Story-Writer: Alexandra Caplat

Story-Teller: Roman Tudorița

Organization: Asociația House of Education and Innovation

Title: A Little Girl’s Story during the Second World War

Level: Intermediate

Language: English

Abstract: Life was hard throughout that period during and after the war, but with good people that helped, we managed to get by. Everything that happened was a lesson to learn from: you have to survive no matter if life is hard or easy. Now I’m glad, because I have memories that became stories worth telling. 

Key-Words: war, hunger, fields, work, fear, woman, experience.

A Little Girl’s Story during the Second World War

I was born in 1938 in a small village named Rodoveni. It was only me and my mother, because my father was sent to war. When I was two years old, my mother received an unexpected telegram, which was saying that my father went missing in the war, but she knew that it actually meant that he passed away. The news made us very sad. I can still hear my mother’s cry and see the sadness in her eyes today. After a short period of time, my mother gave birth to Ghiorghiță, my little brother, so it wasn’t just the two of us anymore.  


I was only three or four years old when I first realized the noises caused by the war. I could hear the loud bombs hitting the ground and the little earthquakes after them. I can’t forget the disturbing[1] sounds that the airplanes were making above our roof, while we were hiding, scared, trying to survive the everyday terror. There were soldiers and guards everywhere, yelling at us to turn off the lights because the loud airplanes were dropping bombs on houses, especially if they saw any light or people running.  They were killing them all. We were so scared that we would turn the lights off and run outside. We were trying to hide under the trees, hoping that the airplanes won’t see us. We usually slept outside because it was summer. One day, when they started dropping bombs on houses, my mother forgot my little brother on the porch[2], because we ran under the trees to hide. He started crying loudly, so  my mother ran back quickly and grabbed him as fast as she could. Luckily, they didn’t see my mother and my little brother. They came back to  me, under the trees, where we were safe.


After some time, when my brother was one year and a half old, he used to play outside with our neighbor’s children. They were usually playing with mud and leaves, searching for stones, sticks or just running around. They had a lot of fun, even though the surroundings weren’t so great. One night, he suddenly started crying and yelling[3] loudly. I thought he was getting sick because he wasn’t feeling very well. Ghiorghiță started vomiting and screaming. I felt scared, because we didn’t know what to do anymore and nothing helped him to get better. When I woke up in the morning, my mother told me with tears in her eyes that my brother had passed away. She told me that he had the evil eye[4] curse and that was the reason for his sickness and why nothing helped him. We cried together afterwards and missed him so much.  


 After some months, my cousin, who was with my father in the war, came home to let us know that my father was dead.  He didn’t know that we received the telegram. He started telling us that he was there with him when he died. He said that my father was running forward when they needed to go back, so the Russians killed him. They tried to take his body back, but they couldn’t reach him because he was surrounded by Russians and it was too risky. He felt sorry that he was right there and couldn’t do anything for him.  


After some years, we moved in with my grandmother. We were calling her “Maica” and she lived in Ceamurlia de Jos, near the Danube Delta. Soon after the war ended, the hunger started. My mother, Maica and I didn’t have anything to eat. To not starve, we would go to the fields of wheat that were already harvested and gather the remains of grains that were left. We would stay and collect for hours the bags of grains. They were later crushed and made into flour and then bread, so we could eat.  I remember that the fields were owned by a lady that lived right across the street from them. One time, when we went to collect the wheat, there was a guard walking near the fields to protect them. After almost half an hour, the guard saw us and started running toward us. He stopped us right away and grabbed my mother by the wrist, hitting her and saying we weren’t allowed on the field. He was shouting angrily while hitting my mother. I felt so scared that I started crying and running around them or wherever I saw around me. When I looked at him, I realized he was coming for me and I fell down while trying to run away. Luckily, the lady who was the owner of the fields was outside, in her garden and heard the yelling and loud noises. She quickly came to us and started arguing with the guard, telling him that he wasn’t allowed to hit my mother and that it wasn’t even fair to do so, because we weren’t stealing, we were just collecting the remains that weren’t used anymore. The nice lady let us take the wheat for several months and that is how we had something to eat for a period of time.  


When we couldn’t go to the fields anymore to gather the grains of wheat for flour, we had to find other ways to make bread. We were also going to the mill, where the flour was usually made. We would go to the edge of the windows, doors or even on the ground, because there was flour falling, which nobody collected because nobody wanted it. We would go and take the little bits of flour, so we could make bread to eat. We weren’t only eating bread; we would sometimes also make millet or barley polenta or we had soup with borscht and only onions. Sometimes, when we found mushrooms or pumpkins, we were baking them in the oven.  


We always managed to eat, even though it was pretty hard at that period of time. Having clothes was also difficult, especially making the shoes. They used to kill a pig or more, use the meat for food and then they would take the skin out, clean it, let it dry and use it to make shoes. They were all made from pig’s skin and everyone would wear it like that. It was pretty hard to wear them, especially for walking, they felt very strange. Besides the pig skin, some of the shoes had wood for the soles and they were even more uncomfortable then the first ones. I didn’t like them at all. But Maica used to crochet for me shoes, which I liked very much. They were my favorite ones. I used to wear them all the time because they were made only from wool and it was easier to walk, compared to the wood and skin ones. The clothes were kind of thin, because they rarely found good material to make it from. Maica was twisting cotton to make dresses for me, and she or my mother would stay up all night to make them, sometimes even days. I remember staying with her, nights and days in a row to make the clothes. She was happy to do it, I asked her once, if she likes to make our dresses and she said that it’s a passion and that she likes to make them. I actually enjoyed staying with her too while she was making them.  


When I was ten years old, my mother married another man because she was tired to work so much on her own, but she moved in with him and left me with Maica. I didn’t mind because I loved Maica, but I was a little sad when she left. After some time, Maica started going out at night, after people would harvest the fields, because we were still starving during that time, so she would go at night to not be seen. One night, after men worked on the fields, they got drunk and one of the men came to our door and started hitting it and somehow got inside. Maica and I were alone and very scared. The man said he would sleep there at night. We didn’t know what to do so we agreed and went to another room. Maica still needed to go out to the fields to collect grains, so she tried to sneak out through the window, but she couldn’t, because the window was blocked from the outside, so she tried going through the room where the man was sleeping. He woke up and started yelling at her, saying that she wasn’t allowed to go out. He suddenly became aggressive and grabbed her wrists, put her down and got on top of her. When I saw that, I started screaming and when the man heard me, he started coming toward me. He pushed me down and started to strangle me. I was so scared for my life that I couldn’t breathe at all. Those were the longest seconds of my life. Immediately after the man got off Maica to come after me, she got out and went to the neighbors to ask for help. When the man heard Maica going out, he left me alone and ran away. Maica told the neighbors what happened and they all came very quickly, but they couldn’t find the man anymore. The next morning, we talked to some police officers about that man. We told them everything that happened, but no one cared. They told us that the men are just working there and that we should leave them alone, so they sent us back home. That man never got what he deserved and everything was just so unfair for us.  Even till this day, I am afraid to stay alone because of what happened then. That was the most terrible experience that I have ever lived. But everything is in the past now. 

[1] Disturbing – Causing feelings of worry, fear, anxiety.

[2] Porch – A covered area, usually at the entrance of the house.

[3] Yelling – From the verb “to yell” i.e., screaming, shouting.

[4] Evil eye – An ancient curse, believed to be cast by a stare.

Project 2020-2-RO01-KA205-080819 STORYLINE

Funded by the Romanian National Agency of the Erasmus+ Programme

Start date: 01-11-2020

End date: 31-10-2022

Copyright © 2020 – 2022 STORYLINE

This web-site reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein.

Versiune - 0.1

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google