Gdańsk-Oliwa, 27 March 1947. Chairman of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Judge A. Zachariasiewicz, heard the person named below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness was sworn and testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Józef Gentek|
|Age||50 years old|
|Names of parents||Antoni and Teodozja|
|Occupation||assembler at Zakłady Elektryczne Wybrzeża [Wybrzeże electric company]|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Gdańsk-Siedlice, Skarpowa Street 99, flat 1|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
For the entire period of the German occupation I lived in Warsaw at Racławicka Street 120. In the same street, from number 110 up through 136, the houses were taken up for offices of the Luftwaffe Command. The complex was fenced with wire and guarded by sentries. With the permission of the military authorities, only four Polish families lived on the premises, that is: I myself, Bolesław Pawłowski (Gdańsk-Siedlce, Laube Kolonia 81), Edward Włoch (Gdańsk-Siedlce, Szara Street 38, flat 12), and Stanisław Mazur (Warsaw, I do not know his exact address but he lives in the Mokotów district). The four of us worked as laborers and stokers in the office buildings, and our wives and daughters were employed as cleaners, and we received remuneration for our work.
Two days before the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising there had been a change in command. General Menzel had been replaced by General Doerfler. That commander had authority also over the troops stationed at Olimpijska Street 1. We knew from the sentries, among whom many spoke Polish, that these troops – in uniforms like those of German airmen – were a field gendarmerie. The sentries disclosed to us that they were themselves afraid of this gendarmerie and they warned us against them.
On the first day of the Uprising, at about 5.00 p.m., various weapons opened fire from the house situated at the corner of Balonowa and Racławicka streets.
We, the employees and our families, were taken to the dungeon of the Mokotów fort. When we were being led there I saw the airmen shooting at that house from a trench situated some 30 steps away and throwing hand grenades at it. The trench had been prepared about a week before the outbreak of the Uprising.
Already on the first day of the Uprising, at about 9.00 p.m., the fort dungeon began to fill with residents from Racławicka, Balonowa, and Olimpijska streets. The newcomers – over five hundred people at a rough estimate – told us that they had arrived on orders from airmen, who had walked from house to house, announcing to all Poles and Volksdeutscher that all people were to gather in Mokotów fort until 9.00 p.m. on the first day of the Uprising, as all people found in the evacuated area after the set hour would be executed.
We, the four laborers, were used every day to bring – under guard – the food for the army and the civilians gathered in the fort. Thus occupied, on the morning of the second day of the Uprising I saw the soldiers leading seven civilians boys aged from sixteen to twenty- one years along Racławicka Street from the direction of the lower numbers. The soldiers were pointing their guns at these boys. The group stopped in front of the building of the command. Three officers looked out from the window on the upper floor, and one of them said the following: Polnische Banditen, alle schiessen.
One of these officers was Hauptmann Schulz. I did not see which of them said the above.
The group immediately set off for the fort, and shortly afterwards a salvo of machine gun fire could be heard from there. It was the sound of the execution of these insurgents. On the same day, before the evening fell, a group of thirteen young insurgents was brought and then marched to Okęcie. I don’t know the fate of that group. On the third day of the Uprising the army brought a group of insurgents comprising sixteen boys and two young ladies. They were led in the direction of Okęcie. I don’t know the fate of that group.
On the third day of the Uprising General Doerfler left, and his duties were taken over by Lieutenant Colonel Stützle. I heard from the people who had been evacuated to the Mokotów fort that the evacuation had been carried out in a humane fashion, and actually the soldiers had only announced the duty to come to the fort. I did not hear anyone complain about harassment on the part of the army during the evacuation. Nor did I hear any stories about a court-martial or anyone mentioning General Doerfler.
On the fifth day the insurgents were repelled by the Germans and we no longer heard the sound of shooting, either in the vicinity or from afar. Then the Germans began to use the men gathered in the fort for collecting and burying bodies. I was in the ruins of the above- mentioned house at the corner of Balonowa and Racławicka streets and I saw six bodies in the basement there: two men, two women, and two boys. I recognized three people: Cabański, his son, and Konarska. I went with others to work in that house on the fourth day of the Uprising. Apart from the bodies, there was a daughter of Konarska by the name of Maria, thirty-something years old, the owner of a grocery store. The soldiers who were supervising us searched the wounded Maria Konarska, pocketed 20,000 zlotys which they found in her clothes, and ordered us to carry her to the command. I learned from those who had carried her that in front of the command, Konarska had been put in a car and taken away in the direction of Okęcie. I don’t know anything about her subsequent fate.
One of those who carried her was the son-in-law of Cabański, a man named Włoch. I heard that he lives in Mokotów, at Racławicka Street 110. It was he who told me that when they carried her, Maria Konarska told them that the people from the basement had died due to grenade shrapnel wounds, and that the Germans had been throwing these grenades when the insurgents had already retreated from her house. The grenades had surprised them in the basement, where they had hidden as soon as the insurgents had taken up posts in their house.
I don’t know whether she explained to Włoch the circumstances of the burning of the house.
I don’t know what happened at the airport in Okęcie.
Shortly after the execution of the seven insurgents whom I mentioned above, I found out where they had been buried. The place was easy to spot, as the soil was freshly turned there. In May 1945 I showed the location to the exhumation commission. It consisted of a woman – a doctor from the Polish Red Cross – and a clerk who made the report. I was present during the entire exhumation and I saw that they uncovered the bodies of only four insurgents and a woman. I recognized them by the size, especially one who had long blond hair, quite well preserved. I recognized also the body of the woman. She had worked in the military kitchen from which we had been carrying food. I don’t know her surname. It was general knowledge that she had been hit accidentally when crossing the street during fights between the insurgents and the Germans.
The doctor was not trying to identify injuries, but was apparently looking for some characteristic features, as she closely examined the hands and teeth of the victims. Aside from this, clothing was described in the report and samples from underwear and clothes were collected.
I have nothing more to say. The report was read out.