The insurgent accounts of witness

My war 1939-1945

Janusz Wałkuski
born January 3, 1934 in Ciechanów

How I became a scout

         The war hasn't been over yet. It was noticeable everywhere.
         My uncles - Mundek and Lucek - surprised us. They managed to reach Warsaw from Ciechanów!
         Our joy was enormous! I helped myself with sausages and, full, I fell asleep...
         In the morning I woke up, having smelt scrambled eggs... I could be perceived as a greedy boy as I keep telling you about sausages and scrambled eggs, but, mind you, we used to suffer from hunger! In order to get a loaf of bread I had to walk from the Młynarska street to Targowo. I had to cross the frozen Vistula river. Then I had to come back home the same way - it was dark... After two days the uncles were preparing themselves to come back - and took me with them to Ciechanów. The journey was a nightmare! Luckily, Mundek had the best solution for problems - home-brew! Thanks to it, having survived, we were in Ciechanów at last. Mundek took me to my aunt who was living in the Warszawska street (the place of my birth). You can imagine our welcome after so long and tragic parting. Both tired and full I fell asleep soon...
         Having dealt with everyday things and having told about our life in Warsaw, I went to the town centre. I found my peers and we went together to our favourite place of meetings - we climbed the hill nearby the bell tower. There was so much to talk about. We hadn't seen each other for a long, tragic for us, time. We kept talking about our plans for the new life. Zbyszek Świech said - Guys, we're joining the scouting! We were free and eager to act - POLAND was waiting. And we wanted to do something for Poland!
         We easily found the seat of the scouts. They stayed in some part of a spacious post-German barrack. Some of the boys kept building a scripture ZHP (the Scouting Association of Poland) by means of stones - the flag was hanging on the mast. We went in and said we wanted to be scouts (there were five of us). A boy wearing a scout uniform approached us. It was Alek (called Ala), my close friend, a bit older than me, he live in a one-storey-house nearby the present stadium. We both were glad to meet. Ala, to my joy, was the District Commisioner for Ciechanów. We kept talking for a long time - about Warsaw as well...

         And so together with my friends I became a scout. During the next few days I managed to get clothes I needed, I mean a proper uniform. Both Fleur-de-lis in Scouting and a cross were able to be made by means of the tools borrowed from a shoemaker whom I knew well. I used sheet metal of a German Messerschmitt 1O9, whose wreckage I had found lying on a railway track. Mrs. Najbert sewed scarves for us out of old pillows.
         After the Germans had been expelled, everything seemed to happen in Ciechanów faster than ever before - everyone had to overcompensate for five years of slavery. Also the scouting was flourishing at this pace.
         My Scout Cross became lost, alike other scouting paraphernalia.

         Once I shared with the girl guide Edyta the story of the beginnings of the Scouting in the post-war Poland. Edyta turned out to be an attentive listener and an active girl. She prepared an unspeakably nice surprise for me - she visited me together with a group of scouts from the Scout District ZHP ORNETA, named after the Warsaw Insurgents. I was given the Scout Cross, the white and red scout scarf with the Polish emblem on, the one that was used during the celebrations at the Monte Cassino, as well as the album filled with commemorative pictures. We were singing scout songs, while sitting on a carpet, in a circle. I wanted to thank them all but was speechless.

Janusz Wałkuski

      Janusz Wałkuski

edited by: Maciej Janaszek-Seydlitz

translated by: Monika Ałasa

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