Gift of Stalin, or what the USSR did to Poland

First gift

Mass terror against Poles in accordance with the special order of the NKVD No. 00485 of August 11, 1937. In carrying out this order, about 110,000 people were murdered. Poles living in the USSR. It was a typical act of mass genocide by the Bolsheviks before Kristallnacht and the beginning of the mass extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.

second gift

Partition of Poland under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact August 23, 1939 According to a secret protocol, Stalin took 55% of the territory of then Poland, leaving a smaller part to Hitler. There was no mention of Ukrainians and Belarusians then. Two aggressors divided Poland. In addition to the eastern part of Poland, Stalin occupied Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Bessarabia, Hitler – Lithuania and the disputed Vilnius district between Lithuania and Poland.

If we turn to the ethnic composition of the voivodships torn away by Stalin, only three out of eight voivodeships were Ukrainians and mostly Belarusians – in Volhynia (70% Ukrainians), in Stanisławów (68.8% Ukrainians) and in Poleski (74.1% of Belarusians and Ukrainians). In other voivodeships, including Vilnius, Poles constituted the majority from 49.3% in Tarnopol to 72% in Białystok. In the Lublin and Warsaw (eastern) voivodships, which according to the first demarcation also belonged to the USSR, the share of Poles was 85-90%, with Jews constituting the main minority. There could therefore be no question of any “reunification of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus.” What happened was just a primitive annexation of Polish lands.

On September 28, 1939, Ribbentrop flew to Moscow again and signed the Treaty of Friendship and Frontier. Stalin renounced part of the Polish lands – from the Warsaw and Lublin voivodships, but demanded all of Lithuania (with the exception of the Mariampol district) and the Vilnius district for himself.

On October 31, Molotov, at a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, said about Poland:

“It turned out that a short blow of the German army, and then the Red Army, was enough to leave nothing of this ugly descendant of the Treaty of Versailles, which lived off the oppression of non-Polish nationalities.”

According to the census of December 1938, out of 35 million inhabitants of Poland, 5 million were Ukrainians, 1.4 million Belarusians, and 3.4 million Jews.

third gift

Repressions, murders and confiscation of property of multi-million Polish citizens in the territories occupied by Stalin in September 1939. The Red Army took 240,000 Polish soldiers and officers prisoner. Most of the soldiers were sent home, but 25 thousand were sent to build roads, and 12,000 as free labor at the disposal of the People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry. Special officer camps were established in Starobielsk, Ostashkov and Kozielsk. By the end of February 1940, there were 8,376 officers and 6,192 policemen, border guards and military equivalents in the camps. They were to be charged under Art. 58-13 (fight against the international labor movement) and sent to camps in Siberia and the Far East.

But already on March 5, 1940, the Politburo, at the instigation of Beria, decided to murder the prisoners of the officer camps, as well as 11,000. Poles (mainly from the educated class – teachers, professors, priests, engineers, manufacturers, officials) who were in prisons in the occupied territories. 21,587 Poles were sentenced to death by a “troika” consisting of Ivan Bashtakov, Bacho Kobulov and Vsevolod Merkulov. Beria’s proposals were supported by the personal signatures of Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov, Mikoyan, as well as Kalinin and Kaganovich in absentia.

Thousands of Ukrainians and Belarusians from the cultural part of Polish society were also interned and murdered. The West Belarusian intelligentsia was murdered in the Kurapaty forest near Minsk, the Ukrainian intelligentsia – in the prisons of Western Ukrainian cities.

From April 3 to May 13, all the convicted soldiers were killed and buried in Katyn near Smolensk and near the village of Mednoye in the Tver region.

Those murdered in the Kharkiv prison were buried in the 6th quarter of the forest park zone near Kharkiv and in other places.

No more than 400 officers survived – mainly NKVD informants and pro-Soviet people. By a top-secret order of the NKVD No. 001365 of October 26, 1940, the executioners and other persons who organized this massacre of Polish citizens were awarded large sums of money “for the successful completion of a special task.”

280 thousand Poles, including family members of the murdered, were deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan to special settlements. Few of them survived.

fourth gift

These “western lands”. This is their story.

Poland became a unique country during World War II. The Germans failed to create a pro-Nazi government out of the Poles, as in France, or an army within the Wehrmacht, as in the USSR, where a million Soviet citizens more or less voluntarily joined Hitler’s military structures. The Poles either survived the occupation by gritting their teeth, or went to the forests and waged a fierce war with the Nazis in the ranks of the Home Army.

Poland was considered a reliable ally by the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, Polish divisions fought in Great Britain, Africa and Italy side by side with the British and Americans, and the Polish government of General Sikorski was in London. It is clear that the Poles did not want to hear that half of their country would remain under the USSR.

But Stalin also firmly stated that once caught colluding with Hitler, he would never give up. In order not to lose such a key ally as the USSR and exclude the possibility of behind -the -scenes negotiations with the “Axis countries”, Roosevelt and Churchill, reluctant, in secret from Poles, they agreed at a conference in Tehran (November 28 – December 1, 1943) in the case of the eastern border of Poland in approximately the “line of cunus” and the exchange of the Polish land – Poles to Poland, and Ukrainians and Belarusians from Poland to the new borders of AH – in the USSR. As compensation for the territories lost in the east, after the war, Poland was to receive German lands along the line of the Oder and Nysa Łużycka rivers in the west, and the southern part of East Prussia. Most of these lands never later XI century, that is, in progress nine centurieswas not part of the Polish state, but these lands were mainly inhabited by Germans who were subject to deportation to Germany under the new borders under the Tehran Agreements.

The Yalta Conference of February 4–11, 1945 confirmed and announced these agreements. Poland’s new eastern border was slightly adjusted in its favor – Stalin agreed to return Białystok and Przemyśl, together with their districts, to the Poles, since they lay west of the Curzon Line. But Stalin retained 40% of the former territory of the Polish state in 1939.

This is the story of this “gift”. The thief refused to return the stolen goods, but offered to compensate for the losses from “other sources” – not at his own expense, but at the expense of the defeated enemy.

The fifth gift

“Hair bristles with stories about how the Soviets treat women in Silesia – mass rapes, many senseless murders, etc.” – writes the Russian princess Maria Vasilchikova in her Berlin diary on March 31, 1945. Participant, though not very active, in the anti-Nazi resistance movement and an employee of the Reich Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the beautiful princess hastened to leave for the American occupation zone of Austria to avoid meeting her compatriots. She succeeded, but millions of Germans and Poles in East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania and the Warsaw General Government did not. It was another gift from Stalin, combined with the total looting of the entire population.

Sixth gift

78,000 civilians from the new territories of Poland and 94,000 from the old ones were forcibly and illegally transported to the USSR for “communist construction sites” and many died on these construction sites. Between 80,000 and 200,000 Poles who fought in the Home Army or sympathized with the London government were also arrested and mostly murdered in the MGB-NKVD dungeons, including those officers and generals who came to the negotiations at Moscow’s invitation.

Gift seven

This is the establishment of a communist Stalinist dictatorship in Poland in violation of all the agreements in Tehran and Yalta. This gift from Stalin cost the life and happiness of a whole generation of Poles and ended only with the fall of the communist regime in 1989.

I think Putin, as a KGB officer and history buff, is well aware of all these gifts and apparently approves of them. In fact, he is now offering Ukraine exactly the same “gifts”.

Let’s hope that the epigone fails to do what Stalin did and gets away with it.


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