"Following the partition of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, Matthew Kelly's great grandmother and her two daughters were deported to the East. Thus began an extraordinary ordeal that took them, and many thousands like them, on a journey stretching from Siberia to Iran, India, and beyond. They saw the steppe, they were put to work in labour camps, they built sections of the Trans-Siberian railway, they cleared forests, they toiled on collective farms. They knew hunger, exhaustion, disease and death. Their male relatives endured a parallel journey: arrested, exiled, and held as prisoners of war, countless numbers were summarily executed by the Red Army." "When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Stalin's Polish enemies became allies, and released Polish POWs assembled a new army in Kazakhstan. For a few short months in Central Asia, families were reunited, before being evacuated to Iran and from there to Palestine, India and East Africa. The army fought alongside the Allied forces which liberated Europe; the women and children saw the war out in the care of the British Empire. What would happen to them at the war's end? The answer to this question had consequences far reaching and enduring, both to Poland, to Polish identity, and to the families that survived, reverberating through the generations."--Jacket.