Flood in Dzisna

This is a photo of a flood in my home town, Dzisna. The photo was taken in 1931 and comes from the memory book about the town and people who lived there before World War II. I was born on 25th March 1923 in a small town called Dzisna. The town of Dzisna is located on the river Dzisna, a tributary of Dzwina, in the Vilnius district. Dzisna itself was a town close to the border, there were two rivers. In the fall there was always mud. We, the kids, used to walk on these stilts. There were floods in the spring; the largest one was in 1931. On the street you could smell horse manure and so on, because there were horses and cows in every house. There were hills, rivers, lakes, valleys and forests in the area. But mostly it was flat. The area was quite swampy. There was moss, there were swamps, mud. Yes, like it is in Polesie. When someone 'went to the mosses,' there was no point in looking for him. [Editor's note: Mr. Solowiejczyk uses the phrase 'go to the mosses' in the sense of 'take one's life']. Only locals knew how to pass between those mosses, no one else would come back. Supposedly, during the war partisans would hide in the swamps and when the Germans went looking for them the partisans were sitting in these holes which they had dug for themselves. When they had dug those holes there was water in them, but they took some pine branches and covered the holes with them. They could see those Germans looking for them, but the Germans couldn't see them.

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Leon Solowiejczyk