28 January 1946 in Piotrków. Investigating Judge from the division of the District Court in Piotrków with its seat in Piotrków, in the person of Judge P. Królikowski, heard the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, of the wording of Article 106 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and of the significance of the oath, the witness was sworn under Article 109 of the Code of Criminal Proceudre and testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Stanisław Biernacki|
|Age||24 years old|
|Parents’ names||Roman and Julia|
|Place of residence||Piotrków, Piłsudskiego Street 65|
|Occupation||Cadet Sergeant, Citizens’ Militia|
|Religious Affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Relationship to the parties||None|
Until 1944 I lived in Warsaw on Płocka Street 23, flat 19. This is also where I lived during the uprising. On 1 August 1944 the uprising broke out, and on 5 August the Germans entered the Wola district. They stormed the barricades on Płocka Street near the hospital [illegible]. Our house stood at a distance of 70 meters from the barricade. At noon the Germans seized control of the whole of Płocka Street. A detachment of SS men, made up of a dozen or so men, burst into the courtyard of our house. I saw them from the window of the basement where I lived with my wife and two children: Wiesław five years of age and [illegible] seven years of age. We and the other house residents hid in the corridor. The Germans threw grenades into some of the ground floor apartments. Then they ordered everyone to come out into the courtyard and stand in three rows: men apart from women and children. The men were on the right and women and children on the left. One of the Germans brought a machine gun on a fruit vending cart, which he set up opposite the rows of the house’s inhabitants. Five Germans stood by the gate while the rest lined up from the garden. The German who set up the machine gun spat and walked away. Apparently he could not shoot. Then another soldier, tall, freckled, with a round face and red hair, wearing a tunic, a forage cap, and pants of a “field” color, came up, pulled back a firing pin and sprayed the people – men, women and children – with bullets from the machine gun. While the German was pulling back the firing pin I leaned over the window in the janitor’s house and fell into it. Hidden under the bed, I heard the German walk along the rows of the murdered people and finish off those who were still alive.
After a while everything quieted down and I came out of the janitor’s house. I jumped over the bodies of the killed people. Then someone shouted for me to hide because the Germans were coming. I fell on my face, the Germans were returning down the street. The courtyard could be seen from the street, as the latter was separated from the former by wooden boards. When I stood up, six other people stood up too: Niunia Kołacz, Irena Szustkiewicz, Janina Mamontowicz and her five-year old son Tadeusz, Janina Mamontowicz’s sister, whose name I cannot remember, [illegible name], and a woman whom I don’t know and who was not from that house.
The unknown woman was injured, as was Irena Szustkiewicz – the latter in her cheek. Lying amidst the dead was an injured man. He could not get up. We hid in a small annex, deep in the courtyard, next to the pasta factory. I jumped through a little bathroom window from the second floor apartment into the grounds of the pasta factory. Janina Mamontowicz jumped behind me. The rest stayed in the building. I then heard machine gunfire on the other side of the factory building, and people’s screams in the basement. From what I could hear I concluded that an execution was taking place in the basement. The machine gun was set up in front of the basement windows and the Germans fired through the windows at the people who were screaming while being shot at. After the shots everything quieted down. I hid in the garden near the house on Płocka Street 31.
I know that Janina Mamontowicz lives with her brother Kazimierz on Wolska Street 59 in Warsaw. I cannot indicate any other addresses and I don’t know what happened to the rest of those who survived. More than 50 people were murdered that day, the residents of the house at number 23, including women and children. In the evening of the same day I saw the dead bodies of about five people in the courtyard of the house at Płocka Street 25. The rest of the residents were taken somewhere by the Germans. It was told later that some of them were shot near the overpass on Górczewska Street and some were taken to St. Stanislaus Church. That day the Germans killed six people – the residents of the house at Plocka Street 31 – whom they encountered in the courtyard, in the basement, and at the entrance to the garden. I cannot give the names of those whom the Germans killed. There were skulls and lightening bolts on the Germans’ caps. On the second and third day, dead bodies were burned on the execution site by German laborers. I saw this myself from my hiding place in the garden.
On 1 November 1944 I found, on the execution site, a piece of my wife’s coat, which she was wearing when she was shot, and keys from our apartment.
I have nothing more to testify.
The report was read out.