Testimony of Stanisław Milewski
ARCHIVES OF ASSOCIATION OF GREY RANKS
In the conspiracy scout of the Grey Ranks, pseudonym "Jeleń" (Deer), "Rogacz" (Stag). Did not participate in the Warsaw Uprising.
Born 11.04.1929 in Gdańsk
Son of Bernard and Jadwiga, maiden name Pyczyńska
Address during the occupation: Marszałkowska street 119 flat 4, Warsaw
[...] Once again I was arrested by the Nazi patrol in Grodzisk and on the 29th of September 1944 I was deported from Pruszków to the camp in Schneidemühl (Piła). I crossed the town as the last of our group. German mothers with babies in arms came running in the street and cursed us. One of the mothers with two babies in her arms screamed at me: "so young and bandit already...." and spat me in the face. I was deeply shocked and pondered over the power of hatred - I think not possible anywhere else...
The camp was not a typical one. Five different nations lived there separately. We worked in groups of a dozen or so people loading coal on carts and then from a ramp on the locomotive and freight cars. My shift was from 12:00 till midnight. From these times I recall two events in particular. I was caught talking to a young Frenchman. As a punishment we were taken under escort and ordered to load by hand very large lumps of coal on an empty 50 ton freight car. This job was more than a human could take. We were able to surmount the high wall of the freight car only by building a ramp. We carried the lump up the ramp and arms stretched high with a great effort we managed with a great effort to throw the lump into the abyss of the car. This is how we worked late in the evening. After that I never saw this Frenchman again.
One day I was summoned to the oberführer of the camp. I was surprised and suspicious by his politeness. At first I attributed it to my communication skills. However, when he passed from generalities to the essence of the matter, my spirit sank. He stated that, according to the documents I was a German, since I was born in Gdańsk and therefore I should be freed in order to help the Reich in such difficult time. My firm answer infuriated him to an indescribable extent. I simply explained that while I was a citizen of Gdańsk, I was of Polish nationality. "I was, I am and I always be a Pole" I told him. He fell on me with his fists beating me on the head and face. When I fell on the ground he began to kick me wherever he could. Heavily beaten I was thrown out. In fear of more beating I got up with great difficulty. Walking to my block I could hear him curse me but I was not further harassed because of this event. But then a downright absurd idea came to my mind. I decided to try to escape from the camp. The encouraging fact was that on our way back from work we always crossed a railway platform. I noticed that exactly at midnight a train was leaving for Poznań.
After confirming this fact - a few days before Christmas I took a step into the unknown. Three times I was on the verge of disaster but with varying luck after three days I reached Cracow, at the curfew at that. At the end of the platform gendarmes were strolling. Rescue came from an elderly railway-man who gave me his uniform cap and hammer and led me in front of the railway station. Following his advice I walked along the tram tracks through the desolated city towards Borek Fałęcki (part of Cracow). Heavily exhausted and sick I finally reached the little house where my sister lived.