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Preface

 

E-BOOK_-_CopyMy father left home at the end of August 1939 to fight for Poland – I was six months old then.  Eight years later, a man in “khaki and black beret” appeared in my life; my mother said he was my - daddy.

 

He was a military man and, in his eyes, I could neither stand up straight, nor squat or walk properly. We moved from one resettlement camp in the UK to another and lived our separate ways: he toiled on building sites to keep our family in daily bread, I “toiled” at my studies.

 

Sadly, my father died at the age of sixty-six, much too soon for me to put my arm around him and ask about the War. What could I know about war, about GULAG, about life in lagiers in Ponoi, or Workuta, Uhta or Abez? Or about the impact on man’s mind of years of war and suffering?

 

But this ambiguous relationship between me and my father must have weighed on my mind for, many years later, I set out “In the Footsteps of Our Fathers” trailing the path fate had led him and so many other Polish fathers. I was looking for my missing “Daddy” and after ten years of searching for his footprints in Stalin’s evil empire, I am beginning to “understand” and regret that it is now fifty years too late to ask him and listen to his story.


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Contents

 

 

 

Explanatory Notes

i

Preface

Maps

Illustrations on pages

Illustrations on pages

Illustrations on pages

 

ii

iii

27-29

117-124

180-184

 

1. Return of the “Prodigal Son”

 

5

2. Into Oblivion

 

15

3. Footprints in Russia

Workuta

Abez

Uhta - Yarega - Sangaradok

30

38

48

55

 

4. Footprints in Kazakhstan

Kingir Rudnik

Fedorovka-Karaganda

Spaask-Karaganda

 

5. Tut Washa Moghila – It’s your grave

68

70

73

76

 

79

GULAG-72km.

Kirovsk

Revda

Valley of Death – Murmansk

The Ponoi lagier

 

82

90

93

96

102

 

6. Szli do Armii – to join the Army

Tockoye

Buzuluk

 

 

125

138

140

 

7. Deliverance or Death

 

8. Exit by the Cemetery

Aralsk

Krasnyy Most

Tashkent, YangiYul

Ghuzar

 

145

 

150

157

159

165

169

Epilogue

179

 

Sources & Works Cited

          185

Bibliography

186







 

Copyright Jaroslaw Kubica © 2009

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