The insurgent accounts of witness

My war 1939-1945

Janusz Walkuski
born 3.01.1934 in Ciechanów

Winged ants

         We went with Mum to Mr. P. at Karolkowa, to hand some documents from Grandfather. Mum didn't allow me to enter the house because Mr. P. had a lung complaint.
When Mum went out we turned into Mireckiego Street in Okopowa direction to see the ghetto on fire. In half of the way between Karolkowa and Okopowa there was standing a group of people in front of a high shabby-looking building gate. We stopped here. People were standing and looking...

Mireckiego Street. Here we were standing with Mum near the house,
that doesn't exist anymore, looking at the ghetto on fire

         They were silent.

Finally somebody said:" They'll deal with the Jews and then they'll deal with us..."
"They will, they will," I heard an answer.

The wind was turning around in all directions bringing on us smoke and a stench of burning, then it took this away that had been brought. Behind the wall houses were on fire, and we were looking at it...

I sat on the pavement kerb waiting to go home. Still all were standing and looking.
Nobody went away.

Near me there were ants running, probably alarmed by the acrid smoke. I took up a piece of stick and raked up their corridors among the cracks of cobblestones. Lots of ants with wings were coming out. Winged ants! I moved aside as they started crawling over me.

Wind brought again a cloud of smoke. I looked at burning houses People in windows. They didn't know how to save themselves...

Here where I sat there were ants as well. Winged as well. They didn't want to fly! They had wings and didn't fly...

I got up and stood beside Mum. In the group of people a commotion. From the window of the second floor pillows are flying out, mattresses, duvets, different bundles.
"She's throwing children out!" - somebody screamed.
I looked at some children falling down. In the neighbouring window smoke, flames! After children, two women jumped and a Jew in a long coat. Short bursts from a machine gun... The house starts collapsing in the middle! Dust, smoke, fire- nothing is seen...
Mum grabbed me by the hand and we ran to Karolkowa. Behind the corner we slowed down.
At home Mum, in vexation, told everything to Grandmother. I went out on the courtyard.

Janusz Wałkuski

      Janusz Walkuski
in our times

drawn up by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz

translation: Małgorzata Szyszkowska

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