Second Polish Republic
(click to enlarge map)
This website has been created to promote, honour and preserve for posterity the history and experiences of Polish citizens, of all religions and of all ethnic backgrounds from the Eastern Borderlands of Poland known as Kresy Wschodnie. Kresy comprises Wilno and the regions of Lithuania, Polesie, Belarus, Wolyn and Podole. During the Second Polish Republic (map), from 1918 up to the end of WWII, this area would have included modern day Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. East Ukraine and East Belarus, although remaining under Soviet occupation after 1918, were nevertheless regarded by many Poles as Kresy.
Whilst the Polish community is often seen as one of the UK’s newest ethnic minorities, much less well known are the 250,000 Polish citizens who came to the UK just after the Second World War. Some of these eventually settled in the USA and Canada. Many of this group originated from Kresy and, having been deported by Stalin to forced labour in Siberia in 1940-1941, had suffered intolerable oppression, enslavement, inhuman living conditions and death during World War II. The survivors faced a treacherous journey back to Europe via Iran, Africa and India. Thousands of them joined a new Polish Army under British command that fought the Germans at Tobruk, Arnhem, in one of the bloodiest battles in history at Monte Cassino in Italy, as well as taking part in the Battle for Normandy.
In an attempt to retrace their steps, we enter into one of the darkest areas of World War II history, which has too often proved to make for uncomfortable reading. We hope to increase understanding of the strength, tenacity and determination of the Polish nation and to show how their faith, hope, tradition and culture played an important part in their survival during WWII.
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THIS IS A NEW 'WORK-IN-PROGRESS' WEBSITE - NEW CONTENT WILL BE ADDED IN THE COMING MONTHS
© Kresy Family August 2016
© Kresy Family
Our material is not to be copied or used in any way without the specific permission of Kresy Family Polish WWII History Group, using our contact page. Please note that we have no connection with the Kresy-Siberia Foundation.