File no. OKM.W.II/4B L5
|Name and surname||Henryk Roman Piekutowski|
|Parents’ names||Franciszek and Anna|
|Date of birth||7 July 1905 in Brooklyn, USA|
|Occupation||office worker at the communal board in Jabłonna|
|Place of residence||Jabłonna, Parkowa Street 3|
During the German occupation I lived together with my wife and children in Jabłonna; I was not employed anywhere at this time. Before the War broke out, I worked at the State Civil Engineering Plant in Praga. While in Jabłonna I was the commander of the Shooting Union.
Subsequently, I hid all of the assets of the Shooting Union, with the exception of weapons which I handed out to the citizens’ militia established in September 1939. In the beginning of October 1939 we organised a clandestine organisation in the area of Jabłonna with the objective of fighting with the Germans. Later we joined the Home Army.
As regards the liquidation of the Shooting Union, I was twice summoned to the communal board, where the Selbstschutz, that is, the police comprising civilians of German nationality, had its headquarters. I was asked about the number of members of the Shooting Union, weapons, radios, and personal details of the members. I had a radio at this time, however the search conducted at my home did not uncover anything, for it was conducted by friendly blue policemen.
In consequence, I was summoned to the commune, where I received a written instruction from the head of the commune of Jabłonna, Wilhelm Rynos, a Volksdeutscher, through the agency of a blue policeman, whereby I was not allowed ever to set foot again in the communal office of Jabłonna.
It is said that Rynos is currently being held in Rakowiecka prison, although this has not been verified, and others have stated that he is being detained in Gdańsk. The Selbstschutz commander at the time was Edmund Wit, who before the German occupation passed for a Pole, but once Poland had been occupied by the Germans he registered as a Volksdeutscher, and since the time of the convention for Polish evangelicals in Katowice in 1937 or 1938 was a member of the Nazi party, just like Rynos.
At the time that I was twice summoned to the municipal council in the matter of the shooting union, I heard that a meeting was being held at the Selbstschutz, during which they compiled a list of the criminal element in Jabłonna. I have a feeling that this list was made use of following the murder of the mayor of Legionowo, Marilke, to select hostages from Legionowo, Jabłonna, and the region.
On 24 February 1940 a policeman from the Selbstschutz summoned me to the communal board in Jabłonna. I went to the mayor, Rynos, and he directed me to Wit, who instructed me to wait, for they had to stoke up the fire in the jail. It was then that I figured out that I was being arrested. The time was 17.30. A military vehicle arrived – it contained a gendarme in uniform and a man dressed in civilian clothes. Rynos and Wit, together with the newcomers, ordered me to go with them and, as they said, take a look at the communal jail. I understood that I could be detained and ran away.
At around 20.00 on the same day my home was visited by four gendarmes, a blue policeman, the village leader and a member of the Selbstschutz, Lenc, who wanted to arrest me. However, I managed to escape through the window before they entered the apartment.
Lenc, I do not know his first name, was a Volksdeutscher and lived in the village of Rajszew near Jabłonna. Before the War he was a German colonist and a Polish citizen. When the Germans came he registered as a Volksdeutscher and acted aggressively towards Poles. In November 1940 Lenc moved to the region of Tczew or Puck in connection with the campaign of resettlement of Germans from the commune of Jabłonna, from the villages of Tomaszew, Rajszew, Kępa Tarchomińska, to better farmsteads in Pomerania.
I was the first person for whom the Germans came that day. After visiting my apartment, they went to a number of other people whom they arrested. On this night 90 people were detained in the commune of Jabłonna. There were 105 wanted persons, and a few managed to escape. The Germans came for me four times during the night.
The following were arrested then: Henryk Starczewski, a lieutenant of the Polish Army, a cripple who walked on crutches or moved around in a wheelchair; Tadeusz Grzemski, an employee of the electric power station in Jabłonna; Tański – a gardener; Wiktorowicz – a cart driver; Józef Dąbrowski – a farmer; Ignacy Kwiatkowski – a farmer; Osiński – a labourer. In Legionowo they arrested Mazurek, a doctor and major of the Polish Army; Bożym – a merchant. Three women were also taken from Jabłonna: Rewersiak – the wife of the court janitor; Bartosik – he lived with his parents, his father was a fisherman and his wife an office worker at the electric power station, but I don’t remember her surname. In Henrykowo they detained the paramedic Honrychs and Roszkiewicz, a gardener.
The wife of Tadeusz Grzemski (residing in Jabłonna, at the vocational school), a teacher by profession, could give testimony. It is said that Grzemski did not figure in the list used as the basis for selecting hostages, but since some people fled, he was taken in order to fill out the numbers.
Three other people – Chyliński, Bziuk and Franciszek Spychalski – were also taken to fill out the numbers; they were being held in jail for brewing moonshine.
While hiding in Warsaw, I heard a rumour that the hostages from Legionowo and Jabłonna were delivered to the prison at Rakowiecka Street, where they did not even enter the building, but were sent directly to the place of execution, in all probability to Palmiry. I heard this rumour in Warsaw on the third day after my escape.
I would like to add that on the night from 24 to 25 February 1940, following my escape, another group came to arrest me, this time comprising mayor Rynos and Wit in the company of gendarmes. A detailed search was conducted in my apartment, lasting two or three hours.
From the group of those arrested as hostages, two managed to escape from the truck conveying them from Jabłonna to Warsaw: Spychalski in Golędzinów and Bogdan Pogodziński in Dąbrówki; both are now deceased.
I spoke with them and this is how I know that the group of hostages taken from Jabłonna numbered ninety-odd people.
The janitor of the communal board, Zdzisław Mistewicz (residing in Jabłonna at Parkowa Street) could testify regarding their number. As far as I know, he saw the list of hostages and knows the surnames, so he could confirm the number of arrestees. Mistewicz notified those on the list so that they could hide.
The report was read out.