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Published on Nov 8, 2011
A forgotten chapter of World War II In September 1939, Stalin pounced on Poland, dismembering it in one of the bleakest chapters of Polish history. Joseph Stalin had tens of thousands of Poles carted off to his Russian prison camps, but when Adolf Hitler's Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Stalin 'freed' the Poles and said they could join a Polish army being formed by the Allies.
In a matter of weeks, floods of starving, haggard Poles began trudging toward Iran, many among them were women and children who had no place else to go. In all, between 114,000 and 300,000 Poles are thought to have made it to Iran.
Some eventually moved on to other parts of the world. Others stayed in Iran.