Silver Sword, The

1 9 5 8 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes

This children's war story from the BBC told the story (based on fact) of a family of Polish children whose father was sent to a prison camp when the Nazis invaded Poland.

Then, on a cold, dark night in Warsaw in 1942, the Balicki children watch in horror as Nazi Storm Troopers arrest their mother to work as a slave in Germany. Now they are all alone.

silversword3

With the war raging all around them, food and shelter are hard to come by and they live in constant fear. In winter they live in a cellar in Warsaw, in summer they camp in the woods outside the city.

Ruth, the eldest, has to be the surrogate mother and look after her sister, Bronia. Edek, the eldest brother, plays the part of breadwinner until he, too, is sent to Germany.

When the Russians drive out the Germans, the two girls receive word that their father is alive and has made it to Switzerland.

silversword4Ruth is determined to find him though she knows how dangerous the long trip from Warsaw will be. She also knows that if they don't make it, they may never see their parents again.

They find Edek and set off in search of their father - a journey of some nine hundred miles through war-ravaged Europe.

They travel on foot or get lifts in lorries and trains, camping out in fields or barns, arriving at last on the shore of Lake Constance where they can see the mountains of Switzerland - the promised land.

They travel on foot or get lifts in lorries and trains, camping out in fields or barns, arriving at last on the shore of Lake Constance where they can see the mountains of Switzerland - the promised land.

Ruth Balicki
Pat Pleasance
Edek Balicki
Melvyn Hayes
Bronia Balicki
Ingrid Sylvester
Joseph Balicki
Barry Letts
Magrit Balicki
Gwen Watford
Jan
Frazer Hines