A film telling the remarkable story of how two Polish children were forced from their homes during the war before meeting and falling in love in Melton has become an internet sensation.
The You Tube video featuring Helena and Szczepan Wojtak has been viewed more than one million times by people across the world.
It was made as a promotional film by German company Allianz after they spotted online our story about the couple’s Diamond Wedding anniversary in May last year.
Family members have had to explain the significance of the video going viral to the Wojtaks because they are not technology-savvy and have never used a computer.
Szczepan (86) said: “It is amazing to hear how many people have seen our film - we didn’t realise how popular it would be.
“They interviewed us for about eight hours over severals days and took us for lunch at the Cherry Tree in Melton.
“We have had lots of lovely comments about it.”
In the video, the couple talk about the incredible story of how they were evicted from their homes in 1940 by the Russian army and transported in cattle trucks to a camp in Siberia. Szczepan was only 10 and Helena just four.
They were released in 1944 and fled war-torn Russia to set up temporary homes in Africa and the Middle East before settling in Melton in 1948.
They had never met before setting home with their families with no possessions in spartan Nissen huts on Sandy Lane in the town.
Szczepan and Helena, who is now 80, fell in love and married before becoming prominent members of the Polish community in Melton.
The film intersperses the couple’s words with drawings depicting the tough life they have endured and ultimately the happiness they found.
Their story is particularly poignant at a time when thousands of refugees are risking their lives by fleeing war zones and poverty to make new lives for themselves overseas.
Szczepan added: “I feel sorry for them because many of them are just trying to make a better life as we did after we were forced to leave our country all those years ago.”
To see the Wojtaks’ video go online to www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB0s34bJLKY