world war 2: warsaw uprising 1944

Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland.

Excerpts from: German Crimes in Poland. Howard Fertig, New York, 1982.

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  Crimes in the Marymont

Record No. 17 / II
On Aug. 1, 1944, I went to Zoliborz to buy some food, but owing to the outbreak of the Rising could not return to Praga where I lived. For several weeks I stayed with casual acquaintances. On Aug. 2, I went to Marymont, where I stayed at No. 29, Maria Kazimiera Street, which at that moment was in the hands of the Insurgents. On September 14 the Germans began to put down the Rising in that section in the following way: About 20 tanks came from the direction of Bielany and opened fire on various houses. The Insurgents retreated from the territory of Zoliborz without fighting.

Thus the tanks came without difficulty to No. 29, Maria Kazimiera Street. Several SS-men rushed into the courtyard throwing hand grenades into the cellars and in this way forced the frightened civilians to come out.

Then we all were told to leave. I was in the uniform of a railway worker. One of the Germans pulled off my cap and beat me for no reason. We were ordered to cross the street to a house which had previously been burnt. There were 32 of us in all, including men, women, small children and even an infant 6 months old. Here we were taken into a burnt-out flat, and ordered to kneel down with our hands up facing our persecutors. A machine gun was placed before us.

The execution began at 2 p.m. Several series of shots were fired into our group. I got a superficial wound in my skull. I fell; the corpses of two young men immediately fell on me. While lying I still got shots in my left arm, hand, fingers and feet. When the execution was over SS-men came back three times, killing the wounded and throwing two grenades each time. Owing to this I got (pieces of shrapnel in my fingers.

So I lay for four hours, till 6 p.m. Then a Werhmacht soldier came in, probably to loot the place of execution, and seeing that I moved, helped me to free myself from the corpses, comforting me and telling me not to be frightened any more. He also pulled out two women who had been saved by a miracle, though their hands were shattered, and two children who had been saved because their parents had protected them with their own bodies. The soldier who had helped us put us under the care of a wounded soldier, also from the Werhmacht, who conducted us to an evacuation point at Zoliborz (in CIWF). Here I parted from my companions in misfortune.

Record No. 189
At the time of the Rising I was in my own house, No. 29, Maria Kazimiera Street, Marymont. On Sep. 14, 1944, the bombing of Marymont greatly increased, and at about 2 o’clock the adjoining houses began to burn. The Insurgents retreated from our part of the city, and only the civilian population was left.

I, with my husband and my parents-in-law and other inhabitants of our house, about 30 of us altogether, were in the shelter in the garden. From there I saw German soldiers and soldiers from the army of General Vlassov knocking at a house at the back of ours — No. 2/4 Dembinski Street. When the door opened, the inhabitants began to file out slowly (men, women and children); a German soldier, standing a few steps from the front door, shot them through the back of the head. In this way about a hundred people were killed. The rest were driven into the field. Shortly after we heard shots coming from the direction in which they had been taken. (Among them was one priest). From the owner of this house I learnt afterwards that in this group the men had been separated from the women and all shot. Later I saw Vlassov’s men rush into a school building at No. 21, Maria Kazimiera Street, and order all those who were there (many people) to go out into the yard. Meanwhile our ho use began to burn; we came out of our shelter and went into the adjoining school, from the windows of which we saw further incidents. The Germans ordered people who were in the school yard to go out into Maria Kazimiera Street, where they were joined by others from No. 21. Some refused to go and began to turn back; then the soldiers fired at them from all sides, killing them all. Among those who had been previously driven from the school was a woman with a child in a perambulator. She was killed with the others in Maria Kazimiera Street. A few moments afterwards I saw a soldier come over to the perambulator and shoot the child.

We stayed in this school till the next day. On Sep. 15, 1944, a tank drove up to it and opened fire, destroying the upper floors. We, with the exception of my husband, who went I do not know where, then returned to the shelter at No, 21. For three consecutive nights I tried to find my husband. While looking for him I saw the corpses of the people who had been killed in front of No. 2/4, Dembinski Street. About a hundred lay in disorder: men, women and children. Among them I recognised my brother-in-law, his son, and many acquaintances, former occupants of Number 2/4, Dembinski Street.
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