Alina Gabrylewicz
Class 6
Wisznice, Włodawa district, Lublin voivodeship
21 June 1946

My experiences during the German occupation

There was a fierce battle on 22 July 1944. At that time Biała was heavily bombed. They even dropped several bombs near my aunt’s place. After a few days my aunt sent us a letter, asking us to take her away, so my dad went there and they came back together at night. The other night we were suddenly awakened by the planes, blinding us with their headlights. We spent the whole night trembling with fear. The next day we started taking everything out into the field. I was so scared that I didn’t do anything, I was just sitting there, because I thought that they would kill me as soon as I went outside.

In the afternoon the army went through our yard, perhaps a hundred troops. They asked my mum for some food, she fed them and they left. They were taking revenge on the way – some nearby houses were burned down. In the evening my uncle started to build a shelter, even though the shells were flying all around. One of them almost killed my uncle, but he dodged it. After sunset, the Germans came to us for the night; they set up a mortar in the yard and started to cook dinner. I was just sitting there, as I was sick with fear. When it got really dark, we heard three loud shots. The Germans also heard them; they took their mortar and drove east. A few hours later all the neighbors went to the woods with all their belongings, and my daddy and uncle went with them. We were left alone.

It was raining on the night of the terrible battle in Horodyszcze. Shells and shrapnel were flying all around, but we were safe in the shelter. We were scared like never before. I fell asleep only because I was sick, I was so terrified. At that time the whole Horodyszcze was bombed and suffered great losses. We were up all night. When we woke up on the morning of the following day, we neither heard shooting nor saw any soldiers. At 9 a.m. we saw a heavy tank – our allies were coming. We were all happy that the obnoxious Germans were gone. Life has been good ever since. What will come next? Only God knows.