The Panel of Timewitnesses
- THE WARSAW SCHOOLBOY - Jan Mokrzycki
remembers the events of the early war years; the defeat and dismemberment
of first, his country, then his family (his father and grandfather to
be shot by the Gestapo, his mother to be sent to Auschwitz).
- THE LONDON SCHOOLBOY - Tom Holloway
lived in London throughout the blitz and remembers seeing American soldiers
for the first time "with their strange clothes and amazing build - like
Martians...". He now runs an Email Charity for children with special
- THE VIENNESE SCHOOLGIRL - Lotte Evans
lives in Melbourne, Australia, but remembers her schooldays in Vienna
vividly, and the discrimination because of a jewish great-grandmother.
- THE DUTCH SCHOOLBOY - Kees Vanderheyden
describes life under the German occupation. "The war was very literally
in my backyard with a German General's staff, his radio listening post,
the allied airmen hidden far away in the garden, and later the Canadian
military field hospital in our living room with blood and wounded soldiers
- THE BERLIN SCHOOLBOY - Eberhard Weber lived in Berlin during
the war and remembers during one period "spending more time in the shelter
than out of it". He now lives in California, USA.
- THE POLISH EXILE - Feliks Chustecki
was Headteacher of a Polish school in Coventry and is now retired. During
the war he was deported with his family to a slave labor camp. In 1944
he arrived in England (via Tajikistan and Persia) to train as a pilot
in the Polish Air Force.
- THE SURVIVOR - In 1942 Dr Janina Parafjanowicz saw her husband
and father taken to the notorious PAWIAK Gestapo Headquarters, where
they were summarily shot. She herself was later to go to to Auschwitz,
an experience that she survived. You can read her story if you click
- THE IMPRISONED AMERICAN SCHOOLBOY
- Arthur D. Jacobs was born in Brooklyn, but at the age of 12, victim
of some appalling blunder, he found himself locked up like a nazi war-criminal.
- THE CROATIAN SOLDIER - as a teenager,
Zvonko Springer was forced into a
German Uniform and made to fight. He survived the 'Croation Death March'
of soldiers who surrendered to Tito's partisan army. He now lives in
- THE CANADIAN AIR FORCE PILOT - Raymond
Delaveaux served as a Pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in
several occupied countries. After the war he was seconded to the Allied
Military Government of the Occupied Territories to assist in the process
of post-war recovery.
- THE VIENNA SCHOOLBOY - Ernest Blaschke
was just seven years old when the German Army marched into Vienna
and fourteen when it was captured and occupied by the Russian Army.
He emigrated to Canada in the 1950s and now lives in Toronto.
- THE LONDON SHOPGIRL - Dot Baker was
13 when she got her first job during the war. After two years of hard
manual work (shovelling 'slag' in a steel-works) she moved to London
and discovered the excitement of a city determined to enjoy itself while
- THE POTSDAM SCHOOLBOY - Heinz Barthel
was still only 8 when the war ended, but in the flight from the Russian
Army, then fast approaching Berlin and Potsdam, he saw and suffered
at first hand the chaos, hunger and misery that modern war brings to
civilians caught between warring armies.
- THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR - Arthur
Pay was a member of the 'Peace Pledge Union' at the outbreak of
war. He said to the wartime tribunal before which he was taken... "I
refuse on moral and rational grounds to take part in any military activity
or to assist the military machine in any way. I believe that the method
of War is wrong and futile". What happened to him after that you
can read here.
- THE LONDON SCHOOLGIRL
- Pamela Lazarus grew up in London's East End and knew the hardship
of hunger and broken nights. She also experienced anti-semitism from
English people with whom her family took refuge.
- THE DRESDEN SURVIVOR - Angela Gill
was just 8 on the night that Dresden, packed with civilian refugees,
was destroyed by a fire-storm. She survived that, and the raid that
machine-gunned the civilians fleeing from the still-burning city.
- THE LEIPZIG STUDENT - Heidi Kirsch
and her friends were told to work in the sugar-beet fields on the day
that Leipzig workers staged their revolt, but quietly escaped - only
to find themselves in central Leipzig surrounded by Soviet tanks.
- THE REFUGEE - Marion's
family risked the Atlantic crossing and the convoy was caught by U-boats,
but her ship survived.