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[www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)

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  • Mark and Oyun
    Dear Stan, You are quite right when you said betrayal to power does not mean betrayal to the people ... I never said it did. People who are forced by fear of
    Message 1 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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      Dear Stan,

      You are quite right when you said "betrayal to power does not mean betrayal to the people"... I never said it did.  People who are forced by fear of death to perform actions contrary to law can be excused, people who make an informed choice should be held accountable.  When the Polish Governmnet said: the [1st Polish Infantry] division does not belong to the Polish Army and is a Red Army Division under the command of the Soviet authorities they were stating a legal fact.  Zygmunt Berling was not Moses. He knew what he was doing and as a serving senior Polish officer he knew the punishment for desertion was severe. Even with the best intentions in the world, he must have known the consequences. Having said that, my point is purely legal. I do not judge him and leave the philosophy and metaphysics to others.

      Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

      PS. The question of the legality of the People's Republic of Poland as opposed to the Polish Government in Exile in interesting, but may well be considered "off-topic".

      --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, Stanislaw Zwierzynski <zwierzinski1957@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Mark!
      >
      > You raised an incredibly interesting and bottomless topic treason!
      > We must understand that betrayal to power does not mean betrayal to the people, to native!
      > People higher power!
      > Piland Government in exile there until 1989, so that, all that was in Poland until 1989 was illegal?
      > Or that's all there was bad?
      >
      > How many copies broken on it, how much more will the verbal battles, including at Krés
      > y.
      > I meet in literature on topics Kresy betrayal - and just leaf through. Because it is not certain that I would have passed this rink.
      > When the head of osada  gave NKVD  all lists of people - is cheating or not?
      > You know, what would you do with him and his family if he did not? And still NKVD would calculate all.
      >
      > Sometimes it's frightening to ask such questions.
      >
      > I can tell, sitting in warm place, and knowing how it turned out there in history, we can judge monstrous phenomenon in society (eg, Stalinism, fascism, cannibalism), frank villains (such as Lenin, Caligula), but we have exercise restraint in the assessment of people who did so much good, and probably a bad one.
      >
      > Moses displaying Jews out of Egypt in terms of the Egyptian government was a traitor and criminal, but from the point of view of the Bible - the greatest prophet and savior.
      >
      > Metropolitan Sergius (1943-44, the Patriarch) of Russia, signed in 1928 a petition for recognition of Soviet power (when sitting in jail for 90% of the priests and bishops) - that he had betrayed the Church? There are different opinions on this. I think that he has not betrayed, and then saved the Russian Church. So think of all the people and theologians, that I respected.
      >
      > Subject is incredibly responsible.
      >
      >
      > Stan from M.
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Mark and Oyun mark_oyun@...
      > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 8:16 PM
      > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
      >
      >
      >  
      > Dear Stan,
      >
      > With regards to your first point, one cannot accept the premise that if one believes something to be correct then any actions taken from that idea are permissable. The invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union was contrary to international law, and the note you refer to was but a pretext to that invasion. And even if it were true in 1939, it most certainly was not true in 1941 when the USSR and Poland DID have diplomatic relations. The fact that I am here to write this today is testment to the fact that Stalin DID recognise the Sikorski government.Even in 1943 when Moscow broke off dipllomatic relations with the Polish Government, there was still only one legal Polish government... the one in London. Stalin had no right to comment on any decisions or actions taken by that government in regards to its soldiers.
      >
      > Having said that, do not get me wrong. I have no particular problem with Berling or the creation of the Berling Army and as I said previously I hope I would have had the courage to do the same, but let us not pretend that his actions were in conformity with Polish law. They were not, but history is full of examples of well meaning actions taken by people whose actions were taken with the best intentions, but were in fact treason. The Founding Fathers of the USA is the example that springs to mind. I would not equate Berling with Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, but the analogy stands.
      >
      > Everything you say about Berling may well be true, but let us not pretend it was anything other that what it was. If he had fallen into the hands of the London Poles he would have been shot. He did not and the communists put up a statue to him.
      >
      > You quote the Bible, I'll quote Sir John Harrington:
      >
      > Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
      > Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
      >
      > Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
      >
      > >
      >

    • LenardaSzymczak
      Enough of the debate of Treason or Traitor. Did anyone notice (DO NOT DEBATE) we are here to research our families and not be politicians. It is bad enough
      Message 2 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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        Enough of the debate of Treason or Traitor.  Did anyone notice (DO NOT DEBATE) we are here to research our families  and not be politicians. It is bad enough with our families being caught on both sides of the fence, but we do not wish to discuss their guilt or innocence, only what happened to them and why and find them.   these people are members of family to KS group, living breathing people, who were caught up in the horrors and war and tried to survive, through no fault of their own.  We do not judge them, we only wish to find them and in doing this we have to look at both sides of the fence.  These debates are detracting from true research  for our families.  I only put up the post because little was known about Berlinga Army and its movements and some of us, do have family who were conscripted into the Red Army.  My Uncle for one, he had no choice.  We all wish the war was different, but it was not and now we have the painful task of locating loved ones lost.  Let’s get back to basics and true research for OUR FAMILY, THE KRESY FAMILIES, and LOVED ONES LOST.

         

        I am not a moderator, only very angry at the time lost and wasted in debates of RIGHT AND WRONG. If there was an Earthquake, would we stand there and debate was it the fault of God, or bad building code, or the Planet shifting.  No, most certainly not, we would be focused on finding the survivors of the Earthquake and burying the dead and then remembering them with HONOUR.  Right now, we should focus on research of our loved ones lost and their journey and miracles still happen, finding living relatives.

         

        Regards,

        Lenarda, Australia

         

        From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark and Oyun
        Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 4:16 AM
        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)

         

         

        Dear Stan,

        With regards to your first point, one cannot accept the premise that if one believes something to be correct then any actions taken from that idea are permissable. The invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union was contrary to international law, and the note you refer to was but a pretext to that invasion. And even if it were true in 1939, it most certainly was not true in 1941 when the USSR and Poland DID have diplomatic relations. The fact that I am here to write this today is testment to the fact that Stalin DID recognise the Sikorski government.Even in 1943 when Moscow broke off dipllomatic relations with the Polish Government, there was still only one legal Polish government... the one in London. Stalin had no right to comment on any decisions or actions taken by that government in regards to its soldiers.

        Having said that, do not get me wrong. I have no particular problem with Berling or the creation of the Berling Army and as I said previously I hope I would have had the courage to do the same, but let us not pretend that his actions were in conformity with Polish law. They were not, but history is full of examples of well meaning actions taken by people whose actions were taken with the best intentions, but were in fact treason. The Founding Fathers of the USA is the example that springs to mind. I would not equate Berling with Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, but the analogy stands.

        Everything you say about Berling may well be true, but let us not pretend it was anything other that what it was. If he had fallen into the hands of the London Poles he would have been shot. He did not and the communists put up a statue to him.

        You quote the Bible, I'll quote Sir John Harrington:

        Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
        Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

        Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

        --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, Stanislaw Zwierzynski <zwierzinski1957@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Mark
        >
        > You are very good in terms of international law, explained difference between Anders and Berling, and I'm sitting in a warm apartment after 70 years, agree with you.
        > Berling (in terms of government Sikorski and Anders) was a traitor.
        >
        > But September 17, 1939, Ambassador of Poland in Moscow was presented a note of the USSR (monstrous indeed, but not the point) that a country such as Poland in terms of the USSR (Stalin) is no more. So from the point of view of Stalin  Sikorski government was illegitimate, and then it had no right to label - a traitor or a hero.
        >
        > And the Soviet Union consistently adhered to this idea.
        >
        > Stalin in 1943, has already felt like a winner - a radical turn in the war has already occurred (Kursk Duga). Stalin wanted to create a vassal socialist Poland - he needed a mechanism of local government, a compliant government. Berling was very necessary advice.
        > But Berling did much to make many Poles from camps, where they were in 1939 - they could disappear there. Studies show that 5 years at hard labor camp few people lived, 2-3 years - much more.
        >
        > It is known that, when formed Anders Army, NKVD redoubled its efforts on processing of Polish prisoners of war. Certainly much has been recruited or brainwashed. Berling was one of them. Do not forget that not all was well in Poland, 1920-39 years., had a very strong social stratification of people. All this played out that some of officers and soldiers sailed with Anders. But of course, majority of military joining to army Berling was only one way out of hell. The fact is that in 1943-44 again faced new wave of terror, and Poles who were released under an amnesty in August 1941, and not arrived to armies,  were back in Gulag camps.
        >
        > So I stand by my opinion - I will not name Berling as traitor. The fact that he was a conformist - yes. But the fact that Poland was reborn thanks to him, even as a vassal of socialist Soviet Union, too, no doubt. In the late 40's and early 50's in Poland reigned extraordinary growth, both in spirit and in manufacturing. Rose from the ruins of Warsaw and others cities.
        > Berling certainly loved his country, and did much for her, at least not less than Anders.
        > But here's what the price - it is only God knows. We do not know whether his tortured agony.
        >
        > According to their works ye shall know them. From the point of view of the biblical wisdom, Anders and Berling and not traitors, but worthy children of Poles.
        >
        > Stan.
        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
        > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 6:23 PM
        > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
        >
        >
        >  
        > Dear Group,
        >
        > Poles in the Red Army… how many? I think you will find that there were not that many Poles (from the Kresy) fighting in the Red Army from the early conscriptions of 1939/40. As has been said previously, the Poles were not trusted… quite rightly… how would they expect the Poles to fight with any enthusiasm for an army that invaded their country? The Poles who were in military units were very quickly removed to the rear to serve in the so called "Labour front". Later many Poles were conscripted to Construction Battalions to build front-line fortifications. Most of the Poles who were conscripted did not actually fight; they were a source or semi-slave labour used to support the war-effort. The "how many" remains an open question.
        >
        > Poles in the red Army… treason? A controversial issue. I would argue that a case could be made that some Poles who volunteered for the Polish 1st Army in the East were traitors. My reasoning, being in line with Anna's post 53177, which is why Berling was considered a traitor. It was a question of choice. Any Pole who was in the Soviet Union, of course they would join. It was quite obviously a question of survival and no one could blame them. Poles who were conscripted â€" again, no choice. I am talking about the many Poles who volunteered… were they traitors? By definition of the Polish constitution they were. It is not an argument I would put forward with any enthusiasm, but the fact remains that they volunteered for an army serving another power. The same argument was used by the Warsaw Poles to remove the citizenship of a number of senior Polish officers after the war when they joined the Polish Resettlement Corps. The PRC was an organ of the
        > British Government â€" unlike the Polish Army under British Command which remained under the legitimate Polish Government (albeit in exile). Irony was not the strong point of the Warsaw Poles… pot, kettle and black.
        >
        > This "treason", I would argue, could only be counted from the time the Polish 1st Army crossed the Polish Border, and until the Polish government in Warsaw became the de jure Polish government… and that in itself is another controversial issue. As I said previously, it is not something I would push because I would like to think that if I were there at the time I would have had the courage to join the fight against fascism, but from a legal point of view, the case could be made… but I'm not sure I would want to make it.
        >
        > As to General Anders being a traitor… Stan's last post… how? OK, I accept that from Ander's "point of view" Berling was a traitor… except that it wasn't a point of view… it was a point of law. Polish law did not/does not allow a serving soldier to desert his post and join the army of another country. To so do is treason. Stalin's point of view of Anders is hardly relevant here either. Anders was a soldier under direct command of the Polish Government, he may be guilty of many things, but he was a good soldier who did as he was told â€" usually. Even if Stalin had given him a direct order he would have been within his rights to refuse as he was not under the command of Stalin. Had Sikorski said "take your men and fight in the East", and had Anders said "NO", that would have been a different matter. I'm not sure keeping Stalin happy was top of Ander's "to do" list. I can see no circumstances that would allow us to call Anders a traitor. With the
        > case of Berling, treason, even if done with the best will in the world, and with the effect of saving lives, is still treason. It is not a matter of perspective or opinion; it is a matter of law.
        >
        > Most countries still have laws that prevent citizens from joining foreign armies during war time, more so being officers in foreign armies... especially if that country is hostile to the first.
        >
        > Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
        >

      • annapacewicz
        Dear Stan, thank you for your post. It is an engrossing topic and I have enjoyed reading the exchanges between you and Mark. I would point out that yes, Anders
        Message 3 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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          Dear Stan, thank you for your post. It is an engrossing topic and I have enjoyed reading the exchanges between you and Mark.

          I would point out that yes, Anders was a smart man and no doubt could be tricky. But he would have fought on the Eastern front had Stalin:
          - Fed, equipped and trained his army
          - Allowed the Polish Army to fight as a single Army

          But Stalin kept the Polish Army under provisioned (continually cutting rations). He wanted to send the ill-prepared Polish Army to the Eastern Front but scattering the Polish Army amongst the Red Army divisions. I quote Anders,

          "but said that the whole army must go into action together and that, first of all, the men must be properly fed, armed and trained. I pointed out that if separate divisions were sent to the front, they would be almost lost among the vast numbers engaged there, and the fact that the Polish troops were fighting would hardly be realised, even in Poland".

          This was in accordance with the Polish-Soviet Agreement which "stated that Polish troops should not be used at the front in scattered formations, but as one entity".

          Anders sought the approval of General Sikorski and noted that he "was relieved" when Sikorski agreed. Had Anders been commanded by Sikorski to do as Stalin wished, he would no doubt have complied.

          The Soviets went to great lengths to exploit this as progaganda that the Polish Army would not fight on the Eastern Front.

          Regarding Berling... to Mark's point from a legal point of view he was a traitor. And to your point, he saved many Polish lives. It is a thorny question!

          Best regards,
          Anna Pacewicz
          Sydney

          --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, Stanislaw Zwierzynski <zwierzinski1957@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi, Anna!
          >
          > That's my opinion on your question.
          >
          > From the point of view of Anders - Berling was a traitor.
          > But from the point of view of Stalin and environment - just Anders was a traitor, as able to lead his army to fight in Europe, but not on eastern front.
          > After all, for fighting on Eastern Front USSR was created this army. But smart Anders using various tricks and British pressure, led 117,000 people from the Soviet Union, remained of Polish military elite, certainly made feat.
          >
          > But I would not be so uniquely called Beurling traitor. After all, if it were not for courage and heroism of his army, marked by Stalin and Churchill, it remains to be revived Poland after the war (I think that yes) - but these are the boundaries - big question.
          > It is no secret that many non-Polish lands (one-third of East Prussia, Gdansk metropolitan area, etc.) were attached to Poland.
          > I know that, for example, city Bialystok with suburbs Stalin's original plan was to be Belarusian. But then Burling and his men managed to "win" him back.
          >
          > I know from Russian sources, that those members of army Anders, who after 1946 returned to Kresy, most of them were persecuted and sent to camps for 8-10 years. For this reason, I think, my grandfather did not come back.
          >
          > On the other hand, I have my own history. The brother of my grandfather Alphons (b. 1915), fought from 1 to 18 September 1939 with Germans, became a prisoner of war, was sent to Krivoy Rog to steel mill, and then it was transferred to Kotlas - SevZelDorLag. So on the way he ran away from NKVD! Hiding in forests Naliboki Pusha, fought in AK. So when the Soviet Army reached Iwieniec, Alphons came in it (or in army Berling) and reached Berlin. And thus saved his life! After war, he was not arrested.
          >
          > So I would not call Berling traitor. He also saved many Polish lives.
          >
          > Stan from M.
          >
          >
          > ________________________________
          > From: annapacewicz <annapacewicz@...>
          > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 2:13 AM
          > Subject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Polish soldiers in Red Army (do not debate)
          >
          >
          >  
          > Dear group, I am just reading Anders memoirs "Army in Exile". He regarding Berling as a traitor because he deserted the Polish Army in the USSR. I quote "I had received a report on the desertion of Leiutenant-Colonel Zygmunt Berling and several officers who had belonged to the gruop trained in Communist spirit at the so-called "Villa of Happiness" near Moscow. They took with them a car and all the documents at our base at Krasnovodsk"... the point here is that Berling had a choice. He chose the Red Army (with a General's commission) when he could have chosen the Polish Army.
          >
          > But the vast majority of soldiers had no choice. After 1942 and the exodus of the Polish Army in the USSR to Persia, the Polish men who remained in exile in the USSR or the men in the Borderlands had no choice. Anders goes onto quote a letter from General Sosnkowski in 1944 prior to the Warsaw Uprising, to the President, Mr Raczkiewicz
          >
          > "I can but mention the convocation of the Committee of National Liberation and the official agreement signed by that Committee at the Kremlin; the arrest of commanders and staff of the Vilno and Novogrodek areas of the Home Army; the disarmament of the 27th Infantry Division, and the deportations from the eastern provinces which have begun and are confirmed by numerous letters received in Tehran and written by Poles deported to Middle Siberia, and the Semipalatinsk District..."
          >
          > There is no doubt that as soon as the Soviets re occupied the Borderlands from the Germans that forced conscription, repressions and deportations resumed in earnest.
          >
          > Anna Pacewicz
          > Sydney Australia
          >
        • annapacewicz
          Lendarda, I understand that this is a sensitive issue. I believe that in trying to understand what happened to our families who were conscripted into the Red
          Message 4 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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            Lendarda, I understand that this is a sensitive issue. I believe that in trying to understand what happened to our families who were conscripted into the Red Army, these are natural avenues that fall-out of that discussion and search for truth. The question of "traitor" was quoted by General Anders and as Mark pointed out, applies only to Berling in a LEGAL sense, and not to our own men who had no choice in the matter. My own uncle fought under Soviet command and I don't think that anybody is judging him, or any of our soldiers, who had to do the same. I think that the points of view have been exchanged amicably and intellectually and without personal slander. But I'm sorry if the exchanges have distressed you.
            I suggest that any further comments regarding Berling maybe started under a new thread?

            With very best regards
            Anna Pacewicz
            Sydney Australia


            --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "LenardaSzymczak" <szymczak01@...> wrote:
            >
            > Enough of the debate of Treason or Traitor. Did anyone notice (DO NOT DEBATE) we are here to research our families and not be politicians. It is bad enough with our families being caught on both sides of the fence, but we do not wish to discuss their guilt or innocence, only what happened to them and why and find them. these people are members of family to KS group, living breathing people, who were caught up in the horrors and war and tried to survive, through no fault of their own. We do not judge them, we only wish to find them and in doing this we have to look at both sides of the fence. These debates are detracting from true research for our families. I only put up the post because little was known about Berlinga Army and its movements and some of us, do have family who were conscripted into the Red Army. My Uncle for one, he had no choice. We all wish the war was different, but it was not and now we have the painful task of locating loved ones lost. Let’s get back to basics and true research for OUR FAMILY, THE KRESY FAMILIES, and LOVED ONES LOST.
            >
            >
            >
            > I am not a moderator, only very angry at the time lost and wasted in debates of RIGHT AND WRONG. If there was an Earthquake, would we stand there and debate was it the fault of God, or bad building code, or the Planet shifting. No, most certainly not, we would be focused on finding the survivors of the Earthquake and burying the dead and then remembering them with HONOUR. Right now, we should focus on research of our loved ones lost and their journey and miracles still happen, finding living relatives.
            >
            >
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            > Lenarda, Australia
            >
            >
            >
            > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark and Oyun
            > Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 4:16 AM
            > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Dear Stan,
            >
            > With regards to your first point, one cannot accept the premise that if one believes something to be correct then any actions taken from that idea are permissable. The invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union was contrary to international law, and the note you refer to was but a pretext to that invasion. And even if it were true in 1939, it most certainly was not true in 1941 when the USSR and Poland DID have diplomatic relations. The fact that I am here to write this today is testment to the fact that Stalin DID recognise the Sikorski government.Even in 1943 when Moscow broke off dipllomatic relations with the Polish Government, there was still only one legal Polish government... the one in London. Stalin had no right to comment on any decisions or actions taken by that government in regards to its soldiers.
            >
            > Having said that, do not get me wrong. I have no particular problem with Berling or the creation of the Berling Army and as I said previously I hope I would have had the courage to do the same, but let us not pretend that his actions were in conformity with Polish law. They were not, but history is full of examples of well meaning actions taken by people whose actions were taken with the best intentions, but were in fact treason. The Founding Fathers of the USA is the example that springs to mind. I would not equate Berling with Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, but the analogy stands.
            >
            > Everything you say about Berling may well be true, but let us not pretend it was anything other that what it was. If he had fallen into the hands of the London Poles he would have been shot. He did not and the communists put up a statue to him.
            >
            > You quote the Bible, I'll quote Sir John Harrington:
            >
            > Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
            > Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
            >
            > Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
            >
            > --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> , Stanislaw Zwierzynski <zwierzinski1957@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Dear Mark
            > >
            > > You are very good in terms of international law, explained difference between Anders and Berling, and I'm sitting in a warm apartment after 70 years, agree with you.
            > > Berling (in terms of government Sikorski and Anders) was a traitor.
            > >
            > > But September 17, 1939, Ambassador of Poland in Moscow was presented a note of the USSR (monstrous indeed, but not the point) that a country such as Poland in terms of the USSR (Stalin) is no more. So from the point of view of Stalin  Sikorski government was illegitimate, and then it had no right to label - a traitor or a hero.
            > >
            > > And the Soviet Union consistently adhered to this idea.
            > >
            > > Stalin in 1943, has already felt like a winner - a radical turn in the war has already occurred (Kursk Duga). Stalin wanted to create a vassal socialist Poland - he needed a mechanism of local government, a compliant government. Berling was very necessary advice.
            > > But Berling did much to make many Poles from camps, where they were in 1939 - they could disappear there. Studies show that 5 years at hard labor camp few people lived, 2-3 years - much more.
            > >
            > > It is known that, when formed Anders Army, NKVD redoubled its efforts on processing of Polish prisoners of war. Certainly much has been recruited or brainwashed. Berling was one of them. Do not forget that not all was well in Poland, 1920-39 years., had a very strong social stratification of people. All this played out that some of officers and soldiers sailed with Anders. But of course, majority of military joining to army Berling was only one way out of hell. The fact is that in 1943-44 again faced new wave of terror, and Poles who were released under an amnesty in August 1941, and not arrived to armies, Â were back in Gulag camps.
            > >
            > > So I stand by my opinion - I will not name Berling as traitor. The fact that he was a conformist - yes. But the fact that Poland was reborn thanks to him, even as a vassal of socialist Soviet Union, too, no doubt. In the late 40's and early 50's in Poland reigned extraordinary growth, both in spirit and in manufacturing. Rose from the ruins of Warsaw and others cities.
            > > Berling certainly loved his country, and did much for her, at least not less than Anders.
            > > But here's what the price - it is only God knows. We do not know whether his tortured agony.
            > >
            > > According to their works ye shall know them. From the point of view of the biblical wisdom, Anders and Berling and not traitors, but worthy children of Poles.
            > >
            > > Stan.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ________________________________
            > > From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@>
            > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
            > > Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 6:23 PM
            > > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
            > >
            > >
            > > Â
            > > Dear Group,
            > >
            > > Poles in the Red Army… how many? I think you will find that there were not that many Poles (from the Kresy) fighting in the Red Army from the early conscriptions of 1939/40. As has been said previously, the Poles were not trusted… quite rightly… how would they expect the Poles to fight with any enthusiasm for an army that invaded their country? The Poles who were in military units were very quickly removed to the rear to serve in the so called "Labour front". Later many Poles were conscripted to Construction Battalions to build front-line fortifications. Most of the Poles who were conscripted did not actually fight; they were a source or semi-slave labour used to support the war-effort. The "how many" remains an open question.
            > >
            > > Poles in the red Army… treason? A controversial issue. I would argue that a case could be made that some Poles who volunteered for the Polish 1st Army in the East were traitors. My reasoning, being in line with Anna's post 53177, which is why Berling was considered a traitor. It was a question of choice. Any Pole who was in the Soviet Union, of course they would join. It was quite obviously a question of survival and no one could blame them. Poles who were conscripted â€" again, no choice. I am talking about the many Poles who volunteered… were they traitors? By definition of the Polish constitution they were. It is not an argument I would put forward with any enthusiasm, but the fact remains that they volunteered for an army serving another power. The same argument was used by the Warsaw Poles to remove the citizenship of a number of senior Polish officers after the war when they joined the Polish Resettlement Corps. The PRC was an organ of the
            > > British Government â€" unlike the Polish Army under British Command which remained under the legitimate Polish Government (albeit in exile). Irony was not the strong point of the Warsaw Poles… pot, kettle and black.
            > >
            > > This "treason", I would argue, could only be counted from the time the Polish 1st Army crossed the Polish Border, and until the Polish government in Warsaw became the de jure Polish government… and that in itself is another controversial issue. As I said previously, it is not something I would push because I would like to think that if I were there at the time I would have had the courage to join the fight against fascism, but from a legal point of view, the case could be made… but I'm not sure I would want to make it.
            > >
            > > As to General Anders being a traitor… Stan's last post… how? OK, I accept that from Ander's "point of view" Berling was a traitor… except that it wasn't a point of view… it was a point of law. Polish law did not/does not allow a serving soldier to desert his post and join the army of another country. To so do is treason. Stalin's point of view of Anders is hardly relevant here either. Anders was a soldier under direct command of the Polish Government, he may be guilty of many things, but he was a good soldier who did as he was told â€" usually. Even if Stalin had given him a direct order he would have been within his rights to refuse as he was not under the command of Stalin. Had Sikorski said "take your men and fight in the East", and had Anders said "NO", that would have been a different matter. I'm not sure keeping Stalin happy was top of Ander's "to do" list. I can see no circumstances that would allow us to call Anders a traitor. With the
            > > case of Berling, treason, even if done with the best will in the world, and with the effect of saving lives, is still treason. It is not a matter of perspective or opinion; it is a matter of law.
            > >
            > > Most countries still have laws that prevent citizens from joining foreign armies during war time, more so being officers in foreign armies... especially if that country is hostile to the first.
            > >
            > > Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
            > >
            >
          • LenardaSzymczak
            Anna, thank you, and yes I did get sensitive, imagining a full on brawl, but as you pointed out that during all this time the exchange has been amicable and
            Message 5 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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              Anna, thank you, and yes I did get sensitive, imagining a full on brawl, but as you pointed out that during all this time the exchange has been amicable and intellectual.  Being first generation of a survivor and finding my families true identity through the wonderful KS group, perhaps I am overprotective and sensitive, as I am sure there are other members out there the same as me and I did not wish them hurt or retreating from their painful journey of discovery about their families. But truth is truth and at times it hurts.

               

              Warmest regards,

              Lenarda, Australia

               

              From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of annapacewicz
              Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 8:03 AM
              To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)

               

               

              Lendarda, I understand that this is a sensitive issue. I believe that in trying to understand what happened to our families who were conscripted into the Red Army, these are natural avenues that fall-out of that discussion and search for truth. The question of "traitor" was quoted by General Anders and as Mark pointed out, applies only to Berling in a LEGAL sense, and not to our own men who had no choice in the matter. My own uncle fought under Soviet command and I don't think that anybody is judging him, or any of our soldiers, who had to do the same. I think that the points of view have been exchanged amicably and intellectually and without personal slander. But I'm sorry if the exchanges have distressed you.
              I suggest that any further comments regarding Berling maybe started under a new thread?

              With very best regards
              Anna Pacewicz
              Sydney Australia


              --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "LenardaSzymczak" <szymczak01@...> wrote:
              >
              > Enough of the debate of Treason or Traitor. Did anyone notice (DO NOT DEBATE) we are here to research our families and not be politicians. It is bad enough with our families being caught on both sides of the fence, but we do not wish to discuss their guilt or innocence, only what happened to them and why and find them. these people are members of family to KS group, living breathing people, who were caught up in the horrors and war and tried to survive, through no fault of their own. We do not judge them, we only wish to find them and in doing this we have to look at both sides of the fence. These debates are detracting from true research for our families. I only put up the post because little was known about Berlinga Army and its movements and some of us, do have family who were conscripted into the Red Army. My Uncle for one, he had no choice. We all wish the war was different, but it was not and now we have the painful task of locating loved ones lost. Let’s get back to basics and true research for OUR FAMILY, THE KRESY FAMILIES, and LOVED ONES LOST.
              >
              >
              >
              > I am not a moderator, only very angry at the time lost and wasted in debates of RIGHT AND WRONG. If there was an Earthquake, would we stand there and debate was it the fault of God, or bad building code, or the Planet shifting. No, most certainly not, we would be focused on finding the survivors of the Earthquake and burying the dead and then remembering them with HONOUR. Right now, we should focus on research of our loved ones lost and their journey and miracles still happen, finding living relatives.
              >
              >
              >
              > Regards,
              >
              > Lenarda, Australia
              >
              >
              >
              > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark and Oyun
              > Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 4:16 AM
              > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Dear Stan,
              >
              > With regards to your first point, one cannot accept the premise that if one believes something to be correct then any actions taken from that idea are permissable. The invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union was contrary to international law, and the note you refer to was but a pretext to that invasion. And even if it were true in 1939, it most certainly was not true in 1941 when the USSR and Poland DID have diplomatic relations. The fact that I am here to write this today is testment to the fact that Stalin DID recognise the Sikorski government.Even in 1943 when Moscow broke off dipllomatic relations with the Polish Government, there was still only one legal Polish government... the one in London. Stalin had no right to comment on any decisions or actions taken by that government in regards to its soldiers.
              >
              > Having said that, do not get me wrong. I have no particular problem with Berling or the creation of the Berling Army and as I said previously I hope I would have had the courage to do the same, but let us not pretend that his actions were in conformity with Polish law. They were not, but history is full of examples of well meaning actions taken by people whose actions were taken with the best intentions, but were in fact treason. The Founding Fathers of the USA is the example that springs to mind. I would not equate Berling with Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, but the analogy stands.
              >
              > Everything you say about Berling may well be true, but let us not pretend it was anything other that what it was. If he had fallen into the hands of the London Poles he would have been shot. He did not and the communists put up a statue to him.
              >
              > You quote the Bible, I'll quote Sir John Harrington:
              >
              > Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
              > Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
              >
              > Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
              >
              > --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> , Stanislaw Zwierzynski <zwierzinski1957@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Dear Mark
              > >
              > > You are very good in terms of international law, explained difference between Anders and Berling, and I'm sitting in a warm apartment after 70 years, agree with you.
              > > Berling (in terms of government Sikorski and Anders) was a traitor.
              > >
              > > But September 17, 1939, Ambassador of Poland in Moscow was presented a note of the USSR (monstrous indeed, but not the point) that a country such as Poland in terms of the USSR (Stalin) is no more. So from the point of view of Stalin  Sikorski government was illegitimate, and then it had no right to label - a traitor or a hero.
              > >
              > > And the Soviet Union consistently adhered to this idea.
              > >
              > > Stalin in 1943, has already felt like a winner - a radical turn in the war has already occurred (Kursk Duga). Stalin wanted to create a vassal socialist Poland - he needed a mechanism of local government, a compliant government. Berling was very necessary advice.
              > > But Berling did much to make many Poles from camps, where they were in 1939 - they could disappear there. Studies show that 5 years at hard labor camp few people lived, 2-3 years - much more.
              > >
              > > It is known that, when formed Anders Army, NKVD redoubled its efforts on processing of Polish prisoners of war. Certainly much has been recruited or brainwashed. Berling was one of them. Do not forget that not all was well in Poland, 1920-39 years., had a very strong social stratification of people. All this played out that some of officers and soldiers sailed with Anders. But of course, majority of military joining to army Berling was only one way out of hell. The fact is that in 1943-44 again faced new wave of terror, and Poles who were released under an amnesty in August 1941, and not arrived to armies, Â were back in Gulag camps.
              > >
              > > So I stand by my opinion - I will not name Berling as traitor. The fact that he was a conformist - yes. But the fact that Poland was reborn thanks to him, even as a vassal of socialist Soviet Union, too, no doubt. In the late 40's and early 50's in Poland reigned extraordinary growth, both in spirit and in manufacturing. Rose from the ruins of Warsaw and others cities.
              > > Berling certainly loved his country, and did much for her, at least not less than Anders.
              > > But here's what the price - it is only God knows. We do not know whether his tortured agony.
              > >
              > > According to their works ye shall know them. From the point of view of the biblical wisdom, Anders and Berling and not traitors, but worthy children of Poles.
              > >
              > > Stan.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ________________________________
              > > From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@>
              > > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
              > > Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 6:23 PM
              > > Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
              > >
              > >
              > > Â
              > > Dear Group,
              > >
              > > Poles in the Red Army… how many? I think you will find that there were not that many Poles (from the Kresy) fighting in the Red Army from the early conscriptions of 1939/40. As has been said previously, the Poles were not trusted… quite rightly… how would they expect the Poles to fight with any enthusiasm for an army that invaded their country? The Poles who were in military units were very quickly removed to the rear to serve in the so called "Labour front". Later many Poles were conscripted to Construction Battalions to build front-line fortifications. Most of the Poles who were conscripted did not actually fight; they were a source or semi-slave labour used to support the war-effort. The "how many" remains an open question.
              > >
              > > Poles in the red Army… treason? A controversial issue. I would argue that a case could be made that some Poles who volunteered for the Polish 1st Army in the East were traitors. My reasoning, being in line with Anna's post 53177, which is why Berling was considered a traitor. It was a question of choice. Any Pole who was in the Soviet Union, of course they would join. It was quite obviously a question of survival and no one could blame them. Poles who were conscripted â€" again, no choice. I am talking about the many Poles who volunteered… were they traitors? By definition of the Polish constitution they were. It is not an argument I would put forward with any enthusiasm, but the fact remains that they volunteered for an army serving another power. The same argument was used by the Warsaw Poles to remove the citizenship of a number of senior Polish officers after the war when they joined the Polish Resettlement Corps. The PRC was an organ of the
              > > British Government â€" unlike the Polish Army under British Command which remained under the legitimate Polish Government (albeit in exile). Irony was not the strong point of the Warsaw Poles… pot, kettle and black.
              > >
              > > This "treason", I would argue, could only be counted from the time the Polish 1st Army crossed the Polish Border, and until the Polish government in Warsaw became the de jure Polish government… and that in itself is another controversial issue. As I said previously, it is not something I would push because I would like to think that if I were there at the time I would have had the courage to join the fight against fascism, but from a legal point of view, the case could be made… but I'm not sure I would want to make it.
              > >
              > > As to General Anders being a traitor… Stan's last post… how? OK, I accept that from Ander's "point of view" Berling was a traitor… except that it wasn't a point of view… it was a point of law. Polish law did not/does not allow a serving soldier to desert his post and join the army of another country. To so do is treason. Stalin's point of view of Anders is hardly relevant here either. Anders was a soldier under direct command of the Polish Government, he may be guilty of many things, but he was a good soldier who did as he was told â€" usually. Even if Stalin had given him a direct order he would have been within his rights to refuse as he was not under the command of Stalin. Had Sikorski said "take your men and fight in the East", and had Anders said "NO", that would have been a different matter. I'm not sure keeping Stalin happy was top of Ander's "to do" list. I can see no circumstances that would allow us to call Anders a traitor. With the
              > > case of Berling, treason, even if done with the best will in the world, and with the effect of saving lives, is still treason. It is not a matter of perspective or opinion; it is a matter of law.
              > >
              > > Most countries still have laws that prevent citizens from joining foreign armies during war time, more so being officers in foreign armies... especially if that country is hostile to the first.
              > >
              > > Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
              > >
              >

            • Mark and Oyun
              Dear Lenarda, No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to
              Message 6 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                Dear Lenarda,

                No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

                Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
              • LenardaSzymczak
                Mark, I thank you also and understand that the truth is unpalatable and painful, but truth is truth (it really hurts and is painful at times) and the fact that
                Message 7 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                  Mark, I thank you also and understand that the truth is unpalatable and painful, but truth is truth (it really hurts and is painful at times) and the fact that we survived is a miracle in itself.  As a new person, I made many mistakes in past posts and started heated debates; therefore, I did not wish to be guilty of again starting disharmony and fighting within group.

                   

                  I agree that subjects need to be discussed, otherwise how do we learn.  It is education and understanding that makes a better future.  many of us have so much to question, so much research to do, wishing that in the past we had asked these questions, while our family was alive, but unknown to us, because we were too young, our parents were protecting us or they, themselves were so traumatised by the horrors that they did not wish to remember or speak and wanted their children to grown up, as normal happy kids, without war and its memories of horror.

                   

                  I commend you, Mark, Stan and Anna for the high intellectual discussion, without lowering the values of KS or being derogatory to its members, always respectful, non judgemental, but truthful.  Also, once a subject is out in the open, it is no longer Taboo or that Secret Topic. The more we learn, the more the world learns. It appears that our Group is the Vanguard of Truth.

                   

                  We all have our own way of seeing life, but in group try to learn to see through another’s’ eyes, this is difficult and can only be achieved through discussion of many subjects.  I myself have this fault, as is shown by my sensitivity, but I do understand and have learned that I need to evolve more and all discussion (appropriate discussion) is welcome and I learn through personal choice, as no one compels or forces us to read the posts.   Again I have acquired more knowledge and thank you all for the intellectual, respectful way in which this sensitive, controversial subject is being discussed.

                   

                  Warmest regards

                  Lenarda, Australia

                   

                   

                  From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark and Oyun
                  Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 8:50 AM
                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)

                   

                   

                  Dear Lenarda,

                  No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

                  Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

                • Mark
                  Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset? I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn. Stan s point of view
                  Message 8 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                    Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset?
                    I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn.
                    Stan's point of view is important and I dont mind his 'edginess', and I wish I could attend a lecture by Mark O.
                    On the point of traitor, I have only casual interest in Berling's legal status. Guys functioning at that level marched to a different drummer. 
                    But with respect to the polish people at the time, all things considered, how in the world could any of them be viewed a traitor?
                    My uncle is conscripted in 1943, 3 years after the Nazis attacked. The bolshies hadnt declared war and were also at war with nazis at the time. Katyn was known but who knew who did it at the time. Could you believe anything?
                    While I havent confirmed his fate, it seems he joined an army run by russians; that might have seemed like a good idea to me at the time. His brother had been killed at Katyn, his nephew went to Anders, what should he have done?
                    I became fascinated in all this and had an interest in exonerating my grandfather from the allegations against him that lead to Katyn, and now do I have to ask the question if his brother was a traitor?
                     
                    Mark T.
                    Canada
                    From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
                    To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 4:49:35 PM
                    Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)
                     
                    Dear Lenarda,

                    No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

                    Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

                  • LenardaSzymczak
                    How can anyone stay upset with this marvellous group? There is such a diversity of characters, knowledge and intelligence,(intelligence does not have to be
                    Message 9 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                      How can anyone stay upset with this marvellous group?  There is such a diversity of characters, knowledge and intelligence,(intelligence does not have to be Academic, there are many with life intelligence) all of which, when applied correctly only enhances and strengthens Group.   Never a dull moment and when we think we are educated enough, there is more to learn.

                      At our best and this is bragging, we could teach the Parliaments of the world how to co-operate with each other and achieve results. 

                      We all have our own painful journey and walk as individuals, but know that we are supported and understood and respected, corrected or enlightened in a nice way, when we slip, by group.  We are unique.

                      Keep smiling; I do believe that we as a group have something very special.  Truth is truth, even when it hurts, but please remember, we are not the only ones hurting, as there are others in group feeling very much the same way or much worse.

                      Only with education, knowledge and truth, we learn, heal, hopefully become better people ourselves, stronger, are believable with facts and eyewitness accounts.

                      We are the secret, which became the whisper, and then the shout, now the roar in a good way and now the world is listening to us and perhaps will be a better place for our children to live.

                      Turning negative to positive, as all basic elements and forces, if used correctly, can be very beneficial and productive.

                      If we do not tell the truth in history, then who will? As of now very few survivors are left, only their children and children’s children, left to carry the legacy.

                      This group is doing wonderful work, progressing and opening up more doors every day.  Listening and researching, is learning, understanding and hopefully improving our immediate environment, ourselves, our families and those around us.

                        SO PROUD TO BE ONE WITH ALL OF YOU AND OF KS GROUP.

                      Warmest regards,

                      Lenarda, Australia

                       

                      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark
                      Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 12:05 PM
                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)

                       

                       

                      Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset?

                      I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn.

                      Stan's point of view is important and I dont mind his 'edginess', and I wish I could attend a lecture by Mark O.

                      On the point of traitor, I have only casual interest in Berling's legal status. Guys functioning at that level marched to a different drummer. 

                      But with respect to the polish people at the time, all things considered, how in the world could any of them be viewed a traitor?

                      My uncle is conscripted in 1943, 3 years after the Nazis attacked. The bolshies hadnt declared war and were also at war with nazis at the time. Katyn was known but who knew who did it at the time. Could you believe anything?

                      While I havent confirmed his fate, it seems he joined an army run by russians; that might have seemed like a good idea to me at the time. His brother had been killed at Katyn, his nephew went to Anders, what should he have done?

                      I became fascinated in all this and had an interest in exonerating my grandfather from the allegations against him that lead to Katyn, and now do I have to ask the question if his brother was a traitor?

                       

                      Mark T.
                      Canada

                      From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
                      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 4:49:35 PM
                      Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads) (do not debate)

                       

                      Dear Lenarda,

                      No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

                      Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

                    • Basia
                      Even with all our posts we are so very different.(facts, truths, emotions, hurts, cultural backgrounds and our personal roots of loss). I personally love being
                      Message 10 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                        Even with all our posts we are so very different.(facts, truths, emotions, hurts, cultural backgrounds and our personal roots of loss).
                         I personally love being part of the marvellous debates.(not historically, but as an observer) I feel I am getting so many historical, patriotic and emotional aspects of the situation.
                        I suspect I am finding more "truth" and reality than reading one person's perspective, as is often the case when reading a book – no matter how harrowing the topic.
                        I agree with your thoughts below Mark T. and Mark O. you help me understand the legality of situations, but I also hear your human touch. 
                        Stan I love your posts, often they are the start of debates which perhaps may not otherwise be brought - 
                        Lenarda I read an respect your every post – and am so grateful for all the research.
                        I am richer for the Kresy Siberia experience
                        Basia Zielinska (Sydney)


                        From: Mark <turkiewiczm@...>
                        Reply-To: <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                        Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 17:05:10 -0800 (PST)
                        To: "Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com" <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                        Subject: {Disarmed} Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)

                         

                        Can I say that I am most happy when Lenarda is not upset?
                        I also want to say that the debate is outstanding to me, really helps me learn.
                        Stan's point of view is important and I dont mind his 'edginess', and I wish I could attend a lecture by Mark O.
                        On the point of traitor, I have only casual interest in Berling's legal status. Guys functioning at that level marched to a different drummer. 
                        But with respect to the polish people at the time, all things considered, how in the world could any of them be viewed a traitor?
                        My uncle is conscripted in 1943, 3 years after the Nazis attacked. The bolshies hadnt declared war and were also at war with nazis at the time. Katyn was known but who knew who did it at the time. Could you believe anything?
                        While I havent confirmed his fate, it seems he joined an army run by russians; that might have seemed like a good idea to me at the time. His brother had been killed at Katyn, his nephew went to Anders, what should he have done?
                        I became fascinated in all this and had an interest in exonerating my grandfather from the allegations against him that lead to Katyn, and now do I have to ask the question if his brother was a traitor?
                         
                        Mark T.
                        Canada
                        From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
                        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 4:49:35 PM
                        Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)(do not debate)
                         
                        Dear Lenarda,

                        No offence intended, but sometimes it is necessary to explore a few of the more unpalatable events that happened in our history. I would like to thank Anna and echo her words in that the point was only from a LEGAL point of view. I would not have the temerity to criticize the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Polish Army who suffered and died for the good of Poland and to defeat Naziism. I hope that the reader will see from my posts that I am neither critical nor judgmental, nor do I claim to be a moralist. I prefer to deal with facts dispassionately , albeit from my own rather peculiar viewpoint.

                        Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

                      • Eva Dryanski
                        Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the
                        Message 11 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                          Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship. 
                          My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders.
                          My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate.
                          After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction. 
                          Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react.
                          Regards,

                          Ewa D., Nevada
                        • Mark
                          Great story Exa. I hope this takes the word treason out of the discussion of some of our families.   Mark T. Canada ________________________________ From: Eva
                          Message 12 of 30 , Nov 18, 2012
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                            Great story Exa.
                            I hope this takes the word treason out of the discussion of some of our families.
                             
                             
                            Mark T.
                            Canada
                            From: Eva Dryanski <ebard55@...>
                            To: "Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com" <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:21:09 PM
                            Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)
                             
                            Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship.  My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders. My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate. After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction.  Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react. Regards, Ewa D., Nevada
                          • Mark and Oyun
                            Dear Hania, OK, so I struck out with the 4999. From 1945 every major unit in the 1st and 2nd Polish Army was given a four digit number. For example: 1
                            Message 13 of 30 , Nov 19, 2012
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                              Dear Hania,

                              OK, so I struck out with the 4999. From 1945 every major unit in the 1st and 2nd Polish Army was given a four digit number. For example:

                              1 Warszawska Dywizja Piechoty im. Tadeusza Kosciuszko – JW. 2678
                              1 Praski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2415
                              2 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2425
                              3 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2671

                              Most of the larger units are listed here:

                              http://www.jednostki-wojskowe.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=137&Itemid=26

                              I cannot find anything with 4999. I'm sure the information is out there, but not on the web, or at least not without searching through many many links. There are a number of Polish military blogs that might give you help, as might the National Army Muzeum in Warsaw.I have some feelers out and if I get anything, I'll get back to you.

                              I am informed that pre-1945 they used a 5 digit sytem, which correspornded to the Red Army Field Postal Sytem. The British also use the BFPO [British Forces Post Office]system of assigning numbers to help postal traffic to military units.

                              Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
                            • Anne Kaczanowski
                              I checked and the closest I came to was 4999 Sczeczin.  They used this number alot in regards to Sczeczin.  Perhaps it is some postal thing.   After my
                              Message 14 of 30 , Nov 19, 2012
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                                I checked and the closest I came to was 4999 Sczeczin.  They used this number alot in regards to Sczeczin.  Perhaps it is some postal thing.   After my uncle got out of the hospital and found out his family got resettled in Goleniow, he got a job in the tax department in Sczeczin.  Now whether this number was printed on his registration later on and had something to do with this...I don't know...but it definitely says 4999 Infantry at the bottom of the registration. Thanks for checking for me.
                                 
                                hania

                                From: Mark and Oyun <mark_oyun@...>
                                To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 6:48:10 AM
                                Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red ....4999
                                 
                                Dear Hania,

                                OK, so I struck out with the 4999. From 1945 every major unit in the 1st and 2nd Polish Army was given a four digit number. For example:

                                1 Warszawska Dywizja Piechoty im. Tadeusza Kosciuszko – JW. 2678
                                1 Praski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2415
                                2 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2425
                                3 Berlinski Pulk Piechoty – JW. 2671

                                Most of the larger units are listed here:

                                http://www.jednostki-wojskowe.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=137&Itemid=26

                                I cannot find anything with 4999. I'm sure the information is out there, but not on the web, or at least not without searching through many many links. There are a number of Polish military blogs that might give you help, as might the National Army Muzeum in Warsaw.I have some feelers out and if I get anything, I'll get back to you.

                                I am informed that pre-1945 they used a 5 digit sytem, which correspornded to the Red Army Field Postal Sytem. The British also use the BFPO [British Forces Post Office]system of assigning numbers to help postal traffic to military units.

                                Best regards, Mark Ostrowski

                              • LenardaSzymczak
                                Ewa, I hear you loud and clear and understand. In Australia, the City of Adelaide, 1980, a Polish female friend was telling me of a similar experience and
                                Message 15 of 30 , Nov 19, 2012
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                                  Ewa, I hear you loud and clear and understand.

                                  In Australia, the City of Adelaide,  1980, a Polish female friend was telling me of a similar experience and that she travelled on two Passports, Polish and Australian. 

                                  She went back home to visit relatives in Poland and later travelled to Lwow. The train was stopped at the border and the guards came around checking the Passports and she showed them her Polish Passport, immediately they told her she was sitting in the wrong part of the train and when she refused to move and insulted the guards for being arrogant etc.  she was to be arrested and taken off the train.  She wanted to prove a point, but this would have delayed her journey.  Quick thinking and reluctantly, she produced her Australian Passport, was allowed to stay, got an apology and was given a stern word about having respect for authority.  After this she had to travel on her Australian Passport for safety and was treated totally different to the normal Polish population, which she hated.  In her words, after growing up in Australia post WWII and her mother was a doctor. “I am Polish, born on Polish soil, why cannot I travel as a Polish Citizen, but have to travel as a Tourist, an Alien”.

                                  Warmest regards

                                  Lenarda, Australia



                                   

                                  From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eva Dryanski
                                  Sent: Monday, 19 November, 2012 2:21 PM
                                  To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)

                                   

                                   

                                  Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship. 
                                  My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders.
                                  My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate.
                                  After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction. 
                                  Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react.
                                  Regards,

                                  Ewa D., Nevada

                                • Basia
                                  Thank you for the wonderful post Ewa. Basia Zielinska (Sydney) From: Eva Dryanski Reply-To: Date: Sun,
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Nov 20, 2012
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                                    Thank you for the wonderful post Ewa.
                                    Basia Zielinska (Sydney)


                                    From: Eva Dryanski <ebard55@...>
                                    Reply-To: <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 19:21:09 -0800 (PST)
                                    To: "Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com" <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Subject: {Disarmed} [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Re: Polish soldiers in Red Army (various threads)

                                     

                                    Just a few comments and family history.  Four months after the last evacuation the Soviets closed Polish welfare agencies on Soviet soil.  March, 1943 the hundreds of thousands of Poles left in the Soviet Union were forced to accept Soviet citizenship. 
                                    My father, mother and surviving brother left in the second evacuation.  My father served with General Anders.
                                    My father's older sister, husband and son could not travel in time to evacuate.  She was critically ill and their son had died.  By the end of 1943 they joined Berling's Army.   I went to Poland for the 1st. time in the 1960's and stayed with them in Warsaw.  During that time in Poland when you were a foreign visitor you had to go to the police station, show your visa and passport and state were you were residing.  I went and was sent to a room.  Two policemen were there.  One left and came back with about a foot long batch of folders.  He then asked me why my father had left Poland illegally.  To understand my answer I must explain that I had spent my teenage years in the United States.  I looked at him and in a bitter, haughty voice said because your friends took my family, shoved them in a cattle car and sent them to Siberia.  The silence was profound and after a few minutes I figured out what I had just said would get me into serious trouble.  With a smile that did not match the look in the policeman's eyes I was told that I was lucky that I was pretty, very young and had an American passport.  I went back to my aunt's apartment and told her what I had said.  After collapsing on the sofa and quite a few (moj boze) she told me that if a Pole in Poland had said that they would have been imprisoned.  Every time the story was repeated, I was told I that I was truly fortunate.
                                    After the official end of World War II, there was a clandestine civil war in Poland, as the remnants of the Home Army fought the Polish Communists and Russians for control of the country.  My father's oldest brother, who was a lawyer before the war, was moved from Lwow to Szczecin with his family after the war.  He was given a government position, and later shot to death in his office by an opposing faction. 
                                    Therein lies the quandary: What constitutes treason?  Was my father a traitor for not returning to Poland after the war?  Were my aunt and uncle traitors for joining Berling's army in order to escape the gulags?  Was my other uncle a traitor for accepting a government position after the war?  I would not judge them, and I hope that no one else would.  You need to be put in certain positions before you can say how you will react.
                                    Regards,

                                    Ewa D., Nevada

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