Warsaw, 27 October 1949. Irena Skonieczna (MA), acting as a member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, interviewed the person named below, who testified as follows:

Name and surname Edward Hartfik
Date and place of birth 27 November 1890, Rytwiany
Parents’ names Jan and Łucja, née Baruch
Father’s occupation farmer
Citizenship and nationality Polish
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Education secondary
Occupation merchant
Place of residence Lipska Street 40, flat 7
Criminal record none

When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in my cake shop in the house at 6 Sierpnia Street 2, on the corner of Koszykowa Street. On 2 August 1944 between 6.00 and 8.00 a.m., Vlasovtsy soldiers burst into the cake shop under the command of one Gestapo man. At the same time, a second German group was breaking down the front gate to our house. The Vlasovtsy soldiers started robbing everything they could get their hands on. They emptied out the cash drawer, in which they found only my fountain pen. Judging by their shouts, I concluded that someone must have been shooting from our house. The Vlasovtsy soldiers ran up to the first floor of my cake shop and searched through the flats, looking into every nook and cranny – however they did not find anyone. They took me and my brother-in-law, Piotr Gąsiorowski (currently residing at Sienna Street 72, flat 10), to aleja Szucha, after which we were immediately thrown into the basement of the house at no. 11 Litewska Street. On the same day the Germans brought a few more people into our basement. Thus, there were 17 of us, including four women. We were fed by the extremely poor residents who had stayed on in the house, for the Germans didn’t give us any food. On the morning of 7 August the women who had been detained by the Gestapo in the basements of houses standing on Litewska Street were let free. They exited through Litewska Street to Marszałkowska Street. Somewhere around 8 August the young men from our group, numbering five or so (I know the surnames of three of them: Latoszek from Powsin, Polack – a chauffeur – and Rau), started going out to perform work. Our conditions then improved, for the young men always brought us something to eat. Every day in the morning the Germans would drag all of the residents out of the houses on Litewska Street and arrange us near the walls, with machine guns set up opposite. The Germans announced that if a shot was fired from any of the buildings, we would all be executed. Throughout the day we would smell a weird, unidentified smell – resembling both that of burning feathers and rubber. The men who were being taken for work told us that the Germans were leading great masses of people to the open-air kindergarten and shooting them there. They would pour acid over the bodies – this explained the whiff of burning. The men also informed us that some time back the Germans had gathered all of the cabs from Powiśle in aleja Szucha, ostensibly in retaliation for the assistance provided by cab drivers to the insurgents. They ordered the women and children to leave in the cabs, but they detained and murdered the men. Once, the young men themselves said that the Germans had brought a group of young boys – but also including a few girls – to the open-air kindergarten. All of them wore armbands. One of the Germans told our boys that the group was going to be executed, for if the Germans did not finish them off, the Poles would not hesitate to do the same with the Germans.

On 23 August we assisted in the evacuation of the Polish criminal police from the house at no. 3 Litewska Street. Since there was some confusion, we – 11 in total – managed to mix with the group of Polish criminal policemen and their families, and in this way escaped from the Gestapo building.

We were taken to Błonie near Warsaw, from where I, my brother-in-law, Rau, and Białkowski (a citizen of Grodzisk Mazowiecki) proceeded through Grodzisk to Piaseczno. There, however, we were caught on 27 September and deported to the Pruszków transit camp.