Warszawa, 21 March 1947. Member of the District Commission for Investigation of German Crimes, [Judge] Halina Wereńko, interviewed the person specified below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Art. 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:

Name and surname Franciszek August Welder
Date of birth 18 January 1887
Names of parents Paweł and Karolina
Education Riga Technical University, Commercial Faculty
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Place of residence Aleje Jerozolimskie 9, flat 45
Nationality and state affiliation Polish
Occupation secondary school teacher and director of purchasing in the “Dobrolin” factory

During the Warsaw Uprising I was in the “Dobrolin” factory at Wolska Street 159, where I worked as the director of purchasing. After the German gendarmerie, on 1 August 1944, had put down an insurgent operation in the house opposite our factory [known as] “Piekiełko” [“Little Hell”] (located where the monument to Americans that had been shot now stands) – which ended in throwing grenades at houses and setting them on fire with the residents inside – the insurgents did not manage to carry out any more serious operations in the vicinity of the “Dobrolin” factory, as far as Bema Street. Beginning from 1 August 1944, I saw Warsaw gendarmes and Vlasov’s men crossing Wolska Street.

On 3 August 1944, new gendarmerie divisions arrived in Wola, from Bydgoszcz, as I heard. From 2 August 1944, in the afternoon, the Germans began throwing civilians out of their houses along Ordona, Gizów and Jana Kazimierza streets, carrying out mass executions in the process. Gradually, the operation of throwing people out of houses and executing them extended to further streets alongside Wolska Street in the direction of the city centre [Śródmieście]. During the day this operation was carried out by gendarmes and SS men. At night the area was guarded by Vlasov’s men.

From what I was told, in the vicinity of the factory during the period 4–5 August 1944 there were mass executions of civilians who had been hiding in the basement of the elementary school in Gizów Street at the corner of Wolska Street, and in the back tenement on the corner of Jana Kazimierza and Gizów Street, in Kamiński’s house. Beginning on 3 August 1944, there were also mass executions in the cemetery at the church of St Lawrence. They still continued on 7 August 1944, which I found out because on that day German gendarmes brought out the entire group of “Dobrolin” factory employees and herded us to the cemetery at St Lawrence church. We were halted before the church wall, and then I saw that groups of people brought from the direction of Bema Street were herded down Wolska Street deeper into the cemetery behind the trees, in front of the wall, and then we heard volleys from a machine gun.

By the church wall, where we were lined up, I saw traces of fresh blood and human brain near the wall.

It was then that Bishop Niemira and two other priests were taken to an execution with a group of civilians. They were not executed, however, and I saw them return and go into the church. At that time women were no longer being executed, but were directed to the church.

I heard, however, that Mrs Franaszek with her child and Father Krygier, the parson of St Lawrence church, had been executed there earlier.

I was freed a few hours later, together with a group of “Dobrolin” factory workers, by a Wehrmacht colonel, Muller, who before the uprising was stationed in the factory, where he had commandeered a part of the factory halls for repair workshops.

I wish to add that on 3, 4 and 5 August 1944 Germans were dropping leaflets on Wola from bombers. I remember the first leaflet, allegedly signed by General Bór [Komorowski], in which they demanded that the uprising cease. In the second one they warned that if the uprising did not cease, the city would be razed to the ground; having dropped the leaflets, the same bombers flew lower and bombarded the city centre [Śródmieście].

At that the report was concluded and read out.