Military Review

Moscow, it's time to remember your own bloody bill to Warsaw

В государственном календаре может появиться еще один день памяти, на этот раз посвященный солдатам РККА, замученным в польских лагерях в начале 1920-х годов. Обычно Москва в historical спорах с Варшавой только обороняется, но имеет возможность выставить ей и собственный кровавый счет, ведь речь идет о десятках тысяч жизней.

Moscow, it's time to remember your own bloody bill to Warsaw

Relations between Moscow and Warsaw are now such that it is practically nowhere worse. Infinite conflicts concern not only current disagreements, but also historical claims to each other. It even reached such a specific practice as the mutual expulsion of historians.

The list of offenses presented by modern Poland to modern Russia is the suppression of numerous Polish uprisings of the 19th century, Katyn, the defeat of the 1944 Warsaw uprising of the year by the Hitlerites (the essence of the claim was that the USSR did not provide the necessary assistance for political reasons). More recently, in the same series and the death of President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash near Smolensk: the ruling law and justice party claims that there was a collusion between former Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Moscow, the possible purpose of which was to eliminate the head of the Polish state.

The Polish pans consider deliberately defiant behavior towards Russia, among other things, as a continuation of the traditions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which for several centuries rivaled its powerful eastern neighbor. In this case, history serves politics and economics.

All these years, the Russian side has shown restraint, trying to object in essence to the accusations scattered around Warsaw. But the campaign with the demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers, it seems, overflowed the cup of patience. There was an idea to put forward counter claims to the Poles, especially since there is no need to look for a reason for long: the tragedy of Soviet prisoners of war in Polish camps is often mentioned by historians and publicists.

Member of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science, co-chairman of the "Immortal Regiment" Nikolai Zemtsov proposed an amendment to the law "On the days of military glory and memorable dates in Russia." If the initiative is approved by the majority, February 17 will be the Day of Remembrance of the Soviet soldiers who died in Polish captivity from 1919 to 1922 year (the date is timed to the first incident of captivity). Such a move could be a retaliatory move by Moscow in the “war on historical fronts” unleashed by Warsaw.

An explanatory note to the Zemtsov bill states that during the Soviet-Polish war, thousands of people were taken prisoner from 165,5 to 206,8. Of these, only 65 thousands have returned home. “The fate of the others is not known for certain, but today we can say with confidence that at least every sixth Red Army soldier who was captured died in the Polish camps,” the deputy said. He insists on the need to formally investigate those events.

According to Russian historians, from 28 to 80 thousands of fighters from among those captured in Polish captivity died from unprecedented harsh conditions, hunger, cold, and disease.

Or they were simply killed by the Poles. Many of the dead found rest in two large cemeteries in Tucholi and Strzalkowo.

Cursing the USSR for Katyn, the Poles do not like to remember how they themselves treated the Soviet prisoners. They don’t rush to repent for the brutal destruction of tens of thousands of Red Army prisoners in concentration camps, historian Igor Gusev said in an interview with the VZGLYAD newspaper correspondent.

“Poland has a very flexible moral position regarding the past. I remember how at one scientific conference the Polish historian ardently denounced the Soviet regime for the "criminal Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact." When he was asked a reasonable question, did he consider the capture of Poland’s western territories of Ukraine and Belarus by Poland in 1920, the Pole thoughtfully chewed a sponge and then uttered a marvelous phrase: “This is not a good thing!” He said.

There was a concentration camp

As is known, that war ended unsuccessfully for the USSR. Polish expansion was replaced by the onset of the Red Army, but it eventually led to the catastrophe near Warsaw. The defeat and the subsequent retreat of the Reds led to a large number of prisoners in the hands of the Poles.

A member of the International Committee of the Red Cross described the camp in Brest as follows: “A nauseous smell emanates from the guard houses, as well as from the former stables in which prisoners of war are housed. Prisoners chilly huddle around the improvised stove, where a few logs burn - the only way to heat. At night, hiding from the first cold weather, they are packed in close rows in groups of three hundred people in poorly lit and poorly ventilated barracks, on boards, without mattresses and blankets. The prisoners are mostly dressed in rags ... Due to crowding, close living together healthy and infectious, malnutrition, as evidenced by numerous cases of exhaustion ... the camp in Brest-Litovsk was a real necropolis. "

But the description from the historian Gennady Matveyev: “The prisoners were kept in damp, poorly heated, unventilated barracks and half dugouts, there were no senniks and blankets, not to mention bed linen, fed irregularly and half-starved, including as a result of theft of camp workers. Severe and at times cruel treatment of prisoners, lack of shoes and clothes, low capacity of baths, laundries, disinfection facilities did not allow for normal sanitary conditions, and the lack of essential medicines and insufficient number of places in camps hospitals led to epidemics of infectious diseases from flu to typhus and cholera. ”

In Poland, they do not question the harsh conditions in the Red Army camps, but they are trying to challenge the number of prisoners of war and deceased. In particular, they accuse Russian researchers of “those who are trying to increase the number of Red Army prisoners captured by Polish troops by almost one hundred percent.” It is also alleged that about 25 thousands of prisoners of the Red Army fighters, under the influence of agitation, joined the anti-Bolshevik formations fighting on the Polish side. They did not become ideological fighters against Bolshevism, but wanted to leave the nightmarish camps at all costs.

At the same time, Polish historians leave room for maneuver, declaring that a significant part of the archives of that time did not reach us.

“In inter-war Poland, a special institution was created to register the servicemen of other armies taken into Polish captivity. Poland then had to fight with the Ukrainian state, and with the revived Czechoslovakia, and with Lithuania, and with Bolshevik Russia. In addition, interned soldiers of the Kaiser army were in Poland. Polish officials kept records of all prisoners of war, and this work was carried out until the 1939 year, i.e. right up until the beginning of the Second World War. All this documentation was located in the forts of the Warsaw Fortress and died during the bombings of the Luftwaffe in the first days of the war, ”says a professor at the University. Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun Zbigniew Karpus.

He insists that the total death toll did not exceed 15 thousands of people, and most of the prisoners later returned to their homeland. As for the inhuman conditions of detention, this was also justified: “At the time of the outbreak of war with Soviet Russia, Poland was an extremely poor and weak state. Around the enemies, the economy is destroyed, no infrastructure. And in this situation, the issue of the content of prisoners was relegated to the background. Poland was simply not ready for this. ”

"Someone in the ripped belly sewn up a cat ..."

Soviet-Polish war in general is rich in gloomy episodes. There are facts of ill-treatment of Poles not only with prisoners of war, but also with civilians. At the beginning of 1919, the Polish army, commanded by Edward Rydz-Smigly, launched an offensive to the east — as soon as it was formed, the new-old state immediately began territorial seizures. What the Poles did in the regions of Byelorussia and Ukraine that they captured, except as a nightmare. An eyewitness testifies:

“During the occupation, killing one of the local residents was not considered a sin. In the presence of General Lisowski (commander of the operative group in Lithuania - approx. LOOK) the child was shot for allegedly smiling unkindly ... One officer shot dozens of people for being poorly dressed ... People were robbed, they were whipped from barbed wire, burned with a hot iron to get false confessions ... Once they argued about a pledge: someone sewed a cat in a torn belly and took bets who would die earlier - a person or a cat. "

Future Polish Foreign Minister Jozef Beck recalled:

“In the villages, we killed everybody and burned everything at the slightest insincerity. I personally worked butt.

Modern researchers cite such details:

“The occupation of cities and localities was accompanied by arbitrary reprisals of the military with local government offices, as well as Jewish pogroms, issued for acts of eradicating Bolshevism. So, after the occupation of Pinsk by the order of the commandant of the Polish garrison on the spot, without trial, about 40 Jews were shot, who came for prayer, who were taken for a meeting of the Bolsheviks. The hospital medical staff was arrested and several orderlies were shot ... The capture of Vilno was accompanied by arrests of the local population, sending him to concentration camps, torture and torture in prisons, and executions without trial, including the elderly, women, children, Jewish pogroms and mass robberies. At the same time, the Poles called themselves the bastion of Christian civilization in the fight against "Eastern barbarism."

The events of those years make it possible to better understand the roots and the subsequent Volyn tragedy, which today has caused a serious political conflict between Kiev and Warsaw.

“In the occupied regions of Ukraine, the Poles robbed the population, burned entire villages, shot and hung innocent citizens. Tortured prisoners of war. In the city of Rivne, more than 3 thousands of civilians were shot. Corporal punishments were introduced for Ukrainian peasants who did not want to provide the Polish army with food, arrests and executions of civil servants, confiscation of property and Jewish pogroms were carried out. For refusing to provide food, the villages of Ivanovtsy, Kucha, Sobachi, Yablunovka, Novaya Hreblya, Melnychi, Kirillovka, and many others were burned. Residents of these villages were shot with machine guns. In the town of Tetievo, during the Jewish pogrom, 4 thousands of people were slaughtered, ”writes journalist Sergei Lozunko, who specializes in military historical essay.

Against this background, the cruelty of the Poles to the prisoners of war of the Red Army is unlikely to be surprising.

By the way, the Poles believe that the current Russian initiative with a day to commemorate the dead and overwhelmed is not at all new - allegedly Mikhail Gorbachev planned something similar. “November 3 1990, he ordered the USSR Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Defense, the KGB before 1 April 1991, to collect all the documents and materials about those historical events where Poland had damaged the Soviet state. Let me remind you that at that moment the Kremlin acknowledged responsibility for the crime committed in the spring of 1940 in Katyn. But then he decided to protect himself by developing an "anti-Katyn" in the form of the tragic history of captured Red Army soldiers. As a result, today we have what we have, ”says Professor Karpus.

But even if we admit that Moscow began to prepare this "trump card" in advance, it was in no hurry to use it until recently.
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  1. Basil50
    Basil50 30 November 2017 15: 16 New
    The author carefully about the * failure * of the RED ARMY in the war with the Poles. The Poles showed so many goodwill and helpers that it is simply amazing. Even * volunteers * under the command of Denikin noted in saving the Poles. Poles concentrated concentration camps not only for the KRASNO ARMEYSEV, but also for civil Russians living in the territory of self-proclaimed Poland, including for women. Civilians fell into concentration camps, who were declared to be potentially dangerous. In the same way, later the Germans grabbed people and destroyed them in concentration camps. The fact that people who were noted in the genocide against RUSSIAN Poles by a court decision were shot after 1939 does not relieve the Poles of responsibility for genocide and war crimes.
    1. dSK
      dSK 30 November 2017 15: 31 New
      Hello Dmitry!
      Quote: Vasily50
      It does not relieve the Poles of responsibility for genocide and war crimes.
      Finally, our historians woke up. White and fluffy Polish partners ransacked such a memorial in Katyn ...
      1. ARES623
        ARES623 30 November 2017 19: 50 New
        Quote: dsk
        Finally, our historians woke up. White and fluffy Polish partners ransacked such a memorial in Katyn ...

        If only the "creative elite" would show itself.
      2. Alf
        Alf 30 November 2017 20: 12 New
        Quote: dsk
        Finally, our historians woke up.

        Historians woke up. Will our legislators and the tandem wake up? Something on this issue I have very strong doubts. So that Putin, who officially recognized the execution of the unfortunate lords, admitted his mistake ... Well, well, blessed is he who believes.
    2. svp67
      svp67 30 November 2017 15: 35 New
      Quote: Vasily50
      The fact that people who were noted in the genocide against RUSSIAN Poles by a court decision were shot after 1939 does not relieve the Poles of responsibility for genocide and war crimes.

      Well, if you already roll out the bill, then it's time to present it to Finland. There genocide was such that few survived.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 30 November 2017 18: 54 New
        Quote: svp67
        Well, if you already roll out the bill, then it's time to present it to Finland. There genocide was such that few survived.

        Roll out. But only when it will be necessary to remove M ... Dinsky - not earlier. Then he will put every bast on the line.
    3. papas-57
      papas-57 3 December 2017 01: 39 New
      `` the defeat by the Nazis of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 (the essence of the claim is that the USSR did not provide the necessary assistance for political reasons). '' By the way, why did the Poles decide that the Red Army was supposed to help the Warsaw Uprising. Did we have an assistance agreement with them?
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 30 November 2017 15: 27 New
    Another day of memory may appear in the state calendar, this time dedicated to the soldiers of the Red Army, tortured to Polish camps in the early 1920s.
    ... And on November 7.11.1917, XNUMX we won’t remember? .. That is, the dead Soviet soldiers were, but there was no Soviet state .. Here we play, we don’t play here, there is a greasy stain, we wrapped the fish ... Yes, I still want to remember, the Poles came first and as invaders .. We’ll forget too? .. They are now partners .. And an unsuccessful trip to Warsaw, as an answer ...
  3. polkovnik manuch
    polkovnik manuch 30 November 2017 15: 57 New
    Somewhere before, there were figures of 86 thousand dead and executed in Polish camps. Quickly, the "pans" forgot about 642 thousand Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of Poland from the Nazis.
  4. solzh
    solzh 30 November 2017 16: 03 New
    If you bill the Poles, then you need to start from the time of False Dmitry 1. Recall the massacre organized by the Poles on April 5 1784 in Warsaw. For the content of the Red Army in concentration camps. For fomenting the Second World War. This is just a short list. And to take away Cracow from them in order to pay off our claims and rename it in honor of the major whirlwind, so that the Poles remember and slaughter on their nose, do not angry the Russians!
    1. captain
      captain 30 November 2017 16: 29 New
      Quote: solzh
      If you bill the Poles, then you need to start from the time of False Dmitry 1. Recall the massacre organized by the Poles on April 5 1784 in Warsaw. For the content of the Red Army in concentration camps. For fomenting the Second World War. This is just a short list. And to take away Cracow from them in order to pay off our claims and rename it in honor of the major whirlwind, so that the Poles remember and slaughter on their nose, do not angry the Russians!

      You hit me with your comment. At VO, very few people know that the Poles inflicted huge damage on us before the great October one. Until October 1917, for most of the forum participants on Military Review, Russia was not.
      1. solzh
        solzh 30 November 2017 17: 20 New
        The Soviet school taught well bully hi
  5. Krasnodar
    Krasnodar 30 November 2017 16: 26 New
    They recall that in the 44th year the Red Army did not cross the Vistula to help the uprising of the Poles. Those. to lay down their soldiers for the survival of those who would later turn their weapons against the Russians — the Army of the Local and others controlled from London.
    In fact, the 1st Belorussian Front at that time did not have mobile units to help the Poles. That is, they occupied the bridgeheads on the other side, the Germans counterattacked off, but there was nothing to develop the offensive at that time. There were simply no mobile reserves.
    As always, the use of historical myths will require political populism.
    1. Sinbad
      Sinbad 30 November 2017 19: 52 New
      It should also be noted that the leadership of the Warsaw Uprising refused to cooperate with the command of the Red Army, to agree on the timing and plans of the uprising.
      1. dSK
        dSK 30 November 2017 20: 38 New
        A lot of Soviet blood was shed for the salvation of Warsaw, according to the memoirs, when crossing the Vistula was red. And how many lives were set aside for the liberation of Poland ... The ingratitude of modern Polish authorities will not go unpunished, neither good nor evil deeds disappear without a trace. hi
  6. Antianglosax
    Antianglosax 30 November 2017 16: 29 New
    And why only Warsaw? Half of the geyropa can be presented, and even more so for the star-boy and the little-shaver.
    1. skullcap
      skullcap 30 November 2017 22: 54 New
      Quote: Antianglosaks
      and zvezdan

      This, I'm sorry, you write about the country-McDonalds?
  7. zoolu350
    zoolu350 30 November 2017 16: 35 New
    The oligarchy of the Russian Federation is only able to repent for the fake Katyn, but it’s not possible to prove to the Poles for their art with captured Red Army soldiers, who are unable to prove, like two fingers on asphalt. No words, some mats.
  8. shuravi
    shuravi 30 November 2017 21: 03 New
    And in our school the disaster was in 1983 year. A new Mi-2 helicopter made in Poland crashed. Sabotage.
    1. dmmyak40
      dmmyak40 2 December 2017 16: 59 New
      This is not March 29 by accident in the Donetsk region, the passenger, it seems, died?
      1. shuravi
        shuravi 5 December 2017 12: 34 New
        No, this is the Saratov VVAUL, the city of Serdobsk. Instructor pilot, cadet, on-board technician, plus passengers, two more cadets and a ground technician.
  9. skullcap
    skullcap 30 November 2017 22: 50 New
    The list of offenses imposed by modern Poland in modern Russia is the suppression of numerous Polish uprisings of the XIX century ...
    - on this point, the Poles need to roll in the bill for the suppression of all the uprisings of the Russian people in the Commonwealth speech up to Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
    And about Katyn, I wrote about a year ago.
    I was at the time in the State Duma Viktor Ilyukhin, who said that these documents were fabricated on the personal orders of Yeltsin. And that he knows a person who was forced to participate in the execution of this order and this person is ready to come and expose in the State Duma.
    However, the State Duma did not go for it, and by some strange coincidence Viktor Ilyukhin quietly died, but quickly.
    Nobody raised this question anymore.
    And much more can be remembered by this obsessive historical inferiority complex, mean-spirited little people.
  10. Nemesis
    Nemesis 30 November 2017 23: 54 New
    That's for sure ... The first concentration camps in Europe were the work of Poland and Soviet prisoners of war were destroyed in them, in violation of all human rights, with the tacit consent of the international red cross and then under the complete control of all known states ... and today patients with Russophobia. It is quite obvious that Russia does not need Russia in any form: neither red nor white ... They are annoyed by the very existence of Russia, any Russia ...
    SCHWERIN 1 December 2017 00: 40 New
    Hmm .. and so many years the USSR was silent about these horrors and democratic Russia did not condemn? The incomprehensible Katyn was recognized and repented, but where is their repentance?
  12. bandabas
    bandabas 1 December 2017 16: 25 New
    And remember there was such a good movie - "Three Poles, Georgians and a dog."
  13. turbris
    turbris 1 December 2017 21: 02 New
    Do you know why it is very difficult to resolve any conflict, political or military? Because each conflict has its own story, which each side formulates in its own way. And this can go on forever, a new generation will come to power, which will interpret the history of a conflict in its own way. The only way to end the conflict is to have the courage and try to resolve the conflict based only on modern conditions, without relying on the history of occurrence.
    1. CT-55_11-9009
      CT-55_11-9009 4 December 2017 14: 07 New
      Quote: turbris
      without relying on the history of occurrence.

      And become Ivanov, not remembering kinship? The same as the same Poles? "I remember, I don’t remember, but the Russians came up with it," Or like the Ukrainians? They are also good at fighting history. By the way, there are still mostly indifferent Americans (and generally the so-called Western world) ...

      By the way, there is a question: but do you suggest repeating the same thing that, it seems, we had more than once?
      1. turbris
        turbris 4 December 2017 23: 55 New
        I didn’t say that history should be forgotten, but it shouldn’t be used so actively in modern politics, the descendants fought with each other and not always were wars to defend their homeland, there were aggressive wars and a lot of such things happened in history that at the modern level can not be repeated. But modern politicians are making fame for themselves by just fanning what was in the past, and they are juggling historical facts for the sake of their political career.
  14. Andchevh
    Andchevh 1 December 2017 21: 37 New
    It was time to do it a long time !! Not at all justifying Bandera. I can only notice that the Poles did the same with the Ukrainians! Well, Bandera took revenge on them !! As for Poland’s policy before the war, there is a good performance by Jacob Kedmi !!