Warsaw, 5 June 1946. Investigating Judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Pomirowska Maria|
|Names of parents||Franciszek and Bronisława|
|Date of birth||13 February 1890|
|Occupation||official in the Polish Red Cross|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Czeczota Street 33, flat 1|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
It was the “15 footballers” case and all of Warsaw was laughing at Fischer.
On 6 September 1942, my son Ryszard Pomirowski (born 6 October 1921), taking advantage of the nice weather, went to Skolimów with a few friends to spend Sunday outdoors.
In Skolimów, they played football in a meadow, a couple of other boys joined the game, so there were 15 of them in total.
Around noon, some civilian riders, surrounded by a pack of dogs, were passing by along the road next to which they were playing. These were Fischer and Leist with their adjutants. They stopped in front of the group of boys, and Fischer asked them in German if they were German. Given a negative reply, he took out his gun, as did the others, while some people with machine guns appeared out of nowhere, they surrounded the boys, who amid shouting were rushed and pushed a towards a nearby villa to get their documents checked. Meanwhile, on Fischer’s orders, a call was made to the Gestapo in Warsaw to send “ buda” [lit. kennel] lorries.
Fischer behaved very brutally all this time, insulting the boys in a vulgar manner at every occasion and beating them with a whip.
After half an hour, a lorry arrived and they were all loaded inside and taken to be examined at aleja Szucha. The SA soldiers who came with the “ buda,” expressed their surprise in conversation with the boys that the governor had personally arrested them and had insisted that he had discovered a conspiracy. “You must have had weapons on you,” they said, “otherwise the governor himself would not have dealt with you.”
Seeing the boys talking to the soldiers, Fischer rode over a number of times in a gallop, censuring the soldiers and threatening the boys with a pistol. Leist behaved calmly all the time.
During the examination, the Gestapo men tried to make the boys believe that they belonged to a military organization and beat them to force them to testify.
During one of the interrogations, the Gestapo men laughed among themselves at “Fischer’s Cadet School.” One of them, annoyed by a long interrogation that yielded no results, literally said: “The governor thinks that he is at least Napoleon and that every Polish kid wants to murder him. They brought us these brats (the boys were between 15 and 20 years old) and they tell us to make a political case of it.”
Another said that Fischer and Leist aren’t minding their business, looking for cadet schools under every bush and making Sunday footballers out to be assassins.
A Gestapo man told one of the boys during the last interrogation, around two weeks before they were released, that they would all have been freed a long time ago if not for Fischer, who demanded their deportation to a labor camp.
They were released after two months, as nothing could be proven against them. However, they were on record at aleja Szucha and on the night of 2 February 1944, some ten hours after the assassination of Kutschera, Gestapo men paid each of them a visit and conducted an inspection. Although they found nothing suspicious, they arrested them, took them to Pawiak prison, tortured them, conducted an investigation and deported them to an unknown destination. All trace of them has been lost and their families still don’t know anything about them.
I knew five of the boys. Their names are – apart from my son, whose personal details I gave in the beginning –
Łabęcki Stefan, born 29 August 1923, son of Roman and Helena. His mother, Sałaszowa after her second husband, lives in Warsaw at Czeczota Street 33, flat 1.
Piątkowski Leszek Adam Bohdan, born 19 October 1925, son of Bohdan and Irena. His mother currently lives in Biała Rawska, in a school.
Zawadzki Anatoliusz Janusz, born 3 July 1924, son of Karol and Seweryna. His parents now live in Łódź at Główna Street 50, flat 18.
Zarębski Mirosław, residing at Hołówki Street 3. On the memorable night of 2 February, the Gestapo came to his home but, not finding him there, threw his mother and grandmother down the stairs, locked the flat, took all the furniture out the following day and put up Germans inside. Mirosław Zarębski was killed in Mokotów during the Uprising, his mother Michalina currently lives in Wrocław at Curie-Skłodowska Street 11.
I don’t remember the names of the other boys and I don’t know what happened to them.