1. Personal data:

Rifleman Julian Bekery, a bricklayer by occupation, born in 1908, married.

2. Methods of interrogation and torture used during the examination:

I was interrogated by NKVD agents in Łuck prison. They used the following methods while interrogating me:

a) I was threatened with long-term imprisonment or with being shot, b) the interrogators insisted that I sign an admission to a number of alleged crimes (which I did not commit), c) they would lock me up in the punishment cell, located in the basement (I spent a total of 24 hours there).

3. Procedure applied by the court in the course of the examination and during pronouncement of the verdict:

I was not given an indictment. I was accused of assaulting a Soviet militiaman and taking possession of his firearm. Two militiamen were brought forward as witnesses: one of them was from Łuck, Bronisław Prorok, while I do not remember the surname of the other. The sentence was read out an hour after proceedings had been closed. I did not receive a copy of the judgment.

6. Life in forced labor camps, the organization thereof, and work norms:

a) Township and area/region:

Amur Oblast, the taiga, swamps, with innumerable swarms of mosquitoes and flies.

b) Living conditions:

I lived in a barrack built from wood, with leaky walls, and slept on a pallet made from logs, with no straw mattress or blankets, frequently covering myself with my spring coat (completely drenched) or other items of clothing. There were approximately 170 of us in the barrack, and for heating we had two small iron stoves. Hundreds of bugs crawled around the walls and pallets.

c) Food:

I would be given 350–500 grams of wholemeal bread, and also one half liter of a bitter, fatless soup made from oats or flour dissolved in water; it frequently lacked salt.

d) Working conditions:

I worked in the swamps of the taiga in all kinds of weather – in the snow, during the spring melt, in the biting cold (with the lowest temperature being around minus 60 degrees), and in the pouring rain. Over nearly a year I had just two days of rest.

e) Norms:

Making five holes with a depth of one meter in rocky ground and carting off six cubic meters of earth to a distance of 200 – 300 meters, including the digging and loading.

f) Clothing:

We did not receive any underwear. I was, however, given a quilted cap, a coat, quilted trousers, and a pair of worn shoes made from rubber and fitted with quilted tops.

g) Social composition of prisoners:

Practically all the nations of the USSR. Apart from us Poles, there were “counterrevolutionaries”, former tsarist officials, “Trotskyists” – on the whole peaceful people, and maybe innocent.

h) Hygienic and sanitary conditions:

Medical care was wholly insufficient. You would get a sick note only if you had a fever of more than 38 degrees. Baths were infrequent. Lousiness – average. A terrible shortage of drugs.

i) Working time:

From 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.

j) Leisure time and cultural life:
During my entire period of detention in the camp I saw only one show.

k) Keeping in touch with the home country:

I sent 15 letters, however I received no return mail.

l) Attitude of the Soviet authorities towards Poles:


ł) Remuneration:

I received a wage of ten rubles.

m) Mortality:

More or less 8 percent.

n) Life in the prison:

Between 18 February and 1 December 1940, I was detained in the prison in Łuck. The conditions were very bad – overcrowding, lice, musty air; we were let out for walks once a week for 15 minutes. Food – 600 grams of bread, soup twice daily (oatmeal, dissolved flour). The prison population comprised people of many different nationalities, both regular criminals and “politicals”.