By R. W. BU
Here is a glimpse of the privations and indignities endured by those living
under the Soviet heel, as observed by one who has lived and worked among
the Russian people for several years. This is the second such story Facts Forum
News has published by the author, who writes under a pseudonym for the
protection of his family behind the Iron Curtain.
Three weeks after the German incflst'on of Poland in September,
J9'39, the Russians aha made a treasonous attack on the rear of the
Palish Army, in spite of the nonaggresslon and friendship pact between these countries. It was a good example of Soviet "friendship."
Profiting from the critical Polish situation, these Russians occupied a big part of the country, taking from Poland more than one
million civilians and soldiers as prisoners and sent them to labor
camps in Siberia.
One of these prisoners teas a well-known Polish surgeon, a
colonel of the Sanitary Corps, about whom this true storiy is told.
IS THE prisoner camp at S/.iazovietz water was delivered in a barrel, of course. A pleasant old man, a prisoner himself, struggled methodically at his task, pulling the water barrel from one hut to another. Unruffled
and kind, he was liked and respected by all. Standing on
the rotten, sagging threshold of a hut, he smilingly measured out the water, never complaining, though the work
obviously was beyond his strength.
From time to time, when a fellow prisoner became ill
— and they seemed to be ailing constantly — he helped and
advised with a strange dignity. He was rumored to have a
"lucky hand," that of a healer.
And so it went for a long, long time — measuring water,
showing mercy, measuring water. . .
One winter evening, when the icy blast froze the
breath on the face of this human horse, a soldier from the
Russian command burst into the hut.
"You are a doctor?"
"Are you sure?"
1 have said so."
"The commander wants to see you at once."
Startled by the summons, he hastily pulled on the
frozen rags which he had taken off just moments before.
On the way, stumbling with cold, he wondered what
awaited him. Probably the worst. He was baffled. How did
they suddenly discover that he was a physician? His
appointment to be water carrier seemed to indicate they
had not known it before.
The Russian commander was a mountain of a man,
with projecting jaw and narrow eyes that roved uneasily.
His huge hand, tightened into a fist, tensely prodded the
table. When he saw the water carrier step into the room,
he jumped up so abruptly that the old man staggeP
"You're a doctor? Surgeon?" he shouted. tri,
"Yes," the water carrier replied quietly. ''"''kin
"Nu. We have a sudden emergency. A young offic* -j'|1(
been taken seriously ill." i 'east tl
"Where is he?" 'Ihe doctor had an overwhelming o;iSe w
boding of trouble. '»g to
"Here, opposite." He led him to an adjoining "])(
I'pon a smelly couch lay a tall, thin young man, 'uS candl
drawn up, his face convulsed with pain. . , "Tl
After a brief examination, the surgcon-prisOI1''h;iven'
claicd: "Acute inflammation of the appendix. An "W
diate operation is indispensable. But with \vh8 • "\y
where? Have you surgical instruments and a clean Pride,
I do not see it. . ." A , ^''
"Nu. We'll sharpen a knife, and you will P1'' \\ "
operation, if you are really a surgeon. Maybe n"'- DPc(
Speak up!" ii . hi
"Major, under these conditions 1 cannot und1'1 '.| " "'
icration. I need instruments, surgical dressings, ' , v'<u
operation, t need instruments, surgica
Otherwise I would only finish the patient."
"So, you don't want to save our soldier! IS,
Russian, aaah?" He came close to the old man. r ^ - hi
the edge of his coat, shook him, and roared: "So,' |tre. '*"
saboteur! Will you operate or not? If you don't, ) ',. '
what is waiting for you!" a ]1(
Willfully keeping his composure, the surge1
said: "1 don't want to refuse to operate
the patient. But I repeat that under these
cannot do it — I will not!"
con* his 1,.
'Saboteur! Saboteur!" raged the major. "I !,ii|
kind! Get out! We'll manage without you! Ta
to the camp!" ,„'" witl
The old man who, back in his country, had £ a
fessor of surgery, went away with a heavv step, to
deadly tired. ' ^t,3,?<Hl'
Hardly had he thrown himself on his dirty
another messenger burst in. jl
He stumbled along the path again, half di
soldier, and stood once more before the com"1 ^itjr(,
time the major sat at the table, oddly peaceful' Sll(
neighboring room came moans. [.'"' in,
"You are a surgeon? Even a professor?" he
changed tone. "Sit down, please. So — under NV
Facts Forum News, Feb^