Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Leaving Poland

My parents and brother
The Germans waged war on Poland and the Polish people on September 1, 1939. The German intent was to destroy the Polish nation and it's people. The destruction of the country was enormous,there was no doubt among Nazi Germany that Poland and the Polish people were to be obliterated.,by order of the government , the the Nazis were to kill every man, woman and child with no mercy. Polish workers deported to the Reich had to wear a letter "P" on their clothing to distinguish them from the Germans. The Germans took all the property from the Polish state and all private property considered necessary for strategic purposes or for Germanization. A Pole could and often was shot  for not making way on the sidewalk for a German approaching from the opposite direction or for not taking his hat off to a German.  People lived in constant fear, torture and death . Every nation under enemy occupation during WW II experienced a reign of terror by the Nazis.  In the period 1939-41, Poles were more exposed than Jews to arrest.

My parents were twenty five years of age when the attack on Poland happened, living in the area of Poland known as Belarus now. Throughout the bitter cold early hours of February, 1940, thousands of Polish country folk were aroused from their sleep from soldiers knocking on their doors. Under gunpoint entire families were crammed into cattle cars , trucks , many on foot ,and deported as disposable labor. 5,384,000 Polish citizens were killed by the Germans during the occupation. As a result of almost six years of war, Poland lost 6,028.000 of it's citizens, Christan Poles and Jews, 22 percent of it's total population, the highest ratio of population of any country in Europe.

My parents lived through this horrific time in Poland. With nothing but a handful of belongings they fled their homeland of Poland and left whatever they had behind. Families were separated, many never to see each other again. My parents found refuge in DP Camps ( Displaced People Camp) in Germany. They lived in various camps in Germany from 1941 to 1951 , the first camps were labor camps. God was watching over my parents.

No comments:

Post a Comment