Volunteer Maria Pawlikowska, born on 2 February 1921, Lilienberg forest administration region, Słonim district, nowogródzkie voivodeship, student, unmarried.

On 13 April 1940, together with my mother, I was deported to Northern Kazakhstan, Presnovka raion, kolkhoz Bayana.

People living in the place were Kazakhs, very uncultured, communist to the core and hostile toward Poles.

Instead of houses we had dugouts, which we had had to build ourselves. Because of our situation starting out, there were forty people in a 10-meter-long and 6-meter wide barrack.

In the kolkhoz, I did general duties and worked as water girl, milker, herdswoman of horned herds, as well as work in the fields, reaping the grain harvest. In the winter, I helped fetch lumber. I was forced to work and each time I couldn’t work because of an illness, I wasn’t allowed to buy the bread sold to workers. I worked from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with an hour-long dinner break.

There was no medical aid on the spot, the closest medical post was 45 kilometers from our place. Taking the farm cart from the kolkhoz to get to the doctor cost us from 150 to 200 rubles. I have seen what it’s like for myself, because, ever since she was deported from Poland, my mother was severely ill for eight months. It was impossible to call in the doctor. In this very kolkhoz, two young children died of hunger, because their sickly mother could not provide for them. They were the children of a farmer, Józef Borkowski from the outskirts of Baranowicze. The next person to die was countess Jeleńska from the Tucza estate in Polesia and her four-year-old grandson, Seweryn Mielżyński, and then Bartoszewicz from Kleck, Nieśwież district.

Until the German-Soviet war broke out, I received letters from my country, from prisoners of war held by the Germans and from my family in Białystok.

We learned about the Women’s Auxiliary Service being formed in Buzuluk on 28 September 1941. Without delay, I ran away from the kolkhoz with two young men, because the local authorities didn’t agree to let us join the Polish Army. We were told that it was impossible that such a thing existed, despite our coming up with conclusive information.

I left my mother with my stepfather, released from the camp.

On 10 October 1941, I joined the Women’s Auxiliary Service in Buzuluk, where on 8 January 1942 I appeared before the commission and was accepted in the army.

I had been working in the health office in Guzar since 10 June 1942, now I work as a ward nurse in Military Hospital No. 3. I did not suffer from any infectious disease.

8 March 1943