Warsaw, 12 May 1948. Member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, Judge Halina Wereńko, interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Jerzy Kazimierz Durski|
|Date of birth||1 March 1908, in Piotrków Trybunalski|
|Names of parents||Antoni and Ludwika née Grabska|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|State and national affiliation||Polish|
|Education||seven years of common school|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Marszałkowska Street 14, flat 28|
The outbreak of the uprising caught me in my hairdressing salon at Marszałkowska Street 18 in Warsaw. There were Germans living in that house. On 1 August at 5:00 p.m., I went outside from the salon and saw a group of young boys aged 12-18 years, partly armed with rifles, running out of Oleandrów Street. The group split into two. One part jumped into the German delousing station for front soldiers, the other into Litewska Street. Just after, I heard shots from Marszałkowska Street and between Litewska Street and Zbawiciela Square. People later said that the whole group of insurgents had been killed. I retreated to my house and from that time on I was unable to leave home, because the Germans shot at anyone outside. The insurgents had access to houses on Marszałkowska Street on the odd-numbered side, but they did not reach the other side.
Starting from 2 August, the Ukrainians began burning houses on Marszałkowska Street on the odd-numbered side. I saw houses number 9 and 11 on Marszałkowska Street on fire. I was told that on the night from 1 to 2 August, the Germans had set the house at Marszałkowska Street 3/5/7 on fire. I myself didn’t see this. Starting from 1 August, the Ukrainians would dash into houses on the odd-numbered side of Marszałkowska Street, looting things, searching for vodka. The Ukrainians were stationed at aleja Szucha 9. They had the same uniforms as the Germans, the only difference being that they had red lapels on their collars. I noticed red and dark burgundy lapels on them.
Stanisław Mielczarek, the owner the hairdressing salon at Litewska Street 13, informed Volksdeutsch Szymański, head of the hairdressing salon at aleja Szucha 25 (in the building occupied by the Gestapo) about me. On 7 August, Szymański came for me and took me to the salon at aleja Szucha 25, where I remained until 1 September.
I heard that on 13 August the Wehrmacht had expelled residents from houses on the even- numbered side of Marszałkowska Street, directing them via Rakowiecka Street to Warsaw West station and thence to the camp in Pruszków.
I also heard that during the first days of August, in houses number 21 (Apteka Anca) and 31, German and Ukrainian soldiers committed mass murders of civilians thrown out of houses on the odd-numbered side of Marszałkowska Street. Their corpses were burned on the spot. Part of the population from this side of Marszałkowska Street was taken to the Gestapo HQ on aleja Szucha. Tailor Andziak (now residing at Marszałkowska Street 17) can provide more information.
Having arrived in the hairdressing salon at aleja Szucha 25, I heard that on 7 and 8 August (I don’t remember the exact date) SD units received an order from the high command (not the local authorities) to stop mass-murdering civilians.
I heard that on those days in August, civilians – men, women, and children – were mass- murdered at the Main Inspectorate of the Armed Forces [GISZ] (aleja Szucha 12/14). After orders were given, it was mostly men. Staying in the salon on aleja Szucha, I saw civilian men led in groups into the courtyard of this property. Following segregation, most of the men were led out on aleja Szucha in the direction of Bagatela Street.
I don’t know what the basis of the segregation was.
I couldn’t see from the salon whether those groups were taken to the GISZ. However, people said at our place that the groups were taken to the GISZ to be executed and that the corpses were burned on the spot. I didn’t see any smoke from the salon on that side, trees obscured visibility, but I smelled, especially at night, the characteristic stench of burned bodies. On 8 or 9 August (I do not remember the exact date) at 7:00–8:00 p.m., Szymański took the hairdressers – myself, Kryszkiewicz, Milczarek, and Raczkowski – to the GISZ. We were supposed to gather straw to sleep on. He led us into the second wing of the building on the courtyard side (counting from the park). We collected the straw in the attic. Through the window looking out into the yard one could see what was happening in the wing of the GISZ building next to the park, damaged by a bomb in 1939, separated by a courtyard from the building where we were in the attic. The ruined building did not have a roof and had iron ceilings starting from the first floor. Szymański told us that we could use the opportunity of being alone with him to see how our people were being murdered and burned. I walked up to the attic window and saw one big room on the ground floor, roughly in the middle of the ruined building. In the center of the room was a fireplace made of iron bars, and on them were wooden logs and the naked corpses of a dozen men. Next to the fireplace, rows of bodies of another dozen men without clothes lay on the floor, closer to the courtyard. I could not recognize the corpses from that distance.
I do not know from which street the men had been brought to the Gestapo HQ around that time. In addition to me, Stanisław Milczarek looked through the window, the others did not look. Later, people would say at the salon that SD-men conducted executions in the GISZ. Many Germans used to come to the salon for shaving, I only remember the SD-men Wilke and Schneider.
Sturmbahnführer Wilke was the superior of Szymański, the head of the hairdressing salon, and as I discovered, expert at carrying off carloads of possessions looted from the people of Warsaw. I don’t know what the initial duties of Obersturmführer Schneider were.
I know that on 1 September the SD unit under Schneider’s command left Warsaw with an order to go to Vienna. The SD-men took me and Kryszkiewicz in their cars. During a halt in Sochaczew the higher command changed the order and the SD unit stopped in the village of Kompina between Sochaczew and Łowicz. I escaped from the unit on 16 September.
Nevertheless, the unit remained in Poland for some time. On 25 September 1944, I met Wilke in Skierniewice. The remainder of the SD in Warsaw were still there in September. Small units left one after another. Milczarek left Warsaw in the second group.
At that the report was concluded and read out.