Stan, or more correctly, Stanislav (seen here in 2005), is my father-in-law. He was born in Poland, near Lvov, in 1926. During World War II, on 10th February 1940, when he was about 15 years old, he and his family were taken from their home, to Siberia. It was a four week journey in cattle trucks.There they lived in a labour camp for two and a half years and endured many hardships.

In October 1942 when the Germans invaded Russia a Polish General wrote to Stalin offering to fight for Russia, in return for Polish freedom.

On their journey to freedom they were transported to Persia (now Iran). This involved a four month journey by train and the Caspian Sea via Tashkent, Palestine, and finally Iraq. In Iraq he worked with the Royal Engineers.

Eventually arriving at Liverpool, England, at 11am on the 6th January 1944.


The Long Journey

Map of the journey

The story of how Polish people were transported by train to Russia, in cattle trucks, is well documented.

When Germany and Russia divided up Poland, in the German zone 1.5 million Poles (including women and children) were transported to labour camps in Siberia and other areas. Stan was one of these people.