The insurgent accounts of witness
My war 1939-1945
The second September 1944.
After an almost one month struggling we are leaving - the rubble heap of the Old Town.
We were driven out to the Mariensztat Marketplace.
In front of us tank giants, Nazis with guns ready to shoot.
We were looking at each other...
Nuns with sad faces, delivered bread to Germans, canned food, poured coffee steaming with aroma.
They were eating...
The Mariensztat Marketplace onto which we were driven at the Old Town had been conquered by Germans
on the 2nd of September 1944
Maybe it was the time of our life?
It's difficult for me stand- the injured legs hurt, and so did the back from which some days earlier several dozen bomb shrapnels had been taken out.
Jadzia was short of strength - she hunkered down next to me and I looked at a doggy kept on a leash by a German standing astride.
- A beautiful doggy! - said Jadzka, stretching the hand into its direction.
The dog fixed its eyes on her, lifted up its ears in the direction of the voice so different from the sound of commands and orders that it used to obey.
I didn't like Jadzka's collaboration with the Nazi "doggy" - but still a dog was a dog and it didn't understand human matters.
She turned to me:
- Isn't it cute? - she asked.
- A Kraut mongrel! - I said with an anger.
- It's looking at me! - Jadzka didn't give up.
The German that kept the dog was looking at her as well.
I didn't trust either the dog or the Kraut whose unshaven face with a deep scar on the chin aroused disgust in me.
On the square every now and then a new group of people escorted by soldiers were arriving.
The tank crew standing closest to us was preparing for the departure. The motor whirred, ejecting a cloud of fumes. Outshouting one another black-dressed Germans got inside, sat on the armour-plate and moved on, turning into the direction of Vistula. Only then I heard Jadzka say something to me - looked at her and saw that two, maybe three steps in front of her a bar of chocolate was lying.
Not right away did I realize that "a good" German in this way gave chocolate to Jadzka - she wasn't interested in his behaviour nevertheless.
I thought it would be better to disappear from the Kraut's eyes when a small Asia cried behind us. Mum couldn't calm her.
Jadzka turned to Asia, looking at her with compassion...
Suddenly she rose from a squatting position ran to the chocolate and when she stooped down for it I saw with a horror that the dog body got straightened up like a spring, which with one jump caught Jadzka, and white, bared fangs crushed her tiny hand!
Jadzka didn't even have enough time to scream!
Some people threw themselves into her direction- ignoring the dog and the German's screams they carried her into the middle of standing people.
The German dragged the thrashing about Alsatian directing at us Schmeisser barrel.
I hurled at the German all curses that I had heard in life! They tried to hush me up - everyone looked in our direction, to men with difficulty dragged me backwards. On the pavement there stayed the crushed chocolate...
I met Jadzka after fifteen years. I recognized her from the injured hand - she was a shop-assistant in "Delikatesy" (a grocer's shop). Her mother died, father was found in Canada. For years she'd been trying to join him and finally she succeeded...
in our times
drawn up by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz
translation: Małgorzata Szyszkowska
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