Depertations into the Soviet Union


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Depertations into the Soviet Union

  1. 1. World War Two was began by Germany attacking Polish town of Wieluń at 4.40 a.m. on 1st September 1939. Five minutes later the battleship Schleswig- Holstein, then on a "courtesy visit" to the Free City of Danzig, opened fire on the Polish garrison on Westerplatte without warning. Then the Germans crossed the Polish border in many other places.
  2. 2. On 17th September, sixteen days after Nazi Germany invaded Poland from the west, the Soviet Union did so from the east. The invasion ended on 6 October 1939 with the division and annexing of the whole of the Second Polish Republic by Germany and the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin, was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. He was responsible for millions people death not only during WW2.
  3. 3. The first victims of the Soviet Union reign were approximately 250,000 Polish prisoners of war captured by the USSR during and after the invasion of Poland. As the Soviet Union had not signed international conventions on rules of war, the Polish prisoners were denied legal status. Almost all captured officers were murdered, and a large number of ordinary soldiers sent to the Soviet Gulag. In the two years between the invasion of Poland and the 1941 attack on USSR by Germany, the Soviets arrested and imprisoned about 500,000 Poles. The number of Poles who died due to Soviet repressions in the period 1939-1941 is estimated at at least 150,000.
  4. 4. The Katyń Forest exhumation after a mass execution of Polish citizens ordered by Soviet authorities in 1940
  5. 5. In 1940 and the first half of 1941, the Soviets deported a total of more than 1,200,000 Poles in four waves of mass deportations from the Soviet- occupied Polish territories. The first major operation took place on February 10, 1940, with more than 220,000 people sent to northern European Russia. The second wave of 13 April 1940, consisted of 320,000 people sent primarily to Kazakhstan. The third wave of June– July 1940 totaled more than 240,000. The fourth and final wave occurred in June 1941, deporting 300,000 Polish people.
  6. 6. The wave of arrests and mock convictions contributed to forced resettlement of large categories of people ("kulaks„ - farmers, Polish civil servants, Polish Army officers, forest workers, university professors, teachers, doctors, lawyers, traders, industrialists) to the Gulag labour camps and exile settlements in remote areas of the Soviet Union. Altogether roughly a million people were sent to Siberia. According to Norman Davies, almost half of them were dead by the time the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement had been signed in 1941. Around 55% of deportees to Siberia and Soviet Central Asia were Polish women.
  7. 7. First wave of deportations took place at night from 9th to 10th February 1940. The temperature was about minus forty degrees (-40). People had very little time (not more than half an hour) to pack all the things. They didn’t know where they were going to be taken. Those who took warm clothes, featherbeds and food had a little chance to survive. People were packed into catle wagons and were going for weeks, thousands of kilometres. A lot of people died during the journey. People were given very little food and water. Sometimes happened they weren’t given any food or water.
  8. 8. Those who survived the journey had to work very hard – in mines, forests, they built roads in Siberia. Work conditions were terrible: little food, long work hours (even 18 hours per day), very poor medical support, tortures, very bad accomadation conditions, temperature even below minus 40 degrees…
  9. 9. It is estimated that only about 10 percent of deported to Soviet Union Polish people survived. Some of those who survived returned to Poland after World War Two, but they couldn’t return to their houses as the border of Poland was moved west. This way some settled in Lower Silesia, which before the war was a German territory and after the war became a Polish region.
  10. 10. Szymon Markowicz, class IV CSzymon Markowicz, class IV C Szkoła Podstawowa nr 9Szkoła Podstawowa nr 9 Dzierżoniów, PolandDzierżoniów, Poland February 2014February 2014