On 24 January 1946, the Investigative Judge of the 2nd region of the District Court in Warsaw, in the person of judge Halina Wereńko, interviewed the below-mentioned as a witness. After having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as of the meaning of the oath, the judge took his oath in accordance with Article 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, following which the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Stefan Staszewski|
|Date of birth||2 April 1891|
|Parents’ first names||Bolesław and Jadwiga|
|Occupation||Head of the Administration and Management Department of the Office of Health and Social Care of the Municipal Board of the Capital City of Warsaw|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Puławska Street 12a, flat 16 (office address: Warsaw, Bagatela Street 10)|
During the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, I was the administrative manager of the Charles and Mary Hospital on Leszno Street 136 in Warsaw. The Charles and Mary Hospital was a children’s hospital; it had eight pavilions, 150 beds, and apart from that, an out-patient department for incoming people, that served up to 150 people a day.
At the moment of the outbreak of the Uprising, there were up to 60 ill children in the hospital. During the first days of the Uprising, due to the huge influx of injured civilians and fighters, the children were grouped together in the pavilion marked with the letter “S”.
On 6 August 1944 there were over one hundred injured in our [hospital], including a dozen or so German military members. Those Germans were handled and attended to just the same as the injured Poles, without any difference.
At the moment when the Uprising broke out, there was a brief shoot-out in the vicinity of the hospital, after which the Germans withdrew. The offensive was moving from the direction of Górczewska and Wolska Streets, through the grounds of the St. Lazarus Hospital. Right from the start of the Uprising, Red Cross flags were hung out on all hospital buildings. No aggressive acts towards the Germans were carried out from the hospital grounds, and nobody shot at the Germans from here.
On the night of 5 to 6 August 1944, the insurgents retreated from the vicinity of the Charles and Mary Hospital grounds. On the morning of 6 August 1944, three SS men entered our hospital grounds fully armed, and walked through all the hospital wards. They asked who the injured persons were. They received the answer that among the injured were insurgents and civilians. They talked to the injured Germans, who declared that the hospital had treated them well, making no differences in attending to them or the Poles. As they were leaving, the SS men said that all the Poles here were bandits and that they would all be shot.
At about 3.00 p.m. that day, after the adjacent land had been taken control of by the German army, the hospital was occupied by numerous German units, who surrounded every building. The privates in those units were mainly Kalmyks, and the officers and sub-officers were Germans. All of them were fully armed, the light artillery entered the hospital grounds, and launched an offensive for further territory from here.
At that moment, I was in the administrative building where the hospital personnel and families were. The command was given for everybody to vacate the management building, and the soldiers brutally forced out those who were present. I was searched very thoroughly, and completely robbed of money, a gold watch, ring, and fountain pen, and my eyeglasses were trampled. I was in a group of more or less 60 people directed along Leszno and Górczewska Streets to Fort Bema. When walking along Górczewska and Wolska Streets, I saw the burnt bodies of shot men, women, and children lying on the road, on the sidewalks, and in the buildings’ windows. I saw at least 50 of those corpses then, single bodies and lying in groups, in various positions.
At Fort Bema, the hospital personnel in aprons and elderly persons over 60 were released. I managed to get released due to my age, following which I headed through Jelonki to Milanówek across the fields. Much later I found out from colleagues that later that day, on 6 August 1944, the medical and nursing staff, and ward workers, were led out of the main pavilion of the Charles and Mary Hospital in a second group, while the injured remained in the hospital – and were shot dead on the spot. I also heard that groups of Poles used for dismantling the barricades were required to clear away the injured who’d been shot. Feliks Soczewko and Andrzej Kokiet could say more on this matter. A few of the hospital staff, including Kostyra and Dr. Marta Cebrzyńska and her husband, hid in the sewers beneath the hospital. Therefore, Dr. Cebrzyńska could possibly determine the fate of the injured remaining in the hospital. As far as I know, Dr. Cebrzyńska is currently in East Prussia; I shall deliver her address to citizen judge within the next few days. There could have been over one hundred injured in our hospital. I haven’t heard anything specific regarding the evacuation of some of the children from the hospital, or regarding the fate of those remaining. Perhaps Wanda Wenka and Zofia Siekielska would be able to testify about that.
In the early morning of 6 August 1944, when it became clear that the grounds would be taken over by German forces, the acting director Dr. Jan Bogdanowicz informed all staff that they could decide for themselves whether to leave the hospital or stay at work, as he didn’t want to take responsibility for any consequences they might face – especially as we had heard news of the outrages and murders at the Wolski Hospital. Despite this, the essential staff remained to carry out their hospital duties. I heard from many of the hospital’s staff that when the Germans took over the main pavilion, one of the nurses of the Charles and Mary Hospital was raped. I do not know her name.
In October 1944, when I was working at the Hospital Service Department of the Municipal Board in Milanówek, I determined with absolute certainty that as a consequence of the decrees of the then official doctor of the city of Warsaw, the German Dr. Janik, the removal was organized of valuable x-ray equipment and light therapy apparatuses from all hospitals, and in particular from the Charles and Mary Hospital. In late October 1944, I was on the Charles and Mary Hospital ex officio committee and I ascertained there, in the pavilions that had survived the fire, that the equipment of the entire x-ray laboratory, sterilization equipment, the dry-cleaners, the central heating motors, and the surviving parts of the pharmacy and food stores were all missing. Details of what was taken, especially the x-ray apparatuses, can be given by Dr. Marian Rogalski.
The report was read out.