[1. Personal data:]
Volunteer Anna Suchańska, 19 years old.
[2. The date and circumstances of the arrest:]
They deported me on 29 June 1940, without a family, because I came from territory occupied by Germans.
[3. Name of camp, prison, or place of forced work:]
They deported me to a taiga in Siberia, Sukhoi Log settlement, Novosibirsk Oblast for forced work in the forest.
[4. Description of the camp, prison:]
I lived on settlement that was mostly surrounded by taiga. People lived either in the barracks with several families inside, or in the cottages, containing two apartments, each accommodating eight people. I worked in the forest, in the garden, and in hay-making.
[5. Composition of the inmates, POWs, and exiles:]
The deportees were Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews. There was about a thousand of us on the settlement. The mental level was average. The mutual relations between the Poles were very good.
[6. Life in the camp, prison, etc.:]
Work normally started at 7:00 AM and continued until 6:00 PM. Some worked at night at loading trees in the taiga. It was really hard work and the food was bad. They did not give us anything but bread before the start of the Soviet-German war. We had to exchange our own things for the essentials. The quotas were so high that none of the Poles could meet them. And the pay was disproportionately small in relation to the work. They did not give us any clothes at all and we only had with what we brought with us, giving our clothes away in exchange for necessities. Remuneration for work was not even enough to buy bread. We usually gathered together as Poles to go to work, spending at least a few moments away from the Soviets.
[7. Attitude of the NKVD towards Poles:]
The attitude of the NKVD towards Poles were very hostile. They punished us for progul [being late for work] by reducing our pay, and for small crimes such as not turning up at work even during illness (they recognized illness only in case of fever above 39 degrees Celsius). There were cases of arrests and taking exiled persons to prisons for not wanting to denounce the Poles. Communist propaganda was on large scale. Children were forced to attend Russian schools, where teachers wanted to instill the communist spirit in the children’s minds. But the parents forbade the children to go to school, and taught them in the Polish spirit after they returned from work. The situation of the families consisting of a great number of people, as well as children who could not work, was very bad because even one person could not earn enough to support themselves. We had very little information about Poland, since that whatever came was censored.
[8. Medical care, hospitals, mortality:]
Medical care was available to a small extent, as they took to the hospital only those who were seriously ill. The hospital was located on another settlement, two kilometers away. The mortality rate was very high.
[9. Was it possible to keep in touch with your home country and family? If yes, what contacts were permitted?]
The contact with our country was very difficult. Letters came after a long time, and sometimes did not arrive at all. I did not receive letters from my family as they lived in the area occupied by Germans, from which we could not get any letters.