class 6a
Parczew, 17.06.1946

My wartime experience

It happened in 1939 in Warsaw, during the Polish-German war. When the war began, German planes came over and bombed Warsaw. The bombardment lasted for three or five hours. During that time I was sitting in the basement with my entire family, except for my father, who went to war.

We stayed in the basements for whole nights or days. When we ran out of supplies, I was forced to take food from demolished shops together with my older friends.

While we were in Powiśle, we were surprised by a German air raid. We hid in the rubble of some ruined townhouse. After a short discussion, we decided to run to the other side of the Kierbedź Bridge. When we were more than halfway across, the planes came and began to drop bombs on the bridge. But the bombs missed the target and fell into the Vistula, making water spurt up as if from erupting volcanoes. When we crossed the bridge, shells fired by the German artillery were exploding in the streets.

We ran to the other side of Jagiellońska Street. A shell landed at the corner of the street. One of my friends got wounded. We dragged him to a nearby shelter, where the Red Cross took care of him. Wasting no time, we ran on. We soon reached our house and found our mothers in tears.

On the following night a few families proposed that we leave Warsaw. We were caught by a raid on the way. Everybody fled where they could; my mother, brothers and I escaped to a nearby house. When we entered it, a bomb fell some 10 meters from the house. My mommy was showered with rubble, but my brother and I managed to run out of the building.

The next day, when my mommy felt better, we set off to the countryside. A few days later we saw Germans going through the village. When we came back to our flat in Warsaw, we found father there, wearing his civilian clothes.