Warsaw, 28 March 1949. A member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes, Judge Halina Wereńko, heard the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Forename and surname||Julian Gawroński|
|Date and place of birth||11 August 1920, Kosny, Kozienice county|
|Names of parents||Józef and Zofia, née Sułkowska|
|Occupation of the father||farmer|
|State affiliation and nationality||Polish|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Place of residence||Warsaw, Kozietulskiego Street 9, flat 2|
In June 1944 I started working as a deputy to the stoker – my uncle, Henryk Sułkowski – in the house at Puławska Street 26. As I did not come into any contact with the Germans, I don’t know any surnames of the SS men who lived in that house and I don’t know which unit was stationed there.
On 1 August 1944, before noon, I went to visit my relatives at aleja Niepodległości 148. I was there when the Warsaw Uprising broke out on that day. I saw that at the outbreak of the uprising, the insurgents were opening fire on the Germans in Rakowiecka Street, shooting from our house and the neighboring ones. Together with the insurgents and other civilians, I also built a barricade closing off aleja Niepodległości by the Security Printing Works with the bales of paper taken from the Works. Once the barricade was ready, the insurgents resumed shooting in the direction of Rakowiecka Street from behind it.
On the night of 1/2 August the insurgents retreated in the direction of Narbutta Street. From that time on, aleja Niepodległości was within reach of German units. On 2 August, a German tank came from Rakowiecka Street, reached Narbutta Street undisturbed, opened machine gun fire at the windows of the houses on aleja Niepodległości and retreated to Rakowiecka Street. From then on, there were German patrols on aleja Niepodległości up to Narbutta Street every single day; some of them only passed by in cars, but the foot patrols went from house to house and carried out searches, which the German soldiers used to rob the people. However, I did not hear about any executions.
On 5 or 6 August the Germans began to set fire to the houses on both sides of aleja Niepodległości, starting from Rakowiecka Street. I saw that before they set a house on fire, they would remove the residents and direct them towards Rakowiecka Street. It was already after the uprising when I learned that the Germans had marched younger men to the barracks opposite Kazimierzowska Street, and had led the remaining people out of the city.
On 9 August in the afternoon, when the German action of setting houses on fire had not yet reached our house, my uncle, Henryk Sułkowski (stoker in the house at Puławska Street 26), sent two women to me: Janina Pacholska, who was working in the SS men’s kitchen in that house, and another woman whom I did not know. The three of us, holding a white flag, went across Narbutta Street to Puławska Street 26. We were not stopped by the Germans on our way.
From that day, that is, 9 August 1944, until about the middle of October, I was in the house at Puławska Street 26. I cannot say how many Germans were stationed in that house. I lived, that is I spent nights, together with Sułkowski and his wife, in one of the basements of the house at Puławska Street 26. In those basements, the Germans kept also 10 Poles, civilian men. Together with those men, we were performing various jobs for the Germans, such as carrying water, chopping wood, digging trenches, etc.
I cannot say anything about German actions against the insurgents or civilians. I only know that at the end of August or at the beginning of September 1944, the Germans executed five or six insurgents whom they had captured after a failed assault by the insurgents upon the house at Puławska Street 26. Those insurgents, who had been wounded during the assault, were executed in the courtyard by the garage, and we buried their corpses at Madalińskiego Street, opposite the house on the corner of Puławska Street, that is the house at number 28.
In the middle of October, the Germans released me along with Sułkowski and his wife from the house at Puławska Street 26, and we were issued passes. Those passes, together with our luggage, were taken from us by a German post by the Grójec railway, but we were allowed to go.
The ten remaining civilian men from the house at Puławska Street 26 had been led out by the Germans earlier, before I left the place. Reportedly they had been taken to perform some work on the premises of the court building on Leszno Street.
At this the report was concluded and read out.