Gallery 2. Soviet Tyranny
You are in: Room 2b.
Sovietization of the Borderlands (1939-41)
- The Soviets invaded Poland on the 17th September and occupied the Eastern Borderlands with a population of over 13 million.
- Sovietization was a policy to liquidate the Polish state.
- Rigged elections were held and the Eastern Borderlands was annexed to the USSR.
- Approximately 200,000 Polish POWs were captured by the Soviets. 21,857 were executed in the Katyn Massacres. Most were sent to the gulags.
- Mass arrests of hundreds of thousands of civil leaders, priests, policeman and judges started on the 18th September until June 1941. The NKVD executed thousands of prisoners.
- Between 1 and 2 million Polish citizens were deported to Siberia.
Polish institutions were dismantled. The civil administration and Polish officials were replaced by Communists. Polish property, both private and state, was stolen by these committees and nationalised. Farms were requisitioned and collectivized.
- Education, media and all aspects of daily life was controlled by the Soviets. Religion was persecuted. Terror reigned.
- Ethnic tensions between Poles and other ethnic groups were exploited by the Soviets.
- For food and basic necessities became scarce as supplies were sent East by the Soviets.
Life in the Borderlands would never be the same again Church in Glebokie Poland converted by NKVD had converted to a prison for Poles Red Army Soldier Henryk Sokolowski, Policemen were a target of Soviet repressions Survivor describes the onset of war in the Kresy, Sovietization and the deportations Survivor describes how his father was arrested by the Soviets Survivor describes sovietisation of the Borderlands Photographs TestimoniesSovietization of the Borderlands (1939-41) - the script for the audio narration
Stalin. The elections in the Soviet occupied territory were rigged.Eastern Borderlands annexed by the Soviets September 1939
Son of Katyn Victim, deported to Kazakhstan 13 April 1940 aged 17 years