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.
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.
I interviewed my father who was born in 1959. In the conversation, dad recalls stories related to World War II that he heard from his parents. From an exciting conversation lasting over an hour, I allowed myself to choose the most interesting fragments in which my father, among other things, tells how German soldiers lived in his parents’ house, and about the German gendarme Engelbert Guzdek who terrorized our region (Powiśle Dąbrowskie). This interview is an example of the second generation memories.
The story of Stanisław Iwach and his family that travelled all the way to Wysoka, Poland from the Tarnopol voivodship in the Eastern Borderlands. The story is presented by an elderly social activist in his eighties.
Zofia Listosz was born in 1951, after the end of the war. In the interview, she spoke about the difficult life under the occupation, which her family and her dearest experienced. She also spoke about discovering history.