Warsaw, 1 April 1949. A member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Norbert Szuman (MA), interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Wiktoria Zomocińska, née Purzycka|
|Date and place of birth||23 November 1890 in Ciechanów|
|Parents’ names||Józef and Julianna, née Gronczewska|
|Father’s occupation||floor and wall tile layer|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Konduktorska Street 20, flat 9|
|Criminal record||received a fine for contempt before the War|
When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in my flat at Olesińska Street 7. I did not see any insurgents in Olesińska Street, and in any case I did not venture from my house, but I know for certain that no operations were conducted from our house.
At around noon on 4 August 1944, I’m not sure of the date, German soldiers – Germans and “Ukrainians” to be precise – started hammering on the gate of our house (which was closed). After the gate had been opened, I heard them asking whether there were shelters in our house, and if so, where. Once they were informed that we had basements, I heard an order given in Polish: “Get into the basements”.
The basements of our house were large, and ran under the full length of the annex. For a certainty, our house had more than one hundred residents.
In any case, I know that the basements of our house – just as in the neighboring building, at Olesińska Street 5 – did not provide shelter only to residents, but also to people from the entire street.
But once the people had gathered there, the basements of our house became overcrowded. The people were all gathered in the basements of the front building and of one of the annexes. I was in one of the flats in the basement of the annex, in a room; there were a great many people in the kitchen of the same flat. Suddenly, I heard a loud boom from the kitchen and stairwell, followed by human cries and groans; I also saw dust and smoke.
In order to get out into the courtyard, I had to pass through the kitchen – there were many people lying around, some seriously wounded, and I saw blood. The stairs from the basement to the ground floor had collapsed, and I saw wounded people there. Together with 14-year-old Józefa Tul (currently residing in Warsaw at Konduktorska Street 20), I walked up the stairs to the third floor of our house. On the ground floor I saw the bodies of two men, while on the stairs I stumbled upon wounded people – those who could move were trying to escape.
Hearing some German shouts in the courtyard of the building, I fled further up. I passed through a hole on the third floor to the house on Grażyny Street, from where I proceeded to Asfaltowa Street. From there, after three days, I returned to Olesińska Street (since we were allowed to move freely between 12.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m.).
I did not go to my house. Helped by insurgents, I managed to get through to Krasickiego Street, where I met up with my family. At Krasickiego Street I met an insurgent, one Władysław Gawleta (currently deceased; it is said that after the War he lived in Zamość, where he died), who told me that he had found two unexploded Teller mines in the gate of the house at Olesińska Street 7. People said, among others our caretaker, Józef Ciołek (currently residing at Konduktorska Street 20, flat 8), and his son, Ryszard, that the Germans had showered the people gathered in the basements with grenades, throwing them in through the windows, and also boarded up the gate of the house at Olesińska Street 7 and placed a mine there.
I am unable to provide the number of people who perished at Olesińska Street 7 on 4 August.
I know that the owner of this house, Jan Buchalski (currently residing at Olesińska Street 7 in Warsaw), found a number of bodies and human remains while carrying out repairs on the property. I myself saw these remains in the summer of 1948, when the house was being repaired.
I can name the following witnesses who survived the execution carried out at Olesińska Street 7 on 4 August 1944:
Piekarska and her daughter, Stanisława Przeszkadzińska, currently residing in the prefabricated wooden houses at Wawelska Street;
Sylwester Orłowski, aged around 50, residing somewhere in the vicinity of aleja Niepodległości;
and Ms. Nietrzepek, currently residing in Warsaw at Szustra Street 8.
At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.