Warsaw, 31 July 1946. Judge Antoni Knoll, as member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, heard as a witness the person specified below. The witness testified as follows:
My name is Wacław Klemensiewicz, son of Józef and Walentyna née Radlińska, born on 19 May 1886 in Olkusz, Kieleckie Voivodeship, construction engineer, domiciled in Anin, 27 Grudnia Street 3, criminal record: none, relationship to the parties: none
I own a villa in Anin at 27 Grudnia Street (formerly II Poprzeczna), house no. 3. Since about 10 October 1939 until the retreat of the Germans in 1945, the villa was taken over for the so-called Ortskommandantur Wawer-Anin. In 1941 the administrative office of the Ortskommandantur was moved to another place, but soldiers were barracked in my villa until the end of war.
From 1939 to May 1940 a company with the official name of Strassenbaubatalion was on duty in Wawer-Anin. Oberleutnant Stephan was the town major, and this unit was composed of mobilised soldiers from Hamburg. Apart from the above-mentioned Stephan, in the commander’s office there were: captain feldfebel Schröder, a non-commissioned officer Cierpko, private Schramm, private Fritsche, private Wiśniewski and two other officers whose names I don’t remember. The worst of these in terms of harassment was private Wiśniewski, who was working almost exclusively outside of the office.
On 26 December 1939, about 8.30 p.m., private Schramm from the commander’s office stormed into the room where I was with my wife and daughter, and said, “a horrible thing has happened, they killed two of ours – do not leave the house, turn down the lights and sit tight as if you were not at home; the Gestapo from Warsaw will come directly.” We did as we were told.
A moment later a tenant from the first floor came to ask whether we knew what had happened, as the troops were all over Anin and they were stopping people on the streets. I told him what it was about. As soon as the tenant left we heard some noises in front of thehouse. I lifted the corner of a blind and saw ten or twelve men in our garden, herded there by the Warsaw Gestapo men.
I know they were from the Warsaw Gestapo thanks to their uniforms, as the Wehrmacht had single-breasted coats, and those men had double-breasted coats.
The people driven to our garden were directed towards the wall of a small outhouse, where the telephone exchange and the guardhouse were situated. They were told to stand with their faces to the wall and raised hands touching the wall. If someone put their hands down, they would be beaten. At about 1.00 a.m. there were 350–400 people in the yard, surrounded by the Gendarmerie.
The interrogations began approximately at midnight, in the Ortskommandantur ’s office, which was a part of my house, on the left side of the corridor. I lived on the right.
The commission for interrogation consisted of: some Gendarmerie colonel from Warsaw – as I learned later his name was Daume – a Gendarmerie major who spoke excellent Polish and whose name I don’t know, and Oberleutnant Stephan. This commission was at the same time a tribunal. I could hear through the door that when the interrogated person was leaving, there was either the command dieser ist frei or dieser bleiht. Each released person was accompanied home by a soldier in order not to be detained again.
Interrogation of all the arrestees ended about 5.00 a.m. As I learned later from those who had been released, each person was being interrogated only for several minutes, and their private papers were being destroyed.
As a result of the interrogation, some one hundred plus several dozen men were arrested, and around 5.00 a.m. they were taken away from my house. As I heard from the Ortskommandantur soldiers who lived in my house, at first five hundred people were to be executed, but as a result of telephone calls from Warsaw and allegedly between Warsaw and Cracow, the number was reduced to two hundred. Furthermore, during the execution the number was reduced to a hundred and sixteen, as every tenth person in line was spared.
From the moment they arrived to the moment of interrogation, the prisoners were being cruelly beaten by the guarding Gestapo men for fainting or moving while trying to warm up (thenight was frosty, with an outside temperature of 20 degrees below zero or even less). On the following day I found many jumpers, scarves, gloves, hats etc. in my garden and my yard. Before the prisoners were taken to be executed, but after the interrogations, one the commission members, the major who spoke excellent Polish, came out to the porch to read out the sentence. The sentence ran something along the following lines: “Two German soldiers were killed this night. The perpetrators were not discovered. In order not to allow this to happen again in the future, all of you shall be executed.” At first those detained and sentenced to death asked this man to let them explain themselves once again, but upon being denied this began to pray. About half an hour after the delivery of the sentence these people were taken to the execution site.
I learned the names of the commission members after the trial, from one of the soldiers from the Ortskommandantur. I don’t remember whether I heard the name of Daume then. I remember vividly that I was told that some Gendarmerie colonel from Warsaw was one of the members of the commission.
Through the door between my room and the corridor, unused during the time when a part of my house was occupied by the Ortskommandantur, I could distinctly hear what was going on in the hallway. Oberleutnant Stephan was an engineer/architect by profession, and, if I remember correctly, he used to work for the Hamburg Municipal Board. He was from Hamburg himself, but I don’t know his name nor his address. He was rather stout, of average height, and had thick dark hair, black eyes, and a round, clean-shaven face.
I did not see Daume or the major from the commission.
I submit the following names of people who were then interrogated: Stanisław Piegat – the owner of a hairdressing salon in Wawer (Nowy Wawer Widoczna Street); engineer Tyszkiewicz, PhD (Anin, III Poprzeczna Street 3); lieutenant colonel Jan Janikowski – the Mobilization Department of the Ministry of National Defence; Stanisław Krupka, then a commune administrator (wójt; Wawer Kolonia Marysin, private house).
I would like to make it clear that the name of the Gendarmerie colonel from the commission was Daume, and that I know this from the local newspaper, “Życie Warszawy.”
The report was read out. At this the hearing was closed.