POLISH RESETTLEMENT CAMPS IN THE UK 1946 - 1969

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POLISH RESETTLEMENT CAMPS IN ENGLAND AND WALES 1946-1969

ISBN 978-0-9569934-9-6

This book documents the experience of living in Polish resettlement camps in England and Wales after WW2. It is a photographic record of events in the camps brought to life in personal stories by past residents. In 75,000 words and 700 images the book covers thirty camps and six Polish boarding schools.
 
 

DIRECT FROM THE AUTHORS email  zosia_biegus@yahoo.co.uk  

or tel.01782 785097.

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/

£19.95

 

NEW PUBLICATIONS £4.95 EACH

34 Page booklet with  photos

NORHWICK PARK POLISH CAMP

30 page booklet with  photos

BLACKSHAW MOOR POLISH CAMP

 

Why were they here after WW2?

Following the defeat of the Polish army by the joint forces of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR in September 1939, an order went out for Polish  soldiers to make their way, as best they could, to France where a Polish Government in Exile was formed under the premiership of gen. Sikorski and a Polish army was being assembled to continue fighting alongside Poland’s allies – Britain and France. The army that formed in France participated in the abortive Narvik campaign and, following the defeat of France in 1940, evacuated to Britain. Those that didn’t make it across Italy to France headed for Syria where they were formed into the Carpathian Rifle Brigade which later fought at Tobruk.

In the meantime Stalin was consolidating his hold on the part of Poland that the Soviet Union had annexed under the Ribbentrop – Molotov pact by deporting to Siberia anyone thought likely to resist the annexation . By the time Hitler attacked the Soviet Union on 22nd June 1941 close to a million Poles had been deported.  Germany’s attack on the Soviets brought them into the Allied camp together with Britain and Poland, consequently, Stalin agreed to a Polish army being formed in the USSR.  A so called “amnesty” for all Poles in Prisoner of War Camps, NKVD Prisons and in Soviet Exile was declared and all those who heard of the “amnesty”, and were able to undertake the journey, set out for the recruitment centres.  In 1942 the army and its dependents left the Soviet Union for Persia (Iran) to be re-equipped and made ready for battle.  The Polish Armed Forces in Exile thus became the third largest fighting force in the West after Britain and America.  Their Battle Honours include Narvik, the Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic, Tobruk, Monte Cassino, Normandy and Arnhem.

The political settlement between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill meant that when the war ended the Soviets annexed Eastern Poland and incorporated it into the Soviet Union while the rest of Poland became a puppet state with a communist government imposed by Russia.  The vast majority of Poles rejected this settlement and chose to remain in The West where they could continue the political struggle for an independent Poland while maintaining their language, culture, and traditions for an eventual return to their homeland. 

 

Some 250,000 chose to remain in Britain and were joined by their families and dependents from wherever the fortunes of war had left them.  By far the largest number were those who, having escaped from Siberia with the Polish Army in 1942, had spent the war in Displaced Persons camps set up by the Bri