Hi group, Finally there may be clarification to the confusing information, given to me by mother. We all know in hindsight where the borders started and endedMessage 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2012View Source
Finally there may be clarification to the confusing information, given to me by mother. We all know in hindsight where the borders started and ended and when the Riga Treaty was signed and we judge, by this present day knowledge, the memory of people from the past.
It now seems that because communication was cut off and these people were in isolation, they were not correctly informed and to keep the natives happy, so to speak, they were told false information by those in authority, which they sincerely believed and tried to survive the best they could.
According to my mother’s recollections, she was born in Janinowka a German Colony, which never was officialised and put on a map. Then afterwards, she lived in Niwna which basically, in modern terms was the next suburb, so to speak, with Janinowka wiped of the face of the earth, leaving bare paddocks and fields.
Now this is where locals memory verses fact and reality, but due to isolation, they were not aware of it. according to the locals of Niwna, they lived in Malo Polska, Polska Republika II and they needed passports to go to Wielka Polska, which was not far away, only across the River Slucz and there was a Polish Military outpost on the other side, next to the border crossing. So in their understanding and teaching by the authorities in power, where they lived was Malo Polska or Polska Republika II and big Poland or Wielka Polska was the incorporation of Poland itself and all the Kresy area up to the River Slucz. They were aware of being the first Kolkhoz established by ZSSR, when there was confusion from 1937 onwards, but they were not aware of the Marchlewsczyna Experiment, the failure of this experiment and the consequent liquidation order put on all Polish people. There were many people taken to Kazakhstan, for what reason was unclear, perhaps they did not want to join Kolkhoz. Polish people, German People, all nationality were taken away and the villages and towns became empty with only young people and mothers, working Kolkhoz, trying to stay alive. Polish language was forbidden, religion was forbidden, Sundays were used to build roads, shovel snow and doing mandatory maintenance in the village, because the other 6 days they were working on the collective farms. They were punished for speaking their thoughts, for crying on the street and loud speakers broadcast the daily news, in propaganda fashion to the entire village, about which person, who was caught not conforming to the system and was taken away for punishment, they never knew who would be next. When they went to sleep at night, they had no guarantee they would wake up in the same bed the next morning, the authority could come and remove them at night. no one knew who it would be next and they all lived in fear. This went on until 1942,when my mother was taken by Germans to work in Germany and then was subjected to German Propaganda (hearing of Katyn while she was in Germany) and afterwards during Capitulation she experienced, under British Command more historical movies of the war. this made research very difficult, because hearsay, did not match official timelines, but the history was intertwined between local knowledge and historical reporting.
The truth as we now know it, was that in 1921 The Riga Treaty was formed and Niwna was annexed off as Soviet Territory, but the locals did not know of this. they always considered themselves as Polish and could not understand being shut off in 1937.
There is much confusion and both are correct. The local villager, because they were not told different and truly believed this, thereby being tricked by Soviets and the actual Official truth of the signing of documents for the Riga Treaty in 1921, as we now know it.
Nothing is black or white, there are many shades of grey and all have to be considered. The truth of the survivor with their limited knowledge at the time, their story should be given priority over what is official and on paper. But then, the historian can marry the two sides, the various stories, with an official time line and find the real truth and heart, somewhere between the recount of the survivor, which should never be dispelled and the official time line.
I remember in the beginning there was much doubt about the authenticity of my claim to be a child of Kresy survivor, but I have always told the truth and so has my mother, who was trapped as Polish Narod? Nationality, behind the Soviet line of Riga Treaty 1921.
Now when my mother speaks of Malo Polska and Polska Republika II, I know she is telling the truth and don’t question it, even if the geographical borders do not indicate this, in her growing up and in her belief she is telling the truth and she is Polish Nationality always was.
Does anyone have real knowledge of this area, apart from what I have written, if so please share it with group.
Thank you for allowing this attempt at explanation.
Lenarda, Sydney Australia.