SR Translation of Documents Series
Polish Children Beg for Help in 1942
Editor's Note: the following Petition is one of the hundreds of depositions and letters of Polish children (deported to the Soviet Union after the joint Soviet-Nazi attack on Poland in September 1939) deposited in the Hoover Archives. We do not know what happened to these two girls. The adnotation at the bottom authenticates the translation (which however was faulty and was updated by SR editors). Copies of the translation and of the original letter in Polish can be found in the Hoover Archives, Poland. Ambasada (USSR), Box #24, Folder #267. We thank the Hoover Archives for permission to publish this document.
To:General Wielikowski at the Polish War Mission
From: Polish citizens Alfreda Borowska and Lidia Fiedorówna
We Polish children now find ourselves in a state children's home in [the Soviet republic of] Udmurtia. Before the Soviet-German war we lived in Biaystok with our parents where we were born and lived until we went for vacation to Druskienniki where we vacationed from June 3rd to 22nd. There the war met us, we had to get out of Druskienniki and looked for ways of getting back to Biaystok.
But all of the roads were full of people and the bridge in Grodno was burning, so that we could not reach the city and were captured and driven out across the border to the Soviet Union. There the higher authorities decided that we were to go to Udmurtia to the town of Sarapul, and later to the village of Karakulino into Children's Home No. 5. We have been here a year and go to school. It isn't very good for us here and we learned from the nachalstvo [Soviet officials] (and perhaps you, sir, are aware of that also) that they keep children here only until age fifteen, but we were born in 1927 and have completed our fifteenth year so that
soon they will send us God knows where. We do not know where to go and turn to you, sir, as to a father and protector of Polish children, so that you would take us under your care and so we can have some kind of future. If you do not turn your attention toward us, sir, there is no one else to take care of us, so that the road we have left is to take our own lives. We beg you once more to take care of us Polish children patriots. Maybe we can provide some service for the army or in civilian life and have at least a small hope of returning to our families. Our parents were and we hope are still Polish patriots who want to help Poland and want her to be free again. We children want to follow in our parents' footsteps, and we dream of living and dying as Polish patriots in Polish surroundings. We once were in such an environment and now we are longing for it and we remember it, and we want to live anywhere but here. This is already our second letter and we urgently beg for a quick reply, one way or another, so that we can have some future.
Please, please, once more, do not reject our petition and take us under your care. We turn to you as to a father and ask for help. Even though we are still adolescents, we will try to help as adults. We wait impatiently for your quick reply.
We wait for your good, welcome words which can replace those of our mother and father.
Please send your reply to this address:
The village of Karakulino, 12 Lenin Street
c/o Mr. Kazimierz Moskwiak
Written June 15, 1942
No. L/43. I certify the accuracy of this transcript with the original letter.
Signed: Stanisaw Romanski, Secretary of the [Polish] Embassy, Teheran 1943.
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The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 09/24/98