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Re: [Kresy-Siberia] 'Desertions' in Palestine

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  • Drwhitem@aol.com
    I did not want to use the word desert regarding the Jewish soldiers leaving Anders army because desertion usually means an unwillingness to fight. However
    Message 1 of 109 , Oct 3, 2004
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      I did not want to use the word "desert" regarding the Jewish soldiers leaving Anders' army because desertion usually means an unwillingness to fight.  However the Jewish soldiers who left joined the British army.  The fact that there were only 6000 Jewish men, women and children included in an army 100,000 strong, tells its own story.  For further information, see Jews in Eastern Poland and the USSR 1939-1946 (St. Martin's Press) in the Introduction chapter which gives the explanatin of the proclamations regarding anti-Semitism sent by Anders' office to the army.  Their anti-Semitic stance stirred a great deal of discussion even at that time. 
      Certainly, there were some Polish soldiers and social workers who tried to help Jewish orphans escape from Russia into Persia, but in spite of that, there was much discrimination.  General Anders did a wonderful job organizing the soldiers and snatching them away from Stalin.  But the sad fact remains that there was a great deal of anti-Semitism. 
    • Zbigniew Bob Styrna
      I have two such ankiety from my two uncles. They both state “forced elections”. In one ankieta these words are used “..Sowieckie wybory..” and
      Message 109 of 109 , Oct 18, 2004
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        Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: USSR decree regarding citizenship

        I have two such ankiety from my two uncles.


        They both state “forced elections”.  In one ankieta these words are used “..Sowieckie wybory..” and “…listy wyborczwe..”  My Polish to English dictionary states that „WYBORY” = “Elections”.  It does not say anything about acclimation.


        Ankieta states that in “… October 1939,  candidates were chosen by Soviet Citizens, together with residents of Ukrainian Jewish origin…”  I presume that Soviet Citizens were Soviet Soldiers and KGB, etc. as I can’t see that regular Russian civilians had time to emigrate from Russia into eastern Poland that quickly after Sept 17, 1939 invasion.  Unless there were Soviets already living in these villages?  Any ideas?


        No where in any of these two, or of the many others I’ve read from Hoover institute does it say about being forced to be a Soviet Citizen.


        These ‘ankiety’ define to me , and all the other Polish people that read them, and translate them as forced, mock elections that were held at a point of a gun, and disobeying these Russian orders meant instant “arrests” and ‘deportations’.


        I think prior to this Russian voting ‘fiasco” , the Polish citizens were accustomed to  what we call here in the free world, a normal election process where people had free choices and anyone could be a candidate.  Russia/Communists had/have their “own” definition of elections I’m sure. They had no other definition to compare it to. We must remember that in 1939, people did not have TV, Internet surfing, etc.  They did not have instant access to information like we have now.  In fact most of these Polish village farmers, like my relatives,  only had grade 3 education if they were lucky.


        My uncles and many others, described in their own words, as best as they could that these were not ‘free “ elections as they were used to.


        Who believes that Stalin, after being defeated by the Polish troops in the Polish–Russian war of 1918-1920, would be nice and fair to the Polish citizens he just occupied in 1939?   Like ‘fair elections” ?


        Soviet = Russia







        -----Original Message-----
        From: Stefan Wisniowski [mailto:swisniowski@...]
        Sent: October 17, 2004 11:48 PM
        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] Re: USSR decree regarding citizenship



        You were right, these were not elections as we understand them in the Western world. However, they did form the basis for claiming that the residents of the Kresy voted to be incorporated in to the USSR and hence become Soviet citizens. However, as you pointed out, these “elections” were not an expression of the popular will. Hence the imposition of citizenship was not legal according to international law as stated by Halina (and rather than argue law between non-lawyers at least we are agreed that it was unconscionable and unjust).

        I appreciate that you can not change your memories. As you pointed out by reference to the ankiety, people can only report their own perceptions of events. I wonder if anyone in the group has any similar memories of a plebiscite on 29-30 October asking “do you want to join the Soviet Union, yes or no?”, or better yet, if anybody knows of any documents describing this event? I have not heard about read about it before, just about the 22 October “elections”.

        As for the Polish government, I stand corrected. I thought you were upset from your comments that they
        abandoned the 400,000 Polish soldiers that surrendered to Germans and that President Moscicki and his Government, by escaping to Rumania on Sept. 17, gave the Soviet Union an excuse they needed to invade Poland to restore order. Perhaps it was still the best thing that could have been done.


        Stefan Wisniowski (moderator)
        Sydney, Australia

        "Dedicated to researching, remembering and recognising the Polish citizens
        deported, enslaved and killed by the Soviet Union during World War Two."
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