Kresy Siberia Foundation & Virtual Museum
When I was at "Who Do You Think You Are? Live" in London the end of February, I met a group who had a booth set up for the Kresy-Siberia Museum & Foundation. This group is dedicated to Poland's citizens who fought for freedom and survival in eastern Poland and in worldwide exile during WWII. The families of those murdered at Katyn, and over a million others, were persecuted and deported to forced labor in Soviet camps and gulags. Many died from overwork, exposure, starvation and disease before the survivors were released to rejoin the battle against Nazi Germany.
This was the only Polish booth at the exhibition and I was pleasantly surprised to find them there. I talked with Mirka Wojnar who is one of the directors of the UK group. There are many smaller groups that make up the whole organization. Originally founded by Stefan Wisniewski from Australia, this group has grown at an incredible rate.After a few people began discovering the gulags in Russia, in which the last one operated into the early 1960's, people began communicating with each other from across the globe and formed a Yahoo Group to make it easier to communicate and find others with a similar interest.This organization has decided to take on a massive project by creating a virtual museum so that all may see and learn right from the comfort of their computers. Kresy Siberia has received funding from numerous organizations & individuals from all over the world to undertake this project. This virtual museum is under construction, but there are now 955 videos available from survivors of these situations, along with numerous special exhibitions. Many more features and exhibitions are planned, so visiting often will yield something new to see each time.
This is a place to visit that may help yield information or clues on finding that elusive ancestor. You may also have some information on an ancestor or relative that you would like to contribute to the virtual museum. You may not have information to share but donations are always welcome to keep this project going, so that everyone will have something to learn from.