Class 5

The experience of Poles during the German occupation

Germany invaded Poland in 1939. They destroyed and burned villages and towns. Nothing was left behind wherever they trod, only ashes. One day, I was sitting at the table with my friend Antoś when cars and motorcycles suddenly roared. We were afraid when we saw the Germans. At first, the Germans played with the Polish children, gave them sweets and brought them bread in their cars, but that didn’t last long. They settled in and started to build various barracks. The Germans started to be bad to the Poles and the Polish children. Finally, they built different kinds of prisons.

My brother was a grown-up boy. The Germans started to round up the Polish youth and carry them off to Germany for different kinds of work. They caught my brother too and took him somewhere, but he came back after a few months. He had to go into hiding and he joined the partisans. The partisans often attacked the Germans. One time, they were fighting with the Germans in some village and my brother was captured. Mum cried that he would never come back. They locked him in prison and were going to shoot him on the following day, but the partisans came at night and broke their boys out. My brother was still with them. At last, they started laying mines and blowing up trains – the Poles put down the mines and the trains carrying the Germans flew apart. That’s how the partisans were destroying the Jerries.

The booming of guns and tanks is heard early one Sunday morning. It’s the Soviets fighting with the Germans! We listen – German tanks are coming. The Germans caught my friend Antoś and took him to a tank. I thought they were going to kill him, but they wanted him to show them the way to Łuków. Antoś knew what was up. He told them to go where the biggest number of partisans was. They went into the trees and the partisans leapt out. The Germans killed Antoś. The partisans disarmed the Jerries, took their tanks and their guns and captured them. My partisan brother came back after the battle and said that Antoś was dead. I felt bad for him, but what can I say? It’s war. The Germans withdrew. The next day, German planes bombarded the towns, the railway lines and the roads.