Highlights, Women

Polish Gulag woman-prisoner befriended by John Paul II

By Ted Lipien In my book, Wojtyła’s Women: How They Shaped the life of Pope John Paul II and Changed the Catholic Church, I describe how future Pope John Paul II, whom I had interviewed in Washington D.C. for the Voice of America (VOA) in 1976 when he was Kraków’s Archbishop, became familiar with many stories of immense suffering of…

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Highlights

Petition for asylum for Polish refugee children introduced in the U.S. Senate in 1943

Throughout World War II, the arrests and forced deportations of Polish families to labor camps ordered by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin received practically no mainstream media coverage in the United States. After the Soviet Union became an important military ally against Nazi Germany with the sudden collapse of Stalin’s alliance with Hitler following the German attack on Russia in June…

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Highlights

Deportations of Poles to Siberia noted in 1940 Congressional Record

A statement made on the floor of the U.S. Senate on February 8, 1940 by Senator John A. Danaher (R-Connecticut) may have been the first major public reference in the United States to the 1940 deportations of Poles and other nationalities to Gulag forced labor camps in the Soviet Union. Senator Danaher inserted in the Congressional Record the text of…

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Highlights

The Light of the Candle

Following the August 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact and the joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, which started World War II, the Soviets began the first mass deportation of Poles on February 10, 1940 from the occupied eastern part of Poland. Whole families were arrested, usually early in the morning, and sent in overcrowded cattle train wagons to forced labor…

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Highlights

A poem about Wojtek the Soldier Bear

Wojtek can you hear me? By Anne Kaczanowski Wojtek can you hear me?   Wojtek do you still remember me?   Wojtek czy pamietasz? Wojtek czy jeszcze pamietasz mnie?   The penetrating sound of friends transcend the pages of time   And the bear turns his ear as the bell of the universe chimes   He remembers as though it…

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Children

Polish refugee woman from Russia as seen in American propaganda

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo By Ted Lipien Almost no one knows today that one of the targets of misleading Soviet and American propaganda during World War II were Polish refugees fleeing from Russia. Before they were refugees, they were Stalin’s prisoners. The Red Army and the NKVD Soviet secret police occupied their cities, towns and villages in pre-war eastern Poland…

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Santa Rosa, Trending

Polish refugee children with a priest at Santa Rosa, Mexico

Polish refugee children with a priest, Santa Rosa Colony, Mexico. Julian Plowy Family Album. Before being transported to Mexico from India in 1943 on a U.S. Navy ship, these Polish children were for close to two years prisoners in Soviet Russia along with their parents and families. Some of them lost their mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and other…

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Santa Rosa

Polish refugee children in Mexico

In 1943 nearly 1,500 Polish refugees, many of them children, including orphans, stopped briefly in the United States on their way to their refugee camp in Mexico, called Santa Rosa. Most Americans, however, never learned the true story of these homeless people who had been earlier Stalin’s prisoners while their parents and even some of the older children worked as…

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Children, Santa Rosa

Polish children in camps for Japanese-Americans

By Ted Lipien America had its own shameful episode of war crimes, not nearly as brutal as Soviet deportations to the Gulag forced labor camps of many groups and nationalities, but still inexcusable detention of American citizens of Japanese origin and forcing them into internment camps during the Second World War. It is entirely possible that Roosevelt administration officials may…

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Children

Polish refugee children – Deception in the Library of Congress

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo (1943) By Ted Lipien The extent of the damage the initial propaganda from the Roosevelt administration had on the handling of the Polish World War II refugees story is not always easy to document, but some of the false information has kept reappearing in new forms for many years. After the arrival of the Internet, the…

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Children

Polish children refugees – Time and OWI/VOA propaganda

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo By Ted Lipien Time Magazine Story In addition to misleading foreign audiences through Voice of America (VOA) shortwave radio broadcasts, domestic “news” outreach by the wartime Office of War Information (OWI) U.S. government propagandists had a definite impact on independent U.S. media. A short Time magazine entry on November 15, 1943 described a group of Polish…

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Santa Rosa, Trending

An unhappy looking band of Polish refugee children in Santa Rosa, Mexico

Polish refugee children with several caregivers at Santa Rosa, Mexico. Julian Plowy Family Album. Before being transported to Mexico in 1943, these Polish children were for close to two years prisoners in Soviet Russia along with their parents and families. Some of them lost their mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and other close family members. They witnessed unspeakable atrocities…

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Highlights, Women

Polish women slave laborers in Soviet Russia

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo, 1943 By Ted Lipien A U.S. Government propaganda photo showing an unidentified Polish woman and other Polish women making their own clothing at a Red Cross refugee camp in Iran was taken by the Office of War Information (OWI) photographer in 1943. A few months earlier, the women were prisoners and slave laborers in the Soviet…

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Santa Rosa, Trending

Polish refugee children with two caregivers, Santa Rosa, Mexico

Polish refugee children with two adults, Santa Rosa Colony, Mexico. Julian Plowy Family Album. Before being transported to Mexico from India in 1943 on a U.S. Navy ship, these Polish children were for close to two years prisoners in Soviet Russia along with their parents and families. Some of them lost their mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and other…

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Santa Rosa, Trending

Young Polish girls and boys at Santa Rosa, Mexico

Polish refugee children, most of them girls, at the Santa Rosa camp in Mexico. Julian Plowy Family Album. Before being transported to Mexico from India in 1943 on a U.S. Navy ship, these Polish children were for close to two years prisoners in Soviet Russia. Many had lost their parents, siblings and other family members. They had witnessed unspeakable atrocities…

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Media, Trending

Józef Czapski on Katyn

Polish military officer, writer and artist Józef Czapski, who had made a futile search for thousands of missing Polish officers in Soviet Russia during World War II killed on the orders of Stalin in 1940, was censored by the Voice of America (VOA) during his visit to the United States in 1950. Later, under tremendous pressure from the U.S. Congress,…

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Trending, Video

British propaganda film: Polish refugees in Persia

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo, 1943 The cinema newsreel British Pathé film shot in in 1943 a propaganda film about Polish refugees who had come from the Soviet Union to Iran. The film is remarkable for the scarcity and vagueness of information about why these Poles were evacuated to Iran and what had happened to them earlier in the Soviet Union.…

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