You could say that the difference between citizenship and nationality is an invention of philosophers. It caused an extremely important political dispute in 1941, impacting the fate of many Poles, who after the outbreak of World War II were sent to prisoner-of-war camps in the east.
How did General Anders Army save Polish POWs?
General Anders Army had a chance to save tens of thousands of Polish citizens with the consent of the USSR, which was just invaded by Germany. However, the USSR authorities tried to limit the recruitment to the Anders Army only to people holding Polish citizenship, depriving the Poles of Ukrainian, Byelorussian, and Jewish nationality of their salvation.
The General Anders Army’s conscription committees disregarded the Soviet authorities and accepted Polish citizens regardless of their nationality. Many families were rescued by these actions and the Anders Army also took care of Polish women and children, including orphans.
Tens of thousands of people walked the so-called Trail of Hope, through Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, and Italy to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with Allied forces.
Eventually many Polish soldiers ended up in the United Kingdom where they settled down, had families, and lived all over the UK. Maybe your father or grandfather was one of them?
If you are still not sure of the origin of your ancestors and do not know whether you have a chance to apply for Polish citizenship, please contact us. We will help you with the necessary formalities so you can enjoy having your Polish passport.