Polish civilian member of Polish Resistance in Lwow, Poland, 1939-1940; arrested and imprisoned in Zamarstynow and Brigitke Prisons, 2/1940-9/1940; deported to Russia, 1940-1941; served with Polish Auxiliary Territorial Army in Russia and Persia, 1942
REEL 1 Background in Lwow, Poland, 1920-1939: family; education. Aspects of period as civilian during German and Russian invasions of Poland, 1939: news of German attack, 1/9/1939; reaction to entry of Russian Army into Lwow, 17/9/1939; effects of Russian Occupation on Polish life. Recollections of arrest and imprisonment by Russians in Zamarstynow Prison, Lwow, 2/1940-4/1940: work carried out for Polish Resistance prior to arrest, 12/1939-2/1940; arrest by NKVD, 2/1940; reaction to imprisonment in first cell; start of interrogation; betrayal of her resistance group by one member; treatment of female prisoners under interrogation; attempts to keep up morale and antagonise NKVD warders; conditions in cell; pretence at execution of prisoners.
REEL 2 Continues: communication between prison cells; personal morale during imprisonment; demonstration of Polish civilians against Russian guards on route to trial; character of trial and final meeting with family, 4/1940. Recollections of period as prisoner in Brigitke Prison awaiting deportation to Russia, 4/1940-9/1940: nature of imprisonment; her sentence; work in laundry then as sewing machinist; fortune telling experience; gathering of Polish civilians during removal to train station for deportation. Recollections of deportation to Russia, 1940-1941: conditions during train journey from Poland to Russia, autumn 1940; arrival in Marinsk area c10/1940; allocation to barrack in prison camp; work parties; dependence on rain water for bathing; occasional use of bath house; daily rations.
REEL 3 Continues: types of prisoners in camp; medical inspection; work regime; contracting malaria and hospitalisation; night blindness due to vitamin deficiency; state of prisoners health; reaction to news of German attack on Russia and Polish amnesty, 6/1941; her solitary confinement without food and water; news of her release. Aspects of journey across Russia to join Polish Army, 1941-1942: move to Novosibirsk, 1941; lack of aid from Russian authorities and resorting to stealing. Recollections of period with Auxiliary Territorial Service, Polish Army in Russia and Persia, 1942: reasons for organising Polish Auxiliary Territorial Service in Buzuk; arrival of Polish women and children at Guzar; boarding ship at Krasnovodsk for voyage across Caspian Sea to Persia; reception in Persia; facilities for Poles in Persia; organisation of Polish Army in Teheran; relations with Persians. Recollections of period as prisoner in Russia, 1940-1941: attitude of Russians to Polish prisoners; incident of Russian woman hiding icon; lack of freedom under Communist system.
REEL 4 Continues: second hand story she heard in camp about results of collectivisation in Ukraine in early 1930s; female prisoner who had suffocated her grandmother who had refused to give her money; degree of contact with Uzbeks; degree of support for Communist system in Russia; reasons for Poles being left behind in Russia from 1942; question of disbelief of civilians in GB about situation in Russia.
One of the most memorable elements of the Holocaust Exhibition is the video testimony by survivors which accompanies visitors along the route. But what happened to the survivors after the Second World War? How did they rebuild their lives in the years that followed their release from Nazi persecution?
As the Allies advanced across Europe at the end of the Second World War, they came across concentration camps filled with sick and starving prisoners. The first major camp to be liberated was Majdanek near Lublin, Poland in July 1944.