S T A L I N ' S E T H N I C C L E A N S I N G
STALIN’S ETHNIC CLEANSING in Eastern Poland
Tales of the Deported 1940-1946
ISBN 1 872286 88 7
Stalin’s Ethnic Cleansing is an anthology of testimonies of the experiences of Poles from Poland’s Eastern Borderlands, Kresy, who were known as ‘osadniki’ living on ‘osady’ (settlements) which had been awarded to the 1918-1920 demobilised Polish military officials and their families as a reward for their services and who, following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland on 17 September 1939 were then deported, crammed into cattle trucks, as disposable labour into the depths of the USSR by Stalin’s NKWD (KGB).
There were four such deportations:
9-10 February 1940;
12-13 April 1940;
8-29 June 1940;
13-22 June 1941.
Some testimonies come also from those driven into exile after 1941 right up until 1948.
The breadth and depth of the testimonies range from descriptions of life in pre-war Kresy, the varied inter-ethnic relations before and during the war, to the deportations themselves, the journey to the camps and kolkhozes and the struggle to survive in the Soviet Union, the subsequent “amnesty” granted by Stalin following Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union freeing the Poles from their camps and kolkhozes, and their subsequent journeys to freedom.
Not all the Poles from this region were deported and some testimonies describe the lives of those who stayed behind.
The book first appeared in Polish in 1996 under the title “Z KRESÓW WSCHODNICH R.P. NA WYGNANIE”, published by the Ognisko Rodzin Osadników Kresowych (Association of the Families of the Borderland Settlers).
We would like to thank Pan Ryszard Grzybowski, former Chairman of OROK, for giving us permission to use this amazing material for our website.
This book, translated into English, provides witness to the suffering and courage of the Poles from the Kresy, as well as to the history of Soviet aggression and Stalin’s contempt for suffering humanity. The following are some of the individual testimonies from the book.
Maria Czajka nee Leduchowicz (osada Zarębkowo)
© Kresy Family
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