In Warsaw, on 29 April 1948, District Court Judge Halina Wereńko, member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Warsaw, proceeding pursuant to the Decree of 10 November 1945, regarding the Main [Commission] and District Commissions for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland No. 51, item 293), interviewed the below-mentioned as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, and of the wording of Articles 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:

Name and surname Zenon Klemens Piasecki
Parents’ first names Antoni and Janina, née Jędrzejewska
Date of birth 14 March 1928 in Warsaw
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Education Secondary business school
Occupation Chauffeur, taxi owner
Place of residence Warsaw, Grzybowski Square 6, flat 2
Citizenship and nationality Polish

The outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 caught me at Janasz’s market at Rynkowa Street 11 in Warsaw. During the first days of the Uprising, the premises of the Mirowskie trade halls were in the hands of the insurgents. On 7 August 1944 they retreated in the direction of Senatorska Street, and at around noon, German units arrived from the Wolska Street side, although the “Ukrainians” went first. On 8 August 1944, at 5.00 a.m., a unit of the German military police burst into the cellar of Janasz’s market, where I was in a group of civilians; I recognized that they were the military police by their uniforms. Everybody was ordered out in front of the market, with their hands raised. People were ordered to put the cases and luggage they had on the ground. The military police standing there took people’s wristwatches and jewellery. After the group of women and children were separated from the men, the women and children were led away to the Church of St. Carlo Borromeo, from where they were directed via the Church of St. Adalbert, to the transit camp in Pruszków.

I was lead in a group of about one hundred men to the yard between the Mirowskie halls. I saw that corpses were lying in a pile up against the wall of the icehouse between the halls, from the side of Mirowska Street. There were lots of them, more than a hundred I think. Because they were lying piled, one on top of the other, I couldn’t distinguish their sexes. I heard from Zbigniew Czerwiński (I don’t know his address) that they were the corpses of civilians from the building at Mirowska Street 5. Zbigniew Czerwiński hadn’t seen the execution.

We were ordered to take off our jackets, and then to clean the road of pieces of burnt tram. I saw then that a group of civilians had been led there from Senatorska Street (I recognized one of the women I knew from the Luxenburg Arcade). The group knelt down by the loudspeaker on Mirowska Street. After removing the tram pieces we were herded to the new section of Marszałkowska Street between Królewska and Senatorska Streets. Then I saw how the unit of army police fired in the direction of Senatorska Street. In the Saski [Saxon] Garden, I didn’t notice any corpses within my field of view either from the side or on the road.

After an hour we were withdrawn to the yard between the Mirowskie Halls. We gathered up the corpses by the icehouse and carried them into the hall closer to Solna Street, and from there into a bomb crater in the middle of the hall. I carried the corpses of mainly men, although there were a few women’s corpses as well. There were already bodies lying in the bomb crater – most of them men, and I saw a few women’s bodies as well. Apart from that, there were the corpses of individual men lying around in the hall.

Once the corpses from by the icehouse had been removed, at about 4.00 p.m., we were joined to a group of civilians who arrived from the direction of the Saski Garden, and led to the Fire Brigade depot on Chłodna Street 1/3. Two more groups of civilians were also brought there. When there was no longer any room in the depot, the military police led us at about 4.00 p.m. to the courtyard in front of The Church of St. Adalbert. Our group was taken over by SD men [Sicherheitsdienst – Security Service] (I recognized the formation by their uniforms). They selected roughly 50 men from the group, myself among them, and led us to a building on Sokołowska Street, directly across from the presbytery. The rest were led into the church.

We were ordered to take buckets of water and were marched to Wolska Street 124. There we were ordered to put the corpses on the furnaces. At Wolska Street 124 there were over 500 bodies of men, women, and children, from the civilian population, lying in the yard around the smithy [blacksmith workshop]. They were scattered over a large area around the smithy, and were already decomposing. In two places, next to where there is currently a cross, we found pieces of wood over the area of a few meters, and we arranged the corpses in two piles. By evening all the corpses had been carried there, and when we were arranged in a column I saw how the SD men gave one of the laborers petrol in a canister. The laborer poured it over the bodies, and the SD men set light to the piles of bodies.

We were marched to the building on Sokołowska Street and put on the third floor, in two neighboring rooms. In two other rooms on the same floor we came across a group of about 50 men, a few of whom I recognized as residents of Żelaznej Bramy Square and Graniczna Street.

The next day, 9 August 1944, we were led out into the courtyard, ordered to take buckets of water, handcarts, and stretchers. Under the escort of a few SD men, one group was sent in the direction of Górczewska Street, the other [group], the one that I was in, was sent to the corner of Wolska and Skierniewicka Streets, on the odd-number side of Wolska Street. There, a few laborers from our group burned a few corpses in that building’s courtyard.

Immediately afterwards, we were marched to the Franaszek Factory at Wolska Street 43. In the courtyard, by the wall, we came across corpses lying in layers – of men, women, and children. There were very many of them, there could have been over a thousand – I’m unable to give the number precisely. We arranged the bodies in a pile in the middle of the courtyard. The remains from the first burning were burned again, two days later I believe, by a few laborers from our second group.

On 10 August 1944, we were marched to the building at Wolska Street 6. I came across about one hundred corpses there, in the courtyard and garden – mainly of men, but also a few women. In addition, we carted about 400 people, scattered individually around the buildings and street within a radius of about one hundred meters, into that courtyard. We burned all the corpses in the courtyard.

At Chłodna Street 58 we burned about ten corpses of men and women gathered individually from the vicinity. Next – I can’t remember the date – we were used for dismantling the barricades at Ciepła Street, after which we burned about 50 corpses on Mirowski Square, mainly of men collected from the vicinity. In the hall closer to Solna Street we burned about 500 bodies, mainly men, in the bomb crater. In the vegetable garden within the grounds of the City’s Public Transport Depot on Młynarska Street, we gathered up around 50 corpses of men, women, and children, and burned them on the spot.

From 15 August 1944 I stopped going for the corpse burning, but was used for cleaning the rooms in the presbytery. Across from the presbytery there were [two] signboards on the post – [one] with the words “Sicherheitspolizei-Sipo” (I can’t remember the writing exactly), and [the other] with the writing “Verbrennungskommando” (both signs had been painted by a laborer with the Verbrennungskommanda, I don’t know his surname).

I don’t know who the Germans occupying the presbytery were; I heard the surname Spilke, but wouldn’t be able to connect that to a person. I think that all Germans had SD badges. The first floor of the presbytery was used for interrogating young men and women taken there, who were held in detention on the first floor in the building on Sokołowska Street; I saw people with AK [Home Army] armbands among them. During the interrogations, the detainees were beaten – while cleaning, I saw a beating stick and I also saw how people who were healthy when going for interrogation returned bloody and bandaged. I didn’t see it myself, but acquaintances told me they’d taken out the corpse of a man murdered during questioning. After the interrogation the detainees were taken away by car in the direction of the city, although the car soon returned – empty.

I was at Sokołowska Street until 26 September 1944, when I managed to escape by car from Warsaw.

At this point the report was concluded and read out.