Warsaw, 26 February 1946. Judge St. Rybiński, delegated to the 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, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Maria Gutowska née Tarasińska|
|Date of birth||3 July 1909|
|Names of parents||Antoni and Anna née Kłomb|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Jagiellońska Street 12, flat 67|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
The public execution in November 1943 took place on Kępna Street along the wall of the slaughterhouse, close to the corner of Jagiellońska Street, on a Friday. I could watch it carefully because it happened opposite the window of my workshop.
First, at 8:00 a.m., Gestapo men arrived and looked around the place. Later, they blocked the street, ordered all shops to close, and forbade any looking through windows. I could watch, because my window was on the fifth floor and I was standing behind a net curtain.
After the street was blocked off, two taxis arrived and Gestapo men in leather coats came out. There were nine of them. Then came a car carrying the victims of the execution. They started to be taken out of the car. They were all tied in pairs, by their hands, their eyes were covered with bands, and they all moved very slowly. Each tormentor led one prisoner.
I counted 29 prisoners, and the last one, the thirtieth, was carried.
They placed them against the wall in sixes. The last ones stood in a row of five, and at the end they shot the thirtieth, having carried him out of the car and placed his head against the wall. The previous ones were made to stand facing the firing squad, only turning their heads over their left shoulder.
After the volleys, they checked if the victims were still alive and killed those who showed any signs of life. Afterwards, a doctor came from the slaughterhouse and examined the dead with the SS-men. Finally, they were loaded into a car, thrown inside.
Five other prisoners, who had arrived with them but were not executed, started to clean up the street. They got a water-hose from the slaughterhouse and washed the wall. I did not see a water wagon. Then, people threw themselves at the spot with candles, pictures and flowers. I got hold of a mask that one of the executed men had worn over his eyes, and I still have it.
I don’t know the names of those killed in the execution. In my opinion, they were not dressed the same. Each man was dressed differently, in civilian clothing.
I have to add, however, that three weeks earlier I had been much more emotionally involved in an execution I observed, because on 26 October 1943, at Leszno Street 5, there had also been a public execution, and one of the victims was my husband Kazimierz Gutowski, born in 1915. 27 or 28 [people] were executed then. Our neighbor from the same house, Jerzy Madejski, the same age as my husband, was also among those killed.
My husband took part in the 1939 campaign as an aviator from the air base in Dęblin. He ended up in German captivity and remained there until 1942, when he fled and returned home. I was hiding him in a different flat. On 22 October 1943, on Jagiellońska Street, there was a shooting, after which the gendarmerie organized a round-up. Our house was surrounded and all the men were chased out. My husband, along with four other men, was arrested and taken to Pawiak prison. Out of those five, three returned home and my husband and Madejski were left in prison. My husband had with him a false Kennkarte and an Ausweis with his own surname, but with a date of birth making him five years older.
Before I commenced any efforts to get my husband released from prison, I learned from the radio on 24 October that my husband, along with others whose surnames were announced, had been proven guilty of working for England and America. The next day, they announced on the radio that my husband and others had been convicted of communism. Finally, on 26 October, it was announced that my husband, Kazimierz Gutowski, born in 1910 (according to the Kennkarte) had been executed with the others (altogether 27 or 28 people) at Leszno Street 5.
I didn’t see a notice with a list of those executed. At that time, as far as I know, they didn’t publish any notices.
I had not received any messages from the Pawiak from my husband. My husband’s father learned from a Gestapo man in Okęcie why he had been executed. He was told that he had been killed because he was not registered in our house.
My husband left me one son, who is currently 7 years old.
The widow of Jerzy Madejski lives in our house. I don’t remember her first name or the flat number.
The report was read out.