The Antoni Paszkiewicz project examines the life and, in particular, the Second World War experience, of a young Polish man who was born in Vilno in 1921. Vilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) was then in the Kresy region—the Eastern Borderlands—and was occupied by the Soviets in 1939. During the Soviet invasion Toni Paszkiewicz was arrested, deported to Russia and imprisoned. Having been released in 1941 to join ‘Ander’s Army’—the Polish Armed Forces in the East loyal to the Polish government-in-exile—he left Russia via Iran and Iraq in 1942. This army of Poles formed the basis of Polish II Corps, which fought in North Africa and Italy. Toni Paszkiewicz, however, journeyed to the United Kingdom in 1943 and joined the 1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade. Following the war he settled in Wales and later in Australia.
This incredible story is supported by a wealth of photographs that he took or bought as souvenirs on his travels, and other material, including his diary, provided by his family.
The Early Years
The Soviet Invasion & Deportation
1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade
The Later Years
This series of articles will eventually contribute to the Kresy-Siberia Virtual Museum.
If you are able to contribute to the project, please get in touch: