Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Warsaw Uprising

Dec 16 2020 - Dec 16 2020

Żelazna 16

  • Dec 16 2020 - Dec 16 2020


The town house on 16/18 Żelazna Street, commonly known as the Railway House, is one of the most amazing reminders of the Warsaw Uprising that still exists on the city’s map. Up to this day, it bears clear marks of the tragic and historic events that occurred here – hundreds of bullet-holes riddle its façade. Until recently, a marking left by a sapper from 1945 was visible on the wall, informing passers-by that the building had been swept for mines. Unfortunately, the marking has been covered up.

The building of the Railway House has been erected according to a project by Adolf Inatowicz-Łubiański in the years 1925-1929 as a tenement house for the employees of the Polish Railway. During the uprising, this structure played a crucial role: it housed some leaders and soldiers of the insurgency.

In the early days of the uprising – on August 4th, 1944 – a National Armed Forces team led by Lt Tadeusz “Mazur” Siemiątkowski captured the building. This group of soldiers later became part of the “Warszawianka” Company under the command of Cpt Mieczysław Konstanty “Zawadzki” Zacharewicz and were inducted into the “Chrobry II” Group.

A POW camp was established inside the building. The doctor from 1st Battalion of “Chrobry II” stationed here. Capturing the building proved to be extremely important on account of the cross-city route which provided a good line of defence. Insurgents in this area prevented the occupying forces from freely moving along Aleje Jerozolimskie and established an obstacle in the middle of a key transport route.

The Railway House remained under insurgent control until the day of its surrender.


Żelazna 16

key figures

Captain Piotr Mieczysław Konstanty Zacharewicz “Zawadzki”, cf. Tadeusz Siemiątkowski “Mazur”

date of event

4 August 1944 – occupation of the building by the Home Army

wartime fate

During the uprising, after occupying the building, the insurgents set up a prisoner-of-war camp here; the command of our company “Warszawianka” was located here.

modern-day fate

The tenement house survived the war and is now inhabited.

„The Railway House – on the intersection of Żelazna and Aleje Jerozolismkie – and Poczta Dworcowa became the two bastions of the insurgency, constantly barraged by artillery and exposed to surprise attacks from the Germans. Here you had to keep your eyes peeled 24 hours a day. The soldiers from our “Warszawianka” Company were always ready to open fire on an approaching enemy from the windows that we fortified with bags full of sand. The trenches marking the front line were visible just outside the house, near the railway embankments. They were always guarded by a few soldiers armed with machine guns and grenades. When I looked at the Railway House from the trenches, I was amazed to spot a few artillery craters and walls that looked like swiss cheese. There wasn’t a square meter without signs of the heavy fighting that went on here.”
Andrzej “Leszek Dziewic” Karpińskia soldier of „Warszawianka” Company

„That building – the one that is still known as the Railway House on the intersection of Żelazna and Chmielna – served as headquarters for our company. The commander was a uhlan from way before the war, a cavalry captain. He got his hands on a horse and told us: “Once we win, I’ll lead you [na defiladzie]”. ”
Jerzy Henryk „Kazimierz Olecki” Nachtmancommander of the assault team, “Chrobry II” Group, “Warszawianka” Company

memory collection

The building


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