Jerzy Mierzwiński

[1.] Rank, surname and first name of the witness:

Senior Rifleman, Second Ensign Jerzy Mierzwiński.

[2.] Circumstances of forced deportation of civilians:

It was mostly people known for community work or well-known officials who were subject to forced deportation. The deportations took place unexpectedly, at night. Everyone lived in tension fearing that, at any moment, fate might not spare them.

[3.] Methods of interrogating and torturing the arrested during investigation:

A teacher, Wincenty Borodziewicz from Prazaroki, Dzisna district, told me that he was badly beaten during interrogation. I know that others were tortured horribly; for example, squats, beating on the chest, face, etc. It’s hard to accurately describe this right now.

[4.] Judicial proceedings, extrajudicial sentences and the method of pronouncing sentences (the documents of sentences are desirable):

On 24 December 1940, the judgment was read to me at night, sentencing me to five years of exile. There was no trial; the prison warden, a Bolshevik, simply read it to me. I do not have the document because the verdict was read; I was deported the following day.

[7.] Life in forced labor camps (camp organization, quotas):

My camp was surrounded by a wire fence. I lived in a barrack together with 35 others. In addition to the head of the camp, there were also guards, a kind of police. Work began at 6 AM [and lasted] until 7 PM. When it came to work quotas, we had to cut down seven cubic meters of wood per day, or when floating wood, I had to float 20 cubic meters of wood that was 30 cm in diameter and six meters long, from 100 m away from the river. When doing earthwork, I had to throw away five meters of soil every day.

[8.] Life in prisons:

I spent six months in prison in Oszmiana [today Ashmyany, Belarus]. There were 35 of us in a cell that measured four by six meters. The guard almost always insulted our national spirit.

[9.] Life in the settlements (the attitude of the Soviet authorities towards the Polish population deported without judicial verdicts):

The attitude of the Soviet authorities was hostile and they always tried to insult and humiliate our human and Polish dignity.

Temporary station, 16 March 1943