On 18 July 1946, the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, in the person of vice-prosecutor A. Lehman, interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. The witness, having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Janina Zaniewska née Motylińska|
|Age||58 years old|
|Names of parents||Stanisław and Zofia née Dębska|
|Place of residence||Poznań, Loretańska Street 6, flat 8|
|Education||four pedagogical courses|
When the uprising broke out I was living in Warsaw with my family, consisting of my husband, son, and daughter-in-law, and a maid, at Marszałkowska Street 33, flat 8. On 1 August 1944, insurgents built barricades at the corner of Marszałkowska Street and Zbawiciela Square, near Mokotowska Street, so that – because of fighting taking place in front of our house – it was impossible to get through either to the insurgent side or to a safer area of the city. We stayed in a shelter in the basement of our house until 5 August. We were completely cut off from any news and weren’t able to watch any of the military action.
On 5 August, a German in uniform stormed into the basement, fired a shot at the ceiling and ordered everyone to go out onto the street immediately. There, the men and women were stood separately. Whole columns of men and women, dragged from nearby streets occupied by the Germans, stood there in this fashion. While the men were still standing, the women’s group was sent to the Gestapo headquarters on aleja Szucha. We were convoyed by the “Ukrainians” who treated us quite brutally, taking our suitcases, valuables, and jewelry. On aleja Szucha, we were placed in the inner courtyard. That same day, in the afternoon, a few hundred younger women were chosen from among those in the courtyard and ordered to form rows in front of tanks. Two or three tanks and an ambulance drove behind them. Some of the girls had to go on the tanks, on the outside. The whole procession walked along Aleje Ujazdowskie in the direction of Piusa XI Street, where there was [an insurgent] barricade. Earlier, one of the Germans had told the women selected, in Polish, that with their help the Germans would attempt to communicate with the insurgents and talk some reason into them. As I learned later from the girls, after reaching the barricade, in the midst of fighting, the insurgents called to the women to crawl over to the barricade. Some of them managed to do so, but the majority, after a failed attack by the Germans, returned. Some were wounded, mostly in the legs. After a horrible night in the courtyard, with the continual sounds of crazy fighting and smoke rising from the burning houses all around, in the morning we were expelled out on the street and managed to get to the insurgents.
I don’t have any certain knowledge about the fate of the men expelled from the basements. I only know from what people said that the men were divided into parties and executed on the same day in different places. My husband and son were probably executed in the basement. Their corpses were found together with 300 other bodies in a mass grave on Niepodległości Street.
These were my husband, Kazimierz Zaniewski, and my son Tadeusz Zaniewski.