The day is stuck in my memory. It was June 1940.We have been
fighting for days.With my 75 millimeter gun we were a part of
a Polish battery in the French army. We were located in one of
the breaks in the Maginot Line, supposedly supporting some Senegalese
The day before, we have found ourselves firing our canon at the
German infantry, there was no one in front of us. The Senegalese
disappeared. We continued to fire. Our horses were harnessed
and ready to run. We were shooting, until the day gave
way to night, we could relax somewhat
The next day rose beautifully. The sun shining on the hills of
Lorraine. Our captain gathered us to talk. We were standing there
in a circle before him, our short rifles hung on our shoulders.
" We have been surrounded" said the captain. "
All I can suggest to you is to just drop your arms here, and
try to walk south. There might still be some openings and you
could reach the southern areas of France, where hopefully we
shall reform our army"
Well, this was pretty far removed from our dreams of defeating
the Germans and walking back into Poland to rescue our Motherland.
A mother which in truth did not like us very much, but even a
bad mother is a mother nevertheless.
We were very tired. For days on end, we had kept fighting and
moving from place to place - often to the jeers of the French
who had abandoned their arms "didnt you have
enough of war in your own country, you had to come here to endanger
Now we felt left dangling by our own command. We were supposed
to find those openings on our own, just " by walking south",
without maps, without sending out some patrols - not very military.
With some friends of mine, we started walking. We were six of
us, not very much of military strategists, just walking without
even trying to be invisible.
We knew that the Germans were all around us.Even so we were strung
in line, on top of a hill, moving at a slow pace.
Suddenly, down the hill from us, we heard the words " par
ici" " this way. A French soldier shouted to us. Standing
there, unarmed, in front of a large bush, he motioned to us to
come that way. Finally someone to show us the way between the
We started running towards him. As we got close, the bush opened
with 0 Germans manning a big machine gun.
After some miracles helped me to escape the German hands in 1939,
here I was back their prisoner in June 1940