Soviet Guerrillas
We lived in the forest. Dugouts made. And the Braslaw area, all those forests, it was all partisans. Germans seldom came here. I was a year with the partisans. And then the front came. We stayed here for another month. And we went to the front. Sure, we did fight. We attacked German garrisons. In Ops there was a German garrison, we attacked it at night. We also attacked the bridge. In Braslaw, no, we went as far as Nowopilec (?). There were Russki wojennoplenni (POWs). There was a guy with us who could speak German and had German clothes, like a German soldier. And they took 50 wojennoplenni across. And wojennoplenni worked there, at factories, for farmers they worked. And they joined the partisans, too.
Julian Masłowski
Guerrillas? What kind of guerrillas? More of louts than guerrillas. We hid our clothes away, fur coats…we buried them in the barn. Such a box, we buried it and covered with straw and hung fairly poor things in the wardrobe. My Ania was so little, three years old. There was her child’s dress there and her child’s coat; we hung ribbons to have more things in the wardrobe. And they came at night, them guerrillas, knocking on the door. Their clothing made of white tablecloth, in winter, not to be seen against snow. And they started looking everywhere, and what? They discovered the wardrobe …and everything out of the wardrobe, the ribbons and the child’s dresses, them guerrillas. Did they really need it?
Janina Mickiewicz
Everywhere where guerrillas were in the forests, all the close villages were burnt. Those who had families somewhere farther away, they were all gone. Villages were burnt almost up to Belmonty, to Chramowce. People from those villages lived in dugouts. Later, even under the Soviets, when we were going bilberry picking to the forests, people still lived there. Their dugouts were made of earth.
Jadwiga Sadowska
You can tell a real partisan – he’ll come and ask, he might wheedle something out of you – gloves or a pair of boots because his are worn. Mam had huge feet. Mam’s shoes fitted all of them. They took seven pairs. Each time my brother went to get shoes made for Mam, they’d turn up in the evening and take them. But the false partisans, they’d take the cow and the horse, even the cart and any lard or anything else we had. I begged them – the kids are small – what’ll we give them to eat? They threw my brother to the ground and he was afraid they’d kill him. We had to give them everything we had.
Władysława Zasztoft