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.
I interviewed my aunt, Czesława Poprawska, born in 1928, who used to live in Kościan (a town in the Greater Poland Voivodeship, between Poznań and Leszno). She tells primarily about villages near Kościan. She experienced World War II not far from her family home. Her father was displaced to West Germany to perform compulsory labor, and came back after the war was over. Her mother and grandmother worked for the Germans; her aunt joined them when she reached the necessary age. When the war was over, she started working for a tailor.
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.
Genowefa Ruman was born in Jastrzębik in 1949. She had eight siblings. Their parents were working hard to provide for the family. They moved to Jastrzębik from Zaorzyn in 1949, when World War II was over. It was still hard to survive, but the family members were supporting each other. Children were playing with neighbors’ children, sharing food, and helping each other. Despite the difficult times, Genowefa has warm memories of her childhood and youth. As a teenager, she moved to Krynica-Zdrój to live with her aunt. There she was attending gastronomy school and later started working. She got married in Krynica-Zdrój, and she still lives there.