These are must-see for anyone here who can understand Polish - and even if you can't understand a word, there are many eye-opening images of the Soviet invasion. Thanks for the links, Danuta.
Some points that were news to me (although not to many on this forum, I am sure):
- Many civilians in the Kresy at first welcomed the Soviet troops because they assumed that the Soviets were on the way to the Polish-German front to help the Poles fight off the avowed worst enemies of he Soviets, the Nazi Germans. Who could imagine that they had allied with the Germans against Poland? This didn't last long (but apparently long enough for Soviet propagandists to take movies of the cheering crowds and distort the meaning).
- Of course, there were some minorities who welcomed the Soviets with the
belief that their independence aims would be furthered. They, too, did not take long to learn about true Soviet intentions and methods. I think this is beautifully illustrated by the story about the man who had sold food to a Polish family for years, but always speaking Belorussian (or maybe Russian). But when he came shortly after the Soviet invasion he spoke in excellent Polish. When the astounded Polish woman asked how come he had never spoken Polish before he answered, "The Polish authorities tried to teach us Polish for 20 years. The Soviets taught us to speak Polish in two weeks." I bet there were many who considered not that they had gone from the frying pan into the fire, but from the lap of luxury into the fire. "Be careful what you wish for..." Indeed.
- The Soviets did not begin their action against Poland on Sept. 17. They started Sept. 1 along with the Germans. The plans had already been set and Soviets gave the Germans military aid and
intelligence before actually sending Soviet troops across the Polish border physically on Sept. 17.
Sault Ste Marie, Canada
From: Danuta Janina Wójcik <sandlily@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2009 7:56:02 PM
Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] 17 września - Portret jednego dnia - 17th of September - Portrait of One Day
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