General Interest

For the people of Poland, August 1939 was the last month of normal life before the storm of war struck them.  That month Stanislaw Dabrowski had just turned 19 and was an accounting student working part time in his family bakery business in Lwów.
  Hitler's army invaded the country on 1 September and his airforce bombed all the major towns and cities including Lwów. Within a few weeks the Germans had occupied the western half of Poland--and then Stalin's army invaded the rest, including Lwów, and annexed it into his Soviet empire--Poland had ceased to exist.

The Dabrowski family discovered the reality of life in Stalin’s empire: destitution, arrest on mere suspicion followed by imprisonment, beatings, show trials on false charges, deportation to slave labour camps and executions.
After enduring months of slave labour in the gold mines of Kolyma in Siberia, Stanislaw was among the small percentage to survive: in 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union and Polish prisoners were released to join a Polish army to fight the Germans.  He fought in the Italian campaign, among others in the battle of Monte Cassino, after which he met his wife, a veteran of the Warsaw uprising. Following the end of the war they moved to Britain and from there they migrated to New Zealand to join other family members who had been sent out in 1944.  
But what had happened to his father?  It was years before the family learned the awful truth. 
In New Zealand Stanislaw began work as a car assembler in the Austin factory in Petone, but upon deciding to resume accounting studies, got a job in the Department of Industries and Commerce in Wellington, the boss of which was the notorious Moscow-aligned William Sutch.  After years of no promotion, Stanislaw decided to change employers and went to the Totalisator Agency Board or TAB, eventually working his way to the top position of General Manager.
The story of the Dabrowski family, scattered by the storm of World War 2, eventually establishing new roots on the other side of the world, is both fascinating and inspiring.


Category:

 General Interest

Reading Level:all

In August 1939 Stanislaw Dabrowski was a 19 year old accounting student working part time in his family bakery business in Lwów, Poland.  Within a few weeks the Germans had occupied half of Poland and the Soviet Union invaded the rest, including Lwów. The... read more

For the people of Poland, August 1939 was the last month of normal life before the storm of war struck them.  That month Stanislaw Dabrowski had just turned 19 and was an accounting student working part time in his family bakery business in Lwów.   
Hitler's army ... read more

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