The IPN’s Office of Search and Identification – a team of experts searching for burial places of victims of totalitarian regimes and ethnic cleansing in the years 1917–1989 – has unearthed the remains of two more people on the site of the communist detention and interrogation centre in Namysłowska Street in Warsaw’s Praga District. In the spring of this year, the Office located three bodies, but many more – mainly members of the Home Army and National Armed Forces – are believed to have been buried on the prison grounds.
“Toledo”, as the place was dubbed, was one of several such facilities in Warsaw, established as soon as the Soviets installed themselves in the Polish capital. Initially run and staffed by the NKVD, it served the purpose of interrogation and elimination of members of the underground organizations loyal to the legal Government, people perceived as an obstacle to communist plans of dominating of the country.
The prison gained notoriety as a torture chamber and execution ground immediately after it started operation: some people murdered during interrogation or afterwards were secretly buried in Lot ”Ł”, commonly referred to as “Łączka”(Meadow), located on the southern edge of the Powązki Military Cemetery, but most bodies were dumped into the ditch on site, and then covered with lime, rubbish, and soil. That’s where the IPN’s experts are expecting to find more remains.
The Office Head and the IPN’s Deputy President Krzysztof Szwagrzyk said, "The bodies we found today are a clear sign that the properties occupied by the communist authorities after the war need to be meticulously examined, because on many occasions bodies of the murdered were concealed on their grounds. What is important in this particular case is that we have found two more, and they will no longer lie in a nameless pit."
The "Toledo” prison, established and initially run by the Soviets, was soon taken over by Polish communist Security Service, which used it for the same purpose and in the same manner until 1956.