The insurgent accounts of witness
My war 1939-1945
The death of father and son
I was eating looking through the window on the falling snow. Cabbage soup with thinly cut small potatoes. For "the main course" small fried up potatoes this time cut into slices and a spoon of spinach.
After so many years I remember what I ate that day. Probably because of thr event that happened soon...
Grandfather didn't eat spinach, as it resembled, for him, a cow pooh! I was eating although it resembled for me the same, a cow pooh as well.
A telephone rang. Mum took up the receiver. She listened for some time and then started crying.
- What happened? - asked Grandfather- say what happened!
- Bogdziewicz is killed.
- Which Bogdziewicz?
- On the street, near the house...
- Get dressed, we are going!
I stayed with Grandmother. I understood the whole horror of this information. Grandma was crying...
The curfew had passed, but they still didn't come. Grandmother went downstairs to Mr. Szmalc (a caretaker) so that he wouldn't close the gate.
We were waiting...
Finally they came. They both were very nervous. Grandmother asked about everything. Mum answered: at Mokotowska, near Chopin a shooting started (a frequent scene in Warsaw). In that time Mr. Bogdziewicz was coming home from Mokotowska Street. He jumped from one gate to another and he was close his house when from Ujazdowskie Avenues there appeared from Chopin Street a car with military policemen. Seeing him crossing along they shot at him with a machine gun. He died at once. They took out the documents and realized that they had shot him opposite his house (Chopin 35 Street).Two men brought documents to Mrs. Bogdziewicz, plundering her house at the same time. They ordered her to take her husband from the street. With the help of neighbours he was taken into the flat, and because there was neither Kazik nor Feliks (a son) desperate and shocked she called us.
In a few days' time, a funeral on Brodno. I stayed at home.
Ujazdowski Park 1943.
On the left: Mum, Mrs.Bogdziewicz and me.
It was getting warmer and warmer. Snow had already melted. On "budlak" (a square at Mlynarska near Zytnia) grass had become green .One could play "swayed" with a rag-ball .The world was getting more and more cheerful and not only because of the sun that was the element of happiness. Everybody knew that Germans got whipping and the time of their reign was approaching the end. We made bets when Hitler would go "kaput."
We were with Mum at the Pers uncleship at Chlodna. Mum with aunt were engaged in conversation, while we with Marian had our own issues. Suddenly the door opened and Grandmother came in.
- Kazik shot in the morning! Bogdziewicz! - she said it with tears in her eyes. Grandmother was crying...
- Calm down and say what happened?
- I don't know...There's just been a call... I only know Kazik is dead. Father went there.
Extremely upset Mum requested me to stay with Grandmother and she came running to the tramway.
Kazik was somebody special for me. He allowed me to rummage about in endless treasures of his drawers. Patiently he listened to my jabbering. He didn't get nervous even then when I'd broken his French curves trying to make skates out of them!
And now Kazik is dead...
His father has been just killed...
Maybe when Mum comes back she'll say it's a lie...
I believe it'll be that way!
Ten o'clock, maybe eleven. In a "small cafe" at Rozana there is sitting, at a table, Kazik with his three friends. They are speaking in a low voice. They are drinking something what's called "coffee". Sometimes they are looking at a watch. A waitress is cleaning the counter. They are sitting quite long. One of them is going out and taking a newspaper as well. He doesn't come back. After a few minutes' time two military policemen forced the door open with a kick, some of them standing outside.
Slowly they are putting up their hands. Kazik is reaching into his pocket. A burst of shots from a machine gun - he falls to the floor. The waitress and two others are thrown onto the street. Two are taken to the car. The waitress isn't interesting to them. They are searching thoroughly Kazik lying in the pool of blood. They are taking some documents and some papers.
This was said by the waitress.
The grave dug up. It's drizzling. They'll bury him in a moment - there won't be Kazik anymore...
The priest is already departing.
Felek (the older brother) is thanking everybody for the coming. He's speaking in a faltering voice...He is inviting everyone for the funeral reception.(?)
On the side there is a long bar oil-painted. There are tables and benches in the middle. At the ceiling there are two faintly glowing bulbs surrounded by flies enthusiastic after the winter time. The atmosphere is gloomy.
Chitterlings are being served, on the tables bottles with vodka are landing. I have been given blood sausage. Conversation is getting louder- it's difficult to understand what everyone's saying.
We went out to the grave. There was Mrs. Bogdziewicz sitting on a bench and gazing at two plaques:
Jan Bogdziewicz died on the 25th of January 1944, lived to 61.
Kazimierz Bogdziewicz died on the 8th of April 1944, lived to 22.
in our times
drawn up by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz
translation: Małgorzata Szyszkowska
Copyright © 2011 SPPW1944. All rights reserved.