In this paragraph we will carefully discuss the deportations of foreign citizens from territories occupied by the Russians at the beginning of World War II (1939-1940), more precisely at the time when the USSR started participating in this war on the side of the Nazi Germans.
Mass deportations to our region hit citizens from the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) but also citizens from the Republic of Poland, including fugitives from the central and western voivodships (provinces), mainly Jews, and affected fugitives from Czechoslovakia and even Austria (mainly Jews, as well), who had sought refuge in Poland from the Nazi terror.
We expressly point out that the deportations of foreign citizens were not deportations based on indications concerning nationality. Even today people commit a serious but widespread error when talking about the “Polish deportations,” “Latvian deportations,” etc. It is sufficient to mention that in almost all these streams there were quite a number of ethnic Russians. The people who were hit by these deportations became victims mainly because of their social indication and particularly because of their position in society.
The deportation of fugitives takes a separate place in this survey. However, with regard to its outward structure, it bears a strong resemblance to the deportations carried through for reasons of national indication, as this stream bascially consisted of only Jews. Paradoxically, the deportations of these fugitives have saved the lives of most of them.
In this section we will have a detailed look at the deportations of Polish citizens, limited to the period of 1940-1941. The reason for this limitation is the fact that early in 1946 all these exiles were repatriated in an organized manner. The streams of exiles that started from the occupied (annexed) parts of Poland during 1944-1952 are described in section 8.
We do not know of any direct nor indirect information on deportations to our region from the occupied zones in Romania (Bessarabia and Bukovina) or from East Prussia and countries of the Far East.