Interview with Alfred Sczygiol and Rudolf Hyla

The main topic of the interview is the end of the Second World War in the Upper Silesia Region, especially the Red Army’s actions when they advanced into Upper Silesia. This event is known as “Upper Silesia’s Tragedy”.
Alfred Sczygiol was a teenager during World War II. Therefore he is talking about his own experience. Rudolf Hyla is a local amateur historian. Both of them are inhabitants of a small village – Szemrowice which is part of the Opole Voivodeship, which before World War II was part of Germany. For that reason, people there were afraid of the Red Army.
The interview contains information about inhabitant’s and the Red Army’s soldiers behavior. One of the main threads of conversation is rape and the ways in which women were trying to protect themselves. For example, the priest locked some of them in the bell tower of the village church. Furthermore, there are a few individual stories of the inhabitants. This event was a real tragedy for people who were living there. They were waiting for the Red Army hidden in their cellars, and they were praying to survive.
The speakers are using the Silesian dialect. This is the basic language for people in that region..

Wańczyk-Magdalena