Warsaw, 10 May 1949 Warsaw, 17 May 1949. Member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland Norbert Szuman 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||Halina Leszczyńska|
|Date and Place of Birth||13 April 1925, Warsaw|
|Parents’ Names||Eugeniusz and Janina née Szyller|
|State Affiliation and Nationality||Polish|
|Place of Residence||Warsaw, Drużbacka 5 Street|
|The outbreak of the Uprising found me in||Żoliborz, where I served as a paramedic and|
liaison officer to insurgent units. On 14 September, I found myself at Marii Kazimiery Street 3. Because of heavy fire from Bielany, the residents, including myself, took shelter in the basement. There were around 30 to 40 people there, mostly women and children. At 2-3 p.m. a number of tanks, which I could see as I came out of the basement into the stairwell, could be heard rolling along Marii Kazimiery Street from the direction of Bielany. When I ran back to the basement, I heard explosions coming from the gate. Soon after, German voices could be heard calling upon people to come out of the basement. With raised hands we began to come out. The person who came out first was holding a white handkerchief.
I was the last to come out. I saw a few German soldiers wearing helmets with twigs tucked behind them. They led us through a hole in the wall to the neighboring property, to the front of the so-called “palace,” at the intersection of Marii Kazimiery and Potocka streets. There were tanks with German soldiers on both streets. The cry “ Halt” stopped us in front of the “palace.” Opposite, there was a machine gun set up on a tripod by a tree. Three volleys were fired at us. Falling down, people cried in indignation, pain, and horror. I fell down after the second volley without being wounded. It was only the third burst that hit me in the right arm.
While on the ground, I saw other people lying next to me or partly on top of me. Some were dying and some, whether dead or alive, were quiet. From Żoliborz, the insurgents opened heavy fire and the Germans had to turn their attention in that direction. Tanks started firing towards Żoliborz, ceasing fire when a German plane flew by.
We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to escape but German soldiers noticed what we were up to and began firing at the palace from the tank gun. Rubble fell on those who were lying there. In spite of this, I was still able to watch the area and the shooting Germans who withdrew towards Bielany only after it got dark. Whoever could, went to the “palace,” where one of the women from our group was busy dressing the wounded, including myself. As far as I can remember, there were 15 wounded. Some people didn’t sustain any wounds.
I cannot remember their names, I don’t think I knew them at the time either. Some of the wounded died inside the “palace.” I remember neither the details of these events nor what happened later because I kept fainting from loss of blood. But I remember that in the meantime the insurgents from Żoliborz arrived and found a dead body lying in front of the “palace.” Later, the Germans who were burning Marymont, arrived. Finally, after the Germans had gone, the insurgents came and took us to the hospital in the “Glass House” where we were taken care of.