extracts
False Freedom
KAZIMIERZ BARUT
Osada Batorówka, District Horochów

If the stay in the north was misery the departure for supposedly better regions was disastrous. On the railway stations were thousands of refugees both our own people and those fleeing from the approaching Germans. When after nine days we stopped in Perm I straightaway set off in search of food, bought a few sandwiches at a restaurant and then went back for some more. Coming back in a hurry I jumped onto what I thought was our moving train only to find that we were heading for the Ural mountains. The wind and cold pierced me to the bone and eventually, thinking I would freeze to death, I curled up on the floor of the open truck. There, only half conscious, preparing myself to leave this world, I pictured myself back home propped against an old leaning fence behind which were beautiful sunflowers and a fine crop of beetroots. It later emerged that one of the guards noticed me and stopped the train.