Transcript of an Oral History Interview with Stan Gomulczak
Interviewed by Ted Zarzeczny, Sr. Transcript from PAS Tape R-500
Stan’s Journey: Part 1
I was 13 years of age when Germany declared the war upon Poland, November 1st, 1939. February 10th, 1940, I was taken out by Russian army to the depth of Russia. The Poland was split in two. Germans came from west and took the possessions on the River Bug, which was 9 kilometres west of the place I was living. My place was nine kilometres, as I said, to the east, so Russian armies occupied the eastern part up to the River Bug, [where] I was living. It was said by some that policy of Stalin was to occupy Poland and keep it. So his policy was to resettle Poland with Asiatic people, and took about 2 million of Polish people to Siberia, and to gain the free labour. We were taken out on Feb. 10th about three o’clock in the morning, transported about 15 kilometres to the railroad station, loaded on the box cards, very small box cars, about 50 people each, and I remember that night, the temperature was about 33 below zero centigrade. Quite a few had frozen fingers, frozen ears, and small children were also bitten by frost. Now the men were separated in the different box cards, so there would be no problem of interference from our side. Now as I was boarding the box car, I saw the next car in front of us. The Russian soldiers slammed a steel door, and one woman was crying because her child was left outside, and her head was split in half, so she was dead right there. It took about five days to reach the eastern Polish-Russian border. Now the train stopped, until today I don’t know for what reason, and he backed and went forward quite a few times, across the border. Now we are loaded and transferred to Russian trains on wider tracks, and then remained on that train for 28 days through Russia. There were giving us water once in a while and hardly any food. Sometimes the doors were locked for as long as two days.