Soviet Reoccupation of the Borderlands (1944-45)
4 January 1944, units of the 1st Ukrainian Front crossed the pre-war Polish border in pursuit of the retreating Germans
16 March 1943 the Soviets decreed the recruitment of Poles in the former “eastern borderlands” into Berling’s Army
An agreement was not made regarding Polish territory liberated by the Red Army because Polish-Soviet diplomatic relations were broken
The Soviet regime continued to regard the results of the October 1939 “plebiscite” carried out in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland as binding
July 1944 Soviet units crossed the River Bug – which the Soviet authorities regarded as ‘ethnographic’ Poland
21 July 1944 the Polish Committee of National Liberation (PKWN) came into being in Moscow (the “Lublin Committee”)
22 July the Committee’s “July Manifest” was made public.
26-27 July 1944 the PKWN leaders recognised the “Curzon Line” as the post-war Polish-Soviet frontier. Soviet military authorities on Polish territory were also accorded all power regarding the conduct of the war
28 July the members of the PKWN were flown to Chelm to be “liberated” by the Soviet advance.
The PKWN assumed the powers of a government and began to build up its own security apparatus
1 August 1944 the Warsaw Uprising broke out but Red Army units on the outskirts of the city were ordered by Stalin not to intervene
The Red Army resumed its advance for Berlin in January 1945
Polish AK units fought alongside the Red Army against the Germans but as soon as the battles were over the Soviets arrested, executed and deported the AK soldiers
From mid-August 1944 onwards, the NKVD began to carry out wide-scale arrests of Home Army soldiers
A report by General Okulicki to the C-in-C March 1945 “Repressions and arrests of AK soldiers continue unceasingly… So far more than 40,000 have been arrested. The fate of the arrested is unknown”.
30 October 1944 The Decree for the Defence of the State anticipated the most severe measures – usually the death sentence – being used as punishment for relatively innocuous “crimes”
December 1944 a resolution was approved to call into being a Polish Interim Government
March 1945 – 16 Polish underground leaders were arrested, flown to Moscow and put on public trial
Spring of 1945 brutal pacification, along with pillage and summary shootings, spread over the whole of eastern Poland
From 1944-1948 at least 50,000 Poles, and possibly hundreds of thousands, were deported to the Soviet interior
Member of the Home Army (Wilenska AK) in Wilno area, North Eastern Borderlands