Władysława Romańska, born in 1922, Hawinowicze village, Słonim district, nowogródzkie voivodeship.

I was working the land together with my parents until 1940. When the Soviet Army marched in we were persecuted by the Belarusians. Finally, they drove us out to Russia, to the rural settlement of Holm. There were some barracks there, but then they brought us to this other place, where we had to build them. It was Vologda Oblast, Totma region, district 160, where conditions were very hard because it was difficult to meet the quota. Food was only for those who were working as citizens, and those were the Ukrainians. They were mocking us Poles, and I had to sell everything. We couldn’t buy any clothes because there weren’t any.

Medical care was out of the question, so many Polish families died: a man named Józef Rył, four members of Gosielak family, two members of Koralewicz family, two children named Sikorski and Chorążyczeski, one man named Czerwiński, one man named Szyszkin, one woman named Saniczuk, and many other Poles, but I can’t remember their names. I was there until 10 October 1941, then I said goodbye to my family and went to join the ranks of the Women’s Auxiliary Service. When we were on our way there, we were stopped in Uzbekistan, in Karcha, “Stalin” kolkhoz. I was there one month.

On 10 February I joined the Women’s Auxiliary Service. I didn’t know anything about my family. Without any further obstacles, I began serving my Fatherland and will continue to do so.

While going from the rural settlement to Kotlas station, I was walking on foot 320 kilometers until I reach the ranks of the Women’s Auxiliary Service, and I am still here today.