Art And Culture

Confab Looks at Polish Exodus During WWII

Polish women making their own clothing at a refugee camp in Tehran during the war years.Polish women making their own clothing at a refugee camp in Tehran during the war years.

O n the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Poles taking refuge in Iran during World War II, an international conference was held at the Faculty of Literature and Humanities of Tehran University on Tuesday.

The conference ‘In Quest of a Second Home’ debated the roots and reasons of Poles taking refuge in Iran 75 years ago, Azad News Agency reported.

From Poland Anna Maria Anders, secretary of state and Patrycja Özcan-Karolewska, chargé d’affaires and counselor of that country’s embassy in Tehran were present.

Iranian participants included Ashraf Borujerdi, director of the National Library of Iran, Mahmoud Nili-Ahmadabadi, chancellor of Tehran University and Abouzar Ebrahimi-Torkaman, head of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization of Iran.

Exhibition of historic documents, theatrical shows and Polish and Iranian music performances were also held on the sidelines of the conference and ‘The Lost Requiem’, a documentary by Iranian filmmaker Khosrow Sinai, was screened. The film is about Poles taking refuge in Iran during WW II.

WWII, the deadliest conflict in contemporary human history, began in 1939 by German forces invading Poland. German soldiers invaded Poland from the west and Soviet soldiers occupied the country’s east. The former Soviet Union’s Red Army expelled more than one million Poles from their homeland to remote parts of the Soviet Union, mainly Siberia.

In 1942, about 120,000 Polish refugees managed to leave the Soviet Union with the help of the Andres’ Army, Polish Armed Forces in the East. Desperate to reach safety, they entered Iran and were granted hospitality by the Iranians.

They entered Iran from the port city of Anzali on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea.

The conflict killed an estimated 50 to 85 million people, lasted for six years and ended in 1945.

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