Maria Tanczak Fiddler, a World war 2 survivor, recounted tales from her childhood throughout the German occupation in France and also the encounters that formed her knowledge of the sacredness of liberty.
PROVO, Utah (February. 18, 2016)—“Life is gorgeous, only one should be free to possess a beautiful existence,” Maria Tanczak Fiddler stated through tears. Fiddler, who increased in German-occupied France, is among a dwindling quantity of The Second World War survivors having a profound, first-hands story to talk about concerning the hardships from the last world war.
Fiddler’s account from the German occupation in France was handed in French, a language she’d not spoken in almost six decades. She tracked her story from her parents’ beginnings in Ukraine towards the day France was liberated from German occupation, recounting values she learned growing up living throughout the upheaval of World war 2.
Before the German invasion of Paris, Fiddler and her parents fled Ukraine due to her father’s political participation within the Ukrainian resistant against Nazi Germany.
Awaiting a potential invasion, Fiddler’s father required her family towards the Paris suburbs to locate temporary work. He earned a contract having a player he works free of charge around the condition which should the Spanish people invade, the player is needed their loved ones evacuate.
Not much later, the Spanish people invaded Paris. For that first couple of days, the household travelled by walking to safety. Fiddler remembered that her mother had purchased a chocolate bar that to give the household, allotting each member of the family one square each day as dinner.
Around the third day’s their journey, the German airplanes finally made an appearance. Fiddler appreciated her mother pushing her right into a ravine and holding her close as bullets from machine guns rained in the sky. Once the planes left, there have been physiques everywhere—some dead, some wounded. Although the wounded cried out for help, Fiddler remembers getting to did not get them, because there was nothing they might provide for them.
Afterwards, Fiddler’s family made their method to Orléans, and after that were delivered to another village where these were forced by German soldiers to board a train to Doulcon, a commune in northeastern France that housed a Nazi labor camp throughout the war.
Fiddler experienced a few of her most troubling recollections in the Nazi labor camp in Doulcon. From morning until night, she and her parents labored to reap taters for that German army in return for one bit of bread along with a meager serving of potato soup every day.
Fiddler remembered her mother once taking three taters in the harvest and hiding them in her own blouse. Though most workers looked away, one lady reported her. Fiddler didn’t desire to relate what her mother endured as punishment to take the 3 taters.
Though they faced enormous and indescribable hardships in the camp, among the German commanders within the camp frequently demonstrated kindness to Fiddler and her family, and Fiddler stated it had become because of his help that they are finally in a position to escape. She appreciated the commander visiting their house one evening with false papers to assist them to escape, a sacrifice that Fiddler stated saved them from likely to Auschwitz in the morning.
Fiddler’s family eventually found refuge in a tiny village until France was liberated, but she’ll always remember the sacrifice the commander made with respect to her family, as she later learned that the commander was caught for issuing them false papers and delivered to his dying.
“Here is really a man that saved our way of life, but he died for all of us,Inches Fiddler stated, switching from French to British. “Sometimes I figured the Spanish people were the poor quality ones, but they’re not every bad. It isn’t true. There are several good, there are several bad. You cannot judge people.”
Through tears and profound emotion, Fiddler stated, “I want everyone to cherish your liberty. You believe I had been liberated? No, I wasn’t liberated. My body system was liberated, but my scars weren’t liberated. They remain.Inches
“I think that liberty is sacred,” Fiddler concluded. “If you aren’t free, that isn’t existence.”
—Sylvia Cutler (B.A. British/French ’17)
Sylvia Cutler covers occasions for that Department of French & Italian. She’s a dual major in British and French having a minor in women’s studies.
Photos courtesy of Maria Tanczak Fiddler
Battlefield S1/E1 – The Battle of France
TheBranchez: Who won the first Tour de France? 7th Panzer Division. \n\nSorry, but I had to :/
Kurt Ingalls: DAMN that was just too funny!!!!! :-)
Lee Bailey: Don't look at the comment section, it's full of fucking idiots who would rather bitch about history than discuss it like adults. Trust me.
Nigel Fletcher: Lee Bailey \nAnd you are one of them
Steve J: I love these documentaries because they're so informative. None of the dramatized bullshit you see in "documentaries" today.
likesmilitaryhistory Alan Moore: I hear to many jokes about the lack of French courage in 1940, well lets put the situation right, for there is little in the way of insults that is worse than being called a coward…The fall of France was a combination of several reasons, the refusal to modernise the army and under founding, lack of courage was not one of them. In Belgium the French even won two battles, the Battles of Hannut and Gembloux where they halted the German advance and destroyed more German tanks than they themselves lost, but the Germans broke through in the Ardennes, and though the French had halted the German advance at Hannut and Gembloux they were forced to withdraw less the Germans who had broken through in the Ardennes appear in their rear, cutting of their supplies lines. The survivors of the French army that had gone into Belgium, the 1st Army were forced to retreat, they made a stand at Lille, that stand has become as legend to the French people, 40'000 French with few tanks, few Anti-Aircraft guns and few Anti-Tank guns hold back 200'000 Germans. Shelled constantly, bombed from the air, attacked with tanks, the French engaged the Germans in bitter house-by-house fighting, and delayed the Germans long enough to allow for 338,000 men to be picked up of the beaches ands moles of Dunkirk. Winston Churchill wrote…for four critical days contained no less than seven German divisions which otherwise could have joined in the assaults on the Dunkirk perimeter. This was a splendid contribution to the escape of their more fortunate comrades and of the BEF.— If those 200,000 Germans had been free to attack the Dunkirk perimeter the beaches and moles would have been overrun before the first ships could arrive to ferry off the troops. The Germans were so impressed by the stand of the 1st Army that when the French, out of ammunition finally did surrender they were allowed to march through Lille with all their banners flying, as they marched past the German officers the Germans saluted them. One German officer wrote in his diary …The gallant defence of Lille proved that the French soldier is still among the best in the world–
likesmilitaryhistory Alan Moore: When every one else. I take it you mean in 1939 \n Was Sweden involved?\n Was Spain involved?\nWas Portugal involved?\nWas Switzerland Involved?\nWas Norway involved?\nWas Denmark involved?\nwas Belgium Involved?\nWas the Netherlands involved?\n Was Eire Involved? \n Was Turkey Involved? \nWas Hungary involved?\nWas Romania involved?\nWas Yugoslavia?\n Was Bulgaria involved?\n I think you will find all those countries were in fact neutral. You seem to think that the United States had an obligation to get involved in a war that was being fought 3000 miles from its eastern seaboard, a war that they had nothing to do with creating, well they did not.
likesmilitaryhistory Alan Moore: Cardi\n I agree with you totally.
TheMourot: At Dunkirk, the French sacrificed tens of thousands of troops to hold back the Germans while the English and some French units could escape across the channel, without the channel Great Britain would have been crushed even more easelily than France. 9 days of battle, 18.219 casualties for the allies : 16 000 frenchmen. Who fought ?
unfluencedarea: +SuperAncientmariner Exactly. Im merely stating that a shortage of supplies, exhaustion and maintenance was not a factor that would have prevented Guderians Panzer corps to cut the allies off at Dunkirk.\n\n\nThe book is indeed superb in my opinion! Too bad Goering was incapable of correctly leading the Luftwaffe. Would have made things more interesting if he was to be replaced earlier in the war by someone with a sharp mind and modern approach to warfare like Guderian.