My name is Sonja DeJagmin Mirska and I was born in Nowoskiulki*sic, Poland (at the time), lived in Wisniowc├ę, and at the onset of the War was moved around Europe between Den Hague and Dresden during the bombing.

I now live in the states, after meeting the love of my life 56 years ago who recently passed away, and am having my beautiful grandson Adam abridge and answer your questions.

You can call me Moonie. Adam will try and keep some sensitive information out of the AMA, but if you have any desire to investigate more or have any pertinent information send a PM to this account. Ask me anything.

*edit 1: Adam here: Moonie can be a great story teller but a little long winded, I'm going to try and keep her answers succinct and... she doesn't have internet at her house, so the answers may trickle in over the course of the next few days. Hopefully I'll be get answers for all of your questions. I'm also planning on uploading interviews I recorded of Moonie when I was a young man to soundcloud. Hopefully those will be posted sooner rather than later.

**edit 2: We're going to call a break, it's now 5:00pm. Keep asking questions and I'll ask moonie as many as possible and try and answer them over the next few days.

11/30 1:30 pm

EDIT 3: Adam here: Hey guys, I had a feeling that this thread would blow up. I really appreciate all the love you have shown my grandma, she's really an amazing person. I've been working the past few days (black friday retail 2nd shift :/) So I'll try and get to Moonies house by Monday and get answers to some more questions. Thank you all for being patient.

If anybody is questioning the validity of Moonie's AMA I can send the mods Moonie and her mothers immigration forms.

In the mean time I've created a mediafire folder of the interviews I recorded with Moonie over the past several years, It's quite sizable but if you have a few hours to kill it's a good listen. Quality is pretty bad as it was tape recorded.


Comments: 85 • Responses: 9  • Date: 

SonjaDeJagminMirska31 karma

Family Background: Moonie's Dad (Aloysius Christopher Tops an exporter of lumber) was wealthy but he was a notorious ladies man, and had abandoned their family at a young age. Her mom (Isabella DeJagmin Mirska Tops, born in white Russia) had moved Moonie and Alex to her sisters and brother in-laws(Jospehine/Felix Dobrzycki) estate in Kolodno, Poland.

magicmalek23 karma

Can you tell us about some of your terrible experiences? Did you witness any historical events as well?

SonjaDeJagminMirska78 karma

The bombing of Dresden in 1945... it was terrible. And Dresden was such a Beautiful place, and they bombed it. I worked in a factory making parts for bombs, working on precision instruments when it happened. It happened on the 13th of February, they laid all the dead on the street. The only visible thing wrong with most of them was blood coming out of their ear. I saw people jumping out of the 8th story of buildings on fire. Pure Horror. My brother Alexander Tops disappeared during the bombing and we never saw him again.

uberlad20 karma

What's your very best life advice?

SonjaDeJagminMirska64 karma

Stay Happy, don't gossip on the phone. :)

EvictYou20 karma

What were rations like for you during the war? Was food scarce?

SonjaDeJagminMirska34 karma

It was terrible, It was all segmented to grams, not Kilos or ounces. It would not have even been a half a pound of bread for the week. My mother would go to a boarding house to see her friend, and would pick up extra rations. Her friend would give us potato peels and crust, and my mom would take the peels and some onion skin and chop it up. Another friend of my moms who was a doctor, would prescribe Hemorrhoid oil (clean oil) to use for cooking. (Moonie laughs)

EvictYou11 karma

Thank you. Have a nice Thanksgiving.

SonjaDeJagminMirska24 karma

Adam here Thank You, she says she's now thankful for the food, she's making up for the rationing now.

Reinbert17 karma

What where your/your families opinions about the nazis? You say you were moved between den Hague and Dresden, what did you experience? When did you first leave home and why?

My Girlfriend studies History and shes really interested in the WW2 and very thankful for you ama!┬┤

SonjaDeJagminMirska25 karma

-"They were friendly"(she's wisecracking), I recognize they were the enemy but my Mother spoke German, so we were saved from them by that fact.

-We moved to Dresden on a train just like cattle. We had no idea where we were going.

Adam here: We're not sure what you might mean by "when did you first leave home?" Moonie lived several places so do you mean when she first left Poland to Holland, or Holland to Germany, or Germany to Prague?

WizardBomb16 karma

What was the scariest moment of the whole thing to you?

SonjaDeJagminMirska48 karma

The bombing of Dresden and the shortage of food. On the way out of Dresden during the bombing all I remember was running. Every so often was a hole in the ground, like a fox hole, where German soldiers would hide for support. I heard the Phosphorous bombs whistle, and one landed near me. A german soldier pushed me out of the way of the bomb and saved my life.

The Phosporous bombs were little cylinders that released a powder that would burn through anything. People were running with me and I ran through the park, and I had a Satchel with jewelry with me and I fell. My hand went through something mushy, I looked at my hand and it had went through a mans head. I had lost the Jewelry.

In Alschtacht there were bodies that had baked from the Phosphorous and had shriveled to the size of Dolls. There were people who were on fire who had thought that jumping into a water reservoir would save them but the heat had boiled the water. They boiled alive.

The shortage of food and Rationing, even in Holland after the war, was a day to day fear.

TheHumansheep11 karma

I knida have two questions

Were you in holland during the german attack in 1940, if so, where in Holland did you live? And were you forced to work in Germany, or did you go on willingly?

EDIT: if you lived in holland during the german invasion, did it make you feel anxious? And where you shocked by the bombing of rotterdam?

SonjaDeJagminMirska18 karma

-I lived in Den Hague when Germany attacked, they had bombed Rotterdam and had only dropped a handful of bombs.

-Oh sure we were, like hell. We were put in the labor camp. We dumped metal into these huge containers that were filled with a fluid that looked like rust. (Adam here: she was never sure what she was making or what the fluid was). I cleaned the lenses with Ether and went blooop, passed out from the smell. My boss was an old Dutch man and he would say "Sonja wake up". They(the germans) showed up to my house and told my Mom that we had to pack and go to the camp, we were deported.

Wyrmnax9 karma

Kinda of a multi-tag here

What did you do during the war?

Where you still in Poland / Germany when it surrendered to Germany? If so, what was your life like, being one of the 'surrendered'

Have you ever been to the Soviet side of the "after war" after the war was over?

SonjaDeJagminMirska20 karma

-Worked in the factory in Dresden at the A G Hayde factory. (Adam here: I asked it as what did she do for work.... There was quite a lot she did outside of work, but that might be covered in other questions; everything from seeing a movie to eating dry oats)

-I was in Holland when Poland surrendered, we left Poland in 1938 we had to as we were Dutch citizens in Poland. The Ambassador in Poland suggested we go to Holland as it might be very "hot" there.

-I went back to Europe and to Poland in 1980 with my daughter.