To you, Marushka, I dedicate these memoirs as you were not only my wife but also my friend and faithful companion during our homeless war wanderings.


It was a beautiful September morning and the fifth anniversary of the war. My wife and I were sitting on an earthen bench in front of a small hut in Kosewo, speaking of this war and the years gone by. We came to this little village from burning Warsaw.

 We recollected people and things which happened in the past and it was here that I decided to write down what I saw, heard and felt during this big, murderous war.

 Events, developments and conflicts created the war. People whom I had met were clear in outline and the tracks I had travelled were set by fate. What was left for me to do? A job of an honest chronicler. Honest, I mean, as there will be no fictitious events or persons, nor a pink halo for my native country.

 I wanted to write these recollections for my sons and their generation so that when they grew up they could read it and understand what war is to people and people to war; so that they might understand the categorical absurdity, the destructive power and the criminal war psychosis.

 If they understand my memoirs will achieve their aim.


Zygmunt Skarbek-Kruszewski

Kosewo                                                                            1- September -1944.


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