Triggered by the unprovoked, barbaric Russian invasion of Ukraine and its peoples’ horrendous suffering a few months ago, I began presenting to you, my dear OLLI friends, chronological excerpts from my dad Stefan’s war years—during a similar assault on Poland by the Soviets at the outbreak of WW II. The first story was, “The Soviet Invasion of Zbaraz.” This the second story: “Stefan’s Imprisonment in Ukraine”. –Junia
September 1939, Shepetovka (Soviet occupied Ukraine)
Stefan arrived from Tarnopol (Pol.) in a cattle train, forty prisoners in each boxcar, to a massive POW camp in Shepetovka ((today: Shepetivka, in western Ukraine). His sergeant, Jagiello, was with him.
Every soldier had to identify himself at the camp’s registration posts. Stefan produced a fake document stating he was Infantry Private Stefan Orzechowski; Jagiello had written it hastily while on the train. He hoped the Soviets wouldn’t understand Polish or suspect anything shady.