On 31 May 1947 in Zwoleń, the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes with its seat in Radom, this in the person of lawyer Marian Marszałek, acting pursuant to Article 20 of the provisions introducing the Code of Criminal Procedure, interviewed the person mentioned hereunder as a witness, without taking an oath. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations, of the provisions of Article 106 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and of the significance of the oath, lawyer Marian Marszałek took an oath therefrom pursuant to the provisions of Article 254.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, following which the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Sylwester Sendecki|
|Age||44 years old|
|Parents’ names||Grzegorz and Katarzyna, née Czarna|
|Place of residence||Zwoleń|
|Occupation||mayor of the township|
When the War broke out in 1939, I was a long-standing resident of Zwoleń, where I worked as a merchant. Therefore I know full well what went on during the occupation, for I was in Zwoleń throughout the War. When the Germans entered Zwoleń in 1939, they proceeded to destroy the city – deliberately and on purpose – in retaliation for the burning of an effigy of Hitler (this had occurred before the War, when the residents were manifesting against Germany). The township was utterly destroyed. Whereas in 1940 they embarked upon a carefully planned policy of physical elimination aimed against the element which they considered most dangerous to their rule, namely military personnel, teachers, and the intelligentsia. They forced all the officers and teachers to register, enticing them with the promise of well-paid jobs; when they took up these positions, the Germans ceased giving a [...]! Following their registration and official employment, that is towards the end of 1940/ in the beginning of 1941, these officers and teachers were detained and deported. Among others, the Germans expelled Woźniak (a teacher and an officer), Markiewicz, Styczyński – and a great many others. Of these, Styczyński returned. In all probability, the rest are dead. They were sent to Oświęcim and other concentration camps. The Germans arrested and deported these people without any court process or justifiable reason; they were guided solely by their objective – physical elimination.
Starting from 1941, round-ups were held in the day and the night. The populace was terrorized. This is how things went along until 1944/45. In 1942, if I remember correctly, a Jewish ghetto was set up and soon filled with Jews taken from Garbatka and Janowiec. In total, some 7,000 – 8,000 were forced into an area of 2 hectares, where there were only ten or so houses. Later on, they were taken away in the direction of Garbatka, and quite a few were killed en route. I don’t know what happened with them next. I heard that they were deported in the direction of Treblinka. In 1940, by which year we had already commenced clandestine activities that perforce took place in the forests and neighboring villages, the invader focused his attention on us and started introducing repressive measures. I know of instances, for example in Karolin, [...], Janowice, when the Germans would suddenly appear in a village and start murdering people without any court process. Mere suspicion was enough. Information would also be provided by local Volksdeutschers, who were raised in these parts and knew the people well. The following men gained notoriety in our township for their hostility: Lucjan, the mayor (now deceased), Kolz – a Volksdeutscher, Rudolf Keln, Feliks Aleksandrowicz, and Edmund Wajs. All of them left with the Germans. Kolz was around 60 years of age, tall, pockmarked, with a small beard; when I last saw him, he was clean shaven, and somewhat stooped. Rudolf Keln – balding, blind in one eye (it was scarred), around 40 years of age, of medium height.
No large-scale evictions accompanied the destruction of the city; those that were conducted were intended to terrorize the citizens. As regards repressive measures applied in the villages, these were based on collective responsibility. For example, 72 people were murdered in the village of Karolin. In the village of [...] they killed 18 people suspected of collaborating with the resistance. There were two executions in Zwoleń. I have provided the personal data and numbers of victims some time back.