Senior Leader Teresa Kwiatkowska, ward nurse in War Hospital no. 3.
On 17 September 1939 I was interned by the Soviets in a garrison hospital in Równe, and on 14 October, as a prisoner of war, I was transferred to a military camp in Sucharówka near Równe. Living conditions: a brick building, wooden flooring, sleeping on the floor without blankets, lots of people. Food: hot water and bread.
Composition of POWs: Polish soldiers.
On 20 October 1939 I was released from the camp in Sucharówka and went to Białystok to join my family.
On 13 April 1940 I was arrested in Białystok and deported to Kazakhstan, where I performed earthworks in sovkhoz no. 499.
Living conditions: quarters in a roofless barn with only three walls, sleeping directly on the floor without any cover, food obtained by one’s own means and ingenuity. For seven months of work I was paid 150 rubles. It was very difficult to buy any foodstuffs. There was hunger and no medical assistance.
Mixed community: women, men, and children. The majority were families of policemen. During seven months, 20 out of 80 people died from hunger, exhaustion, sunstroke or cold.
The Soviet authorities and the NKVD were very strict – there was terror in the camp. Frequent interrogations, carried out usually at night, were accompanied by threats, the forcing of confessions, and even beatings.
In January 1941 I was transferred to Pavlodar, where I worked as a nurse in the gynecological ward of a polyclinic, for which I received a monthly remuneration of 120 rubles.
In August 1941, following the amnesty, I went to the Polish representation in Tashkent with the intent to join the Polish army. Instead, they referred me to the Polish representation in Samarkand, and from there I was again sent for field labor in Krasnogvardeysk.
I didn’t have any contact with my country throughout the entire period of my stay in the USSR.
On 1 December 1941 I made it to the Polish post in Krasnogvardeysk, where – in cooperation with Dr Ebsein – I set up a 60-bed hospital for the Poles.
On 28 January 1942 I left for Guzar, and on 3 February I was admitted into the Polish Army.