Hall of Testimonies

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Stefan Halamaj - Deported to USSR

Stefan describes the Soviet invasion, being recruited by the Soviets at school as a trade apprentice but then being deported in a wagon to the USSR.

Barbara (Rodziewicz) Witrzens - Family in the UK

Barbara talks about her mother leaving Poland in 1956 to finally re-join Barbara’s father and brother who had remained in the UK after the end of the war.

Barbara (Rodziewicz) Witrzens - Mother Arrested

Barbara talks about her mother being arrested in Siberia by the NKVD for teaching Polish children the Polish language.

Barbara Witrzens - USSR

Barbara talks about her father following the family to the USSR following their deportation and then enlisting in Anders Army.

Barbara (Rodziewicz) Witrzens - USSR 2

Barbara talks about her father and brother leaving with Anders Army but that she and her mother remained in Siberia for 6 years.

Wladyslaw Zarczynski - Bandit Killed

Władysław describes when his cousin Kazio shot the Bandit leader from his bunker position during the defence of Choromce from the UPA attack.

Wladyslaw Zarczynski - Victims

Władysław describes seeing the bodies of 85 Polish people who were killed by the UPA bandits during the Wołyn Massacres.

Wladyslaw Zarczynski - Cousin Killed

Władysław describes when UPA bandits murdered his cousin with a pick in the town of Parosla during the Wołyn Massacres.

Wladyslaw Zarczynski - UPA Attack

Władysław describes the chaos during the UPA attack to the Polish defence of Choromce – the village burning and shots being fired.

Maria Nowotarska Kołodzińska - Maria sings a Polish Song

Maria sings the song the lady taught her in the Persian hospital. Full text of the original song, by Teofil Lenartowicz (words) and Ignacy Komorowski (music): “Idzie sobie pacholę Przez

Andrew Syska - Personal Memoir

Aniela (Kosakowska) Janicka - German Guns

Aniela remembers that when the Germans invaded Kresy, they gave the Ukrainians guns who then shot the local Jews into dug out graves.

Aniela (Kosakowska) Janicka - Helping Jews

Aniela describes how the Jews would come to their house at night to ask for food – helping them risked Aniela’s family being shot by the Germans.

Aniela (Kosakowska) Janicka - Ukranian Threat

Aniela talks about how the family fled to Dubno. Her mother returned to their home to fetch food & belongings but everything had been taken and a Ukrainian man threatened

Aniela (Kosakowska) Janicka - Taken by Germans

Aniela describes when the family were taken by force by the Germans for forced labour and brother Czesław disappeared forever.

Aniela (Kosakowska) Janicka - Forced Labour

Aniela describes being taken to Germany and as a 14 year old she had to do hard physical labour laying the railway tracks.

Krystyna Teresa Andrecka - Childhood in Tengeru

Krystyna describes her childhood in the Polish refugee camp of Tengeru in East Africa – the huts, the jungle and climbing trees.

Krystyna Teresa Andrecka - Hardships endured through USSR

Krystyna retells the hardships of her mother and grandmother’s journey from USSR to Persia, being packed in wagons, starving and having to eat grass and dogs to survive.

Krystyna Teresa Andrecka - Grandfather's body never found

Krystyna explains that her grandfather was an officer who was killed by the Soviets but that his body was never found.

Krystyna Teresa Andrecka - Early years in Australian DP camp

Krystyna describes the first years of their life in Australia where the men worked in the Jarrah timber mill and they all lived in huts. The work was dangerous but

Wanda (Gorzelanczyk) Noble - Soviet Reoccupation and helping POW

Wanda describes the family taking in a POW and night bombings as the Soviets moved through Poland attacking the Germans.

Wanda (Gorzelanczyk) Noble - Returning home to village

Wanda describes returning to her town, from hiding, after the Soviet/German frontline had moved through in 1944 during the reoccupation.

Wanda (Gorzelanczyk) Noble - Soviet reoccupation and held at gunpoint

Wanda describes Soviet soldiers bailing her up with a gun to question if she is Polish or German during the reoccupation.

Wanda (Gorzelanczyk) Noble - Travelling across Germany

Wanda describes travelling across Germany to the British Zone following the Soviet reoccupation and then leaving for the UK.