It’s 1940 and Ada Murkies is a young Polish teenager of 17 when she hears a knock at the door. It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and it’s Russian army officers, demanding they pack their belongings within 2 hours and prepare to be deported to Siberia.

Ada, her brother and sister, mother and grandmother are loaded on to the cattle cart and offloaded to Siberia – a TWO week journey.

Once there, they work in the gold mines and forestries in COLD WINTERS we can’t even imagine.

All the the while the family awaits news of Ada’s father, an officer in the Polish army, only to find that he is one of the 20,000 poles murdered in the infamous Katyn Forest massacre.

When news hits that Poland is creating an army to support Russia in its bid to defeat Hitler, Ada immediately enlists.

What happens next? Well, this is only the beginning of the story … and with 95 year old Ada recently awarded the Siberian Exile Cross by the Polish government, there is no better time to hear it.

We are joined on this episode by Ada and one of her four daughters, Alice.

Image courtesy SBS.

You can read about Ada and watch this inspirational story on this SBS World News piece

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