Reflections > Survivors

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On February 10, 1940 my father, Francis S. Urban, and his family were deported from Dubno, Poland (now in the Ukraine) to a camp (Mala Yeluga) a 10 days walk from Kotlas. My father was about 14 at the time. He was transported with his mother, father, younger brother, 2 sisters and his father's brother.

They were sent to a logging camp. My father was a messenger. They worked 12 hours days 6 days a week. Sometimes that the place of work was a 3 hour walk. One of the worst memories was the bed bugs.

In September 1941 they were permitted to leave the camp. They made their way back to Kotlas and after great difficulties and illnesses they made their way to Pahlevi to join the Polish Army. On the way my grandmother died of pneumonia (between Kirov and Perm). Food was very scarce and they did resort to eating grass.

They reach Persia in 1942 and it seemed "like a land of exquisite riches and freedom". Unfortunately my father's bother died of typhus and is buried in Teheran. The family eventually ended up in Palestine where my father attended to Polish Cadet school.

Brigitta Urban-Mathieux

Daughter of Francis S. Urban

Brigitta A Urban-MathieuxAugust 28, 2006Link to this Entry