In 1939, I lived at Remiszewska Street 37, flat 10. Executions took place in front of my windows. I witnessed Poles and Jews being executed. The sight of it made me faint. Women were also executed. My brother, Władzio, 20 years old, once put his head under a duvet, not to hear a woman’s cries. And I, approaching my brother, addressed him in the following words: “Władzio, be brave. You have to brace yourself and compose yourself because there are still many misfortunes that can happen to you from these Krauts.”

They kept our prisoners in the basements under the school. Wooden barracks by the school, built by Jews and Poles, served as a hospital for the Germans. There was a sign outside the wire fence on our side that said: “Stop, you shall go no further, take a step and you’ll have a bullet in your head.” When my brother came to stay the night at my place from Zielonka, because there was no transport, I had to report who was staying for the night. The whole building was expelled – the order was to get out within two hours. I lived in a goose-house, under the open sky, with my 75-year old elderly mother, who had to be cupped because she came down with a cold, and with my brother, Władzio.

There was a janitor living in the brick annex, and a teacher upstairs. The teacher had a kitchen, which served the Germans; there was a Polish cook. In the field by the school, opposite my window, there were two pits, which served 72 people who were executed beside them. Many of the Poles walked proudly, with their heads high, slowly, and two Germans behind each, with guns in their hands. After a moment, each was killed. Each received only one bullet and was pushed into the pit. Then the Germans jumped into the pit, took the scarves off those executed, and two Jews came and buried them with shovels of sand, and they were left to die in that grave. Some of the convicts walked to their death with great fear. Seeing all of this, I ran out into the corridor and shouted to my neighbors to give me heart drops. Every time I approached the window in my flat, whether in the morning or in the evening, I always saw this scene of unlucky Polish victims.

Biernacka Kazimiera

Written and read out in the presence of my mother, the illiterate Józefa Biernacka.