Warsaw, 23 April 1946. A member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Janusz Gumkowski, MA, heard as a witness the person specified below. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Wiesław Grochowski|
|Parents’ names||Józef and Adela|
|Age||21 years old|
|Place of residence||Konstancin, the Hospital of the Holy Spirit|
As I had gotten injured during the Warsaw Uprising, on 5 August 1944, in my right leg and my left arm, on the day when the insurgents left Stare Miasto [Old Town] I was in a hospital at Długa Street 7.
On 2 September in the morning, two SS men came with a sister of charity to the basement in which I was, and they were threatening us with grenades and shouting that all the injured were bandits. When they left our room, a Własowiec [Russian Liberation Army soldier] came in and asked loudly what time it was. My injured friend who was lying next to me took out his watch, and then the Własowiec took it from him, saying, “You won’t need it anyway, since you’ll be dead”.
After some time, the Germans told the less seriously injured to leave the room, but they returned for dinner. When they had eaten the soup, the less seriously injured went to the yard. Only four injured people remained in the room. Then I heard shooting above, and a dozen minutes later a few SS men stormed into the adjacent rooms and I heard shooting and the groans of dying people. As we heard this, one of my neighbors covered himself with a corpse, another one hid by the window, and I and my immediate neighbor pretended to be dead. In effect, when the SS men stormed into our room, they didn’t kill any of us. At that time I heard something flowing as if down the stairs. After a dozen minutes the stairs caught fire. Then the Germans who were on the ground floor began to call the Germans who were executing the injured to leave the basements as the stairs were on fire. I heard more shooting above. About an hour later the Germans threw a few grenades into our basement, killing the injured man by the window. Then I heard more calling and the retreating steps of the Germans. My friend, who was able to crawl, spent the entire night fighting off the fire with all his might. The building of the hospital was burning all night and a few more days. On the following day, a few Germans came to rob the corpses of the killed Poles.
We spent five days in the burning building, feeding on biscuits left by the sisters. As there was no water, we were licking damp barrels where the water for dressing wounds had been. On the third day of my stay we – those who were in the basement – came into contact with other injured soldiers who had survived. On the fifth day the Polish paramedics came, and they got out 28 injured people, including me, and transferred us to the Carmelites in a hospital on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. On the following day we were transferred to a hospital in Milanówek.