). In the event that a victim moved, he shot him or her with his revolver. He fired a total of five shots.
Having verified that everyone was dead, the SS men left; a few Black Marias drove up and some civilians cut the bodies’ tied arms free and, grasping them by their heads and legs, threw them into the vehicles. All of the victims were similarly dressed. Once all the bodies had been loaded, the street was cleared and the Black Marias and the vehicle carrying the cleaning party, without an escort, drove off in the direction of Belweder. When the cars had departed, the machine guns were collected and everyone left.
I also saw, albeit from a considerable distance, an [execution] that took place near the house at Nowy Świat Street 49; in front of the house in which I then lived. This also took place in 1943, however before the one at Aleje Ujazdowskie.
Twelve men were shot, among them the tailor Zaremba. The execution squad came on foot, while the prisoners were transported in a Black Maria and led out in sixes. They were neither tied nor blindfolded. They were also dressed in civilian clothes.
Following the execution, the road had water poured over it to clean it up. The bodies were loaded onto the Black Maria, which left in the direction of Krakowskie Przedmieście.
The execution squad was made up of SS men, while the Gendarmerie formed a circle and kept guard.
I don’t know anything more about these matters.
At this point the report was brought to a close.