Warsaw, 29 March 1946. Judge Alicja Germasz, 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||Otylia Truka|
|Names and surnames||Mateusz and Maria|
|Date of birth||18 September 1896|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
I worked as a nurse in St Lazarus Hospital from 1926. When the uprising broke out I was at work in the hospital.
During the first days we only heard shooting from the neighbouring districts, [but] there was no fighting or insurgent posts on our grounds. Insurgents would only come occasionally, mainly to the hospital kitchens to get food.
I was in the building marked on the diagrammatic drawing with a number 4, in the urological ward, where we had around twenty hospital patients and around eighty wounded insurgents.
On 5 August 1944, when tank shelling of our district intensified, together with other hospital employees we carried the patients from my ward and the wounded (with the exception of a few who preferred to stay put) to the basements, where the kitchens and storage room were located. There we put the patients on the floor, on mattresses. Apart from the patients from my ward, patients from other wards in building 4 (in particular several mothers with infants from the women’s ward), the hospital staff, and people who happened to seek shelter there, also made their way to that basement. In total there were around three hundred people.
In the evening on 5 August 1944, a few SS men burst into the basement of the building and started dragging men into the yard. At that time, wounded Germans, soldiers, who were in our building stepped in. As a result of their intervention, the SS men ordered all people from the hospital staff to go out into the yard. Fifty-four of us went out: doctors, nurses and a few people who joined us.
We stood in the yard for about two hours, we were being moved from wall to wall of various buildings. The entire time I could hear machine gun volleys coming from the yard.
I didn’t see what was happening around me, since it was completely dark in the yard.
Two hours later we were herded through the yard in the direction of Wolska Street. Passing by the building marked with a number 2, I saw Sister Chodakowska (I don’t remember her first name) and Dr Szymańska lying dead on the ground, and in front of the building wall I saw a few corpses I was unable to identify.
We were taken down Wolska Street to St Stanislaus Hospital. I stayed there together with the St Lazarus Hospital staff. I worked there as a nurse, but I was not allowed to leave the hospital, which was controlled by the Germans.
Five days later the German head doctor allowed me and a few other people to go back to St Lazarus Hospital to get our belongings. We went there in one group under German guard. When I entered the hospital grounds, I saw several human corpses lying around in various places in the yard. The hospital buildings were partially burnt down.
My urological ward was the only one that had not been burnt down. When I got there, I saw the patients who had objected to being taken downstairs killed in their beds. There were a few of them, all of them had gunshot wounds. My colleagues, who went there with me, told me that they had seen many corpses in the basements of building number 4 and of building number 2.
I myself did not go in there. This was told to me by nurses Maciejewska and Tomaszewska (I don’t know their first names or addresses).
I went back to St Lazarus Hospital several times, as together with others – on the orders of German doctors from St Stanislaus Hospital – I moved salvaged medical equipment. One time, in the yard near building number 1, I saw an orderly pile of bodies that were on fire. I also saw the wife of a hospital porter lying dead on the stairs of building number 2. Another time when I was in St Lazarus Hospital, I saw that the basements in buildings number 2 and 4 were on fire. Those were the basements where my colleagues had seen the piles of corpses.
At the beginning of September I ran away from St Stanislaus Hospital to Pruszków.
The report was read out.