World War II Polish Refugees in India

As I was looking for World War II articles, I came across Polish refugees who went to India during the war. It is interesting to see there has been a connection between the countries that is still going on.

How the ‘Indian Oskar Schindler’ took in 1,000 Polish children during WWII:

Documentary ‘Little Poland in India’ chronicles the selfless rescue of Jewish and Christian kids as India struggled for its own independence

See also Wikipedia:


  • January 1942 India confirms they will welcome Polish children. Instrumental in negotiations was HH Jam Saheb Digvijay Sinhjii, Maharaja of Nawanagar who accepts 500 children into his territories
  • March 1942 Vice-Consul Lisiecki, Polish Consulate in Bombay, sets out on Red Cross expedition from Ashkhabad to India with 160-175 Polish children. Altogether 650 children were saved by a further 3 overland transports
  • April 1942 the Polish children arrive in Bombay and are taken to a transitory camp, Bandra
  • June 1942  Government of India agrees to accept 10,000 Polish children with the Polish government-in-exile co-funding their stay
  • July 1942 the children from Bandra arrive in Balachadi, Nawanagar
  • September 1942 The Country Club Transit camp begins accepting Polish refugees. Most of the Polish civilians are en route to permanent camps in India, Africa, N.Z. etc
  • March 1943 Valivade Camp is established
  • June 1943 First Polish refugees arrives in Valivade – it becomes a thriving Polish town of 5,000 people
  • Early 1946 Orphans at Balachade are legally adopted by HH Jam Saheb, Fr Pluta and Major Clarke (British liaison) to prevent their forcible repatriation to Communist Poland
  • Middle 1946 Polish Children’s Camp in Balachadi is closed and the Polish children are transferred to Valivade Camp
  • 1947 Valivade Camp closes
  • August 1947 First transports of Polish refugees sail for G.B. Transports continue through 1949

There are numerous articles online about this story.

There is a YouTube channel: AakaarFilms – some of the videos are in English, others are in Polish or Hindi.

A Little Poland in India (English) – The Complete Documentary (about 52:10 minutes long)




About ICT Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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