On February 13, 2018, the delegation of the Museum of the Second World War met with Antoni Chrościelewski, commander of 2nd District of the Veterans Association of the Polish Army in New York, a participant in the Battle of Monte Cassino, a great patriot and social activist widely known in the Polish community.
As part of this meeting, the Head of the Film Documentation Department, Waldemar Kowalski, conducted a film interview with him regarding his memories from the Second World War.
Antoni Chrościelewski in 1940, at the age of 15, was deported with his mother and siblings from his home in Augustów to Siberia. When he learned that Gen. Władysław Anders was forming the Polish Armed Forces in the USSR - after many problems, among others, related to transporting his family to a safe place - he joined Anders Army. At that time, his unit was merged with the Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade, which had already fought on the front near Tobruk. They went through intense training and were armed, and at the end of 1942 were transferred to the Suez Canal. There they fought against the Germans who were stationed near Alexandria and performing airstrikes against the Suez Canal. The unit was then transferred to Palestine. Later, as soldiers of the 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division, they were transported to Egypt and then to Italy. Antoni Chrościelewski took part in the battles around Monte Cassino and later in other battles in Italy. After the war ended, the soldiers of the 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division for some time remained in Italy. In 1946, they were transferred to England, where so-called camps of adoption and deployment were prepared for them. In 1950, Antoni Chrościelewski left for the USA.
Photo: Commandant of the 2nd District of the Veterans Association of the Polish Army and Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Dr. Karol Nawrocki.