Chorzów, 12 August 1945.
Current address: Chorzów I, Powstańców Street 1, Flat 1.
The biography of Ryszard and Stanisław Kiełbowscy, murdered by the Gestapo.
Ryszard Kiełbowski, son of Paweł and Anna, née Surowa, was born on 1 March 1915 in Dniprodzerzhynsk (Kamianske), Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in Ukraine. He spent his childhood years, from the day of his birth until 1922, with his parents, residing in what had been Ryszard’s family town since 1893.
In 1922, after a period of crop failure and famine in Ukraine, he left with his parents for Poland. That’s where, having got a job as an accountant in the Ammunition Factory, his father took up residence in Starachowice. That’s where Ryszard spent his childhood years and started his education, initially in preparatory groups outside of school and later at a public school. After his parents had moved to Radom in 1928, Ryszard, having graduated from the public school, started a technical school, from which he graduated in 1936 with a certificate as a mechanic.
In September that year, he was enlisted into the army, into the Officer Cadet School in Zamość. He was later assigned to the 8th Infantry Regiment in Lublin, from which he was moved to the reserve as an officer cadet in 1937. Having returned to Radom, he started working at the Arms Factory as a technician in the Special Measurements Room.
In 1939 he left for Warsaw. He spent a few months before the outbreak of the war with fascist Germany working at a radio telecommunication company. He was at work when the war began.
Unable to join the army because of the general disorganization of our military authorities, he returned to Radom, where he lived with his parents until 1940. Due to very difficult financial conditions, he was forced to start working at the Steyr-Daimler-Puch company, where he worked in the Technical Office.
Ryszard was married since 8 August 1940. [He was arrested] on 24 September 1942 [at] 6.00 p.m., while visiting his parents, who lived in the same house as Ryszard (Radom, Planty Street 5). Having arrested his [brother] Stanisław, the Gestapo were carrying out a search [in their flat]. Ryszard didn’t know about that. When he knocked on the door, [his parents] told his sister to answer. When she saw that it was her brother, she warned him not to come in, because the flat was being searched, but it was already too late. The Gestapo men dragged Ryszard into the flat with force and, after terrorizing him, they handcuffed him and told him to stand with his face to the wall.
Next, they performed a body search. When Ryszard asked them: “What is this about?”, he was hit in the head with a revolver. Having searched the flat and found nothing that could serve as evidence, they took Ryszard to the Gestapo building. Prior to that, they took off his handcuffs. He was also searched beforehand.
His mother followed and saw through the window that Ryszard was put with his face to the wall again in the Gestapo building, and his testimony was being written down. On the same day, Ryszard was escorted to the prison in Radom. Neither his parents nor his wife ever saw him again.
A few days later the Gestapo carried out another search at the parents’ house and – just like the first time – with no results.
On 6 October 1942, Ryszard’s wife, Regina, was arrested. She was taken straight from her work place, that is, from an office. During Ryszard’s stay in prison, the Gestapo didn’t summon any relatives or friends for an examination.
On 12 October 1942, word got out in Radom that a gallows was being build next to the Kielce road and that apparently someone was to be executed. This atrocious public act of the fascist murderers filled the people of Radom with horror. On 13 October 1942 at dawn, 10 Poles were hanged – one of them was Ryszard. “Our” Polish uniformed and secret police cordoned off the execution ground. The policemen carefully observed every move of those watching the frightening view.
Opposite the gallows there was a board put up by the fascists, saying that those executed were criminals cooperating with the saboteurs and the murderers of a Gestapo man [killed] at the Rożki railway station. At the same time, it was a warning that in the future, if there was another murder or if others guilty of cooperation were discovered, the same fate would await [those arrested], and not only them but their whole families. Their belongings would be confiscated by the German “state.” Ryszard’s wife Regina, who was in prison, apparently knew nothing about her husband’s tragic fate. The bodies of the convicts remained on the gallows for the entire day. In the evening, they [were] taken off and transported to Firlej, [to] the place where the German bandits were burying their victims.
That is how the life of Ryszard Kiełbowski was ended. He was a noble man who never harmed anyone. He was guilty of nothing more than being a good Pole. His wife Regina was taken to Auschwitz by the German bandits, where she was murdered at the end of 1943. Their possessions were seized by the Germans.
Stanisław Kiełbowski, born on 13 November 1917 in Kamianske (Dniprodzerzhynsk) in Ukraine.
The same can be said about Stanisław Kiełbowski and his life with his parents as about Ryszard. He also graduated from the public school in Radom and later joined a technical school, where he was regarded as one of the most talented students. After graduating from the technical school, he worked in the Special Measurements Room at the arms factory in Radom. In 1938 he left for Warsaw, where he worked at an airframe factory (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze – State Aviation Works) as a consignee, responsible for quality checks, until he was drafted into the army in September 1938.
Stanisław differed from Ryszard in being more ambitious at work and more talented. He was more of a realist in life. He was generally liked by his superiors as a good worker and by his colleagues – as a good and honest friend.
In the army, he was at the Officer Cadet School in Równe, handling a CKM [heavy machine gun]. He graduated in 1939. He was taken into captivity by the fascists, but he escaped from the train while being transported to Germany and returned home to Radom on 29 October 1939. At the beginning of 1940 he was forced to go to work. He worked at the arms factory (Steyr-Daimler-Puch), in the Special Measurements Room, until the fall of 1941. He then moved to the Bata Factory, where he worked in a foundry as a head technician. That’s where he was arrested by the Gestapo on 24 September 1942. (He was betrayed to the Gestapo by Migas, who was in the service of the Gestapo and who is probably currently hiding in Kraków. He may be hiding at his friend’s, Rodkro, residing in Bronowice Małe in Kraków.) After Stanisław had been arrested, on 24 September , there was a search at 4.00 p.m., during which his brother Ryszard unfortunately stopped by his parents’ place, as I have previously written.
Stanisław Kiełbowski was murdered on 14 October 1942, that is, on the day after Ryszard’s death. He was executed at the Arms Factory building in Radom.
Stanisław was very strong: during the transport of convicts from the prison to the execution ground, he was able to break the fetters. He ran out of the car, which stopped at the factory, and he tried to [either] escape or, at the sight of the gallows, provoke his oppressors so that he would be shot rather than hanged. All that was in vain, given that the execution ground was again densely surrounded by the SS, the Gestapo and “our” Polish police. He was caught, beaten and brought to the platform in front of the gallows. One of the Gestapo men came close to the table on which Stanisław was kept and [where] they were putting the rope [on him]. Seeing him, Stanisław kicked him in his ugly face with all his might. The poor man was hanged on the gallows.
I must emphasize that, having run out of the car, as I’ve mentioned above, Stanisław turned to the crowd, shouting: “You! Cowards! You’re letting us get murdered! And you, fascist bandits, will be severely punished for our blood, for the tears of our parents!” However, surrounded by a group of those malicious German dogs, he fell victim to violence, he was beaten and died.
To end this biography of our sons, unskillfully written by me, I must assure the citizens working on the diaries about the victims of the wild, degenerate, brutal German hordes, that I do not intend to exaggerate anything about my sons – about their noble, good characters. But do believe that I write about them as good, valuable people, which should be of some consolation to the nation in the future.
The mere act of describing is very hard for me, as the wounds caused by the damned Germans cannot heal and will not heal until I die, and reopening those old wounds is too painful. I’m currently in the West. I thought that I would avenge my sons, that I had to avenge them, but sadly... for Ryszard, for Stanisław, for the young Renia (20 years old), for the millions of victims of the heinous criminals... can we avenge them? The highest punishment will be too mild for them... That’s what we were saying, and now?
Here, in the West, some people want to pass over the so-called “ dwójkarze,” the heroes and martyrs. “You were well off in what the Germans called the General Gubern.” Here, you can hear that everywhere. Tears are almost shed over the fate of the Germans.
Please do not write about that, because I have no part in it. I feel a bit sorry that things are turning out differently than what we thought.
I’m afraid that soon people might start shedding tears not over the fate of our Polish victims, but over the fate of those poor, unhappy German bandits, who treated us worse than cattle and reveled in murdering us.