19 June 1946

Alicja Weremczuk
Class 5
Wisznice, Włodawa district

My wartime experiences

In March 1939 [sic!] the war was declared, and it started in September. We were robbed right at the beginning. When the Soviets withdrew, the Germans came.

The Germans’ behavior made them seem like animals. They took schools right at the outset. The children studied in the barns, and later old houses were renovated to hold classes there. The Germans took young people to Germany for forced labor. They took people to Majdanek, Oświęcim, Treblinka and Oręburg [Oranienburg]. They shot Poles and imposed large contributions, which made us suffer greatly.

There are four of us girls at home. My eldest sister is 14, I’m 11, another one is 9 and the youngest is 8 years old. Since the beginning of the war, we had to help our parents with various chores on the farm, such as collecting mowed grain, digging potatoes, planting potatoes, spreading fertilizer, milking cows and carrying milk to the dairy, [we had to] help with threshing, cleaning [and] collecting grain and hay, and so on. This hard and constant work of ours and our parents led to the fact that today mum is close to death. It will be a miracle if she recovers from the diseases that she contracted all at once.

This is how we lived year after year in German bondage. Two years ago, the Germans left Poland and the day of celebration came, the day of freedom for us, Poles. Today we can go to school [and] learn subjects that were forbidden by the Germans. We can boldly sing Poland is not yet lost and We won’t forsake the lands of our brood.