Szczecin, 4 June 1989

Editorial Board of the “Zorza” weekly
(The list of the missing)

I’m sending photocopies of the letters from Ostashkov with some
supplementary information.

The first letter from my father, Józef Stochmal, contains the surnames of: Kamiński, Babrol, and Jakub Stochmal (Kuba). The second message (postcard), which was written on 28 January 1940, has a postage stamp from Ostashkov with the date 26 February 1940. It was the last message from father.

1. Personal data of my father: Józef Stochmal, son of Jan and Magdalena n ée Zygmunt,

born on 13 September 1894 in Brzóza Królewska, Leżajsk district; elementary education; senior constable of the Polish State Police in Kołomyja (in the years 1935–1939 in Tłumaczyk), arrested by the soldiers from the first column of Soviet vehicles going from Kołomyja in the direction of Delatyn (on 24 September 1940).

My father notified us by a phone call to our friends that he didn’t cross the Hungarian border (which he intended to do in the vicinity of Worochta). He asked us to hire a cart and go in the direction of Delatyn to meet him. This is why my mother and I were present when he was arrested on Sunday, 24 September at about noon. My father was in the company of another policeman, and both of them were wearing uniforms.

2. In his letter, my father mentioned his brother Kuba: Jakub Stochmal, born about 1892 in Brzóza Królewska (the remaining data are the same as my father’s); a photograph of him from 1927 indicates that he was a senior constable of the Polish State Police in Rzeszów. I don’t know what rank he held in 1939 (he wore plain clothes on his visits to our house). He was possibly headed for the border crossing point, but probably never reached it, just like my father. He was imprisoned in Kołomyja. He didn’t have a chance to talk to my father – they only walked past each other. He was released from prison (he claimed that it was because he came from the territories occupied by the Germans). After his release he came to see us. He maintained that he had permission to return to Rzeszów. However, he never made it to Rzeszów or Brzóza Królewska, where he had many brothers and sisters, and disappeared without a trace. Perhaps he was rearrested and incarcerated in another Soviet camp or died in unknown circumstances.
3. My father mentioned also Uncle Kamiński in his letter, but this is all I know: Karol Kamiński, inspector of the Polish State Police in Kołomyja.
4. I don’t know anything about the friend of Jakub Stochmal, Babrol, who is also mentioned. I suppose that he was a functionary of the Polish State Police in Rzeszów.

Attached are:

1. photocopies of my father’s letter and postcard from Ostashkov. Address of the sender:

Kalinin Oblast
Mailbox no. 37
Józef Stochmal Janowicz

2. A photograph (from 1927) of my father, Józef Stochmal (sitting), and my uncle, Jakub Stochmal (standing).