An officer of the State Police until 17 Sept.1939
A prisoner of the KOZELSK II camp
An officer of the 11th Gendarmerie Squadron of the Polish 2nd Corps
Jerzy Rembowski was born on 25 April 1914 in Łódź, Poland. He was admitted to the service of the State Police in Łódź in 1934 or 1935, after passing the "matriculation exam", completing volunteer military service, and completing appropriate training in Nowe Mosty. In September 1939, he received a referral for training at the Officers' School of the State Police. From 1936, he was on duty at the police station in Zabrzezie, Wołożyn county, Nowogródek province, as a functionary. The commander of the post was the Wawrzyniec Polak and there were 7 people working there. They were officers Basta, Jackowski, Majewski, Rożek, Zasławski.
When the Bolshevik hordes and NKVD special operations groups entered the territory of Poland, Jerzy - a non-uniformed officer of the State Police, together with a large group of other officers of the uniformed services, the KOP and civilian employees of the state administration and landowners, crossed the country's border with Lithuania in Mejszagole. This took place about 4-5 days after the date of the Russian invasion.
In accordance with the international convention, they were interned in Lithuania. The place of internment was the seaside resort of Palanga, where about 1,000 people stayed. The last owners of Palanga were the Tyszkiewicz family. Before 1939, the resort was called "Baltic Zakopane" visited by Polish artistic circles. As Jerzy recalled, life was very good and it was possible to correspond with the family living in Łódź.
After the absorption of Lithuania by Russia in 1940, the interned Poles became prisoners of the Kozielsk II Camp. Jerzy, knowing the Russian language perfectly, became the manager of the camp library and organized a camp choir together with other prisoners. Just before the armed clash on 22 June 1941 between the Germans and Russians, about 1,200 prisoners of the Kozelsk II Camp were transported to the non-freezing sea port of Murmansk and the surrounding area (such as the Kola Peninsula). The prisoners unloaded ships of military equipment and food from the United States.
Jerzy mentioned that they happened to unload a ship with barrels with inscriptions in Polish. The barrels contained salted butter and cured bacon, goods purchased before 1939 by the Canadian government. After some time, the Polish prisoners of war were transported south near Moscow, to the Suzdal Camp in the Monastery of St. Alexander.
Soon after, the Sikorski-Majski agreement allows the formation of the Polish Army under the command of Gen. Władysław Anders. This is a ground-breaking event that changes the fate of Poles, who were treated cruelly by the Russian NKVD. From that moment, former camp prisoners became soldiers of the Polish Army and begin to implement the "From Tehran to Bologna Trail”.
Jerzy’s further journey led him through: Kujbyszew, Buzułuk, Tatiszczewo, Krasnowodzk, Tehran (where he meets his future wife in the park of Emperor Reza Pahlavi - Zofia, also a staff soldier of the Army), and Iraq - Mosul, Kirkuk. He is delegated to protect the Tehran conference of Churchill-Stalin-Roosevelt.
The military moved through the Middle East. Jersy, serving from the beginning in the 11th Gendarmerie Squadron, is responsible for the security of the Staff and directly for the security of General Anders. He participates in the landing of the army in Bari, takes part in the Battle of Monte Cassino, and Piedimonte. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Jerzy is authorized to show Melchior Wańkowicz (a war correspondent) around the battlefield, which resulted in his writing the book "MONTE CASSINO" in three volumes. In Rome, Jerzy visits the Vatican in an audience with Pope Pius XII from the headquarters of the Polish 2nd Corps. At the airport in Rome, he witnesses the arrival of the King of Great Britain - George V. He is then delegated to the garrison in Jerusalem - Palestine.
He was honorably discharged from the army with the rank of sergeant cadet - second lieutenant. He receives a passport as a resident of Lebanon, issued by the Polish Legation in Beirut. In 1947, he returns to Poland with his wife and son and they settle in Łódź, his birthplace. Grandmother Bronisława and Sister Janina Prochocka nee Rembowska also lived there.
It should be noted that just after his birth in April 1914, Jerzy found himself in Tomsk. This was due to the fact that Grandfather Józef Rembowski (an independence activist closely related to the activities of Józef Piłsudski) was sentenced to exile to Eastern Siberia, and Grandmother Bronisława with her daughter Janina and son Jerzy followed her husband. The trial and sentence were related to the rebellion in the Silberstein factory where, on 13 September 1907, the owner, Mieczysław Silberstein, was shot with a revolver. The family returned to Poland after the signing of the treaty of peace between Poland and Russia in 1921, and settled in Łódź.
So, Jerzy Rembowski spent both World War I and World War II outside Poland. Returning to Poland and settling in Lodz, the family became Cursed Civilians for as long as the communist party was in power.
The original Polish text was written by his son,
Cezary Wladyslaw Rembowski
Łódź, September 2019