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Translation of parts of an

interview by Prof. Patalas

He was born in 1920 in a town called Bestwinka, in the county of Bielsko Biala, district of Katowice.  At age 14, he joined the paramilitary group “ Sczelec”. When the war broke out, they were reorganized into a military unit, and they evacuated to Hungary with the army.


In April 1940, he escaped and made my way to Syria. In Palestine, he was assigned to the 96th anti-tank Regiment of the 3rd Carpathian Rifle Brigade and fought at Tobruk.


Back in Palestine, the army from Russia joined the 3DSK and was reorganized into the Polish 2nd Corps. After more intensive training, the Corps was transferred to Italy. Antoni fought in all the battles of the Italian front, then stayed in Italy for a year after the war. 


He emigrated to Canada on a two-year farm work contract in 1947. From Naples, the first contingent of 1,500 sailed aboard the “Robinson”, a liner bound for Halifax.


He was sent to the homestead of a Scottish family in Cypress River near Holland, in the southeastern corner of Manitoba. The conditions on this farm were brutal, and Antoni was glad when the first year was over.


For the second year, he signed a contract with a friendly Polish farmer from Beausejour, who needed his help only in the spring at seeding time and in summer for harvest, so he was able to find other work for the rest of the year.


Once the contract concluded, he settled in Winnipeg, and soon met Bronislawa Turowska, who was working under very bad conditions for a Ukrainian dentist. Antoni bought out her contract for $70 (a huge amount in those days) and found her a better job. They were married, and soon began raising a family (three daughters and a son).


Antoni was very involved with the Polish Combatants Association #13 – particularly concerning disabled veterans.

Copyright: Tomszak family

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