New Zealand Embassy Warsaw, Poland

70th Anniversary of the arrival of Polish children to Pahiatua

Marek Lechowicz (front left) and participants of his Pahiatua documentary film project

Year 2014 is a very special year in the relationship between New Zealand and Poland as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of 734 Polish refugee children in Pahiatua, New Zealand.

Having been displaced from their homes, many losing their parents, these children suffered extreme hardship in Siberia before ending up in Iran. This group of children came from Iran to Pahiatua in 1944 at the invitation of New Zealand’s war-time Prime Minister, Peter Fraser.

At the end of October/beginning of November, we will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of their arrival with various events in Poland and New Zealand. To highlight the importance of this anniversary, a documentary film is being produced. The film, entitled “Man’s Fate” describes the history of the Polish Children from Pahiatua. The director of the film, Marek Lechowicz, is a screenwriter from Łomża, who visited New Zealand last year and gathered materials for the production. First screenings will take place in October.

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