My grandfather was born in 1939 in Delmenhorst. Two years later, his father, a public servant, was transferred to Orlová (in those days: Orlau), the very west of today’s Czech Republic. In 1945 the family had to flee in the direction of Germany. In the following interview, my grandfather tells about his childhood in Orlová and about his memories concerning the family’s escape back to Delmenhorst.
Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” I interviewed my grandma who was born in 1935 in a small village of Gnatowice. She witnessed the war as a small child, and that experience stayed with her for the rest of her life. Nonetheless, she always seeks the best things in life, and each day tries to share something important with others. This story is centered around emotions and recollections, and describes the life in the time of the war, as seen through the eyes of a child.
Grażyna Oczkowicz was born in December 1937 in the village of Rzędowice in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Grażyna was the third of the five children of Kazimiera Tkaczewska (maiden name: Grzywnowicz) and Stefan Tkaczewski. During the war, Grażyna’s father was a guerrilla fighter, so many of the interviewee’s childhood memories are related to the fight against the German invaders. Grażyna Oczkowicz spent her childhood and youth in Rzędowice, and after the birth of her children, she and her husband moved to Silesia, where she started working for an office in Sosnowiec. She still lives in Sosnowiec.
When Maria was only a few weeks old, the cruel and inhuman World War II was already raging. Her first years of childhood are marked by nearly losing her brother in a bombing attack on Bielefeld and Enger, the absence of her father, who was criticizing World War II and the Nazi’s attitudes towards Jews, and her mother, who got sick (cardiac asthma) and distant because of World War II and its consequences.
Bernd grew up in Northern Germany. He speaks about his childhood memories during and after the war, the role that National Socialism played in his family, and his mentally ill grandfather’s story.
Halyna Serhijenko was born in 1946 in Mariupol, Donetsk oblast. She tells about the events that took place in her family and the town during WW2 based on the words of her parents and friends.
The history of my family reflects life in a totalitarian regime. All that my great grandfather and great-grandmother went through shows and demonstrates the lack of respect for a human being, invasion of privacy and persecution, violates morality, human rights and freedoms. That is why, under the Soviet rule, millions of people were subjected to the arbitrariness of the totalitarian state, and many were never able to reunite with their families.
Zinaida Laskova was born on August 21, 1926 in the village of Hnylozubivka into a large family. She survived the Holodomor of 1932-1933. My great-grandmother witnessed World War II. When she was 16 years old, she was taken to Germany, where she worked first at a factory and then in a local tavern, where the locals used to come for a beer. After the war, my great-grandmother turned back home. On her way home, she was accompanied by the scary-looking prisoners of concentration camps. After the war, she got married and had three children. Until the end of her life, Zinaida Laskova was considered by many to be a very cultured, honest, and kind person.
An interview with my grandfather about his wartime memories.
This is an interview to find out and record what happened in my family during World War II.