Wiktoria Dragan
Class 6
Wisznice, Włodawa district, Lublin voivodeship
21 June 1946

Memories of the German occupation

The worst times were when the front was approaching. We heard various rumors – that the fleeing Germans were wreaking havoc, stealing property and burning buildings. People were sad because they didn’t know what would come. The cannon fire grew louder and louder, and we could see households and entire villages burning in the distance. First, we saw the columns and the infantry, then cars and other vehicles. The columns stopped along the roads. In the fields they grazed [sic!] various crops and spaced out their cannons at certain intervals. Then they cut down the fruit trees to hide the cannons from sight. People escaped with their belongings into the woods, because otherwise the occupant would take everything. They also had to hide their horses and wagons, or else they would be stolen. People even hid their clothes, but the cursed Krauts would find and steal them anyway.

Eventually, we heard the cannon fire. We went to the shelter to wait it out. The battle didn’t take long because the Soviets were not far off. They were so accurate that some of their shells killed and wounded those cruel Germans. They had to give up. As they were retreating, two soldiers came and took our horse. They didn’t need it, but at the same time they didn’t want to leave it for the oncoming army. They left our village and then the Soviets arrived, pulling their own cannons, which were followed by columns. People were happy that they survived this great storm.