Russians Take Warsaw
January 18, 1945

Ruins of Warsaw ghetto

The Red Army, having spent several months watching the Germans crush the Polish uprising, marched into Warsaw on January 18, 1945. 

The Times-Picayune reported the capture of Warsaw in an article on the front page, referring to the city as the “anguished Polish capital.”

Our survivors Anne Levy and Lila Millen, ages nine and seven, survived nearly five years in the Nazi-occupied Warsaw, and now they looked out over a city in ruins. The site of the Jewish ghetto was a field of rubble. The Germans dynamited the rest of the city after the Polish uprising in 1944. No city in Europe suffered such devastation at the hands of the Germans as did Warsaw. The same can be said of the country as a whole: three million Polish Jews were murdered, and three million Poles were perished under the merciless conditions or were murdered. And this nation that suffered under German occupation for five years and four months now passed into the hands of the Russians. Their occupation of Poland would last fifty years. 

The Skorecki family eventually returned to Lodz, the place where they lived before the war. Anne tells us in the documentary that her mother tried to register the family on a list of survivors.

Anne Levy: Return to Lodz

Lila, who had “passed” as a Catholic child for nearly two years, did not know that she was Jewish until her father told her.

Lila Millen: ‘You’re Jewish, Not Catholic’