Warsaw, 26 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 thegravity 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||Stefan Urlich|
|Names of parents||Michał and Michalina|
|Date of birth||2 September 1896 in Łęczyska village, Radom county|
|Occupation||employee of the Polish State Railways [Polskie Koleje Państwowe – PKP], Warszawa Zachodnia station, Armatnia Street 6|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Education||seven grades of elementary school|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Płocka Street 26, flat 10|
During the first days of the Warsaw Uprising I was staying in the flat at Bema Street 56. Kosakiewicz’s property was located at number 54 on the same street. On 5 or 6 August 1944 (I don’t remember the exact date) the German troops were throwing civilians out from[the houses on] Bema Street.
I was not displaced, since I worked in the kitchen for German railway workers at the West Railway Station [Dworzec Zachodni].
A few days after the expulsion of the civilians, on 8 or 9 August 1944, I noticed that a Red Cross flag had been put up over the gate of the house at Bema Street 54, the windows from the side of the railway track had been boarded up, and in front of the house gate I saw groups of two or three SS men with Red Cross bands on their uniform sleeves. At that time, alongside Bema Street groups of civilians displaced from other Warsaw districts were being herded under escort to the West Railway Station. The SS men with the Red Cross bands were separating children of the ages from six to ten, cripples, the elderly, and pregnant women from the marching groups, and they took those they had separated to Kosakiewicz’s house.
I saw all that while riding a rickshaw down Bema Street to get potatoes for the railway kitchen from a field near Szczęśliwice. I then saw children looking out of the windows from the side of Bema Street on the ground floor, and the elderly on the first floor. Judging by the fact that one could see many people gathered in the house, the flats had to be crowded.
I am unable to estimate the number of people gathered in that building.
On 11 August 1944. between 11 p.m. and midnight, I heard terrible moans, cries, and the sound of shooting coming from Kosakiewicz’s property. It seemed to me that the shots were fired from Lilpop’s property located opposite number 54. I quietly got out of thehouse (this was dangerous, workers were prohibited from leaving the house after nightfall), I crawled over to the ditch on the side of the railway track. I then saw that the house at number 54 was in flames, and at the same time I could hear terrible screaming coming from the house, curses against the Germans and children calling “mommy”.
No-one was running away from the burning house, from this side the windows had been boarded up, the doors must have been locked. Gunshot volleys were being fired from the side of Lilpop’s factory, I didn’t notice from what weapon. I understood that living people were burning, locked in that house, and that German soldiers stationed in Lilpop’s factory were shooting at the windows overlooking Bema Street.
I don’t know whether all the people gathered in Kosakiewicz’s house were burnt alive, or whether a part of them had been executed in advance.
I don’t remember at what time I was in the house on 11 August 1944.
I stayed in the ditch for around 25 minutes, and then, fearing that the Germans wound notice me, I got back to the house. During the days that followed the house at number 54 was burning down.
Having returned to Warsaw on 18 January 1945, I went to Kosakiewicz’s house, where I only found rubble. In the location where Kosakiewicz’s house used to stand, there were a lot of small bones, ashes, human skulls and shinbones. Under iron bed frames there were groups of small-sized bones, partially charred.
At that the report was concluded and read out.