Anna Marcinkowska

* 1918

  • "When I [came] to live here, you know, there was no peace here yet. The Soviets were aggressive, there was no peace. Plenty of them, walking in the streets with those Russian automatic pistols, and right away: “Strelayu!” [I’m shooting] They were kind of … I don’t know. At the station, there was a different group of the Soviets. And that lady’s husband [got] that machine from such a Russki, I still have it today. And he says: - You, Antoś, your wife can sew. Come on, let’s con it out of him, I can get moonshine. I don’t know how much they paid for that moonshine, but they got it somehow and gave it to the Russkis. And they were drinking it like water! Just like water, that’s how. I don’t know how people can drink like that."

  • "There was no bakery. Later on a boy who once was learning to be a baker and knew how to bake bread, I won’ tell you now, because I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the presidium assigned that bakery to him, on the way to the bank, and the door is there and you enter that bakery. He worked at that bakery still under the occupation and he knew how to bake bread. So, they gave that bakery to him and he started to bake bread. And then rolls. And this is how the bakery came into being. And there was such a queue for that bread! Sometimes it was faster for me to come from Drawsko. Because I had bread ordered from a woman there, so I dashed some three kilometres. When you are young, you can dash."

  • "They were looking for a fight, there… And they were – violent a bit. If [there was] a woman, she had to give, no matter how. Because “I will shoot you” and that’s it. They were a bit like that … When my husband was going out – I had Bożenka and the oldest one Basia – we were shutting ourselves in the room, locking the door quietly. When my husband was going to work to the engine house, we were so quiet, as if nobody was in. At one time, they were banging the door with such strength, Jesus; I said the door would break. But we did not say anything, not a word. They were banging and banging against that door, but the door somehow did not break, and from the inside, my husband brought some boards from the railway and put them across. Because when you bang against the door and the door has the boards… he nailed those boards across the door, just in case, that the door should not break and you know. He was protecting us in this way, poor man, until the Russkis finally retreated."

  • "There were Germans, but rarely, one somewhere. A German lived here upstairs, he had two sacks! But those sacks were genuine linen sacks, sewn up; I don’t know what he had inside. But it was so heavy, and the time came when those Germans who had stayed were taken away, carried further on. So, my mum says to that German: Unkel, it’s too heavy for you, you are an old man, and those sacks are too heavy for you! They went outside Drawsko, to the forest, and the German [got shot] on the head, and the sacks were taken away by the Poles. No, not by the Poles, by the Russkis. How could they give such sacks to him! And nobody knows what he had inside those sacks. And my mummy kept explaining him: - Leave those sacks, it’s heavy, it’s not for you. Write down your address, where you are going and when you get there, send that address from that place, and we will send those sacks there. It will calm down a bit some time; the war will not last forever. But he insisted and simply did not believe us. When you don’t believe you don’t believe, it can’t be helped. And he took them away with him. And when a German came here with his wife sometime in summer and said that he was 12, when he left Krzyż. There was war and he was 12. But what can you say; 12 years it’s a boy, isn’t it? And then I told him: - Did your father come back? – No. I said: - And those sacks that he had? Not a trace. The Russkis took them away, that’s for sure."

  • "I came to Krzyż only in 1945 when the war was already over and it was all quiet here, there was no one around. And the Russkis were going from Italy and carrying different things with them. I still have this machine at home. And my daddy says: - You know what, the Russkis have it, but they want moonshine. I say: - Where can you get moonshine now? But there was someone else who says: - Listen, Antoś, we’ll manage. And they went somewhere and brought a bottle of moonshine and gave it to them, and they gave them that machine. I still have it, it’s sewing superbly. And they were carrying that machine from Germany, them Russkis. (…) In Krzyż, at the railway station. They were kind of pushed away to the siding and were selling those things which they caught in the Reich, they took them there and were selling them here; there was plenty of things which they sold. And I, this machine … Jesus, I was so happy when my husband brought that machine to me! That machine simply saved me from poverty, because I started working on it, and it saved me. Because I lived in Krótka Street, on the second floor, and then I came there, to that house, on the other side, and I lived there for a year or maybe a bit more. And I was sewing on that machine! Cor blimey!"

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    Krzyż, 09.02.2009

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I came to Krzyż only in 1945 when the war was already over and it was all quiet here, there was no one around

Anna Marcinkowska
Anna Marcinkowska
photo: Post Bellum

Born in Świerkówki near Oborniki on 12 June 1918. Her father was a bailiff on Count Żółtowski’s estate; her family lived in an annexe to the palace, first in Świerkówki, then in Wargowo. Anna Marcinkowska went to a primary school in Ocieszynek and Wargowo, she was in the scouts. After the seventh form she was on training at a boarding house run by nuns in Poznań and, then, started working at a cake shop in Św. Marcina Street. She got married in 1937. During World War II she lived and worked in Poznań, where she was employed in a German sewing room which sewed and repaired uniforms for the Wermacht. After the war Anna Marcinkowska’s husband got a job on the railway in Krzyż. Anna Marcinkowska moved to Krzyż together with her daughters in May 1945. First, she worked at the “Praktyczna Pani” tailor’s shop and, then, as a tailor on her own.