Swooping Eagle

The story of how your Polish relative became a soldier, was falsely arrested and exiled to USSR, released, joined Anders army, escaped the USSR via The Middle East and then ended up in Scotland in the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade. We also examine why many of them did not return to Poland and left families there.

Why "Swooping Eagle"?

We named the website "Swooping Eagle" in memory of General Sosabowski's declaration when he formed the 1st Independant Parachute Regiment whilst standing at Kincraig Point in Elie, Fife. There, General Sosabowski declared "When the hour comes you will like victorious eagles swoop down upon our foe and you will be the first to fight back in our motherland". I am at great pains to point out I don't support war at all, however I admire the spirit and stamina shown by our relatives as they showed great courage in the face of war. One minute they were in Poland as farmers, mechanics, tradesmen and next minute they were traversing the world, fighting hunger, starvation, oppression, labour camps and yes, even jumping out of aeroplanes.

Adopting the spirit of a "Swooping Eagle" is an inspiration to us all..

Foreward

Awareness

Most of the western world has a basic idea about how World War 2 came to shape the world that we live in. We accept that America is the dominant world power and that as a result, a degree of freedom and democracy exist for us in the western world.

For those born after, say 1965, little understanding exists about the totalitarian governments that used to exist (and some still do in far corners of the earth). We take our freedom today for granted, unaware of the horrendous effects that former governments brought upon unsuspecting, honest citizens.

Most have heard of the holocaust. Few though are truly aware of the deportations from Poland which were every bit a grand scale operation with a death toll to rival the holocaust.

The first half of this century saw World War 1 and World War 2. World wars seem, for the present to be a thing of the past, yet the cold war continued from 1945 till 1989. Few understand the cold wars continued impact on those that suffered from 1939 onwards in the deportations.

 

Stalin - Benevolent Man Or Mass Murderer

Certain history books used in schools present Stalin as an idealist who was ahead of his time. Someone who was anti-capitalist and was "for the common man".

The harsh truth is that his regime brought terror and fear to Polish people living in the eastern borderlands of Poland. His regime split families up, executed without trial and mass deported a staggering amount of innocent poles, whose only crime was being Polish. His treatment of Poles was so harsh that Polish people came to refer to Russia as "That Inhuman Land", not because of the bitter cold but because of the bitter treatment they experienced.

Stunted & Selective Memories

In a world of freely available electronic information that can be accessed on all manner of devices, it's quite concerning how limited and uninformed the masses are. Perhaps the problem starts in schools. There, kids are taught about Hitler and the concentration camps. They study Anne Franks diary. They discuss types of government past and present. They perhaps memorise battlefields, famous battle dates and suchlike.

This is all very well to learn this, but is it not curious that so many seem completely uninformed about 1939 onwards and what occurred in Eastern Poland (The Kresy region)? This piece of history has touched all corners of the globe, its most likely someone who lives nearby you has had their live touched by this piece of history and yet so few know of it or understand it.

The Fall Of Communism - And A Startling Confession From Gorbachev

On 13th April 1990 President Wojciech Jaruzelski met with President Mikhail Gorbachev. It was a truly historic day, at this meeting Gorbachev shockingly admitted that the NKVD massacred 15,000 Polish officers, intellectuals and POW's.

Why was this shocking?

Because in 1940 the Germans discovered the mass graves in Katyn forest and pointed the finger at the Russians. In a bizarre twist the Russians said that the Germans had committed these atrocities themselves. Embarrassed by having to face this accusation, Stalin closed the borders thus stopping a large number of poles from evacuating the country (In the evacuation under General Anders). These Poles were then forced to adopt the Russian life and identity, my own relatives were caught up in this and some of them had to live their lives out in Russia instead of Poland.

If Russia had admitted this crime 50 years earlier, history would have been very different. This is because back in the 1940s the west (America and Britain) chose to believe Russia. As a direct result Polish people never saw justice done and Russia continued to evade answering for this crime.To date, no-one has ever been brought to justice for what happened at Katyn.

The 1939 Deportations - Russia Escapes Justice Yet Again

Doors banged at unearthly hours, given 30 minutes to pack their things, then escorted to railways carriages and made to wait in locked railway carriages in railway sidings for up to 2 weeks in chilling cold with no heat, no toilet and little food, then undergoing a 4 week rail journey to hard labour camps in Russia and Kazakhstan not knowing if you would ever return or see family again.

These were the deportations.

The crime? Being Polish.

These despicable deportations were widespread, it was Stalins way of killing people through deprivation and hard labour.

These deportations were. in time, to change the face of the entire world through migratory paths, cultural exchange, the extinction of many existing family units and the creation of unlikely new ethnicities (Such as Iranian Poles, Polish-indian marriages and more).

The deportations deserve our utmost respect and attention, they are as shocking and horrendous as the German concentration camps perhaps more so when you consider that those affected have not even had the decency and publicity of mainstream media.

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