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WW2 Civilian Forced Labourer



cherryjam 1 | 2    
17 Feb 2014  #1

My father was fourteen when a truck came to his village and took him away. He was in a German camp and worked on a German farm. When the war finished he was told he could not return to Poland and so went to England and then Australia. Unfortunately, he died ten years ago and I never got a chance to ask him questions about his experience. He spoke of it some times and it seemed horrific. Can someone please give me a possible reason why he was told not to return to Poland? His brother was sent to a different area and he returned. Thank you.


katheryn 65 - | 8    
17 Feb 2014  #2

Hello Cherryjam

Being interested in Polish history I have read many books on Poland in this most horrific time. When the war ended some Polish people where advised not to return to their homes because their home no longer belonged to them or they just where not there anymore , also many Polish people lost a huge amount of their families so again no family to return to.

I read that Poland was suffering has a country for many years after the war ( cold war ) plus anti-sematic people still resided in Poland and some still feared they would be persecuted for their faith.

So many Polish people helped the Jews they hide them in their homes or on their farms at the huge risk of getting caught and all their family members would lose their lifes.

I am slightly reluctant to talk about subjects like this in a public forum has it can ( not always ) cause alot of pain and arguments . I have really' tiptoed around' with my answer 'sorry' but I just felt the need to share a little of what I have learnt.

Katheryn
OP cherryjam 1 | 2    
17 Feb 2014  #3

Thanks for your reply, Katheryn. What you say makes sense but I found it strange that my father was the only one out of four children to not return home. They were a Catholic family as well. I have a vague memory of him saying that his brother had been sent to one side of Poland while he was sent to Germany. I'm not sure if that made a difference.
katheryn 65 - | 8    
17 Feb 2014  #4

It is a very interesting part of your family history and you never know what you will find when you start to look into it ... are there any other family members you can talk to that may be able to help you ?

I will have a look in my research and see if there was any reason why people were 'forced' to move to another country , if I find anything out i will let you know .

Good luck with your search
Kind regards
katheryn
OP cherryjam 1 | 2    
17 Feb 2014  #5

Thanks again, Katheryn.

I tried contacting my father's family in Poland when he died but it was difficult because they didn't know very much English and I don't know Polish. I asked them then if they had internet access and they said they didn't. It's a shame.
katheryn 65 - | 8    
17 Feb 2014  #6

Hmmmm that is a shame because they maybe would have alot of things to share with you . Sometimes I feel from speaking to my friends family in Poland about that time some just want to forget for many reasons. Some feel they did not do enough , some feel it was non of their business like I said before Cherryjam it is a very declicate subject , you can go to Poland and try and find someone to help you there I am sure they do have records but like you said the language gap is a problem although you can pay an interpreter to help you it just depends on how much you have to throw at this in regards time and money . Actually you could make it an holiday Poland is so beautiful very much worth visiting anyway.

I wish I could help you more .
Nathan 18 | 1,373    
17 Feb 2014  #7

Your father was young, 14 years, when taken away. His age and maybe his physical characteristics may have influenced the decision of the Nazis to take him to Germany. When he was freed by the allied forces, there were many reasons not to return home, and they were already mentioned. I am not sure about Poland, but many people in the neighboring Ukraine, upon return from the forced labor camps or farms were oftentimes treated as traitors by the Soviet regime and deported to Siberia, not to ever return. Your father was probably aware of this and other circumstances described by Katheryn.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569    
21 Feb 2014  #8

Can someone please give me a possible reason why he was told not to return to Poland?

Hi CJ,

Good to see another Aussie here. As Katheryn has touched on, after WW2 Poland was not really Poland anymore. It was controlled by the Soviets, and if you're aware of what the Soviet Union was like under Stalin, then you'll have an understanding of what it must have been like for Poles.

The simple answer is that he would have been told not to return because where he came from was under Soviet rule and if he returned he may have been imprisoned or shot. Poland was a wasteland too. I hope your dziadek had a happy life in Australia, as did many Poles who came here and forged new lives after WW2.

Perhaps it might be an idea to visit a local Polish Club? Whilst they're fast dying out, there may be a WW2 veteran there who would happily answer your questions. Cheers



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