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Testimony of Jadwiga Kołodziejska-Jedynak


     Since my brother headed off for a concentration - that I don't know the details of, but it was definitely some Home Army group - and he was no longer around. I last some him three or four days before the Rising. Yes, the four of us were always together.
     We were ordered to go outside. My parents were prepared for the resettlement, but they did not anticipate it would take place so quickly. We didn't know that it was simply the pacification of Ochota. Ultimately, at the destination point in Ochota - called Zieleniak, that I will talk about in a minute - we were given a monologue: that this many Germans have died in Ochota and so this many Poles gathered here have to die. Essentially, they threw us out...
How do you remember the moment of being driven out?
This moment was terrible, because in front of us, not the army - of course German soldiers were hanging around, but at a certain distance and they didn't intervene at all - only some horrible bunch of people with a rather suspicious look [this concerned RONA (Russian Liberation Army) units - note by SM]. Not to mention how they behaved - they behaved terribly, since they started by groping whether someone has watches, rings, or in their baggage, which they thought might contain valuables. Although in our building it was difficult to find such things, because most of the tenants were very minor officials, craftsmen or workers - kind of poor. But people brought out what was most valuable to them and of course terrible looting began.
     For now they weren't harassing young women and girls, since they had to drive us to the market grounds, a place that was used even before the war. Since the area around Warsaw was a garden district, wagons arrived there - very early in the morning, around three or four - to which storekeepers came or others who had stands in bazaars, to buy vegetables.
     Zieleniak, which is important in another sense, was adjacent to my school that I was able to attend for only one year. This school, I don't remember exactly, but I think it was opened in 1938. A modest school, but decent, with all the facilities necessary for children to develop - the gyms there were clean and fresh. And this school was occupied during the occupation as a hospital for German soldiers, since it was so new. So we ended up wandering around Warsaw. For example, from Ochota I had to go to Śniadeckich street - for someone that knows the topography of Warsaw, it's obvious what this means to a nine year old child, commuting in such a horrible crowd ...
     But in this school there were no German soldiers. It was brought together by the group that forced us out. And it forced out literally, like cattle.
     It was terrible. I'm not speaking about the clothing, because that's not what's most important - they spoke in various languages, though I also heard Polish spoken... but mainly in my community, they said the Kalmyks had attacked us, because there were many such persons from areas in the Soviet Union that we called Tartars... They had slanting facial features. But generally - the term used was very incorrect, though this turned out only after the war, that they are simply Ukrainians. We remembered them as terribly barbaric, who were driven by lust to take everything they could put their hands on. It is difficult to say that we were favourable predisposed to the Germans - there was no reason for this, but that is another story - nevertheless we watched in amazement as they treated with indifference the behaviour of these so-called soldiers, because there weren't.


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Copyright © Muzeum Warszawy :: 2007

  The project is implemented by the Museum of Warsaw in cooperation with the State Archives of City of Warsaw, and the Niedersachsische Gedenkstatten Foundation