Warsaw, 13 April 1946. Judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person specified below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the gravity of the oath, the judge swore the witness in accordance with Art. 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Bronisław Żuchowski|
|Names of parents||Tomasz and Franciszka née Kaczorowska|
|Date of birth||17 August 1896 in Warsaw|
|Occupation||elementary school teacher|
|Education||teacher training college|
|Place of residence||Blizne Jasińskiego, commune of Blizne, Warsaw district|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
Before the war and throughout the whole of the German occupation I worked, as I still do, as a teacher in an elementary school at Babice, the commune of Blizne. I am currently on leave for health reasons, as I am broken and unnerved by the deaths of my daughter and mother. My daughter, Wiesława Seweryna Żuchowska (born 8 January 1925) graduated from the secondary school in a clandestine course [tajne komplety] during the German occupation. While in secondary school, from 1940 onwards, she lived in Warsaw with her aunt Józefa Rudnicka, at Leszno Street 123.
At the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, my daughter began to work as a paramedic in the Saint Lazarus Hospital at Leszno Street 123. I suppose my daughter was a member of an underground organisation aiming at fighting the Germans, as on the Sunday before the outbreak (1 August 1944 was a Tuesday) she went to Warsaw, and on Tuesday morning, when she already knew the uprising was going to begin, she did not want to come back to Babice with me.
Details concerning her work in the resistance can be provided by her friends, Danuta and Alicja Remus, nurses from Saint Lazarus Hospital, one of whom has already testified before the present Judge [ob. = (most probably) obywatel, citizen, “citizen judge” being an accepted title at the time].
In mid-August, my sister Rudnicka told me that my daughter was probably dead, as Saint Lazarus Hospital had been burnt, while the patients and hospital personnel were murdered by the Germans. My daughter worked in the ward at the corner of Karolkowa Street and Leszno Street, which treated wounded insurgents.
Two hours before the hospital was burnt, my sister Rudnicka saw from her apartment that my daughter was on a balcony of her ward. A young man who was at Saint Lazarus Hospital at the time and who survived, and whose name I shall find out and pass on to the present Judge, told me that my daughter was in her ward with the patients until the very end on 5 August, and that she never went to the shelter. There were twenty-one young nurses in the ward, two of whom allegedly escaped, while nineteen young women, including my daughter, were shot by the Germans in the hospital yard, in fives.
These details were passed on to me by a woman whose name I don’t know, but I shall find it out and pass it on it soon.
My daughter was buried in a potato storage pit together with her friends. The pit was by the wall at Karolkowa Street, beneath the balcony of the pavilion where my daughter had worked. After Warsaw was taken by the Polish Army and the Red Army, the grave was exhumed, [the ashes were moved] to a common grave in the yard of Saint Lazarus Hospital, from where I exhumed my daughter’s body on 30 April 1945.
I have been told that over 600 bodies had been buried in this grave. My daughter lay under the 13th. I buried her at the Powązki military cemetery, in the insurgents’ quarter.
A young man whose name I have yet to find out told me that my daughter had the chance to escape, but she did not want to leave the wounded and died because of that. All the wounded were shot.
I don’t know any details.
Just before the Germans entered Saint Lazarus Hospital, Dr Gotlieb escaped from it. He now lives in Boernerowo.
I have heard, I cannot recall exactly from whom, that after taking over Saint Lazarus Hospital and before shooting its personnel and the wounded, the Germans tortured the women; there nuns and nurses were raped.
My mother, Franciszka Żuchowska née Kaczorowska (77 years old in 1944) lived during the uprising at Leszno Street 123 with my sister Rudnicka, as did my daughter.
I have heard a rumour which I couldn’t verify that my mother was murdered at Okopowa Street by the Germans, who shot her seven times. They could not kill her for some reason, and eventually they buried her alive. I don’t know the details yet, but I shall try to learn the names of the witnesses who can shed some light on the matter.
The report was read out.