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"Yesterday's refugees have become today's new Zealanders"
(minister of Foreign affairs 10 Nov. 2004 New Zealand)
When Soviet Union opened its Siberian labour camps, and the Poles could try to come back to Europe, General Wladyslaw Anders was very worried. So many children were on the way to Iran, and they could not be brought to Europe, a place in which soldiers were fighting the Second World War. The best way to save them was to ask the help of other countries. And the help came! Let me esplain you during my Montecassino Tour what happened in New Zealand. A fantastic story!
A number of countries offered the Poles shelter including New Zealand. Thanks to the efforts of Countess Maria Wodzicka wife of the Polish Consul in Wellington and the New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser and his wife, 733 Polish Children and 102 guardians arrived in Wellington in 1944. They were taken to Pahiatua camp where they found a lot to eat and they were taught in Polish in the expectation that they would retourn to their homeland after the war. But Poland's post war communist regime made this prospect unattractive to many Polish refugees. So many children prefered to remain in New Zealand and they lived there all their lives after having travelled the enormous distance of 17.730. After the Russians gave them their so called 'freedom', the parents made sure their children were safe and joined the Polish forces and fought at Montecassino. Then after the war they located their children and rejoined them to be a family again.
"I rifugiati di ieri sono diventati i Neozelandesi di oggi"
(minisero per gli affari esteri, 10 nov. 2004 Neozelanda)
Numerosi paesi offrirono aiuto ai Polacchi compresa la Nuova Zelanda. Grazie agli sforzi della contessa Maria Wodzicka moglie del Console Polacco a Wellington e il Primo Ministro Peter Fraiser e sua moglie, 733 bambini polacchi arrivarono a Wellington nel 1944 insieme a 102 istitutori. Essi furono portati al campo di Pahiatua dove trovarono molto da mangiare e insegnamenti in lingua polacca nell'attesa che essi tornassero nella loro madre patria dopo la guerra. Ma il regime comunista post bellico resero la prospettiva del ritorno in patria del tutto irrealizzabile per molti rifugiati polacchi. Così molti bambini decisero di rimanere a vivere li dopo ever viaggiato l'enorme distanza di 17.730 km. Dopo che i Russi liberarono i polacchi, i genitori si assicurarono che i bambini fossero in salvo e si arruolarono nelle forze polacche per combattere a Monte Cassino. Poi dopo la guerra essi cercarono i loro figli e li raggiunsero per formare di nuovo una famigia.
For Monte Cassino Battlefield tours , and for Monte Cassino tours from Rome, plese have a look to my new WW2 web site here! www.montecassinowartours.com