Sitting on the steps outside her family’s kitchen, 11-year-old Romualda Smolicz spotted soldiers on the horizon in the Polish village of Lozowicze as the sun rose on Sept. 17, 1939.Share
“I said to my family, ‘Oh, they are Polish soldiers.’ They had eagles on their hats. Five minutes later they came to our orchard and, oh, they were something different and life was not the same,” she remembered.
They were Soviet troops who would soon perpetuate in the east, atrocities that had begun a little more than two weeks earlier on Sept. 1 when Nazi troops invaded Poland from the north, south and west. The country was divided between Russia and Germany and World War II was effectively under way.
“It was like a flood and we were under,” said Smolicz who is now a nun living in Chester.