Veteran Stories:
Roman Zaraza

Army

  • Collection of Mr. Zaraza's mounted medals and photographs. In the top row, left to right: photograph of Mr. Zaraza with the Polish Army in 1939; two Polish medals and a photograph of Mr. Zaraza with the English Army in 1946. Second row: left side contains Polish medals and right side contains British medals. Bottom row, left to right: badge given to Mr. Zaraza in Poland in 1992 for his service and three medals from the Polish Combat Association.

    Roman Zaraza
  • Mr. Zaraza in December 2009.

    Historica Canada
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"I joined the Polish Army in the Middle East, in the Palestine. You know, we all from the prison camp were poor, you know."

Transcript

I was transferred to Lithuania border in 1940, when the Russia took Lithuania. They took us to Russian prison camp. I was down there from 1940 to 1942. I was moved to a Middle East country down there, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Palestine were all Polish soldier prison camp. That was very bad, you know, there’s not much to eat. The bread, you know, they’ve got the dry, very dry, because their bread spoiled and the dry bread stayed long, long time. That’s why they’re using dry bread.

But it was not bad. Once I was going for washroom and there was a soldier down there who was, look so, so bad in the face, I was looking fair, I guess I was not bad. Probably that’s why he was mad, and he kicked me right in between my legs, and I bent down and I guess he, he hit me in the head, and I fell down and my friend what see that, they can come and push him away from me, and they took me to my, where we were staying there, in the bed. I come down there and I’m okay.

I joined the Polish Army in the Middle East, in the Palestine. You know, we all from the prison camp were poor, you know. It was lots of those, meat was very, very good. We were poor looking so they come to know normal and was ready to fight after that, yeah. I ship down there to port, a ship there, took us on the ship and transferred us to Italy for fighting against the Hitler army. And we fight them to Bologna [Italy] and at Bologna was not let us fighting further down.

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