Klemens Kowalczyk
Class 6
Public Elementary School in Pawłowice

My most memorable moment from the occupation

The Polish-German war began on 1 September 1939. A few days later I saw Germans driving through our neighborhood in a cab. I was terrified. All the factories were already in German hands. Later the Germans imposed [various kinds of] obligations on the Polish people. They set quotas on livestock and produce. Those who failed to comply with German laws were taken for labor in Germany by the military police or were murdered in the camps. After three years of war, the Nazi barbarians performed miracles [sic!] and murdered people in the camps. One time the German military police came to Pawłowice and surrounded a farm. The entire family was marched out to a wall and a machine gun was set up in front of them. People from the village begged the Germans not to kill the family because they were innocent. This was to no avail. The only thing that could be heard was a volley from the machine gun. When the Germans shot those people, one man was still moving, but a gendarme quickly finished him off. When I heard about this, I thought that the world was about to end. It surprised me that the Germans could commit such atrocities in the 20th century. This is the most memorable moment for me.