Anglojęzyczny artykuł o dwóch rzeziach Woli napisałam w listopadzie 2015 roku. Poniżej – wklejam jego fragment, dotyczący – przede wszystkim – wydarzeń z roku 1944. Celowo opuściłam szczegółowe opisy tego, co wydarzyło się w 1939: fragment ten zawiera bowiem dane osobowe, których nie chcę upubliczniać. Wklejone poniżej fragmenty traktuję jako próbkę swoich możliwości dziennikarskich.
Wola. This north – western part of the capital of Poland had been one of those places, which are symbols of horribly extermination of innocent people now. ,,The Wola massacre” from August 1944 is better known than earlier massacre from 1939. The tragic symbol of Wola’s massacres is the monument ,,Polegli – Niepokonani” and also The Cementery of Warsaw Rebels (pol. Cmentarz Powstańców Warszawy). Yesterday was All Saints Day, so I thought, that it can be a good moment to write an article, which will recall this horrible part of history of Warsaw. Especially, that – as I had written earlier – the massacre from 1939 is practically unknown now.
Pinkus Jankiel Zylberryng was born in 1919. He was a Jew. The police had known him as a thief – he was a specialist of petty crimes. Zylberryng had been arrested before the war and was in the jail, but not a long time. After leaving the jail, the 13th of November 1939 he shot the ,,navy – blue policeman” (pol. granatowy policjant, this was a Polish policeman, who worked for Germans). The place of this murder was Nalewki Street (the house No. 9). Germans decided to arrest all of men, which had been lived in the house No. 9 on Nalewki Street – it was a punishment after Zylberryng’s action.
,,It was the first mass retaliatory execution in occupied Warsaw” – these words professor Władysław Bartoszewski, famous Polish historian, had written in his book ,,Warszawski pierścień śmierci” (,,The ring of death of Warsaw”), which is treating about mass executions in Warsaw between 1939 and 1944. Germans has never published the surnames of this execution victims. All of arrested men had been murdered by Germans. After shooting, German soldiers threw all corpses into earlier prepared hole. Later this hole – as a sign of the place of massacre – had been paved.
Five years later – in 1944 – the soldiers of SS – Oberführer Oskar Dirlewanger’s squads had prepared the second massacre of Wola. Nobody knows, how many people lost their lives between 5th and 11th of August. The main ,,organizers” of them were – besides Dirlewanger – Gruppenführer Heinz Reinefarth and SS – Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach – Zelewski.
The mute witness of tragedy of Wola was – and also is nowadays – the Saint John’s Orthodox Church on Wolska Street. One of people, who survived the massacre, was Wiesław Kępiński – he lost whole his family: his parents and siblings had been murdered nearby Orthodox Church. After the Second World War – he lived in a house called ,,Stawisko” in Podkowa Leśna and became a foster child of famous writer Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. Kępiński described this tragedy in his book called ,,Sześćdziesiąty pierwszy” (,,The sixty – first”).
About two o’clock p. m. on Saturday 5th of August SS – men started to kill staff and patients of Wolski Hospital on Płocka Street. At the first they killed the hospital chairmen – doctor Marian Piasecki and professor Janusz Zeyland – and also the hospital chaplain, Kazimierz Ciecierski. It was the start of extermination of totally helpless people in hospitals in Wola. About four hundred people had been killed in Wolski Hospital. More people – circa one thousand – had been killed in Saint Lazarus Hospital on Leszno Street. One hundred people had been killed in Karol and Maria Hospital – also on Leszno Street…
I will repeat: nobody knows, how many people lost their lives between 5th and 11th of August 1944 in Wola. You can find various numbers of them. Most often there are numbers between forty and fifty thousands of the people.
Nowadays – all of you can see the places, which are commemorating both of massacres. When you visit Wolski Cemetery in All Saints Day, you can see millions of candles before ,,Polegli – Niepokonani” monument. This monument is at bottom sepulchral monument – it covers ashes of whom, who had been killed in Wola massacre. You can see lights of new plaques with written names, surnames and – sometimes – places of residence of victims.
You are living in independent and modern Poland. You are thinking about the victims of Nazis cruelty. And – you are thinking about Zofia Nałkowska’s words from her absolutely shocking book ,,Medaliony” (,,The Medallions”):
,,It is the fate prepared for people by the people…”
Bartoszewski W., Warszawski pierścień śmierci, Warsaw 1967.
Bartoszewski W., 1859 dni Warszawy, Warsaw 1984.
Kępiński W., Sześćdziesiąty pierwszy, Warsaw 2006.
Nałkowska Z., Medaliony, Wrocław 2003.
Woźniewski Z., Książka raportów lekarza dyżurnego. Szpital Wolski w okresie Powstania Warszawskiego, Warsaw 1974.