- To All: Has anyone tried to write to all governments and government officials involved in WW2 and their respective libraries to see if any documents areMessage 1 of 34 , Mar 1 10:33 AMView Source
Research on the deportations - refugees and numbers
Has anyone tried to write to all governments and government officials involved in WW2 and their respective libraries to see if any documents are available that might shed additional light on this topic?
From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Stefan Wisniowski
Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2006 6:34 AM
Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Research on the deportations - refugees and numbers
Walter, surely your statement “Also, nothing was known about the fate of over 350,000 individuals, mostly Jews who were born West of the Bug river and signed up to return West under the Russo-German agreement on exchange of populations. They all vanished without a trace.” contains some poetic license.
We do know a fair bit about this, and most of the Polish Jewish survivors of WW2 did so thanks to their deportation to the USSR – many returned after the war, and most of these left for Israel – either soon after, or by 1968.
Speaking of statistics and sources, I commend to members the book "Revolution from Abroad - The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia " by Jan T. Gross.
1. It describes the June 1940 refugee deportation, where refugees (mostly Jewish) from western Poland that had come east to flee the German invasion were invited to return to Germany now the fighting had ceased. They registered their names and TRUE addresses with a German commission set up in cooperation with Soviet authorities, and then were quickly rounded up by the NKVD and deported to the interior USSR . Pages 202-207 describe this process, including sources.
2. It cites documents prepared by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 15 March 1944 entitled "The Computation of the Polish Population Deported to the USSR Between 1939 and 1941". Gross cites the document as estimating 1.25 million Polish citizens were moved or went voluntarily into the USSR 's interior during 1939-41. Some went looking for jobs, some were drafted into the Red Army, some were kept as Prisoners of War, some arrested and sent to labour camps, and some deported as "special settlers". Gross concludes this estimate is conservative and the total may have been closer to 1.5 million. He also reproduces a map prepared by the “Cartographic Service of the Polish Army in the East” (Anders Army), held in the Hoover Institute archives, that shows 1.05 million deported Polish citizens from 1939-1941.
Please note that in Soviet records, deported Polish citizens from the Jewish, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and other non-Polish ethnic groups were generally not counted in their statistics about “deported Poles” and these groups were not permitted by the Soviets to join the Polish Army nor to leave to Persia in 1942. (Many thousand did of course leave and either stayed to fight in Italy or deserted in Palestine to join the emerging Israeli army – e.g. Menachem Begin).
- ... Again a very informative post. I fully agree with Stefan Waydenfeld that the Soviets had no intention of returning the vast majority of Jewish deportees toMessage 34 of 34 , Mar 3 10:50 AMView Source--- Hello Jagna:
Again a very informative post. I fully agree with Stefan Waydenfeld
that the Soviets had no intention of returning the vast majority of
Jewish deportees to Poland and that like the rest of the deportees
they were used as slave labor, regardless of how they got into
Russia. I also believe that majority perished like other deportees,
although there is very little information on that subject.
In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, jagna8@... wrote:
>that the number of the deportees exceeded 1.7 mln - but because the
> Re numbers and Walter's points, especially about Jewish Poles:
> First of all, most Poles I've interviewed for the film, also insist
evidence (Polish Government's counts, Hoover archives, etc) points to
around 1.7 mln, we've decided to stick to what is provable.
> The question of Jewish Poles, or Jews from Poland, or Poles ofJewish origin (terminology is quite a sensitive point here) is quite
murky, because there were several categories of Jews from Poland who
found themselves in the Soviet Union. I don't know the numbers but
> 1. those who supported communism and went before the war to work inRussia for ideological reasons;
> 2. those who were fleeing from the Germans to Russia, but when theydiscovered what it was like, decided to go back to Central Poland;
> 3. those who, along with 'Polish Poles' were trying to get to theWest to join the Polish Army, and were grabbed in the Soviet Union:
they too applied to go back to Poland, but landed in a completely
different direction (as did Stefan Waydenfeld's family from my
Forgotten Odyssey: they were stopped from boarding the train to
Poland because there were no more places. As they were told they
would be put on the next available train, they were convinced this
was happening when in fact they were arrested - but the following
morning they woke up to find that the 'sun was on the wrong side'. It
has to be remembered, however, that Stefan gets very upset when
people say that the Russians saved his life: 'they have deported us
to finish us off through hard labour and hunger, not to save us from