Personal memoirs

Learn the history
through personal stories

 

Bozena BALUT - Bozena Balut’s address to the Polish-Canadian Group on November 11, 1995. Inspired by her parents’ and grandparents’ generations, and  by Polish soldiers serving in the Allied forces and in the Home Army.  Dedicated to the memory of Jozef Majcher, soldier of the Polish Second Corps (and her mother’s older brother), killed in action in Italy in1944, and Stefan Jerzy  Zukotynski, Flying Officer, RAF, Polish Squadron 300 (and her paternal grandmother’s youngest brother), shot down over France in 1943.

Edward  BATOR- Deported with his family - he and one brother joined the Cadets, while his father and two older brothers joined the Polish 2nd Corps and participated in the Italian Campaign.  After the war, he spent some time in the UK before emigrating to the USA.  He later served in the US military.

Stanislaw BIERNACIK - Stanislaw fought in the September Campaign, evacuated to Romania, joined the Polish forces in France, evacuated to the UK, joined the 1st Polish Armoured Division, and fought in the European Campaign.  After the war, he spent some years in the UK before emigrating to the U.S.

Richard BITNER-GLINDZICZ - An excerpt from the book "song for Kresy" :  The journey south, after the 'amnesty'

Aleksander BOGDAN - Deported to Siberia with his parents and siblings, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps and fought in the Italian Campaign.  He spent some years in the UK before emigrating to Canada.

Krystyna BOJANOWICZ-KACZMARSKI - Deported with her parents and sister, who died in exile. She reached Persia, then spent the war years in Beirut, Lebanon.  She moved to England after the war, and eventually emigrated to the U.S.

Stefania BORST - She describes the 6 years spent in Kazakhstan with her 2 small children and her maid

Jan BRODA - Conscripted into the German Army, Jan managed to escape and join the 1st Polish Armoured Division where he served for the rest of the war.  After the war he spent a few years in the UK before settling in the US.

Joanna BRODNIEWICZ - Deported to Siberia with her parents and sister, her father joined the Polish 2nd Corps on release from the labour camp.  Joanna spent the war years in Isfahan, then Beirut.  After the war, she spent some years in England before emigrating to the U.S.

Leonard BRZEZINSKI - Served in the Polish 2nd Corps, Signals Unit, and participated in the Italian Campaign.  After the war, he came to Canada on a 2 yr work contract

Tadeusz BUBIEN - Deported to Kazakhstan with his family in April 1940, he describes the harrwwing experiences that his family endured on several collective farms befoire finally making it back to Poland in 1945.

Teresa BUREK-OSZURKO - Deported to Siberia with her parents, grandparents and siblings, her father joined the Polish 2nd Corps when they were released.  The rest of the family spent the war years iat the Valivade Camp in India, then settled in Buffalo, New York after the war

Ludomir CABUT - Deported to Siberia with his entire family, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps when they were released.  He later transferred to the Signals Unit of the 1st Polish Armoured Division (1PAD) and participated in the European Campaign. He settled in the UK 

Andrzej CHENDYNSKI - Deported with his parents and 2 brothers, he was the only one who survived.  Here he describes life in an orphanage in the USSR and then his life in Valivade, India.

Antonina CHORZEPA - Deported to a slave labour camp with her family, two of her brothers were later conscripted into the Russian army. Antonina returned to Poland in 1946.

Feliks CHUSTECKI - Deported to a slave labour camp at age 14 with his family, he later became a pilot in the Polish Air Force in the UK, and settled in Britain after the war.

Mieczyslaw CISZALOWICZ - He describes pre-war life on the settlement in Eastern Poland before he was deported to Siberiawith his parents and siblings.  Here he describes life in Siberia, life in Masindi in East Africa, and then his life after the war.

CHROCIELEWSKI - Description of the Caspian Sea Crossing to Persia in 1942

CYGANIEWICZ-HALKO Lech - Excerpt from his book "The Anchor The Chosen Coat of Arms" describing life at Stalag IX-B Fallingbostel where Warsaw Uprising participants were taken

Stanislaw CZACZKA - Deported to Siberia, he joined then Polish 2nd Corps and participated in the Italian Campaign.  He settled in the UK after the war

Waldemar CZYZ Waldemar was a member of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and  and participated in the Northern European Campaign.  He settled in the US after the war

Andrzej DEBICKI - A very detailed account of his experiences: as a participant in the September Campaign in Poland, he was a POW at various Russian camps.  On release, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps, and participated in the Italian Campaign. He was awarded the VIRTUTI MILITARI medal

Franciszka DOBROWOLSKA - Born in 1906, she writes a detailed account of her life from early childhood. After their husbands were arrested by the Russians, she and her sister were deported to Siberia with their children. On release, they spent the war years in Koja, Uganda in  Africa.  She settled in the UK after the war, later emigrating to Canada.

Jan DREWNIAK - Born in 1919 in the Postolowka settlement of Tarnopol province, he was forcibly conscripted into the Russian Army in 1940.  Released on 'amnesty', he joined the Polish 2nd Corps, evacuated to the Middle East, and later fought in the Italian Campaign.  He met and married Lucia Materiale and lived in Italy after the war, before emigrating to Canada in 1948.

Irena (Baranowska) EHRLICH- Deported to Siberia with her parents and siblings.  On release, she joined the Polish 2nd Corps, her brother joined the Cadets, and the rest of the family spent 5 years in  in East Africa.  She emigrated to Canada after the war, first to Saskatchewan, and then to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Jan FEDOROWICZ - Deported to Siberia with his parents and siblings.  On release, his father and older brother joined the Polish 2nd Corps, while the rest of the family spent 5 years in Tengeru, in East Africa

Bronislaw FEDZIN - Deported to Siberia with his family.  On release, some members of the family joined the Polish 2nd Corps, others were forced to join Berling's Army, and still others remained in the USSR until after the war,

Edwarda FIJAL- Deported to Siberia with her family.  On release, she joined the Women's Auxiliary of the Polish 2nd Corps and worked as s a nurse at a hospital in Rehevot, Palestine.

Bronislawa FRANCUZ - Intellectually and physically disabled, she was deported with her family to Siberia, then evacuating with the Polish Army to Persia (Iran) and spent 6 years at the Valivade Camp in India before settling in the UK. She ended up being left alone in the UK when her family moved to the US, and she ended up in a mental insdtitution for some years, before being moved to a Care Home.

Zygmunt FRANKEL - Jewish child deported to the steppes of Kazakhstan with his mother

Wolf FRYDLAND - Deported to Siberia, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps when 'amnesty' was declared.  He later transferred to the 1st Polish Armoured Division and participated in the European Campaign.  After the war, he settled in the UK.

GAC Family - Deported to Siberia, father and son joined the Polish 2nd Corps when 'amnesty' was declared.  The rest of the family spent some time in Persia, then moved to the Country Club and Valivade camps in India.  After the war, the family reunited in England, and eventually emigrated to Canada.

Zofia GALINA - Deported to Kazakhstan with her parents and sisters.  Her fsther was conscripted to the Russian Army, ehile the mother and her daughters spent yon a collective farm.  The mother and an aunt died there, and the girls were later repatriated to Poland.

Andrzej GARLICKI - After his father was arrested by the Russians, he and his mother and brother were deported.  His father was later executed by the Russians at Katyn. On release, Andrzej joined the Polish 2nd Corps and participated in the Italian Campaign. After spending 5 years in the UK, Andrzej emigrated to Canada.

Jan GARLICKI - After his father was arrested by the Russians, he and his mother and brother were deported.  His father was later executed by the Russians at Katyn. On release, Jan joined the Polish 2nd Corps and participated in the Italian Campaign.  After spending a few years in the UK, Jan emigrated to Argentina and later to Canada.

Wanda GAWEL SZUWALSKA - Deported to Archangelsk with her family. On release, she joined the Polish 2nd Corps and trained in the Middle East, before joining the Polish Air Force in the UK, where she served as a Clerk General Duties until the end of the war. 

Stan GETMAN - Deported to Siberia, he eventually made his way to France then to England, where he became a highly-decorated pilot of the Polish Air Force in the UK.  After yjr war, he settled in England.

Witold GLINSKI - Deported with her family, he was separated from them and ended up in a labour camp near the Chinese border.  He escaped, along with 6 other prisoners, and  they made the incredible trek to India.  Only 4 of them survived the journey.  Witold joined the 1st Polish Armoured Division in England.  He settled in the UK after the war.

Jerzy GLOWCZEWSKI - Escaping Warsaw after the Germans attacked, he made his way to the Middle East and joined the Polish 2nd Corps.  He later transferred to the Polish Air Force in the UK an served in the 308 Polish Squadron.  He settled in Poland after the war, and also lived in the U.S. and Egypt.

Zbigniew GONDEK - After his father\s arrest by the Russians, he was deported with his mother.  After release, he joined the 3DSK of the Polish 2nd Corps and he participated in the Italian Campaign. He was awarded the VIRTUTI MILITARI medal.  His father was executed at KATYN.

GORAL and Radomski Familiers - The families were deported from the Eastern Borderlands in Feb. 1940.  On release, they made their way to join Anders Army, evacuating to the Middle East, and eventually settling in the UK.   Their story is told in the books: Midnight Train to Siberia and Escaping Siberia.

Piotr & Wladyslawa GRABOWSKI- Piotr fought in the September Campaign, was captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war in a German Prisoner of War Camp.   Wladyslawa was arrested by the Germans and sent to a Slave Labour Camp in Germany. A portion of their histories is presented here as excerpts from their daughter's book titled "A Soul's Journey".

Jerzy GRADOSIELSKI - He participatesd in the September Campaign, then was deprted to Siberia by the Russians.  After release, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps and he participated in the Italian Campaign. He was awarded the VIRTUTI MILITARI medal and 2 Crosses of Valour. 

Mieczyslaw GRECZYLO - His father was executed at Katyn, and he wes deported to Siberia with his mother. They ended up spending 9 years in Ugandsd. In 2006 he helped raise money to renovate the church and cemetery in Massindi.

Jozefa GRZESKOWIAK-KIERKIEWICZ - She describe the journey south in the USSR after they were released by the 'amnesty', and then the journey to reach the Abercorn Settlement in East Africa.  Jozefa also provides details about the settlement and what it was like to live there for 4 years before returning to Poland.

Lt-Col HUGHES - She was the Principle Matron at the Teheran Hospital where Polish refugees arriving in Persia in 1942 were treated.  This is an excerpt from her diary where she goes into great detail on how the hospital was set up and the challenges they faced in treating the Poles.

HERZOG Family Chronicles (1866-2000) - Covering the following topics:  Deportation / India / the Polish 2nd Corps / KATYN

Franciszek JAKIELASZEK - Deported with his family, he then joined the  Polish 2nd Corps,  6th Armoured Regiment, and participated in the Italian Campaign.  

Thaddeu JAROSZEWICZ - The parents were deported with 7 children..  On release, the father joined the Engineering Corps of the Polish 2nd Corps, and the oldest daughter joined the Women's Auxiliary of the Polish 2nd Corps.  The mother, 3 daughters and one son spent the war years in Tengeru, Africa.  The family spent a few years in the UK after the war, then eventually settled in the USA.

Stanislawa JASIONOWICZ - Deported at age 9 with her family to the gold-mining town of Dzytygara in Northern Kazakhstan.  Released on 'amnesty', the family journeyed south to find the Polish Army being formed in the USSR,  Her brother Edward joined the cadets. The rest of the family spent the war years in Lebanon, before moving to the UK.  Stanislawa became Sister Maria Teresa.

Karol JASTRZEBSKI - Participated in the September Campaign in Poland, was captured by the Russians and sent to Siberia.  On release, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps and served in the Middle East and in the Italian Campaign.  After the war, Karol returned to Poland.  

Witomila JEZIERSKA - Witomila is the child of Katym victim, Lieutenant Wincenty Witold Wołk of the Heavy Artillery Battalion, who was a lecturer at the Mazovia School of Air Artillery in Zambrow.  This is the story she presented to the Strasbourg Tribunal.

Mieczyslaw JODELUK - After fighting with the Polish Army in France, he was interned in Switzerland, and later joined the joined the 3rd Rifle Brigade of the1st Polish Armoured Division (1PAD) and participated in the European Campaign.  He returned to Poland after the war.

JURCZENKO - KLIMCZAK - LUBNIEWSKI - 3 mini memoirs of their wartime experiences

Czeslawa KADELA - Deported to Siberia with Her family. On release, her father and brother joined the Polish 2nd Corps. The rest of the family remained in the USSR and returned to Poland in 1946.  Czeslawa later emigrated to Canada

Czeslaw KAMINSKI - After his release from Siberia, he joined the 2nd Polish Corps, and then transferred to the 1st Polish Armoured Division. Here, he describes the division's progress through northern Europe, and his role in the action.

Jozefa KIERKIEWICZ - Jozefa was deported to Siberia with her family.  They spent 6 years at at the Abercorn Camp in East Africa, before returning to Poland in 1947.

Boleslaw (Bill) KOBYLEC - Boleslaw had been a pilot in Poland when war broke out.  He made his way to the UK and served in the Polish Air Force in the UK.  Here is his recollection of a bombing mission

Kazimiera KOLODZIEJ  - Deported to Siberia with her family, she spent the war years in Tengeru, Africa. From Africa she went to the UK, then Canada.

Tadeusz KONOPACKI - Participant of the Warsaw Uprising, then became a German POW, after which he joined the 1st Polish Armoured Division (1PAD).

Marian KOPIEC - Joined the1st Polish Armoured Division in the UK and trained as a radio telegraphist with the goal of joining the Home Army in Poland.

Stanislaw KOWALSKI - Stanislaw describes his home village of Hucisko Pieniackie, in the Tarnopol region, and what happened to the village and its inhabitants after the war.

Stanislaw J. KOWALSKI - Stanislaw describes the conditions in Kolyma, Siberia which he was one of the few to eventually escape.  Freed by the 'amnesty', he made his way to join the Polish 2ns Corps, and was later transferred to the 1st Polish Armoured Division.  He fought the European Campaign with the 1PAD and settled in England after the war.

Halina KOZLOWSKA - Deported to Siberia with her family.  On release, she joined the Women's Auxiliary of the Polish 2nd Corps.  Her two brothers also joined the Polish 2nd Corps and were killed in action exactly 4 months apart, during the Italian Campaign.

Walter KOZLOWSKI - Deported to Siberia with his family, and forced to work in a gold mine.  On release, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps and served in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Italian Campaign.  After the war, he settled in Canada.

Jozef KROLCZYK- He participated in the September Campaign and was later deported with his family and his wife's family.  His parents and one of his brothers died in Siberia. On release, he joined the Polish 2nd Corps and served in the Middle East and in the Italian Campaign.  After the war, he settled in the UK.

Father Lucjan KROLIKOWSKI - He was deported to Siberia and then. joined the Polish 2nd Corps. He ended up at the Tengeru Settlement in East Africa..  After the war, he brought 145 Polish orphans to Canada.

Irena KRZYSKOW-WALLACE - Deported to Siberia with her family. On release, her father joined the Polish 2nd Corps and fought in the Italian Campaign.   Irena and her sister Mary, spent the war years in  years in Africa - first at Outschoorn, then Digglefold, and finally Gatooma.  In 1947, they joined their father in England, and eventually settled in Canada.

Jan KUDLA - Deported with his parents and siblings to a labour camp in Siberia, and their subsequent journey south to freedom.  He joined the Polish 2nd Corps, then transferred to the 1st Polish Armoured Division and participated in the European Campaign. He returned to Poland after the war and worked for the underground, for which he was imprisoned.

Bogdan KULIK - Excerpts of the Kulik Family Odyssey, recounting the family's deportation to the Monastryok labour camp in Siberia, and their subsequent journey south to freedom.

Irena KUS - Deported to Siberia with her entire family. On release, her father joined the Polish 2nd Corps and fought in the Italian Campaign. One brother served in 304 Squadron of the Polish Air Force in the UK.  Another brother joined the 1st Polish Armoured Division and fought in the European Campaign.  Irena, her mother, and youngest brother spent 6 years in Masindi, Africa, then went to the UK, and eventually settled in Canada.

Janina LANG - Deported to Siberia with family.  On release, her father joined the Polish 2nd Corps. She, her mother and sister spent the war years in Abercorn and Lusaka in Rhodesia, Africa.  After the war, the family reunited in the UK, and eventually settled in Canada

Julian LANG - Deported to Siberia with his family.  On release, he joined then10th Medium Artillery of the Polish 2nd Corps, and fought in the Italian Campaign.  After the war, he came to Canada on a 2-year work contract.

Zygmunt LAWRYNOWICZ - Participated in the Home Army (AK), was a Prisoner of War, escaped and joined the Polish Army, spent some time in England, then settled in Argentina.

Jozef LEDUCHOWICZ - Family of 7 deported to Siberia. Four family members spent the war years in Kidugala, Africa, one joined the Polish 2nd Corps, and two joined the Polish Air Force in the UK.

Stanislaw  LINDA - Conscripted by the German Army, he was captured by British in 1944, and enlisted in Polish 2nd Corps.

Romuald LIPINSKI - Deported to Siberia with his family, then joined the 12th Podolski Lancers Regiment of the Polish 2nd Corps, and fought in the Italian Campaign.  After the war he settled in the USA.

Tadeusz LUBIENIECKI - Deported with his parents and brother, Tadeusz joined the Poliush 2nd Corps in the USSR, evavuated to the Middle East, and was then transferred to the Polish Air Force in the UK.  He settled in the UK after the war.

Danuta LUKOMSKA - Deported with her parents and three sisters to the Arkhangelsk region of Siberia. Her father died in Siberian jail, and one sister died on a ship on the Indian Ocean.  Danuta spent some time at the camp in Valivade, India, and in Koja, Uganda.  After the war, sje settled in Canada.

Witold LUKASZEWSKI - Witold was deported to Siberia with his parents.  After being released, he ended up in India.  After the war he settled in the USA.  Included here is an extract from his book "Three Uniforms" where he describes life in Kazakhstan

Danuta MACZKA-GRADOSIELSKA - Deported to Siberia with her family.  On release, she joined the Women's Auxiliary of the Polish 2nd Corps (316 Transport Company).  Her brother also served in the 2nd Corps.

Andrzej and Zosia MADERA - Andrzej joined the Polish 2nd Corps and served in the Middle East and the Italian Campaign.  Zosia served in the Women's Auxiliary of the Polish Air Force in the UK.

Wacek MAJ - The whole family was deported to Siberia.  On release, Wacek joined  the Wilenski Reconnaissance Unit of the Polish 2nd Corps.  He eventually served with the 3DSK in the Italian Campaign.  After the wear, he came to Canada on a two-year work contract.

Zofia MALACHOWSKA-PTASNIK  - An excerpt from her diary detailing the daily happenings during the train journey to Siberia.

Stefania MAJGIER - The whole family was deported to Siberia. On released, they were sent to Masindi, Uganda im Africa.  After the war, she returned to Poland.

Boleslaw  MAKOWSKI - The family was deported to Siberia.  On release, Boleslaw joined the Polish 2nd Corps, and fought in the Italian Campaign. He was awarded the VIRTUTI MILITARI medal. After the war, he came to Canada on the 2-year work contract.