You raised an interesting question which we can only attempt to answer. One problem with the Soviet figures is that they are probably all lies, and we are forced to pick or choose the lie that sounds most plausible. This is a propaganda technique the Soviets use with all issues regardless of their significance. I dont know if the figure of 390,000 thousand released in 1942 is correct, but if we assume that it is then it is only a fraction of people that were deported. The Russians always claimed that fewer people were deported than what the Polish authorities claimed and would argue that Jews, Ukrainians and other minorities should not be included
in the total number of the deportees since they were now citizens of the Soviet Union . Thus we dont know who the Russians included in that 390,000 figure. I think that the figure of 390,000 is an arbitrary figure that sounded believable, and that the amnesty of 1942 was the first phase, which was meant to be followed by others but never was. I have also read that anywhere from 450,000 to 650,000 deportees were repatriated to Poland after the war in 1946 (I will try to find the references and will post them latter). I have never read as to how these figures were arrived at and who was included in that number. Since different authors use different figures I suspect that these are arbitrary estimates from Soviet sources.
But what happened to those who were released in 1942? Based on the narratives of my parents and their friends I have always believed that as many as half of those released and who tried to reach Uzbekistan or Turkistan died during that harrowing experience. Also, many trains were turned back after Stalin broke off the diplomatic relations with the Polish government. There was a deliberate attempt by Soviet authorities to starve and kill as many of the Polish deportees as possible. On our train, at every station it stopped, the doors of many of cars did not open, which was a sign that all occupants were dead, starved and frozen to death. The trains would often stop in a middle of nowhere, surrounded by 10 foot walls of snow, and stay there for five to seven days. That was long enough for many to starve or freeze to
death. To me it is believable that of the 1.7 million deportees 2/3 perished.
New Jersey , USAjoyce kelly <joyjoykelly@...>
According to the book, Polish Deportees of World War Two: Recollection of Removal to the Soviet Union and Dispersal Throughout the World, by Tadeusz Piotrowski,
out of the 1,692,000 Polish citizens who were deported, only 389,041 people were
listed by the Soviets as being released after Stalin joined the allies.
Between Dec. 1941 and June 1942, 20,000 Polish citizens in the Soviet Union died of typhus. 115,000 Polish citizens made it to Iran, 18,000 of those were children. 77,000 Polish children were still in the Soviet Union as of June 1942.
1, 632 of those making it to Iran died of typhus over a 2 1/2 month period. More died of disease and malnutrition but there are not complete statistics.
Your mother's figure for how many were able to get out of the Soviet Union is higher than the other figures I have read about.
Elizabeth Olsson <elzunia@...> wrote:
In her original article, Mum wrote:
"It is estimated that approximately 1.7 million people were deported into
the Soviet Union and only 240,000 subsequently made it out."
Has anyone seen this figure quoted anywhere?
Could she have meant 240,000 got out altogether? She must have got this figure from somewhere.
DOES anyone know how many (approx) of the 1,7 million got out? Or how many died in Russia?
Single? There's someone we'd like you to meet.
Lots of someones, actually.