Explore touching stories of Polish citizens victims and witnesses of totalitarian crimes

How to Search the Testimony Database


Chronicles of Terror is a treasure trove of knowledge about the tragic fates of Polish citizens who suffered immense hardship at the hands of the German and Soviet totalitarian regimes. You can learn about their personal experiences from themselves – you don’t have to physically go to the library or archive. Discover the wartime fate of people from your town, neighborhood, or even house. Street after street, person after person, day after day.

Since each testimony in Chronicles of Terror is described in detail, you will quickly find the relevant accounts, events, or people.

Thanks to a comprehensive system of tags, you will instantly view all testimonies meeting your search criteria. With a full-text search engine, you can find accounts containing a given phrase in a matter of seconds.

What to type into the main search engine:

– personal data of a witness or another person whose wartime fate you want to learn about. In the case of witnesses, the following will be especially helpful: name, surname, and the date and place of birth, e.g. Bogdanowicz Jan; 17.12.1894, Warsaw

– event date or a specific time range, e.g. 1944.08.01 or 1939–1945 (in year/month/day format)

– location whose wartime history you want to explore, e.g. Warsaw, St. Stanislaus’ Hospital, Wolska Street 37 (town name, street name, house address, etc.) Use the map to choose the place you are interested in.

– category of victims, e.g. Women, Children, The Elderly, The Sick, The Civilian Population

– name of the organization which perpetrated given crimes, e.g. SSWehrmacht, Gestapo

– type of crime, e.g. Execution, Shooting, Hanging, Rape, Robbery, Expulsion

– any phrase connected with the history of World War II in Poland, e.g. Union for Armed Struggle – Home Army (ZWZ-AK), Warsaw Uprising, Wola Massacre

If you have already found the testimony you were looking for, click on any tag in the “Details” tab to view all accounts tagged with it.

Under the “Similar testimonies” tab you will find accounts on similar subject matter or from the same location.

If you want to read the most interesting, unusual, and remarkable testimonies on a given subject, have a look at our Collections.

In order to create more complex queries, use the advanced searchoption.