EVACUATION OF POLISH CIVILIANS FROM THE SOVIET UNION TO PERSIA, 1942

Catalogue number
  • E 19029
Department
Photographs
Part of
Production date
1942-11-06
Subject period
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  • object name: print
  • object category: Photography
Creator
Category
photographs

© IWM (E 19029)

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Object description

When Poland was attacked by the Nazis on 1 September, the Red Army also invaded on 17 September 1939. As a result of the Soviet invasion enormous numbers of Polish soldiers and civilians were deported by the NKVD to various locations in the Soviet Union; many ended up in the Gulag camps in Siberia, others were send to exile in Kazakhstan. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union and signing of the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement arrangements were made for the release of the Poles in Russian captivity, both civilians and military. Persia was the country to which many of them went at first. Transit camps were opened for them (Pahlevi, Mashhad, Tehran) where they were well fed and hospitalised. Then they were given the oportunity to join the fighting services (2nd Polish Corps) or to take up other useful war work. These photographs show a typical Polish refugee family - one of the lucky ones that survived and didn't become separated - tramping over mountains from Russia into Persia, their reception at a camp etc. Their name is Kowalski which can be translated into English as Smith.

Object description

The Kowalski family travel on foot from the Soviet Union over the mountains into Persia.

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