Thursday, 31 October 2013

US Lend Lease funding for Polish Refugees refused

The attached documents from the National Archives confirm that US Lend Lease funds could not be used to support Polish refugees who had escaped from the Soviet Union. FO371/32631

Lend Lease Notes

"If the Poles die in Russia the war effort will not be affected"

"To put matters brutally if these Poles die in Russia the war effort will not be affected. If they ..... to pass into Persia, we, unlike the Russians, will not be able to allow them to die and our war effort will be gravely impaired. Action must be taken to stop these people from leaving the USSR before we are ready to receive them (and then only at the rate we are able to receive and ship them away from the head of the Persia Gulf) however many die as a consequence"

These are the shocking words of Richard Casey, Minister Resident in the Middle East, in his telegram from Cairo to the Foreign Office on 22nd June 1942.

Baron Richard Casey, was an Australian politician and diplomat, appointed to the Cairo post by Winston Churchill, where he served from 1942 to 1944.

Three days later an official in the Foreign Office notes that although the sentiments are true, it might have been better to omit these views "I fear, (they) will read rather oddly to the future historian"!

Here are copies of the telegrams and notes from the National Archives FO371/32630
Richard Casey telegram - low definition
Richard Casey telegram - high definition

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Various lists of the deported

Polska Walczaca lists
Between 1943 and 1944 the Polska Walczaca newspaper published various lists of the deported. They contain names, addresses, birth dates etc. Each list is different and its worth searching each of them. These are copied from the archives of the Polish Library, POSK, Hammersmith, London UK.

These files are very large, so will take some time to download. 
Addresses of Polish military families in the Soviet Union - Published in 1943.
Adresy Rodzin Wojskowych w ZSSR (the PDF file can be searched, once it is downloaded)

Names of Poles in Tehran, Persia - Published in 1943.
Polacy Przybywajacy w Teheranie (the PDF file can be searched, once it is downloaded)

Names of Poles evacuated from the Soviet UnionPublished as supplements to 17 editions, between April and August 1943. (Includes names of children evacuated to India, in the last three pages)
Osoby wyewakuowane z ZSSR (the PDF file can be searched, once it is downloaded)

Selection of articles from Polska Walczaca - Published between 1943 - 1944
Polish Army in USSR, Junacy (Cadets), Pestki

List of Polish Military and Civilian settlers (Osadnik's)
The Polish Osadnik organisation - Stowarzyszenie Rodzin Osadnikow Wojskowych i Cywilnych Kresow Wschodnich have published the attached list showing names and locations of all Osady and Osadnik's
Wykaz Osad (Excel file, can be sorted by name, Osada etc)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Polish Army evacuations from Krasnovodsk to Pahlevi 1942

In 1942, the Polish army that was forming in the Soviet Union was evacuated to Persia. The evacuation, between Krasnovodsk and Pahlevi, was carried out in two phases; first in March - April and the second in August - September 1942.

The UK National Archives hold records describing the evacuations.

The following reports describe the arrival in Pahlevi:
These files are in compressed format:
The following are the same files in full definition (each with file size of 15-40MB, so may take some time to download):
Pahlevi Evacuations Report - March - April 1942 - Lt. Col. Ross
Pahlevi March - April 1942 - Indian Field Ambulance Report - Lt. Col Ata-Ullah, Indian Field Ambulance service
Pahlevi Evacuations Report - Aug - Sept 1942 - Lt. Col. Ross

Summary tables from March - April 1942 report, showing a total of 48,808 soldiers and civilians arriving between 25th March and 5th April 1942
Pahlevi map from March - April 1942 report

Summary table from August -September report, showing a further 69,247 soldiers and civilians arriving between 10th August and 1st September 1942

Kadet Andrzej Zajaczkowski
Junacka Szkola Kadetow - 1942
Pahlevi or Palestine? Can anyone confirm the location? 

These aerial photos show the refugee camps on the beaches of Pahlevi in September 1942
German aerial reconnaissance photos from September 1942
provided by Bronislaw Kielbasa and posted on the Kresy Siberia gallery by Romuald Lipinski and Julek Plowy

Costs of supporting the Polish deportees in Persia

The attached documents show that the Polish Government paid over £1 million pounds to the British Government between June 1942 and January 1943 for the costs of supporting the Polish refugees in Pahlevi and later in Tehran.
The documents are extracts of the relevant files in the UK National Archives (WO193/216).
Recovery of evacuation costs (high quality) 10MB
same file in lower quality Recovery of evacuation costs - 1.6MB