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December 07 , 2007

The Journey


The Journey is a story of survival, of human endurance, of an indomitable spirit that stands up to evil. It is a story of love and sacrifice, a story of friendships forged forever by tragedies experienced collectively with fellow deportees. In February 1940 Poland is in the grip of two invading powers – Hitler’s and Stalin’s. Julian Kalinski (29), his wife Anastazia (26) and their baby are taken by force in the middle of the night, packed onto a cattle train with hundreds of innocent civilians and sent to Siberia. Thus begins their epic journey that will take them to the remotest Russian taigas, to Kazakhstan, to the deserts of Uzbekistan and finally to freedom in Persia, but not before they have suffered the most appalling conditions in Stalin’s labour camps, endured diseases, survived starvation, and witnessed daily the deaths of their closest friends. In freedom their journey continues: Julian’s as a soldier of the 2nd Corps in the Italian campaign, and Anastazia’s as a mother to their newly-born daughter in Palestine. The end of the war does not bring them the longed-for return to their native country, for Poland has been sacrificed at the Treaty of Yalta to appease Stalin. Their reunion in England is brief and devastating. Years later, their daughter Julia attempts to piece together her parents’ tragic past. With Miro’s support she embarks upon a journey to Poland, in 1962, still under Soviet regime. Her quest is rewarded with answers to her questions, but above all, with a miraculous discovery that will change her life for ever. She is left with the bitter-sweet legacy of her parents’ journey.
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