“Trails of Hope”is the route of the odyssey of masses of Polish citizens during

the Second World War

Trails of Hope. The Odyssey of Freedom

The Institute of National Remembrance developed the project “Trails of Hope. The Odyssey of Freedom” so that the memory of the soldiers of Anders’ Army and of their contribution to the victory over Germany were not forgotten. In this way, we want to honour the military effort of the Polish Armed Forces and the fate of civilians evacuated from the USSR with General Anders’ Army in 1942. This project is intended to let all the people deported to the camps in Siberia and Russia hinterland speak. It is an opportunity to recall the places of remembrance scattered throughout the world, from Asia via the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, to both the Americas.

Another important objective of the project is to cooperate with local communities, Polish embassies, and the Polish diaspora to obtain forgotten materials on the soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces and civilians successfully evacuated from the Soviet Union.

The „Trails of Hope”

… should be understood as collective peregrinations of Polish citizens during World War II - of both military and civilian nature - which were motivated by the idea of restoring freedom to Poland and the world enslaved by the Third Reich and its allies, and related to the activities of the legal authorities of the Republic of Poland.

The pretext for telling Polish history in so many countries around the world will be an exhibition consisting of two parts: a general one telling the odyssey of Poles during World War II and a local one.

Military Trails

  • The Anders Trail [1941 – 1945/7]
  • The Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade [„African”] [1941-1942]
  • The Polish Independent Highland Brigade [„Norway”] [1940] 
  • The French Trail [1940]
  • The Polish 1st Armoured Division [1944 -1945/7]
  • The 1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade  [„Arnhem”] [1944]
  • The Navy and Merchant Marine Trail
  • The Polish Air Force
  • The Polish Silent Unseen
  • The Polish Military Intelligence


The number of Poles deported into the USSR in four big deportation campaigns

315 000

The number of Poles evacuated with Anders’ Army by 25 August 1942

78 631
37 912

Polish Armed Forces in May 1945

3 840
Air Force
19 400
170 000

Historical calendar


The history of the Poles' Odyssey

is a chronological sequence of events and actions in the years 1939-1947, both tragic ones, like the attack on Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and those filling with pride and encouragement, like the conquest of Monte Cassino by the Poles and the liberation of the Dutch Breda.

We invite you to familiarize with the most important events from the project „Trails of Hope. Odyssey of Freedom”.

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