Military Review

Birch Kartuzska: the forgotten history of the Polish concentration camp

22
Birch Kartuzska: the forgotten history of the Polish concentration camp

September 1 - a tragic date in Polish stories. On this day in 1939, the German Wehrmacht invaded the territory of the Polish state. Started World War II. Mourning events dedicated to this date are taking place all over Poland, but the zigzags of Polish history make the Poles remember the September 17, the day when Soviet troops entered Poland from the east ...

The Polish campaign of the Red Army lasted 12 days. The German occupation of Poland lasted for several years. Nevertheless, for some reason it is more convenient for Polish society, referring to that time, to angrily condemn Moscow, and not Berlin. The Poles do not want to remember that a year before the Polish army had invaded the Czech Teshin in the same way, annexing it to Poland; that units of the Red Army occupied only non-Polish lands, which were ceded to Warsaw as a result of the unfair Riga Peace Treaty of 1921; that the local population was sometimes mistaken for arbitrary reprisals against Polish officers, putting offenses on them for the long years of pan dominance; that the Polish officers themselves told about the strange behavior of the Soviet troops, who were reluctant to shoot at the Poles and were generally reconciling; that for certain war crimes (looting, robbery) the tribunal punished the Soviet military very strictly, up to the execution. There was a case when Soviet soldiers were sentenced to execution, who shot several captured Poles after a group of prisoners killed a guard and captured weapon, opened fire on the convoy.

Following the memories of the Poles about the arrival of the Red Army in 1939, the Katyn theme follows like a shadow over the body. Estimates of the number of Polish prisoners captured by Red Army soldiers vary from 450 000 to 230 000 people. Be that as it may, but tens of thousands of soldiers of the Polish army — natives of the “Kresov vskhodnykh” were sent home. Many more of them, natives of the “German” part of Poland, were handed over to the German authorities. Of the remaining Polish gendarmes and servicemen in Katyn in the hands of the NKVD, only one out of four found his death. But perhaps the most important thing: many of those who were shot at Katyn were part of the service personnel of the Polish concentration camp Bereza Kartuzska, and this alone cannot but change the view of themselves and their fate.

The Birch Kartuzskaya concentration camp (now the territory of Belarus) appeared in 1934, and up to 1939 there were Jews, Ukrainian nationalists, and Poles opposed to the regime of Jozef Pilsudski. The idea of ​​creating the camp is attributed to the then Prime Minister of Poland Leon Kozlovsky, in the future - a Gestapo agent. He was impressed by Goebbels’s speech on the educational function of concentration camps. J. Pilsudski endorsed the idea (1). It is believed that Birch Kartuzskaya was created on the model of the Nazi concentration camp Dachau. By the way, after the German attack on Poland, L. Kozlovsky ran to the Nazis and, until his death in 1944, received a pension from them, but in 1943, he managed to take part in the discovery of Katyn graves.

Yu. Pilsudski introduced the so-called the regime of “moral reorganization”: censorship of the press was introduced, the president of the country received the right to issue decrees bypassing the parliament, which was completely dependent on his will. The persecution of dissidents began, including Poles, who were massively thrown into the casemates of Birch Kartuzskaya. 17 had to spend even days in a concentration camp even a former associate of U. Pilsudski, the famous Polish publicist Stanislav Matskevich, on charges of “weakening the defense spirit of the Poles” and “systematic criticism of the government by artificially selected arguments”. Here is how he describes his impressions: “I take the opportunity to talk about Birch Kartuzskaya, around which there are so many secrets, because when they released the prisoners they said:“ You will talk, you will find yourself here a second time, and then ... ”... Birch Kartuzskaya was not a place of isolation, but a torture ". Further, he describes Y. Pilsudsky’s faithful friend, Kostek-Bernatsky, who was appointed camp commander: “It was a sick sadist ... He gladly invented all kinds of torture, giving them affectionate names with degenerate pleasure -“ gymnastics ”,“ charter ”. The main torture is the denial of the right to fail. Only once a day, in 4: 15 in the morning, the prisoners were taken out and commanded: "One, two, three, three and a half, four!" In these one and a half seconds, everything should be finished. "

According to the stories of S. Mackiewicz, the prisoners were fed disgusting bread, which did not contribute to easy digestion. With crowded stomachs, people were forced to do “gymnastics” - to sit in a deep squat with their hands up for 7 hours! The squat, run, walk, descend the stairs and climb back. At the same time, blow after blow fell on the prisoners, especially if someone's stomach could not stand it. The neighbor of S. Mackiewicz on the bunk, a Jew, received in the sitting position 280 sticks at once from seven gendarmes. S. Mackiewicz cites this Jew's story about how the prisoners were put on their knees on sharp pebbles and forced to move forward under a hail of stick blows, and then every 20 meters were forced to kiss these sticks.

“People from all over Poland gathered people who adored to beat unarmed ... The criminals were appointed by the barracks on duty, they monitored the implementation of the“ gymnastics ”... They were allowed to beat the rest of the prisoners,” writes S. Matskevich. Prisoners were not allowed to talk during the day. Violators were expected for six days by a punishment cell on cold concrete, with windows open in winter, without shoes, only in pants and a shirt. Every day the guilty were deprived of half the ration, and every second day they were not allowed to eat at all. Every half hour, those in the punishment cell were obliged to humiliatingly report through the window: “Pan commander, I report to you obediently.”

In the barracks, prisoners were deprived of sleep. They were woken up at night every half hour, forced to run, jump, crawl, in order to then again forget themselves in a heavy drowsiness on 30 minutes. Prisoners were often forced to crawl and fall in the latrines, right into the impurities. Washing after that was forbidden. It was also forbidden to wash dishes to prisoners.

In Birch Kartuzskaya could please even for tax evasion. S. Matskevich describes several such prisoners, wealthy merchants of old age. Some of them are crazy. In a concentration camp, everything had to be done at a run, and even cripples were forced to run with bones broken as a result of torture, patients with tuberculosis, arthritis, hypertension. Prisoners were not even allowed to pray and wear crosses around their necks. They were also beaten for this. “Everything looked like Dante’s hell,” concludes S. Matskevich. Epilepsy, mental seizures, sudden death were a daily practice in Birch Kartuzskaya. Even blind prisoners were not released from the dungeons. They were forced to run and jump along with everyone, beating them if they lost their way (2).

The only free day was Sunday. On this day, the prisoners were obliged to devote half an hour of lecture about the leader Y. Pilsudski and use the library, filled with books by Y. Pilsudski. There was no medical care and only in extreme, almost fatal cases were prisoners engaged by doctors (3).

In 1939, the concentration camp prisoners were liberated by the Red Army, whose arrival they greeted with glee. The camp guards fled. Ended torture, bullying and humiliation.

It cannot be said that today there were no publications on Birch Kartuzska in Poland at all. However, it cannot be said that in Poland it is customary to carefully study this historical episode and remember it. Not at all.

But the questions remain. Why is the Katyn shooting in Poland considered an act of "genocide", and the killing and shooting of Soviet prisoners of war in Polish camps in 1920-s and the Orthodox people in Birz Kartuzskaya - not? For barbed wire in interwar Poland, it was possible to please just because you are Orthodox. In this way, the famous Ukrainian Orthodox theologian and historian Mikhail Petrovich Kobrin got into Birch Kartuzskaya.

By the way, among the Poles who were shot at Katyn were a considerable number of gendarmes and jailers (those who tortured prisoners in Polish dungeons), as well as besiegers - Polish immigrants, participants of the Soviet-Polish war 1919-1920, who were settled by the government of U Pilsudski on the occupied lands of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. Osadniki, as the politically and economically dominant element, were to polonize and nourish the local population. More than 300 000 precipitators settled in the western Belarusian lands only, and thousands of hectares of seized Belarusian land were taken over by them.

Why are the monuments to Stalin and Dzerzhinsky considered to be the symbols of tyranny by the Poles, and the monuments to Pilsudski, which the whole of Poland is forced to, do not belong to this category?

Why are songs about Stalin's falcons and Voroshilov's arrows being branded as an act of Soviet propaganda in song art, and the song of the Legionnaires of Pilsudski “My, pierwsza brygada” (“We are the first brigade”), where there are lines “And with us was our dear Leader!” ( the word "leader" - with a capital letter), not only is not considered a symbol of Polish expansionism, but turned into the official anthem of the Polish armed forces?

There are many such “why”. The Polish side seems to be unable to give only clear answers to them.

____________________________

1) “BEREZA Kartuska - Polski Sanacyjny Obóz Koncentracyjny” (www.eioba.pl 30 / 08 / 2008).
2) Ibid
3) Rafal Wiechecki "O przewrocie majowym, procesie brzeskim i Berezie Kartuskiej" (Myśl. Рl №13, 2009).
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22 comments
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  1. Sasha 19871987
    Sasha 19871987 12 September 2012 09: 42
    +6
    no one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten...
    1. sergey32
      sergey32 12 September 2012 10: 37
      +5
      When Yeltsin apologized for Katyn to the Poles, now it’s their turn.
  2. Sakhalininsk
    Sakhalininsk 12 September 2012 09: 58
    +13
    Correctly in 1939, they clamped a hyena between two aspens and gave it in the ass so that thief’s eyes flew to London.
    Poland was and will be a hyena of Europe, with an absolutely limitrophic psychology of power and people, with a few and rare exceptions.
    1. datur
      datur 12 September 2012 12: 04
      +5
      Sakhalininsk,
      Poland was and will be a hyena of Europe-- certainly the main hemorrhoids of Europe !!!!! wink wassat
    2. Click-Klyak
      Click-Klyak 12 September 2012 15: 54
      -9
      What does it mean? That is, the Nazis did the right thing in attacking Poland?
      Are you a member of the NSDAP?
      1. Brother Sarych
        Brother Sarych 12 September 2012 16: 58
        +6
        On the whole - right, it would be worse if they TOGETHER attacked the USSR ...
        1. Taratut
          Taratut 13 September 2012 08: 57
          0
          And TOGETHER, they did not plan to attack the USSR. I have long presented you the transcripts of the negotiations.
      2. Yura
        Yura 12 September 2012 20: 33
        +9
        Quote: Click-Gag
        What does it mean? That is, the Nazis did the right thing in attacking Poland?

        How clever it turns out for you, I waited a moment for distorting the meaning of the article and comments, here no one said this, and even there is no sense in the comments. The meaning of the article is that when the Soviet troops, that is, the Red Army entered Poland, it was already first occupied by Germany, secondly the territories were occupied by the Red Army, which were initially occupied by Poland and, using the Jackal style, used the difficulties of Russia attached to themselves. Further, in the article and in the comments, the people here were embarrassed to directly compare the acts and atrocities with the Nazi, simply in the article their methods are described both in relation to their citizens and in relation to citizens of other countries, nationalities, religions. And I would, following your manner of conducting the discussion (distorting and distorting), I would answer the following to you: the Nazis of Germany, having captured Poland and only then attacking the USSR, turned out to be worthy students of their occupied Polish friends regarding torture and bullying, the destruction of millions of people. The hypocrisy and double-heartedness of Polish gentlemen, prudes similar to the descendants of Cain, evoke here in the comments that assessment that you don’t like Click-Klyak. Yes, and that I am writing to you, because you just do not care about Poland, the main thing for you is to play. The motto of the submariner, which is simply an absolute necessity and the highest measure of professionalism for him, is to give a shit and wash off in time, you know, if this motto is attributed to you it was a great insult to these worthy and courageous people, they will understand and laugh at this joke they’ve made which does not sink in the river.
        1. Taratut
          Taratut 13 September 2012 09: 02
          -3
          Quote: Jura
          The meaning of the article is that when the Soviet troops, that is, the Red Army entered Poland, it was already first occupied by Germany


          She was not occupied. This is the same as Japan would have attacked the USSR in December 1941 and explained that the USSR was already occupied by Germany.

          Quote: Jura
          secondly, territories were occupied by the Red Army that were initially occupied by Poland and, in the Jackal style, taking advantage of the difficulties of Russia, were attached to themselves

          What then are the claims to the Teshino region? Czechoslovakia also took advantage of Poland’s difficulties in 1921. Moreover, the USSR also took a stranger — northern Bukovina. And claimed to be southern.

          Quote: Jura
          in the article and in the comments the people here hesitated to directly compare the acts and atrocities with the Nazi

          Compare with our gulag. There probably was more fun than in the Birch of Kartuz?
          By the way, you are referring to Polish sources in an article. It turns out that they did not forget.

          Quote: Sakhalininets
          Poland of the 39th year, no better than Germany of the 39th! The same frankly fascist state

          Firstly, the fascist state is Italy.
          Germany is Nazi. And what does Poland have to do with it? What is its Nazism?
          1. Yura
            Yura 13 September 2012 23: 30
            +2
            Quote: Taratut
            She was not occupied

            Poland then? it was occupied and the government was already almost absent at that time.
            Quote: Taratut
            This is the same as Japan would have attacked the USSR in December 1941 and explained that the USSR was already occupied by Germany.
            Yes, it would most likely be so, because between Japan and Germany then there was already an agreement on Japan to the Urals and Germany to the Urals.
            Quote: Taratut
            What then are the claims to the Teshino region? Czechoslovakia also took advantage of Poland’s difficulties in 1921. Moreover, the USSR also took a stranger — northern Bukovina. And claimed to be southern.

            Yes, no complaints, just the USSR took and did what it considered necessary at that time based on its interests and as you can see from your own words using the experience and practical actions of these and most other countries of that time, and we should not cite our country as an example as an excuse actions of Poland and Czechoslovakia.
            Quote: Taratut
            Compare with our gulag. There probably was more fun than in the Birch of Kartuz?

            And what to compare then? Hell for living People, both there and there, according to your GULAG in the USSR, an excuse, an excuse for what was happening in the Birch of Kartuz?
            Quote: Taratut
            Firstly, the fascist state is Italy.
            Germany is Nazi.

            And since when did Germany of that time, ruled by the Nazi party and its elite guided by fascist ideology, cease to be fascist?
            Quote: Taratut
            And what does Poland have to do with it?

            And what if the article is about her?
            Quote: Taratut
            What is its Nazism?

            Something I did not find statements about Nazi Poland neither in my commentary nor in the article.
            1. Yura
              Yura 13 September 2012 23: 40
              +1
              Quote: Taratut
              By the way, you are referring to Polish sources in an article.

              If I wrote this article I would have risen greatly in my eyes, because for this it is necessary to work with a certain literature with the primary sources, to comprehend, I unfortunately do not have time for this, and there may be abilities for this kind of work.
              Quote: Taratut
              It turns out they didn’t forget

              They have not forgotten, but do not want to admit, they want our endless repentance, so as not to see his abomination behind him and whitewash themselves in the eyes of others. And finally, change your flags to any others, but you can’t finally hide behind the Russian flag and constantly pour mud on it.
              1. Yura
                Yura 14 September 2012 00: 03
                0
                Taratutu, Click-Klyak and others the same:
                Quote: Jura
                And finally, change your flags to any others, but you can’t finally hide behind the Russian flag and constantly pour mud on it.
                probably your true goal is to cause disgust and hostility among the citizens of our country to the citizens of our country?
            2. Taratut
              Taratut 14 September 2012 09: 26
              0
              Quote: Jura
              Poland then? it was occupied, and there were practically no government there already at that time

              What does it mean - practically?
              It was. And Poland was half occupied.

              Quote: Jura
              And what to compare then? Hell for living People, both there and there, according to your GULAG in the USSR, an excuse, an excuse for what was happening in the Birch of Kartuz?

              No. But then for this reason it is not for us to call the Poles fascists and to teach if we are no better.

              Quote: Jura
              And since when did Germany of that time, ruled by the Nazi party and its elite guided by fascist ideology, cease to be fascist?

              What is fascist ideology?

              Quote: Jura
              probably your true goal is to cause disgust and hostility among the citizens of our country to the citizens of our country?

              You cannot call anything if you are telling the truth. And I tell the truth and prove it to anyone.
      3. Sakhalininsk
        Sakhalininsk 13 September 2012 02: 17
        +4
        Quote: Click-Gag
        What does it mean? That is, the Nazis did the right thing in attacking Poland? Are you a member of the NSDAP?


        Poland of the 39th year, no better than Germany of the 39th! The same frankly fascist state with claims to greatness from mozh to mozh, in fact received in the face, groin and knees! Therefore, I will answer bluntly, YES they did the right thing, that they killed the hyena and Stalin did the right thing, that he introduced troops into the territories inhabited by ethnic Belarusians and Ukrainians.
        On the second question, no, I’m not a member and I was not a member of the Nazi parties,
  3. borisst64
    borisst64 12 September 2012 11: 35
    +4
    "People with full stomachs were forced to do 'gymnastics'"

    About crowded sounds strange.
    And about the attitude towards the Poles in the USSR, I recall "Four Tankmen and a Dog". For me, all Poles were like in a movie, but now it turned out that we had been gnawing them all our lives, and they had been doing nasty things to us all their lives.
    1. datur
      datur 12 September 2012 12: 08
      +5
      borisst64,
      and now it turned out that we had been biting them all our lives, and they have been doing nasty things to us all our life. and when we were bored, we beat them and beat them again until they lost heart rate !!!! it is a pity that the undersized, vile people !!!! wink yes
      1. Evgan
        Evgan 12 September 2012 13: 56
        +3
        Yeah, especially d ... Rokossovsky, Frederic Chopin and Maria Sklodowska-Curie ... Do not judge the people by their individual representatives. Moreover, in 1939 we also stomped on them, whatever one may say. It's a little more complicated than just being "vile people".
        But they, too, dirty tricks for us :)
        1. marubeni
          marubeni 13 September 2012 01: 56
          +1
          Forgive me, but Chopin is still half French, and Maria Sklodowska is just a "separate representative" ...
  4. Fox
    Fox 12 September 2012 12: 24
    +3
    that the Poles, that the Romanians, that the Bulgarians ALWAYS behaved like prostitutes ... the majority of scumbagious people.
  5. Prohor
    Prohor 12 September 2012 13: 19
    +5
    "Nevertheless, for some reason, it is more convenient for Polish society, referring to that time, to angrily stigmatize Moscow and not Berlin."
    Yes, because Moscow is now poor, Berlin is rich, and outright prostitution is the hallmark of all formerly allied social allies. to the camp!
  6. I-16M
    I-16M 12 September 2012 13: 31
    +4
    Katyn is the work of Poles and Germans.
    1. Click-Klyak
      Click-Klyak 12 September 2012 15: 42
      -8
      In the United States declassified documents. It turns out that Roosevelt knew very well who shot the Poles in Katyn. But he needed Stalin and he said nothing.
      Documents can be viewed here.
      http://www.echo.msk.ru/blog/echomsk/928941-echo/
      1. Brother Sarych
        Brother Sarych 12 September 2012 17: 01
        +4
        Roosevelt knew Goebbels's version very well, like almost the whole world — was that only the truth? Allegedly declassified documents look extremely frivolous, especially about the testimonies of prisoners taken out on excursions ...
        1. Taratut
          Taratut 13 September 2012 09: 05
          0
          Quote: Brother Sarich
          Roosevelt knew Goebbels's version very well, like almost the whole world — was that only the truth?

          Well, this is the official version.
          In all countries of the world, including Russia.
          Prove the opposite - get the Nobel Prize.
  7. Click-Klyak
    Click-Klyak 12 September 2012 15: 46
    -6
    Why Katyn execution in Poland is considered an act of "genocide"
    Because it is an act of genocide.

    "By the way, among the Poles shot in Katyn there were a considerable number of gendarmes and jailers (those who tortured prisoners in Polish casemates), as well as siege workers - Polish immigrants, participants in the Soviet-Polish war of 1919-1920."
    And what, does this justify the executioners?

    "The Poles do not want to remember that the year before, the Polish army invaded the Czech Cieszyn in the same way, annexing it to Poland."
    What do you mean, do not want? And the "Czech" Tesin was a disputed territory.
    The story is ugly, but it does not justify us.

    "Of the Polish gendarmes and servicemen who remained in the hands of the NKVD in Katyn, only every fourth person was killed."
    Not everyone was shot? Well, thanks for the humanism.

    "killings and executions of Soviet prisoners of war in Polish camps in the 1920s"
    And what kind of prisoners of war were shot in camps in the twenties?
    Many died of diseases, it was. What about the shootings?
    1. Brother Sarych
      Brother Sarych 12 September 2012 17: 04
      +3
      The article is generally weak, especially in terms of mentioning Katyn - it is generally not here here ...
      In the USSR, according to court verdicts, about 4 thousand people were executed, and not in Katyn at all. what no one really hid, Katyn is a completely different song ...
      For Soviet prisoners who were in Polish camps, the execution would be a relief of fate, and leave the song about the illness to the Polish geeks, because honest Poles themselves were terrified of what was happening there ...
    2. Dovmont
      Dovmont 12 September 2012 19: 48
      +6
      Click-Klyak,
      Why Katyn execution in Poland is considered an act of "genocide"
      Because it is an act of genocide.
      This statement of yours indicates that you either do not know the meaning of the word "genocide", or deliberately distort it. Genocide means the methodical mass destruction of a certain social stratum within one state or the extermination of an entire people. The genocide has nothing to do with the shooting of a small group of pshek in Katyn. Moreover, in spite of Medveput's lackey repentance, it is not yet a fact that this is the work of the NKVD.
      1. Taratut
        Taratut 13 September 2012 09: 11
        0
        You are right only in one. ALL Poles were not completely destroyed.
        Among the Polish officers were communists and "collaborators with the investigation." These were in a separate camp, they were not shot. On the contrary, it was relatively comfortable there.

        Quote: Vladimir 70
        Click-Gag does not finish a bit. People were dying not only from diseases, but also from hunger! People simply starved!

        Have you watched the movie "Walking the Torment"?
        Remember this fun little time?
        Do you know how many Red Army soldiers died at the front — from illness and malnutrition?
        Why did you decide that the prisoners in a poor, ruined country can live better?
        By the way, read the book "Soviet-Polish Wars" by Meltyukhov. You will like it, there you will enjoy scenes of massacre of the Red Army soldiers. But you will not like the NUMBERS. From them it turns out that the percentage of deaths in Polish and Soviet captivity is approximately the same. How is this possible if, according to Meltyukhov, in our captivity, the captured Poles were well treated?
    3. Vladimir 70
      Vladimir 70 12 September 2012 21: 13
      +3
      And what kind of prisoners of war were shot in camps in the twenties?
      Many died of diseases, it was.
      Click-Gag does not finish a bit. People were dying not only from diseases, but also from hunger! People simply starved!
    4. MI-AS-72
      MI-AS-72 12 September 2012 21: 50
      0
      Well, of course, the executions themselves died; it wasn’t like that, and in Katyn, the German fascists killed everyone, what's wrong?
      1. Taratut
        Taratut 13 September 2012 09: 18
        +1
        Poles saved the graves. Can you imagine? Supermarkets were not built on this place. Go dig, do the exhumation. Prove the fact of mass executions - the Poles will apologize.
        Single facts were with them, and with us.
        1. Alexander Romanov
          Alexander Romanov 13 September 2012 09: 21
          +3
          Quote: Taratut
          Prove the fact of mass executions - the Poles will apologize.

          And what to prove, this is not especially hidden by Polsh herself, just their politicians do not talk about it openly.
          1. Click-Klyak
            Click-Klyak 13 September 2012 16: 11
            0
            Whether Poland hides - we will discuss. Do you know the facts of mass executions of prisoners of war?
  8. Alfons xv
    Alfons xv 26 May 2015 21: 45
    0
    That's how they took and shot .Polish gendarmes, jailers, military personnel, besiegers. And where is the evidence of their guilt. Where is the investigation, where are the prosecutor’s charges, where are the defense lawyers for the accused, and where is the fair sentence imposed by an independent tribunal of the Land of Soviets? Where then, I believe, is the fair judicial system of the very humane Land of Soviets? There was no process at all, but there was a cowardly secret shooting and quietly buried corpses in the ditches. And if this was done outside the rules of the laws of the civilized world, then one should not be surprised at the outbreak of Russophobia. The case of Birch should be condemned and punished, but on the basis of laws.