Warsaw 12 June 1946, Judge Antoni Knoll, acting as member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as a witness. The witness testified as follows:
My name is Konstanty Pogorzelski, son of Adam and Karolina, born 5 March 1883 in Dębe, district Radzymin, priest in the parish of Our Savior, residing at Mokotowska Street 13, Roman Catholic, no criminal record.
I have served as a parish priest at the parish of Our Savior since 1940. When the Uprising broke out, I was in Wola on Bema Street, from where I managed to get to my parish. At that time my flat was at no. 37 Marszałkowska Street.
On August 5 around noon several Germans appeared in the courtyard. One of them started to shoot at the windows, calling for the people in the building to come out into the street. I would like to add that the day before, on 4 August, residents were removed from the houses located between Zbawiciela Square and Unii Lubelskiej Square. Some of them were staying on the property where I lived. After coming out into the street, the men, having been separated from the women and children, were told to lie face down on the other side of Marszałkowska Street, that is, on the even-numbered side of the street. We were kept lying like that for over an hour as new transports came in. In the meantime, the Germans kept shooting over our heads in the direction of the barricade the insurgents had erected at Zbawiciela Square. An hour or more later, we were told to get up and, after moving a little closer to Litewska Street, to lie down again. Then the Germans took us to the corner of Litewska Street, where we were told to stand and turn towards a fence. Behind the fence were “Ukrainians” walking around and calling for people to hand over their watches. The women had already been escorted along Litewska Street towards aleja Szucha.
I was accompanied by other priests: Włodarczyk, who now serves as the parish priest of St. Jadwiga’s Church; Fultyn, a curate in Pruszków; and Cegłowski, the parish priest in Strzelce near Pruszków. Father Długołęski, who at that time lived at Mokotowska Street 13, was not among us.
We were taken from Litewska Street to the courtyard of the Gestapo headquarters in aleja Szucha. The courtyard was entirely filled with men, from about seven to ten thousand in number. However, it was not filled to capacity. We were ordered to stand without moving and looking around. Once we were in the courtyard, Gestapo soldiers called us out – the priests and several dozen laymen – and took us to the first floor, where a German civilian, assisted by an interpreter, began to ask us questions regarding the Uprising and the insurgents’ headquarters.
After this examination, we were escorted back into the courtyard, only to be interviewed later two more times. During the third interview I was asked whether there were any insurgents in the church. To this I replied that there were not because the church was closed; I also wanted to know whether it was going to be demolished. The Germans answered in the negative, noting, however, that this depended on whether it would remain free of insurgents. I demanded to be released so that I could make sure this condition was fulfilled. A Gestapo soldier told me that it was not only for him to decide whether or not to release me and that a meeting would be held about it. So I was kept in the courtyard.
At 7 p.m., five or six uniformed Gestapo soldiers came out of the building into the courtyard. After some deliberation, they took me and another man, whose name I don’t know and who joined our group accidentally, to Unii Lubelskiej Square, and there we were released. I don’t know what happened later on the Gestapo premises. Priests and women were not released until the following afternoon.
I am also unable to say anything about the men who remained in the courtyard. I heard from my parishioners that they were taken to the prison on Rakowiecka Street and executed. Between other graves where they were buried [a part of the sentence is missing in Polish]. Some of them were buried in aleja Niepodległości.
That is all I know about it.
I want to add that the church, except for the damage to one of its towers and to the St. Mary Chapel, was left intact. It was not until January 1945, when the Germans were leaving Warsaw, that mines were laid under the lower church and detonated.
The report was read out and the interview came to an end.