Please welcome Aleksander Topolski to the group. How many of us have
already read Aleks' book: "Without Vodka"? Amazon's online address is
BUT I have also sent the list a 10% discount offer that Amazon puts out when
you purchase the book. I hope it comes through to the list okay!
From: Aleksander Topolski <aleks@...
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 22:32:28 -0000
To: skwisniowski <swisniowski@...
Subject: Former prisoner & Anders' soldier
Here (below) is the biographical information about me that you
asked for. I would be interested to hear from others who shared my
experience or who have an interest in those times for family or
My full name is Boguslaw Aleksander Ogonczyk Topolski.
I was born in Naklo (eastern Poland) in 1923 but grew up in
Kresy first Pruzana in the Pripet Marshes and then in Horodenka
(in Galicia). In 1939 I was captured by the Soviets when I
attempted to cross the border into Romania. I had hoped to rejoin
the Polish Army in France but instead spent two years in Soviet
prisons in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and then Kiev before being sent
north to work in Gulag camps near Kirov (now known again as
Soon after my release under the "amnesty" for Poles, I made my way east and
south by TransSiberian trains in search of Anders's Army. I worked briefly
on a kolkhoz in Uzbekistan before eventually finding and joining the Polish
Army at Kermine (Navoi) in Uzbekistan. After training in Kermine and
Kenimekh, I became a Cadet Officer in Signals and wound up in Katta
Alekseyevskaya before being evacuated to Iran with the army. I was on active
duty in the Middle East and Italy until the war ended and I was sent to
Britain. After studying and working there as an architect, I came to Canada.
I remember well those years during the war, including the stories told by
many people we met who suffered under the Soviets forced resettlement in
harsh conditions. After I retired as an architect here in Ottawa, I wrote my
memoirs of those years and have been lucky enough to have my book "Without
Vodka: Adventures in Wartime Russia" published both in Canada and in the
United States. It has been well reviewed. You can read about it on my
website - www.withoutvodka.com The site includes an index of names and
places mentioned in the book.