Rifleman Witold Rozpłochowski, born on 30 June 1923 in Czarna Wieś, Białystok district, baker.

On 20 June 1941, together with my whole family, that is my mother, sister and two brothers, I was sent to Siberia to Krasnoyarsk Krai, Uzhursky district.

We worked in a forest. The quota was very [high] and so we never managed to fulfill it. We got paid eight rubles per day, we received 400 grams of bread, no produce. In private, we paid 100 rubles for a kilogram of bread. Potatoes – 300 rubles per pud. Apart from that, nothing was available. Whatever we had brought with us from Poland we exchanged for life. Our dwellings were dirty, made from soil. The medical assistance was very poor, one had to walk 10 kilometers to see a doctor. Life was terrible. We weren’t allowed to wander off from our town. We lived under a permanent threat of death. The NKVD would tell us that we’d never see our home country again. My mother and sister fell ill due to hunger and poverty.

On 20 August 1941, the NKVD granted us an amnesty. We would get documents as free Polish citizens in the territory of the USSR. A few days after the amnesty had been announced, I bought train tickets and we headed south, where the Polish Army was being organized in Chelyabinsk. At the station, the NKVD wouldn’t let us go on our way and they directed us to Kurgan in Chelyabinskaya Oblast, where we faced even worse misery than before – indescribable hunger and poverty. I had to work hard for a piece of bread over there. I wanted to go to Arun by myself, without my family, but I wasn’t allowed. I was called to the wojenkomat [army drafting committee] twice, they tried to persuade me to join the Soviet army. I would refuse, explaining that I was a Pole and I wanted to join the Polish Army.

One day in June 1942, me and my two friends, leaving our families to fend for themselves, we traveled with no ticket for 300 kilometers to Chelyabinsk, to get to the Polish Army. The Polish legation – having examined our documents – directed us to Guzar, where a Polish commission – not a Soviet one – declared that we were fit to perform military service.

I have no further information about my family, as I went abroad after a short time.

12 February 1943