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.