Warsaw, 21 May 1949. Member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, mgr. Norbert Szuman, heard 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||Józef Jakub Wesołowski|
|Date and place of birth||1 May 1929 in Warsaw|
|Parents’ names||Teofil and Wiktoria née Bisialska|
|Occupation of the father||employee of MZK [municipal transport company]|
|State affiliation and nationality||Polish|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Occupation||high school student|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Poznańska Street 14, flat 29|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in my house at Czerniakowska Street 141, very close to the corner of Nowosielecka Street. The closest German troops were stationed in the barracks at 29 Listopada Street and on the premises of the waterworks. I cannot tell where the insurgents were since they were constantly on the move. For several hours the area around my house was controlled by the insurgents, who kept close to the house all night.
I cannot provide any details concerning the insurgents’ activities in the vicinity of my house. I heard that they briefly captured a German shelter on the corner of Podchorążych and Nowosielecka streets.
For the time being – on the night from 1 to 2 August 1944 – the Germans limited their activities to illuminating the area by throwing light rockets from the roof of the barracks onto 29 Listopada Street.
On 2 September, at around 6.00–7.00 a.m., six German soldiers entered the premises of our house from the main gate of the barracks. They were SS-men. They stopped by the house and opened fire at the windows, and when they broke the window panes, they shouted “Raus!” and set fire to the curtains made of bedding etc. which the inhabitants had put in the windows for protection against bullets. At that time I was in the attic of our one-story house. In the adjoining annex, there was a dugout in which, I heard, sixteen people were hiding during these events. Since the house was on fire, I went down to the first floor and then jumped out the window into the yard. I saw that our house and the annex with the dugout were in flames – screams and groans of people burning alive were issuing from the dugout. By the annex, I met Mrs. Julia Ławniczek (currently living at Czerniakowska Street 143), who was shot by the Germans in the neck – she witnessed the annex being set on fire. One man was trying to put the fire out, but he got shot from the barracks, which were 200 meters away.
I saw with my own eyes two burning men spring out of the annex – one of them was Witold Ławniczek. Seeking help, they ran towards the barracks to seek aid in the house of the Sisters of Nazareth on the corner of Czerniakowska and Nowosielecka streets, where an insurgent paramedical point was situated. After the Uprising, their corpses were found in the ditch by the barracks.
The surviving inhabitants of our house, including myself, went to the adjacent houses at Czerniakowska 143 and 143A, where I remained until 19 August. This area was then under German control, but the Germans were not harassing us in any way. I heard that they were taking people to work for them, but we were hiding in order not to be taken.
On 19 August in the morning, the Wehrmacht expelled everyone from our house and from a number of adjoining houses on the odd-numbered side of Czerniakowska Street, without perpetrating any acts of violence this time. The houses on the even-numbered side of Czerniakowska Street (including numbers 110, 112, 114) had been “evacuated” by the Germans sometime earlier – on 17 or 18 August.
We were led along Czerniakowska Street and 29 Listopada Street to Agrykola Street. We were stopped before we reached Aleje Ujazdowskie and remained there until evening. A dozen people were taken to aleja Szucha, including my sister Alicja. The rest were told to disperse. We all went back to our homes. The following morning, the Wehrmacht men again took us and led us the same way, only now we went through Łazienki. We were again stopped before we reached Aleje Ujazdowskie, and the men were separated from the women. In total, there were some 200 people. About 10 to 15 men were escorted by the soldiers in the direction of aleja Szucha. The rest were led through Łazienki, Bagatela Street and Rakowiecka Street to Rakowiec, where the “Ukrainians” took the carriage and a pair of horses which we had with us from Czerniakowska Street, and also despoiled the people. From Rakowiec, the Wehrmacht men led us in the direction of Okęcie. On our way there, I managed to escape with my family.
I know that the following people from the area of Czerniakowska Street were on aleja Szucha during the Uprising: Maria Baranowska (I don’t know her address), the entire Repsz family (the father, now deceased, was a Volksdeutsch), who lived at Czerniakowska Street 143 before the Uprising.
At that the report was concluded and read out.