Ustroń, 9 March 1989
for Catholic families
In response to the appeal of the Editorial Board, we would like to submit information supplementing the list of Polish prisoners of war interned at Starobilsk who disappeared without a trace.
Our father, Józef Wojtal, second lieutenant in the reserve, was called up before September 1939. He was enlisted in an engineers’ unit in the east of Poland, in Kostopol, Krystynopol, or Krystopol.
We received the first postcard already in October 1939 from Shepetivka, where our father stayed in Soviet captivity. He sent the second postcard (the one which we still have in our possession) on 6 December 1939, from the camp in Starobilsk – written in chemical pencil, it remains legible. Only the camp numbers are difficult to decipher: “ yaschik [mailbox] 15”. The third postcard, also from Starobisk, was sent at the beginning of 1940 (we don’t have this one, as we sent it to the Polish Red Cross and never got it back). None of our messages were delivered to father. We know this from a remark added to the third postcard in Polish, Russian, and German: “Whoever reads this postcard, please let me know about the fate of my family”. After the war, the Polish Red Cross answered our several inquiries with: “Missing without a trace”.
Our father is dead. On distribution of property the court adopted a tentative death date. However, we would very much like to learn the fate of those interned at Starobilsk – after all, this fate was shared by our father. We are full of hope that one day these tragic events will be explained, and that we will be able – on behalf on our 80-year-old mother and ourselves – to put flowers at the site of suffering and death of our husband and father.
Personal data of father:
–Józef Wojtal, son of Tomasz Wojtal and Marianna née Puchała,
–born on 16 May 1904 in Przecławka, Kieleckie Voivodeship,
–before he went east he lived in Jastrzębniki, post office in Działoszyce, Pińczów district, Kieleckie Voivodeship.