Izidor Yosef Merenlender
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About Izidor Yosef Merenlender
Major Dr. Izydor Jozef Merenlender, son of Filip and Leah Merenlender:
Dr. Izydor Jozef Merenlender, son of Filip and Leah Merenlender had fought the Russian's in the Polish Soviet War of 1920, with the rank of Porucznik Lek. After the cesation of hostilities he became an Officer of the Reserve forces.
Pre 1939 he was the Consultant Dermatologist at the Czyste Hospital in Warsaw, at the time this was the very best Hospital in Warsaw for both the Jewish Population and Non Jewish Population.
When war broke out on Friday 1st September 1939 he had already received his call up papers. He was captured by the Soviet Army on the 18th September in Tarnopol and was sent to the Polish Officers Prisoner of War camp at Kozielski. The majority of Officers kept there where transported to and killed at Katyn, but Dr. Merenlender was one of the lucky ones that the Soviet Authorities had decided to keep alive.
His story is mentioned in the Book "The Road to Katyn" written by Salomon Slowes, in which there's a photograph of Porucznik Merenlender.
After the Germans invaded Russia in 1941, General Sikorski signed a Treaty with Stalin who also agreed to release all the Polish POW's. We now know that he had ordered the Murder of over 21,000 Polish Officers, Policemen, Judges, Intellectuals etc. in 1940.
After his release Por. Merenlender made his way to Tockoje where he joined the so called Anders Army, he was fed and re-equiped by the British when the Russians stopped providing food and equipment to the Polish Forces leaving General Anders the only decision he could make take all the Poles under his control and leave Russia and cross into Iran. Which they did and travelled on to Iraq, Eygpt and finally Palestine. Whilst in Palestine they where re equiped by the Allied forces and preporations where made to enter the battle once again against the germans, this time in Italy.
Polish Forces started landing in Italy in late 1943 and the rest of the Corps arrives in early 1944. It was then decided to throw the Poles in at the Battle of Monte Cassino. the British, American, Indian, New Zealand, French had all tried to capture both the town of Cassino and the Benidictine Monistery.
The Polish 2nd Corps captured the Abbey on the 18th May 1944, by this time Porucznik Dr. Merenlender had been promoted to Kapitan and was serving in the 161st (formerly 2nd) Polish Field Hospital and was awarded the Polish Monte Cassino Cross Numbered 41799. By the end of the war he had been promoted to Major.Dr. and as such was awarded the Polish Army Medal on the 16th April 1946 whilst serving in the Polish Resttlement Corps.
He made the decision to come to the United Kingdom, instead of returning to Poland because the soviets where now in charge of Poland.
Evidently he decided to become a British Subject which he was given on the 31st October 1952. By this time he had made a good start to life in the United Kingdom, he had an office in Harley Street and was living in Philbeach Gardens in London.