Our guides showed the guests around the exhibition. There were three places along the route, where Sybiraks were waiting for visitors in order to tell their and their families’ stories.
In the room with a display case containing items taken to Siberia, Tadeusz Borowski-Beszta, born in Łapy in 1934, told his story. His father was murdered in Katyn.
On April 13, 1940, Tadeusz Borowski-Beszta was deported with his mother to Siberia, to the kolkhoz of Kazanga. They returned to Poland in the spring of 1946, to Łapy.
Mr. Tadeusz Borowski-Beszta, a psychiatrist, created the first hospice in Białystok in 1987, and in 1992 — the first stationary hospice in Poland, “Dom Opatrzności Bożej” (“House of Divine Providence”). He still works for the patients of this facility.
In the room presenting the fate of Poles in Kazakhstan, Mrs. Teresa Borowska, born in 1941 in the kolkhoz of Leviedinsk (Barnaul region), shared her story. Her pregnant mother was deported with two small children from Białystok in June 1941. They stayed in Stara Barda and Bijsk. They survived thanks to their mother’s sewing skills and a sewing machine that was taken in the luggage. In September 1945, they returned to Białystok thanks to visa assistance from their family.
Ms. Teresa Borowska is a long-time member of the Historical Commission at the Association of Siberian Deportees, Branch in Białystok. Currently, she is the Vice-Chairman of the local branch of the Association of Siberian Deportees.
In the last room of the exhibition, Mr. Michał Siewruk, born in 1938, a grandson of the exiles after the November and January Uprising, talked about his deportation and life in Siberia. His landed gentry was affected by collectivization and deportations after World War II.
Deported in March 1949, they returned to Poland in 1957 — but to Białystok, where Mr. Siewruk lives to this day. He is the President of the Branch no. IX of the Association of Siberian Deportees. He has written two books about his family history: ” Wilniana z Syberią w tle” and ” Poświęcenie to za mało “.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the history of the deportees not only thanks to photos, documents and exhibits in showcases. Meeting a history witness and listening to his story is a very moving experience.
We would like to thank Dear Sybiraks for their time to our visitors, and all guests for coming and their active participation in the meetings with the history witnesses.