Stanisław Akucewicz

Stanislaw Akucewicz was born in Ostasze in the Augustów district in Poland 12 January 1923. His father was a farmer. Stanisław was the youngest of three children. After the Soviet invasion, on February 10 1940 in the middle of the night soldiers came to their house. They were given 1 hour to pack their belongings, taken on sleighs to the nearest train station from where they began a long travel (about 2-3 weeks) East. At the former Polish-Soviet border they were loaded on Russian wagons and taken to a camp in Kwitok in Siberia.

He, his parents and two sisters were placed in a barrack together with a few other families. Stanisław had to work in extremely difficult conditions cutting wood in taiga forests. He was given poor rations of non-nutritious food. The rule in the camps was ne robotayesz, ne kuszajesz (no work, no food). When the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement was signed (July 1941) an “amnesty” for Poles was announced. For the Akucewicz family that meant they were free from the camp and could decide where to go on their own. Returning to Poland was still impossible.

After some time Stanisław’s father decided they should move to the sovhoz Ovtsevod in Prikholmye (Minusinsky District). Stanisław stayed and worked at the kolhoz for some time and decided to join the Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division which was the first division formed within the Berling Army in command of Soviet authorities. He completed a few months training in Seltsy near the Oka river and was sent to fight. He fought in the Lenino battle and was taken as prisoner of war by the Germans. In December 1943 he was transported to a work camp located south of Berlin (probably near Torgau).

In spring 1945 his camp was liberated by the Allies. Stanisław Akucewicz was placed at a transfer camp where he was enrolled into a guard squad. Afterwards he was taken to a civil camp and then given a chance to choose where he wished to go next. As he had family in Australia, he enlisted to go there. He traveled by ship together with other refugees and arrived in Newcastle (Australia). For the first two years of his stay in Australia he worked as a laborer for the government to pay off his journey from Europe. He soon moved to Sydney and worked at an aluminum smelter. He was employed at a paint factory until retirement.


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