• Victims of Stalin and Hitler: the exodus of Poles and Balts to Britain.

      Lane, Thomas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)
      Germany in 1945 was crammed with millions of people displaced by war, deportation, Nazi slave labour, and flight before the advance of the Red Army. Many of them, including Poles and the Baltic peoples of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, refused to return to their communist-controlled homelands. Simultaneously in Italy, the Middle East and Britain, there were more than 100,000 Polish military personnel under British command, along with their dependants. Most of these were survivors of the one and a half million Poles deported to Siberia by the Soviet security police. Based on official documents and the words of the survivors and their children, this book describes the brutal uprooting of these people, their subsequent terrible experiences in the Soviet and Nazi forced labour camps and prisons, and their ultimate settlement in Britain. Here the newcomers created communities, integrated into British life while attempting to preserve their cultures and identities, and experienced how ethnic minorities relate to the host society. 'This book is a fascinating history of the Polish and Baltic communities who arrived in the United Kingdom shortly after the Second World War. The author relies on interviews with elderly members of these communities and on documents from the Public Record Office. It was perhaps the last opportunity to obtain these important oral histories and Lane is the first British researcher to do so.' - International Affairs 'Its originality lies in the author's ability to weave personal stories into the otherwise dry facts concerning population movements. In this respect, the book becomes an inspiring social history.'