Warsaw, 18 April, 1946. Investigating Judge Halina Wereńko, 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 the witness, who then testified as follows:

Name and surname Jan Zielski
Date of birth 1 May 1885, in Storożyniec
Names of parents Jakub and Katarzyna née Gruszecka
Occupation head of a housing cooperative
Education Faculty of Law, University of Tschernowitz
Place of residence Lipska Street 14, flat 6
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Criminal record none

On 1 August 1944, I went to Mokotów prison to set free five detainees on the basis of a release order issued by the chief prosecutor of the Special Court (Sondergericht). At that time I operated a translation and legal counselling office. The head of Mokotów prison was a German, whose name I don’t know, but I know that he had the title of government counsellor, and that Hitzing was his deputy. They both declined, announcing that they would accept no more releases. I then telephoned the director of the Abteilung Justitz, that is the justice department in the Warsaw district, I don’t remember his name, who let me know, after an interval during which he called the head of the prison, that the head of the prison had received an order directly from Fischer not to release prisoners as of 1 August 1944. This also applied to prisoners who had already served their sentences. I heard later from a Mokotów prison guard, that on – I think – 4 August, over 800 prisoners were executed in the prison yard. The Germans staying in the prisons were deported the day before.

Regarding the authorities of the Warsaw district, I know that the head of the economic department of the Warsaw district from 1942 or 1943 until July 1944 was Weingarten, who destroyed Polish industry and trade, closing enterprises and confiscating the property of Polish entrepreneurs and merchants. I precisely remember the case of the sewing cooperative at Aleje Jerozolimskie 15, where Jankowski was the director. At the end of 1943, the cooperative was closed because half a kilogram of hard leather, bought on the free market, was found there during an inspection. The director was arrested, his property worth around 13 million złotys was confiscated, as were the offices at Aleje Jerozolimskie 15 and a shop at Marszałkowska Street 52. I defended the cooperative in court and managed to get it [re]opened and part of the property returned in cash, around 60 thousand złotys. I proved that Weingarten had confiscated the property for himself and did not transfer it to the district account. Weingarten was sentenced by a German special court to 2.5 years in a fortress.

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