Alina Wiśniewska

My wartime experiences

It all happened during the German occupation. On the morning of 3 September 1943, a few German cars came to our village of Stępków. [The military police] surrounded the village. People didn’t know why the Germans came or what they wanted, so they started running away. But escape was impossible because the village was surrounded. The military police ordered everybody to gather in the square near the village administrator’s house. People didn’t want to go there, because nobody knew the purpose. But the Germans forced them to go and to leave the houses open. Everybody was terrified, nobody knew whether the Germans were going to arrest them, kill them or do something even worse. Once everybody was gathered, the Germans ordered the men to form one line, and the women to form another. We thought we would all be killed, but they only started asking whether we were hiding anybody. They said that if they heard anything, they would execute us all. This was one of my experiences from the war.