Warsaw, 21 August 1947. Acting Investigating Judge Halina Wereńko, a member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Antoni Rybowski|
|Names of parents||Jan and Katarzyna née Kostońska|
|Date of birth||11 April 1904 in Lubieniec, Włocławek district|
|Education||four grades of secondary school|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Brukowa Street 35, flat 6|
|Occupation||bicycle factory owner|
The Warsaw Uprising caught me in a mechanic locksmith workshop at Wolska Street 85 in Warsaw. I hid in the basement together with the workers, their families and civilians, some 30 persons in total, mostly men. On 3 August 1944, a couple of German soldiers from the Wehrmacht and two “Ukrainians” (who had raspberry lapels on their collars) entered the courtyard of our house, forced us out into the courtyard and lined us up against the wall. With women and children shouting that we were civilians, not insurgents, the Germans walked away, leaving us. On 4 August, around 4 p.m., close to 15 gendarmes and SS-men entered the courtyard. I heard them talking to a resident who spoke German, telling him that they had arrived from Kutno.
Soon after, the Germans threw a couple of grenades into the basement we were in. I survived, having hidden in a barrel. I heard the Germans enter the basement and finish off the wounded with single shots, after which they left and threw incendiary bombs into the basement. At the same time, I heard shots fired in the courtyard.
Everything lasted about half an hour and then it was silent. At night, when I could no longer bear the smoke, I came out into the courtyard. There, I spotted the body of my brother Jan Rybowski, his son Henryk, my nephew Kazimierz Rybowski, Kazimierz Chróścicki, who was a turner, and a few others. Later, I learned that two or three women had survived the execution in the basement, including Maria Rybowska (currently residing in the village of Janikowo, municipality of Piaski, Warsaw county). Over 20 people had been killed. After I left the basement, trying to get to Śródmieście, I reached Płocka Street and stumbled across a group of gendarmes. Hiding in a ditch, I saw the gendarmes shoot dead a woman and a man wearing a railwayman’s uniform, whom they then despoiled. Around 4 a.m. on 5 August, I got to St. Stanislaus Hospital on Wolska Street, near the corner of Młynarska Street. On 6 August, staying in the hospital, I heard screams and volleys of gunfire coming from the grounds of the Franaszek factory next to the hospital. I learned from the soldiers stationed in the hospital that the gendarmes and SS-men under the command of an SS colonel stationed at St. Stanislaus hospital had entered the factory, murdered the people there and set the buildings on fire. On 5 August, the Gendarmerie and SS-men entered St. Stanislaus Hospital. The staff, patients and civilians were gathered by the gate and stood opposite machine guns. A couple of people were shot. After one doctor explained to the Germans that this was a hospital for infectious diseases, they didn’t proceed with our execution. The Germans moved into the hospital. Together with the civilians, I ended up in the hospital basement. Drunken gendarmes would come there, swearing at us and calling us thugs. On 9 or 10 August – I cannot remember the exact date – the Germans brought a couple of young boys and hanged them near the kitchen, saying they were insurgents and thugs.
During the evacuation, around 9 August, I was hiding in the sewer. On 12 August, SS- men took me and a few other men from the basement to the intersection of Wolska and Działdowska streets, where they had gathered a crowd of a few thousand people and ordered us to pretend we were the fighting insurgents. They were filming as we were being taken prisoner and abused us by beating, terrorizing and shooting at us. Many people were wounded, a couple were shot dead. Next, beating and shoving us, they drove us to St. Adalbert’s Church. After a couple of days, that is around 14 August 1944 (I cannot remember the exact date), part of our group, some 1000 people, including myself, were taken away to be transported to Pruszków. Some, that is around 300 men, were taken to Sowiński Park. I heard that they were executed.
At that the report was concluded and read out.