Soviet authorities deported approximately 1.25 million Poles to many parts of the Soviet Union
September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland and defeated the Polish Army
branded as “socially dangerous” and as “anti-Soviet elements” were forcibly removed from their homes and deported in cattle cars to labor camps in Siberia and Kazakhstan
In July 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, forcing the Soviets to join forces with the Allies
Sikorski-Mayski agreement, which invalidated many of the territorial conditions of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
new agreement ordered the reestablishment of the Polish state, amnesty for Polish prisoners of war in the Soviet Union, and finally, allowed for the formation of a Polish army on Soviet soil
Because the Soviets were at war with Germany, there was little food or provisions available for the Polish Army. Thus, following the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941, the Soviets agreed to evacuate part of the Polish formation to Iran
Despite these difficulties, Iranians openly received the Polish refugees, and the Iranian government facilitated their entry to the country and supplied them with provisions
After spending several days in quarantine in warehouses near the port of Pahlevi, the refugees were sent to Tehran.
Army personnel were first sent to training centers near Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq. After training, most of the Polish soldiers joined Allied forces fighting in the Italian campaign.
Because Iran could not permanently care for the large influx of refugees, other British-colonized countries began receiving Poles from Iran in the summer of 1942
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