3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 30, 2018 3:29 PM by Renata Dash

    Do records exist of Polish WWII prisoners in Stalin's gulags?


      Hello.  I am trying to find information on my mother's family.  They came from Poland, although I believe they were in Ukraine (for an unknown reason) when they were taken prisoners by Russian forces and transferred to a Siberian Gulag.  Do any records exist for Gulag prisoners?  I know that my grandfather and many aunts and uncles died here (names and dates unknown for the most part, other than my grandfather Wawrzyniec Wójtowicz).  My grandmother and some children (including my mother Aniela) were later "freed" by Anders' Army and were placed in refugee camps in Africa and later India until the War ended. 

        • Re: Do records exist of Polish WWII prisoners in Stalin's gulags?
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Ms. Dash,


          Thank you for contacting the History Hub!


          The records you seek are not in the custody of the U.S. National Archives. We suggest that you begin by contacting the State Archives of Poland via https://www.archiwa.gov.pl/pl/ and the Federal'naia arkhivnaia sluzhba Rossii (Rosarkhiv) [Federal Archival Service of Russia], ul. Il'inka 12, 103132 Moscow, Russia.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research! 


          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Do records exist of Polish WWII prisoners in Stalin's gulags?
            Aaron Seltzer Wayfarer

            Dear Ms. Dash,


            In addition to the other specified non-NARA resources,if you have not previously done so you may be interested in accessing archival resources concerning Anders' Army at the Hoover Institute Library and Archive. These are records which are currently being digitized and are also currently in the process of a version of their contents being translated from Polish to English.

            Hoover Joins The Polish Ministry Of Culture And National Heritage To Digitize And Make Available Thousands Of WWII Gulag…


            In addition to information about your grandmother and some of the children, these records may also shed light of their experiences in the gulag and what happened to their families.

            2 people found this helpful
              • Re: Do records exist of Polish WWII prisoners in Stalin's gulags?

                How can I thank you enough for this information?  I am communicating with a

                historian in Poland who has been kind enough to help me search into my

                family history, I was just telling him that I need to research more with

                regard to Ander's Army.  I know that my mother and her family that survived

                the gulag (many did not) were able to leave Russia with Ander's Army as I

                found a list on line that identifies people who were able to do so, and

                they are on that list.  Your email to me came in as I was using Google

                Translate to translate my email into Polish to send to my Polish historian



                Your article helps to connect a couple more "dots" for me.  I found a

                picture of "a man" in a military uniform with writing on the back of it.

                The writing is in Polish, and translated it is written to my mother from

                her (older) brother.  A brother I never knew existed, and one that I have

                been trying to research, find and understand.  I had felt that perhaps my

                family was able to leave because this man, her brother, joined forces with

                other Poles to help defeat Hitler.  I still have not been able to verify

                (or quite frankly to even find anything), but I will continue to look.

                Perhaps I can later post a picture of this "mystery man" and someone might

                be able to verify the uniform (which would help keep me moving in the right

                direction).  The picture is signed, dated, and indicated as coming from



                I am fascinated by this website, and I cannot wait to post pictures of

                documents of information that I have found pertaining to my parents, in the

                hope that perhaps my documents can help lead other people to information on

                their own families.  While my mother and her family were imprisoned under

                Stalin, my father was in forced labor under Hitler.  I have so much to

                figure out and study given how little each of my parent (long deceased)

                spoke of their tragic days.  I found many documents and pictures following

                their deaths.


                Thank you again.