The insurgent accounts of witness

My war 1939-1945

Janusz Walkuski
born 3.01.1934 in Ciechanów


         It was a difficult time. An incessant risk of losing life, lack of essential life conditions. I went with Grandmother on "Kercelak" and at Gibalskiego Street for shopping. I knew how hard was it for her to spend every zloty coin, and how long she thought how to spend it. The number of begging for a slice of bread was increasing. News about an awful famine in the ghetto reached us, that people died from hunger in large numbers, that they ate corpses.
         Almost everyday we had still (live) evidence about this that happened behind the ghetto wall. Jewish children, risking their life, were getting across a Jewish cemetery terrain to Mlynarska Street and dispersed into the nearby houses in search for food. They were coming to our house shabby, cadaverous, sometimes all covered in festering scabs asking for anything to eat. Some people closed the door before them in fear of the punishment and typhus. Our house was especially dangerous. The lady-owner of the shop near the gate was visited by some snooper - that was called "Miotelka" (= a little broom, or more probably a little besom).
         Once he caught a Jewish boy - a scream started! Some women-neighbours set about storming "Miotelka" and he, this way or another, let the kid free. It was a signal we had to be careful.

         Since that time we had carried with boys to the hole in the cemetery wall mainly dried bread. Sometimes Grandfather gave to me meat as dry as a bone and pieces of self-made soap. The hole was opposite the allotments from where vegetables were thrown over.

Jewish cemetery wall from Mlynarska Street. There are seen the holes filled already in.

         The wall covered with Virginia creeper and the hole wasn't visible. Some bricks were taken out and we threw inside this we had brought, again covering the hole with bricks. We had to do it in a pair. Nearby there were German military magazines (the so-called "Naftowka" - a name associated with kerosene or oil) that were often walked from the outside by the military policemen. It should be observed whether the region was clean and it was a task for one, while the other one was fixing the problem.

         Never did we see those that took something from us.

         The time had come nevertheless that parcels behind the wall weren't taken and nobody came to take them.

Janusz Wałkuski

      Janusz Walkuski
in our times

drawn up by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz

translation: Małgorzata Szyszkowska

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