Gen. Ander's Army

thumb Gen Anders w szpitalu Iran 1942Gen. Anders in hospital in Teheran 1942


The Polish Armed Forces in the USSR, known as the Anders Army, was established in Soviet Russia in 1941. The Army struggled from the very beginning with many organizational difficulties: insufficient supplies, lack of uniforms and hostility of the Soviet authorities. Gen. Anders made every effort to save as many Polish citizens as possible, not only the soldiers from the NKVD's investigative prisons and Gulag camps in Soviet Russia, but also Polish civilians, including orphans. The Army took care of the children, who lost their parents in that troubled time in Soviet Russia.  In March 1942, the General obtained permission from Stalin to evacuate the Army from the USSR - 77,000 soldiers and 43,000 civilians left the country.

The collection of the Pilsudski Institute in America contains many interesting materials about General Władysław Anders himself (collection no.113) and the Army. The collection includes recordings of people deported to the USSR in 1940/41, saved thanks to joining the Army (collection no.29). The archives of Jan Erdman, an employee of the Polish embassy in Kujbyshev, contain letters and poetry from Siberians. On the Institute's YouTube channel you can see 12 recorded memories of Siberians who settled in the USA after World War II.