Please welcome Halina Szulakowska. Nice to hear about another "African"
Halina, you mentioned Aktube in Kazakhstan. If you mean Aqtöbe, formerly
Aktyubinsk, that is my grandfather Lucjan Wisniowski died on the family's
trip south to join the Polish army.
Incidentally, the Russian port on the Caspian Sea from which the ships left
to Pahlevi in Iran was called "Krasnovodsk" (or "red water" if my Russian is
From: "Halina Szulakowska" <halina_szulakowska@...
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 18:52:33 +0000
Subject: Re: A Forgotten Odyssey
Both my parents, Antoni and Matylda, were deported to Siberia and, after the
war, came to settle in Britain. I have, since this Christmas, been trying to
recover and document their stories.
Matylda was from the Podole (kolonia: Janowka Sloneczna, wies: Iwania
Puste,powiat: Borszczow). The Brodalka's family, parents and five
children,were taken to Kuroczka, from where they were moved to Aktube in
Khazakstan. After the armistice, the two eldest brothers, Czeslaw and Jozef,
enlisted in Anders' army at Lugavoj (Jozef went on to fight at Monte
Cassino). The rest of the family, travelling to meet up with the army,
missed the last train for Palestine, however. They were then moved to
Konzavod until they caught a boat to Pahlevi. After a stay in Teheran, they
were shipped to Durban and then on to the Polish camp in Marandellas (now in
Zinbabwe). It was here in 1945 that my grandfather, Piotr, died. Three years
later, the British liner, Carnavon Castle, brought Petronela (my Babcia) and
her remaining children, Matylda, Stanislaw and Florian, to Southampton dock
in England. Mama was ten at the time of the deportation.
Antoni's story is a little less clear, and I am hoping that the Memorial
Society in Moscow will help me retrace the Szulakowski family's odyssey.
Tata's village of Sienkiewicze was on the Polesie/Wolyn border near to the
Prypec river (powiat: Luniniec, wojewodztwo: Bresc Litewsk). I'm not sure
where the Szulakowski family were taken, but I do know that Tata and his
father, Konstanty, were separated from Babcia and the other three children,
Ola, Jan and Janina, and taken north to work in the forests. Antoni enlisted
with Anders' army, was taken to Palestine, and later joined the 1st
Independent Polish Parachute Brigade that fought at Arnhem. His family, like
the Brodalkowie, were moved to Marandellas under British protection and
later came to England.
I would like to take this opportunity to say 'thanks' to everyone that is
invovled in preserving the memories and histories of the 'Sibiraki'. Through
web sites and email contact, I have already gained so much precious
information. Paul Havers, for example, has very kindly added photos of my
parents' villages to his site: www.kresy.co.uk. You can view them at