Warsaw, 28 May 1946. Investigating judge Halina Wereńko, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, interviewed the person specified below as a witness. Having advised the witness of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the gravity of the oath, the judge swore the witness, who then testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Henryk Marian Drozdowski|
|Names of parents||Wacław and Elżbieta née Horodeńska|
|Date of birth||13 January 1895, in Łódź|
|Occupation||consultant of the Central Planning Office of the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers|
|Education||higher (law-economy, Diplomatic-Consular Institute)|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Wrońskiego St. 15, flat 57|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
During the German occupation, I lived in Warsaw on Narbutta Street 37. On 2 August 1944, SS men stationed in the Stauferkaserne took all the residents of our house, leading them under escort to the courtyard of the barracks. Having checked suitcases, looking for weapons, but not taking anything, they locked the men and women together in a hall of the building marked with the letter d on the sketch (a sketch made on 20 May 1946 by witness Grzelski was presented to the witness). After two hours, all the men and women were led out (as we were told, “for release”), we were placed along the wall b. Women were released. Some cheerful Gestapo man sent a volley of bullets over our heads from the tower on building d, everyone fell to the ground. Next, SS officers started to choose a group of more serious people, anyway around […] [including] me and my father-in-law Świerczewski in its number, and directed us to the hall of the non-commissioned officers’ casino in the building b. In the same corridor there was a room where the Volksdeutcher were placed, who had escaped under SS protection with their wives and children. At 9 p.m., lieutenant Baumeister, commander of the barracks, came to the room and gave a speech: if the Germans suppress the uprising, we will be released to testify about their justice; if they insurgents start to put their foot down, we will all die, because we are hostages. There were around 60 of us. Apart from me and my father-in-law, there were also: eng. Szmidt, Madaliński (residing in Łódź, Piotrkowska Street 104a, flat 10, entrepreneur), professor Wakar, currently chancellor of the Warsaw School of Economics, with his wife, the Polish head of the prison (I don’t know his surname - burly, short), Dr Tarkowski (I don’t know his current address, I know that he stays in Warsaw). I don’t remember other surnames. Later the Germans added more people. The whole crowd of men gathered on 2 August in the courtyard was directed to basements under the buildings d and c. On the night of 2 and 3 August, I heard single [shots], it was said that people accused of taking part in the uprising were being executed. In the evening on 2 August I heard a rumor that there had been a mass execution of around 84 people. The rumor was not verified.
At night, SS men kidnapped female Volksdeutcher or other women from the room next to our hall, led them to the cabinet in the building, and next we could hear squeaks and the sounds of an orgy. Women were also brought in from the street. Drunken soldiers were looking for women even among the hostages where there were none, lighting torches in the faces of those sleeping on the floor. During the next days, new groups of people were still coming into the courtyard of the barracks, still residents of Narbutta Street and aleja Niepodległości. The group of hostages was fluctuating, a part was taken for interrogation to the Gestapo on aleja Szucha, being called without having their documents checked, while the guards of Mokotów prison were assigned to us. Those taken by the Gestapo did not return.
All together seven or eight people were taken to the Gestapo from among the hostages, I don’t remember their names.
My group was not taken for labor. During nights, as I heard, SS men chose individual young boys from the basements and executed them.
On 4 August, at 4.00 or 5.00 a.m., I saw a truck loaded with corpses, on which bodies from the basements, the prison yard on Rakowiecka Street, and from the street were taken. There were around 15 corpses of men and women lying on the car. As far as I am aware, it was not good for the Poles in the basements, they were poorly fed, did not have water and were taken for hard labor: they swept, scrubbed, and cleaned toilets. We were fed sufficiently, we received two cars of soda water in bottles.
On 4 or 5 August, the Germans deported Volksdeutcher to Germany by cars; later, having free places, they offered us the chance to depart for labor in Germany. On 5 August, professor Waker with his wife departed in that way, but they remained in Kutno.
On 6 August, I left with my wife and got off in Łowicz. Madaliński got in the car with me, but he escaped already in Warsaw.
From the German authorities, I remember the surname of the barracks commander, Baumeister, who behaved properly towards our group. I described the details of my stay in the Stauferkaserne and handed these in before to the files of this case.