Warsaw, 21 May 1946. Investigating 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 significance of the oath, the judge swore him in, after which the witness testified as follows:
|Forename and surname||Jan Ziółkowski|
|Names of parents||Teodor and Filipina, née Kaczyńska|
|Date of birth||1 January 1900|
|Occupation||none due to ill health (a war-disabled person)|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Kobielska Street 73, flat no. 8|
On 11 December 1943, I was on duty inside the building of the Central Telephone Office at Tłomackie Street 10. I was on the third floor. The building I was in has windows on all four sides. The event I am describing happened on Saturday. In addition to me, citizen Jan Wróbel and citizen Stanisław Adolf Darewski were also there. Between 2 and 3 p.m., we heard a column of cars arriving, moving slowly along Tłomackie Street in the direction of Leszno Street. They were the so-called “sheds” – trucks – in which you could see armed German gendarmes. When the head of the column reached, approximately, Karmelicka Street, the column stopped and – at some point – several dozen gendarmes got out of the vehicles and took their positions on both sides of the street next to the buildings, aiming their rifles and sub-machine guns at the windows. There were machine guns set up on the street. One was aimed at Rymarska Street, another one at Przejazd Street, and the third one at Tłomackie Street opposite no. 10. There was a heavy machine gun mounted on a stand in a vehicle, which covered the adjacent streets. A platoon of gendarmes appeared in the middle of the street opposite the Statistical Office at Leszno Street 5. Then, out of the vehicles that arrived from Karmelicka Street and stopped on the side of Leszno Street with odd building numbers, gendarmes started to take men, partly dressed, in pairs, tied to each other with white pieces of material. Each pair was escorted by two gendarmes. They were arranged in groups of six and there were 40 of them in total. One by one, the groups of six were put against the wall of the Statistical Office. The platoon was commanded by a Gendarmerie officer who was holding a gun. The men who were escorted by gendarmes were blindfolded with white bands; they were walking in an abnormal way, like a blind person does. The escorted men did not seem to have any reflexes. They looked drawn and were thin. Most of them were without jackets, wearing shirts and shorts. One of them was wearing a red shirt. They were not gagged but they were not saying anything either. I did not know anybody from the escorted people. The first group of six was put against the wall, after which on the officer’s command, a salvo was fired. The shots were aimed at their heads and chests. Another group of six people was put next to the heads of those who had fallen; then, there was another salvo; then, another group of six was brought in, and so on. Despite hearing the shots, the following groups of six people that were to be executed did not react at all, on the basis of which one could conclude that their awareness of what was happening had been dimmed. I saw one of them step on a person who had been previously killed; a gendarme arranged him, and the victim stood calmly like a dummy until he was hit by a bullet. The men did not let out any moans as they fell down. When the execution was over, the officer who was commanding the platoon came up to the lying people and whenever he spotted any signs of life in one of them, he finished him off with his gun. He fired a dozen or so shots. After a while, a group of civilians arrived; judging by their appearance and behavior, they were Jews; I noticed them bow when they were going past the Germans, which was not required of prisoners of other nationalities. The Jews untied the arms of the executed people and took their bands off their eyes; working in pairs, they threw the corpses into an open vehicle that had just arrived, and to make the throwing easier, they first swung the corpse and then tossed it. After the corpses had been thrown into the truck, which was covered with a “shed,” they swept the blood away with brooms and covered it with snow, sand, and snow once more. Then, all of them departed in the direction of Karmelicka Street.
There were no guards left at the site of the execution. After some time, Poles arrived and laid some wreaths and candles there. I heard that the gendarmes threatened the Polish caretakers, saying that they would be punished if they did not clear wreaths away. But the threats did not work and both the wreaths and candles remained at the site of the execution.
I watched the execution from a distance of up to 100 meters; I saw everything clearly but it was difficult to recognize any facial features. This execution, as far as I know, was not announced with notices. I do not know the surnames of the gendarmes who carried out the execution.
The witness interview report was read out.