Hi, here's an excerpt from my father's memoirs describing the transfer from Pahlevi hospital to Teheran:
"Two weeks later, I was again admitted to the field hospital. This time I suffered from dysentery and was given a special diet and some black powder that tasted like charcoal.
A week later, I was transferred to the recuperative battalion stationed in Teheran. All of the walking sick, me included, were loaded onto army trucks driven by local Iranian drivers. As we drove out of Pahlevi, the initial climb took us from sea level to a height of 2,500 meters until we drove back down into the river valley below and then up again to the ridge of the mountains. We were crossing the Elbruz Mountain range, its highest peak being some 3,000 meters.
Each time we reached a mountain peak the drivers would stop the trucks, take out their hashish pipes, and have a good smoke. The men would climb down from the trucks to relieve themselves, stretch their legs and admire the scenery down below in the river valley. The road into the valley was extremely steep, narrow, with a mass of hairpin curves. The drivers earned their smoke.
The drivers asked us to watch out for Kurdish bandits who were in the habit of attacking trucks in the mountains. Sitting on wooden benches in the truck, we were tossed around like potato sacks every time the drivers, who didn't believe in slowing down, took a hairpin curve. By late afternoon the convoy reached Kazwin and the Polish Army Camp. We were very eager to climb down from the trucks and to feel solid ground under our feet. After I settled my gear in at camp I went for an evening walk in town. There, I came across an inn where I could see people inside eating. I entered and ordered using Russian, German, some English and a lot of hand signals. I received a meal of mutton and rice, rather greasy, grapes and black coffee. I really enjoyed the food, my first restaurant meal in three years.
Our convoy of sick soldiers continued its journey and the next day, September 29th, our trucks rolled into Teheran and Polish Evacuation Camp No. 4, located in a new factory. The machinery there had been manufactured in Czechoslovakia by the Skoda factory and was brand new, shiny, never once used since installation. A few days later I was taken to the recuperative battalion, assigned to a tent and a cot and urged to rest as much as possible. There I met a number of friends from the old guard company, including Corporal Komar. Soon after arrival I was diagnosed with yellow jaundice and put on a special diet. I blamed the mutton that I ate in Kazwin for my bout with yellow jaundice.
On October 9th I complained to the medical doctor about some discharge in my eyes that made it impossible for me to see. After checking my eyes, he told me to go to Teheran's Polish Army Hospital. I had great difficulty finding my way to the hospital: I could not communicate with the locals and wandered around for some time before finding a pharmacy. The pharmacist was a Jew who spoke some Russian and he directed me to the hospital. The physician there informed me that it was an infection from a water parasite in the Caspian Sea. No one ever warned us about it. Shortly thereafter I was led into a room that was completely dark. There were about fifteen other soldiers in beds and periodically a nurse would come and put drops in everyone's eyes. We were not allowed to have any light enter the room and, of course, no reading material. At first we all talked about our hometowns, our girlfriends and what we had done in the Soviet Union. All of them, except me, had been in the Soviet gulags.
After a short while, we exhausted all of the familiar topics. Someone mentioned books, one thing led to another and soon I was telling them what I remembered from Henryk Sienkiewicz's books beginning with "Through the Desert and through the Jungle" and then, "Deluge".
Once, in the middle of the night, I was awakened from noises and loud talking. Pretty soon all of us were awake. A chap across the room was all dressed up and making his bed. He appeared to be giving himself orders, saying,
"I have to go! I have to go now!!! The Sergeant Major's waiting for me! I better hurry, he'll give me hell if I don't report. I've got to go!!"
The men tried talking to him but it was useless, he just kept repeating the same story, over and over. We called a nurse and the demented fellow was taken away.
Every three to four days, the men in our sick room would pool enough money together to buy a bottle of three star cognac and a block of halvah from a local hawker. One of the walking sick from the next ward would volunteer to get the merchandise and, of course, he was always invited to the party. Occasionally one of the nurses would join the fun. We enjoyed recuperating on these evenings tremendously."
From Roman Skulski, "For King and Empire"
--- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, <romlipin@...> wrote:
> Hi Mark,
> I think we were embarking on the 12 of August, 1942. Upon our arrival to Krasnovodsk we spent two days and nights on a large area under terrible sun. There was quite a crowd maybe 1,000 people women children and some men. There was only one water faucet. I will never forget the crawd that was pushing its way to the ship. Everybody was anxious to get aboard. You could compare this with the Exodus of Jews from Egypt. The name of the ship was Zdanov. It was filled to the zilt. People were everywhere. Some people came at the limit of their edurance. They were half dead and there were some who died during our trip. Some could not move to do their bodily functions and they were lying ther in their urine and feces. We left at about midnight, we sailed through the day and night and in the early morning of the following day we saw the shores of Persia. We were transported to a smallet boat and taken to the port. I cannot describe the joy of all for being free from the "Proletariat Paradise".
> We were taken to the "barracks". They consisted of just a straw roof supported by posts, no walls and we were sleeping on the sand. After maybe two weeks were loaded on open trucks driven at a neckbreaking speed by Persian drivers through very narrow road which was just a shelf cut out in a mountain. There was no room for t wo cars to pass. From time to time there was a widening in the road where an incoming traffic could go. Some people did get seasick during the trip. We stopped at the town Qazvin halfway between Pahlevi and Tehran for the night and next day in the afternoon we arrived to Tehran, Civilian Camp #2.
> I di not see any other ship during the trip.
> ---- Mark <turkiewiczm@...> wrote:
> > Thanks Romuald. I notice that you were in the second evacuation and may not remember the dates, but do you recall if there were more than one vessel or gorups moving in different directions to complete that trip?
> > Mark T.
> > Canada
> > ________________________________
> > From: "romlipin@..." <romlipin@...>
> > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
> > Cc: martin stepek <mstepek@...>
> > Sent: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 6:04:16 PM
> > Subject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Pahlevi hospital
> > Â
> > Hi All,
> > I would like to mention one more detail from my memories about Pahlevi, which is often omitted. We were in the second evacuation, August or September 1942. We were overjoyed being finally free. But I remember that we were given fat meat of lamb with rice. Our organisms deprived any fat for a long time could not take it. The effect was disastorous. People were terribly sick. I remember when I went to the latrine which was located at the end of the camp there were many people sick that just did not have strength to go back to their place and they were just lying there day and night. I don't know if and how many died there because of this diet. My mom as a midwife knew about this and forgot me to eat that stuff.
> > Romuald
> > ---- martin stepek mailto:mstepek%40hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
> > > Wow Frances
> > >
> > > Thank you so much for sharing this. It is so evocative, had me close to tears several times, sometimes with pity, other times with pride that the Poles could become so helpful, so happy and optimistic once recovered. I see this in photos of my two aunts - shadow figures in photos from their first days in Pahlevi, eyes glazed over, legs like matchsticks. Then later photos, bright, vibrant girls turning into young women. But the dead and the dying...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > This first hand account helps us sense what it was like at Pahlevi. Thanks again.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Martin Stepek
> > >
> > > Hamilton
> > >
> > > Scotland
> > >
> > >
> > > Sent from Windows Mail