Descendants Thankful 100 Yrs after Japan Rescued Polish Kids


Warsaw, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)--Descendants of Polish orphans rescued by Japan from Siberia after the Russian Revolution expressed thanks at an event marking 100 years since the rescue activities at the Japanese Embassy in Warsaw earlier this month.

Between 1920 and 1922, a total of 765 Polish orphans left behind in the Russian Far East region amid the confusion following the 1917 revolution were rescued and given treatment and care in Japan before being sent back to Poland.

Slawomir Samardakiewicz, a 53-year-old university academic, said he remembers being told about his grandfather's early days when visiting him alone aged 16.

The grandfather told him about "the terrible conditions, poverty and unimaginable hunger in Siberia, which was not a place for people to live," Samardakiewicz said. "He said that he often had to beg or steal to get food in order to survive."

The grandfather parted with his mother and sister and traveled by ship to Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, with his younger brother. The two were taken under the care of Fukuden-kai, a Tokyo-based social welfare group, where they spent about three months.

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