Warsaw, 21 May 1946. Antoni Knoll, judge of the municipal court delegated to the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, heard as a witness the person specified below. The witness testified as follows:
Sroka Stanisława, born on 15 November 1902 in Sosnowiec, daughter of Feliks and Franciszka, Roman Catholic. Occupation: official, address: Słowackiego Street 15/17, flat 78.
I had been working in Pawiak since 1929. After the end of military operations I was still working in Pawiak, as a nurse in “Serbia” [later the female ward]. During the battles in 1939, there were 10 men and women incarcerated in Serbia. One of the prisoners had a baby and I was taking care of that baby.
The first influx of prisoners began a week or maybe ten days after the Germans had seized Pawiak. The first transports consisted mainly of professors, priests, barristers, and judges. The transports (I mean the first ones) were arriving in the afternoon or in the evening and comprised several trucks which were coming to Pawiak every 10 or 15 minutes. There were 20–30 people in each car. After unloading, the arrestees were being led to a long corridor, from which one could enter the administrative office, and placed there with their faces to the wall. Since the male ward was not ready then, all prisoners, men and women, were being incarcerated in a temporary prison.
I submit to the judge the first list of the arrestees brought in the first transports to Pawiak, containing 163 names.
After completing all the formalities, all prisoners were being taken to the cells. Older prisoners or the sick ones were being taken to the hospital by the Polish staff.
Until about 8 May 1940, physicians and nurses from outside the prison were working in the prison hospital. Dr Bubski was the chief physician, and there were also Dr Buczyński and two nurses, Jadwiga Popławska and myself. There were also two feldshers – Mastalerczyk and another one whose name I don’t remember, I think it was Rusiłowski. From 7.00 a.m. the sick were allowed to get up, but if someone wanted, after the bed had been rearranged, he or she could lie down and stay in bed the entire day. Doctors’ visits began at 9.00 a.m., and the ward round lasted until 11.00 a.m. The physicians did not have regular duty hours; after the round they were admitting the sick from the wards in the emergency room, and then they were going home. The nurses would stay. A nurse was on duty every night. The pharmacy was on site and there were plenty of medicines, as they had the pre-war stores.
The daily schedule was the same as in the wards. In the morning – unsweetened black coffee and 200 or 400 grams of black bread. This was the daily ration of bread. There was soup for dinner and for supper the prisoners would ask for hot water, as at that time prisoners were allowed to receive packages from home, so they could make themselves some tea or coffee. The sick, despite the appeals of the doctors, were being taken for interrogation, which took place either at Szucha Avenue or in the infirmary.
During the period that I worked there, I didn’t see anyone coming back beaten from interrogation. Only once, during my night duty, the Gestapo brought a woman, Langman, from interrogation, and she was beaten unconscious so they had to bring her on a stretcher. She had her back, buttocks, stomach, and legs all blue from beating and she was covered in faeces.
The sick were lying in their clothes. They were allowed to have their own pillows and blankets. When I worked there, if I remember correctly, two people died. Both of these men died of natural causes.
The Germans visited the hospital very often, they would come especially when there was a transport. They were not interrogating then, but only answering the prisoners’ questions. The attitude of the Germans towards the staff was rather neutral.
One of the Gestapo men, called “Prędko, prędko” [quickly, quickly], a short, thin one with protruding ears and always with a whip in his hand, took one of the bedridden women from the hospital, told her to take all her belongings and go downstairs. I don’t remember exactly what was happening then, I think it was some roll call. The woman, who had two heavy suitcases, could not go down the iron staircase quickly enough. Then the afore-mentioned Gestapo man pushed her so hard that she fell down one flight of stairs and bruised herself seriously.
At the beginning of December 1939, the former president of the city, Starzyński, was brought to the prison. He was kept in absolute isolation, so that even when he was allowed to go to the toilet or to get some water, the corridors had to be empty. His cell was guarded by the Gestapo men only. As for food, Starzyński received only bread and water, the same amount of bread as other prisoners. He did not receive soups. Only after five days or a week, upon appeal from the chief of the female ward, Klunderowa, did he begin to receive soups. He could not receive any packages from his family. He was also forbidden to walk. Also thanks to Klunderowa, he could use baths and books. He was taken for a bath quite often, as it provided an opportunity to slip him some chocolate or other dry foods through the Polish prison guard, but only in such quantities as he could safely conceal in his pocket. I saw Starzyński only once, during an abdominal typhus vaccination. I could not talk to him, as the Gestapo men were also there. When someone suggested to him asking the German authorities for permission to receive dinners from home, he answered that he was not going to ask Germans for anything. He was taken away on 23 December 1939.
On 8 May, 1940, I witnessed the arrival of people from a round-up. It lasted from 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. There were more than a thousand men, Poles and Jews. Upon leaving the cars they were being pushed, pulled, and beaten. All were incarcerated in Pawiak. When the yard emptied, I saw that it was covered with numerous little strips of paper. Probably the detainees had torn some papers or documents while they were being kept in the yard. One of the Gestapo men was walking around the yard and poking the papers with his foot, apparently looking for something. Superintendent Junkers, who was then the Pawiak commander, was in turn collecting those strips of torn paper, trying to put them together, and was showing this to the Gestapo man to the latter’s displeasure.
At this the hearing was closed, and the report was read out.
The list of people who were brought as the first group to Pawiak in 1939, which was submitted by the witness, is appended to the report.
THE FIRST LIST OF PEOPLE BROUGHT TO THE PAWIAK IN 1939
Grzymiański Karol, Tester-Oborski Gustaw, […], priest Mystkowski Stanisław, […], Kowalczyk […], Jaroszyński Jerzy, priest[…], Billewicz Jerzy, Płużański Wacław, Zwoliński Stanisław, Czernik Stefan, Lemański Lucjan, Sobótka Franciszek, Lubecki Franciszek, Moszkowski Bernard, Kott Mieczysław, priest M. Węglewicz, Seremet […], priest Kałczyński Henryk, priest Lu[…], Adamczyk Kazimierz, priest Kałczyński Henryk, priest Kozłowski […], priest Jakimowski, Tokarski Feliks, Gosdyński Lucjan, priest Plater, Leopold Wacław, Niewiryn Stanisław, priest Milewski, […] Stefan, Jagodziński Zenon, priest Kiwalski, Wiśniewski Wacław, Chodzyński Kazimierz, priest Czapiewski, Goszkowski Henryk, Scherrer Wiktor, priest Konopka, Głaszik Mieczysław, Walcberg Michał, priest Motylewski, Juszkiewicz Bronisław, Grabowski Stanisław, Łuczak Marek, Wąsik Wiktor, Stojnowski Edmund, Jantczak Władysław, Kozłowski Józef, Dębowski Bogumił, Sobieniak Stanisław, Zweinbaum Juliusz, Fajerntag Wacław, Goldberg Szymon, Majewski Jerzy, Lossman Edward, Zawadzki Stanisław, Słotwiński Ludwik, […] Jerzy, Brokenbraun […], Zagórowski Adam, Klepczyński Henryk, Poswoński Bernard, Warchocki Jan, Zimski Zygmunt, Borchulski Aleksy, Strapkin […], Jaszczot Roman, Niciński Marian, Bohtran Piotr, Nowicki Marian, Jastrzębski Stefan, Wawrzyński Gustaw, Śmigielski Kazimierz, Pressman Bolesław, Kochan Karol,Todnarski Stefan, Głowacki Antoni, Wojciechowski Edmund, Gajownik Feliks, Pieniążek Szymon, Bor[…] Tomasz, Lubicz Borowski Janusz, Arciszewski Wiktor, Dobrzyński Janusz, Gąsecki Jerzy, Wawelberg Henryk, Dąbrowski Tomasz, Kowalczyk Tadeusz, Wandel Jerzy, Zarzycki Mieczysław, Stachórski Ryszard, Stachórski Leon, Hochman Norbert, Fleischman Albin, Tokarski Mieczysław, Margules Efraim, Margules Marian, Wasilewski Henryk, Kwiecień Mikołaj, Szczybuk Zawistowski Karol, Guzikowski Adam, Tołłoczko Ludwik, Heinrich Jerzy, Bystroń Jan, Jellinek Józef, Godlewski Franciszek, Brzeski Tadeusz, Kawka Stefan, Grabowski Kazimierz, Ambrosius Wincenty, Zięborak Józef, Lubomirski Stanisław, Suryn Jerzy, Zakrzewski Edward, Borkowski Włodzimierz, Ziegler Edward, Obuchowicz Tadeusz, Skiele Bronisław, Pruszyński Witold, Ciecierski Edward, Tomberg Władysław, Zakrzewski Jerzy Witold, Wiśniewski Aleksander, Tarasiewicz Wiktor, Branicki Adam, Kosko Jan, Bielański Roman, Lewicki Paweł, Frankiewicz Henryk, Godlewski Franciszek, Zawistowski Karol, Tołłoczko Ludwik, Jellinek Józef, Załuski Bronisław, Hulewicz Bronisław, Lubomirski Stanisław, Brzeski Tad., Jankowski Adam, Guszkowski Adam, Hold Seweryn, Fajertag Adam, Blajweis Jakub, […] […], Ołomski Arnold, Jabłoński Edward, Niemalcew Mikołaj, Okulski, Einszporn Czesław, Pawłowski Feliks, Wasilewski Stefan, Kozłowski Nikodem, Goszczyński Józef, Lindakowski Józef, Lidke Eugeniusz, Bagiński Adolf, Gonczar Józef, Chyliński Józef, Szyprowski Ksawery, Łukaszewicz Aleksander, Jakubowski Stefan, Romanowski Michał, Briański Józef, Łaniewski Adam, Toczek Władysław, Niemczycki Jan, Podkorski Leon, Małecki Ksawery.