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Translated from parts of an

interview by Prof. Patalas

Antoni was born in 1916 in the Poznan region, from the vicinity of Gniezno.

In the winter of 1938, at the age of twenty-two, he was called up for military service. He served in the 69th Infantry Regiment in Gniezno and was assigned to the 9th Company of the 3rd Battalion.  The outbreak of World War II found Antoni in active service. He fought the Germans in the September Campaign, and on September 26th was captured by the Germans.

The Germans arranged them in two columns and marched them all day to Pruszkow. Jozef thought they were among the first prisoners of war, but the engine-house-turned-prison was already packed with Polish prisoners, then marched them all the day long to Żyrardów, where the whole stadium was already full of prisoners. They were later taken to Germany as forced labourers.

There were 9000 Polish POWS in the camp in Cologne, all starving beyond what they thought was possible. In several incidents, desperate prisoners attacked the bread cart, even though it was guarded by two armed soldiers. They were liberated by the American troops on April 14, 1945.


Antoni got papers to go to France, but later returned to Poland via Switzerland. It was not until 1953 that he and his wife decided to emigrate to Canada; for their son’s sake, if not for their own. At first, he worked loading coal, but eventually found a much better job at Inland Steel, from which he eventually retired.

Copyright: Jozwiak family

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