This is another picture by Sylwester Braun “Kris”, excellent in its arts. An insurgent in camouflage uniform and helmet and rifle in his hand is leaning out from the demolished part of the building on the street illuminated by the sun. It looks like a hunter looking out for a victim. “Kris” took this photo during the heavy fighting of the German Police Department and the neighboring church of St. Cross at the Krakowskie Przedmiescie street.
During the Warsaw Uprising heavy fighting took place here. On August 23rd Church of St. Cross was captured by the soldiers of the “Lewar” company and other branches.
“A priest led us through underground passages between the pipes. We went out about 10-20 feet from the front of the main exit, in front of the gate. I saw Germans and we shot at them through the windows. Our comrades climbed up on the tower from the side of Krakowskie Przedmiescie street and started to shoot at tanks. I remember the moment when we were offered sacramental wine by the priest. It was a solemn thing for us” says Dariusz Kruze “Janek”.
From the temple through a hole in the wall the insurgents attacked neighboring Police Department, in which military police stationed. About 250 soldiers took part in the assault, mostly from groups of “Bartkiewicz” and “Harnas”. They seized a lot of weapons, and took dozens of policemen as POWs.
Germans began a massive bombing of the church with their artillery, causing inflammation of church’s two towers, the roof and the chapel. The house of the Mission was demolished. Raging fire completed the destruction. On September 4-5 German troops attacked again to conquer the church. A day later, still fearing insurgents may retake it, Germans drove two “Goliaths” into Church of St. Cross. Their detonation made terrible havoc. It shattered the facade and the entrance of the temple. Vault on the lower church collapsed. The great altar, the altar of St. Roch and carved altar of St. Wincent turned into a pile of rubble.