On 14 January 1946, in Radom, the 2nd Judge of the District Court in Radom, based in Radom, Judge Kazimierz Borys, heard the person named below as a witness. After being informed about the criminal liability for giving false testimony, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Jan Makowski|
|Parents’ names||Szczepan, Marianna|
|Place of residence||Wincentów, Wielogóra county|
|Occupation||farmer, former Wincent village mayor|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
The first time I noticed that the Germans were shooting people in Firlej was on 4 April 1940. That is to say that on that day, as it was a market day, I was in Radom at the market, and here I observed that some trucks drove from the prison building in the direction of Firlej, escorted by Gestapo men on motorcycles. The traffic was so great that the passage was closed from Jagielloński Square towards Wałowa Street through Malczewski Street, where the prison is located. After returning from the market to Wincentow, I learned that on that day the Germans had shot about 300 people on the Firlej sands. At the time of my return, some trucks were still standing, which the Germans who carried out the execution then drove away to Radom. After the Germans had left Firlej, on the same day, I was at the execution site together with other people and I noticed shards of bones and pieces of human bodies on the sand.
On 11 April 1940, one large car brought 16 people to the sands. I watched those who had been transported being led out of the car and herded down the hill. There were more men among the condemned than women. I didn’t see the execution myself, but I heard shots coming from the sands, where the condemned were herded. Both automatic machine guns and revolvers were being fired.
On 16 May 1940, while grazing horses near the sands, I watched the preparations for an execution. Ten people were sent to the execution site. And this time they were led up the hill, to the hollow. I counted 11 groups of 10 people at that time. They were all men. Each group was led by four Germans. The condemned had their hands tied. At the very end, five women were singled out. The men were shot with automatic weapons and some of them were shot with a revolver. One could hear the first sounds of shots from the automatic weapons, and then single revolver shots. The women who were murdered in the last round were shot, judging by the sounds of the gunfire, with a revolver only.
I don’t remember the dates of the next executions. The first shooting incidents got me used to the sensation. Executions were carried out repeatedly. It happened that there would be a month’s gap between one and the other. Sometimes, however, there would be two shooting sessions in one day. In the course of these executions, individual people and entire groups of condemned people were shot, numbering a dozen or even several dozen. The condemned included both men and women, and even children. I saw with my own eyes a boy of about 11-12 years being led out of the car towards the sands, and then a shot was heard.
In the winter of 1943, before the corpses were burnt by the Germans, I saw the Germans bringing the condemned to Firlej. Because it was snowing at the time and the car could not make it any further, the Germans took the 11 condemned from the car, led them about 200 meters [down] and shot them there.
The condemned walked in threes. They were shot as they walked, three of them, by automatic weapons. Those murdered were thrown into a pit, from which sand had been taken, and then covered with snow. It wasn’t until the spring that the local residents buried the bodies with earth.
I also saw incidents when the Germans brought corpses of the deceased or those executed in another area to Firlej.
In the autumn of 1943, the Germans deported the inhabitants of Firlej, Zyła and Wincentow, screened off the sands from the road side with straw mats, placed posts and warning notices around the sands announcing that anyone caught there would face the death penalty, and then began to burn the corpses. I didn’t see this being done, but I saw the smoke rising above the sands and the fire, and in addition you could feel the smell of decaying human flesh. First, the corpses were burned in a hollow, located near the edge of the sands, the furthest from the Warsaw road. Then the fire was moved closer to the road, to an area surrounded by acacias. During the first months, fire was visible day and night. In the spring of 1944, there were pauses in the incineration of corpses lasting even several days. During this period, large cars arrived in the direction of the sands—boxes that probably transported corpses from other places to be burned. The burning of the corpses ended in March 1944.
Whether or not people were also shot at Firlej while the corpses were being incinerated, I can’t say.
The executions continued after the end of the incineration, reaching their peak in May, June, July and August 1944. The corpses of those murdered during this period were no longer burned.
They were shot right up until the final days preceding the Germans’ escape.
After the incineration of corpses was over, I was in a place where they were burned, but I didn’t find any traces there. There were neither bones nor ashes. The whole square was in order.
According to my calculations, based on my own observations, about 12,000 people died in Firlej.
The report was read out.