Teodor Iwanow, Uhlan, born in 1908, married, railway laborer.

On 5 November 1940, during the Bolshevik occupation of the Polish territories, I was arrested by the NKVD on charges of burning a railway bridge and a roadway bridge. Following my arrest I was transferred to a prison in Berezwecz, Dzisna district, where an investigation was carried out in connection with the above mentioned charges. I didn’t plead guilty. During the investigation, the NKVD used torture: I was beaten with fists on the head and face, I was punched in the chest, sides, etc. Towards the end of the investigation I was confronted with two witnesses, who testified against me on their own volition. The first of them was Jan Kornasiewicz, from the town of Druja, 3 Maja Street, and the second Bolesław Podolski from Druja, [illegible] Street. Both of them claimed brazenly in front of the NKVD that I had set fire to the bridges. In the face of such testimonies, none of my explanations were taken into account, and after a few days of the investigation I was taken to the prison in Stara Wilejka, where on 17 November 1940 I was tried and sentenced to five years of forced labor. On 18 November 1940 I was deported to a gulag camp in Bezymyanka.

The living conditions in the prison were horrible. It was so jammed that we slept virtually on top of one another and had barely enough space to sit down or even stand. The food was also very bad.

In the camps I worked at construction sites. We were forced to work efficiently, but received very meager food.

During my stay in the prison and the camps I didn’t have any contact with my country.

Both in the prison and in the camps the medical assistance was acceptable.

I was in the camps until September 1941, until the proclamation of amnesty, and later we were sent to a kolkhoz in Abdulin, where I worked until January 1942. For the whole period of my stay in the kolkhoz I kept asking the Soviet authorities to send me to the Polish army, but all my requests were denied. As a result, I fled on my own and went to Buzuluk, from where the Polish military authorities sent me to Kermine, where on 23 February 1942 I joined the Polish Army.