- Hardcover: 248 pages
- Publisher: McFarland Publishing (May 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786418478
- ISBN-13: 978-0786418473
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,090,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Polish Deportees of World War II: Recollections of Removal to the Soviet Union and Dispersal Throughout the World
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About the Author
Tadeusz Piotrowski is a professor of sociology and the associate dean of faculty at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester and also the author of The Indian Heritage of New Hampshire and Northern New England (2002), Genocide and Rescue in Wolyn (2000), Poland's Holocaust (1998) and Vengeance of the Swallows (1995). He lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.
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All the while, Britain and America were silent and indifferent to Poland's fate. They were in the throes of a Stalin-appeasing mentality, and increasingly saw Poland as a nuisance that undermined Soviet-western relations. As Piotrowski makes it clear, "Appeasement only emboldens the aggressor". Judging by subsequent events of the Cold War, did it ever!
The deportations were the Soviet Union's attempt to gradually destroy the Polish population of the eastern half of Poland that had been conquered in 1939 (Nazi Germany conquered the western half). Piotrowski estimates that 1.7 million Poles were deported to Siberia and other inhospitable regions of the USSR. About half the deported Poles died a slow death there. Only the unexpected German attack on its erstwhile Soviet ally in July 1941 limited the scope of this genocide by putting a halt to further deportations and eventually prompting the release of the emaciated but still-living captive Poles.
Piotrowski describes the harrowing experiences of the Poles in Soviet captivity through the eyes of several eyewitnesses, including "Eva", my aunt. The Communists proved themselves to be masters in psychological torture as well as physical torture. Thus "Eva" was falsely told that her relatives had been put to death. To mock her Christian beliefs, she was dutifully told that her relatives were now "among the angels in heaven". She was thrown in a dungeon in which there was a decomposing human corpse. Miraculously, she was finally released, along with the rest of the family. The surviving Poles lost everything but their lives. After the Soviet "amnesty" (in which only a part of the still-living captive Poles were released, not all as promised), the Poles gathered in five geographic regions, including Iran and India. Most of the survivors never returned to Poland. Poland had already been given away by the west as a Soviet satellite with a Communist puppet government.
Another fact that is lost is that the Poles continued to fight for their country well after their initial defeat in 1939. They fielded the 4th largest Army against the Nazis during WWII and helped liberate France and Italy. My grandfather ended up with the Polish Second Corps after Poles were released from Siberia to fill the depleted ranks against Germany. However,
Glad to come across this book.