Warsaw, 23 May 1989
Editorial Office of the “Zorza” weekly
Mokotowska Street 43
In response to the Editorial Board’s appeal concerning the prisoners of war who went missing in the USSR, I would like to kindly ask for the publication of the following information about my husband, which I submit with reference to the questionnaire:
Ad l. Wacław Plewako, son of Sobiesław and Tekla, née Pełko-Stradomska, born on 28 May 1898 in the estate of Gojlusze in the Kovno Governorate. A prisoner of Starobelsk.
Ad 2. and 3. Higher education – military engineer, professional officer, major of the sappers, commandant of the Officer Cadet School of Military Engineering in Modlin.
Ad 4. Not applicable.
Ad 5. Taken prisoner at an unknown time and location. At the beginning of October 1939, a transport of prisoners of war – officers who were being deported to the USSR – stopped at the railway station in Kovel. I managed to find my husband there. He had been badly wounded in the lung. His colleagues carried him on top of wooden boards over to the door to the goods train. I managed to exchange a few words with my husband and tell him my address in Kovel.
Ad 6. I kept writing to Starobelsk all the time, and received the following:
|–||a post card from 16 December 1939|
|–||a letter from 1 January 1940|
|–||a post card from 8 February 1940|
|–||a post card from 9 March 1940|
|–||a post card without a date (illegible stamp) which included the information about the planned transport through Kovel and a request for a coat.|
Since the correspondence ceased in May 1940 and the conflicting but overall bad news were circulating among the society, I sent a telegram to the camp’s command and paid in advance for the response. On 23 May 1940, I received the message: “The addressee had left.” In 1943 I did not know about the German list or the list of the Polish Red Cross.
Ad 7. I submit seven photocopies of the documents listed above.
Ad 8. Information from the wife […] – from 1 October 1941 I was engaged in clandestine Union of Armed Struggle, and from February 1942 – in the Home Army. A medical orderly, then head of the administrative office of the military staff […] – nom de guerre […], second lieutenant. I have gone through the whole combat trail of the division until its disarmament in Podlasie in 1944. I have the first category of disability. The address: […], Veteran’s Home […], telephone: […].
Attachments: seven items.
I received your letter today. Thank you very much for the news about yourself, I miss it here so much. I am doing fine, what bothers me the most is inactivity. Other things, such as housing and food, are secondary – time would not pass so slowly if I had something to do. Some of your acquaintances are here with me – Adamus, Chodała, Kołodziejczyk, Kilański, you probably already know about the sappers. Kilański invites you to his house if you are ever in these parts, because his wife had stayed there. If the rumors going around turn out to be even partly true, then maybe we will see each other soon – even for a short while – then we could determine what you should do next. Władek has received the letter.
[P.S.] Please get a new coat for me ready, I will take the trousers when there’s a chance.
Starobelsk, 16 December 1939
My dearest Kamuś,
Yesterday I have received your letter, I’m so happy whenever I hear about you. I know that you feel very lonely in these unfamiliar surroundings. My conditions have improved considerably, I sleep in a bed, on a straw mattress, I have a warm room and enough food. Once I receive some warm clothes that you have mentioned, it will not be that hard to survive winter here, if need be.
So far I have received two letters from you and sent you two post cards – the last one on 28 November, asking you to send me trousers which I could wear inside boots, because I gave away my old ones and now I have only one pair. Do not send me money, because I have bought some roubles – enough to cover some small expenses for a while.
Since you write that there is a possibility to reclaim our possessions, go back for them and try to do so. We will still be able to exchange letters, and I will know that you are among friends. Do not send me money, keep it. I can always take care of myself, do not worry about me. I will not worry either once I know that you are living among friends and you have reclaimed our belongings. Think it over, Kamuś, and please do as I ask. The problem of how to arrange for us to see each other is complicated as it is.
Forever yours, Wacek
[PS]. I am sending you the kindest wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
Starobelsk, 1 January 1940
My dearest Kamuś!
Christmas was not happy, with us being separated for the first time. Now that the New Year is coming, I wonder what it will bring – are we going to spend it the same way that we are greeting it? The history of the whole Europe – and perhaps the entire world – is getting so complicated that it is hard to foresee anything, even for a short time.
I received a lovely surprise on 21 December – a package from you. It has been of great help, for now I do not worry about the cold at all – I am well equipped in terms of clothing and underwear.
I am immensely grateful for your concern about me, I only feel bad because you have spent a lot of money on the sweater and the felt boots. You do not have a lot of money and are going to need some yourself.
I spent Christmas thinking about you, this at least from time to time gave me an illusion of us being together for Christmas. I spend all my free time contemplating the things which had shaped our past, present and, of course, future – not just in terms of our personal lives, for we will share the same fate as Poland.
Personally, I feel fine. The wound has healed and does not bother me any more. I am in good shape, my teeth did hurt a little, but the pain went away. I will have to treat them though, especially now that I have the opportunity.
Winter is in full force here, there is plenty of snow, with temperatures up to 20 degrees below zero. Whenever I think about us wandering together in the sunny weather around beautiful, snowy mountains two years ago, I feel a little sad, but all of this will pass.
I learnt that a few of our mutual friends apparently had been killed – Kielczewski, Tobiszewski from Rembertów, Majewski from Modlin. Apparently Janek Szymański was killed as well. I am very curious whether you heard anything about them from Tuśka.
I worry because I still have not received your letter, apart from the card attached to the package. I had received the two previous letters, the last one was dated 17 November 1939 and that is why I put off my response. I had sent two post cards from Starobelsk (the last one from 16 December), asking you to return home. I thought about it some more and decided that you will know best what to do, being closer to our country and having more detailed information about what goes on in there. Let me know what you are planning to do, of course. I know that you are self-reliant, energetic and that you can manage even if I am not looking after you for a while. Do not worry about me, the place where I am living is not spacious, but it is bright and tidy. There is enough food, I do not need to buy any.
Forever yours, Wacek
[PS]. Write to me often and expect my next letter in February. If you can, please send me a small calendar in the letter. Bye. I am waiting and thinking about you.
Starobelsk, 8 February 1940
My dearest Kamuś,
On 28 January I received the letter that you sent on 28 December from Kovel. I also received the package – just in time before the freezing weather, namely on 21 December. I sent post cards to you from Starobelsk on 28 November, 15 December and 1 January, so I am hoping you have received them in the meantime. I write send post cards because apparently they arrive faster.
I am very happy whenever I get a message from you. I want to know how you are doing, whether you have any income. I am glad that at least you are healthy. Kamuś, do not hesitate to sell anything from the rest of our belongings if you need to, we got it all through our own work and we will get it again, when I will be able to work and we will be reunited. I am healthy, the wound has healed completely and I do not feel it at all.
Kamuś, please write to me about what you are planning to do with yourself, about your plans for the future. You have to rely on your own work for now. Write what you know about our mutual friends. Stach Plewako apparently works at his former post in Warsaw but he earns 200 złotys, while his wife is not working. Cześ Plewako has been captured by the Germans. Błaszczyk and Kowalski from Wilno apparently were killed.
Do not worry, Kamuś, everything is going to be fine and we we will be together again, do not worry about me.
Forever yours, Wa[cek]
Starobelsk, 9 March 1940
My dearest Kamuś!
Thank you very much for the letters which were delayed but have arrived nonetheless. Recently I have received the letters from 20 December and 9 January, and the package arrived on 21 December. Have you received my post cards from 1 January and 9 February?
I am feeling fine, i.e. I feel healthy and I am keeping it together. I am sending this post card to Kovel, but I do not know if it will reach you there, because you wrote that you were planning to leave for home once the cold weather is over. I think it would be best to do so, at least you would not be lonely, you could live with Tuśka. I am curious if there are any news about Olek and his whereabouts. I heard that Hajkowicz died in Romania and his funeral was held on 14 February.
Take care of yourself, Kamuś, and think positively. The time will come when we will be together, working to make up for all of our things that had been destroyed by the war.
Forever yours, Wacek
[PS]. Do not worry about me and do not be upset.