Józef Bochyński
Class 7
School no. 1 in Starachowice
District of Iłża
16 November 1946

My moment memorable moment from the occupation

I was eight years old when the German invasion flooded our homeland. From the very beginning, the Germans began arresting and persecuting Poles. On the night of 19 January 1940, the German Gestapo banged on the door of our house. My father opened the door and the Gestapo men rushed into the house, shouting and with guns in their hands. Some of them surrounded my father, while the others started to search. They ordered my father to get dressed. During the search, the Gestapo commander shouted for my father to hand over his gun. He promised that if he did, they would let him go, but my father didn’t have a gun. There was a Polish eagle made of plaster hanging on our wall. It did not escape the evil eyes of the Gestapo men. With a scream, [one of the Germans] took down the eagle, threw it on the floor and crushed it with his heel. In the wardrobe, under the underwear, there was a Polish flag. A Gestapo man took it out, angrily threw it under our feet and trampled it. Among the books there was a map of Poland. It was torn up. [The Gestapo men] did not let my father say goodbye to anyone and took him with them. This is what it looked like in our house [after they had gone]: the couch turned upside down, the eagle broken, the Polish flag soiled, drawers removed from the table, underwear thrown out of the wardrobe. Books and papers littered the floor. A Gestapo officer rummaged through them, he could not make any sense of them. He was angry and shouted: “Donnerwetter fafluchten” [“ Donnerwetter verfluchten ” / “damnit”]. I will never forget that day, the furious German screams, my father’s pale face and my mother’s despair.