Warsaw, 30 July 1948. A member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, Judge Halina Wereńko, heard as a witness the person specified below; the witness did not swear an oath. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Antoni Michał Juszczyński|
|Date of birth||1 June 1884 in Warsaw|
|Parents’ names||Franciszek and Józefa née Przybyłowska|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Łochowska Street 15, flat 38|
At the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, I happened to be in Marymont where I was taking care of some business.
On 1 August at about 2.00 p.m., as I heard shooting, I took shelter in the flat of an acquaintance of mine, Aleksandra Pastwa, at Marii Kazimiery Street 29. I stayed in that building until the beginning of September. In August, the closest German post was in the former Gas School at the junction of Gdańska Street, Potockiej Street, and Marii Kazimiery Street, and another in the Central Institute of Physical Education. From there, the Germans were shelling the neighborhood of our house, although there were no insurgents’ posts there. As a result of the shelling, many civilians were killed or injured.
I don’t remember the exact date, but I think it was on 1 September. I saw that the German crew left the school and destroyed the buildings. At about that time, in my presence, the civilians were reading German leaflets calling on the civilians to leave Warsaw. I heard that such leaflets were dropped from the planes three times. I remember that at the end of the leaflet it was written “Pass”, and it was emphasized that the pass was valid for any number of people who were willing to come to the German side. None of my friends followed the call.
On 14 September 1944 in the morning, the Germans began a very heavy shelling of Żoliborz and Marymont from the direction of Bielany. As this was the case, I went to a shelter with other people from the house. There were about 30 of us, the majority were the inhabitants of the house. The shelter was in the garden of the house at no. 29. At about 1.30 p.m., a group of German soldiers stormed into the yard. Then they threw grenades to the door of the shelter and demanded that all the people leave it (Raus). We all came to the yard with our hands up. Then I saw a German tank on Marii Kazimiery Street, pointed in the direction of Żoliborz. A few other people brought from the adjacent estate were joined to us in the yard. Our group consisted mainly of women, there were also children in it. I was in a railway uniform, and a soldier came to me, punched me in the face, tore my hat off and began to call me names (polnische Schweine!).
As for the soldiers who led us out, I cannot tell what kind of force it was. After some time, still with our hands up, we were led through a gate to the other side of Marii Kazimiery Street. As we were walking, the Germans were rushing us, yelling “prenko!” [quickly]. We were brought to the wall of a burned house on the even side of Marii Kazimiery Street, opposite house no. 29. We were standing with our backs to the wall, then we were told to kneel down with our hands up. A few meters away, diagonally across from the corner of the wall where we were kneeling, the Germans set up a machine gun on wheels, with a shield. People in the group began to scream and cry, but the Germans were smiling at this. When they had placed the gun, they fired a volley of shots at us. I got shot in many places: in the ring finger of my left hand, in the forearm of the left arm, in four places on my left shoulder blade, in the muscles of my left calf, and the top of my head. I fell to the ground all covered in blood. The corpses of people who had been kneeling in front of me fell on me. As I was lying on the ground, I heard the soldiers throwing grenades at the wall. Plaster chunks fell on my head, a brick hit me in the back. As I was lying with my face to the ground, I could hear groaning, spluttering, and screaming. After some time I heard the heavy steps of soldiers and single shots. After each shot some groaning or spluttering would cease. Then I understood that the soldiers were killing those who had survived the execution. I heard such sounds two more times, and every time before leaving the soldiers were throwing grenades at the wall behind us. I was conscious all the time, but I was not moving in order not to betray that I was alive.
After some time I checked my watch: it was 6.00 p.m. I felt someone tugging at my shoulder and I heard a voice telling me in broken Polish not to be afraid. Then I got up. There was a soldier in a German uniform in front of me, and he was convincing me in broken Russian and Polish that he was not going to do me any harm. He told me during our conversation that he was German and that those who had been murdering had already gone.
The corpses of the executed were lying limp all around me, and the soldier began to check who was still alive. He found two living children under the corpses: a girl about 4 years old, Wiesia Tkaczyk, who had been saved by the body of her mother which covered her, and a 7-year-old boy – I don’t know his name – who was lying under the body of his father, and one woman, Aleksandra Pastwa, who was lying next to the body of her dead 4-year-old son. I heard later from her father that Aleksandra Pastwa died shortly afterwards.
The German soldier handed me and the children over to a German patrol that was passing by; Aleksandra Pastwa did not come with us as she did not want to leave the body of her son, and besides she was injured herself, she had lost her arm. The German patrol took us to the Central Institute of Physical Education, and a large group of civilians from Żoliborz and Marymont were there. I was covered in blood and very weak, but I didn’t receive any medical assistance. I bathed my wounds in the Vistula myself and bandaged them with rags.
On the following day in the morning we were led to a church in Bielany. There was a segregation of the healthy, women with children, and people unable to work. I was assigned to the group of people unable to work, and we were released. I got to Wawrzyszew on my own and received medical first aid in the local Polish Red Cross. Then I went to Babice, where I saw a doctor who had a private practice (I don’t know his name), who dressed the wound and told me that as I had an infection in my hand, I should immediately go to a hospital. Then I got to Pruszków, and in the sanitary post of the Polish Red Cross I obtained an admission order to a hospital in Komorów. I spent five weeks in that hospital, and on discharge I was unable to move the fingers of the left hand except for the second finger. Then I was being treated by a district physician in the Imielnica village (Jędrzejów district) and in Krakow by a railway physician, until January 1945. In the railway emergency room in Krakow I had electrisations.
I am still unable to bend four fingers of my left hand.
The witness submits: 1) a discharge report from the hospital in ów signed by Józef May, MD, which says that Antoni Juszczyński (patient no. 119), 60 years old, had been treated in a hospital in Komorów from 19 September to 19 October 1944 as being injured in the left hand and the back; 2) medical advice report no. 32 of 22 December 1944, signed by the chief physician of the Eastern Railway Division (Ostbahn), Dr Marxen Kazimiera, saying that Antoni Juszczyński was being treated since 14 December and that he was unable to work from that day until about 31 December 1944 (diagnosis illegible); 3) referral of 4 January 1945, signed by the above-mentioned Dr Marxen Kazimiera, to a medical specialist for 10 electrisations and 10 massage sessions.
I can submit these documents on demand.
After returning to Warsaw in April 1945, I went to the execution site at Marii Kazimiery Street. I found a common grave there, with a cross bearing the inscription “for 33 people.” I was not present during an exhumation. I heard from the inhabitants of Marymont that on 14 September 1944 the Germans had murdered civilians from many houses, just as it had been in our case.
At this the report was closed and read out.