Bohdan Hryniewicz was only 8 when war broke out and 13 when it ended. In those years he saw more than most men would in 10 lifetimes; and his recall is extraordinary. He cites three days as defining this period: the saddest, 19 September 1939 as Russian tanks rolled into his home town of Wilno; the happiest, August 1 1944, when the Polish flag flew once again from the highest building in Warsaw; the most bitter, October 3 that year, when his commanding officer forbade him to join the other members of his battalion as they entered a prisoner of war camp. The Warsaw Uprising lasted 63 days and was the largest single military effort by any resistance movement in the war. Throughout, Bohdan was the personal runner of lieutenant Nalecz, CO of the battalion of the same name. Betrayed by Stalin, all the Poles were expelled to camps after surrender and the city dynamited. Bohdan is probably the last witness to this tragedy.
My Boyhood War
The History Press