We were deported to Russia on 12 May 1941.

Throughout our period of detention we lived near Tashkent, at the Syr Darya train station. We Poles were in the minority; Ukrainians formed the majority. We worked together with them. The Russians took their revenge on us – they forced us to work every day, even on Sundays.

My Mother was unable to work, for she was around sixty, while my brother was a cripple. I was the only one of our family who was fit for work. It was back-breaking toil, but had I not gone, I wouldn’t have received 400 grams of bread.

My Mother could not take this – she fell ill with bloody dysentery and died in the hospital. After five days my brother fell ill, too, and soon died. These moments were very difficult for me.

Fortunately, however, the Lord our God took pity on us Poles: we were given passports and, a few days later, left for Guzar, where I joined the female army students corps and went on the first transport to Tehran.

I enlisted in the Polish Army on 13 June 1942 in Tehran.