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Memories of doctor of medicine Lechoslaw Majewski

Parts of the recording of an interview conducted by Mr. Maciej Adamski in October 2012.
The initial part of the recording is missing, it starts from the moment it it cited below.

Lechoslaw Majewski: When I came back home I discovered my father wasn't there any more, he had joined the army. So I hadn't seen my father until 1960s, when I was in London.[…] I rushed to the train station, but the train had already left, and my father was gone.

They organised the defence of Trzemeszno, as there were groups going from the direction of Kruchowo. Marchlewicz, a butcher, became our leader. My other grandfather, Mizgalski, prepared bandages. There was a drugstore in Świętego Jana Street, and in a shop next to it they organised the headquarters of the defence of Trzemeszno.

When we were living in Trzemeszno, my father moved house nine times during ten years of my life, and we lived in Świętego Ducha Street as well. I have a photo which shows the synagogue in the background (photo 1).

Do ,,Historii społeczności
Photo 1. Lechosław Majewski on the right, the synagogue in the background, view from Świętego Ducha Street. (Source: Wiktor Majewski's private archive)

Germans, annotation by A. K.] came. I was at my grandma's, I could see the other side of the lake through the window, and some Germans were running towards there […]. The gimnasium students and the high school graduates managed to come in time to take the armament they used while training from Gimnasium and so they organised the defence. I remember Marchlewicz walk in his leather butcher apron, holding like this, and here he had plenty of ammunition from the depot. And I would sit at the window the whole time, watching. My grandfather lived above the drugstore.

The shooting started. Ours, in the street that goes out of the market, and they made that luger fall over. They had taken it from the „Raiffeisen” in Szkolna Street. There was shooting from the side of the German church. They went up onto the roof, the local Germans, and they fired at the people. My grandfather came and took me out of the window, and to the basement on the other side, where my grandfather had a paint storeroom, opposite the drugstore. And we would stay in the basement until the shooting ended. My grandfather took me out, and there was a German standing and aiming up, there was an outhouse on that Grzona's house. And my grandfather addressed to him in German, being a fluent speaker, asked him what he was doing, that there was a woman sitting there and he was afraid that someone might shoot. And suddenly there came the army, from the direction of Kruchowo and took all the men to the marketsquare straight upon arrival. So they started sorting there […] and the Wermacht leader [ordered – annotation by A. K.] to decimate the Poles. They had the Poles standing in a line from Świętego Jana Street, where the Kilinski momument stands now, and the pharmacy behind, and they would count to ten and take every tenth person aside. Everybody was at the marketsquare, including us. And there came the German preacher. And he says to the leader, how come, the Germans started arriving in their chaises, the landlords from around, and how happy they are of the victory, and how he would now start the shootings. So the leader told all the men to join the line again. But there was a horse dealer in Bożnicowa Street. And he would visit the German landlords and confiscate their horses some 10 days before the Germans entered, and he would say that the horses were for the army, but he sold them in a neighbouring village. So when the Germans entered, they took him out instantly. I could see that as well. They tied him up to a motorbike, and they dragged him on the ground as he couldn't catch up, towards the dairy buildings and up the hill. There was the house of Kupski on the right, and they shot him behind that house. And they told the rest to go home. They only held Marchlewicz, and they placed a note here [on his chest – annotation by A. K.], I could see that, it said „Polnischer Bandit”. My mother later told me what it said. And he walked. He had to walk round the town with a bell from the municipality. Because once, when the municipality had an announcement to make, there was a municipality messenger walking the streets, calling „the Mayor's announcement”, and kept jingling the bell, and we would read when the people gathered.

Photo 2. German army, April 1940, the tenement where Lechosław Majewski and the Eisig faily lived. (Source:

We lived at Knast the baker. There's the post office, than the multi-storey house, and a fence. And I was born there, next to the post office, on the second floor. And the next house was of Knast the baker, and further – Knast the carpenter (photos 2-3).

Photo 3. The tenement house where the Majewski and the Eisig families lived in 1939. Świętego Michała Street, now Mickiewicza Street, present day view. (Source: photo by Agnieszka Kostuch)

I was sitting in the window when we returned from the square. And suddenly I could see them force local Judes walk the streets in pairs. And our youngsters, twenty-year-old Germans walking with guns. And the Judes carrying shovels. After an hour or two the Germans returned, alone. They had shot them somewhere. I don't know if it is already known where it had happened. Maybe at the Jewish cemetery. Well, somewhere, as they instantly covered it with grass, turf, so it was not really known where they had kept all those Judes. All the Judes, the young ones and the old ones.

There was a retarded person called Icuś. And then a shank maker living above. And I got really irritated when they published in Kosynier that my parents were facists and they hated Judes. Just an example. The Jude above us had five kids. And they would play with us in the yard, nobody told us not to. And when we went to dine, mum would call them, and pour soup for them quickly, and they would eat and go. And when the Germans entered, when they eliminated those Judes, they took all those Jewish families to Gniezno, and they kept them in the Chrobry Gimnasium. And my mom once dressed us up for a train, and she took things, food, and we went there. And mo approached the fence, there was a German there, she talked to him, he came and then he walked away. I can still see that. Lots of kids in the yard, those Judes. He turned back to us, and then my mom called at that neighbour of ours, that Jewish woman. And she approached, with the kids, took the food and the clothes. Mom offered to come again the following week. And we went there a week after, and they were not there any more happened to them, I still don't know. […]

Photo 4. Doctor Lechosław Majewski. (Source: Wiktor Majewski's private archive)

My sincere thanks to Mr. Wiktor Majewski for his cooperation in preparing this material.

Edited by Agnieszka Kostuch

Translated by Beata Szymańska

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