POLAND: The Peasant & the Tommy Gun

(See Cover)

On the narrow wooden bridge that crosses the Vistula at Warsaw, a ruddy-faced, wide-eyed girl named Stenia, with a Tommy gun slung across her back, stood guard. Past her flowed a bustling traffic of carts, bicycles, UNRRA trucks, Red Army vehicles and pedestrians.

Stenia was 23, but she had lived a lifetime of terror. She was a left-winger, a militiawoman, a veteran of the resistance and of Gestapo torture. The Nazis had knocked out two of her front teeth; now, when she smiled, she showed shiny, stainless-steel replacements.

TIME Correspondent John Scott...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!