No other nation during WW2 had suffered as much as Poland. No other ally in the war sacrificed as much as Poland. And no other nation demonstrated as much courage in the fight against the brutal invaders than the heroic Polish people. Polish men, women, and even children gave their lives for love of God, Country and Honour in the hope of reclaiming the freedom and independence of their beloved fatherland. Instead Poland was abandoned by its allies and banished behind the Iron Curtain for forty-five years.
WW2 came to an end almost seventy years ago but since then ensuing generations, particularly of the Polish nation, continue to grapple with the catastrophic events that impacted their lives in countless ways. Few among the survivors have ever been able to speak of their horrific experiences, much less write about them. Their children, and their grandchildren have grown up knowing very little or nothing about the past, and yearn to know what happened to their beloved parents and grandparents.
So it is with you in mind, my dear Polish visitors, that I present this blog post. A few among you have requested my help in doing research and obtaining military service records. On occasion I have given of my time freely to help particular requests, but it has been very time consuming. So, I have assembled a modest list of resources, some from the internet and some from my own files, that you might find useful in your search. Please let me remind you that it is not possible to find all information from just one source. Doing research is much like grappling with the roots of a tree - just start with one root and it will lead you to many others. Do not be discouraged if you do not get immediate results - it takes time and much patience.
Furthermore, I urge you to register for at least one Forum. It will provide you with the opportunity to exchange information with other like-minded individuals, some of whom are indeed expert in the subject of WW2 Polish history. Their input might help open more doors for you.
Wishing you Good Luck in your search!
RESOURCES: SEARCHING YOUR ROOTS
Polish State Archives
Ministry of Defense (MOD)
APC Polish Enquiries
Building 28-B, RAF Northolt
West End Road
Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 6NG
( Please note: The British Ministry of Defense keeps the military service records of all military personnel including those of Polish citizens who served in the British Army during WW2. However, you will need to provide official documentation to prove kinship before they will release information to you.)
The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum (Polish military service records)
20 Princes Gate
ITS International Tracing Service
Groβe Allee 5 - 9
34454 Bad Arolsen
Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales
2 Devonia Road
London N1 8JJ
Polish Red Cross - People Search
Warsaw Uprising Museum (Poland)
Ministry of National Defense Republic of Poland
National Archives Ministry of Defense (United Kingdom)
Service Records Enquiries Online
International Red Cross
19 avenue de la paix CH 1202 Geneva
Best directory on the internet. A wealth of resources to explore.
Polski Internet.com People Search
Polish Roots - The Polish Geneology Source
Index of Victims of Soviet Repression 1939-1956
The Central Military Library in Warsaw (Centralna Biblioteka Wojskowa)
(They have books and reference material relating to military topics. Unless you are in Poland, you may not be able to access their resources, but please take the opportunity to contact them for help in your research.)
Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America
Poland in Exile - Useful Addresses
The Polish Mission Geneology Resources
Polish Geneological Society of America
Polish War Veteran's Society (in your city)
Polish Library (in your city)
All Things Polish