[1.] Rank, name and surname of the interviewee:
Corporal Ludwik Kiersz
[2.] The expulsion of the civilian population. Its course and conditions.
I escaped from Warsaw to Białystok. Faced with choosing either imprisonment or deportation for forced labor, I chose the latter. I was taken to Ural in a poorly heated boxcar. A lot of people died from cold and hunger.
[3.] Methods of interrogating and torturing the arrestee during investigation:
I wasn’t kept in a jail. I was interrogated only once, when I crossed the border; they asked me why I had come to Soviet Russia. Although I was interrogated as a free person, the interrogation was very tiring and troublesome – they phrased their questions in such a way that answering them either in the affirmative or the negative could bring trouble upon the interrogatee. The interrogations were repeated.
[9.] Life in the settlements (the Soviet authorities’ attitude towards the Polish population sent into exile without court judgements):
As a deportee, once I signed up I enjoyed personal freedom. However, I couldn’t exercise it with regard to changing workshops or my place of work. The work quotas were exorbitant, and the remuneration was barely enough for “bread and water”. Any meat, except maybe for horsemeat, was out of the question. As a Pole, I was treated with a sort of reticence. I was often given to understand that every Pole was a spy.
At the beginning of August 1941 I fled from my workplace. Had I been captured, I would have faced at least six months in prison.
Agitprop played a crucial role. The Russians used to say: 1. There would be no Poland in the future, though the USSR might create a Soviet Polish Republic on the Vistula; 2. therefore, it wasn’t worthwhile reading in Polish; 3. however, at the same time they provided us with Polish newspapers and books (fiction, political and academic literature). Polish nationals were treated equally with the others.
Official stamp, 17 March 1943