Bronek, I am intriged by your statemaent of aid from America to those in Gulags.I ve not come accross this before--please expand. The only time I came accrossMessage 1 of 2 , Apr 5, 2007View SourceBronek,I am intriged by your statemaent of aid from America to those in Gulags.I've not come accross this before--please expand.The only time I came accross this sort of help was when inTeheran.antoni530
Antoni, We were technically not in the Gulag after the amnesty. We were moved to a Russian mining village and lived among the Russians. This was anMessage 1 of 2 , Apr 5, 2007View SourceAntoni,We were technically not in the Gulag after the amnesty. We were moved to a Russian mining village and lived among the Russians. This was an improvement but not a salvation. About a third of our people died there before we were allowed to move to the Saratov Oblast in 1944. But it was in that mining village that we received a few parcels. I believe they were from a Jewish-American Agency called JOINT. The contents, such as it was, was distributed among all Polish citizens, both Christian and Jewish.In another E-mail Eve suggested that the parcels may have come from Britain since they apparently contained marmalade - a staple much more common in Britain than in the US. She is, of course, right about the consumption of marmalade in those countries, and because of that I don't think there was any marmalade in those parcels. I know there were a lot of powders because by the time the packages reached us the powdered soap, powdered sugar and other powders had coalesced into one big powder. Despite our harsh conditions we had not lost our sense of humor and felt that the mixture was useless to us but at least we knew it was clean because of the dispersed soap powder.The parcels were delivered to the more prominent members of our Polish community by the Russian authorities and it was up to us to distribute the contents equitably among our people. This was not always an easy task but there were few quarrels or disagreements about the outcome. Of course, we had no way of knowing how many parcels had been intercepted by the Russian authorities and whether the ones that may have been stolen contained better goods, and whose stronger internal packaging had prevented the intermixing of ingredients into one useless jumbled mess.I don't want to create the impression that there were many parcels that reached us. I would estimate that they came on two occasions perhaps ten parcels at a time. And they were small around 18" x 12" x 12." As I have already said in a previous E-mail, their main value to us was psychological. They provided moral support by confirming the existence of an outside saner world and one that had not forgotten about us.Bronek,Boston, Mass., USA.
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