Stanisław Banaszczuk
Class 7
Wisznice, 19 June 1946

My most important wartime experience

It was in 1944. One morning I was woken up by a loud noise of planes and cars. I looked out the window – what did I see? German cars on the road, carrying cannons, machine guns and various crates. Above, the sky was growing red due to plane lights and the glow of fires. I didn’t know what it meant, but dad explained it to me: “The Germans are running away, burning houses and cars as they go.” We all jumped out of our beds, and whatever we could, we took out of the house, hiding it in the field. My older brother and dad were digging a shelter so that we could hide from shells and bullets. The sun peeked shyly from behind the horizon and soon after hid again among the clouds.

Germans with sad faces and bent heads kept passing our village. Half a kilometer away from our house they decided to set up their cannons and fire them at the Soviets. New fires kept popping up and they kept shooting. We were sitting in the shelter, waiting for the end to come. At some point, the cannons went quiet and [the Germans] drove away. A German car was burning on the road close to our house. A few hours later the Soviets and Poles came and brought us freedom.