“Trials of Hope. The Odyssey to Freedom” is a project of the Institute of National Remembrance whose aim is to shine a light on the history and migrations of Polish civilians and Armed Forces during World War II. Exhibitions and lectures about this topic will be presented in over 50 countries around the world, especially those that welcomed Poles. One such country is Iran.

From March 23rd to April 4th, 1942, 43,850 people were moved from the Soviet Union to Iran through the Türkmenbaşy port and the Caspian Sea to Pahlavi port in Iran. Later this year, in August, another 70,000 people arrived in Iran. A big portion of them were the soldiers of the Polish Army in the USSR, commonly named Anders’ Army in recognition of its commander Władysław Anders. They were the base of the Asian front of the Allies of World War II.

The exhibitions in Iran explain the dynamics of Polish-Iranian diplomatic relations from as early as the 15th century. It especially focuses on the World War II period, when many Polish emigrants were placed in Iran and Iraq. The former capital, Isfahan, was a shelter for numerous Polish children, and in Tehran there was the largest group of immigrants, counting 20,000 people. That’s why those places became the stops of the “Trails of Hope” projects.