European Memories

of the Gulag

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In a Polish orphanage

When the amnesty for “Polish citizens present on Soviet territory” was granted in August 1941, the Welches left Arkhangelsk for Kyrgyzstan, then Kazakhstan and finally Leninabad [Khujand] in Tajikistan. There they found a comfortable house and for the first time, at the age of 9, Henry went to school. Because she could not look after him, his mother placed him in a Polish orphanage, but he has happy memories of that time: “It was a very important part of my life. First of all, I was a child among children. Before that, I spent all of my time only with grown ups.”
Even today, he keeps photos of his orphanage friends in his study in his flat in Rome...