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15 October 2014
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Miracle escape from the Nazis

by Yiskah

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Pessy Iska Krausz nee Markiewicz
Location of story: 
at Dunkirk
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
19 February 2004

I was a child of two when my parents had to flee from Germany. They were smuggled into Antwerp where we lived for about six months. But the Nazis followed and we had to flee again. But the last ship had already sailed from there. Locking the door of our flat, and just in the clothes we were wearing, my mother grabbed her handbag, my father put me on his shoulders and we ran on foot for three days and nights towards Dunkirk.
On the way others running desparately asked where we were going. People laughed derisively when my mother replied 'To Dunkirk.' They shouted 'Don't you know the Port is in flames!?" My mother said that wherever there is water there is a chance of escape, and we continued Nevertheless.
Finally, being bombed almost to death in our race, we reached the beaches.
All was panic and aflame, but my parents saw someone who looked like an official. Luckily my mother spoke fluent English and begged him to save us. He replied that this was impossible, as he was evacuating the British troops.
Another official came along, an my father nudged my mother to try again. He was approached, but on giving the same response, my mother drew the gun from the holster on his belt and held it to my head.
"If you do not take us, I will shoot by child, my husband and myself before your eyes."
Aghast he said something to the effect of 'Come along madam' and I remember being pushed over the edge of a little boat. I also recall it was packed, not only in rows but from ceiling to floor with men. They seemed to be laughing, and when they saw me running and singing along the narrow isles, I remember being patted by them on the head.
And that was how we escaped to the hospitable shores of the British Isles which we have blessed ever since.
I have always wondered three things. 1.Is there anyone may have been on the boat we were on and remembers a little two and a half year old girl
skipping and singing along the isles. 2.Whether anyone is aware of other civilians being taken aboard at the Dunkirk evacuation. 3. Where in England did the boats dock.
If anyone is able to respond, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - A child escaped at Dunkirk

Posted on: 20 February 2004 by Ron Goldstein

Welcome to the site young lady.
Your story deserves to have a happy ending. Might I suggest you contact any or all of the Dunkirk organisations giving your story exactly as you have just posted it here and with a little bit of luck you might get a response.
Please let us know if you get any results.
Best wishes


Message 2 - A child escaped at Dunkirk

Posted on: 21 February 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Hi Yiskah

What a magnificent story!

Kind regards,


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