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From the Soviet Gulag to Arnhem (Hardback)

A Polish Paratrooper's Epic Wartime Journey

P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII

By Nicholas Kinloch
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781399045919
Published: 30th June 2023



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Caught Between Nazis and Soviets, Stanislaw Kulik was a man who dodged death.

After the Russian occupation of Poland, Stanislaw Kulik, aged 15, was deported to the Soviet gulags and put to work. If you didn’t work, you didn't eat. While many died, Stanislaw managed to survive. Following the Nazis’ invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, he was given an opportunity to join the Polish army being formed somewhere in the Soviet Union, but nobody knew where. After months travelling on his own through central Asia, through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Stanislaw finally reached Iraq, where he worked in a camp which processed Polish refugees. Too young to join up, the Army faked his age and eventually he was then taken by ship to Great Britain via India, where he joined up with the Polish Parachute Brigade. After qualifying as a paratrooper in Scotland, he dropped at Arnhem, in Operation Market Garden, where he found himself trapped behind enemy lines. Thanks to the Dutch underground he avoided capture by the Nazis.

This thrilling memoir is an inspiring story of a triumph of resilience and courage against great odds.

Featured on WW2 Today

WW2 Today

Article: Horrors of War

The Courier (Fife)

Article: 'From Soviet Gulag to Scotland: Charting a teenage soldier's journey'

The Sunday Post

There aren't too many first-hand accounts of british paratroopers during WWII. Credit is definitely deserved by pen and sword for publishing the book and the author for bringing the material to light. It's a tough read filled with many obstacles and harrowing events, but ultimately is shaped by perseverance.

NetGalley, Spencer Wright

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A truly incredible book on the hardships faced by a Polish man who after being evicted from his land and sent to a gulag, survived to fight for his country in WW2. The hardships endured were heartbreaking. A great read on the triumphant survival of a person who would not give up.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

About Nicholas Kinloch

Stanislaw Kulik was born in Poland in 1924 and in 1940 he and his family were sent to the Soviet gulags. His extraordinary experiences over the next five years are described in this inspiring memoir.
After the war, Stanislaw settled with his wife, Isa, near St. Andrews, Scotland. Known as Stanley or Stan, he had two children and three grandchildren. Stanislaw initially worked on the local farm, then for Fife local authority, and he was a keen gardener. After over 70 years of happy family life, Stanislaw died in 2016.
Dr Nicholas Kinloch, Stanislaw’s grandson, graduated from St. Andrew’s University before winning a scholarship to the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania. He also has a PhD from University College London and currently works as an educational psychologist. He has lived and worked in the USA, Czech Republic and Poland.

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