Warsaw, 12 March 1948. A member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Judge Halina Wereńko, heard the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Alicja Zofia Sobolewska, née Sobolewska|
|Names of parents||Justyn and Irena, née Malinowska|
|Date of birth||13 November 1913, in Warsaw|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Stalowa Street 28, flat 27|
|State affiliation and nationality||Polish|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was at home with my husband Ludomir Sobolewski, a lawyer, at Senatorska Street in the Luxembourg Gallery. We went to the basement, which had already been filled with many people.
Until 7 August 1944 our area was in the hands of the insurgents. In the early afternoon on that day the German units arrived. Having learned about this, my husband and I went to the odd-numbered side of Senatorska Street, and shortly afterwards a group of some 20 German soldiers entered the basement of the house in which we had sought shelter. Due to the fact that they wore protective covers, I could not determine what kind of unit it was, but they spoke German only. These soldiers threw a grenade into our basement, but it did not kill anyone. Then they ordered everyone out, brutally throwing the women out of the shelter. One woman (unknown to me), who did not want to leave her husband, was executed on the spot by the Germans.
Our group was driven to Bankowy Square and placed by the statue of St. John Cantius. A moment later I noticed that the men were running one by one from the house where we had previously been hiding. Their clothing was unbuttoned, they were bareheaded, without any things and they were running in our direction with their arms raised. The men were placed opposite us. In the meantime, new groups were marched across Bankowy Square in the direction of Żelaznej Bramy Square from the direction of Teatralny Square. The Germans were forming transports of younger men who were then marched in the direction of Żelaznej Bramy Square, and they also selected young women and marched them off as well. At the time we attempted to bribe the escort with jewelry, to obtain our men’s release. The majority of the soldiers accepted the bribe, but then they left. Other soldiers took their place and as a result nobody got released.
At one moment I noticed that the sick from the Order of Malta Hospital began to walk out to Bankowy Square. Many of them had prosthetic limbs and they could hardly move. At one point I noticed a young woman who was pushing a wheelchair with an elderly paralyzed lady. One of the German soldiers shot at the old woman and then at her caretaker, who did not abandon the body of the old woman. Another soldier shot dead some wounded man who was crawling with his leg in plaster. I heard individual shots all the time. I also saw the medical and sanitary staff leave the hospital.
In the afternoon, I cannot specify an exact hour, the women were marched along the burning streets to Żelaznej Bramy Square, where our group came under fire.
I cannot tell from where we were being shot at. I fell to the ground, although I was not wounded, and two women covered in blood fell by my side. I saw many people lying in the square. I don’t know whether these were corpses. Some woman got me to my feet and we joined a group which was being marched in the direction of Wola. Not far beyond Hale Mirowskie [the market halls] we were used as human shields for tanks which were going in the direction of Grzybowska Street (I cannot provide exact topographical details).
Due to the nervous shock that I suffered at the time, I cannot tell whether any of the women fell and whether we came under fire at all. Some time later I found myself in Wolska Street, from where I managed to get to Włochy. I cannot tell you anything about the fate of the men from our group, and I have not received any information concerning my husband.
At this the report was concluded and read out.