Crimes at Praga
Record No. 23 / II
On Aug. 24, 1944, a gray-green car came to the corner of the Jewish Cemetery at Praga from the direction of Nowe Brodno, opposite Goledzinow. Four Gestapo men got out of it and began to dig a hole. The car drove away leaving behind two of the Gestapo-men. After 10 minutes it returned bringing our people, who were led to the recently dug grave and murdered by revolver shots through the back of the head. Among them were a very tall priest, a girl of about 12, a woman and a man dressed in black, who may have been a priest.
After they had been buried the car drove away, but in a short time returned with the same number of people as before: three men and one woman, who met the same fate. After they too had been buried in this grave the car drove away. This was at 1:30 p.m.
On Aug. 25 at the same hour the same car returned bringing four young men, who dug their own grave. Then they were ordered to lie in the hole, and in this position they were shot. This grave is about 400 metres (450 yards) from the first one.
On Aug. 26 — it was a Saturday — about 10 o’clock in the morning they again came and dug a larger number of graves and this time ordered passers-by to help. At 12 o’clock they drove off, returning at three with four men who had to dig graves. Then they went away, taking these men with them. There was no execution that day. On Sunday, Aug. 27, a big dark-red lorry brought 15 people; they were led out in groups of five. In the first group were three men and two women.
When they came to the graves I heard a cry and two men began to run away. One of them was killed on the spot; the other succeeded in running about 50 metres (55 yards) when a revolver-bullet struck him; they were both thrown into the hole. The rest of the people having heard their cries, did not want to get out of the car, but they were driven out by force and shot immediately at the gate. While one party of Germans was burying the dead the other went away and brought about 13 more people, who met the same fate. There were among them old men, women and young boys. This day about 30 persons were shot.