Warsaw, 27 February 1946. The investigating judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, heard as a witness the person specified below. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the importance of the oath the witness was sworn and testified as follows:

Name and surname Jadwiga Urszula Bodych née Drzewińska
Date of birth 19 September 1906 in Żyrardów
Parents’ names Władysław and Marianna
Occupation none
Education four classes of a secondary school
Place of residence Ursus, Rynek Street 6
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Criminal record none

During the German occupation I lived with my husband, Stanisław Bodych (born on 15th February 1901), in Ursus. My husband was a second lieutenant in the Polish Army reserve, he worked as a clerk in the Ursus factory, and at the same time he was a commander of the air defense forces in the factory and a commander of the Voluntary Fire Brigade in the Ursus commune.

During the entire period of the occupation, my husband had been working in an underground organization. I don’t know which organization it was. I know, however, that he was a very active member, all sorts of people were coming to him all the time, there were many meetings. From 1940, when my husband had organized the fire service in the Ursus commune, he had saved many people caught by the Germans in the round-ups in Warsaw, and later – during the Uprising of 1944 – people placed in the transit camp in Ursus, by issuing backdated fireman’s cards for them. In this way, at the beginning of 1944, he saved Mieczysław Janczewski (domiciled now in Inowrocław, I believe), who had already been put on the list of the hostages, and who had been incarcerated in Pawiak prison. My husband then several times visited the Gestapo building at aleja Szucha 25, the Gendarmerie station in Pruszków to which the fire service reported, and the Gendarmerie station in Anin where Janczewski had lived. Finally he obtained the release of Janczewski. My husband had to provide a guarantee for him.

There were many people whom my husband had saved in this way, but I don’t know all the names. I remember also that Mieczysław Nawrocki (domiciled in Ursus, I don’t remember the street name) was got out of the camp at Skaryszewska Street by my husband, where he had been taken from a street round-up. Later Nawrocki was claiming falsely that he had done it himself for 300 PLN.

During the Warsaw Uprising, the Germans organized a round-up of the Ursus factory workers in the flats, as they wanted to deport them to Wrocław. I don’t remember the exact date, but I think it might have been in September 1944. Two of my husband’s firefighters were caught then, Urbański (I don’t know his first name), now dead, and Mieczysław Zajączkowski (domiciled now in Ursus at ul. Limanowskiego 2). My husband went to the factory, as the assembly point for the people caught was there, and intervened as the commander of the fire service, but in the end he was joined to the transport; he managed to escape, however, due to the fact that an Allied aircraft dropped a bomb near the cars with the transport of Poles who were being taken to Wrocław.

At the end of September and in October 1944, for two weeks, there had been a transit camp in the Ursus factory for the Warsawians who were to be deported to the Reich.

At that time Caritas proposed that my husband, as the chief of the fire service and hence a person authorized to enter the factory premises with his people, could try to get the Warsawians out of the camp to save them from deportation. My husband organized this action in the following manner: the firefighters had a second pair of the same clothing under the tarpaulin suits they were wearing to give to their relatives or even strangers in the camp, and were then taking those Poles out of the camp as firefighters. This system was used not only by firefighters.

On 11 October 1944, my husband and another firefighter, Łagoda (I don’t remember his first name) tried to get my husband’s schoolmate out of the camp dressed as a firefighter. At the gate they were stopped by a gendarme (who, unusually, had not been bribed), since he remembered that only my husband and Łagoda had come in, and three men were leaving instead. After his arrest my husband was being beaten and tortured by the prison commander, a gendarme named Szulc (I don’t know his name). At that time the entire fire brigade was arrested and deported to the camp in Pruszków, 21 men including my husband. On 13 October they were put in a carriage of volunteers to go to Warsaw but they managed to escape from there.

When my husband was in the transport, I asked the Ursus commune administrator Goderkiewicz (now in Poznań) to release the firefighters and my husband. In response, the commune administrator accused my husband of losing the tarpaulin suits and said that he did not care that those firefighters who escaped the camp in Pruszków had left those tarpaulin suits in the camp. When my husband came back from Warsaw, the commune administrator told him to withdraw from the duties of commander due to losing the firefighters’ tarpaulin suits. He explained that it was the order of the German Gendarmerie. While my husband was handing over his duties as the fire brigade commander, the commune administrator called over a few soldiers from the field gendarmerie who proceeded to call my husband names. The commune administrator was also threatening my husband, saying, “the war is not over yet, we shall see yet.” As my husband learned in the Gendarmerie station, the commune administrator had justified his dismissal with his illness.

On 6 December 1944, a few gendarmes and a few blue police officers came to our flat and took my husband, along with Mieczysław Choniecki and “Gajowy” [ranger] (I know only his codename) who were spending the night at our place. My husband was taken to the Gendarmerie station in Pruszków, where he was incarcerated in the basement. I know about this as I was bringing him food. After four days the men who had been arrested with my husband were released. I was allowed to bring food for three days, and on 9 December I was told that my husband had been deported, and I have never heard from him since.

On 22 February 1945, a captain of the fire service in Ursus, Rajzecher, told me that my husband was murdered in the Sękocin forest. He knew this from the commune secretary in Sękocin, as the grave was found a day after the execution. I took the firefighters from Ursus and on 24 February I carried out an exhumation. When we uncovered the grave, it turned out that 13 people were buried there with my husband. The corpses were well preserved, so we, the firefighters and I, recognized my husband beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Judging by the corpse, we saw that my husband had been tortured before death. On both hands and on his feet he had marks of burning with a hot iron. He had splinters driven under his toenails and fingernails. His entire back was blue from beating, he had a huge wound on his kidneys and on the neck. Another big wound was around the stomach and thighs. His hands were disfigured. All the teeth in his lower jaw had been knocked out, his right eye plucked out. Burnot, a chauffeur of the Ursus Voluntary Fire Brigade who was taken by the Germans along with the car to Pruszków at the time when my husband had been arrested, told me that my husband had been tortured by the German gendarmes in Pruszków and a blue police officer Zatorowski. It happened during interrogation, as my husband did not denounce any of his friends. Karol Burnot lives in Ursus at Sowińskiego Street.

Due to the late hour, the testimony was suspended, to be resumed on 5 March 1946, at 12.00 a.m.

The report was read out.