Deportations from East Poland

Deportations from East Poland

Resulting from the 4th Partition of Poland, which was legalized by the signing of the УRibbentrop-Molotov-Pact,У the eastern voivodships of the Republic of Poland came under Soviet occupation: Stanislavsk, Tarnopol, Lvov, Polesk, Volhynsk, Vilensk, Bialystok and Novogrodsk, i.e. 8 out of 16 voivodships.

We suppose that in the years 1940-1941 there were four deportations of Polish citizens from territories situated in these voivodships; however, in view of the fact that deportations from the voivodships of Bialystok and Vilensk in the year 1941 started one month later than those from the southern areas of the occupied zones, we have reason for dividing the deportations into five waves and consider this one as being the fifth.

The date for the first deportation was February 10, 1940. It hit "legionaries" (former warriors of Piłsudski's legions, who had afterwards received allotments) and State employees with their families, among them many forestry workers, but also a huge number of ordinary farmers, Poles as well as Ukrainians. Parts of this stream, which came to our region in March of 1940, were widely scattered. After having arrived in Krasnoyarsk, they literally dispersed deportees from one transport to all ends of the region. Parts of them were taken to the district of Yartsevo, some to the Mana River (Vilistoye), others to the timber factory in Maklakovo, to the gold mines in the Udereysk and North-Yenissey districts (Yelenka, Ayakhta and others) or to the Snamensk glassworks near Krasnoyarsk, etc., etc.

According to the data available to us this stream of exiles came to our region exclusively from the southern voivodships (Lvov, Stanislavsk and Tarnopol). We do not have of any information concerning deportees from other regions in Poland.

The second rank, in terms of figures, is taken by the deportation of fugitives (mainly Jews) in April 1940. A particularly great number of fugitives had accumulated in Lvov at that time. Among them were not only fugitives from the western areas of Poland but also from Czechoslovakia and Austria. At first the Soviet members of the occupation forces suggested the fugitives "voluntarily" go to Siberia or Kazakhstan, but when only very few accepted, all of them were taken there under escort. We have mostly indirect information from various sources about deportees that came to our region with this stream. There were such exiles in Khakassia and in Tasseyevo. On the lists issued on the occasion of the repatriation transports from Abakan and Minusinsk, Jewish families represent 20% to 25% of those named.

We assume that the third deportation, in June 1940, mainly hit the families of officers and reservists who had been taken prisoners by the Soviets and were murdered by Communist cannibals in May 1940. This deportation, obviously, comprised fewer exiles than the previous ones. With this stream exiles from the voivodship of Novogrodsk (possibly families of prisoners of war were among them; however, we do not know of any such information) came to our region. Some of them were unloaded in Achinsk and taken to kolkhozes, others were transported further to Abakan from where they were sent to the villages in the district of Minusinsk.

The forth deportation wave, as it seems, mainly hit the southern voivodships early in May 1941. We have reason to presume that its ethnic structure predominantly consisted of Ukrainians. But there were also Poles and Jews. The stream that flooded to our region partly came from the voivodships of Stanislavsk and Volhynsk. According to the data available to us these exiles were primarily transferred to places with timber processing industries: the districts of Dauria, Bol'shemurta and Kazachinskoye.

Finally, late in June 1941, the last of these deportations hit the voivodships of Białystok, Novogrodsk and, obviously, Polesk, as well. The last transports of exiles headed for the east under bombing. Some of the exiles were detrained in Khakassia and sent to the sheep-breeding sovkhozes (state farms) in the steppes and foothill areas. Others were forced to get off the train in Kansk, from which they were taken to the surrounding districts (some of them to the district of Tasseyevo).

All these exiles should have been released in accordance with an "amnesty" granted to all Polish citizens in September 1941. In fact, only a few people who lived in exile in places near bigger towns were set free. When they learned about the formation of the Polish army, many of them left for Kazakhstan and Middle Asia, from which they were later evacuated with the army to Iran. Others departed to the Volga Region or the Altay. The majority of the exiled Polish citizens only found a way out of exile in 1943-1944. Many from Yenisseysk and Maklakovo moved over to Abakan, and from the Udereysk district to the Donets-Basin (Donetsk mining region).

And only in the spring of 1946 were almost all Polish citizens (ethnic Poles and Jews) who had still remained in Russia released and "repatriated" to Poland in an organized manner. Many Ukrainians and Belorussians also were able to leave for Poland, although the Soviet regime did not accept the validity of their foreign citizenship. The remaining Ukrainians and Belorussians returned to their native lands. 


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