Dr Jerzy Dreyza
Waszyngtona Street 42
To the attention of:
District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Warsaw, Marszałkowska Street 8, flat 7
In response to letter no. 1133/47, dated 20 November 1947, I hereby provide the requested information concerning the Maltański Hospital in Warsaw at Senatorska Street 40 during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
When the Uprising broke out on 1 August 1944, the area of the Maltański Hospital was occupied by the Germans (an ad hoc unit of SS soldiers and gendarmes), who were on that day in the SS warehouses at Senatorska Street 36. This unit was shooting at and fighting with Polish units from the area of Bankowy Square. Some 15 German soldiers, wounded inthis action, were brought to the hospital. On the night of 1/2 August this unit was evacuated with the help of tanks.
On 7 August at 2.00 p.m. the area of Maltański Hospital was captured by German units advancing from the direction of Elektoralna Street. One tank took part in this operation, and for a short while it fired its cannon and machine guns at the building of the hospital on Senatorska Street 40 and at the building at Senatorska Street 36, which housed a branch of the hospital. I cannot provide the name of this unit, but it was an SS formation (the SS Brigade “Dirlewanger,” I think); I do not know the name of its commander. Once our premises had been seized, the ground floor of the hospital branch at Senatorska Street 36 was set ablaze – this at a time when not all of the patients had been carried out of the facility. Next, all of the residents, together with the patients and personnel from wards located at Senatorska Street 36, were driven out and led away in the direction of the Saski Garden. During the dispalcement from the building at Senatorska Street 36, Tadeusz Milewski, who by complete chance was on the hospital premises, and one wounded Polish soldier whose surname I do not know, were both shot dead. The latter was wounded in theright arm, and had his right hand in traction. As witnesses of these events I would like to mention Sister Barbara Glińska and Sister Irena Brzuska, who were both taken along with the others and finally sent to the camp in Pruszków.
In the morning hours of 14 August, the hospital was once again visited by an SS company from the “Dirlewanger” Brigade, commanded by SS Oberführer Lagna. At midday Lagna instructed me to empty the main building of the hospital within two hours. When I objected, saying that it would be impossible to evacuate 210 sick and wounded people, he replied that the building would be set on fire at 2.00 p.m. irrespective of whether it had been evacuated or not. Thus, all of the sick and wounded people were taken out of the hospital building, partly on stretchers and partly on their beds. It would have been out of character for the Germans not to search individual patients, and in particular the wounded; even the bedridden were not spared. The search was conducted in a brutal manner, with patients being hit with rifle butts, etc. Once the building had been emptied, a guard post was set up at the entrance and we were forbidden to enter the hospital premises, so it became impossible to take any of the hospital equipment or stocks.
Next, we were instructed to clear off with the patients, without being told where we were supposed to go or what we were to do with them; at the same time, 15 people – four doctors, four nurses, the pharmacist and the kitchen staff – were ordered to stay. Having conferred with Dr Strehl, the director of the Ujazdowski Hospital (of which the Maltański Hospital was a branch), we determined that Dr Strehl would leave with the sick and wounded people, and attempt to reach the Ujazdowski Hospital with them. The following were to remain: myself, Dr Arciszewski, Dr Wojtarkowski, Głód (MA) and one other physician whose surname I do not remember; sisters: Pachulska, Alina Sobieraj, Zofia Błaszczykowska and Tymieniewska; the assistant to the purchasing manager, Bocianowski, warehouseman Serafin Kołosow and some others, whose surnames I cannot recall. Additionally, 35 of themost gravely wounded and sick people were to stay as well. These patients were lying in beds put in the square in front of the hospital. In principle, we were denied access to them, while towards evening the Germans placed grenade launchers between the beds, using them at night to shell the neighborhood of the Bank of Poland at Bielańska Street. We were ordered to organize a first-aid station in the basement of the building at Senatorska Street 42, where a first-aid station for air-raid victims had been functioning until the outbreak of the Uprising. For the night we were herded into one of the rooms on the first floor, which we were not allowed to leave.
On the next day in the morning we were visited by an army doctor with the rank of Sztabsarct (I do not know his surname), I think he was the chief medical officer of the “Reinefarth” group, and – appealing to his sense of medical ethics – I requested that he allow us to move the above mentioned group of 35 sick and wounded people to the building at Senatorska Street 42 and organize a temporary hospital there. He agreed in principle but I was unable to put the plan into effect because Lagna forbade me to move the sick and wounded people and ordered instead that they be removed from the hospital premises, while at the same time he demanded that the personnel required to remain at the hospital be reduced to ten. He also made it clear that I was not allowed to remain on the hospital premises. He assigned eight Poles who had by chance been brought to the hospital to help carry the wounded. With this small number of people at our disposal, we started carrying the sick and wounded people in groups of ten, and after four round trips we had transferred all of them to the Wolski Hospital.
The following persons remained in the hospital on Senatorska Street: Dr Wojtarkowski and another doctor whose surname I do not remember, Głód (MA), Bocianowski with his daughter, Sister Pachulska, Serafin Kołosow and others, whose surnames I do not remember, for they were not regular hospital employees, only temporary ones.
The sick and wounded people remained at the Wolski Hospital, receiving treatment until that facility was evacuated.
During the evacuation of the hospital on 14 August, one of the wounded Polish officers (I could determine neither his surname nor nom de guerre) was turned back, carried out into the hospital garden and shot. In the evening hours of 15 August Jan Górny, a hospital employee, was taken towards Bankowy Square and shot dead near the gate of the Zamoyskich Palace. The brother-in-law of Markuszewski, another hospital employee, was also shot dead around this time; he had found his way to the hospital during the Uprising quite accidentally. As a witness to these events I would like to report Serafin Kołosow, who is resident in Częstochowa at Waszyngtona Street 42.
The sick and wounded people who were evacuated on 14 August finally reached Kredytowa Street, and were initially accommodated in Zgoda Street.
I cannot provide any specific information concerning the mass execution on the hospital premises.
Towards the end of August the hospital building was burned down. I cannot provide any specific information regarding other mass murders, for throughout this period I was at the Maltański Hospital, or else at the Wolski Hospital. I only heard about the mass execution of patients and personnel at the Wolski Hospital, and of the shooting of Dr Kmicikiewicz from the Charles and Mary Hospital.