KIDUGALA    (Part 1 of 2)

Polish Settlement in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) from 1942 to 1948 

Kidugala was a mid-sized settlement of some 700 residents, located in the southern part of Tanganyika, near the border with northern Rhodesia.  It was in a mountainous landscape of some altitude, with a temperate climate that was cooler and healthier than other Polish settlements in Africa.  The rainy season lasted from November to April, and the dry season lasted from May to October.  During the dry season, there were strong winds from the south, and temperatures varied greatly. 

 

Kazimierz Chodzikiewicz, then Mr. Wagner, and finally Mr. Story, were the commandants of the settlement.  Dr. Julian Zamenhof was the director of the hospital, and his wife Dr. Olga Nietupska-Zamenhof was the pediatrician.  Police, made up of both men and women, kept the peace within the settlement.  Residents worked in the administration, warehouses, schools, and hospital, as well as the henhouse, pig sty, vegetable garden, and the numerous workshops.  Mrs. Zacharewicz ran the cooperative, and there was a canteen serving meals. 

 

Poles who had escaped the Soviet Gulag with Anders' Army were sent to various settlements in India, Africa, New Zealand, and Mexico in order to regain their health, and be safe from the ravages of war.  The British provided the areas within their colonies, as well as some of the administrative duties, while the Polish Government in Exile provided the necessities of life, and even some spending money, to the residents.

 

The settlement was liquidated in 1948 – some of the residents returned to Poland, while the rest were sent to Ifundi and Tengeru, before ending up in various parts of the globe.