Chorzów, 8 September 1989

the Editorial Office of the “Zorza” weekly
in Warsaw

I read your magazine “Zorza” and every week I read the list of the victims of three Katyń camps, especially the camp in Ostashkov. I really want to find out about my father’s fate.

Senior Inspector of the State Police, Paweł Płonka, born on 25 January 1887 in Katowice, son of Teofil and Maria, resided in Chorzów, worked at the District Police Station attached to the Śląsk District Authority’s Office [?] in Świętochłowice, district of Katowice, and after the liquidation of the Śląsk District Authority’s Office [?] in 1939 in August – in the District State Police Station in Chorzów. A January insurgent.

On Friday, 1 September 1939, a special train evacuating employees of various institutions, including the State Police, together with their families, departed from Chorzów. My father, mother, and I were on that train. When we got to the town of Dębica, I got separated from my father and the train left. My mother and I stayed, planning to go back to our house. This, however, was impossible due to the advancing German front. The bombings forced us to continue our journey towards the east, but we did not find our train from Chorzów. We travelled a long way to the Soviet border – to Zaleszczyki. Having experienced heavy struggles, we went back home. After our return in December 1939, I learned from the (civilian) manager of the train which departed on 1 September 1939, from Kharkiv, that the train got to Równe, where it was stopped by the Soviet army. The functionaries of the State Police were arrested and the civilians dispersed. So, my father was captured by the Soviet army in Równe.

Having read the list of the victims of the camp in Ostashkov, I determined that it does not feature my father’s name. I did find another familiar name: Senior Inspector of the State Police by the name of Różycki, no. 1660, who was on the same train as my father – but was it the same person?

After so many years I really want to learn about the fate of my father, Senior Inspector of the State Police, Paweł Płonka, who was captured by the army in Równe along with other functionaries of the State Police, and undoubtedly sent to the Soviet Union.

Yours sincerely,
Dorota Płonka

My address: […].