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Testimony of Jerzy Pawlak

[...]  Finally, April 14, 1946 came. This time, without telling anyone anything, I slipped away to the train station in Wolbrom. I hid in the little booth placed somewhat higher, at the end of the wagon ("w breku"). The trip passed rather calmly, without any incidents, and this time the train came to Warsaw's West Station (Dworzec Zachodni). Now without delay, I moved along the route that was known to me. I walked, as if with wings, along the train tracks, along with the rest of the passengers, in the direction of "Śródmieście" (Center City).  [...]

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Testimony of Irena Grabowska-Szabunia

[...]  On June 28, 1945, with the help of the Polish Red Cross (PCK, "Polski Czerwony Krzyż"), I returned to Poland, to Warsaw.  [...]

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Testimony of Wiktoria Adamus

[...]  In a few days there was news - Warsaw is free - of course, Ms. Halka brought us this news. I remember only that this happened in the morning and all the pillows flew up from the beds; the shouts of joy had no end. In a few days, my cousin came for us. Our mother had sent letters to all parts of Poland and she had found us here. The view of Warsaw disappointed me very much - rubble, ashes, corpses on the streets. I did not recognize my home... A knock on the door. We open it - my mother was sitting on the bed, she still did not have the strength to stand up. My brother jumped and threw his arms around Mother's neck, kissing her. I stood in the threshold, hesitating - go in, or run away? I had remembered Mother looking pretty, with make-up on, her hair brushed, but then what I saw was like Warsaw - a ruin. Pale, with dry skin, shaky hands, but yet she was only 43 years old... Finally, my brother pushed me into Mother's arms, blurting out the words: "You come to Mommy, to Warsaw, and now you stand and you don't even greet her".  [...]

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Testimony of Janusz Waldemar Wilczyński

[...]  We came back to Warsaw on January 19, 1945 just to find our appartment burnt-out and partly destroyed. We have found a shelter at my father brother's home at 14 Narbutta Street.  [...]

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Testimony of Leonard Bura on Franciszek Kudławiec

[...]  In May 1945 brother Kudławiec transported in turns the remaining 30 boys to the Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), where he placed them for the summer period in the farm of his own parents in Kłeck Wielkopolski near Gniezno.  [...]

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Testimony of Roman Rechnio

[...]  The day after together with my parents we went back to Warsaw. Unfortunately our house had been burnt and we had to look for a shelter in the ruins. And so with difficulty we lived in a tiny kitchen of a ruined building at 46 Sienna Street apt. 7. I, in order to survive and take care of elderly parents, had to earn my living as 14 years old boy.  [...]

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Testimony of Jerzy Czajkowski

[...]  A bricklayer lives in our building. The local people have collected some money for which he raised the angle of the building up to the fifth floor; there is no lack of bricks for the moment. At the end of July 1945 there was a terrible storm over Warsaw, many houses collapsed, some roofs have been torn off. Well, our building didn't have a roof anyway and we all survived probably due to the fact that the building had been reinforced by then.  [...]

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Testimony of Maria Kapuścińska

[...]  Right after liberation, my parents somehow managed to reach Warsaw. It turned out that our apartment had completely burned down.  [...]

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Testimony of Halina Paszkowska

[...]  After liberation I stayed in a camp in Ludwigsburg; the camp was named after Washington, and I was cared for by American doctors while I was there. In November 1945, I returned to Poland by the first possible transport.  [...]

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Testimony of Małgorzata Stępińska-Winckler

[...]  region from the west, then the Russians from the east. Finally, on May 8, 1945 (the capitulation day) the Red Army have marched into Pirna; around 5 p.m., on the road from Dresden we spotted first Soviet tanks. As our barrack was located on a small lawn next to the road, drunk Soviet soldiers would often try to get into there and we were terribly afraid of them. My mother decided that we have to go back home to Poland as soon as possible. My mother spoke perfect Russian and several times intervened at the local headquarters, complaining at the disgusting behavior of the soldiers or sometimes she would just threat the soldiers that she was about to place a complaint. This usually worked, as the "bojcy" (Russian fighters) lived in a panic fright of the "politruks" (ideological officers).  [...]

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Testimony of Maria Tryczyńska

[...]  In 1946 we came back to Warsaw, where my father took a position of Department Director at the Public Administration Ministry on Rakowiecka Street (the minister at the time was Mr. Kiernik from the London government).  [...]

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Testimony of Konrad Zienkiewicz

[...]  We came back to Sadyba, to the house of doctor Montrym-Żakowicz. His whole family and he himself were executed during the German capture of Sadyba on September 2. Such was the fate of inhabitants of all houses adjacent to the intersection of Podhalańska and Chochołowska street, where the fighting had been really fierce.  [...]

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Testimony of Zbigniew Zbigniewski

[...]  Having calmed down from the joy, we started organizing a return to Warsaw. I found myself on a horse wagon, we were headed at night towards Grodzisk Mazowiecki. There I spent the rest of the night at the place of a distant family members, from whom I learnt that my relatives were alive. Next day I went afoot along the railroad to Warsaw.  [...]

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Testimony of Stanisław Korytowski

[...]  There is more and more of us: Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Frenchmen, Ukrainians, Italians and Russians. We are moving south, towards Luckenwalde. Each national group has ribbons sewn to their clothes with the national colors. Here and there you can see little flags and banners flying on the trolleys.  [...]

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Testimony of Idalia Olszewska-Klemińska

[...]  The uprising had already ended, and as a result, the efforts to cross the Vistula also ended. When everything had calmed down, Mom and I decided to return. On foot - it was around 10 kilometers - through fields, through some potato fields... Bullets were flying by, they were shooting, so we laid down in the furrows, in those potato fields, and when everything quieted down, we got up again, and moved on again... Mother never left my side. People even said: "Ma'am, go on your own. Leave her with us. Ma'am, you'll check what's happening there, and then you'll return for her." But my mother did not want to leave me.  [...]

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Testimony of Jadwiga Kołodziejska-Jedynak

[...]  Your father was the first to reach Warsaw and see the burnt building, right? He saw the burnt building and he saw the terrible rubble. The rubble was terrible. For sure he didn't make it to the Old Town, but he must have crossed the river (by the pontoon bridge), to find out what had happened to "Wedel". When he found out that production had restarted and they dream of him coming back as soon as possible - because he was a very settled in his profession - then he returned to us and had a meeting with mother. Everything without my participation, for the moment I was happy with childhood.  [...]

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Testimony of Ludmiła Niedbalska

[...]  Also in May, Mom went to Warsaw. Of course, our home did not exist. Everything from the basement had been looted (I had to say goodbye to my dreams about my little suitcase). My aunt, whose home had survived, would not welcome us to stay with her, and at the Department of Education, Mom was told the following: - "We don't need old teachers. We have new ones, our own, the kind that we want". Upset, Mom found Mr. Bronisław Chruścicki, a teacher activist, who she had worked with throughout the course of the war, and in two ways. He was the director of classes where Mom taught, and besides this, there was a contact box in our apartment, and teachers who were hiding would spend the night at our place, sent there by Mr. Chruścicki.  [...]

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Testimony of Elżbieta Żakowicz-Prejzner

[...]  It was a cold, frosty day in early spring. We returned to Warsaw partly on foot and partly by horse-drawn cart. Everybody knows what the city looked like. I don't remember marching through the rubble or crossing the river, or whether we crossed it at all... I remember standing where our house used to be, our apartment, at 25 Marszałkowska Street. Almost everything was burnt down.  [...]

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Testimony of Eugeniusz Spiechowicz

[...]  End-January I returned to Warsaw. Our house was burned down completely and our possessions were destroyed. Only school documents and some photographs which mum took with her from the Uprising were rescued. I found a small room in Bielany (part of Warsaw) at Lesznowolska Street 2 where I lived with my mother till 1951.  [...]

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Testimony of Włodzimierz Szurmak

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Testimony of Leszek Kazanowski

[...]  And at night, sometime around 9pm - it was dark - we reached the area of West Station (Dworzec Zachodni). They let us out of the train there. It was incredibly dark. My brother and I were sent to get our father as quickly as possible, so that he would come and help carry the things we had with us. And so we ran along the tracks until we reached the place where the Warsaw Railway Museum (Muzeum Kolejnictwa) is now. The sight was horrifying - because when we were leaving, the houses over there were not burned down, but now on the corner of Srebrna and Towarowa Streets, everything was burned down on both sides; only stumps remained; nothing was left, not a single building; along Srebrna Street, almost everything was burned down. On the left side of Miedziana Street only the buildings numbered 3 and 13 were still standing. Number 3 was right over here; its roof burned down, on Srebrna Street; later, everything was burned down, all the way to Kazimierz Square; one whole building stood behind Kazimierz Square, and then all the way to Pańska Street everything was burned down. However, the side of the street with the even numbers was not as badly destroyed; only one shop was burned down in our building - it was visible that they had thrown some explosive material in there but it had not caught on fire; that is because the building, as I said before, had an iron-concrete vault. And so there was nothing that could catch on fire.  [...]

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Testimony of Andrzej Garlicki

[...]  Soon after the Russians had entered my aunt went to Warsaw to see what was left. I do not remember her coming back, she somehow let us know we should move. And sometime in March, February - March we returned to Żoliborz, to our apartment on Słowacki Street which was already partly occupied and we managed to retrieve only two rooms...  [...]

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Testimony of Elżbieta Dankowska-Walas

[...]  Later, as I remember, my uncle, husband of my other aunt, came to us and took us to Warsaw. But everything there was ruined - our houses and everything around.  [...]

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Testimony of Wiesław Kępiński

[...]  You decided to come back to Warsaw, didn't you? I did. And I think I arranged it quite by myself. I came back alone. I doubt if nowadays a twelve-year-old boy would mange it the way I had to.  [...]

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Testimony of Jerzy Ekner

In October both my uncles and my aunt returned to Warsaw, found a big, 25-square-meter room (there were no "apartments", just "rooms") and brought us there. I went by train with my aunt, and grandma travelled by a cart along with all the things we gathered during our yearlong exile. In October 1945 our life in Warsaw began.I went to school at 23 Rakowiecka Street (today there is [...]

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Testimony of Andrzej Janowski

[...]  And when did you came back to Warsaw? I came back probably in the autumn of 1946 and started the fourth grade. First I went to school on Raszyńska St. but there were no lessons and no teachers there, just a big mess. At that time the private school of the Goldman sisters had been forming... two sisters... and we associated them with nuns... and those sisters had organized a primary school in the tenement house, in two apartments, on Filtrowa St. (anyway this building still exists, it was a modern building at that time, it must have been built just before the war). Later those sisters converted the ruins, the remnants of the house on the corner of Raszyńska and Filtrowa Streets. Only the ground floor was left there and it was buried with rubble. And everyone was clearing the rubble, even my Mum and I were working there. Later they covered that ground floor with a roof and quite a nice school was organized there. And in that school I was continuing my education until the end of primary school which means through the seventh grade. And I finished the seventh grade there.  [...]

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Testimony of Grażyna Dorota Duchniak

[...]  Later came the return to Warsaw - I remember the main rail station, full of people getting off, carts, full of rubble ... Mother gave an address somewhere in the city centre and it turned out that this house had been bombed.  [...]

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Testimony of Halina Wiśniewska

[...]  So in the winter, in February still, you came back to Warsaw? On the first of March, exactly on my birthday. I say: "I can't take it anymore at the village, I don't care where, to rubble, just to be in Warsaw". And we came to Warsaw, and lived in this rubble, but every night, when the wind came up, the beams creaked and we watched, when all this will crush us. The debris kept filling in, there was more and more rubble, so I say: "There's no point in waiting, we have to find an apartment". But I was still stuck, I had a small child and I couldn't do anything ...  [...]

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Testimony of Elżbieta Massalska

[...]  One of the first things I did when we returned after the war and lived with my aunt in the Praga district, was to try to find my dog. I went to Pruszków and searched for the address the nurse gave me. The street was there, but there was no such number. It was an empty lot. I went to the adjacent homes - no one ever heard of such a woman, no one had seen such a dog, no nurse working in the Pruszków camp lived there. It turned out that the woman robbed us of our beloved dog, likely only for the reason that Bombka was a pure-bred.  [...]

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Testimony of Anna Teofilak-Maliszewska

[...]  By end-June 1945 Mom and I returned to Warsaw and directed our steps to 12a Puławska street to the apartment of our cousins, the Krupski family where, besides the owners, we met my uncle Gromulski and his wife both despairing of the loss of their children in the Uprising. Much time was spent in the evenings on recalling the atrocities of war and roving after the exile from Warsaw. The Krupski family moved to Wrocław and their relatives from Vilnius (Mr. and Mrs. Czarnocki and children) moved in and stayed in the apartment with my uncle and aunt and ourselves. Soon the building was nationalized and taken over by kwaterunek (state office for accommodation control). The separate rooms were given to persons occupying these rooms. At times a four room, kitchen and bath apartment was occupied by eleven persons.  [...]

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Testimony of Ewa Kirszenstein-Skrzypczak

[...]  We moved to Warsaw in 1947. Father accepted the humble post that I have mentioned... Father got a tiny flat in Częstochowska Street, two rooms and a kitchen, but still a place to live. And we started from a scratch. Buying a pot was quite an event, as was making a table by hand - the very one we are sitting at, one I will never part with, you can fold it so that it can fit into a small flat...  [...]

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Testimony of Jerzy Uldanowicz

[...]  We reached Warsaw at dusk. We spent the night in the apartment of passing acquiantances, nearby Plac Zawiszy. The next day in the morning, we impatiently proceeded to 7 Grzybowska Street. It was there that our remaining doubts were dispelled. What remained of our home, which we had left on October 7, 1944, was ashes. It had been burned down by the Germans - as had been done to thousands of homes - after the Warsaw population was forced to leave. The things which we had moved to the basement - just in case - before leaving the capital, were not saved either. From a heap of rubble and ashes, we dug out only a few useful metal objects.  [...]

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Testimony of Danuta Nizińska-Grzegrzółka

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Testimony of Jerzy Kasprzak

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Testimony of Wiktoria Dewitz

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Testimony of Dariusz Karolak

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Testimony of Tadeusz Ziomek

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Testimony of Barbara Rybeczko-Tarnowiecka

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Testimony of Bohdan Lewandowski

Several days later, we tried to make it to Warsaw with other people. The trains were inoperative. The EKD line was also out of service. We had just made it past Milanówek by foot, when sudden shooting broke out. We lay in the snow, hiding in a road ditch. It turned out that it was Soviet soldiers fighting among themselves for loot taken from the Germans. You could see numerous traces of war activity [...]

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Testimony of Tadeusz Klemiński

[...]  Had been your place plundered? No, it wasn't plundered, but it was terribly dirty, one could see that strange things were happening there. When we were sitting in this cellar before the Germans kicked us out, in the various cellars were sitting different people. Once the Germans came and were looking for some women to have fun, for amusement and they pulled out of Mrs Poświatowa, the elderly woman. Then her niece said that there was a young women next door. Actually there was one women, she used to be a servant in the house close by, she also came to us because the owners went away and she was left on her own.  [...]

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Testimony of Danuta Napiórkowska-Jarzębowska

[...]  We were quickly moved away from the front line to Oleśnica. We walked on foot, very fast, often under fire (the front was close), passing burning houses, gutted tanks, whole fields strewn with corpses. Towards the evening the front line again moved back from the Sacrau region, but we were already beyond the reach of the Germans. Dirty and exhausted, we were being slowly transported back to "our" places. We travelled in a cattle car to Kraków, to our beloved grandmother, whom we found through the Red Cross (in fact, it was her that found us, rather than the other way around). We arrived at the convent on ul. Koletki, where many refugees from the Warsaw Uprising were provided shelter. Our granny, also a Varsovian, cooked for them. It took us 5 days to reach Kraków. We were so happy we had survived. We burnt our camp clothes, bathed and went to sleep.  [...]

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Testimony of Eulalia Matusiak-Rudak

[...]  Likely 40 persons left, girls and women. We walked, because they ordered us to go in that direction, shells lay everywhere, because shells were fired at night, everything aimed for us. We ran and you could hear how these shells were striking the shelter, later we stopped running, because we no longer had the strength, walking again. I only took some blanket from the barracks, though when I went for this blanket I almost got killed. Luckily, I didn't feel like going back to the door, so I jumped through the window, because it was closer to the shelter, just as a shell struck the door. When we sat in the dugout, to rest, I left this blanket because I didn't have the strength to carry it.  [...]

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Testimony of Aleksandra Diermajer-Sękowska

[...]  So you ended up in the Gen. Maczek's Armoured Division with your mother and sister? Yes. Not everyone had such an opportunity, you go to the Division through acquaintances. My husband got there because he had an uncle, a colonel in England. Surely you all wondered what to do next? Of course. Except that my sister was in the Rifle Battalion, it was quite a few kilometres to the north. My service at headquarters didn't last long, for the reason that when the school in Maczków started up, I asked for and received a detail to this school. In Maczków there was a platoon of this Women's Battalion and the service took place in the confines of this platoon, although there were no military duties, you just had to study.  [...]

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Testimony of Krzysztof Radlicz

[...]  How was your mom then? She was well. The doctor ordered a ten-day food rationing for me. This was excruciating as I saw others eating everything - chocolate, fruit. In Hettstaedt (?) we stayed till the 15th of June, mom worked in the Combatant Committee for Polish soldiers who were directed to Frankfurt on Main to the headquarters of the organization dealing with such issues. At that time we learned that this part of Germany will be taken over by the Soviet army. On the farm lived a Pole from the vicinity of Lviv and he knew perfectly well what to expect. He had a lorry and a tractor so we climbed on this lorry and he drove us, despite the objections from the American patrols, to Sandershausen from where we took a train to the Fulda river. Unfortunately, the bridge was damaged and we had to cross the river by the foot-bridge and then we took a train to Kassel, to the UNRRA camp. Initially we were lodged in an attic but later when the Germans had been expelled we were assigned a nice two-room apartment with a big kitchen.  [...]

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Testimony of Henryk Piotrowski

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Testimony of Zbigniew Badowski

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Testimony of Jadwiga Kowejsza

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Testimony of Bohdan Kapica

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Testimony of Cecylia Krajewska

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Testimony of Angelika Józefowicz

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Testimony of Andrzej Korgol

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Testimony of Halina Olk-Wieczorek

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Testimony of Ewa Osiecka

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Testimony of Alicja Rzaczykiewicz

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Testimony of Sylwester Rzaczykiewicz

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Testimony of Elżbieta Uszyńska

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Testimony of Danuta Wieczorkiewicz-Pawlik

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Testimony of Antonina Irmina Osińska (Głąb)

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Testimony of Bohdan Stanisław Dąbrowski

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Testimony of Jolanta Małgorzata Dąbrowska (Markiewicz)

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Testimony of Hanna Maria Żarska (Szczypińska)

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Testimony of Janusz Kosk

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Testimony of jadwiga Szczęścik-Perucka

After the Uprising we returned to Warsaw, to Okęcie. My father was working at the airport and had an apartment in that district.When exactly was it?                                   I think March 1945. We were lucky, because Warsaw had been already liberated. We did not come back to Olesińska as the apartment burned down and my grandparents were dead. My parents' [...]

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Testimony of Zbigniew Zmarzlik

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Testimony of Władysław Sala

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Testimony of Krystyna Krasuska (Górecka)

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Testimony of Marta Gadomska-Juskowiak

What happened later? When did you return to Warsaw? Was this right away after the war?           It turned out after the war that father had a wolf ticket and couldn't return to Kalisz, the locals didn't really like him. He left for the Regained Territories. First he was in Kłodzko, then Wałbrzych.  Father was educated as a water construction engineer. The Coal Union in Wałbrzych [...]

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Testimony of Danuta Podrucka (Pastuszyńska-Szpądrowska)

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Testimony of Leszek Łacheta

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Testimony of Blandyna Surmiak (Lewińska)

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Testimony of Bolesław Oleksiak

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Testimony of Stefan Marczak

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Testimony of Jadwiga Szmidt

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Testimony of Paweł Ambrożewicz

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Testimony of Danuta Kusińska (Śpiewak)

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Testimony of Janina Loth-Borkowska

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Testimony of Wojciech Prośniewski

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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