Anna Lanota’s People's Army membership ID

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This is my People's Army membership ID. I got it in the time of the Warsaw uprising in August 1944.

During the uprising I was in the Old Town. I divided up the food among the boys on the barricades. Later I printed our newssheet. It came out every day, it was four pages long.

The printing shop was on Freta Street. I certainly built barricades, and had a gun, but I don't remember standing on the barricades. Later on we went round making holes in cellar walls to be able to move from house to house without going up onto the street.

People were angry with us. The Old Town was simply massacred, they bombarded it terribly; houses collapsed, people were killed under them, there was no escape. The Germans sat on the roofs and shot at passers-by, and there was nothing to eat.

On 26th August Gustaw Rozlubirski [Lt. Edwin Rozlubirski, pseudonym 'Gustaw,' one of the AL Commanders in the Old Town] decided that all our group was going to Zoliborz, a district of Warsaw.

Zoliborz was holding out and hadn't yet been badly hit. Our path through the sewers had been mapped out by Inka Solska a long time before. We went down into the manhole.

A few hours later we emerged onto Inwalidow Square. We went to friends', washed - we were terribly dirty - and had to throw away the clothes we had worn in the sewers, and we got new ones.

There was a fairly large AL organization there, under Zenon Kliszko. Some time later, when the defense of Zoliborz was coming to an end, a 20-man detachment was formed and ordered to go to Kampinos, a forest near Warsaw.

In Zoliborz, the commander, Zenon Kliszko, issued everybody with People's Army membership ID. I can't remember whether he gave it to me personally, or whether somebody brought me it.

I kept this ID as a memento and carried it with me. This is one of the few that have survived. I had a lot of luck - because I didn't have much sense.

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Interviewee

Anna Lanota