Warsaw, 15 April 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; the witness did not swear an oath. Having been advised of the duty to tell the truth and of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Stefania Duzy|
|Date of birth||February 1910|
|Parents’ names||Mieczysława and Paweł|
|Occupation||artist, painter and writer|
|Place of residence||Warsaw|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
I took part in the Warsaw Uprising – in Dolny Mokotów and in Dąbrowskiego fort in Sadyba. When I left Warsaw on 1 September 1944, I stayed for some time near Piaseczno.
As I was walking to Komorów, I was stopped at a railway station in Włochy and transported to the Pruszków camp at the end of September. We were being transported in open carriages for about half an hour. When we were unloaded, and people had been caught in various places, both in Warsaw and in the surroundings, at the so-called (as I learned later) 14th gate, we began our approximately 1 kilometer journey to the shacks.
I was put in shack no. 5, then no.4 – people in that shack were to be deported to Germany. Thanks to the Polish Red Cross sisters, Mrs Miksowna and Mrs Plater, I got to room no. 2. The room for the sick was the most decent one.
Behind a railing, a German sat at a table – doctor König or the other one (with a sabre scar on his cheek), and they were segregating people. I approached König and showed him the Polish Red Cross papers from 1940, Polish-German ones (in 1940 organizing the Red Cross was still allowed, later it had to be done in secret) and I ask him to be allowed to work as a sister. He issues me papers and so I began.
Whether I was told to give names, I don’t remember. There were eight rooms. Room no. 1 – people who were to be released; the Germans were not saying where they would be transported, only that it was to the General Government. Room no. 2 – for the sick, it was easiest to be released from there; the injured were being brought there, and on the following day they were being taken to hospitals in Milanówek, Tworki, Podkowa Leśna etc. Room no. 2a – for the sick who had to stay longer. Room no.3? I think it was the kitchen. Room no. 4 – for those who were to be deported to Germany; no. 5 – a transit one, for all people before segregation; 6 – I do not know; 7 – for the insurgents, punitive; 8 – for the seriously ill.
The rooms were enormous, almost never cleaned. Great pits – as long as the rooms – were filled with rubbish by the people. Sleeping on mats, very often lousy, water in the yards, everything fenced with barbed wire and guarded by the Germans. Toilets: wooden boards on ditches, covered with mats.
Food: black bread, quite a lot of it, and bearable soup. Crazy queues.
Śródmieście, Mokotów, all went through the camp then; great numbers of burdened people, exhausted, desperate. The gravely ill were being transported in wagons, some people could not take a step, they had to cover many kilometers on foot.
There was no way to dress wounds, as there were no bandages, medicaments, morphine was often used. For instance, a boy from the Home Army begs me to dress his wound. “Sister,” he wails. “five days without dressing, I have worms in the wound.” I’m forbidden to dress the wound, I administer an injection. Another one, shot in the head, asks to be killed. Once they brought some 30 old ladies in open carriages. It was raining cats and dogs, they were soaking wet, many were paralyzed, and could not move. There was no chance to change sheets, blankets. At night many of them died, groaning. There were not enough people to help them, there was no one to hand the sick bedpans. We deposited bodies in a shack. Lice was everywhere. Like I walk into the room for storing corpses to disinfect them. I look with horror: millions of lice on three bodies.
In room no. 2 we had three Germans. One Hans Ludwik. We bribed them, they pretended not to see when we pushed forward with sheets of paper on the basis of which someone can be released, they have to be signed by Dr König. When the crowd was dense, everyone was in a hurry, and a ready list was facilitating the work. Then König was signing (usually), and we could thus save young people.
Once a transport to Germany was put on a spur railway and forgotten. At night I am on duty, two women come in and tell me, all desperate, that they are spending a second night in the open air. Last night it was raining cats and dogs, the carriages were open, people soaking wet, allegedly some died.
One day – a shooting. Someone escaped from a transport, got caught on the barbed wire, got executed.
Room no. 7 – insurgents. No access, closely watched. Sometimes we used various methods to approach them to exchange a few words, learn something, hand them something.
People were camping out in the open air – they were setting up stoves and cooking.
Children were getting milk from the products that were being delivered by the Central Welfare Council and other organizations.
When the transports were headed for freedom, sad things were happening. They would order people to leave in lines. People were scared, everyone wanted to be first. The Germans held people back with rifle butts, though they could have let everyone go without carrying on so; I had the impression that a lot was done for show, off the top of their heads, and it was only exasperating the people and taking a lot of time. The wagons that were bringing people to freedom, that is, the General Government territory, were open, and those that were going to Germany were being closed or sealed.
The report was read out.