"ONE TWO THREE FOUR and a SUITCASE"

WHAT HAPPENED IN POZNAN AFTER THE FAMILY LEFT?

Ewa Sikorska, the daughter of Jozefatís brother Kazik, although born after the war, has been able to shed some light on this from the stories she had heard.

There was a lot of fighting in Poznan which the Germans had declared a fortress town, meaning that it was to be defended at all costs. There was a lot of street by street fighting with the Russians gradually clearing the town from German forces. With the final stronghold being the "Citadela" which was very heavily defended. During the early fighting our house at Glogauer was hit by shells and substantially destroyed. When the street fighting had died down and it became relatively safe to move about again, at the first opportunity, Kazik went to see the house as he had heard that it had been destroyed. This was a week or two after we had left.

The whole of the upper part of the house where our flat was situated was destroyed. He found the beds in the cellars with all the ruins. He could not find many of our belongings and furniture. He believes that some would have been destroyed but most of this would have been looted by the Russian soldiers whose behaviour was horrendous to the civilians as well as to the German forces. The Russians systematically searched through all the building of the town looking for Germans as a sweeping operation. The soldiers were very undisciplined and of course did not ask to many questions and everyone suffered their "liberation".

When the fighting ceased and it was safe start clearing and searching Kazik found no trace of us in the ruins. He discovered that we had actually left Poznan before the Russian army arrived. It was only after the end of the war that Kazik got information through the International Red Cross that we were alive and safe in western Germany. He frequently told his family that our departure had probably saved our lives. Not only because of the ruined house but even had we survived that, Mamaís Russian origin almost certainly would have meant deportation to Russia and not many people survived that fate.

The house was rebuilt in the 50ís but without the balconies and the street is now called ulica Glogowska.

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