Warsaw, 18 January 1946. Court assessor Antoni Krzętowski, delegated to the Warsaw-City District of the Main 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 the witness, who then testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Maria Polińska|
|Age||54 years old|
|Names of parents||Piotr and Marianna|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Bagatela Street 10|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
I am a concierge in the house at Bagatela Street 10. I did this job also during the occupation and when the Warsaw Uprising broke out. The grounds of the former Main Inspectorate of the Armed Forces [GISZ] and the park were well visible from our house, but one had to look from the higher floors. I was at Bagatela Street 10 until 5 August 1944, because that day I was taken by the Germans to the Gestapo HQ at aleja Szucha 25. I didn’t leave my flat, which was located on the ground floor, when at Bagatela Street during the uprising, so I didn’t make any personal observations of what was happening in the area of the Main Inspectorate of the Armed Forces. However, my husband often went to the sixth floor, from where he watched the park grounds, and told me that he had seen a massive number of corpses there as well as people wearing the same grey clothes as those detained at Gęsia Street digging a big pit there. The same thing was reported by my son, whom I, however, forbade to look at the park from that time on. My husband never mentioned that he had seen an execution. I suppose that was because the Ukrainians and the Germans were constantly wandering around our house, and he never watched during the daytime, only in the evening, around dusk, or in the early morning hours.
On 3 August, there was wind from the direction of the park and the GISZ grounds, and it brought large amounts of pungent smoke, resembling the smell of burning rags. I didn’t see any corpses being burned. Józefa Marian later told me that she had seen corpses burning in the park.
On 5 August, at around 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., I, together with my husband and my son (Michał and Antoni Poliński) and four other people, were led out of our house and taken to the Gestapo building at aleja Szucha 25. My husband and my son were separated from us on the way. I saw the Germans take them into the house at Litewska Street 21. That was the last time I saw them. I still don’t know what happened to them. We, the women, were detained in the Gestapo yard and kept there until 10:00 a.m. the following day. There were around 4000 of us there.
When we were still in front of the Gestapo building, we met a few women who were coming back from an assault against the insurgents, during which they were used as cover for the Germans tanks, which means that they were driven in front of the tanks, exposed to insurgent fire. However, I didn’t see any wounded among them. The women said that the Germans convoying them had worn scarves on their heads, pretending to be women to divert insurgent fire. On 5 August, 18 of us were taken on the tanks, six on each tank, which a moment later set off to fight the insurgents. The Germans told the women that they wouldn’t be touched by a German bullet as long as they made no attempts to escape, and if anything bad happened to them, it would come from the “bandits,” that is the insurgents.
I know that one of the victims didn’t return from the attack, the mother of a little girl, who was next to me. Concerning the rest, I don’t know if all of them returned.
On 6 August, the Germans told us that they would set us free, and indeed at 10:00 a.m. they led us to Zbawiciela Square, and from there to the corner of Litewska and Marszałkowska streets, where we were set free. I set off together with others in the direction of the insurgent barricades and got through to the other side. The Germans announced our release before we had left the Gestapo HQ. They told us to warn the insurgents to end their “foolish fight,” because there was no point in continuing it.