Warsaw, 4 November 1949. Irena Skonieczna (MA), acting as a member of the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, interviewed the person named below, who testified as follows:

Name and surname Zbigniew Sielski
Date and place of birth 5 June 1915, Baranowicze, nowogródzkie voivodeship
Parents’ names Adam and Stanisława, née Witkowska
Father’s occupation office worker
Citizenship and nationality Polish
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Education secondary
Occupation office worker
Place of residence Czerniakowska Street 126a, flat 3
Criminal record none

When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was in my flat in the house at Czerniakowska Street 126a. More or less two weeks after the Uprising broke out (I don’t remember the exact date), the residents of the houses at Czerniakowska Street 110, 112, 114, and ours, that is 126a, were led out by the Germans through Agrykola Street into aleja Szucha. At the corner of Aleje Ujazdowskie and Agrykola Street the Germans separated the young men (more or less between 18 and 50 years of age) from the rest of the populace, and led them into aleja Szucha. I was amongst these men. In the courtyard, the Gestapo men stood us facing the wall and did not allow us to look back. They attached a few women to our group standing by the wall.

I heard one of the Germans say to a woman who was standing near me that she was a Jewess, and that was why he had ordered her to stand next to us. They then summoned each of us in turn and – looking at our documents – ordered us to say without faltering where we had been at the time the Uprising broke out. Our nervousness was such that we were unable to reply smoothly. The Germans would then beat us. After this they gave us back our war-time identity cards and instructed us to go deeper into the building. In one of the rooms we had to hand over our identity cards and all the various small items that we had on our persons, that is jewelry, watches, money, etc. Then the Germans sent everyone to cell no. 2. When everyone had been forced into the cell, one of the Germans asked who of those present was sick and therefore unfit for work. We assumed that the Germans would shoot all those who reported sick. However, by then I could not have cared less, and indeed would have even preferred to be shot at once than tormented any longer, and thus I stepped forward declaring that I was sick. I also pushed forward a young resident of our house, 19-year-old Aleksander Sobczyński, whom recent events had driven insane. The German, however, ascertained that he was young, and therefore ordered him to return to those who were “fit for work.” The Germans took me and the other sick men to cell no. 3. It turned out that we were to be used for the hardest and most difficult jobs. Thus, we erected barricades under fire from the insurgents, dug tunnels, etc. Many of us died or received grievous wounds in the course of our work. Allegedly, these wounded were taken by the Germans to the hospital. In actual fact, however, they disappeared without a trace.

At around 11.00 p.m. on the day that we were brought into aleja Szucha, the Germans took all of the men from cell no. 2. No trace was ever found of them, either. In cell no. 1 the Germans detained young boys, aged more or less 16 to 18. They were under the “special care” of the Gestapo men. They received food and, more importantly, enormous quantities of alcohol, so that they were drunk the entire time. They would be led out by the Germans every night. We overheard them once and came to the conclusion that the Germans were using these young boys to help with the burning of bodies at the building of the General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces.

Throughout my period of stay, the Germans would bring new groups of men to cell no. 2. During the night they would lead them out in groups of 10, ostensibly for work, however not one of them ever returned.

After more or less a month and a half some ten of us from cell no. 3 were taken to the transit camp at Litewska Street, where the Ministry of Recovered Lands currently has its seat. There in one of the rooms I saw a pile of women’s and men’s footwear, and a pile of clothing in another. I inferred that these were the belongings of murdered victims. I was no longer being taken from the camp for hard labor, for one day the Germans removed all the craftsmen from the group of prisoners. From that moment on, I, being a tailor, would go to aleja Szucha to sew for the Germans.

Once during this time, while I was going from aleja Szucha to the camp at Litewska Street, an employee of the Waterworks, Dziewiński, who worked as an interpreter for Dirveld, the Head of the Warsaw Municipal Assets, and who resided at the Waterworks building at Czerniakowska Street 124, managed to rescue one Zdzisław Modzelewski (I don’t know his address, but I will provide it if I come upon it) from the Gestapo. Modzelewski remained there until the very end of the Uprising. Maybe, therefore, he saw and heard more than I.

I did not witness any crimes while working as a tailor at the Gestapo. I was, however, struck by the fact that there were a few prams on the rubbish tip in the courtyard. I don’t know how they got there.

Towards the end of October the Gestapo left Warsaw. Aleja Szucha was occupied by the Wehrmacht and a detachment of the Gendarmerie that took part in the demolition and burning down of houses. The Poles from the camp at Litewska Street were also employed in these destructive activities.

Around 3 November all of the craftsmen working at the Gestapo building were taken by motor vehicles to the camp in Pruszków.

I don’t know what happened to the rest of the Poles from the camp. More detailed information could be provided by the head of the personnel department, Czesław Królich (Waterworks, Starynkiewicza Square 5).

I would also like to add that once, while still a prisoner in cell no. 3, I was sent to sweep the street in front of the Gestapo building. I saw the Germans leading an insurgent, a Home Army soldier in a German uniform with an armband. He had been terribly battered, his teeth had been knocked out, and his eyes were all puffed up.

I witnessed a similar sight when the Germans were leading some three or four soldiers from the Kościuszko Division who had been captured near the Vistula. They had been beaten up terribly. To humiliate them, the Germans had forced them to pull a small cannon upon which there sat some hideous woman.

I cannot state exactly in which direction from Unii Square we were employed in the digging of ditches, but in any case it was somewhere towards Okęcie. I saw how a German sitting in a bunker fired his machine gun at crowds of passing civilians. This looked like a deceit on the part of the Germans: in all probability, they were leading these people somewhere towards freedom, and at the same time shooting at them.

At this point the report was concluded and read out.