The Day that changed my life forever. As told by Wictoria Kazimiera
Czentorycka nee Weglarz.
> by The CSV
Action Desk at BBC Wiltshire
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Desk at BBC Wiltshire
People in story:
General Wladyslaw Anders, Mother, Domiclea Weglarz, sister Helena and
younger brother Kazimierz.
Location of story:
Background to story:
05 August 2005
Before WW2 Germany and Russia concluded secret pacts to divide Poland.
On the 1st September 1939 Germany attacked Poland and the Red Army invaded
on the 17th September.
On that fateful morning at 2am the soldiers with rifles knocked on the door
of our farmhouse in Wola Wilsona near Wisniowiec and gave us one hour to
pack up and be ready to be moved to an unknown place - I was 12 years of age
at the time - we had no idea what awaited us.
We endured three horrible weeks journey crammed in cattle trucks,
thirty-five in each truck with a stove in the middle. The doors were locked,
no sanitation or comforts of any kind. Occasionally the train would stop and
food was supplied. Eventually we arrived in the Ural Mountains in Russia.
How many died on that journey I do not know, but their bodies were thrown
out when the train stopped along the way. It is impossible to describe my
fear and horror of this experience, but the memories will haunt me forever.
We were told to forget about Poland and that we would never be allowed to
return to our homes.
In June 1941 Germany attacked Russia and the Polish Government in London
signed agreement with Russia and the Polish Army was formed under General
Wladyslaw Anders who had been released from Russian prison. It was thanks to
him that we could leave Russia - otherwise we would have been left behind
and forgotten. We are eternally grateful to him.
At the time of the amnesty when I was 13 years of age, I joined the Army
cadets because it was felt that this would be a quicker way of being able to
leave Russia. We left the Ural Mountains and walked through deep snow,
pulling heavy hand-made sleighs 60 kilometers to the Railway station to
reach Uzbekistan where General Anders formed the Polish Army. From there we
went to Iran and Teheran.
During this time in Karkin Badasz many cadets, including myself contracted
Typhoid, Dysentery and Malaria. Up to ten children were dying every week. I
was one of the fortunate ones.
In 1942 I was taken to South Africa and 1945 I joined my mother in Uganda
and then to Koja Camp near Compala. After the war in 1948 I came to England
with my Mother, sister and younger brother Kazimierz. We were entitled to
come because my two brothers were in the Army.
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