Air Force

April 26, 2013

Holocaust survivor visits 162nd FW

Staff Sgt. Heather Davis
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

She spoke softly, her English fragmented by a crisp Polish accent as she told of her torn youth. Sorrow blanketed the audience, the impact of her words bringing shock, anger and a few tears. She spoke with purpose, her words calm but filled with horrific visions of cruel injustices. Her message – remember the atrocities of our past to prevent the injustices of our future.

Wanda Wolosky, one of a few remaining holocaust survivors, visited the wing April 11 to share with unit members the stories of her childhood as a Jewish girl in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.

“One day I woke up, there were planes flying over the city and bombs falling down,” said Wolosky. “Through the window I could see people yelling, screaming and running. I didn’t know what was going on, but the war had started. The bombing lasted a whole month and most of the bombs targeted the Jewish section of the city,” she said.

The onset of the war changed Wolosky’s life forever. Her life once filled by family and childhood play was replaced by one filled with loss, death, fear, hunger and the desperate need to simply survive.

“Survival, you learn it very quickly and at a very young age because you see what’s happening,” said Wolosky. “In war situations you aren’t a child anymore, you grow up and you become an adult. One day I went to the wall, I could hear the shooting and with all of my heart I wanted to be over there, to help, to fight. I was eight,” she said.

The average daily calorie intake for people in the Warsaw ghetto was 184 calories, said Wolosky. Families survived on a single loaf of bread, or soup that was lucky to contain a potato peel.

“If you walked the streets there were children laying, begging,” said Wolosky. “Some didn’t even have the strength to pick up their arms to beg, they were skin and bones.” Death was everywhere, it got to the point where no one paid any attention to the bodies because it was a daily occurrence, she said.

Survival for Wolosky and her mother meant becoming smugglers to keep from starving. They escaped the ghetto through basements, holes in the wall and even the sewer to exchange whatever they could for food to bring home to their family, said Wolosky. If they had been caught, however, it would have cost them their life, she said.

“When you came back, you would have to hide the food,” said Wolosky. One day she returned to the ghetto, smuggling part of a pig under her coat when a German soldier put his hand on her shoulder. “I was sweating with every pore in my body because I was so afraid. Getting caught would have meant a bullet in the head,” she said.

She never knew if one wrong step would mean her death, but she continued fighting for survival, “Life was the only motivation,” said Wolosky. “I wanted to live. I wanted to survive. I wanted to see tomorrow.”
Wolosky’s fight continued until Poland was liberated by Russia at the end of the war. Since Russia was a communist country, Wolosky and her mother requested to travel to Israel. Two years later their request was granted and they departed for Israel.

“For the first time in my life I felt free,” said Wolosky.

For most of her life Wolosky didn’t want to speak about her experiences in Poland, trying to forget. Six years ago she began telling her story because of the many people who don’t believe the Holocaust ever happened, she said.

“You have to carry on our stories,” said Wolosky. “You’re the ones who can stop injustice. If you see it, speak up. You live in a free country where you can say whatever you want to. So many people died, it’s enough,” she said.

Although Wolosky lost so much at the hands of others, she keeps her conscience and heart free of hatred and blame, she said.

“I’m not blaming, but I’m not forgetting,” said Wolosky.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Draft Total Force Training Environmental Assessment available for public review

The revised draft Environmental Assessment for Total Force Training (formerly Operation Snowbird) was released by Air Combat Command here today. The release initiates a 30-day public comment period, which ends October 23.  Substantive public comments submitted by that date will be considered before the Air Force makes any determinations on the proposal.  These comments will...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Ash)

AF signs Total-Force Aircrew Management charter

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Senior Air Force leaders signed a Total Force Aircrew Management charter Sept. 18, during the Aircrew Summit at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staf...
 
 

Airmen must revalidate dependents by Dec. 31

By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force audit readiness efforts. This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air Force to validate Airmen’s basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air...
 

 

Phased rollout to improve enlisted evaluation system

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force chief of enlisted force policy outlined the implementation of the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems at the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17. Developed in 1968, and implemented two years later, the existing Weighted Airman Promotion System has been in...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Photos by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron: Maintenance Flight

The 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron’s Maintenance Flight performs phase inspections on A-10C Thunderbolt IIs after 500 flight hours. During a phase inspection, the A-10 is given a complete in-depth inspection, searching ...
 
 

Air Force Enlisted Village: Not just a place to live, a place to call home

I first visited the Air Force Enlisted Village as a young first sergeant in 2009, when I was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. I went to visit with the Tyndall Active Airmen’s Association, Tyndall’s E-1 to E-4 Professional Association, and was amazed at what I saw. This was also the first time I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin