The 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade
(1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa)
Ship No 9 (Wave 2)
The ship was a XXXXX and was owned by XXXX
It was one of the official ships (unofficial flotillas of fishing boats were also involved) organised by Stalin in 1942 at Krasnovodsk (Russian: Красноводск) (Modern day Türkmenbaşy) to transport Polish exiles (also mistakenly called "deportees") who had been held captive in Siberia/Kazakhstan labour camps over the Caspian Sea to Pahlevi (Pahlavi) now called Banzar-e Anzali which is in modern day Northwest Iran.
From passenger testimonies & any other available data this is a "best educated guess" of the ships movements.
- Embark: 1942 | Time:
- Depart: 17/08/42 (Per Edward Herzbaum) | Time: Early am (Per Edward Herzbaum)
- Arrive: 18/08/42 | Time:
Extract From "The Ross Report"
According to the Ross Report, here is who was on this ship;
- From 'Lost Between Worlds' by Edward Herzbaum. pages 124-126 'The Caspian Sea" - 17th August 1942 On board Cziczerin an old wreck crawling across the Caspian Sea, its last effort. We were pushed into the innards of this monster, but I escaped to the deck. Down below it looks like a live picture of Dantes Inferno. In half darkness you can see a lot of incredible figures, sweaty, shining, naked bodies. All you can hear is the sound of heavy breathing and the splashing of waves against the ship hull. The air can be cut with a knife. This cannot be described. One immediately feels that one is going to suffocate; wide-open mouths try in vain to catch just a little bit of air.
- On the deck the sun is burning, but at least one can breathe. The sea and the sky are beautiful, close and clean, quite different from how it was in Krasnovodsk. Close to me in the lounge there is an old concert piano. It is on this antique instrument that someone I don't know is playing Chopin. His fingers are stiff, sometimes he makes a mistake, but his playing is wonderful; I cant stop listening. Later on, I have to leave for a while and when I come back to the lounge, the music has changed to popular melodies. Of course I thought that it was somebody else playing, because I thought that it couldn't be possible, but no, it was the same fellow. I cursed him silently and I reproached myself that I could be listening and admiring someone like this.
- Later he was playing Chopin again, effortlessly and very cleanly as if he was beyond any reproach. I wanted to run away but I couldn't. God damn him. The Middle East Pahlevi, Persia [now Bandar-e-Anzali, Iran] 19th August 1942 At last, finally, we are in Persia. After three years we have got out of the red paradise of the Soviet Republic which is aptly called the country of modernised misery and organised famine. We walk around sleepily with half-closed eyes, we are not quite awake yet and we cant quite believe it when we see the concrete buildings of the port and people who are cleanly and decently dressed; at policemen in their slightly comical, exotic grey uniforms; at the shop windows which are full of everything, and there are no queues!
- We are only now getting used to the world again. Even during the journey we were being fed with the canned English food, but everything has now changed and we get cocoa for breakfast and fresh dates, biscuits, white bread, sausage etc. We cant believe it when we eat. I feel like a criminal who was serving a life sentence and who was suddenly released one quiet, sunny afternoon. We take deep breaths all the way to the bottom of our lungs.
- We are standing around, warming ourselves and looking around us, but we dont want to think yet. There will be time for that too. Anyway, the uniform keeps me tethered and disciplined. Sometimes I have all sorts of silly and unnecessary thoughts. It means that my brain, asleep for several years or smothered by hunger, has begun to work again or at least some part of my consciousness has. But Ive got time; I am still a little bit afraid of the bright daylight. That is why at these times I go to the sea. Discipline in our liquidation company is quite lax, so everybody does what they want and we go wherever we want. I swim far out into the ocean so that I can no longer see the shore, only the waves dancing, fluffy and green.