Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Men From the East Were Terrible

70 years ago today the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east and divided up the country with the Nazis. In some places in Poland, they light candles and put them in the windows to remember the dead and the suffering of the living during that time.

My mother was living west of Lvov in eastern Poland when the Russians invaded. I once asked her what that time was like. She said, "The men from the east were terrible--like buffaloes."

Tonight in Danville, Virginia, where I live, I will light a candle.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

When my grandmother told me about being liberated from the slave labor camp, she surprised me by saying they feared the Russians more than the Germans. She told me about asking a Russian soldier for help. She spit out the response from the soldier just as he said it in Russian and then translated it as "And what do you have for me". She cried only twice when talking about her experiences as a child during the war; when she told the story of the woman who was taken by Russian soldiers and raped repeatedly for days, given a potato sack to wear and then tossed from the train like garbage, the first time she cried was when she described the size of the lice they were infested with while being forced to dig the mass graves.