Warsaw, 13 March 1946. Judge Stanisław Rybiński, delegated to the Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, heard the person named below as a witness. 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||Maria Hejduk née Błażejczyk|
|Date of birth||17 August 1899|
|Parents’ names||Ignacy and Rozalia née Wierzchowska|
|Education||three grades of elementary school|
|Place of residence||Warsaw-Targówek, Obwodowa Street 11, flat 7|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
Before the Warsaw Uprising I lived with my husband Stanisław Hejduk (50 years old), our two sons, Tadeusz (20 years old) and Ryszard (17 years old), and our daughter Zofia in Bródno, at św. Wincentego Street 72. My husband, a carpenter, worked individually in different places, wherever there were opportunities. Tadeusz worked for the railway, and Ryszard worked in a German company on Złota Street.
Earlier, in March 1941, the Germans took from our flat our oldest son Kazimierz Hejduk, then 21 years old, and deported him for forced labor to Germany. After his deportation, Kazimierz stayed in touch with us, sending letters from Braunszwejg [Braunschweig], where he was working in a factory. After the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, I no longer received any news from my son Kazimierz and I don’t know his present fate.
On 1 August 1944, after the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, at about 5.00 p.m., shots were fired in Bródno. My whole family went down to the shelter. In our district, the Germans quickly managed to bring the situation under control. Shortly after, they approached our house, threw a grenade into the shelter and began to fire at us with a machine gun. Then they told us to leave. And so we left – first the children, then the women, and finally the men. There were approximately 20 of us.
I have to add that my son Tadeusz was not home at the time; he only came back on 3 August.
When we came out into the yard, the Germans told the men to stand by the wall with their hands up. The women and children also stood by the wall. Later the Germans marched us to the Bródno cemetery and placed the men in a garage, and the women and children in a stable. My husband and my son Ryszard were separated from me and my daughter. We were forbidden to communicate with the men, we couldn’t even go to get some water.
And so we stayed in the stable until the following day, when at 7.00 p.m. the Germans executed all the men, 64 in total, including my husband and my son Ryszard. They spared two older men and younger boys. The spared men told us on 3 August, the following day, that our husbands and sons had been murdered by the Germans. They were executed in the cemetery, at some distance from the stable we were locked in. They were executed at around 7.00 p.m., and we were only released a day later. I was then able to go back home with my daughter, as our house had not yet been burned. My son Tadeusz also came home.
Two weeks later the Germans let us uncover the mass grave with the corpses of our husbands and sons. I buried my husband and son separately from the others and obtained from the parish these death certificates (presented) on 14 September 1944.
During the battles with the Russians, the Germans set fire to our house, which we previously had to leave due to military operations. All our possessions were burnt.
I currently live in a flat assigned to me by the housing office.
On 24 August 1944, as they were taking all the men from Bródno, the Germans also took my son Tadeusz, and we don’t know where he is now since he has not given any signs of life to this day.
Caretaker Kwiatkowski and the cemetery administrator Fajkowski can provide more details concerning the mass murders in the cemetery and the German forces which carried out the execution.
The report was read out.