On 28 February 1947 in Suchedniów, the investigative judge from the District Court in Kielce, Ludwik Jankowski, with the participation of reporter Halina Hess, interviewed the person specified below as a witness without administering an oath. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the provisions of Article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Antoni Wikło|
|Date of birth||1 December 1879|
|Parents’ names||Franciszek and Józefa, née Ciszek|
|Place of residence||village of Michniów, commune of Suchedniów, district of Kielce|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
In the morning of 12 July 1943 I was ordered to take my horse and cart to the forest. The village of Michniów was surrounded by a cordon of German gendarmes, but they let me through. After I returned from the forest, I saw the Germans assemble groups of several dozen men – most of them were young. They then divided the men into three groups, herded them into barns which belonged to Wątrobiński, Dulęba and Gil, and set the buildings on fire. On top of that, they threw grenades into the buildings and shot at them. I couldn’t watch the site of the crime on that day.
On the next day, the gendarmes returned to Michniów and I saw them capture small children in the meadows and throw them into the burning buildings. On that day they were systematically shooting at people, burning down all buildings, and stealing the more valuable property – especially all sorts of livestock. I also saw one of the gendarmes escort my step- son’s wife, who was carrying a four-year old child in her arms. The child was clinging on to her neck. The German pushed the woman and her child alive into a burning barn. When I returned after the village had been burnt down, I saw the charred corpse of the woman and her child, as if in an embrace. I didn’t see the next stages of the liquidation of the village, because I was ordered to take my cart and leave. When I came back, I saw only ashes and ruins, and amongst them – the charred corpses of the murdered inhabitants.
On the second day, mainly elderly people, women, and children fell victim to the German terror. The inhabitants who managed to escape to the local forests, despite being shot at, were the only survivors. Within those two days, the Germans burnt 85 houses and many more farm buildings, while murdering several hundred people – mostly by burning them alive. I lost my health and still have not recovered.
I have nothing more to add. The report was read out. I would like to stress that I would not be able to recognize any of the perpetrators.