The project aims at reaching places and people connected with Polish refugees who came to Iran in 1942.

In the footsteps of Poles

The main goal of the project „Iran: In the Footsteps of Poles” is to restore the collective memory about the fate of Poles living in Iran in the period 1942 – 1945. It also aims at raising awareness about the strength and impact of their patriotic feelings, and educating about that important period in the history of Polish emigration in the context of events connected with evacuation and life of Poles in Iran then. The expedition will be documented with photographs and films. We are also going to capture the image of contemporary Iran, particularly its open and tolerant citizens.

Where we are going to

We are going to visit the following cities: Bandar-e Anzali, Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Basra, Tehran, Mashhad and Isfahan. Each of the places is historically connected with arrival and further organization of lives of Poles in the hospitable land of Iran. Isfahan deserves a special attention – orphanages of this former capital of Persia were a home for more than 2,000 children until the end of the war. We plan to reach cemeteries, various places commemorating Polish refugees, witnesses of the events, scholars, representatives of different institutions, Iranians who know about the events from accounts of others. We are also going to visit the University of Tehran, the National Museum of Iran in Tehran and the embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tehran. Numerous meetings and interviews will be documented in films and photographs.

What we want to achieve

The most important outcome will be a book containing photographs and various stories on the subject of Polish refugees. We also want to capture the image of contemporary Iran. We plan to organize travelling photo exhibitions both in Iran and in Poland. We are going to prepare lesson plans for primary and secondary schools about the history of Poles, and we also wish to show the faces of contemporary Iran.

Expedition Project

Iranians helping Poles – an amazing and optimistic tale that despite the magnitude of suffering, misery, diseases and poverty, Polish refugees were given a helping hand. We want to remind of that story to be aware now that people are capable of helping others unselfishly.

“Iran: In the footsteps of Polish refugees” is a project aimed at reaching places and people connected with Polish refugees who came to Iran in 1942.  They had been evacuated from the “unearthly land” of the Soviet Union, together with Anders’ Army. Among 116,000 people who reached Iran there were nearly 80,000 soldiers and 43,000 civilians, including more than 20,000 children. Those people left traces and a lot of stories which we intend to reach.


Our goals >>>


1.Travel to Iran to visit, commemorate and study the places where the Polish community took refuge. 2. Create photographical and video documentation of the sites. 3. Interview the living witnesses of those events, as well as the people who take care of memorials. 4. Write and publish a popular-scientific monograph and a series of papers in journals. 5. Conduct large scale thematic lessons in primary, secondary and high schools, as well as university lectures and meetings in community centres. 6. Set up a photographic exhibition in the University of Teheran and the Iranian Embassy in Warsaw, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and in Arkady Fiedler’s Museum.

Poles in Persia

(See video archive)

Join us…

and help fund the project showing the strength of patriotism, open-mindedness, kindness and support in difficult moments of history. To support our project, transfer any donation to FUNDACJA FIEDLERÓW, account no. 77 1440 1286 0000 0000 1446 0349, with a note “Iran: In the footsteps of Polish refugees”.

Support our project

Every donation brings us a step closer to the aim of the expedition which we are going to document with numerous photographs, films and interviews. The outcome of the project will be presented in schools and universities in the form of lessons, workshops, forums and lectures for the youth and adults, as well as through exhibitions of photographs and a series of publications.

Sponsors, partners and media patrons

They support us


Photo gallery


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U lekarza

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Kobieta pustynia

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Participants of the expedition

He is professor and vice-dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. On a daily basis he conducts scholarly work and gives lectures while at the same time being responsible for the International Cooperation Department of the Faculty. He contributes to projects of the university and the Fiedler Foundation. He is the author of several dozen academic papers and one monograph about Iran and the Middle-East region, and a competition-winning paper about the responsible use of nuclear technology in a competition held by PGE called “Atom dla Nauki.”
Head of the expedition
He is an expert on the history of Division 303 and an experienced traveller. He organised over a dozen major expeditions portrayed in papers, photographic exhibitions and exhibits held in the family museum. His last book “Mała Wielka Wyspa Wielkanocna,” published this year, became a bestseller.
Co-founder of Arkady Fielder’s museum
An artist, photographer, film-maker and alumnus of the Academy of Art in Poznan. As a traveller he has explored the Amazon, and specializes in aerial photography, with a range of accomplishments such as exhibitions and publications. He offers art therapy in a dedicated photography and film studio in an orphanage in the town of Kórnik, where his own studio, Fotopluma, is also located
Organizer of the expedition


In 2012, I and my wife Anna established the Fiedlers’ Foundation which activities are based on three pillars:


    Intercultural dialogue – our flagship project that has been carried out in this area for five years now is the ‘Orinoko nad Wartą’ festival of travellers, during which travelling enthusiasts tell about their adventures and describe exotic nature, different political and social systems, distant cultures, habits and traditions. There is also an opportunity for children to participate in intercultural art workshops during the festival.


    Activation and integration of local communities, with emphasis placed on intergenerational activities. We have successfully conducted a number of initiatives supporting this idea. One of them was “Z widza i obserwatora zmień się w aktora” (Change from a spectator into an actor). The project related to the idea of local patriotism and things that impress us in our hometowns. It involved people of all ages – seniors, adults and children. We have also held two performances: about La Malinche, who was a lover and translator of Hernan Cortes, and about Dagny Przybyszewska – a muse of the Young Poland.

    Social innovations – we run the website to promote socially innovative solutions, global education, sustainable development, cross-sectoral cooperation and bottom-up initiatives.


Our foundation also Cooperates closely with the Arkady Fiedler museum, patronises and supports efforts regarding travelling and dream come true trips. This cooperation resulted in a number of interesting projects: PoDrodze, Afryka, UAZęga to Ukraine and Lithuania, Joachim Czerniak’s cycling therapy expedition to Australia. We encourage reading and learning about Arkady Fielder’s rich literary heritage.