Anna Prussakowa

* 1931  

  • "And, then, towards the end of the war, after New Year’s Day, in 1945, the Soviets were already coming, then we – and they used to catch people, the Germans would catch people, they would catch them in the evening and keep them, those people, in a building and, then, they would execute them one after another, many people were killed. And I remember when my daddy and mum took some things, few things, just ordinarily, and put them on a sledge and we drove out of town. And we stayed with our friends there and when the Russki Bolsheviks came, there were such Katyusha rockets, such rockets. So, we lied on the ground, I remember, by the window, and those Katyusha rockets went “bang, bang”, “bang, bang”, it was scary. So, it seemed they had liberated us. And then when I, when we came back, to our flat, we could not live there, because there fell some kind of a bomb (...) and shrapnel, and there was a large hole, we could not live there. There was an empty house on that street, I do not remember its number, a two- or three-storey building, and we occupied a flat there and we lived there. And then, it was not long, because in spring, it seems it was the 16th of May, we took our belongings, but no furniture, and we went away, they displaced us here, put into those vans, and we came here to Russia."

  • "It must have been long, because it was from Płock to as far as Odessa, as far as Odessa, Sir. They threw us out there from those vans. We got off. And there was a field. And nobody followed us, and they did not bring us to Odessa. No, they didn’t. Only a field, and we were there, I do not know, something like the night was coming, you should get some sleep, but we were going, we had furniture with us, yes, a bed, something like a bed or something. And there was a huge, huge, huge pipe; I don’t know why it was there. My daddy remembers; he put that mattress into that pipe and we slept there. And then, the following day, the carts came and they took us to the village, to Kandel near Odessa."

  • "My aunt’s husband, Domitr, Józef Domitr, he was an officer or a non-commissioned officer of the Polish Army, but I do not know his rank. Then, the Germans took him away when they came and they released him from prison later on, and he was in prison for a while. And later on he worked; he taught children how to ride a bike. My mum would invite him to come to us with my auntie, while they were still young, but he was afraid. He was afraid of the Bolsheviks, because he was as if a Polish officer. This, I remember. Even though we kept saying that: Nothing will happen to you, uncle. But nevertheless, he was afraid."

  • "He didn’t think, of course, he didn’t think. And those members of the Orthodox Church used to go to the Orthodox Church, and my daddy would go there, too. It was them Germans, no, no Germans any more, them Bolsheviks, on that street, Ujazdowska Avenue, they occupied a building and invited those members of the Orthodox Church there. And they gave them such ultimatum, my mum said, either to leave or to go to prison. To leave or to go to prison. Because so many people were killed here, so they sure wanted to have some more people here. It was better to go to prison, no doubt about it."

  • "In 1945, the Soviets came and started displacements. Displacements to the Soviet Union. And since my father was Russian and member of the Orthodox church, we were displaced together with others to the Union. When they brought us there, they took us to Odessa, or near Odessa, in Kandel, we lived there until 1946, and, then, our daddy and all of us, we went west to Rinve. And our daddy went to Kiev on a mission and asked for us to be sent back, to let us go back. They didn’t. In 1951, our daddy died and we lived there with our mummy, I finished a Russian school there, and, then, I learned here in Rivne; I graduated from that pedagogical college and worked in Rivne. They gave us such a small flat and we lived with our mummy all the time until 1989 when my mum died."

  • "Who knew that it was going to be like that – when I think about it now – could our daddy have imagined that he would not like it here when came, that he would not be able to go back? It’s mind boggling, isn’t it? When my grandma died, my grandma, my mother’s mum, I was going to that office here, asking for permit, so that we could go to the funeral, because a telegram came. No, I couldn’t go. I couldn’t go. They would not let me go to my grandma, to my uncle, to my aunt – no. They would only let my mum go, only mum; mum was in Poland two more times without me. She visited my grandma, it’s good she visited her. But I didn’t."

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    Równe (Ukraina) , 18.09.2009

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And they gave them such ultimatum, either to leave or to go to prison

Anna Prussakowa
Anna Prussakowa
photo: Pamět Národa - Archiv

Born in 1931 in Płock. Her father was member of the Orthodox Church and mother was a Roman Catholic. Her father, a secondary school graduate, worked as a bookkeeper. Her family spoke Polish at home and celebrated Roman Catholic holidays. Before World War II Anna Prussakowa finished one form of a primary school. After a fewIn 1945, after the liberation of Płock from German hands, the Soviets started resettling Orthodox families to the Soviet Union. Anna Prussakowa’s family was deported to the vicinity of Odessa. After a few months she moved to Zdolbuniv near Rivne, where she settled at her family’s friend’s, also a person displaced from Poland. Anna Prussakowa completed extramural pedagogic studies and started to work as a teacher of mathematics at a school in Rivne. She retired after 34 years of work in 1986. She now lives in Rivne.