I am the grandson of Stanislaw Kulik, a former Polish paratrooper, and together we worked to put his World War Two experiences into a book.
In 1940, aged 15, after the Russian occupation of Poland, Stan was deported to the Soviet gulags and put to work doing manual labour. If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat. While many died, including his brother and mother, Stanislaw managed to survive.
Following the Nazis’ invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, he was given an opportunity to join the Polish army being formed somewhere in the Soviet Union, but nobody knew where. After months travelling on his own through central Asia, through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Stanislaw finally reached Iraq, where he worked in a camp which processed Polish refugees.
Still a teenager and too young to join up, the Army faked his age and eventually he was then taken by ship via India to Great Britain, where he joined up with the Polish Parachute Brigade. After qualifying as a paratrooper in Scotland, he fought at Arnhem, in Operation Market Garden, where he found himself trapped behind enemy lines. Thanks to the Dutch underground he managed to escape from the Nazis. Stan lived in Scotland after the war and passed away in 2016, at the age of 92.
He would be so happy that his story can now be shared. The book is called ‘From the Soviet Gulag to Arnhem’ and published by Pen and Sword.
You can purchase the book at the following link: //www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/From-the-Soviet-Gulag-to-Arnhem-Hardback/p/23434