10 April 1989
“Zorza” Weekly Editorial Office
Mokotowska Street 43
Concerning: information on POWs gone missing in the USSR
In connection with the list of the POWs of Kozelsk camp murdered in Katyń and other places in USSR being published in “Zorza” Weekly starting from issue no. 5, I would like to turn over the materials regarding m father – Kozelsk camp’s POW, murdered in Katyń in 1940. I’m listing my father’s personal information accordingly to “Zorza” Weekly no. 12 (1659) from 19 March 1989.
|–||Tadeusz Zbigniew Pękalski, son of Kazimierz and Zofia, born 22 November 1910 in Burkanów.|
|–||Latest place of residence: Lwów, Rydygiera Street 9.|
|–||Doctor – 6th Jan III’s District Hospital in Lwów.|
|–||Reserve ensign, doctor, latest conscription according to the draft card of 27 August 1939 – 52nd Infantry Regiment, I Battalion in Złoczów.|
|–||The letters came from the camp in Kozelsk – four letters, respectively: 8 January, 4 March, 20 March and 13 February 1940 [sic!].|
|–||Reporting: the son, Andrzej Pękalski.|
|–||a photography in a military uniform and as a civilian,|
|–||photocopies of letters from the camp and receipt for sending a parcel to the camp in Kozelsk,|
|–||card-certificate from 27 August 1939 issued by the 6 District Hospital in Lwów calling to immediately report to the parent unit.|
I pay my respects and ask for my father to be placed on the list of [prisoners] of the camp in Kozelsk, murdered in Katyń in the spring of 1940.
My dearest, everyone!
I’m alive and well. I miss you very much. I think about you a lot, I would love to know how my daughter is walking and talking. On her birthday anniversary, I shower my Haneczka with kisses. Marynia, take care of yourself, remember that I love you.
My dear, please tell me how is the whole family.
I hug and kiss all of you, and Haneczka the most.
город Козельск, Смоленская область
почтовый ящик № 12
I had written to you already but I didn’t get any reply. I am worried so much, because I don’t know what is happening with you. After you receive this letter, please give me a telegraph response, then send a registered letter and write to me often, even without waiting for my reply.
My Marysia, I miss you so much and I am constantly with you in my thoughts. I am really curious how is our Haneczka doing, I would like to see her so much, she probably walks and speaks by now. How are you feeling, are you well and are how are you coping? What’s happening to parents, with Mother Z. [?], are they well? How are Janek, Bolek, Kaziowie, Janka Z., Stacha and Hela doing? What do you live in? What about our flat in Lwów, what about the possessions and the wardrobe? Write extensively about yourself and Haneczka, and about all the loved ones.
I’m well, I feel alright and I’m impatient to get a letter from you. If it’s not bothersome for you, please send me a couple of words [?] and some kind of a parcel. I could do with some socks, gloves (thick), a scarf, a thick shirt (warm) very much and two towels. A piece of bacon, a sausage, and chocolate apart from that. Would you be able to manage with the coat until the end [fragment missing]?
Is there such a harsh winter over there, too? Because here the temperatures reach below -40oC. Take care of yourself, Marysia, watch out for yourselves [?] with Haneczka, I love you very much and keep thinking about you. I would love to have images of you – if you can, send them in the letter. Please send me some correspondence paper with a post office stamp.
Is there a lot of damage after the bombardment in Przemyślany?
Are Stacha and Bolek in university? Do Janka and Heniek have classes? Write to me a lot about everything. I’m waiting for a letter very impatiently.
I kiss you all, and Haneczka in the first place. I send my greetings to everyone. I hold you close and tight, Marysia, and kiss your lips, your mouth, your dimples, and hands, so that you laugh.
Почтоый ящик № 12
Врач Тадэуш Збигнев Казьмирович Пэнкальски
[PS.] If you can send a parcel, please send me a notebook and a piece of plain soap.
No. 3 she received on 4 March 1940.
Oгправ: Cмоленскаи область
почтоый ящик № 12
Пэнкальски Тадэуш Казьмирович
Kozelsk, 4 March 1940.
My dearest everyone!
I must honestly praise all of you for your efficiency in writing and sending letters. [The day of arrival of the] letter is a day of great joy for me and for each of us. I have received 15 letters, cards and telegrams from you so far. Each of them is a source of many, many pleasant experiences. The last letter was from February 13. I received the overdue letters from January, including the two from Janka and Bolek. I thank you warmly and honestly for that and please, don’t forget about me, write to me as much as you can and you want. If you care for a quick message from me, send a telegram with a prepaid reply; I cannot send a telegram myself. I won’t write each of you separately, but a single letter to everyone. Please don’t be surprised if there is a longer break in the letters I’m sending, I will try to write you as much as possible anyway.
I’m so happy to have finally learned about how all of you are, that you are well and you are together. You have no idea, how valuable and pleasant these letters co-written by you were for me. I saw you all together and thanked God, that a hand of each of you could write several words to me, while I had been full off anxiety and fear.
My loves, I miss you so much, I wish I could be with my loved ones for just a little while. I’m so happy that you are in good health, because that’s the most important in those rough times, it makes me certain that you will stay strong enough. I’m glad Władek is feeling better and his strength is coming back, and that he will be able to earn money for the family and help his mother. Keep me updated about the family and his mother. Today I would like to be with you and among many wishes, I would wish father and Kazik the thing that we’ve always wanted. The only way to make a toast to your health here would be drinking a bottle of eau de cologne, but [it’s] nothing, I’m used to it, so I spare one tin of hot Indian tea! Live long! By the way, I’m also sending my name day greetings to Jan P., and my greetings and kisses to [illegible]
My Marysia! You are brave and I would kiss you a hundred times, if you were here, for staying strong and healthy, for writing so nicely about yourself and Haneczka, and for dealing with your apartment so [illegible]. My biggest concern [is] the result, which I anticipate impatiently, picking up every letter and telegram with anxiety. You were going to visit Lemanowski, but you’re not writing anything about the conclusions after the visit, you’re not talking about the dates, which makes me extremely anxious. One word, one number would mean a lot to me, but I do have faith in the positive resolution and God’s help. I wish you strength and health, remember that I’m with you in spirit. I kiss Haneczka tenderly for speaking so well, for that she is so well-behaved and she prays to God for her dad to return. I am waiting for your photograph. Recently I wrote to you on February 16, let me know what time you receive that letter. Since I do not know if this letter will get through to you, I repeat my request.
It would be a great favor by the Henieks if they could get an English tutorial for me (a good one) and a French tutorial, I would like to learn to occupy myself. I already know the Russian language and deepen it.
There are shipments here from Lwów up to two kilograms in the form of registered letters. I am asking for a razor, or even better, if you could purchase razor blades in the largest possible amount. Hold back with underwear and clothing for now. It could be an idea to send via Kiev, from outside the border, from the old territory of the USSR. Maybe Prof. Nowicki has some opportunity to set up such a thing. A larger shipment could get through that route. In any case, you can send up to two kilograms from Lwów.
I would like to thank all of you for writing to me. Thank you also for sending the money, I have not received it yet, but I am expecting it soon. I will be able to afford shoe repair and other expenses, and besides, I have a few rubles of debt. Please tell me what’s new at the medicine faculty, who gives lectures, and also at the university of technology. What are the prices of basic necessities in Lwów and in your area? What do you live on and how do you get by? This is very interesting to me.
I thank Mr. Hübsch for remembering about me and for his cordiality towards the family. Someday, if God permits I will repay him for that.
[Illegible] I will be very grateful for that. My dear, please remember about me, write to me a lot, a lot about yourselves.
Dear Kaziowie! It wasn’t until now that I learned your son’s name was Maciek, so although late, I wish him, and you too, all the best on his name day.
To all of you: Mothers, Father, Marysia and Haneczka, Zosia with Maciek, Kazik, Janka and Stasia, Heniek and Bolek, I send warm greetings and lots of kisses, and salute noble Mr. Hübsch and shake his hand, greetings to all the mill workers.
[PS.] W sprawie przesyłek [dowiadujcie] się na poczcie centralnej we Lwowie.
I think that you might have a spare safety razor that nobody needs, and it would be very useful to me. I prefer to shave with a straight razor, but I am afraid if I wouldn’t receive it in a parcel, so if you can buy some blades and a safety razor, then please send it. Even an old shaving brush would also be very useful. I have to borrow everything for now, I only have a stubble to shave. In addition, I am asking for several basic water-based paints for painting. The most important, however, are English and French tutorials. Then in the next parcel, I’m asking for the book “Differential diagnose der inneren Krankheiten”, which is among my textbooks. It would be great if Janka and Heniek could get a manual of heart disease and surgery, it can even be in Russian. Please don’t be surprised by my requests, but I would like something to [fragment missing].
[Fragment missing] you understand your current position and duties very well.
Kisses and hugs.
I am very happy that you got married. Three days before I received Marysia’s card, I had come to the conclusion that this would happen, and I was almost sure. I wanted badly to witness that event, but unfortunately my fate was different and I did not reconcile with it, as in many other cases it turned out to be contradictory and overwhelmingly defeating.
I wanted to be at your wedding for two reasons. Firstly, as Janka’s brother, whom I love very much, and Heniek noticed this well, and secondly because I love you, Heniu, like a brother, and I had considered you one of my siblings for a long time. Believe me, my dear, that you have done the right thing. In marriage, there is so much beauty and happiness that everything that is contra is small and faint. I wish you a lot and a lot of luck, have as much of it, as God gave me and Marysia. Live in happiness, and do not be afraid of misfortunes and adversities, because the fear itself is worse than the pain itself. Build your nest with strong foundations, and when you lay it with feathers, consider a new grandson [?] with an old surname who could fortify your nest for all time. Live together in health and happiness and think that after the storm that accompanied your marriage, the sun must shine and that when you are together, you will see the sunshine in your home sooner. Please accept, besides wishes, my hugs, and kisses.
11 February. Today I received your card from 23 January, written by father, with annotations. This card has made me more confident that you are healthy and keeping it together, and all sorts of assumptions on this subject have gone. The most important message of this card is that Bolek is studying [in college]. I was afraid that he wouldn’t be admitted. I’m wondering if he got a scholarship, as I read that a lot of Lwów students did. If not, what is he studying for? Where are Janka and Heniek working and what are doctors’ wages? And is it difficult to land a gig? Tell me whether any of you is still earning money. Parents’ pensions are probably not [illegible] ...
When you write letters to me, write the address carefully, because due to [illegible; fragment missing].
почт. ящик № 12
Врач Пэнкальски Тадэуш Казимирович
14 February. I’m so joyful, as the letter from 29 January came today. Very beautiful and kind letter, please write more of such. I will soon believe that Hanka is the kind of child that nobody had ever had before. I am very happy that Haneczka is developing so well and that she knows something about her dad. But I’m afraid that someday he will say, “who’s that man that’s living with us?”
My dearest Marysia, each of your letters or cards received here [mean] a beautiful and festive day. Write to me then, and at least from time to time send the letters as registered (заказное письмо). The Russian alphabet is a little different, l letter = л, je = е.
I thank mom so much for signing. Through Heniek, I send my greetings to Dr. Zając and Dr. Damm. Besides, I greet all my friends together and each one separately. What’s up with Janek? I even heard rumors that he had died, thank God he lives. They say that Mietek [illegible] somewhere near Katowice.
I had written a letter to you already, on 20 January, did you get it? I repeat the request [illegible] again, if it’s not a burden [illegible] for you [illegible], send me some rubles. Shipments are accepted in only a few posts! I think that Lwów accepts them. They received shipments from Kiev around here. Also, I can receive a package of up to eight kilograms. Again, my request to Janka and Heniek – maybe in Lwów they would get an English tutorial and a textbook for learning French. I can already speak Russian! I am asking you for that because I could do something with the time. Next I am asking for the following things: notebooks, any kind of writing paper, envelopes, postage stamps, a set of underwear [illegible], some socks, two towels, a shaving brush, a straight razor – the one with a wooden shielding, some old, stretched beret. If you could get hold of it, [also] some kind of a padded jacket, maybe made of something old, on your own, and some tights [?] or regular trousers, some old shoes to wear in winter. Something real to eat: a piece of bacon [?], lard, dry sausage. You can wait with the shoes, there’s still time. Please don’t be surprised by my requests – please do whichever you can.
My dear everyone! I’m sending you best holiday wishes – Happy Hallelujah! Stay healthy and keep together, write to me and remember about me.
Write specifically, whether Przemyślany belong to Lwów Voivodeship, or Tarnopol Voivodeship, because you had been inconsistent before.
9 February. My dear! You brought me great joy, Marysia, by sending me the card that I received on January 25, and a telegram that came to me on January 31. It was a solemn day when, after five months, I found out that you are all healthy after recent perturbations. Not only was it me who was very happy, but also my friends celebrated on that day. I calmed down and all my anxieties which wouldn’t let go of me immediately lost their foundations. Even though I have not learned about everyone specifically from your postcard, I suppose I don’t have to be worried about them, too.
I’m curious what date you received the first message from me, I had tried to send it as soon as it was possible. Right now I am very, very happy with your card and I keep reading it over and over, but it’s only so short it makes me want to find out more about you. Do not be stingy in letters and write about yourself as much as possible. I want to know about
|Mother Z., about Bolek, Janka Z.||,||a||bout Kaziowie, their son, about how you’re doing,||and|
|how you’re coping.|
I am so happy that Haneczka is well, that she walks, dances, and speaks already. It is very sad for me that I cannot enjoy seeing her grow along your side, that I’m not meant to see the most beautiful period of childhood for parents – the transition from an infant to a walking and speaking human being. I imagine that our Hanka must be beautiful and the wisest of all.
Hanka, my love! Please grasp with your own understanding that dad misses you and would like to see you very much, that he loves you very much and must at least have your photograph – tell all of that to your mother so that she can guess so that she will send it to me in the next letter. Keep your mother in line, so that she’s kind and obedient, and doesn’t spank you for trivial stuff! Using the opportunity, I would like to thank you for the letter, which I had received on 1 September this year. You wrote very well then, I’m sure you have made a lot of progress since then, so keep practicing writing with your Mother often and a lot. I kiss you with accuracy of 01 [sic], your dad.
Dear parents! Marysia’s postcard brought me very good news about you. I was really worried and haunted by disturbing thoughts, especially since I did not know anything about what had been going on with you for so long. The war was short, but long enough to have reasons for making negative assumptions. I saw horrors in the west, that was enough for me. Therefore, the more I am happy for you. Health is the greatest gift from God and that’s why Marysia’s card is so valuable, because it tells me about your health. It’s shortly after 4 March, so I wish the father that God be generous in giving him health and strength, may he look after mother, may he wait shortly for the new grandson with the old surname. Dear mother, take care of your health, hold it together, I know that you have gone through a lot. Add something in, beloved, to the letter by Marysia or write on your own, as I recall, you can write. I kiss your hands and hug you close, your son Z.
Dear Mother Z.! Marysia doesn’t mention you in the card, but I gather if everyone’s well, so are you, belonging to the beloved group that I keep thinking about. I was very happy before leaving for Lwów, that I could exchange a couple of words at least by phone. As it turned out, that was a farewell conversation with you and I am very grateful for remembering and caring about me. Today we are far away from each other, the paper is lacking, and not everything can be written. I thank you from distance, one day I will do so in person. Please write a few words to me, your first son-in-law Z.
Dear Kaziowie! I’m really curious what your firstborn is up to. Is he growing up, is he well? What’s his name? A six-month son must already be wise and probably already sits, and lets you know about his vocal chords. I send the best name day wishes to the proud father of the six-month son, may he live until the day when his son reaches fifty. I wish you all the best. If you like, please add a couple of words to Marysia’s letter. I kiss all three of you, Zbyszek.
Dear girls Janka and Stasia! During my long days of thinking I’ve been wondering what you are up to, whether the war had reflected on your lives. Is Stacha able to study pharmacy? You have a lot of patience when it comes to correspondence, you are able to write a lot and often, so keep writing, don’t be afraid to waste paper and ink, and make sure others don’t linger. Take care and remember about me. Kisses, Zbyszek.
Dear Bolek! Be brave and take care of your parents well. And tell me whether you’re studying, or whether you’ve found some other occupation. I think and believe.