After the defeat of Poland at the beginning of World War II, in 1939, and its division between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, more than a million Polish civilians and soldiers, about a third of whom were Jews, were deported to Russia. Most of them were imprisoned in camps and employed in hard labor.
After the Nazi invasion the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, there was a temporary reconciliation between the Polish exile government operating from London and the Soviets.
Agreements were signed, Polish citizens were freed from prisons and the labor camps, and A Polish army, headed by Polish officer General Wladyslaw Anders was established. After frictions between the Soviets and the Poles, it was agreed that the Polish army would be evacuated from the Soviet Union and moved to British-controlled areas in the Middle East.
The Polish were concentrated in the port of Krasnozabodsk on the shores of Lake Caspian and from there sailed to the port of Pahlavi in Iran, in September 1942.
114,732 Polish citizens had been allowed to move from the Soviet Union to Persia, which was under British influence. Of these, about 70,000 are military personnel and about 44,000 are civilians.
Among them about 6,000 Jews, including 4,254 soldiers and 146 officers.
1,230 "citizens" - 369 adults and 861 children, known as "Tehran children" (of whom - 719 without parents, and 142, with one or two parents), Arrived by sea from Karachi, via the Suez Canal, to Egypt, and from there on February 18, 1943, by train, through Rehovot and Hadera, to Atlit, accompanied by festive and excited receptions.
In August 1943, another group of about 120 children arrived through Iraq and Jordan.
Anders turned his men into an organized army. After moving to northern Iraq for training, in the summer of 1943 they crossed the Jordan to Eretz Israel and settled in camps in the south. They were organized in the Second Corps of the Polish Army in the East.
They were sent to the front in Italy in early 1944 and took part in battles in central Italy. In May 1944 they took part in the difficult battle for the monastery of Monte-Casino and suffered heavy losses. They continued the war as part of the Eighth British Camp until the end of the war. Most of them did not return to Poland.