Pozdrowienia/Greetings to everybody and congratulations
to Stefan for setting up this valuable group!
You mention the town/village of Strzelce. A hasty search found
several such names in present-day Poland but none of them were
under Soviet occupation in 1939-40 during the deportations.
However Tadeusz Piotrowski in "Poland's Holocaust" mentions the
village of Strzelce in the context of Ukrainian villages attacked
by Poles in 1943 (p 383). This village lies in eastern Poland in
Hrubieszow County halfway between Lublin and Lwow, and seems to
have been close to the Nazi-Soviet Demarcation Line. I am sure
books on the subject will yield further info on Strzelce.
Cindi you mentioned Africa, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq. In a
nutshell the route taken by my mother (and many Poles) following
the "amnesty" was to leave the camps/farms/mines and travel south
through Asiatic USSR to join the Polish Army, and then as Polish
soldiers or lucky civilian set off from the port of Krasnovodsk
across the Caspian Sea to Pahlevi, Persia (Iran) and the
jurisdiction of the British. Those in the Polish Army went on to
train in the Middle East (my father's route)including Iraq, and
further to fight in Italy. Some orphans and civilians went to
India (Karacahi was then in India) while others found refuge
in British East Africa, Mexico, New Zealand. Many emigrated to the
USA, Canada, South Africa, Britain etc. Some were repatriated to
Poland. The majority perished in the USSR.
"Stolen Childhood - A Saga of Polish War Children" by Lucjan
Krolikowski is a book which I highly recommmend on this subject.
It should be available in English-speaking libraries.
The recently-published "Exiled to Siberia - A Polish Child's WWII
Journey" by Klaus Hergt is available in bookstores and on the
The same for "Without Vodka: Wartime Adventures in Russia" by
These three books are highly-readable and personal accounts. There
are other books available in Polish.
Chris Gladun, Toronto