Warsaw, 2 March 1946. 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 took an oath therefrom, following which the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Emilia Genowefa Lewandowska, née Karwownik|
|Date of birth||3 June 1902 in Żarnów|
|Parents’ names||Wojciech and Urszula|
|Occupation||collects a widow’s pension|
|Education||four classes of secondary school|
|Place of residence||Zalesie Górne, commune of Wągrodno, Wyżyny housing estate|
From 1941 I had been housing my niece, Alicja Paczyńska (born on 15 March 1921 in Żarnów) in my apartment at Górczewska Street 11a, flat 8, in Warsaw. Having taken her secondary school leaving exam, she took up employment as an office worker with the German company Skoda at Okęcie airport. She worked there for one and a half years.
On 15 May 1943, in the evening, I was approached by friends of my niece, who informed me that she had been arrested by the Gestapo. They also told me that my niece was involved in an underground organisation and had passed on information to the Polish underground authorities; she could only provide such information while working at a German office.
They recommended that I look through her personal items and remove any evidence of her membership of the organisation. Only then did I learn that my niece had joined an underground organisation. No search was conducted at my apartment. My niece’s friends told me that on 15 May her superior, a German, I cannot remember his name at the moment, found that she had in her possession notes from which he gathered that she was a member of the organisation. He immediately telephoned the Gestapo, whose officers arrived by car and took her away to aleja Szucha 25 on the charge of espionage, from which she was transferred to Pawiak prison. After three weeks I was approached by a woman who – as she said – had been released from Pawiak. I don’t know this woman’s surname. She told me that she had met my niece in prison, and that she was begging for me to help her. It appears that she had already been interrogated thrice at aleja Szucha by the Gestapo. The woman did not know the details of these interrogations.
On 5 October 1943 at 5.00 my niece was transported along with other women to the camp in Oświęcim. The group occupied one entire sealed wagon. I don’t know how many women were in the transport.
Three weeks later, I received a card from my niece, and in November a letter dated 29 November 1943. In the latter my niece wrote that she was completely healthy and asked that I not send her white bread, only black. Then there was silence, although parcels continued to be accepted. In March 1944 I wrote to the camp commandant inquiring after my niece; I received a reply on 8 May 1944, informing me that she had died on 19 January 1944.
We have no details concerning the last moments of my niece’s life, nor do we know what happened with her body.
I hereby undertake to provide the surname of the German who was my niece’s superior, and shall try to contact her friend, who will be able to provide more information to the citizen judge.
The report was read out.