There they felt safer in the company of other people than staying alone in their apartments or even in the shelters. Polish Armed Forces in the Soviet Union 60 12. On our second or third attempt, we got on a train and arrived safely. I could not imagine how I would be able to face such an event. The Jewish group, which numbered close to a thousand, was shown the road to take. People tried desperately to get some water, but the Germans would shoot at them.
For Poland it was a treacherous act, rightly called a stab in the back. The tenants were mostly upper middle class, businessmen and professionals. My heart started pounding, and tears wet my eyes. At ¤rst, they were afraid to talk about him, but after a while we were told that the uncle had been arrested, among the many persecuted by Stalin in the late 1930s. Hundreds of people, not only men, were leaving town. Then army units moved in and mopped up any remaining resistance. Not so the young Adam Broner.
The Rebbe from Tomaszow was another source of musical in®uence. The Rebbe sang his prayers as a soloist accompanied by a choir. I can only imagine how dif¤cult it was for these young girls to cope in that dreadful job. We saw someone approaching and thought it would be better to end this conversation. It helped initially, and we continued on our way, but the chill got to me again very soon. In 1939, to escape Nazi occupation, 14-year-old Adam Broner and his older brother Sam left their home and family in Lodz, Poland, and made their way to the Soviet Union. The wide scope and long time period provide a neutral perspective and a greater understanding of the events.
Eventually fed up with the growing anti-Semitism of the Communist government there, the author emigrated to the United States in 1969. First, we needed a document that would entitle us to travel. A few times we had dinner late, even after midnight. Unarmed civilians vainly tried to ¤nd cover from the bombers ®ying low over the potato ¤elds, and were systematically shot. Despite the dif¤cult war conditions and unrelenting hard work, the young girls in the village would assemble in the evening for dancing and singing. I found that I could operate the machine easily.
It was now December with freezing nights. As a matter of fact, we were soon informed that we would indeed be sent to the new Polish army, and that a colonel would accompany us to the place of its formation, which we learned was not far from Moscow. The partition of Poland was agreed upon in a secret protocol attached to the Molotov-Ribentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, signed one week before the war started. We got a special corner in the shop where a huge block of butter was put on the counter, along with a selection of sausages and even chocolate. What were my parents thinking? September 1 was usually the day when the new school year started.
The journey lasted twenty-one days, as we had the lowest priority in the overburdened Soviet railroad system. Many were counting on some turn of history that would allow them to return home after the defeated Germans left the country. After ¤fteen years in retirement we remain close friends with William and his charming xii Acknowledgments wife, Judy, whom we meet often in Sarasota. His point was that neither Hitler nor Stalin was allowing Jews to practice their religion; hence, we might as well stay where we were. People even climbed on the roofs of the cars just to get a chance to reach Bialystok. Over the next several days, I could witness the whole might of the German army passing through. Come up with a reasonable plan! People were scrubbing the walls clean.
I do not remember where Esther was. Other synagogues, on Zachodnia 56 and on Aleje Kosciuszko 2, were also destroyed by the German occupiers. I told him that I had makhorka, the dark, chopped leaves of Russian tobacco. Thursday, the sixth day of the war, started with intense artillery shelling. In one such transfer I met my Working Battalions of the Red Army 45 brother Sam, who had been mobilized and assigned to a battalion similar to mine.
From Bialystok to Novosibirsk 19 5. I did this a couple of times and was not caught. . Broner rebuilt his life, established a family, returned to Moscow for a degree in economics, and then went back to Poland, where he accepted a job in the Polish central planning agency. Our daily ration of 800 grams of bread was higher than the 600 grams given those working in the civilian economy. After all, it was much safer in the city, where one could hide, than to wander under open skies without any protection. Although my spirits and patriotism should have been lifted, I was also aware of the brutality of the Nazi aggressors.
I could not understand why the government would tolerate such a waste of time and money. The Red Army ¤nally stopped the German offensive at the outskirts of Moscow. We were sleeping in our clothes, as in the previous couple of nights, in case we had to run to shelter. Living together lifted our spirits and raised hope for future meetings. Neverthe- 22 Chapter 4 less, the authorities treated us fairly whenever possible. A stranger approached, offering to buy cigarettes.
At that turbulent time, most people let themselves be pushed where the changing fates of war were throwing them. I never received any clear acceptance; nor did they try to dissuade me from going with them. New arrivals at night had to walk through the darkness, stepping over lying bodies until some little space could be found up high. The landlord gave me the news that everybody had already left. Yet we knew of their general situation. After several days the situation became unbearable. The wounded man was left unattended and I could not understand why.