Municipal Isolation Hospital
Siennicka Street 15
of the St. Stanislaus Hospital
at Siennicka Street 15
In response to the letter from the Department for Hospitals, I hereby send a description of the crimes and robberies committed by the Germans on the premises of the St. Stanislaus Hospital at Wolska Street 37.
Between 1 August 1944 and 16 January 1945, the occupiers committed mass robbery on the hospital premises, stealing a number of pieces of equipment, these being:
All mechanical equipment, including three centrifuges, 3 washers, calendar, mangles, small appliances and all electrical fixtures.
Two disinfection cameras (including an American one of the latest system).
9 large steam boilers for cooking 250–400 liters.
4 smaller steam boilers for cooking 25–60 liters.
All manometers and 4 electric pumps.
Stocks of meat, canned products, lard, and flour.
About 500–600 meters of linen and a few hundred linen items.
Beds with mattresses 100
Washbasins and toilet bowls 61
Plus a certain number of linen items, a lot of surgical instruments, thermometers, etc. A large box with a complete anti-aircraft defense first aid kit.
Apart from the above, the following were stolen from the premises: a firefighting motor- pump, a horse, a car, some firefighting appliances, 52 electric motors and 200 square meters of window glass.
As for the buildings, the following were destroyed: four pavilions were completely demolished with bombs, the building with the pharmacy, administrative offices and the hospital library was completely burnt down, two main pavilions were partially demolished but could be restored, and the remaining 10 hospital buildings were all damaged to some extent.
During the German occupation, a few hospital employees were arrested; almost all [of them] have already passed away. A few arrests took place on the hospital premises. The arrest of an economic supervisor, Jan Skoczek (deceased), was the most characteristic in terms of German methods. Soon after his arrest he was brought to the hospital under escort. The hospital was surrounded with machine guns and then a Gestapo agent, clad in the fur of the arrested man, began an investigation. Skoczek had to show the Germans around the hospital premises, and he was beaten several times. In a basement under one of the pavilions we found traces of that beating: blood stains on the floor and the walls. The screams of the beaten man were distinctly heard by the hospital staff and the sick people.
In the period of street fighting in Warsaw, our hospital witnessed the following German crimes:
On the corner of Wolska and Młynarska streets, there was a barricade which could not be easily torn down by the German tanks. Therefore, units of the Herman Göring armored division which were fighting in Wola forced civilians from their homes, not sparing old men, women and little children, and used them as a live shield for the tanks attacking the barricades. Due to very heavy shelling, a large number of people were killed. Five men, who – passing by the hospital gate – had sought shelter on the hospital premises, were shot by the Germans in the hallway of the guardhouse.
On the same day, 3 August 1944, Mr. Idzi Dziedziak, who was in charge of the hospital pharmacy, was shot while on duty in said pharmacy.
On 5 August, when the German troops eventually captured the hospital premises, all staff members and those sick people who could walk on their own were taken to the courtyard and placed in fours to be executed. The execution was carried out in the following manner: each foursome was taken to Wolska Street and executed while crossing through the gate. When some 11 or 12 people had been executed (the exact number has not been determined), including two women, the execution was suspended and after almost two hours of waiting by the wall for the final sentence, the rest of the staff were released. Five of our laborers and probably one doctor who went missing at the time were among the executed. During the execution, some shots were also fired at a priest from one of the later groups of four, and he was seriously wounded in the chest. When the execution was suspended, one of our doctors and a female interpreter were taken to the German headquarters, where a German doctor, Cpt. Harlieb, asked the escort, “What do you bring them for, you know all of them are to be executed.” Nevertheless, the execution was suspended for reasons unknown.
On 8 August 1944, SS men from the battle group of General Dirlewanger brought two insurgents (about 18 years old) to the hospital premises. They were ordered to take their shoes off, their Polish military uniforms were torn [and left] on them and their hats with the eagle were ripped off. Transformed into ragamuffins, they were ordered to hold a red flag with a white eagle as they were being photographed with a camera, and then they were hanged on a tree between the kitchen and the patient ward, and photographs of them were taken again. The bodies were taken down only a few hours later, after the intervention of the Polish hospital board.
One day when the Germans were selecting convalescents and redundant staff to be taken to the camp, they noticed that one wounded person had green trousers and high boots. Therefore, suspecting that he was a wounded insurgent in hiding, they shot him under the windows of a hospital room.
While the Germans were quartered on our premises (for about two and a half months), they brought for themselves a few Polish women of ill repute. All these women were later executed. One of them was shot literally two steps away from the door of a doctor’s flat.
When they seized the hospital, the German soldiers told us that they had been ordered to murder civilians for 24 hours (from 4.00 a.m. on 5 August to 4.00 a.m. on 6 August), and they bragged that they had murdered 23,000 people from neighborhoods in Wola.
During our stay on the hospital premises, many raped and infected women came to us; the youngest one was 12 years old. Among the rape victims there was also a civilian sister from our hospital, who at the time was picking tomatoes on an adjacent plot together with other hospital employees. I would like to emphasize that she was wearing a white hospital coat with the Red Cross emblem. Besides, many times the SS soldiers came at night to the shelter where the staff and their families lived and took young women to a party at the Blank Palace (staff headquarters), from which not all of them would return on the following morning.
Once we saw that a German soldier had picked a young woman from the crowd going down the street and had taken her with him. We reported the incident to a German doctor, who pretended to be outraged and told us to point out the house which the soldier had entered to two non-commissioned gendarmerie officers. I went there with Dr Kubica and a non-commissioned officer and we caught the soldier in flagrante. The guilty man was arrested, but five minutes later he came back laughing to the hospital gate, threatening those who had accused him. Such was the reaction to and punishment for the crime of rape. The attitude of the German doctors is best revealed by the following fact: a German, doctor, Schaufler, flatly denied four raped Polish women a half an hour hospital admission in order to perform preventive treatment. When I asked him to let them in, he threatened me, taking out a gun from his pocket.
At the time when a large number of Warsaw inhabitants were walking down Wolska Street, we set up a street aid post by the hospital, distributing coffee, bread, medicinal drugs, etc.
After a few days of efficient operation (during which our activity was carefully filmed by the German propaganda bureau), on the order of General Dirlewanger, the “conqueror” of Warsaw, who was quartered at the hospital, the post was closed and we were forbidden to help people in the street or admit any wounded or sick people for treatment, and a sentry post was set up in front of the gate.
From time to time, the Gestapo would come to the hospital, taking at whim some staff members and convalescents to the camp. Their choices were guided by sheer fancy, and they rarely asked advice from the hospital board or doctors.
Two sick people who had been taken from the hospital in the above described manner returned after a few days, having been wounded while tearing down barricades. When qualifying sick people for release, doctor Schaufler was assisted by an orderly, Wilhelm Belle, who had owned a shop before the war, had been convicted of murder in Germany, and carried out many executions on the hospital premises.
On 1 September 1944 our hospital was forced to leave Warsaw. The evacuation decreed by the occupier was to last for two and a half days and nights, and we were to get 26 wagons for transferring the hospital. At first we got 16 wagons, but when we loaded them we did not receive the remaining 10, and the time for evacuation was reduced by a whole day and night. Our efforts to get more wagons were interrupted when one of the pavilions was set on fire and we were given the order raus.
I mention this because we came to understand their intentions from some things the Germans said and from their great dissatisfaction at the fact that we had taken so much equipment. The wagons were not given, the time for evacuation was reduced, and the pavilion was set on fire all on purpose, to introduce chaos to our work and prevent us from evacuating all the hospital belongings.
Finally, I have to mention two facts which put the ethics of the occupier in a different light.
The above mentioned doctor Schaufler, while performing surgery on a wounded German soldier, at one point, using tweezers, took out a golden ring from the shirt of the wounded man, put it in his own pocket with a swift movement and continued the surgery.
One day, a great number of silver items were brought to General Dirlewanger and deposited on the corridor floor. It weighed – at a rough estimate – a hundred kilograms. The General inspected the loot and ordered that all be taken to his own room. One of our employees took this opportunity to talk to the orderly of General Dirlewanger, and learned from him that the division of spoils took place on a regular basis, and that the orderly himself had given the General thirty-something rings. Finally, the last fact which depicts the German propaganda methods is the following: the soldiers brought garments of a Sister of Charity, one of them put them on and was then photographed as an insurgent.
The above enumerated facts adequately represent the bestial German crimes committed in the area protected by the Red Cross flag, and therefore I will not mention many other, less serious – though maybe telling – incidents. However, I would like to emphasize that I can, on demand, submit the surnames of almost all the people who were murdered on the hospital premises, as well as surnames and addresses of people who can certify with their signatures the truth of the above facts.
Chief economic supervisor
of the St. Stanislaus Hospital