Zwierzyniec, 13 June [1946]

My experiences from the period of German occupation

After the Polish-German front had passed, the Germans ordered people to bring all military equipment, so everybody brought what they had. They placed it on a truck parked opposite our gate. No one brought anything from our yard, so the Germans came to our house and started harshly accusing my mother of hiding weapons there. They took everyone from our yard and made them stand by the wall. I was there too. A few minutes later, more Germans arrived and began a thorough search of the houses and barns. They found nothing at our place, so our lives were spared. They said that if they had found anything in a given house, they would have executed the family living there. This was in 1939, after the Germans arrived in our area.

In 1943, having collected materials from the shop, I was walking alone through Rudka, when I encountered policemen and gendarmes. They stopped me and took the wallet out of my pocket, where they had easy access. Inside was my temporary identification document. They inspected all the papers and photographs, and asked where I got the money from. I said it belonged to my mother, so they had me searched. They even lifted my hat, hit me on my back with a stick so hard that I bent down, and told me to go home.

1944 was worse for me – I had to hide with the adults and I often didn’t sleep for an entire night. When the front was approaching Zwierzyniec, my friend and I were running through the village and we encountered the Germans. They stopped us and asked how far the Russians were. We didn’t want to tell them, so one of them raised his hand to strike one of us. But then they noticed the Russian troops which started firing bursts in our direction. The Germans fled – only three of them who got killed and one who got injured stayed behind – while we dropped to the ground, pretending to be dead. The shooting stopped after about half an hour. We got up and quickly made for the part of the forest where our parents were staying.