Captured in Transylvania
Cluj is the cultural capital of Transylvania. Dad and Artur departed the train station early in the morning, and after provided breakfast from a fellow traveller who happened to be a Hungarian officer, the two departed for the countryside. Their goal was to sneak across the border into Romania and continue south.
Unknown to the Polish travelers, Romania had changed sides in the War, and were now enemies with Hungary. Romania was now on the side of the Allies, and very suspicious of any travelers or activity from Hungary. The Hungarian government at this time supported Nazi Germany, and their Army fought alongside Germany.
The area south of Cluj is heavy forest, the northern edge of Transylvania. Dad and Artur finally came upon a farmhouse and asked for food and directions. The farmer motioned for them to wait. After some time and just as the suspicious Poles got up to leave, armed border guards appeared. The Romanian instructions to raise their hands were well understood. The two non uniformed men were suspected of being spies for Hungary.
The city center of Cluj today is lined with outdoor cafes that are busy through the day and night. I enjoyed a much different welcome than what my dad and Artur received. Tomorrow morning I will take the train south to Bucharest. Their journey to Bucharest was much more difficult and memorable. I'll try and share their experience through more photos.
Author - Andrew Bajda
I've been working on writing the story of my father for two years, his adventures during WW2. I will retrace his steps and use this blog to share stories and images of the places that make up his fascinating story.