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Polish soldiers in Red Army (TRUTH IS TRUTH)

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  • LenardaSzymczak
    Mark, I thank you also and understand that the truth is unpalatable and painful, but truth is truth (it really hurts and is painful at times) and the fact that
    Message 1 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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      Mark, I thank you also and understand that the truth is unpalatable and painful, but truth is truth (it really hurts and is painful at times) and the fact that we survived is a miracle in itself.  As a new person, I made many mistakes in past posts and started heated debates; therefore, I did not wish to be guilty of again starting disharmony and fighting within group.

       

      I agree that subjects need to be discussed, otherwise how do we learn.  It is education and understanding that makes a better future.  many of us have so much to question, so much research to do, wishing that in the past we had asked these questions, while our family was alive, but unknown to us, because we were too young, our parents were protecting us or they, themselves were so traumatised by the horrors that they did not wish to remember or speak and wanted their children to grown up, as normal happy kids, without war and its memories of horror.

       

      I commend you, Mark, Stan and Anna for the high intellectual discussion, without lowering the values of KS or being derogatory to its members, always respectful, non judgemental, but truthful.  Also, once a subject is out in the open, it is no longer Taboo or that Secret Topic. The more we learn, the more the world learns. It appears that our Group is the Vanguard of Truth.

       

      We all have our own way of seeing life, but in group try to learn to see through another’s’ eyes, this is difficult and can only be achieved through discussion of many subjects.  I myself have this fault, as is shown by my sensitivity, but I do understand and have learned that I need to evolve more and all discussion (appropriate discussion) is welcome and I learn through personal choice, as no one compels or forces us to read the posts.   Again I have acquired more knowledge and thank you all for the intellectual, respectful way in which this sensitive, controversial subject is being discussed.

       

      Warmest regards

      Lenarda, Australia

       

       

      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark and Oyun
      Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 8:50 AM
      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)

       

       

      Dear Lenarda,

      No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

      Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

    • Mark
      Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset? I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn. Stan s point of view
      Message 2 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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        Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset?
        I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn.
        Stan's point of view is important and I dont mind his 'edginess', and I wish I could attend a lecture by Mark O.
        On the point of traitor, I have only casual interest in Berling's legal status. Guys functioning at that level marched to a different drummer. 
        But with respect to the polish people at the time, all things considered, how in the world could any of them be viewed a traitor?
        My uncle is conscripted in 1943, 3 years after the Nazis attacked. The bolshies hadnt declared war and were also at war with nazis at the time. Katyn was known but who knew who did it at the time. Could you believe anything?
        While I havent confirmed his fate, it seems he joined an army run by russians; that might have seemed like a good idea to me at the time. His brother had been killed at Katyn, his nephew went to Anders, what should he have done?
        I became fascinated in all this and had an interest in exonerating my grandfather from the allegations against him that lead to Katyn, and now do I have to ask the question if his brother was a traitor?
         
        Mark T.
        Canada
        From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 4:49:35 PM
        Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)
         
        Dear Lenarda,

        No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

        Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

      • LenardaSzymczak
        How can anyone stay upset with this marvellous group? There is such a diversity of characters, knowledge and intelligence,(intelligence does not have to be
        Message 3 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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          How can anyone stay upset with this marvellous group?  There is such a diversity of characters, knowledge and intelligence,(intelligence does not have to be Academic, there are many with life intelligence) all of which, when applied correctly only enhances and strengthens Group.   Never a dull moment and when we think we are educated enough, there is more to learn.

          At our best and this is bragging, we could teach the Parliaments of the world how to co-operate with each other and achieve results. 

          We all have our own painful journey and walk as individuals, but know that we are supported and understood and respected, corrected or enlightened in a nice way, when we slip, by group.  We are unique.

          Keep smiling; I do believe that we as a group have something very special.  Truth is truth, even when it hurts, but please remember, we are not the only ones hurting, as there are others in group feeling very much the same way or much worse.

          Only with education, knowledge and truth, we learn, heal, hopefully become better people ourselves, stronger, are believable with facts and eyewitness accounts.

          We are the secret, which became the whisper, and then the shout, now the roar in a good way and now the world is listening to us and perhaps will be a better place for our children to live.

          Turning negative to positive, as all basic elements and forces, if used correctly, can be very beneficial and productive.

          If we do not tell the truth in history, then who will? As of now very few survivors are left, only their children and children’s children, left to carry the legacy.

          This group is doing wonderful work, progressing and opening up more doors every day.  Listening and researching, is learning, understanding and hopefully improving our immediate environment, ourselves, our families and those around us.

            SO PROUD TO BE ONE WITH ALL OF YOU AND OF KS GROUP.

          Warmest regards,

          Lenarda, Australia

           

          From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark
          Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 12:05 PM
          To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)

           

           

          Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset?

          I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn.

          Stan's point of view is important and I dont mind his 'edginess', and I wish I could attend a lecture by Mark O.

          On the point of traitor, I have only casual interest in Berling's legal status. Guys functioning at that level marched to a different drummer. 

          But with respect to the polish people at the time, all things considered, how in the world could any of them be viewed a traitor?

          My uncle is conscripted in 1943, 3 years after the Nazis attacked. The bolshies hadnt declared war and were also at war with nazis at the time. Katyn was known but who knew who did it at the time. Could you believe anything?

          While I havent confirmed his fate, it seems he joined an army run by russians; that might have seemed like a good idea to me at the time. His brother had been killed at Katyn, his nephew went to Anders, what should he have done?

          I became fascinated in all this and had an interest in exonerating my grandfather from the allegations against him that lead to Katyn, and now do I have to ask the question if his brother was a traitor?

           

          Mark T.
          Canada

          From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
          To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 4:49:35 PM
          Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads) (do not debate)

           

          Dear Lenarda,

          No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

          Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

        • Basia
          Even with all our posts we are so very different.(facts, truths, emotions, hurts, cultural backgrounds and our personal roots of loss). I personally love being
          Message 4 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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            Even with all our posts we are so very different.(facts, truths, emotions, hurts, cultural backgrounds and our personal roots of loss).
             I personally love being part of the marvellous debates.(not historically, but as an observer) I feel I am getting so many historical, patriotic and emotional aspects of the situation.
            I suspect I am finding more "truth" and reality than reading one person's perspective, as is often the case when reading a book – no matter how harrowing the topic.
            I agree with your thoughts below Mark T. and Mark O. you help me understand the legality of situations, but I also hear your human touch. 
            Stan I love your posts, often they are the start of debates which perhaps may not otherwise be brought - 
            Lenarda I read an respect your every post – and am so grateful for all the research.
            I am richer for the Kresy Siberia experience
            Basia Zielinska (Sydney)


            From: Mark <turkiewiczm@...>
            Reply-To: <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 17:05:10 -0800 (PST)
            To: "Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com" <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: {Disarmed} Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)

             

            Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset?
            I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn.
            Stan's point of view is important and I dont mind his 'edginess', and I wish I could attend a lecture by Mark O.
            On the point of traitor, I have only casual interest in Berling's legal status. Guys functioning at that level marched to a different drummer. 
            But with respect to the polish people at the time, all things considered, how in the world could any of them be viewed a traitor?
            My uncle is conscripted in 1943, 3 years after the Nazis attacked. The bolshies hadnt declared war and were also at war with nazis at the time. Katyn was known but who knew who did it at the time. Could you believe anything?
            While I havent confirmed his fate, it seems he joined an army run by russians; that might have seemed like a good idea to me at the time. His brother had been killed at Katyn, his nephew went to Anders, what should he have done?
            I became fascinated in all this and had an interest in exonerating my grandfather from the allegations against him that lead to Katyn, and now do I have to ask the question if his brother was a traitor?
             
            Mark T.
            Canada
            From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 4:49:35 PM
            Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)
             
            Dear Lenarda,

            No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

            Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

          • Eva Dryanski
            Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the
            Message 5 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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              Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship. 
              My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders.
              My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate.
              After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction. 
              Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react.
              Regards,

              Ewa D., Nevada
            • Mark
              Great story Exa. I hope this takes the word treason out of the discussion of some of our families.   Mark T. Canada ________________________________ From: Eva
              Message 6 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                Great story Exa.
                I hope this takes the word treason out of the discussion of some of our families.
                 
                 
                Mark T.
                Canada
                From: Eva Dryanski <ebard55@...>
                To: "Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com" <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:21:09 PM
                Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
                 
                Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship.  My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders. My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate. After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction.  Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react. Regards, Ewa D., Nevada
              • Mark and Oyun
                Dear Hania, OK, so I struck out with the 4999. From 1945 every major unit in the 1st and 2nd Polish Army was given a four digit number. For example: 1
                Message 7 of 30 , Nov 19, 2012
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                  Dear Hania,

                  OK, so I struck out with the 4999. From 1945 every major unit in the 1st and 2nd Polish Army was given a four digit number. For example:

                  1 Warszawska Dywizja Piechoty im. Tadeusza Kosciuszko – JW. 2678
                  1 Praski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2415
                  2 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2425
                  3 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2671

                  Most of the larger units are listed here:

                  http://www.jednostki-wojskowe.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=137&Itemid=26

                  I cannot find anything with 4999. I'm sure the information is out there, but not on the web, or at least not without searching through many many links. There are a number of Polish military blogs that might give you help, as might the National Army Muzeum in Warsaw.I have some feelers out and if I get anything, I'll get back to you.

                  I am informed that pre-1945 they used a 5 digit sytem, which correspornded to the Red Army Field Postal Sytem. The British also use the BFPO [British Forces Post Office]system of assigning numbers to help postal traffic to military units.

                  Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
                • Anne Kaczanowski
                  I checked and the closest I came to was 4999 Sczeczin.  They used this number alot in regards to Sczeczin.  Perhaps it is some postal thing.   After my
                  Message 8 of 30 , Nov 19, 2012
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                    I checked and the closest I came to was 4999 Sczeczin.  They used this number alot in regards to Sczeczin.  Perhaps it is some postal thing.   After my uncle got out of the hospital and found out his family got resettled in Goleniow, he got a job in the tax department in Sczeczin.  Now whether this number was printed on his registration later on and had something to do with this...I don't know...but it definitely says 4999 Infantry at the bottom of the registration. Thanks for checking for me.
                     
                    hania

                    From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 6:48:10 AM
                    Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red ....4999
                     
                    Dear Hania,

                    OK, so I struck out with the 4999. From 1945 every major unit in the 1st and 2nd Polish Army was given a four digit number. For example:

                    1 Warszawska Dywizja Piechoty im. Tadeusza Kosciuszko – JW. 2678
                    1 Praski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2415
                    2 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2425
                    3 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2671

                    Most of the larger units are listed here:

                    http://www.jednostki-wojskowe.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=137&Itemid=26

                    I cannot find anything with 4999. I'm sure the information is out there, but not on the web, or at least not without searching through many many links. There are a number of Polish military blogs that might give you help, as might the National Army Muzeum in Warsaw.I have some feelers out and if I get anything, I'll get back to you.

                    I am informed that pre-1945 they used a 5 digit sytem, which correspornded to the Red Army Field Postal Sytem. The British also use the BFPO [British Forces Post Office]system of assigning numbers to help postal traffic to military units.

                    Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

                  • LenardaSzymczak
                    Ewa, I hear you loud and clear and understand. In Australia, the City of Adelaide, 1980, a Polish female friend was telling me of a similar experience and
                    Message 9 of 30 , Nov 19, 2012
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                      Ewa, I hear you loud and clear and understand.

                      In Australia, the City of Adelaide,  1980, a Polish female friend was telling me of a similar experience and that she travelled on two Passports, Polish and Australian. 

                      She went back home to visit relatives in Poland and later travelled to Lwow. The train was stopped at the border and the guards came around checking the Passports and she showed them her Polish Passport, immediately they told her she was sitting in the wrong part of the train and when she refused to move and insulted the guards for being arrogant etc.  she was to be arrested and taken off the train.  She wanted to prove a point, but this would have delayed her journey.  Quick thinking and reluctantly, she produced her Australian Passport, was allowed to stay, got an apology and was given a stern word about having respect for authority.  After this she had to travel on her Australian Passport for safety and was treated totally different to the normal Polish population, which she hated.  In her words, after growing up in Australia post WWII and her mother was a doctor. “I am Polish, born on Polish soil, why cannot I travel as a Polish Citizen, but have to travel as a Tourist, an Alien”.

                      Warmest regards

                      Lenarda, Australia



                       

                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eva Dryanski
                      Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 2:21 PM
                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)

                       

                       

                      Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship. 
                      My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders.
                      My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate.
                      After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction. 
                      Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react.
                      Regards,

                      Ewa D., Nevada

                    • Basia
                      Thank you for the wonderful post Ewa. Basia Zielinska (Sydney) From: Eva Dryanski Reply-To: Date: Sun,
                      Message 10 of 30 , Nov 20, 2012
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                        Thank you for the wonderful post Ewa.
                        Basia Zielinska (Sydney)


                        From: Eva Dryanski <ebard55@...>
                        Reply-To: <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                        Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 19:21:09 -0800 (PST)
                        To: "Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com" <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                        Subject: {Disarmed} [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)

                         

                        Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship. 
                        My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders.
                        My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate.
                        After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction. 
                        Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react.
                        Regards,

                        Ewa D., Nevada

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