Warsaw, 10 June 1949. A Member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, magister [MA] Norbert Szuman, 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||Marian Błaszczak|
|Date and place of birth||4 September 1908, Żwir, Wawer municipality|
|Names of parents||Jan and Teodora née Glińska|
|Occupation of the father||mason|
|State affiliation and nationality||Polish|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Dobra Street 7, flat 15|
At the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising I was in my flat at Powązkowska Street 33a. The insurgent action, which was called an outbreak in that area, was meant – as far as I know – to attack from the direction of the Military Cemetery in the direction of the intersection of Powązkowska Street, Elbląska Street and Krasińskiego Street, and [to attack] a German hospital in Kocielski’s house on Powązkowska Street. These attacks failed, and since larger German forces were coming from the Bem Fort, the insurgents retreated to Żoliborz after two or three hours of fighting.
On the following day, on 2 August in the afternoon, the German soldiers were going to the properties in the neighborhood and calling on all men to leave the houses. Antoni Kotowski left our house first. I followed him, but as I saw that some German in a uniform took him, I stepped back. Watching them from the window, I saw that Kotowski was joined to a group of men from the house at number 35, and that they were all being marched in the direction of the civilian cemetery.
Shortly afterwards, former inhabitants of the house at Powązkowska Street 35 told me that they had been taken to Spokojna Street, where they had been used as a shield for the German troops moving in the direction of the school on Okopowa Street, which was under control of the insurgents. Of that group, Kotowski did not come back, and his wife told me that his corpse was found on Spokojna Street. I don’t know the names of men who had been with Kotowski, but who came back.
On the next day, on 3 August in the afternoon, the German soldiers ordered men from the neighboring houses to remove a car burnt by the insurgents from Powązkowska Street. At the same time, the Germans set fire to the house at Powązkowska Street 31, where a post of the Polish Red Cross was situated, and then they took all the men who were clearing the street, that is 118 men including me, to the Bem Fort, where they incarcerated us in a dungeon. On the same day in the evening, some twenty men were chosen from among us and given shovels. They came back about two hours later and told us that they had dug a ditch in the fort, about 20 meters long, about two meters wide and about three meters deep, and that they inferred from the behavior of the Germans who had been supervising them that it was to be a grave for us all. Since, while being marched to the fort, we had been shown the corpses of executed men, the inhabitants of the house at Powązkowska Street 45, lying near the road leading from Powązkowska Street to the fort, we were all sure that the same fate would befall us as well.
We spent the next day locked in the dungeon, and on the third day, 5 August, some German general arrived – people in our group were saying then that it was general Beck – and we were taken to the courtyard of the fort to meet him. This general was tall and rather thin, he had an elongated face and grey hair, and wore glasses, a Wehrmacht uniform and jackboots. He gave a speech to us, and a man in a German uniform who was standing next to him interpreted. We were told that we were considered captives, and should any attack on the Germans be carried out, we would be executed within 24 hours. Then we were divided into two groups and one of them, including me, was led to the garden plots on Powązkowska Street and released. The other group remained in the fort and I heard that they were later deported to Germany. I stayed in my house for the entire period until Powązki and the so- called kolonijka [small colony] – the houses on Czartoryskich Street, Saperska Street, Sybilii Street and the adjoining ones – were set on fire on 21 or 22 August. When the area was set on fire, I left Powązki and went to Radiowo.
Some details concerning further events in that area might be known to Władysław Grzelak, residing on Powązkowska Street somewhere between house number 41 and house number 45, who stayed during the entire uprising on the premises of the Military Cemetery as a gravedigger and who had previously been with me in the above mentioned group of 118 men in the Bem Fort.
At this the report was closed and read out.