Warsaw, 8 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||Helena Jaroszek|
|Date and place of birth||26 January 1901, Warsaw|
|Names of parents||Wacław and Tekla née Białorudzka|
|Occupation of the father||train driver|
|State affiliation and nationality||Polish|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Elbląska Street 61|
Before the war, from 1911 until the outbreak of the uprising, I had lived in Warsaw at Osmolińskiej Street 27 in Powązki. There had been seven flats in that house, and twenty- something people had lived there. About two weeks before the outbreak of the uprising, the German soldiers had placed some twenty-five cannons in the rear of Żoliborz, between Włościańska Street and Burakowska Street. These guns had been pointed in the direction of the Vistula. They had been manned by German soldiers (not SS men) and the “Ukrainians” who were also wearing German uniforms. I know these details from people who had been forced to cook dinners for them.
On 1 August 1944, at about 3.00 p.m., when I was in my flat, I heard shooting from Żoliborz. Cannon fire was followed by machine gun fire. Up until noon on 2 August all was quiet on Osmolińskiej Street, but the inhabitants had to stay at home, since the Germans – I mean the soldiers – were shooting at all who dared to leave their houses with machine guns. And so, for instance, one man was wounded by the Germans in the gate of my house, another one at number 25, and at number 23 a woman was wounded by them.
On 2 August in the afternoon, some soldiers in German uniforms who were speaking German stormed into my house and the neighboring ones and, pretending to be searching for insurgents and ammunition, they robbed us as they pleased. Even earlier, at about 11.00 a.m. on the same day, I had gone through the backstreets to Powązkowska Street 78, to the house in which my son lived then. There I learned from the owners of that house, Waluch (now dead) and his wife Kazimiera Waluch (currently residing at Powązkowska Street 78), that on 1 August at about 4.00 p.m. or 5.00 p.m., the Germans had forced people from the house on Powązkowska Street situated by the pond near the cemetery; then they had released the women and children, and 26 men had been executed beyond the cemetery, opposite the gate to the garden plots. One of these men, however, was not killed but only seriously wounded: his name and current address could be provided by Mrs. Kazimiera Waluch.
Up until 20 August, the German or “Ukrainian” soldiers were constantly entering the house in which I lived and the neighboring ones in order to loot them. At the same time they were constantly shooting at people who dared to go into the street, and would not allow anyone even to go get water, so we had to use makeshift wells which we were digging in the yards.
All this time, there were neither fights nor insurgent troops on Osmolińska Street or in its immediate vicinity. Only at nights the insurgents from the woods were allegedly going down Ciechanowska Street and Włościańska Street in Żoliborz – as I heard from people who claimed that they had seen this.
On 20 or maybe 21 August, the German soldiers who were operating the above-mentioned cannons came to my house and the neighboring houses. It was at approximately 2.00 p.m.; they ordered all the inhabitants of the following streets: Osmolińska, Ciechanowska, Włościańska, Czartoryskich, Jasnodworska, Powązkowska, Czerwińska, Tuszyńska, Lipnicka, Libawska and Gąbińska, to leave their houses and go in the direction of Wola; they were saying – I heard it myself in my house, as the German soldier was speaking Polish – that they would set the houses on fire, as they obscured their view. Since, following the German order all displaced people were to go in the same direction, I learned from my companions on the way that the inhabitants from the streets which I have named above had received a similar order.
As early as at about 6.00 p.m. on the same day I saw, just as the other displaced people did, that the houses which we had been forced to leave were all aflame. On the following day, when I sneaked through the gardens in the direction of my house at Osmolińska Street 27, I saw only ruins and ashes left of my house and the neighboring ones.
My son, Mieczysław Jaroszek (residing at Rzeczna Street 3, Targówek district), has testified about the crimes committed by the Germans in Żoliborz.
I would like to add that when on 20 or 21 August we were walking down Libawska Street and Powązkowska Street in the direction of Wola, after having been displaced, some cars with German soldiers approached us and the Germans began to put all those who did not manage to flee into those cars, and then took them in an unknown direction. I managed to flee and I don’t know where these people had been taken to.
I would like to add that on 3 or 4 August, those people who were taken to work for the Germans operating the cannons, whom I mentioned at the beginning of my testimony, said that some of these cannons were not pointed in the direction of the Vistula, but in the direction of Powązki and Wawrzyszew.
At this the report was closed, read out and signed.