Warsaw, 14 March 1946. Judge S. Rybiński, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, heard as a witness the person specified below. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the significance of the oath, the witness was sworn and testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Władysław Bombel|
|Date of birth||25 November 1884|
|Names of parents||Magdalena|
|Education||illiterate, I can only sign my name|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Powązkowska Street 41, flat 4|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
On 1 August 1944 at 4.15 p.m. I came back home from work. Shortly afterwards I heard shooting. As it turned out later, the Warsaw Uprising had begun. Then I didn’t know anything about it, so it was unexpected to me. Two hours later German troops came to our house. The soldiers were going from flat to flat and forcing all the inhabitants onto the street. Men, women, children; all left the building. The Germans marched us with our hands up to the Bem Fort. There were some twenty to twenty-five of them. They surrounded us so closely that escape was impossible. Our group was comprised exclusively of the inhabitants of our house, number 41 Powązkowska Street.
We were stopped in front of the fort and we waited until midnight, when a German officer arrived in a car; got out and, addressing us in Polish, told us that shots had been fired from our house and that as a result two German soldiers had been killed and the third one injured. Later he said something to the soldiers in German, got into the car and left.
Then the soldiers separated us men from the women and children and told first the women and children to step to one side, and then told the men to step to the other side. We were surrounded all the time and nobody could escape. Later, two soldiers with revolvers broke off from the group of German soldiers, and they were taking one man from our group at a time and leading him some hundred meters away. It was dark, so we could not see how those soldiers were executing our companions in misfortune, but we could hear revolver shots.
Soon it was my turn and that of another man from our group – the ninth and tenth persons. I don’t remember which of my neighbors it was. One soldier took me by the hand, and the other took my companion. They led us in the same direction as the previous ones. I asked the soldier who was leading me not to kill me, since I was innocent and my children worked for the Germans. I was speaking Polish, but the soldier did not say anything in response but led me to a spot where those who had already been executed were lying, and ordered me in Polish, “Turn around.” Then he shot me from the back. The bullet pierced muscles, knocked out six teeth and came out under the eye. I fell face down with my arms spread and I was lying still, not moving, although the wound was bleeding profoundly. The soldiers were bringing new men and shooting them in the back of the head until they had finished off all of them. Then those soldiers walked down the line of the executed men, watching for any sign of movement. Those who did move were promptly killed. I was lying still and for that reason the soldiers did not shoot at me again.
When their work was done, the executioners went to the Bem Fort with their companions, who had joined them by that time. When I noticed that the soldiers were gone, I got up. Other people were lying next to me. In total, there were 21 victims of the execution. Apart from me, one of my neighbors – Stefan Mielczarek, whom I met a few days later – also survived. What kind of gunshot wound he had suffered, I do not know. I noticed only that he had a wound by his mouth. At 3.00 a.m. I went back home and met my family there. My wound was dressed at home and I was walked to Powązki, to the cemetery board. At the rear of the cemetery, on Spokojna Street, there was a sanitary post where a doctor dressed my wounds.
Where Mielczarek is now, I do not know. My executed companions were buried separately by their families in the Military Cemetery. The soldiers were executing us in the vicinity of St. Joseph’s church [St. Josaphat’s], some 100 meters away from there.
The report was read out.