On 7 November 1945 in Warsaw, the investigating judge Mikołaj Halfter heard as a witness the person specified below. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the importance of the oath the witness was sworn and testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Kazimierz Rawicki|
|Age||53 years old|
|Parents’ names||Franciszek and Marianna|
|Place of residence||Wawer, Jabłeczna Street 4|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
From July 1939 to September 1941, I was a district administrator [sołtys] of Nowy Wawer in the Wawer commune, district of Warsaw. On 27 December 1939, I left my house and went in the direction of the Wawer narrow-gauge railway station, as I planned to go to Warsaw. I was walking along the road leading through the square on which – as I learned later – the execution took place. Before I managed to reach it, some 50 meters before it, I was stopped by some German in a uniform (it was still dark, so I couldn’t see whether he was a soldier or an SS man) who told me to halt. I took then another road to the Wawer station, but before I reached the corner of Rubinowa Street and Widoczna Street, I was stopped again by some soldiers, who searched me and told me to go back. So I went back and, not knowing where to go or what to do, I visited an acquaintance of mine, Łukowski (I don’t know his first name), who had a house on Krótka Street. This house does not exist anymore, as it burnt down at the beginning or in the spring of 1945.
I have not seen Łukowski since 1941. He was a Jew, but I don’t know what became of him.
When I knocked on Łukowski’s door, nobody answered. I tried the door and as it was open, I walked in. To my amazement, nobody was there. I walked upstairs, but I didn’t find any of the residents. Then I stopped on the staircase by the window looking out onto the square in which the execution took place. At 6.05 a.m. (I checked my watch) I saw the searchlights were turned on and immediately afterwards I heard a volley of machine-gun fire, and after a break more single shots. It repeated several times, first a volley of machine-gun fire, then single shots. It lasted for about half an hour.
When everything went quiet, I went to see Piegat, a hairdresser. When I got to his flat, Piegat was not home. His wife told me that Piegat and his assistant had been taken at night by the Germans. At that moment, Feliks Stryjewski stormed in and said that his son had been executed along with others by the Germans just a moment earlier. When I heard this I ran to the execution square.
At the square (it was already light outside, although it was still before sunrise) I saw many groups of corpses. Among them I noticed several injured people, still alive, but they were already in agony. The square (which was near the place where the cross stands now) had already been abandoned by the Germans. I saw there only a woman (I don’t remember who) that was wailing and saying that they had killed her husband.
I went to the Commune Board, where I met the commune administrator, Stanisław Krupka, who told me that the Germans had ordered that all those executed must be buried before 12.00 noon, that the corpses must not be taken away by anyone, and that they must all be buried on the execution site, and that if this order were not carried out on time, the Germans would execute 20 more people.
I was ordered (as sołtys) by Krupka to carry out the burial. So I went to the Labour Office (Arbeitsamt) to ask for a workforce, picks, and stretchers. I got what I wanted and I went with the workers to the execution site. We dug six big ditches and began to put the corpses in them, covering their faces with what we could find (with clothing or sheets brought by women). Before the burial, I was taking out identity papers from the pockets of the executed, so the commune commissioner could later take down the names of the executed (all the commune papers, however, were burnt in the autumn of 1944 as a result of military action). Paciorkowski, a Police officer from the Wawer station, was also present there.
We buried 108 people in total. I would like to emphasise that this number comprises also thecafé owner, Bartoszko or Bartoszczak (I don’t know his exact name), the one hanged above the entrance to his café at the corner of Widoczna Street and Rubinowa Street – we took him off the hook.
When the Germans saw that we had buried him, they told us to uncover his corpse and hang him anew. This was done by the Polish police the next day. The corpse remained hanging for two days, with a plate across his chest with a warning that whoever should take the corpse down would be executed.
Who took him down and when, I don’t know. On 30 December the corpse was no longer hanging there. He was buried (by whom, I don’t know) in the same grave from which he had been taken out.
I would like to emphasise that we were not able to get all the names of the executed after the burial, as we were in a hurry and we could not find identity papers on some people. After the exhumation in June or July 1940, some corpses were recognised by the families by their clothes. As I heard from other people, some of the executed had been taken by the Germans from the broad gauge railway station, where they had been awaiting a train.
I would like to emphasise that the last ten of those arrested on 27 December 1939 was spared by the Germans and ordered to bury those executed. Among these were Stanisław Krupka, the Wawer commune administrator, Chorosiewicz (I don’t remember his first name), Feliks Stryjewski; I don’t remember any more names.
As I learned from a police officer – Rozwadowski, from the Wawer police station (I heard he was killed in 1944) – on 25 December 1939 two well-known bandits, Dąbek (from Zastów) and Prasuła, killed a Polish police officer in Otwock. On 26 December, the Wawer police received a cable notification that Dąbek and Prasuła might be somewhere in Wawer. Then the Polish police in Wawer contacted the German commander in Anin, and he sent those two German soldiers with Rozwadowski.
As I heard from a daughter of Bartoszek or Bartoszczak (who was hanged by the Germans), who claimed that she had witnessed the events in the café, one of those soldiers, when they had entered the café where Dąbek and Prasuła were sitting, instead of telling them to put their hands up, wanted to see their identity papers, and they took out their revolvers instead of their papers and fired several times, killing one and injuring the other soldier. Rozwadowski managed to escape from the café by the rear exit. I don’t know where the daughters and wife of Bartoszek or Bartoszczak live now, but I know that they do not live in Wawer.
All the executed whom we were burying usually had head wounds, but some also had wounds in their backs.
I have nothing more to add.
The report was read out.