Class 6
12 June 1946
Public Polish Elementary School in Radzyń

My experiences from the war

On the morning of Sunday, 23 July 1944, I heard some booms near Radzyń. Soon after, Soviet and German tanks appeared on the road in our village, Białka. They started shooting at each other. Driving between the houses, they did little damage to themselves, however the shells which they fired set many houses alight. I saw Soviet infantry advancing behind the tanks. After a brief battle the Germans started to flee. They escaped to the forest, and I heard some shooting going on there. When the Germans had completely withdrawn, I walked out onto the road and saw three broken down German tanks and one Soviet.

The day after the battle I saw German planes overhead; they were observing the area and shooting at people. When I was walking along the road with my brother, these planes started shooting at us, and so we quickly hid in the rye. When they flew off, we ran back home. In the evening I once again saw German planes approaching, and they started bombing Radzyń using lights which they dropped. These lights remained in the sky for a long time, lighting up the area.

Every evening from then on we would hide in the shelter, terrified of the German planes. They bombed various locations around us, through which Soviet units were advancing.

Once, a Soviet detachment stopped in a forest close to our house. Suddenly, the German planes started growling overhead, and we heard the roar of exploding bombs. I ran outside and saw, near the forest, just a few hundred meters from our house, the flash of shrapnel. In all probability the German aircraft, having learned that the Soviets had stopped in the forest, wanted to bomb them, but luckily they missed.

They came back a few more times, but when the front moved west and Soviet planes appeared in our area, the Germans stopped their air raids. Later, the Germans put up a stiff defense near Warsaw, but they were finally defeated, while Hitler was routed at Berlin.