Following the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, Germans stationed in the city started to indiscriminately kill Poles living there, both insurgents as well as civilians.
However, it is in the western district of Wola where the most brutal atrocities occurred. In an effort to use terror tactics against the Poles, around 50,000 civilians were killed within a week.
The church was one of the first transit camps. Civilian prisoners were rounded up here as early as the 2nd of August, but it wasn’t until the 5th, after the storming of the Home Army of the Gęsiówka prison, that the local population was rounded up inside the church for initial selection by the Nazis.
Conditions in the church were dire – there was no water or food, and illness spread like wildfire. Around 400 prisoners, including three priests, were shot outside the church and burned.
How to listen
Unseen is available as a downloadable podcast, although it is best experienced through the Echoes geolocative storytelling app available for iOS and Android. After loading the app, search for soundwalks in Warsaw and you’ll find Unseen.