An estimated 1.7 million Poles, including 380,000 children, were deported to Soviet Russia during World War II. Most of the children were forcibly taken from their families, while others lost their parents during the long and arduous journey.
The youths had to deal with cold, hunger, slave labour and despair. Many perished, while a lucky minority survived, including some who eventually made their way to countries such as Canada, the U.S., Australia and the U.K.
Childhood DENIED tells this tragic story through the eyes of the narrator, Ania. She is a young girl taken by train in the winter of 1940 to Stalin's killing fields in Siberia. Ania is a composite of the thousands of children whose lives were violently ripped apart, often never to be repaired. The tragedy is amplified today by the fact that few people know about this chapter in the history of WWII.
Father Lucjan Krolikowski, author of Stolen Childhood, A Saga of Polish War Children, is interviewed extensively in the documentary. He received The Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta from President Lech Kaczynski of the Republic of Poland. Also interviewed is Dr. Lynne Taylor, a professor of history at the University of Waterloo and author of The Polish Children of Tengeru: The Dramatic Story of Their Long Journey to Canada, 1941-49.