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Krystyna Przednowek (nee Szczucinska) was born in Stara Wilejka, Poland in 1938. During WW2 her family was forcibly deported to Siberia by the Russians who had invaded Poland from the east, two weeks after the Germans had invaded from the west. Between 1.5 and 2.0 million Poles were deported to Siberia in 4 mass deportations during WW2.

The family endured weeks of hunger and privation during the train journey to their destination. They were packed into a cattle car along sith 60 to 80 other Poles. There was a hole in the floor that served as the toilet, and they only receivd some bread and watery soup on 2 or 3 occasions.

After nearly two harrowing years in the Soviet work camp, the Sikorski--Majewski agreement was signed between the Polish-government-in-exile and Moscow, thereby declaring an 'amnesty' for all deported and impriosoned Poles. The agreement also called for a Polish Army to be formed in the southern region of the USSR.

When the family were released from the work camp, they made their way south (on foot and by train) to reach the Polish Army.  This trip was as difficult and harrowing as their initial trip to Siberia, and took many weeks.

Because the Polish Army, which would later become the Polish 2nd Corps, did not receive sufficient equipment,supplies and food from the Russians, they eventually decided to evacuate to Persia and come under the command of the British 8th army.  General Anders decided to take as many civilians as possible to Persia, in order to give them a better chance at survival. Krystyna's family were part of this groupo of survivors.

The family spent some time in Persia (now Iran) recouperating and regaining their health. They were then sent to a transit camp in India, before being sent on to a Polish refugee camp in East Africa where they remained for the rest of the war years.


The family migrated to England in 1950. Krystyna studied mathematics at the University of London where she met her future husband Rafal. They arrived in Ottawa, Canada, in 1966, where they raised her sons and where Krystyna had a successful career in the federal government as a statistician and economic model researcher.


Krystyna was an active volunteer in the Polish community school, in scouting, and in the Polish-Canadian Women's Federation. On retiring from the government she didn't rest on her laurels but opened and ran a successful bed and breakfast in the Glebe for 15 years. Krystyna's a warm and caring person who had a wonderful talent for making everyone feel at ease, and was much loved and respected.

Krystyna passed away on Wednesday, October 27th, leaving behind her husband of 46 years, Rafal, sons Marek and Adam, daughter in law Stephanie and her grandchildren Oliver and Julia.

Copyright: Przednowek family

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