HQ., U.S. 1ST CAV. DIV., Korea (IO)—A 'Polish-born American soldier, now serving as an electrician in the 7th Cav., can vividly recall life under two dictatorships.SP4 Tadeusz E. Slupinski has memories of Nazi rule In Poland, a short term In a Soviet satellite army, two imprisonments
in communist labor camps and final escape to freedom.The long nightmare began for Slupinski when German forces moved into his home city of Poznan, Poland, and forced him and his family out of their house. They lived in one room with three other
people until the war was over.
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ONE NIGHT in 1942, he and his mother returned after searching all day for food and .found that his brother had been taken by the Germans for forced labor. It was three years before the family saw him again, Slupinski said.
By 1945 the Nazi dictatorship was gone in Poland, but a communist
regime had replaced it. Slupinski — then learning the trade he now practices In the Army — refused to join a communist organization with other Poznan citizens.
He was drafted into the Polish Army but lasted only three months, he said. Then he was accused of being a traitor and thrown into a
Red prison camp.
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SIX MONTHS later, he and five friends escaped and attempted to
ride to freedom on a train. But it was searched and they were recaptured. Taken back to the same' camp, they were beaten daily, questioned and starved."Four of the men couldn't take it," Slupinski relates. "Only two of us pulled through. Those last few weeks we had been beaten so much we couldn't even feel it." He was released after six months, still determined to escape from his communist-dominated country.
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HE WENT BACK to poznan where he, a brother and another man boarded a Russian train and rode to Frankfurt/Oder, Germany.
They jumped off and walked 60 miles until discovered by East
German police. In a running gun battle, Slupinski's friend was killed and
his brother suffered a leg wound.
Only Slupinski was able to escape. He walked for four nights until he reached the American Sector of Berlin, where he was a free man for the first time in many years.
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HE WORKED as a guard for the U.S. Army in Frankfurt/Main and later in Nancy, France. While in France, he received a letter saying'he was eligible to become a U.S. soldier. He went to the U.S. in April of 1953, attended a six-week English course at Ft. Devens, Mass.., and took infantry basic training at Ft. Dix, N. J.
Last February he went to the U.S. to secure final assurance of
his freedom—American citizenship.
(This story was copied from an article placed in the Pacific Stars and Stripes pg.19 Nov. 28 1958).