In the latter part of 1939, German leader Adolf Hitler made a pact with the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to invade Poland. Confident that British and French leaders would opt for a weak peace settlement, Hitler’s army stormed in from the north, south and west on September 1st, while Stalin’s Red Army invaded from the east on September 17th.
This story, part fact and part fiction, is an account of the suffering endured by the Polish people at this time, many of whom were imprisoned in Siberia and forced to work under dreadful conditions. Yet when Hitler turned on Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Poland’s exiled found common cause with their Russian captors to take up arms against Nazi oppression.
Though the Allies emerged victorious in 1945, a heavy price was exacted from occupied Poland. Many survivors discovered they no longer had homeland to which they could return, their former communities now under firm Soviet control.