Michal Nadel with his friends in military hospital in Cracow

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This is the photo of me and my friends from military hospital. Unforunatelly I don’t remember their names. The photo was taken in 1945 by some photographer in Cracow.

In 1944 I was moved from Lublin to Przemysl, and then to Cracow to an Officer School. One night a group of Germans came to our area from Slovakia. I was hit with tiny shrapnel, I fell on the ground and was run over by a military vehicle, a heavy Studebaker - an American vehicle, weighing 10 tons. That's no joke. The Germans were gone, they escaped. Our cars were nearby, they took me there wrapped in a blanket. When they touched me - horrible pain, terrible. The doctors said my pelvis and lower vertebrae were broken in 8 places. The spinal cord was damaged. My abdomen was open. After the surgery they couldn't put me in a cast. Peritonitis developed. I was on morphine all the time. After some time I got pneumonia in both lungs. Every single one of these illnesses was enough to kill. I was really just waiting for death in the hospital. There was a young man from Lwow among us, a petty thief or something like that, and he brought me a white tablet then. I passed out unconscious after it, but woke up in the morning and then there was a breakthrough. Everything went away. The fever went down, I started to improve. The doctor told me not to thank him: 'God, providence, your organism - maybe that helped, but not medicine. Medicine was helpless here' - he said.

For a long time afterwards I couldn't remain standing up. I got around in a so called tram-way. I folded a blanket several times and slid on it on the floor - the floors were polished. Once a new doctor came by, an officer released from a camp. He saw me how I was riding on the blanket and asked: 'What's that circus?!', I said 'No, professor, it's a tram-way, not a circus'. And he said: 'Circus! Go back to your room!’ He came by after a day or two and said: 'Sit up. Stand up'. I said I couldn't, because I couldn't. I tried, but I couldn't. Then he gave me his hand and I got up. Straight. I was shocked. He told me to stand up several times a day and look out the window. I started doing that.
I began walking with crutches, then with a cane. When I was able to walk, half a year passed, in 1946 they sent me from Cracow to a military health resort in Kudowa Zdroj.

Interview details

Interviewee: Michal Nadel
Zuzanna Solakiewicz/Judyta Hajduk
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Lodz, Poland


Michal Nadel
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before WW II:
Metal worker
after WW II:

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