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The Polish connection
NOW IN THEIR 90S, SIX PERSONS FROM POLAND TO VISIT PLACE OF REFUGE IN INDIA
The special bond between Poland and Balachadi town, 25km from Jamnagar, will be relived by by half-a-dozen World War II survivors, who were among the 1,000 orphaned Polish children given refuge by Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji, the king of erstwhile Navanagar (now Jamnagar) after their country was invaded by German Nazi soldiers in 1942.
Poland was invaded by Hitler’s Nazi forces and Stalin’s Red army in 1939. Most of the families from Sovietdominated areas were sent to labour camps from where they were loaded in trucks and sent to Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan and India. Many families made it to the refugee camp while Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji gave shelter to nearly 1,000 children and built the school for them.
Jam Saheb had also arranged for seven cooks from Goa to cook food that was less spicy for these children, who went on to stay in Balachadi, the summer palace of the royal family, for four years.
The six survivors coming to Jamnagar are the part of a documentary “A Little Poland in India,” produced by film maker Anu Radha.