ABOUT THE KRESY-SIBERIA GROUP
"Dedicated to researching, remembering and recognising the Polish citizens
deported, enslaved and killed by the Soviet Union during World War Two."
The Kresy-Siberia Group was founded in 2001. It brings into contact people from countries around the world with a special interest in the tragedy of over 1 million Polish citizens of various faiths and ethnicities from eastern Poland (the "Kresy" or Borderlands) in 1940-41 who were killed, repressed or deported to prisons, forced labour camps (GULAGs) and "special settlements" in Siberia, Kazakhstan and Soviet Asia.
It is estimated that perhaps half of the deportees died - either during their actual deportation, their experience as exiles and prisoners in extremely harsh conditions of hard labour, climate, disease and starvation, or their attempted journey out of the USSR after their release.
Some 115,000 of these were evacuated through Persia in 1942 as soldiers under General Wladyslaw Anders with their families. They spent the rest of the war fighting the Germans while their families were refugees in Polish camps in the Middle East, Africa, India, New Zealand and Mexico. As most of these were from the eastern lands lost to the USSR and had suffered under the communists, they did not return to Poland and eventually settled in the West.
A further number were not able to leave the Soviet Union for Poland until after the war. Many of these joined the Soviet-sponsored Polish "Kosciuszko" Army fighting the Germans under General Zygmunt Berling, while their families continued eking out a subsistence in Soviet settlements. Having lost their lands in the Kresy, most of these were relocated to the lands "regained" from Germany in the west. Another number remained in the Soviet Union, and their descendants live there to this day - struggling to retain their Polish ethnicity in places such as Kazakhstan.
The circumstances of the odyssey and tragic history of the Polish citizens under Soviet occupation during the war was hushed up by the Allies during the war to protect the reputation of the Soviet Union, an important ally in the war against the Nazis. They were not only deported from their lands but also deported from History. Sixty years later the survivors have aged and many have died.
With this group we hope to bring together surviving deportees and their descendants with other interested people to remember, learn, discover and spread the word of their ordeal to the world and to future generations. If we can play even a small role in that effort, it will have been an important achievement.
GROUP DISCUSSION SITE
The Group uses Yahoo Groups for its discussion board. For more details
or to join the discussion, please visit
Members strive to avoid disparaging or offending other members - this is a friendly and supportive group with common goals rather than a debating society. We are all trying to learn from each other, not "score points". For this reason, members are asked to avoid commenting on current politics that could cause dissension between members, especially those not on the topic of the history and fate of the deported Polish citizens. Prejudicial remarks of a religious or racial nature will not be tolerated. Finally, we strive to keep discussions on the topic of the group, though we do allow occasional social or other timely exchanges between members as a way of reinforcing our bonds and building our community. The Group Moderators reserve the right to warn, suspend or remove members who are unable to respect these values.
Any person interested in research, remembrance and recognition of these tragic events is very welcome, regardless of ethnic or religious background, age, personal history, political persuasion, or country of residence. However, any membership is only by approval of the Group Moderators, in order to ensure that group members all subscribe to the shared goals and mission and uphold group values.
Members are all asked to post a little introduction on themselves (name, location, family connection) and their interest in this topic, which lets other members make connections and helps us all research our histories and areas of interest.
To join the group send an e-mail saying who you are and describing your interest in the group to: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPPORT THE GROUP
The Kresy-Siberia Group needs help to sustain and develop the program of Research, Remembrance and Recognition of the Kresy-Siberia experience. To learn how you can make an annual subscription payment or make a donation, please click on Support the Group
© 2009 Kresy-Siberia Group