Warsaw, 7 January 1948. Judge Halina Wereńko, a member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person named below as a witness, without taking an oath. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Franciszek Wrzosek|
|Parents’ names||Bolesław and Bolesława, née Maleszczewska|
|Date of birth||3 January 1920, Buczyn Szlachecki|
|Education||three classes of evening courses|
|Place of residence||Drewnica, boarding house of the Warsaw Charitable Society|
|Citizenship and nationality||Polish|
|Occupation||tutor at the boarding house of the Warsaw Charitable Society|
During the Warsaw Uprising I was working as a tutor at the Orphanage for Boys of the Warsaw Charitable Society at Freta Street 10 in Warsaw. In the first half of August 1944 (I don’t remember the exact date) a hospital was organised in the halls of the kindergarten and the large hall adjacent to St. Hyacinth’s Church, in the chapter house, and in the cellars under the Kronenberg’s boarding house, and also in the church itself.
I cannot specify the number of wounded. The register of wounded was kept by a sister of Charity from the John of God Hospital (I don’t know her surname). Neither do I know the surnames of the doctors working at the hospital.
On 2 September at around 08:00 German units progressing from Stara Street occupied the premises of the Charitable Society and the neighbouring areas. These were German and ‘Ukrainian’ units. I then hid myself in a shelter in the theatre hall. I saw how Sisters of Charity with children were walking out into Stara Street, near Mostowa Street.
I didn’t see any wounded being carried out. Looking out from the nativity playroom, after the Germans had entered, I saw a few boards on fire in front of the Mother of God monument, and the German soldiers were firing at the running wounded who were being driven into the fire. For a few minutes, I observed the wounded being shot at, after which I hid in the shelter, where I stayed until dusk. Marcinkiewicz looked out into the courtyard after I had. Throughout the day I could hear shots coming from the courtyard, or so I thought.
It was growing dark when the German soldiers stopped walking around the theatre hall, and I could therefore leave the shelter. Hiding behind the rubble of the courtyard wall, I saw the pyre burning, and there were some bodies in the flames. Stretchers were scattered around the courtyard, while the whole building of the Warsaw Charitable Society and St. Hyacinth’s Church were aflame. I stayed in the shelter together with Stanisław Marcinkiewicz for two weeks. After two weeks we were joined by Kazimierz Ubysz, who had been hiding in a bunker in the garden of the Orphanage. He said that while he was going to our location, he passed a corridor previously occupied by the hospital.
While hiding in the shelter under the nativity playroom, starting from the night of 2 September, I heard over a few days voices and groans coming from Stara Street. Around 16 – 17 September (I don’t remember the exact date) when I was returning in the evening from the baths of the Orphanage, I peered from the side of the main entrance into the hall in which the wounded had been lying. Dusk was falling, and I saw ashes and bones near the entrance to the kindergarten. I looked into the cellars under Kronenberg’s boarding house. The cellar was burnt out, and I saw that it contained bodies in various positions – some were even standing.
I cannot determine the number of bodies, for I didn’t take a closer look. I saw the bodies of five or six men dressed in civilian clothes, scattered separately around the sports field; they showed signs of being beaten. One of the murdered men looked like a Jew.
In the middle of September Marcinkiewicz, Ubysz, and I moved to the baths under the nativity playroom, where we remained more or less until 20 October 1944.
I saw that in Stara Street, between the exit from the Orphanage and Mostowa Street, the road was lined with something along this section. When I returned to Warsaw in January 1945, I saw mattresses on this spot.
Around 20 October 1944 we were discovered by the Germans and led to St. Adalbert’s Church at Wolska Street.
At this point the report was brought to a close and read out.