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Assembly points and transition camps


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Testimony of Jerzy Pawlak

     We were forced to the horse racing grounds. There was a great amount of sporting equipment here; I noticed many kayaks. Not heeding the nuns, I separated from the group. I was tired and I wanted badly to sleep. And so I hid in a kayak, covering myself with a tarpaulin. I do not know when I fell asleep. In the morning when I woke up, I noticed that everything around me was covered in frost, [...]

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Testimony of Halina Stępień

[...]  In Pruszków we waited for further journeys. We did not have any resources for survival. Mother had a small sack of flour, sugar cubes, crackers, a spoon, and a knife in a leather briefcase. Autumn was approaching, and we did not have warm coats.  [...]

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Testimony of Leonard Bura on Franciszek Kudławiec

[...]  After the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, his monk's frock was used once again: he was provided with a letter (both in Polish and German) written by the Main Civilians' Protection Office (RGO) and entrusted with the mission of taking out of Warsaw a large group of about a hundred children, including many orphans or lost children, as well as two Jewish children survivors.  [...]

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Testimony of Roman Rechnio

[...]  In Pruszków the local RGO (Main Civilians' Protection Office) had been distributing food and medicine in the camp, the one at Railway Stock Repair Works (Zakłady Naprawcze Taboru Kolejowego).  [...]

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Testomony of Jerzy Czajkowski

[...]  The Germans placed us in factory halls, from where they had removed the machines. There was some straw spread around the floor and we, being awfully tired, fell asleep immediately. What will the next day bring to us?  [...]

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Testimony of Maria Kapuścińska

[...]  Finally, in the terrible heat, we reached an area enclosed by wire, with barracks. It later turned out that this was the transit camp in Okęcie. Crammed into the barracks, people were laying side by side on the floor. There was a shortage of water; it was very dirty. As food, we were given bread and black chicory coffee, and in the afternoon - some kind of soup.  [...]

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Testimony of Wacława Połomska

[...]  On the second day, in the morning, the Germans gathered all the runaways, and under escort, through Jelonki and Groty, they led us to Pruszków. I remember that we spent the night during this trip in a large pile of hay in Groty.  [...]

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Testimony of Mieczysław Rajmund Gorzelniak

[...]  From Western Station they transported us by train to railway workshops in Pruszków. Next day they loaded us into freight cars, 60 persons for each, and transported us to Brzeg, where we got first meal (pea soup with bacon, and bread), without limitations.  [...]

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Testimony of Helena Balcer

Without a date, between August 8th and 13th
       We left Warsaw on Monday, that is on August 7, 1944. Our tragedy began at that moment. We walked through a sea of flames and a mass of corpses, killed and burned. After exiting the basements, we were separated from the men. The last time I saw Lolek, my husband, was on August 7th at 10am. I do not know where he ended up with that bad fortune, [...]

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Testimony of Jacek Fedorowicz

[...]  I however remember well the Pruszków camp itself, the terrible stench and moaning of exhausted people in a certain factory hall, probably adjacent to a railway ramp, the people lying there on the floor next to each other, us included; I tried as much as I could to avoid stepping on someone or getting lost in the crowd. I remember too an unbelievable event that happened next day in the morning.  [...]

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Testimony of Ryszard Zabłotniak

[...]  After a night spent in sitting position at the church, we were taken from Warsaw West Station, via electric railway, to the transit camp in Pruszków. During the trip to the transit camp and then during a later evacuation, I was constantly met with spontaneous efforts by local people trying to help. The trains were completely bombarded with bread and fruit, despite the objections of supervising soldiers. The Germans shot at people who rushed to help us.  [...]

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Testimony of Stanisław Korytowski

[...]  The Dulag or transitory camp in Pruszków has been set up in a locomotive depot there. The halls of the depot are marked with numbers. A field kitchen serves soup to us, they also throw quarters of bread loaves into the crowd. We have no plates or cups. We borrow from someone a mug and a stew-pan.  [...]

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Testimony of Jadwiga Kołodziejska-Jedynak

[...]  (...) and we reached the ill-fated Zieleniak with this pail. And it turns out that she did the right thing, because these candies were a life-saver, it would be too much to say from starving to death, because it was a few days, we were there about a week, but they rescued the neighbours' children from hunger. My mother figured out a ration, how many candies each, and she handed them out to the children who gathered around her. This is kind of an anecdote, but there was no laughter.  [...]

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Testimony of Ludmiła Niedbalska

[...]  Again we moved forward, in sorrow, saying goodbye to the cabbage fields. A symbol of life, calmness and continuity disappeared behind us. It started to get dark. We reached a platform. Across the road, you could see people walking quickly along a red wall, and Germans standing every couple of meters. And suddenly again there was shouting, pushing, unloading people from the wagons onto the platform, onto the road and forward. We walked along the wall, through a gate that was around the bend. Some buildings, shapes, people, emerged from the darkness. After a long time, we were approaching a factory hall - not shouting or pushing anymore - in which lights were shining.  [...]

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Testimony of Elżbieta Żakowicz-Prejzner

[...]  And we made for a column, already formed. There were white flags with a red cross. We set off across Warsaw. You got out while the insurgents were still fighting and there was a truce, thanks to which you could leave with your mother and sisters, together with part of the civilians. I didn't realize that. There were a lot of civilians. Mainly women with children. Whenever I watch newsreels from the Warsaw Uprising and I see those columns, I look out for my mum with her bundle and the three of us. I haven't spotted us as yet though.  [...]

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Testimony of Maria Jolanta Auleytner

The Germans drove us (a never ending stream of people) to the camp in Pruszków, where I spent about two weeks. During selection conducted by the Germans, I was separated from the Sołłowijs and assigned to transport to the Reich for forced labour. When we reached Łódź, we had to wait, camping out on the platform for the transport to Germany. The Polish Red Cross served soup in the afternoon - [...]

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Testimony of Włodzimierz Szurmak

    

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Testimony of Andrzej Garlicki

[...]  They kept us there for one or two more days, and then they led us to the railway platforms, where a selection took place. It was very superficial - they pulled out all the people who they thought suited work in Germany: young men - who were not numerous because they generally left with Home Army units - and young women without children.  [...]

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Testimony of Elżbieta Dankowska-Walas

[...]  I don't remember very much of Pruszków. I know we were sleeping on such platforms and that some people would give us one piece of bread and tomates; I don't know who they were, nurses from RGO (the Central Welfare Council) maybe. They were wearing gray or white aprons. And they would give everybody one tomato and one piece of bread. The Germans separated the people, men, women. I remember some man who dragged me by my hand and my Mum dragged me to the other side, she didn't want him to keep me. He said: "But you've got children and what about me? They'll take me if haven't got any child by me". He wanted to take me up on his hands. He wanted to borrow me. But one couldn't know what would happen later, the Germans drove us on all the time. There was a segregation there and probably the men who had got children but no wife weren't going to the camp.  [...]

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Testimony of jerzy Ekner

We arrived in Pruszków - I realized that after a couple of minutes. The door opened and I saw the gendarmes again, standing in the field and forming a semi-circle. We had to jump down from the cart - neither me not my aunt had problem with that, but my 75-year-old grandma had to be assisted. Than we were forced to march. We were happy to meet our fellow lawyer. Apparently he was taken from  St. Adalbert's [...]

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Testimony of Andrzej Janowski

[...]  I remember very well the latrines in Pruszków, because I had to go there very often. There were simply holes dug into the ground with boards on them and one could use them by squatting on them. The camp was a hall, a huge hall - there was some leftover straw or something of that sort, plenty of people... But in that crowd of people we met our neighbors from Noakowskiego Street and my peer with whom I survived the entire Uprising and who was my neighbor - my next door neighbor - after the war.  [...]

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Testimony of Grażyna Dorota Duchniak

[...]  I don't remember whether they transported us or we walked the entire way on foot - but I remember a huge, tall building, on the grounds of the plants in Pruszków where railroad equipment is worked on, and inside there were bunk beds without mattresses... And we had to "sleep" one night in these beds, on bare springs.  [...]

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Testimony of Halina Wiśniewska

[...]  Later they brought us to Pruszków. The conditions were such that papers were lying around and people were sitting on them - and that's how we were supposed to sleep. In the halls on the concrete flooring.  [...]

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Testimony of Elżbieta Massalska

[...]  The Germans ordered a longer respite by the Wola church. After that we were driven to the Dworzec Zachodni (rail station) and from there, transported to Pruszków, to a temporary camp. There was a rumour early on that the Germans separated families. Allegedly, only children under 14 were left with their parents. Frightened, I threw away my school ID card and from then on, as long as we were in the camps, I claimed to be only 13. I was very tall for my age and I could not claim to be any younger.  [...]

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Testimony of Ewa Kirszenstein-Skrzypczak

[...]  We stayed in a big hall, where , apparently, which I didn't notice, there were hardboard mats moving with flice. Mum said: "I wish we would leave this place as soon as possible." But there was no knowing where to: either to Auschwitz or to be shot down, or somewhere else. And my father's letter came in handy again.  [...]

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Testimony of Jerzy Uldanowicz

[...]  Moving along the route that was delineated by German posts, that is along Chłodna and Wolska Streets, we reached - along with a gradually growing line of people who were being banished - the Church of Saint Stanisław (Kościół świętego Stanisława) on Wolska Street, where there was one of the main gathering points for people who were being banished from the city. We stayed there for a few hours, among the crowd which filled the inside of the church and the churchyard.  [...]

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Testimony of Danuta Nizińska-Grzegrzółka

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Testimony of Jerzy Kasprzak

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Testimony of Dariusz Karolak

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Testimony of Tadeusz Ziomek

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Testimony of Izabella Wciślińska

[...]  When the Germans came to the hospital this director came out and talked with them. It occurred at the end of October. I was taken with other woman and elders by foot to the camp in Pruszków. On the other hand, they took my husband along with other injured persons from the hospital, whom they called bandits, by trucks to this camp in Pruszków.  [...]

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Testimony of Witold Jerzy Niewiadomski

[...]  The "fun" didn't start until the interim camp in Ursus. We were driven to a concrete hall, no water, or any sanitary facilities. We couldn't stop from laughing when these vegetables gave us diarrhoea.  [...]

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Testimony of Bohdan Lewandowski

On the third day at dawn, we entered the grounds of the rail stock repair yards in Pruszków, where the Germans set up a concentration camp for expelled Warsaw residents. Selection took place upon leaving the railcars. Young people were separated from the crowds, and those remaining were sent to a large building. Some civilians gave us a piece of bread and can of milk. We walked next to a provisional [...]

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Testimony of Krystyna Zbyszewska

[...]  Finally we came to Ożarów. At first we had to register somewhere, give the names and the name of our squad. There was also a queue - to get some soup. It was a barley soup with red tomatoes - delicious, I have never eaten something so good before. It was already late so we went to sleep. When we woke up in the morning all of us were coverd with a deep blue paint.  [...]

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Testimony of Eulalia Matusiak-Rudak

[...]  I found myself in Pruszków. There, besides my aunt, I found a second aunt, the mother of my cousins who died. They were members of the sports club. One was an athlete, the second a football player. They are on the list of "Skra" losses. They were killed, one at Buchenwald, the second in Kraków. They were mistreated on Szucha [Avenue].  [...]

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Testimony of Krzysztof Radlicz

[...]  At Pruszków, though one was afraid of everything, one was more aware of what was going on. Directly at the gate was a camp for Home Army soldiers. And among them behind the barbed wires we spotted my brother. Thus we were a little less worried. At Pruszków we were placed in such a large railway rolling stock room in building "D" where we spent the night.  [...]

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Testimony of Halina Rozwadowska, mother of Mark, age 8

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Testimony of Leokadia Ciekanowska

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Testimony of Andrzej Gracjan Flaszczyński

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Testimony of Wanda Kamieniecka-Grycko

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Testimony of Aniela Libionka

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Testimony of Mirosława Grabowska (Gelber-Olszowa)

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Testimony of Zbigniew Badowski

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Testimony of Wanda Łabuzińska

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Testimony of Jadwiga Kowejsza

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Testimony of Bohdan Kapica

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Testimony of Cecylia Krajewska

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Testimony of Teresa Różycka

[...]  At Zieleniak my mother took steps to protect us. She disfigured all the young neighbour women, making them look like ugly old bags. When one of the soldiers came up she called over the Ukrainian neighbour and asked him: "Distract him and he'll move on". The next day we marched under German guards to Pruszków. Along the way, old women lay dying, they didn't have the strength to keep walking. One of them was our neighbour's mother, but the Germans made sure that no one could give her water. Pruszków - a huge hall, people packed in tight.  [...]

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Testimony of Stefan Wojciech Niesłuchowski

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Testimony of Halina Olk-Wieczorek

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Testimony of Ewa Osiecka

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Testimony of Sylwester Rzaczykiewicz

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Testimony of Elżbieta Uszyńska

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Testimony of Antonina Irmina Osińska-Głąb

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Testimony of Bohdan Stanisław Dąbrowski

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Testimony of Małgorzata Dąbrowska-Markiewicz

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Testimony of Hanna Maria Żarska-Szczepańska

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Testimony of Janusz Kosk

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Testimony of Jadwiga Szczęścik-Perucka

We spent two days in Pruszków, but I was too little to remember anything. My family  looked after me really well, as I wasn't hungry. Many people were starving, but I always got a plate of soup.

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Testimony of Halina Kowalska, mother of baby Paweł

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Testimony of Zbigniew Zmarzlik

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Testimony of Władysław Sala

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Testimony ofMarta Gadomska-Juskowiak

There was a crowd of people there already. The men and women were segregated, children with mothers, our housekeeper, this way we were treated as a family.  The men were sent to this lower church .  We spent the night in the church, on the stone flooring.  We lay side by side. Those who got there earlier, had  pieces of boards from the benches. So in this church, when you were there - you had this [...]

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Testimony of Zygmunt Walter

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Testimony of Danuta Podrucka (Pastuszyńska-Szpądrowska)

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Testimony of Leszek Łacheta

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Testimony of Bolesław Oleksiak

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Testimony of Jadwiga Sawczuk

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Testimony of Wiesław Zorgier

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Testimony of Stefan Marczak

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Testimony of Jadwiga Szmidt

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Testimony of Teresa Wiza

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Testimony of Paweł Ambrożewicz

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Testimony of Danuta Kusińska (Śpiewak)

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Testimony of Michalina Walter-Horst

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Testimony of Janina Loth-Borkowska

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Testimony of Wojciech Prośniewski

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Testimony of Julia Tazbir-Ehrenfeucht

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  The project is implemented by the Museum of Warsaw in cooperation with the State Archives of City of Warsaw, and the Niedersachsische Gedenkstatten Foundation