Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom
In 1942, tens of thousands of Polish military and civilian refugees found themselves in the land of Iran. As a result of the evacuation of the Polish Army under the command of General Wladyslaw Anders from the Soviet Union, more than 120 thousand Poles reached Iran by sea and land. This included more than 77,000 soldiers and over 43,000 civilians including almost 20,000 children who miraculously survived something close to hell.
For the vast majority of them Iran was only meant to be the next stage in their migration to be free from the turmoil of war in their journey to more peaceful countries. For many of them, however – having experienced Soviet prisons and camps, misery, exile and diseases – their journey ended on Iranian soil, and their tombs there are dramatic testimony to the fate of Poles forcibly expelled from their own country. Their exile in Iran ended for over 2,900 Polish refugees, soldiers and civilian people.
Courtesy of the Embassy in Tehran, the Polish archives provide invaluable material documenting the fate of the Poles, whose wartime exile led them to the Iranian lands. In the set of documents, which we called the Iranian Archive 1942-1945, include among others. ‘Church Registers birth and Holy baptism (two volumes), INDEX dead in Iran and the USSR (three volumes), Index and the Book of the dead military in Iran and Iraq (three volumes), List of dead in Iran in the years 1942-1944; Indexes of the names of refugees and passport act drafted by the state of 26 August 1946, List refugees, including evacuated to East Africa, India, Mexico and New Zealand. ‘
These documents came to light years later, on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the evacuation of Poles from the Soviet Union to Iran and have become the basis prepared by the Council OPWiM book “Poles in Iran from 1942 to 1945.” Making the full Archive 1942-1945 available to the community, interested persons will undoubtedly value the information provided in the commemoration of the fate of Poles in the last World War.
Andrew Przewożnik, Secretary, Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom
Warsaw, April 2003
These files are all PDF documents which you can download and view. Some of them are very large files and may take time to download.
Send an e-mail to seek family records of arrested or deported Poles in the ‘Memorial’ database.
To obtain a certificate from the former USSR archives, you must send an original signed letter. Please include the following data (if possible):
1. Surname, name, and father’s name of arrested or deported person, the year and place of birth (for all the members of deported family, with indication of the family relationship)
2. Place of living before arrest or deportation
3. The time of arrest or deportation
4. The kind of repression (arrest, sentence and imprisonment in penal labour camps, or deportation without any sentence)
5. The most important for us: the regions of staying in camps or in exile in the former USSR (especially the last place)
6. The time and place of discharge or death
7. The relationship of the person making the request to the arrested or deported person.
Wladyslaw Anders archives and Polish wartime archives. Collection includes over 18,000 original personal accounts and questionnaires of former prisoners and deportees, some documents dating back to 1941, most completed later, shortly after the 1942 evacuation from the Soviet Union. A detailed MS Word summary of the information is found at Hoover Institution Summary and detailed on-line finding guides to the three most relevant collections are found on the web at:
To obtain war records of soldier in the Polish Army fighting alongside the Allies in World War 2, (eg, the 2nd Polish Corpus (Anders Army), attached to the British 8th Army in Persia, Palestine and Italy), write to the British Army records office.
Polish Army in Exile Records-British Ministry of Defense
To obtain the records of Polish soldiers, sailors and airmen that fought alongside the Allies under British command in World War 2 – for example the 2nd Polish Corps (Anders Army), attached to the British 8th Army in Persia, Palestine and Italy.
Send details of your relationship to the soldier in question and the possible units and dates of service using the Subject Access Request (SAR) form located at: http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/sar.doc
The requests should be back up by the following documentation (photocopies of documents are acceptable):
1. If the ex-serviceman is deceased, the official next of kin must give authority for disclosure. To establish this authority, please complete a Certificate of Kinship,
located at : http://www.veterans-uk.info/pdfs/service_records/raf_kinship.pdf
2. Once the authority to disclose is established, please provide the following documentation:
a) Death Certificate of ex-serviceman and
b) Marriage Certificate (in the case of widows), or
c) Birth Certificate (in the case of children) plus Death Certificate of the mother if applicable or her written consent if information is to be released to a person other than the widow, and
d) Any other documents, which prove kinship
Information is issued free of charge to the widows of ex-servicemen and to those who are residents in the post-communist countries. All other interested parties are charged £30 for the service. Payment can be made by cheque, UK Postal Order or International Money Order. These should be made payable to:
“Ministry of Defence – Accounting Officer”
Please apply by post or e-mail to:
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
APC DISCLOSURES 5 (POLISH)
West End Road
The foundation is a research and publishing institution and possesses the largest Polish Military Museum outside of Poland. It incorporates the Polish Armed Forces Standards, the Ealing Branch-Historical Commission and the Home Army Study Centre.
The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum – Instytut Polski i Muzeum im. Gen. Sikorskiego
20 Princes Gate
London SW7 1PT
Phone: (44) 20 7589 9249
Main contact is Krzysztof Barbarski, Vice Chairman & Hon Curator
Secretariat Monday-Friday 10.00-16.00
Archives Tuesday-Friday 9.30-16.00
Museum Monday-Friday 14.00-16.00 and first Saturday of the month 10.00-16.00
View the map images on this website The US Library of Congress has an index map for pre-WWII maps of Poland, including what is now Belarus and western Ukraine. The index map number is G6520S100.P6, Wojskowy Institut Geograficzny: Skorowidz Map. You identify and choose the specific section maps that you wish from it.
The US Library of Congress has an index map for pre-WWII maps of Poland, including what is now Belarus and western Ukraine. The index map number is G6520S100.P6, Wojskowy Institut Geograficzny: Skorowidz Map. You identify and choose the specific section maps that you wish from it.
The actual dimensions of a section map are 14 X 11 inches, and it covers an area of about 1,000 square kilometers. Some have German Third Reich stamps on them. Be aware that the legend for map symbols does not appear on every section map. Place names and the legend are in Polish. Each map is in black and white, and has contour lines, vegetation, roads, railroads, and rivers. Individual folwark, dwór, churches, sawmills, and similar detail are located, although a magnifying glass will be needed for them.
The cost is US$5 per linear foot, which is about the size of a single section map, plus shipping. They take credit cards.
Founded in 1943, one of the largest Polish ethnic archives in the USA. This archival collection is of great significance for studies on Polish political history in XX century. Large photograph and map collection.
The Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America
180 Second Avenue
New York, NY, 10003
Phone: (212) 505-9077
Fax: (212) 505-9052
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:www.pilsudski.org
There is a very good map located here which includes areas that were part of Poland once (eg. Wolyn). The detailed map is in Ukrainian, however, it is worth the effort to translate as it does contain some really small villages which are not contained on other maps. Use translation tips provided by Fred Hoffman posted at the PGSA website to determine how spelling would look in Ukrainian for the locations you are looking for – it is also helpful if you know the general area of where a village should be located…
(Thanks to Grazyna from Canada for this information)
Mrs. W Kleszko
Association of Poles in India 1942-1948:
Flat 18 Cleverly Estate
London W12 OLX
Phone/Fax: (44) 20-8749 6190
The Association has produced, in Polish, an in-depth book of their experiences called ‘Poles in India 1942-1948 in the Light of Documents and Memory’. They are working on a revision and translation into English.
This site is for those with roots in Eastern Galicia. It focuses on genealogical study for those researching their Polish (and Ukrainian) roots in Eastern Galicia /Halychyna / Western Ukraine.
As you may know, the region of Eastern Galicia, which is now a part of Ukraine, was home to over a million ethnic Poles before World War II. Large concentrations of ethnic Poles, though not restricted to, were found in Lwow, Tarnopol, Skalat…
There is some information valuable to Western Galicians (Krakow-Tarnow-Sanok) researchers, as well–such as tutorials on finding, reading, and understanding Vital Records.
Acknowledgments to _Gen Dobry!_, Vol. III, No. 4, 30 April 2002.
This site includes a searchable database (by town name) of archive documents for towns in Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Moldova and Ukraine based upon the archival holdings of these countries. Although the site is written for Jewish genealogists, much of it is applicable to Polish and Ukrainian researchers as well.
Acknowledgments to _Gen Dobry!_, Vol. III, No. 4, 30 April 2002.
Fundacja Osrodka KARTA
02-536 Warszawa, ul. Narbutta 29
Phone: (48) 848-07-12
Fax: (48) 646-65-11 Email:email@example.com Website:www.karta.org.pl
The KARTA Center in Poland is an independent, non-governmental group that exists to document and popularise the recent history of Poland and eastern Europe, with the aim of spreading knowledge, tolerance and democracy.
It works closely with the Polish Committee of the Memorial Society in Moscow and has established an ‘Index of the Repressed‘ database of Polish victims. This search engine is in Polish, partial archive only- please enter available info: Nazwisko = surname, Imie = name, Imie ojca = father’s name, Data urodzenia = birthdate. Click “Szukaj” to search.
Their website also has a series of pages (in Polish) on how Polish exiles joined Anders Army and were evacuated to Persia with it, including a calendar of key dates, bibliography, and references to archives.
Ryszard Grzybowski, President
Ognisko Rodzin Osadników Kresowych
(Association of Families of the Borderland Settlers)
4 Holly Cottage Mews
Hillingdon, Middx UB8 3US
England Phone: +44 (0)1895 814642
Brings together survivors from the Polish settlements in the eastern Kresy, as well as members of their families and other sympathizers. They have published several books in Polish and English on the experiences of the settlers, who were deported by the Soviets to forced labour in 1939-41 (see www.StalinsEthnicCleansing.com). They hold regular reunions in England and publish a quarterly bulletin.
Membership costs £2 (US$3.15) per year, plus a freewill donation requested to cover postage and admin costs. To join, send the membership fee with details of your Osada (settlement), the family who were there, and mentioning your membership in the Kresy-Siberia group to the address given here.
Identifies Polish cemeteries in Uzbekistan and, as at November 2002, has identified 15 such military cemeteries. Visits these cemeteries as often as possible, along with representatives of the local Polish community. May be able to assist with tracing death records, especially of military personnel.
Autonomous associations of deportees also exist in other countries where the exiles ended up after the war:
Zwiazek Sybiraków w Nowej Poludniowej Walii
Polish Siberian Society of New South Wales
184 The Boulevarde
Strathfield NSW 2135
Phone: +61 (0)2 9745 3794
Fax: +61 (0)2 9745 0111
Zwiazek Sybiraków w Wiktorii
Polish Siberian Society in Victoria
27 Chapman Blvd
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Phone: +61 (0)3 9561 6173
Zwiazek Sybiraków w Zachodniej Australii
Siberian Association of Western Australia
6 Fairway West
Yokine WA 6060
Phone: +61 (0)8 9344 1693
Fax : +61 (0)8 9344 1693
Former Polish Political Prisoners in USSR (Canada) Inc.
451 The West Mall
Etobicoke, Ontario M9G 1G1
Phone: +1 416 621 5221
Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine – City of Lviv.
290008, Lviv – 8
Pl. Soborna 3-a
Phone/fax: +38 0322 723508
Phone: +38 0322 723063
There are several possible locations for vital records from the southern Kresy, or the former Polish provinces of Lwow, Stanislawow, and Tarnopol. This area was in Austrian Galicia before 1918, in the Second Republic of Poland between 1918 and 1939 and in the western Ukraine since 1945.
Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine – City of Lviv.
Perhaps the most comprehensive archive of records from this area, with records dating from the 11th century to the mid-1900’s. (Thanks to member Yuri Okolita for this information).
Ukraine is broken into regions, and these into areas surrounding major towns. An easy to follow menu describes the map area available to view, and also gives the size of the image (in KB). Place names appear in English, Polish and Ukrainian.