1 March 1946

To the Polish Red Cross
Lublin, Wyszyńskiego Street 5

Testimony regarding the murders committed by the Germans in August 1944 in the house at Wiejska Street 1 in Warsaw.

The house in which I had lived with my wife for many years was owned by Mr Włodzimierz Rachmanow. As a corner house, it had two numbers: a) no. 1 at Wiejska Street, b) no. 2 at Piusa XI Street.

On 2 August 1944 at 11.00 a.m., five German policemen from a battalion which was barracked in the Sejm [Polish parliament] hotel, came to that house, called to the caretaker and told him to lead them to the flats in the front.

In these flats, the Germans murdered the inhabitants and their domestic help with shots to the neck. All present were murdered in the flats of: 1) barrister Piłsudski, 2) the Chałupczyński family, 3) the Gawroński family.

After the execution, the Germans left carrying small parcels. On the stairs they shot also the caretaker of the house. A moment later, in the flat of the Gawroński family, I found the corpses of the following people: 1) Mr Michał Gawroński, about 73 years old, former director of a division of the Bank of Poland, 2) Mr Józef Włodek, about 50 years old, former president of Grudziądz, 3) Wanda Włodkowa, his wife, 4) Krystyna Włodkówna, 18 years old, their daughter, 5) Mr Łączyński, a gentleman farmer, a disabled soldier from WWI with paresis of one half of the body.

In total, 13 people were killed. We managed to rescue two people with severe neck wounds: the caretaker, Stanisław Borus, and the domestic help of the Gawroński family. Both of them had pretended to be dead and thus had saved themselves.

On 3 August at 7.00 p.m., a police patrol searched the flats of the executed. We could hear the tinkle of shattered glass and the sound of furniture being destroyed: they must have been robbing the place. After an hour and a half, they left with parcels and locked the flats.

On 4 August at 4.00 p.m., a police patrol and Wehrmacht soldiers surrounded the house, closed all exits, and drove all the remaining inhabitants into the yard, not allowing them to take anything with them. Then they made a round of all the flats and set them on fire before our very eyes. We were to be burnt alive, as all exits were being guarded by the Germans. They didn’t know, however, that in the basement there was a passage to the basement of an adjacent house. I used it with my wife and other inhabitants of the house and we were thus saved.

On 5 August at 3.00 p.m. I was arrested by the police and incarcerated in a cell at the back of the Sejm hotel. During my stay in the prison, the Germans killed two people: 1) Łapiński, a technician, because he suffered from dysentery; 2) a man unknown to me who had a nervous breakdown as a result of the past events.

The Germans were forcing prisoners to build barricades against the insurgents in the Sejm gardens. A few prisoners were killed then: 1) Kosmalski, a chauffeur; 2) Jan Małek; 3) Magierski.

My wife was arrested along with me and deported to the Ravensbrück camp. The Swedish Red Cross took her from there in May 1945, when she was gravely ill. She remains in the hospital to this day (Swenshögen, nursing home).

I certify with my signature that the above is a truthful testimony. Stanisław Karczewski, professor, domiciled until 4 August 1944 at Wiejska Street 1, flat 20.

Current address: Skarżysko-Kamienna, Limanowskiego Street 8.