Copy of a letter sent by Michał Pacholski to the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes.

Łowicz, 8 December 1945.

Michał Pacholski, born on 8 August 1882 in Warsaw, married, locksmith, residing in Warsaw at Królewska Street 31.

I was taken from the above address to Pawiak, together with Henryk Kotowski, in whose apartment I lived. They came for Henryk Kotowski and took me on the night from 17 to 18 May 1943. In the prison we were kept in wards VII and VIII. There I met Banaszkiewicz and Kotarbiński, the painter. After a week we were interrogated. We were not charged with anything, and returned to our cell. The interrogation took place in the chapel at Pawiak, while others were driven to aleja Szucha 25.

We had a German guard, who would beat prisoners in the corridor. Screams could be heard. He summoned one of the men from our cell and ordered him to undress; the man could not comply, because his arm was broken and placed in a plaster cast, so the guard kicked him twice in the groin and once from behind.

In the Pawiak bakery, in wards VII and VIII, prisoners saw how [...] was brought in following an interrogation at aleja Szucha 25; his arms were broken and he died on a stretcher.

On 29 May before 6.00 the Germans opened all the cells and started calling out prisoners by their surnames, without instructing them to take their coats or headgear, and then [ordered] the coats and other items of clothing that they left behind to be thrown out into the corridor, from where they were taken to the storehouse. One man from our cell was summoned, but he returned, for his surname was not on the list. Soldiers led him back to the cell. He told us what he had seen. A table had been placed in the courtyard of Pawiak, and on it there were three lists of prisoners who were to be taken away. The prisoners were divided into three groups. One group stood, the other lay face down on the ground, while the third sat. I saw the group that was sitting through the window of my cell. Before dinner the Germans began to take them away from Pawiak, I saw cars with escorts on motorcycles, they passed by the window.

After three weeks I was transferred to the Vth ward. The steward there was “Ukrainian”, and he would approach the cell quietly and open the door. One of our men did not fall in line in time, and as punishment we all had to jump like frogs to one side of the corridor, and then crawl on our stomachs. This was a frequent occurrence. He used to shout Polaki and beat our faces with a belt. One of the prisoners in the cell had been interrogated at aleja Szucha, where half of his face had been beaten to a pulp with a revolver; he said that he was prepared for the worst.

From the cell window, which opened onto the street, prisoners saw how during the day the Germans would lead people to number 27, directly opposite, and after ten minutes shots would ring out, and often some smoke would rise from the burnt down building. From 29 to 30 May, after a [group] was taken from Pawiak, hundreds of shots could be heard for half an hour, coming from different directions. It was rumoured that all of those taken were shot dead in the Ghetto. The wives of Kotowski, Kotarbiński, and numerous others were notified that their husbands had died of heart disease.

After five weeks, on 24 June 1943, I was taken from Pawiak in one of their notorious Black Marias to aleja Szucha 25, and in there to room 247, where I was released. They could not find my identity card, so they gave me a pass, which I still have.

Having been banished from Warsaw, I moved to Łowicz, where I live at 1 Maja Street 13, flat 5.