Saving the children of polish refugees - Southern Africa
April 1943

The Polish Children of Oudtshoorn - Their story in brief

Stefan Szewczuk

I am president of the Polish Association of Siberian Deportees in South Africa. Both my parents, Stefania Bednarczuk and Jan Szewczuk, and their families are Siberian Deportees. Both my parents found refuge in the Polish refugee camp in Oudtshoorn South Africa. I am yet to research fully my grandparent's participation in fighting in WWII after their escape from Siberia and have rather been focusing on researching the Polish Children of Oudtshoorn and recently expanding this research to include the Polish refugee camps in the other parts of Africa. This research is currently being done as part of the South Africa Poland History project that is officially registered as a project at the South African Sol Plaatje University. I am assuming that my maternal grandfather, Ignacy Bednarczuk, was in Anders' army because after demobilisation he settled in England. I am assuming that my paternal grandparents, Stanislaw & Teresa Szewczuk, fought in Berling's army because after demobilisation they settled in post war communist Poland. As a start to researching on the Polish Children of Oudtshoorn I compiled an A0 poster that is an attempt to summarise the ordeal of these children not only within the context of the February 1940 - June 1941 deportations but also within elements of Poland's 1000 year history. A copy of this A0 poster on the Polish Children of Oudtshoorn now hangs in the Polish section of the South African National Military museum. I am attaching a jpg copy of this poster. However I note that the quality of the jpg copy has reduced from the original .ppt file.

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