I can also relate to the "Problem" of information
when I was little the memories of my g/parents weren't that interesting as
was playing outside with others
now I wish they were here and I could ask them all over again what they saw
To: "Stefan Wisniowski" <swisniowski@...
"Richard Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Fw: Kresy-Siberia
Dear Stefan and all other members of the Kresy-Siberia group.
Some weeks ago I joined this group indicating that my father's family had
undergone deportation. My father, who is still alive and living in
England, has never gone over the experiences in great detail. After
deportation there was release and service in the Anders Army which took
the familiar route through Iran, Iraq, Palestine, followed by action in
With age my father had been struggling to recollect the detail of his
experiences. Nevertheless, below is information on who amongst his family
took the cattle trucks east.
----- Original Message -----
From: Leszek Sochacki
To: Richard Sochacki Home
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 11:42 PM
Here is my reply to your e-mail
Members of family deported:
Leszek Czeszejko-Sochacki age 18 (LS)
Jadwiga Czeszejko-Sochacki age 45 (Mother of LS)
Zofia Czeszejko-Sochacki age 21 (Sister of LS)
Czesław Czeszejko-Sochacki age 16 (Brother of LS
Aniela Siwocho age ~ 70 (Grandmother of
LS, mother of Jadwiga)
Date of deportation: 13 April 1940
Deported from: Grodno
Place of deportation, details: KAZCIK which is the abbreviation for:
SOVHOZ* of the KAZAKHSTAN CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (* state farm)
Nearest railway station : SHORTANDY, AKMOLENSKI REGION
Please note the "venue" was not a camp but a sovhoz ie a state farm. The
Soviet soldiers (armed) who visited us during the night used the term free
resettlement, perhaps meaning no payment of fares required.
I will endeavour to supply more information by dealing with your relevant
Of the above, Aniela died of starvation like so many other Polish souls,
while Jadwiga remained at the sovhoz until 1946 and return to the family's
home town of Sulwałki having survived reading locals' palms to tell
their fortunes in exchange for food scraps (my grandmother was a survivor
but never did she claim to be a fortune teller). Sulwałki, not Grodno,
was home. However, my grandfather, Jadwiga's husband Tadeusz, an army
officer, was relocated to Grodno in 1938 as the army prepared for the
gathering storm, though my father, Leszek, stayed in Sulwałki with an aunt
for his final school year, while my aunt Zosia was at university in Poznań
(I think). Tadeusz was murdered at Katyń in early 1940. Zofia, who is
still alive in suburban London, was an officer in the Polish Women's Army
(the ATS?) having, like my father father, been taken out through the
middle east. Czesław (Czesiek), I think went via the middle east
initially, but then went on to the United Kingdom for RAF training.
Czesiek died some years ago in Nottingham, England.
For those who wish to know more of the detail, bear with me. My father
took to e-mail at the age of 78 and now, two years later, he finds it
difficult to concentrate. With him on the other side of the world,
filling in the gaps is difficult but I continue to gently encourage him.
Be that as it may, I know his story included escape with a young man of
similar age (Dad was 18, the other 17) from the sovhoz with the intention
of returning to Poland. Eventually they were picked up, put on 'trial'
(quite where I will have to confirm, but he said that it lasted 1 minute)
and sentenced to a year each for being so ungrateful to their Soviet
hosts for liberation and free re-settlement. I do recall him saying that
as he was led away from the dock, an old lady slipped something in to his
hand as he passed by. It turned out to be a small lump of lard, which in
the cold of the Soviet Union, where pea soup looked like hot water and
contained no evidence whatsoever of a single pea, he described as
being like the finest food one could ever ask for. What strange acts of
kindness there could be; who was that anonymous old lady who realised the
injustices that took place in Stalin's courts and took pity on him by
providing a lard which was as rare as gold dust? For my father, one year
was a light sentence because he told the court he was 17 and not 18.
There was then a period in prison where he learnt Russian so as to read to
the illiterate Soviet inmates, mainly criminals in the non-political
sense, with whom he shared his cell.
I have noted how many contributors ask for clues as to what became of a
parent, parents or grandparents who are now, sadly, no longer available
to tell of their own experiences. Thus, I am lucky in having the
opportunity to ask. However, I think the experiences endured were those
one would face in a living hell and, as such, many chose to forget the
deprivations visited upon them as simply too painful to recall.
Perhaps the name of the place of deportation mentioned above will serve as
a signpost in others' search for their piece of Polish and family
Perth, Western Australia
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