Editorial Board of the “Zorza” weekly

Dear Editor,

In “Dziennik Zachodni” of 29 March, I read an article about the efforts undertaken in order to complete the Katyń list. I take a great interest in this issue. I am the wife of a former inspector of the Polish State Police. According to what I’ve determined so far, my husband was imprisoned in the camp in Ostashkov. Below are his personal data in the sequence of questions from the article.

1. Franciszek Szymkowiak, son of Maciej and Anastazja n ée Lipowczyk, born on 14 January

1897 in Przyborowo, now in Poznańskie Voivodeship. His last place of residence was in Bielsko.

2. Education/place of work: Polish State Police in Bielsko.
3. I don’t know.
4. Polish State Police – the station in Bielsko.
5. I know from a letter from my husband’s companion (who returned in 1939) that on 18 September 1939 the employees of the Polish State Police who were in Tarnopol – as well as a number of other persons – were arrested by the Russians. According to that letter, [the arrestees] were kept under guard for four days. Next, they were marched for two days and two nights to the border crossing point in Podwołoczyska on the River Zbrucz. They crossed the river and were placed in a transit camp located on an estate on the outskirts of the Soviet town of Volochysk. There were a dozen or so thousand captives: soldiers, officers, policemen, post office workers, railwaymen, tram drivers, and firefighters. On the second day, some inmates were taken in an unknown direction. After a two-week stay at the camp, all civilians – and there were over 2,000 of them – were marched to the former border in Podwołoczyska and released.
6. 7. I attached photocopies of a postcard from a farmer at whose place we stayed during our escape (the village of Konopkówka near Tarnopol). It says that my husband and Stefan Piotrowiak were imprisoned in Ostashkov. I also attached our family photograph from 1931.
7. […]

Moreover, I would like to inform you that you will find the same data in the letter from Mrs. Stefania Piotrowiak, as they pertain both to her father Stefan Piotrowiak and to my husband, as they stayed there together and were also searched for together.

I would be profoundly grateful for any trace of the lot and suffering of my husband, Franciszek Szymkowiak.

Stanisława Szymkowiak