From Gospodarka to Gulag: the journey from Rzesniowka to Noshul

“We arrive at Karnaczowka Station. There is shouting and crying. A mother is saying goodbye to her daughter. A son is bidding farewell to his parents and sister… how many people who are being exiled with us are innocent – only here because they had been visiting relatives or friends? And yet, they have to suffer too. We contemplate escaping but that would be of no use; the NKVD are standing, watching our every move like hawks…

They are putting us into cattle trucks now. Then they lock the doors on us and that is where we remain, all night and all day. The cattle truck is cold and dark but we wait patiently.”

– Excerpt from the writings of Kasia Oko, February 1940.

Continue reading “From Gospodarka to Gulag: the journey from Rzesniowka to Noshul”

Life in the Borderlands of Poland, 1921-1939

In her notebooks my grandmother never mentioned what life was like in Rzesniowka before the deportation to Siberia. Even though she sometimes mentioned Russia, Iran and Africa, my mother does not remember her ever mentioning the village she lived in until the age of nineteen. Thus the majority of the information I have is compiled from the oral testimonies and written correspondence from my great aunts, Lutka and Julia. Continue reading “Life in the Borderlands of Poland, 1921-1939”