Crimes in the city Center
Record No. 8 / II
At the moment of the outbreak of the Rising I was at No. 62, Marszalkowska Street. I tried to return home to No. 3, Staroscinska Street, and went from one shelter to another in different houses in the vicinity of the Redeemer Square (Plac Zbawiciela). This part of the city was then in Polish hands. On the evening of Aug. 4 I found myself together with my brother-in-law in the Parish House of the Church of the Redeemer, 37 Marszalkowska Street. On Aug. 5 some Gestapo-men entered the court-yard of this house: before the house (in the street) they set up a machine gun. They ordered all of us to leave. In the Parish House and in the cellars were about 50 people — priests, church staff, inhabitants of adjoining houses, and casual passers by. They were mostly elderly men and women. There were no Insurgents among us. We all went into the court-yard. The Germans drove us to the opposite side of Marszalkowska Street, where they separated the men from the women and ordered us all to lie down on the pavement; men first, but some of the women too. When we reached the spot, about 80 men and a large number of women were already on the ground. Fighting was in progress.
The Insurgents were firing from Mokotowska Street and August 6 Street. After 10 minutes a WH soldier came to me with a revolver and ordered me in Polish to "come to work"; he said the same to my brother-in-law and to another young man who was lying near us. He ordered us to follow him in the direction of Litewska Street. Another Ukrainian soldier with his gun at the ready walked behind us. At the corner of Litewska Street they ordered us to cross Marszalkowska Street. Here under the wall of S. Anc’s chemist‘s shop I saw about a dozen corpses lying. They were all of men, and had machine-gun-shot wounds. The soldier told us to throw them into the cellar. We began to do so through a window in Marszalkowska Street facing Oleander Street. When we had finished, we stopped, not knowing what to do next. Then the Ukrainian ordered me to push in a corpse, which had not quite fallen down into the cellar. When I approached the window I heard a shot behind me; I turne d and saw our third companion fall on the ground, and the Ukrainian standing with his revolver pointed at my brother-in-law. I then jumped into the cellar, holding the corpse of the murdered man, and fell on a heap of corpses lying under the window.
I then heard many shots fired in the direction of the cellar and German and Ukrainian voices. I thought that they were shooting at me. I hid under the window among the corpses; there were about 30 of them. I lay there for several hours. At twilight I heard steps approaching under the window and the sound as of running water. Some drops fell on my head and I recognised the smell of petrol. After a moment I heard the hissing sound of fire; the heap of corpses among-which I was began to burn. I heard a Ukrainian say Timov, I have started the fire.
Then I crept from the window to the centre of the cellar. By the light of the burning fire I saw under the window in the direction of Oleander Street a pile of burnt human bones, and ashes. I went into the adjoining smaller cellar. There, under the window which looked on to Marszalkowska Street, I saw about 20 corpses of men only. I then retreated to a cellar on one side of the court-yard. There, in the darkness, I saw a man, Władysław Tymitiski. He told me that the Germans had taken him from No. 19, Marszalkowska Street, and had brought him to Anc’s shop from Oleander Street and there ordered him to jump on to the burning staircase. When he did so they had fired at him, but missed. This had happened one or two days before I found myself in the cellar of the chemist’s shop. We spent the night in one of the cellars. Next morning, Aug. 6, we met another man, Antoni Dudek, in the court-yard; he told us that a Ukrainian had fired at him in Oleander Street in front of the chemist’s shop. Dudek fell unconscious; after a while he felt the Ukrainian dragging him in the direction of the chemist’s shop. When he moved the Ukrainian threw him through the window into the burning cellar in Oleander Street. This was on August 2 or 3, 1934. [should be 1944]
We three went together to the sixth floor. All the flats, with the exception of two, were burnt out. From these two we collected food, and then hid ourselves on the sixth floor. There we met a fourth companion, Jan Latwinski. We stayed in this flat till Nov. 13, 1944. All this time we heard sounds of the fighting which was going on, and of various executions. Several times we heard voices of Poles shouting "long live Poland”, then separate gun shots followed. One day we heard steps on the stairs and German voices; after a while we saw fire coming out of a flat which had not yet been burnt. After the Capitulation the house in which we were was twice mined by the Germans. I saw mines being laid on the site of the chemist’s shop in Oleander Street; we then hid ourselves under the staircase. The explosion destroyed the ceilings of the lower floors of the house; but the upper floors remained intact. We left this house on Nov. 13, 1944, creeping through the city by night.