The Soviet Occupation of Poland 17.09.1939

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by v2, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    On September 17, 1939, at 2:15 a.m. the Polish Ambassador to the U.S.S.R., M. Waclaw Grzybowski, was summoned to the Soviet Foreign Office. On arriving at the Kremlin, he was received by M. Potemkin, who read him a Note to the effect that the Soviets regarded the Polish Government as disintegrated, and the Polish State as having in fact ceased to exist. All agreements concluded between the U.S.S.R. and Poland were in consequence declared to have ceased to operate. Poland bereft of leadership had become a suitable field for all manner of hazards and surprises constituting a threat to the U.S.S.R. Furthermore, the Soviet Government could not view with indifference the fate of the kindred Ukrainian and White Russian people living on Polish territory, and, in existing circumstances, left defenceless.

    Accordingly, the Soviet Government had ordered its troops to cross the Polish border and take under their protection the life and property of the population of Western Ukraine and Western White Russia. At the same time, the Soviet Government proposed to extricate the Polish people from the unfortunate war into which they were dragged by their unwise leaders, and enable them to live a peaceful life.

    There existed between Poland and the Soviet Republic a pact of non-aggression dated July 25,1932, which on May 5, 1934, was extended until December 31, 1945.

    Notwithstanding the strong misgivings aroused in all quarters by the new pact concluded on August 23, 1939, between the Soviets and Germany, in the first days of the war between Poland and Germany a general impression prevailed of a certain good will on the part of the Soviets towards Poland. On August 27 Izvestia published an interview with Marshal Vorosilov who stated that the new understanding with Germany would not prevent Russia from supplying raw materials and even war materials to Poland.

    Along the entire Russian border it had been noticed that the tone of Russian broadcasts was not at all unfriendly towards Poland, and on certain frontier stations - much to the amazement of those who were informed - special arrangements were being made in great haste in order to facilitate the transport of goods into Poland. At Molodeczno, it was rumoured, a large convoy of lorries had been rushed over the frontier by night in early September. The Polish Government certainly had difficulties in keeping in touch with its local representatives. Since September 5 it was constantly moving owing to German bombing. But complete tranquillity reigned in the Eastern Provinces of Poland. Mobilisation had taken place under normal conditions and perfectly smoothly; all public authorities were functioning without interruption.

    In the light of events it is unnecessary to stress the evident bad faith of the Soviets. The perfidy of Moscow's diplomatic language was vividly reminiscent of many similar documents of the 18th century, when Russia, with Berlin as chief accomplice, undermined the old monarchic Commonwealth of Poland.

    In any event, the entrance of the Russian troops was such a surprise, not only to the population but also to the civil and military authorities, that in many places it was thought that the Bolsheviks had entered Poland as allies against Nazi Germany. These doubts were, of course, very soon dispelled. In many places communist "fifth columns" made their appearance with accompanying incidents of violence and plunder. The more determined Polish commanders swerved eastwards, and a new phase of warfare began between the Carpathians and the Dzwina, which lasted another three weeks....

    photos: Institute of National Remembrance
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  3. spit5

    spit5 Member

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  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    :( A sad day in Polish history.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    :salute:

    To the brave Polish soldiers who fought hard against both the Germans and the Russians.

    A lot of people forget the treaty the Germans and the Russians signed about partitioning Poland. Russia was not the poor victom as many like to believe.
     

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  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    :salute: Poland...!
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Britain and france have a share in this. When Stalin went looking for a collective security arrangement to contain German agrression, he was redused by Britain (mostly) and also france, mostly on the basis that the Communist system was more a threat than nazi aggression. Most assessments at the time thought that the french and English would win the war, if it started in late 1939 or 1940, the allies expected the French to be on the offensive, with 50-60 Brit Divs supporting the,m and italy providing materiel to the allies. Germany was considered to be committing national hari kari, if she went to war, which ultimately she did, but not in the frame of reference anticipated by the allies at the time.

    Effectively, the bombasity of the western allies forced the russians into the unholy alliance
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    :salute: to all the Polish fighters who, although their home soil was being trampled, continued to fight with bravery and bravado. From the RAF Nos. 300 squadrons of the BoB to the paratroopers of Market Garden.

    :salute:
     
  9. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    By moving his troops to the Curzon Line in 1939, Stalin restored generally accepted, historical border established in 18th century between Russia and Poland.
    Although several skirmishes between Soviet and Polish troops, through pure misunderstanding, took place in September 1939, there was no point for polish soldiers to fight and die for something that is not in fact your "home soil" but rather a colony.
     
  10. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    totally agreed with herr adler, soviet union was so evil than germany. but the war was declared just against germany. f* hypocrisy or fear of big bear, you choose, but the fact is ussr was important to allies defeat germany later.

    people dont know today but when the germans advanced over ukraine, lithuania, belarus, and also russia they was received like liberators by local population. the only country wich really fought directly against soviet comunism was germany.

    but poland saw the horror of facism and comunism. 2 arrogant superpowers. thats the problem about ones decides the future of anothers. we learn history to remember and dont let it happen again anymore, but allways happens.
     
  11. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    The provinces of Volhynia (Wolyn), Polesie, Nowogrodek, and Wilno as well as Bialystok had been subjected to the Russian Empire for more than a century. But Lwow, Stanislawow and Tarnopol had seen the Russians only once, in 1914, and had never been under Russian rule: they had been annexed by Austria in the first partition of Poland in 1772.
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Poland had been subjected to superpower whims for hundreds of years. i dont know Polish history, but I do kow that they got stuck between napoleon and the Russians in the 1800s.

    Conflict between Poles and russians is centuries old, with one side then the other having the upper hand at various times.

    What sets the last war apart from all the others is the sheer enormity of the crimes committed against the Poles. Something like 5 million Poles perished in that war, with attrocities from both the germans and the Russians. The Poles as a people deserved better than what they got out of the war....
     
  13. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Lwow was originally a city of Kievan Rus back in 13th century inhabited by ethnic Ukrainians. Over the centuries of Polish rule its demographics changed but still, by 1939 Poles were an ethnic minority on those territories Stalin "occupied".
     
  14. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Most attrocities against Poles in the area were commited by ukrainian nationalists who fought against the Red Army and on many occasions collaborated with Nazies.

    What's interesting is that Russia didnt gain anything from Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Not a single square mile.
    Lithuveniaand Belarus almost doubled their territories and Ukraine added 25% to its pre-war lands. Now, they condemn Russia for the Pact and years of "occupation" but not in a hurry to return those lands back to Poland.
     
  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Where are you from Stasoid? Let me guess from Russia......judging by your posts.I think you should have gone to a nearest library to find out much more about the history of Poland, Lithuvenia, Belarus and Ukraina before you started posting here.The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact don't mention at all.

    I'll keep an eye on you mate.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Ya know, I just started reading this post and some of your other gems and you're throwing up some major commie bullsh!t here - I'm usually pretty open to people's opinions but you're on the border line of perpetuating some pretty bold statements that won't be tolerated by forum members who actually lost family members by the Soviet's hands. I suggest you tone down your rhetoric or your stay here will be short!!! I'm only going to tell you this ONCE!
     
  17. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    a few maps....

    Historical Maps of Poland
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Okay let me get this right. According to your history books, Russia just walked into Poland with a white flag. Did not fight the Polish, did not kill Polish civilians?

    :rolleyes:

    Let me guess they are still teaching this in the Soviet Union, oops, I mean Russia...

    To keep pretending that Russia was the innocent little bystander who did nothing wrong, is pretty naive and frankly very insulting to everyone.

    "The Soviet Union had ceased to recognise the Polish state at the start of the invasion. As a result, the two governments never officially declared war on each other. The Soviets therefore did not classify Polish military prisoners as prisoners of war but as rebels against the new legal government of Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia. The Soviets killed tens of thousands of Polish prisoners of war. Some, like General Józef Olszyna-Wilczyński, who was captured, interrogated and shot on 22 September, were executed during the campaign itself. On 24 September, the Soviets killed forty-two staff and patients of a Polish military hospital in the village of Grabowiec, near Zamość. The Soviets also executed all the Polish officers they captured after the Battle of Szack, on 28 September 1939.[36] Over 20,000 Polish military personnel and civilians perished in the Katyn massacre. About 300 Poles were executed after the Battle of Grodno."

    Lets see the Katyn Massacre:

    "The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katyńska, 'Katyń crime'), was a mass execution of Polish military officers, policemen and civilian prisoners of war ordered by Soviet authorities on March 5, 1940. The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000, with the most commonly cited number of 21,768. The victims were murdered in the Katyn forest in Russia, the Kalinin (Tver) and Kharkiv prisons and elsewhere. About 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, the rest being Poles arrested for allegedly being "intelligence agents, gendarmes, spies, saboteurs, landowners, factory owners, lawyers, priests, and officials." Since Poland's conscription system required every unexempted university graduate to become a reserve officer, the Soviets were able to round up much of the Polish intelligentsia, and the Jewish, Ukrainian, Georgian and Belarusian intelligentsia of Polish citizenship.

    Originally, "Katyn massacre" referred to the massacre at Katyn Forest, near the villages of Katyn and Gnezdovo (ca. 19 km west of Smolensk, Russia), of Polish military officers in the Kozelsk prisoner-of-war camp. It now is applied to the simultaneous executions of POWs from geographically distant Starobelsk and Ostashkov camps, and the executions of political prisoners from West Belarus and West Ukraine, shot on Stalin's orders at Katyn Forest, at the NKVD (Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del, the Soviet secret police) headquarters in Smolensk, at a Smolensk slaughterhouse, and at prisons in Kalinin (Tver), Kharkiv, Moscow, and other Soviet cities."


    According to the American professor Carroll Quigley, at least 100,000 out of 320,000 Polish prisoners of war captured by the Red Army in 1939, were exterminated.
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I agree that stasoids comments are outrageous, and appear to be politically motivated.

    However, if you guys are actually interested in getting the history right, over political correctness, or straightening out a recalcitrant forum member, I would suggest that you analyze the actual turn of events.

    The obvious mistreatment of the Poles vbat the hands of the Stalinist regime (rather than just saying the Soviets) needs to be considered against the backdrop of what was or had, happened in the Soviet Union up that time

    The extermination of the Soviet officer Corps 1937-39. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of officers murdered, imprisoned or tortured, on the flimsiest of reasons.

    The collectivisation program, which was in reality a means of getting state control over agriculture. The losses taken by the russian people in this pogrom were enormous, some estimate as many as one in ten Russians perished under that oppression. if that is correct, with a population of 200000000 the death toll would be approaching that of the whole of WWII.

    All political or other opposition to Stalin was systematically and ruthlessly eliminated, as illustrated by the fate of trotsky. It would be very conservative to estimate the cost of this ongoing pogrom in the millions in the period 1920-45

    The Soviet Union was responsible for the targetted extermination of at least a million Jews during the war. Soviet methods were cruder than German, and far less well documented. They simply marched the ukrainian Jews off to the work camps in Siberia, and worked them to death


    If you go looking for any POWs of Russians captured in 1941, you will not find them. After the war, Stalin deemed all of them to have disobeyed his order of the day to stand and fight to the death. He had all of them shot, or otherwise eliminated. Given that ther were atleast 2000000 survivors from the nazi POW system, this is yet another attrocity committed by Stalin against his own people.

    Russian people do not consider that they mistreated the poles, because they themselves had endured misery far worse themselves. it was the product of living under the control paranoid murderer
     
  20. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    So because someone has been mistreated, that makes it okay to mistreat others? The problem with that premise is that there will never be an end to oppression and violence. You can excuse it as a "product of their environment" or whatever PC term you wish to use, but it is still inexcusable in my book.
     
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