Veteran Stories:
Józef (Joseph) Obierski

  • Józef Oberski, 1939

    Józef Oberski
  • POW camp, Germany (May, 1943)

    Józef Obierski
  • Christmas in Germany (POW camp). Mr. Józef Obierski is the second row, third from the left-hand side.

    Józef Obierski
  • Polish soldiers, Italy. Mr. Józef Obierski is third from the left.

    Józef Obierski
  • Mr. and Mrs. Józef and Józefa Obierski’s wedding photo.

    Józef Obierski
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""I was a war prisoner up to ‘45. And during these years from ’40 to ’45, I worked in the five farms. Some farmers [were] good. [They were] sorry for us. But some farmers, especially the young generation, [they were] … I [do not] want to say.""

Transcript

I had to report my arrival in Germany because Germany [had] take[n] already our town.

Early in November [1940], [there] was something of news for us because by the gates [of the military base], [there were] more tables, more soldiers, German soldiers, some Volksdeutsche. And by the reading, by the calling your name, they split you: one [group of] guys go right, one [group of] guys go left. And I come to the group [on the] left.

After [this] finished, the right side [went] home, but to left side [they said], “You come again next day at the same time and take with you food for 24 hours.”

Next day, in the morning, come big truck, and when loading, we travel to Antoniego [Poland], close to Wągrowiec [Poland]. In Antoniego, [there] was quite few already Polish soldiers. But [in] this place [in the military base], [there] was a building, a school building, and a big field. We didn’t do [anything] there except every morning and every evening one hour [of] work.

We sleep in the straw, no cover, nothing.* Who [got] the army coat or something, they [were] happy. Everybody start[ed] to work. Was one [guard], our guard, the German soldier, was good. He bring the empty pail, big pail [full] of marmalade.

Next day, we start [to] work on the field, [to start] the training. But [it] was so cold [that] we didn’t do very much. But, anyway, no matter about the weather, we go to this place. Before April [1943] came lots of snow, we [got] the shovel and we cleaned the entrance to the office, to the government office [of the German authorities].

In April, after we finished this, they [the German authorities] split us to go to work in the farms. I was a war prisoner up to ‘45. And during these years from ’40 to ’45, I worked in the five farms. Some farmers [were] good. [They were] sorry for us. But some farmers, especially the young generation, [they were] … I [do not] want to say.

From then, we go to work in [the] port. They [the Germans] transferred to us to [the] German border, to Blumenfeld [Germany].

Few weeks after, we went to our camp, to Binningen [Germany]. We left this Blumenfeld. From half the road, came [a] big truck, and load[ed] the twenty soldiers and [went] to Binningen.

I came to [No. 17 Heavy Artillery Regiment], [and] transfer[ed] to [the] town, Squinzano [Italy]. Squinzano [was] not very far from Mottola [Italy]. But I was lucky; in Squinzano, I got the part of work in the office [of the regiment]. I got [the] job as assistant to Major Szwed. [That] was really good for me because [I had] no service, nothing, except [to] work in the office.

We stayed in Italy [for] one year. From [the] port, we traveled to England, to Liverpool.**

 

*Describing the Prisoner of War camp in Germany.

**Mr. Obierski went to South Hampton [England].

 

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