Please welcome Helena Szubert-Ciccone to the Group. Many of our members are
alive today is due to a series of miracles of survival - more than we will
Helena, I hope that your father was able to view the film when it was in
Toronto earlier last month, and I do look forward to a screening being
organised in Calgary as well!
From: Helena Szubert-Ciccone <hciccone@...
My name is Helena Szubert Ciccone from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, born and
raised in Toronto, Ontario where my parents still reside.
My father Jan Szubert, was 14-years-old when the Soviet Army invaded Poland
and deported him and his entire family, including his maternal grandparents
to Siberia to work as slave labour in various gulag camps. He worked in
Siberian forests cutting lumber with other Polish children as part of the
Russian indoctrination to rehabilitate prisoners to become good communists.
The children were separated from their parents during the day and were
schooled by Russian teachers part-time in communist principles. Here is an
example of Communist Russian rehabilitation education for Polish children in
the gulag camps: if a child admitted to believe in God then the Russian
school master informed them that they would be executed.
When the Nazis attacked Russia, Stalin offered amnesty to all Polish male
prisoners in Siberia if they joined the Soviet Army. My father proclaimed
he'd rather die than join the Russian Army. Somehow he managed to escape
Siberia and he joined the Polish Army. He was sent to Scotland to train as a
paratrooper with the Polish division of the British army. His main mission,
the doomed "Garden Market Drop" in Arnhem Holland. He also trained as a
radio operator. After the Polish General's radio operator was fatally
wounded my father was assigned to operate radio transmissions in the field
for the General during battle. He survived that battle and become a German
prisoner-of-war for almost two years. After the war my father remained with
the British Armed forces and traveled around the world for several years. He
has many tales to tell.