The remains of another four people were found in the former communist prison “Toledo” in Praga Północ. Specialists of the Institute of National Remembrance report that the skulls of three of them bear the characteristic marks of a shot in the back of the head. It is possible that the victims were military, because a fragment of an eagle pin was discovered among the bones.
Archaeological works at the “Toledo” prison on 11 November Street have been carried out by the IPN Office of Search and Identification since last spring. At the moment, the area between and under the garages is being investigated, which was built in an area partly belonging to the prison garden, where – according to witnesses – the bodies of dead and murdered prisoners were also supposed to be buried.
On Wednesday, researchers announced on Twitter that the remains of another four people had been found. – The mass grave contained the mixed up remains of four people. They were subject to a preliminary anthropological assessment at the place where they were found. We can see that the remains have been disturbed, an attempt is being made to clarify whether it happened during construction works, or maybe in some other way – explains Fr. Tomasz Trzaska from the Office of Search and Identification of the Institute of National Remembrance. – The skulls of three people show signs of gunshots. There is also an eagle next to the remains, so it should be presumed that they are military casualties – he emphasizes. Such metal emblems were worn by soldiers on corners and forage caps.
So far, the remains of 27 people have been found as part of the work on the premises of the former UB and NKVD penal investigative prison. – Not all of them had traces of shots in the back of the head. We know that people who were martyred during the investigation or who died during their imprisonment may also have been buried in this area. The shooting using the Katyn method and the site where the last remains were found allow us to predict that they are victims of the communist regime, lost in the years immediately after World War II – informs Trzaska.
They are trying to establish an identity
– At the moment it is too early to talk about the identification of persons. We collect genetic material for research and, at the same time, we select who the remains could belong to. We are trying to make a selection based on the list of victims on whom death sentences were carried out in the “Toledo” prison – says Trzaska. For example, information on how many people were lost on a specific day could be important clues for researchers. They are compared with the number of people found in a given grave. – With each discovery of this type, IPN prosecutors are informed – he adds.
An employee of the IPN Office of Search and Identification also describes that after discovering the remains, researchers document the find and, if possible, try to assign the bones to a given skeleton. Then the remains are secured and directed to the dissecting room, where more detailed examinations and examinations are carried out, which allow for the reconstruction of the circumstances of death. – The work will continue until the entire area of the former prison is searched. We plan to work continuously throughout August, as the garage is demolished by the developer. – announces Trzaska.
The prison existed from the moment the Soviet troops entered Praga
Prison Penal and Investigative Warsaw III (Toledo) is a prison of the Security Office and the NKVD that has existed since the entry of Soviet troops to Praga in 1944. It was known for extremely brutal interrogations. Historians of the Institute of National Remembrance recalled earlier that it was intended for soldiers of the Home Army, the National Armed Forces and other political prisoners whom the Stalinist regime considered dangerous to the new government.
This prison, within the walls of which many members of the independence underground were executed, existed until 1956. “It was considered the strictest among prisoners” – emphasized the Institute of National Remembrance.
Main photo source: IPN / Twitter search