Thanks for your details of your father's birth. They should help Alexander
and Irene to search through those records they have access to.
Further to your question about Anders Army and Scotland, here is a brief
history as I understand it, based on the various sources available to me. I
would also appreciate any further information or clarification on this from
our group members with Scottish links.
On July 30, 1941, after the Germans attacked their former Soviet "friends",
General Sikorski signed the Polish-Soviet Pact leading to the release of the
Polish citizens imprisoned or exiled by the Soviets. Under that agreement,
the "Polish Army in the East" was formed in August 1941 in the USSR under
General Wladyslaw Anders. Tens of thousands of the relesed survivors made
their way to the southern USSR to join the Polish army - men, women,
children. Many died or were diverted from their goal by the Soviets seeking
However, by March 1942, there were over 80,000 military personnel enrolled,
and about 35,000 civilians camped alongside them and depending on the army
to share their rations. But the Soviets had cut the total rations for
these 115,000 people to 40,000 at first, then on March 16, to 26,000!
Living conditions clearly had became unsustainable, and with British help
Anders and Sikorski managed to get Stalin's agreement to send the Polish
Army to the Middle East to protect the Iraqi oilfields from German advances
(thus keeping British soldiers available to open the "second front" in
So between March 26 and April 10, 1942, about 33,000 military and 11,000
civilians (including my 11-year old father) were evacuated across the
Caspian Sea from Krasnovodsk in the USSR to Pahlevi in Persia (now Iran).
During April and May, about 11,000 of these soldiers were sent from Teheran
by train to the Persian Gulf to be transported to the UK. Sikorski
especially wanted airmen, sailors, and armoured (tank) brigades sent over.
However, only 1,439 of these soldiers actually made the journey to the UK.
So it is possible that your father, Herszko Grynberg, may have been part of
this group. In the UK, the Polish Armed Forces (ie. the First Polish
Corpus) that had gathered there since the fall of France were largely based
in Scotland, so these new Polish troops would likely have been sent there as
well. Their job was initially to help defend Scotland, and later to
participate in the European offensive after D-Day.
In addition, I understand that airforce cadets from the "Junacka" School
were transferred from Palestine to active duty in England later in the war.
Meanwhile, the bulk of the Polish Army in the East remained in the Middle
East (in Iraq, then Palestine) and was eventually attached to the British
8th Army as the Second Polish Corpus, going on to fight the Germans in
Italy. After the war, the Polish Army was brought to the UK to be
demobilised and encouraged to return to Poland (though hardly any of the
former Soviet exiles or prisoners did).
Warren, I hope that this all helps a bit and fits with the facts you know
about, and again, I hope that our Scottish friends can shed some more light
on your father's possible route from the USSR prison camps to Scotland.
> From: Warrentours@...
> Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 05:49:26 EDT
> To: swisniowski@...
> Subject: Re: Uktah
> Dear Stefan
> My father was born in the town of Losice in the Lublin district of Poland on
> the 13 May 1915. His name on his birth certificate is Herszko Grynberg.
> After his release he was sent with the Polish Army to Scotland in the UK. I
> thought that the Anders army went to Palestine or Persia. Would you please
> clarify this?
> Thank you for your help and I would be grateful for any other information you
> can send me.
> Yours sincerely
> Warren Grynberg