Volunteer Antonina Balawender

I was deported to Russia, to the Kostanay Oblast in Kazakhstan, on 10 February 1940, together with my entire family. There were a great many of us in Dżytogor, near the station of Bredów. I worked very hard, while my Mother and Father, brother, and younger sisters remained at home.

The amnesty was declared on 12 August 1941. Later, when we received our passports, we all left for Kamashi in the Buxoro Oblast, where I fell ill with pneumonia. While there, we hardly had anything to eat. My granny, grandpa, auntie and uncle all fell ill and died in Kamashi in 1942.

Father enlisted in the army, while my brother joined the army students corps in Guzar.

My whole family and I departed for Tehran with the first transport, on 29 March 1942. I went to school there, while Mother worked. Father traveled to Palestine, and from Palestine to Khanaqin, where he died on 1 November 1942.

On 8 June 1942, I went to the first camp and signed up with the army full-time. Mother left for Africa on 1 July 1942 with the first transport.