|Award of Excellence|
“An ocean of extermination and inhuman life. To escape out of this whirlpool, the abbys of memories”; On 10th February 1940 repressions by the USSR were undertaken on Polish lands against Poles and Polish citizens. They were a consequence of military aggression and the agreement on borders and German-Soviet friendship of September 1939. Inhabitants of the Polish State were subjected to many years of repression and around 2 million people were exiled into the USSR, 25% of whom were children. The goals of the deportation were extermination of the political and economic elites as well as ethnic cleansings. In the name of the law it was stated that according to the new authorities there were no innocent people among the deported. Because of the destruction caused by the Soviet secret police NKVD, the actual amount of the exiled is hard to estimate. Here are the testimonies of adults who survived the atrocities of exile in their childhood. “This Siberia, one carries within oneself...”
MICHALINA GUMIŃSKA (family name JASZCZYSZYN) born on May 6th 1935 in the village of Kowenice, in the Lviv region. Daugther of Katarzyna and Michał. Six siblings. Deported at the age of five.On February 10th 1946 they return to Poland. “After returning to Poland I looked as if I’d just returned from Auschwitz”.