La marche du monde - RFI : 07/12/2010 Gulag – Escapees from the Gulag and still Communists


With a special contribution from Karol Modzelewski.
“La Marche du Monde” is in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, a former brother-country of the Soviet Union, to meet the men and women who underwent the Stalin purges before, during and after the Second World War.
We are devoting a special edition to them so that you can hear their testimony as revealed by our major RFI/CNRS inquiry into Europeans in the Gulag.
The first of our witnesses was born in Warsaw in 1917; his name is Kazimierz Graff and like many Poles was called up into the Soviet Army in 1940, shortly before the Germans invaded the USSR.
The second is Stanisław Krajewski, born in Warsaw in 1950 to a long line of militant Polish Communists: his great-grandfather and grandfather were arrested and shot in 1937 after being officially sentenced to “10 years’ prison with no right to correspondence”, as they told Stanisław’s father, who escaped arrest by being under age.
The third is none other than Karol Modzelewski, born in Moscow in 1937 to a Russian mother and a Polish father who was arrested that year during the Great Terror and sentenced to 8 years’ camp. Karol was brought up by his adoptive father, who had also escaped from Stalin’s prisons, and only in his teen years did he learn the truth about his family.
He was one of the historic founders of Solidarność.
With Catherine Gousseff, Centre Marc Bloch (Berlin) and Agnieszka Niewiedzial, CERCEC

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Valérie Nivelon and Karol Modzelewski, 26 October 2010 in Varsaw