On 15 March 1946 in Warsaw, Halina Wereńko, district investigative judge of the 2nd region of the District Court in Warsaw, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the below-mentioned as a witness. After advising the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the meaning of the oath, the judge took his oath in accordance with Article 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, following which the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Ignacy Kucharzewski|
|Parents’ first names||Tomasz and Marianna (née Błaszczyk)|
|Date of birth||22 June 1893|
|Occupation||Unemployed, a locksmith by trade|
|Education||Two classes of the city Russian school in Warsaw|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Syreny Street 10, flat 9|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
The outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 saw me together with my wife Stanisława and step-daughter Krystyna Potkońska in our flat on Płocka Street 25 in Warsaw. There was no uprising activity conducted in our building. On 3 August 1944, on Thursday, a few SS men entered our building’s courtyard and ordered all residents to come out. The group my wife was with was led to the Church of St. Adalbert on Wolska Street, and they all returned to the building, to their flats, on the same day. On 5 August 1944 at 11.00 a.m., a few SS men and “Ukrainians” burst into our building’s courtyard, calling for people to come out (“Raus!”). I happened to be in my flat on the second floor then, and I saw through the window how the residents from two stairwells calmly walked out through the gate. My wife, who had been in the cellar then, left with the first party, which was led to the Church of St. Adalbert on Wolska Street, from where they were transported to the transit camp in Pruszków. At the moment when our building’s residents began coming out of the third stairwell, I heard shots and screams. Because of that, I stayed in the flat. The German soldiers, whose unit I couldn’t recognize as I didn’t see them from close up, checked whether people had stayed behind in their flats (but only till the first floor), then threw grenades at the building. The building began burning from the ground floor. I then fled to the attic, and when the fire caught up with me, I ran through the flames down to the cellar, where I stayed till 8 August 1944.
When I was in the attic I saw how German soldiers shot a group of approximately one hundred people – the residents of the building on Płocka Street 23, mainly women and children. They were shot with a machine gun set up on a cart by the coach house. I heard screams and saw how people fell to the ground. A group of residents from that building escaped into the neighboring grounds of the pasta factory on Wolska Street 60. There was a mass execution at the factory on 5 August 1944, which Jan Pec, currently a ticket controller with the City’s Public Transport, and Franciszek Szymański, residing in Warsaw, managed to escape from.
I saw at the gate to our building six to eight corpses of residents from our building who had been led out on 5 August 1944 (I don’t know their surnames), and at the toilet, the corpse of Ms. Sowińska, a resident of our building who was about 50 years old. Somebody told me that Sowińska, injured by a shard from a grenade, asked to be finished off, after which a “Ukrainian” did so.
A few days following the mass execution of residents of building number 23 on Płocka Street, the corpses were burned in the courtyard next to the coach house by a group of laborers from the civilian population employed by the Germans for burning corpses. Other corpses from Płocka Street were burned by laborers in the grounds of a property near the Ursus factory on Wolska Street, known by the name Sadurka. I also saw how piles of corpses burned in the grounds of the pasta factory (I saw that on 8 August 1944) and in the Jabs workshops. I don’t have any more detailed information about the execution in the Jabs garden. I can’t remember the date, but it was after 5 August 1944. I saw how German soldiers caught Dr. Czupryńska, previously residing at Górczewska Street 25, and her cousin in the gardens behind the pasta factory, and how they shot both of them.
Initially there were about 60 of us hiding in the cellars of building no. 25. The group gradually shrunk; many people left earlier unable to bear the tough conditions. With me were Feliks Grabowski, the Fresz family (Franciszek is currently employed as a postilion at the 2nd Post Office in Warsaw), Stanisław Biernacki, and others. At that time, the Germans were walking around with dogs, searching for people hiding away like us. The vent from the cellar had to be masked with torched plumage and rubble. We used to cook our food in the attic of the burnt-out building, and only at night, so the smoke wouldn’t draw the Germans’ attention to our building. We risked our lives to bring water found in nearby buildings. In December, there were only 13 people left in the cellar.
On 8 August 1944, I left the cellar and joined a group of laborers who were employed digging trenches by the railway tracks, and then I left Warsaw together with them.
The report was concluded at this point and read out.