Reflections > Survivors

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Dad was an ethnic Byelorussian who was in the polish cavalry when the Soviets entered Byelorus and closed the borders. In an attempt to reach his faily home in Drebsk, Dad was betrayed to the local Soviet occupying authorities by a local "good citizen" who noticed Dad was "well dressed..." i.e., he surely must be a german spy". Dad was intercepted quite near the newly estalblshed Byelorussian border and was summarily detained, interrogated, and sentenced to an indeterminate time in the Kotlas gulag. Dad described his horrible experience travelling in a cattle car with many many others to that unspeakable place, and his suffering there. Providentially, he was released within a year with many other Polish prisoner/soldiers in an amnesty deal that stalin had with the British, and ended up in Persia to join the British forces there. He subsequently spent time in Egypt, Iraq and Palestine. Ultimately, Dad saw action in Monte Casino Italy. After the facists capitulated, he refused to be repatriated and ended up, fortunately, in the UK and tehreafter in the US. Dad died on New Year's eve 2001, aged 85. His personal survival and experience is a testament to a remarkable life.

Helen BuckleJune 22, 2007Link to this Entry