Bydgoszcz, 23 September 1989
I send you my kindest regards and ask you to accept my heartfelt gratitude for the efforts which you have undertaken to compile the list of murdered and missing Poles – our grandfathers, fathers and husbands. May God requite you!
I am the daughter of one of these men, a police officer. While barely a year and a half old, I took part in the deportation of our family. Here are my father’s personal details.
Władysław Grzybowski, born on 27 July 1903 in Bronisławów, district of Łuków. Son of Konstanty and Maria née Celińska. In 1923 he enlisted in the Polish Army and served as a light-cavalryman with the 1. Józef Piłsudski Light Cavalry Regiment, 1. Cavalry Squadron (he administered the Regimental Headquarters Office). In 1927 he moved to the State Police (stations in Sosnowiec, Kozienice, Strzemieszyce, Jędrzejów). His last place of work (1936–1939) was the State Police Station [in] Złotniki, district of Jędrzejów, Kielce Voivodeship. Police identity card number 1,221.
In September fifty years ago he was evacuated to the Eastern Borderlands. On 17 September , when the Soviets invaded, he was together with his wife and two daughters in Łuck. He decided to return home. He was arrested in Brześć nad Bugiem (I do not know exactly when, while my mother is deceased – in all probability he was detained towards the end of September or in the beginning of October; my mother told me that we had been fleeing for six weeks). Our cart was stopped by a Soviet patrol, for someone in the patrol (from all accounts a woman wearing a red armband) noticed that my father had police issue trousers under his gabardine coat, and also that his hands were white. They started mocking him: Eto polskie pany [So this is one of the Polish masters] … and the like. Our cart was searched. They found my father’s weapon and personal documents. He was taken to the fortress in Brześć nad Bugiem, where the Soviets had set up their headquarters. Some time later my mother traveled there, accompanied by us children. The guard at the gate warned her honestly: “Do not go inside. You won’t see your husband, and they’ll send you to Siberia separately, anyhow …”. My mother returned home with us. No more was heard of my father. Shortly after the War, a friend of my father’s from Silesia contacted us and stated that he had seen my father in the autumn of 1939 in some kind of transit camp. This friend had escaped from that very camp. I am also sending you a copy of a photograph of my father, taken from his police identity card. That is all that is left of him!
I give you my kindest greetings and wish you the strength necessary to conclude this work to your satisfaction and for the benefit of us all.