1. [Personal details:]
Gunner Karol Rogowski, 36 years old, farmer, unmarried; field post number: 163.
2. [Date and circumstances of arrest:]
I was taken to the USSR on 20 June 1940 (for unconfined exile).
3. [Name of the camp, prison, place of forced labor:]
I was driven out to Dhzuryn, Aktobe Oblast, Budionny kolkhoz.
4. [Description of the camp, prison:]
Building made of soil, cramped, dark, without floors or windows. Hygiene beyond description.
5. [Composition of prisoners, captives, deportees:]
People who were living in the rural settlement were of various nationalities, and fifteen families were from Poland due to exile. We had faith in a better future. The natives were hostile towards the Poles.
6. [Life in the camp, prison:]
Life in the rural settlement was hard, we were working in the fields from dawn till dusk. We couldn’t fill the work quotas they were expecting from us due to being weakened by the poor food, which consisted of 100 grams of flour and 400 grams of bread a week. The annual payment amounted to 15 rubles and 60 kilograms of potatoes. We couldn’t buy any clothes, we were selling our own to Russian civil servants so we wouldn’t die of starvation. The Poles were helping each other out. There was no cultural life.
7. [The NKVD authorities’ attitude towards the Poles:]
The NKVD’s attitude towards the Poles was very hostile. If someone got sick due to emaciation and couldn’t go to work, he was tried and sent for several years to a labor camp without any means. They were spreading propaganda against Poland on a large scale: they said there wasn’t anything in Poland, that people didn’t get food there, that they were driven to work with sticks, that there was slavery in Poland, and not only in Poland. They were predicting the end of England and America because they were democratic countries that were taking advantage of laborers, and the Soviets would snatch them from the capitalists’ hands.
8. [Medical care, hospitals, mortality:]
The goal of medical care was the patient’s quick death: for example, we were asking to have one of the Poles put in the hospital, and the physician answered arrogantly that he was not “a Polish [illegible]” and that he had his own people to treat. There were many cases of death from starvation and cold. The dead: Godlewski (60 years old) from Radziłów, Łomża district, and Mastyk from Makowskie, Łomża district. I can’t remember any other names.
9. [What kind of contact, if any, was there with your family and country?]
There was no regular contact with the country – the letters, money and food packages that were sent often got lost.
10. [When you were released and how did you get to the army?]
I was released in September 1941, and from that point I was able to move freely everywhere. On 25 February 1942, I got the card calling me up to Dhzuryn for military service.
Temporary quarters, 16 March 1943