“This is the incredibly sweet horse named Bubi. A wonderful friendship between horse and human,” description of photograph by Zdzisław Żuber.

Source: Foundation “Polish-German Reconciliation,” Warsaw

“The first harvest in Hörans,” postcard inscription by Zdzisław Żuber. He was only 14 years and 8 months old at the time.

Source: Foundation “Polish-German Reconciliation,” Warsaw

Passport photograph of Zdzisław Żuber.

Source: Foundation “Polish-German Reconciliation,” Warsaw

Postcard 7: Zdzisław Żuber

»We were put to work in excavation, digging trenches and preparing tank traps. We were hungry and sick, but the worst for me were the head lice and the frost. I had 70 ulcers on my legs from the cold and from standing in cold water.«

Source: Foundation “Polish-German Reconciliation,” Warsaw

Zdzisław Żuber (right) ca. 1941, Polish forced laborer in Lower Austria and Burgenland

Zdisław Żuber was 14 years old when he was deported – alone, with no other members of his family – for forced labor in Austria in February 1942. He was put to work in agriculture in the Zwettl district of Lower Austria. As the only foreign worker, he suffered from loneliness. No allowances were made for his youth: “It was very hard for me to get used to it, because I was born in the city, and there I was simply thrown into work on the farm. Oh God, it was so exhausting. I had to get up at 5 in the morning, and went to bed at 10 or 11 at night after work (in the summer), and in the winter I worked in the forest.”

In September 1944, Zdisław Żuber was put to work digging trenches at the Südostwall fortification in Sankt Margerethen in Burgenland. His recollections of this period are dominated by the memory of his numerous injuries, and the illness he suffered as a result of the back-breaking work at the trench fortifications.

Zdisław Żuber submitted this photograph to the Foundation “Polish-German Reconciliation” in support of his application for recognition as a former forced laborer. He inscribed the photograph with the words “to jest Andrzej” (this ist Andrzej), “a to ja” (and this is me).