Class 7
Primary school in Krężnica Jara
Lublin district
13 June 1946

My experiences

It was 22 July 1944. Our enemies with hearts of iron, the Germans, were ever more in control of the bloodstained Polish lands. It was the fifth year of the German occupation. Our nation had been done a great wrong the likes of which no other nation had ever experienced before.

The weather on 22 June 1944 had been fair since he morning, making it perfect for work in the field. Around noon, masses of hateful clouds began to appear on horizon that had remained clear until then. Soon, a heavy rain started to fall, destroying the work and the efforts of the farmers.

In the meantime, several cars appeared speeding towards us along the road from Lublin which led through my home village of Krężnica Jara. After half an hour, the whole road was so filled with soldiers and German vehicles that it was quite impossible to get across to the other side. One of the consequences of the non-stop rain on the road was a thick layer of mud which reached up to the horses’ knees. The enemy troops rushed about in great panic, serenaded by the whistle of bullets flying here and there and the commands coming from the mouths of the German commanders. Trains disappeared at great speed, carrying off Germans.

The Germans, leaving our lands, took Poles from their family homes only to end their lives shortly thereafter. Men from the Parczew area, peasants from the Polish villages, were hunted down by the Germans in an inhumane way. They were stopped at a pasture near the mill in Krężnica. That little group of Poles was destined to bid a final farewell to their fellow countrymen, never too see the liberation of Poland. At the German commander’s signal, a machine gun trigger was to be pulled and dozens of male bodies were to fall to the ground. Then an order came from the mouth of a Polish peasant standing in line: “Boys, scatter!”. The men started to flee. Surprised by this, the Germans started shooting, 22 Poles fell, but several managed to save their lives. One of the ones left alive came to us and told us his experiences.

The residents of our village came out of their homes and sought shelter in the fields where they might be safe from the murderous and malevolent grip of the Germans. The rain was still falling, vehicles trudged along, some of them left behind here and there. The soldiers collapsed out of exhaustion.

I went with buckets for water then, and bullets started to whistle over my head. I managed to crawl my way home. There was a mad activity there, mom was tying sheets together and taking them out to nearby trees. We spent the night on the alert because the German forces were coming and destroying everything. Hope for survival and a free Poland burned and extinguished in every heart. Meanwhile, the glow of a fire appeared in the west. The next day brought us no peace either. There was dread in every Polish heart, but also the hope of a resurrection of a free and independent Poland.

Monday morning gave me new impressions and new hope. On the road – where yesterday various hostile vehicles had been, where the feet of barbarians and murderers of Poles had stepped – were Polish soldiers, and with them came comfort into Polish hearts. The national colors flew on the houses. The White Eagle soared over the bloodstained Polish land, bringing us safety beneath its white wings.