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Wojenne wspomnienia Eugeniusza Tyrajskiego - żołnierza z "Baszty"
In the "free" homeland
We began out trek to the beloved Warsaw. The problems started as soon as on the Polish-Czech border. We got there by a repatriation train. The train stopped on the Czech side, we didn't know where we were. The Czech railwayman, asked how far it was to Poland, answered that Poland was round the nearest hill. After crossing the border, Teresa almost went mad, since they kept me under surveillance for 5 hours. Everything could be explained somehow; however, they couldn't understand, how come I was in the prison camp of my own free will. Many people escaped from the camps, but no one came to them. I managed to weasel out of my contacts with the Americans somehow.
At last, on 10 July 1946, we reached Warsaw. After almost two years we were in our city again. I learned about the death of my father, who died after the Uprising in the concentration camp in Flossenburg. We took up residence on Belwederska Street. The everyday humdrum began. The situation of my family demanded that I immediately took up professional work. My later plans about starting extramural studies required the consent of human resources officers of the institution where I worked. They - without any embarrassment - told me that they saw no need of enabling the employee with Home Army past to receive a diploma. I managed without them. Without any formal diploma, throughout my career I performed responsible duties, working as chief accountant and assistant director for economic matters in the Head Office of the Bureau for Forest Management and Geodesy in Warsaw.
Taking up professional work did not mean that I was allowed to be a normal citizen of people's homeland. For 5 years after my return, until July of 1951 all available institutions examining the past and present of "the reactionary dwarves from the Home Army" had been interested in my humble person. As often as every 3 months I was summoned to the Department of Security, Military Information etc. I filled in countless questionnaires and CVs. It came to that I carried with me a special crib sheet, with the help of which I filled in the subsequent questionnaires and CVs. Particularly suspicious was my role connected to my entering the prison camp of my own free will. Once, I made a mistake concerned with some detail related to my wife, I don't remember now - about the Uprising or about her underground work. The lieutenant who was interrogating me looked into the previous version which he kept in his desk and pointed out the discrepancies to me. A decent guy - he tore up what I had written and told me to write the correct version. Sometimes it was like that.
It wasn't always so nice. In 1948 I was summoned to the Cyryl and Metody Street. I already had one child, and another one was on the way. I was wondering what to do. Then, Home Army soldiers were taken away to Siberia. I had nowhere to disappear to. So I went there. The soldier standing downstairs took my summons and led me upstairs, to the first floor. The door was not marked, without any doorplate or number. Three people had been already waiting there. I was told to stand at the end of the queue.
Suddenly I noticed the first cousin of my occupation friend Kazik, who was killed by Germans in Nowy Świat, walking down the corridor. I had seen him only three or four times in my whole life. He was wearing an ordinary uniform, without any insignia. He recognised me, came to me and drew me aside. "What are you doing here?" I showed him the summons. He told me to follow him. He led me out to the street. It seemed that he had to be someone important in this sinister place, as the sentrymen didn't react to him leading me out. He told me to wait on the street. Nervous, I waited - every moment someone might get interested in what I was doing near that building.
After half an hour, or maybe three quarters, Kazik's brother went out and told me: "Buzz off, you have never been here. " In the meantime he had to destroy my documents. I don't know what it was that I avoided then. Maybe it was the worst of all. I had never met this boy again. I don't know why he had done this. He was a bit older than Kazik. He knew that we were friends and that we were in the Gray Ranks together. It seems that his conscience spoke up.
The last appointment with the secret service took part in July of 1951. I was summoned to the Citadel. I had never been there. I went to the entrance with my summons. The sentryman telephoned somewhere. After a moment, an armed soldier came. With his rifle, he led me somewhere inside the Citadel. He led me to a storied building, to the first floor. Just like on Cyryl and Metody Street, no door was marked. At the end of the corridor, under a barred window, there stood a chair. The escort told me to sit down. It was 8 a.m. I sat there for five hours, without seeing a soul. It was a means of breaking my resistance.
At 1 p.m. the door opened and a man wearing the uniform of major appeared there. I am not anti-Semitic, I had several Jewish friends, but this major was an exception. He asked me: "Mr Tyrajski?" After 5 hours of waiting this question was so absurd that at the first moment I didn't know how to reply. Speaking with a Jewish drawl, he invited me to go inside. Elegant leather armchairs. He invited me to sit down in one of them. He himself sat on the other side of the desk. He offered me a cigarette. I got seriously upset. Something very bad was in prospect.
The major tried hard to persuade me to collaborate with them. I explained that I had a job, wife and children. He tried to persuade me, speaking with a strong Jewish accent:
"Don't you worry. By us you will earn much more."
I was doing my best to defend myself, not knowing how it was going to end. At last, the major gave up. To end up the two-hour "working" on me, he said:
"You understand, don't you, that you won't tell even your wife about our conversation here."
When he called a soldier to take me out, I didn't know if I would go through the gate at all. I told my wife about this conversation 10 years later.
Luckily, it was my last visit to the secret service. They left me in peace. Happily, my contacts with the Americans were not untangled then, otherwise I wouldn't escape unhurt. I also managed to avoid the encouragements to join the party. Apart from the political views, the party spirit alone was unacceptable to me. As my war experience - among other things - proves, I had a totally different nature.
translated by Katarzyna Wiktoria Klag
born on the 8th of October 1926
Home Army soldier
pseud. "Genek," "Sek"(= a snag)
K-2 company, "Karpaty" battalion
"Baszta" AK regiment
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