Warsaw, 15 March 1949. Judge Halina Wereńko, a member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the obligation to speak the truth, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Stanisław Zbigniew Zalewski|
|Date and place of birth||28 January 1911 in Warsaw|
|Parents’ names||Bronisław and Henryka, née Wasilewska|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Education||evening vocational school, 1-year course|
|Father’s occupation||railway mechanic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Olesińska Street 9, flat 9|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was at home at Olesińska Street 9 in Warsaw. On 1 August 1944 this street was occupied by the insurgents. In the morning of 2 August a few German soldiers arrived at our house. At the time there were no insurgents in our house. These soldiers entered the flat of the Sobolewski family on the ground floor and, seeing a few men seated there, shot and wounded three of them along with a six-year old child – for no reason whatsoever. They set fire to the shop on the ground floor of our building and left.
On 4 August at around 5.00 p.m., I don’t remember exactly, a German detachment came up from Puławska Street and secured Olesińska Street. I watched from a window on the first floor and saw how the German soldiers led the civilians out from the house at no. 8, directing them to the house at no. 5. Next, the German soldiers burst into our house and ordered all those present to come out. A group of some 50 people, including a number of wounded ones, exited our house. We were led to no. 9, where the Germans instructed us to go into the basements. I found myself in the basement located to the right of the entrance. Looking through a window in the basement, I saw German soldiers leading the residents out of the house at no. 10; these people were also directed to the basements of the house at no. 5. I saw an old woman walk out of the house, carrying a three-day old baby in her arms, with the young mother stumbling alongside her. It was getting more and more crowded in the basement as new groups continued to be brought in, although I don’t know exactly from where.
I cannot specify the number of people, however this was one of the largest houses in Olesińska Street, with spacious basements.
It was extremely stuffy in the basement. Suddenly, the Germans threw in a few grenades. Pandemonium and confusion broke out. Together with the Perkowski family, who lived at Olesińska Street 10, and a few other residents of the houses at nos. 10 and 13, we started to force our way through to the window near the side wall. Making our way forward, we trampled on the bodies and on the wounded people lying on the floor. We passed through the basement of the house at no. 7, where there were only a few people. We got through to our house, at no. 9. While running away, I heard shots. I later learned that people had run out into the courtyard, where German soldiers had shot at them.
Some ten people from our house died there. I don’t know how many people perished at number 5.
I remained at the house at no. 9 until nightfall and saw houses burning in Olesińska Street – numbers 7, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. The house at no. 9 had not been set on fire. When night fell, I escaped to Wierzbno.
At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.