Warsaw, 14 March 1946. Investigating 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 the significance of the oath, the judge swore him in, after which the witness testified as follows:

Forename and surname Dionizy Gajewski
Date of birth 21 October 1904 in Gostynin
Names of parents Roman and Stefania née Żernicka
Occupation electrical technician in the Ministry of Industry
Education electrical technician
Place of residence Łomżyńska Street 27, flat no. 28
Criminal record none

In 1942, I started working in the Miłobędzki factory with Jan Hoppe; it was located at Polna Street 12, flat no. 14. I know that Jan Hoppe was a member of an underground organization whose aim was to fight against Germans. I was not involved in anything like that.

On 13 July 1943, at 4 p.m., I went out of the factory, heading down Oleandrów Street to Marszałkowska Street. I was stopped by a shout of halt; a Gestapo agent then searched me and escorted me to a vehicle, next to which were standing Jan Hoppe, Janusz Szaniawski, Jerzy Pieniak, and Koziatek and Ignaciuk – locksmiths whose first names I do not remember. In addition to us, several other people had been stopped, among others a person who was paying a bill in the power station. We were loaded into three cars. Due to lack of space, the factory director Świętorzecki was released, whereas Pieniak was transported in the car’s boot.

We were transported to the Gestapo building at aleja Szucha 25, where our personal details were taken down. There were no interrogations. Then we were transported to Pawiak prison. During admission we were searched thoroughly and our money and valuables were deposited. I saw then that none of us had any compromising materials.

After two days, we were transported by car to the Gestapo headquarters at aleja Szucha 25, where we were asked, one by one, who was the owner of a silver ring with an eagle on it that had been found inside the car. Koziatek confessed that the ring belonged to him; after that nobody was asked any more questions and we were transported back to Pawiak prison. As we were being taken to the administrative office there, Hoppe spotted a Gestapo man, a construction clerk, who was a client of our factory. Now, I think that he could have been there about renovation of the prison. But Hoppe and Szaniawski were hopeful that he would make an intervention then. After half an hour, Hoppe was called out of the cell. It was lunch time, between noon and one p.m. It was very hot; Hoppe was sitting without his jacket and when he asked if he should get dressed the gendarme answered that it was not necessary as they were in a hurry. After a moment, Szaniawski was called out. I waited for them to call me out and set me free. However, that didn’t happen. It was on 16 July 1943.

I want to add that in retaliation for Poles throwing grenades at an SS unit on Aleje Ujazdowskie, about 150 Pawiak prisoners were executed on 15 July. The execution may have taken place in the Ghetto after nightfall, since one could hear salvos then. On the evening of 16 July, people in Pawiak prison started saying that five open trucks full of prisoners, containing about 120 people, had left the prison that day. My friends who were called out that day may have been in that group. One could not hear any shooting that day. It was noticed that a short time after they had left, the trucks transporting the prisoners away returned. After a week, on 23 July 1943, Ignaciuk and I were called out and then transported away to Gestapo HQ at aleja Szucha 25. While there, a clerk, whom I did not know – he was of average height, clean shaven, fair-haired, fluent in Polish – said that our friends had been executed because leaflets had been found on them and that it should be a lesson for us for the future; we were then set free.

I then learnt that Miłobędzki, the factory owner, had made efforts for us to be released from Pawiak prison, through his plenipotentiary count Potocki Pentrzo[...]ki, who knew the Gestapo chief Hahn personally, which he took advantage of to make interventions.

He was thus given a promise that four of us would be released on Saturday, 17 July, and the remaining two of us the following week.

I want to add that, as I testified above, Hoppe and Szaniawski were involved in an underground organization, cooperating with the factory workers, Stanisław Wierzchalski and Tadeusz Zaleski; however, I do not know whether Pieniak, Koziatek or Ignaciuk were involved anywhere. I did not notice Hoppe or Szaniawski performing acts of sabotage in the factory against the Germans. I only know that they organized conferences, meetings, and often had and distributed the underground press.

None of these matters was raised during our stay in prison, since, as I mentioned above, there was no interrogation. During our stay in prison, the gendarmes ordered prisoners to stand facing the walls so that they would not communicate.

In addition to my testimony regarding Hoppe, I must say a few words about my experiences. Before I was hired in the Miłobędzki factory, I had lived for three years in the village of Rudka in the Krywiczki municipality in Chełm Lubelski county, where I stayed with my paternal uncle, Henryk Gajewski, who was a teacher in the elementary school in Horodyszcz. Before the war, I had worked on the construction of the ammunition factory in Kraśnik. Being afraid that I could be forced by the Germans to work in the munitions industry, I had worked in farming in Rudka.

My paternal uncle’s whole family was involved in the OZOP underground organization [Armed Defenders of Poland Bloc]. On 26 December 1943 the Germans arrested my paternal uncle Henryk Gajewski (born 1900), my aunt Stanisława Gajewska (born 1900), my cousins Janusz Gajewski (born 1922) and Henryk Gajewski (born 1924), and in addition a few other people who belonged to the organization, but whose names I do not know. My parental uncle had been executed publicly in the market square in Chełm, together with both of his sons. His wife had been executed in the so-called Borek on the Chełm-Hrubieszów road, 3 kilometres from the city.

On the night of 14 April 1944, I was arrested again in the Miłobędzki factory. I want to stress that after my first arrest was over I lived in the factory; I was a chief engineer then. In the factory very intense clandestine activities were carried out primarily by the secretary Janina Balcerzak and Mieczysław Fedorowski; distribution was undertaken by the factory caretaker Bąk.

Janina Balcerzak survived the war; as far as I know, she is in Warsaw. Fedorowski was killed during the Warsaw Uprising. Bąk was released from Pawiak prison after a two week stay; he was executed at Marszałkowska Street 17.

I learnt why I had been arrested when I was already in Pawiak prison. The Germans were to arrest a young man living on Długa Street. They found him naked when they entered the flat; however, he resisted the arrest and escaped over nearby rooftops, but left his jacket in which there was a notebook with addresses. Among other things, there was our factory’s telephone number in there. So, on the night of 14 April the Gestapo paid visits according to the list of addresses written down in the notebook. They also came to the factory, where they searched our office – in vain. The Gestapo men had already headed for the exit when one of them opened the desk of the secretary Balcerzakówna; there a six- or eight-kilo parcel of underground publications was lying right on top. Among other things there were leaflets intended for German soldiers which aim was to demoralize the German army. On many occasions I myself saw such a parcel lying prepared for distribution in the secretary’s office. After such an unexpected discovery, the Gestapo men beat up the caretaker Bąk, and then asked him what other members of staff were in the factory. He then brought the Gestapo men to me, after which they transported both me and Bąk to Gestapo HQ. There, our personal details were taken down, after which we were transported to Pawiak prison, where we were searched, were told to strip naked and had all our papers and sharp objects taken away from us. That evening, when we were going to take a shower, I met the factory proxy Tatarczuk, an engineer. Later, I learnt that on the morning of 15 April the engineer Tatarczuk had gone to the Gestapo HQ to inquire after me. They replied that at that moment they could not give him any information and they asked him to come back later. When he came for the second time, the same thing happened. At 3 p.m., when he came for the third time, he was arrested and taken to Pawiak prison.

The first time I was transported to Gestapo HQ to be interrogated was on 18 April; I was taken to the office on the third floor. There was a uniformed Gestapo man in there, fair-haired, thin; there were also two others wearing plain clothes. One of the men wearing plain clothes was the clerk in my case which I had had the year before. The other person wearing plain clothes was broad-shouldered, stout, with dark-blond hair; he was one meter and eighty centimetres tall. He was fluent in Polish and he was toying with his gun, assembling, disassembling and cleaning it. Lying on the table were a few objects used for torturing people: a whip covered with leather, plaited, narrower towards one end, 1–1.10 meters long, a wooden club which diameter was 15 millimeters and length about 1 metre; handcuffs, some pieces of string, and other things which I do not remember. The interrogation started with taking my personal details down. Right before the interrogation started, I was hit in the face by one of the Gestapo men with a roll of paper.

I want to stress that at the end of 1943 our company hadn’t yet had its cards certified by the German authorities; so we printed out about 50 blueprints of a German order for ten shooting target stands in order to ensure the security of our workers. What we had meant was that we could demonstrate that our company was working for the Germans in the event of a possible arrest. This plan had been abandoned, and the parcel, not having been destroyed, lay in the secretary’s office; it was taken together with the leaflets by the Gestapo men during the search. It was these blueprints that the gestapo man used to hit me in the face. Then I was asked for my personal details; but when I was asked if I had done military service, I replied that I had, in 1930. Then the Gestapo man tried to talk me into saying I was a member of a military organization. I did not admit to anything. When my personal details were taken down, they ordered me to take off my coat, kneel down on the floor and rest my chest on the chair; next, during the whole interrogation, the uniformed Gestapo man and the one who had interrogated me the year before took turns to hit me with the club. I was hit on the buttocks; after this interrogation I could neither lie down nor sit down for about ten days, and I had blue bruises on my body for about two months.

Before my interrogation, the same Gestapo men had interrogated my fellow inmate and friend from the Stutthof camp, Stanisław Świętosławski (I do not know his current address; he had lived on Dobra Street before the Uprising), who, after his interrogation was over, vomited bile for three days; he was then carried out of the Gestapo building on aleja Szucha and taken to Pawiak prison hospital.

I do not know why Swiętosławski was in Pawiak prison. I only know that during his arrest in his neighbours’ flat, in the night, the Gestapo men shot the owner of the flat and later asked Świętosławski what the name of the dead person was, which clearly shows that the killing was not intentional.

In reference to my interrogation in the Gestapo office, I was asked whether I had belonged to a military organization, which I denied, and whether we had produced ammunition or weapon parts in the factory for an underground organization (which was true) – I denied that. Then they asked me why Miłobędzki had escaped; I replied that I did not know anything about it, adding that he had an ill child in Skolimów. Later, I learnt that Miłobędzki hid out until the outbreak of the Uprising. Then I was asked who Janeczka was. I replied that I could check the list of employees. They also asked for Balcerzakówna’s address and what the blueprints of the military order meant. I explained to them the purpose of the blueprints. Since they continued to beat me, I asked them what they were beating me for, to which they did not reply. After I returned to Pawiak prison I was kept there until 23 May 1944. On that day, together with a transport of about 900 prisoners, I was sent to the Stutthof camp. Thetransport consisted of three groups. On Saturday morning of 21, or 20, or maybe 22 May 1944, about 350 prisoners were executed in Gęsia Street near the crematorium.

I learnt about it from the prisoners who had seen it. Only men were there. On Monday, 23 or 24 May, at the same place, there was another execution of 250 men and women from among the Pawiak prisoners. It took place at about 9 o’clock in the morning. One could hear salvos every minute. There were twenty-something salvos.

In the Saturday afternoon, one prisoner from our cell was taken out to be executed; I do not know his name. On Monday morning, between 9 and 10 o’clock, six people were selected: Olgierd Kuzke (18 or 19 years old), Sobkowiak (sixty-something years old, his daughters worked in the Jabłkowski brothers company), Kazimierz Bartczak (25–30 years old), Eugeniusz Krygier (sixty-something years old, the brother of Father Krygier, who was the parish priest at the Powązki Cemetery). I do not remember any other names.

At that time, Pawiak prisoners were selected for executions every other day, with the number of selected victims varying. They were carried out by Ukrainians or special SS firing squads wearing red bands or by RLA soldiers (former Russian prisoners of war or Russian emigrants).

In the Pawiak prison, the guards were usually Russian and their units were commanded by Germans. When I was in Pawiak prison, I noticed that the guards were brutal towards prisoners, pushed and shoved them, or ordered them to do frog leaps if they were disobedient.

There was a shopkeeper from Grójec in my cell called Łuczan in whose flat a gun had been found. After his interrogation by the Gestapo had finished he was beaten up so cruelly that there was a fist-sized wound on his buttocks. The flesh was decomposing. After a few days, he was taken to prison hospital, from where – as I learnt – after two weeks he was taken to be executed.

In reference to 24 or 23 May 1944, on Monday, after the morning execution was over, at lunch break a dozen or so prisoners were called out of the cell, ten or maybe eleven; they were informed that they would join a transport. I, and five or six other prisoners, remained in the cell. In the afternoon, at about 3 or 4 p.m., all the prisoners (there were just a few left) were taken from their cells and put in one. In the 6th Ward , on the second floor, there were 40–50 prisoners.

At dusk, 14 or 15 prisoners were called out of the cell, me included, and were arranged in twos in the corridor. We all thought that we would be executed. We were taken to another cell, in which there were a dozen or so prisoners. We saw that those prisoners’ cases were rather tough and we remained in some uncertainty. It was the Volksdeutsch Frankowski, also a prisoner, who informed us that we would join a transport.

On the following day, about 900 people were driven into the prison courtyard. We were divided into three groups there and taken back to the cells. At the break of the following day, we were taken into the corridor, arranged in twos, our hands tied up behind our backs with string, we were escorted into the courtyard, put into trucks and transported to the Warszawa Zachodnia railway station. There were posts of gendarmes with machine guns along the entire route leading to the station. We were transported to the ramp near the station, where we were loaded into freight wagons, 75-80 people in each. Each person was given a piece of bread for the journey; before the bread was distributed our hands were untied. We were transported to the Stutthof camp.

The day before the departure I had heard that a prisoner whose surname was Rose, and his first name, I think, Kazimierz, had been shot in the adjacent cell while looking out of the window, by a guard in the courtyard.

When I was being interrogated in the Gestapo office – I have just remembered – that is when I was inside a cell called the “tram,” I saw blood stains on the ceiling and the walls.

The prisoner that I have mentioned above, the Volksdeutsch Frankowski, had reportedly held a high position before the war; I think he was a commercial director of an association of foundries or metallurgical plants in Silesia. He considered himself a German. I do not know why he was in Pawiak prison.