Class 6
Łuków, 24 June 1946

My wartime experiences

The Red Army entered Łuków on 23 July 1944. It was a Sunday. Already on Saturday the Germans, using carts, had started moving westwards. On Sunday there weren’t as many people in the town as usual. Everyone was hoping for the front to pass by as quickly as possible, so that they could feast their eyes on the Polish army. We were all excited, for Łuków had been fortified with artillery. And we were all afraid of the front, however this time the result was different.

When the Soviet armies approached, only a few cannons opened fire, and not for long. When they were withdrawing, the Germans set fire to the barracks and warehouse at Łapiguz, which contained valuable items which they were unable to take with them.

The next day was warm and sunny. At around 7.00 a.m. German planes appeared in the sky and started bombing the Soviet army positions. They continued their air raids for three days.

When I went to Łuków after the battle – for I had been in the countryside all the time – I saw a terrible sight. The houses lay in ruins and the streets were all torn up. The dead and rotting horses gave off a terrible stench. Only the Germans are to blame for the destruction of Łuków.