Volunteer Karolina Deresz, 22 years old, storeroom attendant in a laundry.

I was arrested on 18 February 1940 [?] for crossing the border, and incarcerated in the prison in Brześć while my case was being resolved. I was interrogated several times, always at night, and then sentenced to three years and deported to Russia, Mordovian ASSR, lagerny punkt no. 15, where I worked felling trees.

We lived in barracks, 150 people in each. The conditions were very harsh, and the work quota was so high that we couldn’t meet it. Remuneration was very low: three, four rubles per ten days. There were about four hundred people there, mostly Poles. I was often incarcerated for ten or fifteen days in the dark cell for praying and for singing Polish songs.

Mutual relations among the Poles were cordial. The morale was low.

Life in the camp was very hard: we had to work for twelve or more hours, sometimes during the day and sometimes at night. We couldn’t observe our holidays, and were punished for trying. Food was very bad. We were issued clothes only once – a padded jacket and a pair of trousers.

The NKVD was very cruel towards the Poles: we were punished with confinement in the dark cell, harder work, or diminished food rations for the slightest offence. Communist propaganda was actively spread. We received little information about Poland.

The medical assistance was poor and the mortality rate high.

No letters reached us. I didn’t know anything about the fate of my family.