“In 1939 when the Germans attacked Poland, I worked as a Polish soldier. But I already was in civil, as a reservist. I went to the front in the first day of the attack. I didn’t even get to Warsaw yet, when train tracks were bombed, so we had to walk all the way to the city. From Warsaw I had to go to Skierniewice, because I was assigned there. But I didn’t get to Skierniewice, because our settlement was long attacked by the Germans. There is a village nearby Warsaw, called Nieodniewice. There were very many of us. We could not even look up; so many planes were flying above our heads. In order to be unnoticed we often went through forests, and usually at nights. Because during the day, planes did not stop soaring above our heads, and they were shooting not just soldiers, but also girls, cows, and children – they were killing everybody on their way. There was a city Tarczhyn. In this Tarczhyn I had another 15 people - a professional school, I was as a corporal for them. – What weapon did you have at hand? – Regular carbine. – Do you mean Polish carbine? – Yes, Polish…a rifle for five bullets. How many cartridges did you have with you? – We had ten. Not more than that. We did not really have a place to use them, because there was not a front as such. The Germans were using military planes, not troops. The troops were already killed. “
- Museum "Territory of Terror" |
- Witnesses |
Teodor Furta (1910)
He was born on March 14th, 1910 in a village Velykyy Doroshiv in Lviv region (now Zhovkva district in Lviv region). From 1916 he attended village school. In 1931 served in Polish army (Lodz, Poland). He served for three month, and then he caught scarlet fever and returned home. After year he was taken back to the military in Częstochowa (Poland). After Hitler attacked Poland in 1939 he was directed to join active Polish army. After defeat of Poland he stayed in camp #4 for wars prisoners near Lamsdorf, where he worked on community objects. Later on he was moved to Ruland (Brandenburg), where he worked on a shoe factory. In 1941 Teodor Furta came back to Lviv, where he still lives nowadays.
The war between Germany and Poland, 1939
In German captivity, 1939-1942. Part 1.
“We were kept in barracks the whole week. They gave us very little food, we slept on joiner’s chips. They cooked us “shoshovytsya”, it’s a kind of soup. I told one guy, “Go to the kitchen, and check what they are fixing for us today”. So he came back and told me, “Mister, we are having peas”. I answered, “Well, it is not bad at all”. We stayed there for about two weeks and later were put into carriages to go to Krakow. Allegedly going home. But Ukrainian troops were already in Krakow, so they were trying to assign us on their side. But Russia was shouting: give us back our people. Moscow was there, from Przemyśl to Zbruch, and the territory from Przemyśl to Grójec was under Polish rule. Just try to imagine: the Germans attacked Poland, while Russia was fighting without a single shot. When Russia attacked, Poland immediately capitulated, because they knew that they couldn’t manage fighting on both sides. Poland was betrayed. Ribbentrop and Molotov made a deal and divided the land. Those who found themselves under Russian rule, were also divided: soldiers were sent to Siberia to work, officers were kept in Katyń, and later tortured. Later on we were put in cars and moved to Goreschwerd. Lamsdorf is further off, near Dresden…over there we were divided into work groups. A lot of people were there. Jews were set apart. There were no officers, only privates. There were Polish people, a few Belarusians and Ukrainians. They mostly work on a field. I was shoemaker, so I had another work to do. I was also working as a translator. “
In German captivity, 1939-1942. Part 2.
“What did they feed you?” – They gave us bread and potatoes in peel. Later they poured a little sauce over potatoes. Once we had some fish. This fish was cooked with mustard. We peeled potatoes, ate mustard – this was not bad at all. – What did you drink? – They gave us some coffee in the morning. It was Czech coffee, and it was good. And some bread. And later on potatoes. But people were still hungry. – What about dinner? – People were hungry. Some kept their piece of bread for the whole day. You’d often hear, “I kept my piece of bread, and now I’m gonna eat it. You didn’t keep yours – it’s your problem”. – So they did not give you dinner? – They gave us nothing. – Only morning and lunch? – Yes. – This camp where you stayed, did it have a name? - It was “the forth work camp”. – The forth work camp? – Yes. – Near what city was it located? – Near Lamsdorf, another cities were Seftemberg and Cottbus, and the other one was Dresden.”