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SIOMKAJLO Family Photos

Forced from their home at gunpoint in the middle of the night

Loaded into cattle cars in minus 40C temperatures

Inside the cattle cars were shelves to sit/sleep on at either end, and a stove for heating and cooking (although wood was seldom available for burning)

Depiction of the family homestead they were forced to leave behind in Sielec

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Jezupol Train Station


Dzetygara shown in red at top of map

Accomodations in Dzetygara

Primitive conditions in the gold mine where they were forced to work

Death of their mother, Michalina, in 1941. Family members: 1-Joanna, 2-Julia, 3-Jozef, 4-Aniela, 5-Amalia, 6-Michalina (Jozef's wife), 7-Stanislawa. This photo of Michalina in a coffin is is the only image the family have of her. Her husband Jan is not present, as he was too ill to attend the funeral, so the family have no image of him.

These images from the funeral photo are the only images we have of these family members.  Jozef, the oldest brother, died within 2 weeks of reaching Persia (Iran). Michalina (Jozef's wife) made it to East Africa with the surviving 4 sisters but, having lost her young daughter and her husband, she spent the rest of her life in a mental hospital there.  Amalia died a month after their father died in Kitab, Uzbekistan and is buried next to him in a field near the hut the family were living in.

Julia and Aniela in Tehran, Persia (Iran) in 1942, after their father, sister Amalia, and brother Jozef had died.

Kidugala Polish settlement is Number 6 on the map.  Above is a view of the settlement.

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Stanislawa (Stasia) age 13 in Kazakhstan in 1941, in Tehran in 1943, then in Kidugala, Tanganyika, East Africa in 1944

Stasia (1st on left holding pith helmet) with her high school class in Kidugala

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Aniela and Stasia in Rongai, Kenya in 1947, where they became Sister Klemensa and Sister Alice, respectively.

Joanna and Julia in the Women's Auxiliary of the Polish Air Force in the UK (1943-1947)

After escaping to Hungary with his sister Genia, Tadeusz made his way to France and then to the UK as a member of the Polish 1st Armoured Division


Reunion in the UK after nearly 5 years


Eugenia remained in Hungary for the rest of her life.  She also became a nun (Sister Filipa of the Servitar Sisters) but had to hide that fact during the Communist years.  She built this one-room home (shown abover), with no running water, and this is where she lived until she moved to the convent in 1992.  She died in 1999.

Joanna (she became Sister Dolores in 1953) went back to Africa as a missionary for 10 years - to Lusaka, Zambia.

Tadeusz married Barbara Lynch and they had a daughter, Veronica.  Thjey lived in the London area for some years, then moved to Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Julia married Michal Szypowski in Slough, UK in 1948. They moved to Montreal when their son Tadeusz was 4 months old, and their daughter  Krystyna was born a year later, They moved to Kingston, Ontario in 1971.

There were a number of individual visits over the years, but 1989 was the first time that 4 of the siblings were together since 1939.


Left to right:

Julia, Genia (Sister Filipa), Tadeusz (and his wife Barbara), and Stasia (Sister Alice). Aniela (Sister Klemensa) was not able to join them from Rome, and Joanna  (Sister Dolores) was too ill to travel from the USA.


SOURCE:  Krystyna Szypowska, web admin

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