Warsaw, 14 March 1946. Judge Stanisław Rybiński, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named 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 in the witness, who then testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Stanisław Schönfeld|
|Date of birth||11 June 1882|
|Names of parents||Ryszard and Amelia née Zindler|
|Education||Warsaw Agricultural University|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Rakowiecka Street 8|
In 1943, I lived with my son Kazimierz Stanisław Schönfeld (born 21 June 1918) at Marszałkowska Street 53.
On 20 October 1943, at around 5:00 p.m., my son left home, going to Koszykowa Street to the Wykowski electro-technical company to charge a battery, and didn’t return home. I began to search for him the next day and learned that on 20 October at 4:00 p.m., the owner of the Wykowski company had been arrested along with his son and daughter-in- law, and within a few hours of the arrest the Germans detained everyone coming into the shop, including my son, and took those arrested to Pawiak prison. I made efforts to get my son out of prison. Since, like me, he was an employee of the Warsaw Agricultural Chamber, part of the Distrikstelle des Distrikts Warschau, I began to make attempts through official channels, via the German superior authorities. The closest person who could undertake such intervention was Maks Horn, a district official. His interventions brought no results. I acted very discretely, fearing to provoke the Gestapo men.
Since my efforts had brought no results by 25 October, I turned to a superior, Cersowins, as the head of the district farming division. I obtained a letter from him, written at the request of the head director of the district, Dr. Kreker, to whom the farming, meat and dairy divisions as well as the managers of estates (Liegenschaft) were subordinated, to Gestapo major, Dr Kah.
On 26 October, I personally went to the Gestapo HQ and talked to Dr. Kah after the letter had been delivered to him. Dr. Kah was seemingly well-disposed towards my request to examine the case, but the next day a letter came to the Agricultural Chamber from the Gestapo HQ, saying that my son’s release was not to be expected. I didn’t learn of this letter until later. At the same time I made personal attempts through a third party among the Gestapo staff, offering one thousand zlotys for my son’s release. Two interested Gestapo men reportedly declined to intervene after examining the documents.
I don’t know what my son had been charged with because the messages I got from him from the Pawiak suggested that he had not confessed to anything. At the same time, I learned from loudspeakers in the street that the young Wykowski was executed some three days after the arrest. I don’t know what happened to Wykowski the father. I only learned from his daughter, whom I ran into, that he was ill and was in the prison hospital.
On 1 November 1943, the first list of Polish hostages was published throughout the city; they were called bandits and communists on London’s payroll, and my son’s name was listed under no. 10, I think. On 2 November, I managed to obtain a conversation with Dr. Kreker in the presence of Horn, who asserted that there were no work-related charges against my son. I asked Dr. Keker to intervene directly at the Gestapo HQ, which he promised to do. The next day, around midday, I was called to Cersowins, where I found Horn and Schabelt, my direct superior. Cersowins announced in an excited voice that I had misled the German authorities by asserting that my son was innocent, whereas there were serious charges against him. On behalf of Kreker he demanded that I immediately hand in my work ID card and leave the building within 15 minutes, for my own good. I obeyed, and Horn announced, as we took leave of each other, that I had done great harm through my explanations because I had blocked the possibility for him to intervene on behalf of truly innocent people. From that time on, I left my flat for some time, but I know there that was no inspection and that I was not searched for. I therefore deduce that there was no serious evidence against my son.
On 10 November 1943, I learned from a former employee of mine that there had been an execution the previous day and that my son was on the list of those executed. On 9 November 1943, two public executions took place at two different locations: on Grójecka Street, corner of Wawelska Street, and somewhere in Wola. In my opinion, my son was killed on Grójecka Street. My acquaintance, who is not currently in Poland, informed me that the execution on Grójecka Street took place around 9:00 a.m., that the victims were brought in by car, with their hands tied in the back; they were tied in fives, their heads were bandaged, so that only part of the face was visible, they were arranged facing the wall and shot in the back of the head, a Gestapo agent behind each one; the bodies were then loaded onto a car and carted away.
I received no notification of my son’s death, nor any of the objects or clothes belonging to him. When leaving the house, my son had on him a nickel Swiss watch, a fountain pen, and a wallet with money. He was well dressed. Nevertheless, he told us soon after the arrest, via an official postcard, to send him a coat and warm clothes because he was cold. My son was a student at the Wawelberg School of Machine Construction. He was an active member of a Polish freedom organization and had drawn young Wykowski into the organization.
I am accusing Maks Horn, Cersowins and Dr. Kreker of my son’s death, of excessive submissiveness and fear towards the Gestapo, and of insufficient intervention and gullibility in relation to the charges put forward by the Gestapo.
Kreker’s description: around 50 years old, shaven, round face, typical lawyer. Cersowins’s description: 50-60 years old, tall, well-built.
After the death of my son Kazimierz, I am left with only my older son, Zdzisław, who, however, has been out of the country since the 1939 campaign.