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Clips (2)

  1. The first of two parts of this documentary.

  2. The second of two parts of this documentary.


This 1966 documentary tells the story of 734 Polish children who were adopted by New Zealand in 1944 as WWII refugees. Moving interviews, filmed 20 years later, document their harrowing exodus from Poland: via Siberian labour camps, malnutrition and death, to being greeted by Prime Minister Peter Fraser on arrival in NZ. From traumatic beginnings the film chronicles new lives (as builders, doctors, educators, and mothers) and ends with a family beach picnic. This was the last film from pioneering woman filmmaker Kathleen O'Brien.


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Comments (30)

 Eilidh Thorburn

Eilidh Thorburn

Wow amazing story - does anyone know anything about Polish House in McDonald Street, Sandringham Auckland?

 Bruce Lea

Bruce Lea

There will be a special celebration in Pahiatua, NZ in November this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the children in NZ. This is being organised by the Pahiatua Museum Society who have many records, documents and photos of life in the camp. More information from the Pahiatua Information Centre: Phone +64 6 376 6619.



Greetings all from James in QLD, grandchild of W & M Wypych. Would love to have a vodka with you all some time!

 Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson

My mother Zosha Sobko, Aunt, Marisha Sobko and Uncle Yanik Sobko were all invited to new Zealand with the 700. They endured so much pain in their journey to the promised land. They lost their mother and younger sister in the deportation journey to Siberia. After the Russians gave them their so called freedom my grandfather made sure they were safe and joined the polish forces and fought at Monte Casino, North Africa etc. He located his children after the war and came to NZ to be a family again. Such a chilling story with a happy ending for the lucky 700 that deserves to be told and recorded as part of New Zealand's history. I now carry the family's tradition and attend the reunions. Polish House in Newtown, Wellington has great archival material for those interested.



good film

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