May I invite you in a journey back in time? To the time of the Second World War in Germany. Do you want to know what it was like when millions of people fled from Poland to West Germany in the winter of 1945? My grandparents and their ten children travelled for eight weeks on two horse carriages on this difficult journey to an uncertain future. Perhaps you would like to accompany this poor, little educated family on their dangerous journey. I invite you to dive into this nearly forgotten time with my mother Hedwig, who was born in Gdansk in 1927. The Blunks, a poor German family with many children, lived in Danzig, a free city-state surrounded by Polish territory. On August 31st, 1939, behind their house, they experienced the beginning of the Second World War. The oldest son Paul, eager to escape his alcoholic, brutal father, voluntarily joined the SS-Danzig National Guard. After Poland was occupied by Germany, the father was granted his own estate near Rypin, in Poland. Until the war’s end, the family lived first “in Paradise”; then began the terrible deportation and murder of the former Polish landowners as well as the Polish “intelligentsia”. In 1945, the family had to leave their farm in Rojewkowo. They fled in winter with nine children and two horse-drawn carts from Poland as far as Malente, in northern Germany near Lubeck. From 1946, the family lived in an abandoned Air Force barracks, then on a small farm nearby. Here the narrator, Hedwig, was married. She moved with her husband to Hamburg. Hedwig describes her experiences during those times, and later on till the 70s and 90s, as told to her daughter, Marion.
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Wielodzietna, uboga rodzina Blunk mieszka w latach dwudziestych w Wolnym Miescie Gdansku. W dniu 31 sierpnia 1939 roku narratorka, Hedwig, jest swiadkiem, jak niemieccy zołnierze, tuz za jej plotem, oddaja pierwsze strzały armatnie w strone Westerplatte. Pierwszy ogien drugiej wojny swiatowej otwiera sie na jej oczach. Zadna z osob opisanych w tej ksiazce nie podejrzewa, jakie przerazajace czyny beda wynikiem tych dzialan.
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