Warsaw, 3 April 1945
Warsaw, Płocka Street 26
Department of Health, Section of Hospital Management Warsaw
aleja Szucha 8
In response to your letter dated 27 March 1945, concerning German crimes perpetrated in Warsaw healthcare facilities, I am submitting an account of German actions in Wolski Hospital in August 1944.
Since 1 August 1944, wounded people from the streets had been coming into the hospital, including two German soldiers brought in by the Germans.
The insurgents were not carrying out any military operations from the hospital building, nobody was shooting.
On 5 August at 1 p.m., a German unit under SS command burst into the hospital. Waving their revolvers and setting up machine guns in the corridors, they ordered everybody into the lower lobby. The staff came downstairs, as did most of the sick and the wounded; about 20 sick persons were on stretchers.
Everybody was taken out onto the street in front of the hospital. There were around 30 doctors, medical students and nurses, 33 sisters of mercy, around 40 male physical laborers and around 100 female physical laborers. In addition, there were around 200 sick (mostly suffering from pulmonary TB) and wounded. The entire crowd, wearing hospital coats or gowns, was stood in rows of four and taken to a huge factory building in Moczydło Park. A few hours later, all the men from this building were called out, and “the doctors from Wolski Hospital” were called out separately; all were then taken away. All of them were executed near the railway flyover on Górczewska Street.
The accounts concerning the fate of these men (hospital staff, doctors, patients) were later transmitted by two employees who had been part of the group and managed to escape alive. Both accounts are identical in every detail and state that all the men taken from the factory building were murdered.
The accounts were given by a) a medical student, who, being aimed at from a light machine gun, made a run for it and succeeded, and b) a physical laborer, who, being shot at, fell on the corpses of the already murdered in front of him and pretended to be dead; he lay under the heap of bodies until nightfall and was wounded in the buttock when others were being finished off; then at night, he got out and escaped.
All of the murdered wore white coats (hospital staff) or hospital gowns (patients).
The women were taken outside of Warsaw to the Wola fort and then released in Jelonki.
A few days after the execution, the female doctors from Wolski Hospital got from Jelonki to the execution site described by the said medic and found, at the location he had indicated, a heap of charred human bones, a stethoscope, and a partly burnt medical cap with the logo of the Wolski Hospital surgical ward.
After military operations in Wola had ceased, continuous communication was established between those hospital staff who had been taken outside of Warsaw and those who remained on Płocka Street. 98 severely wounded and bedridden patients and, by some strange coincidence, one doctor and one Sister of Mercy had remained in the hospital. We learned from them that even before the hospital staff were taken away, the following persons were murdered in the director’s office: 1) the director of the hospital, 2) the head of a ward, who had acted as an interpreter to the director, who didn’t speak German, and 3) a chaplain wearing an alb and stole, who was administering the last rites to the dying in the admission room when the Germans entered the hospital. Their bodies were found in the office and it was established that they had been murdered with shots to the head.
In summary, the Germans murdered the hospital chaplain, six doctors, around 12 hospital staff (medics, a hospital attendant), and around 35-40 physical laborers from Wolski hospital. All of the murdered were unarmed and were not taking part in any military operation – they were solely carrying out their medical duties, attending to the sick and the wounded.
Janina Misiewicz, MD
Director of Wolski Hospital