September 17 1939 year in the fate of the Belarusians
Not limited to seizures in the east and gifts to the Treaty of Versailles, Poland was also active in the west - in territories with the German population ... After organizing riots in Upper Silesia, the Poles occupied it too. At the same time with Katowice. Then Poland seized Galicia from Austria, and a little later, in the 1930, added to her acquisitions pieces of Czechoslovakia, which she shared with the Nazis. All these “feats” were not difficult to accomplish, since Russia and Germany were defeated by their own revolutions, and Austria-Hungary, with the blessing of England, was dismembered by the victors.
August 17 The Soviet-Polish negotiations began in Minsk on 1920 in Minsk, and Pilsudski secretly prepared the segmentation of the next part of the Lithuanian territories from the Sejm. On October 9 of the same year, the forces of the associate of Pilsudski, General L. Zeligovsky, turned out to be within Lithuania (I would especially note non-Soviet) and, capturing Vilna and the Vilno region, proclaimed there the “middle Lithuania”, which they immediately attached to Poland.
All attempts by the League of Nations to return Lithuania to the Polish-occupied lands were unsuccessful. And the more empty was the protest of the Soviet government, which at that time sought peace with Poland. The day before the signing of the Riga Peace Treaty, all Polish diplomatic missions abroad received specific instructions: “We should continue to support elements hostile to Soviet Russia, both Russian and Ukrainian, Belarusian and Caucasian. Our interests in the east do not end along our borders ... We are not indifferent to the fate of the land historical Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, separated from us by the future Riga Treaty. "
18 March 1921, the treaty was signed, and Poland became almost an empire, in which the Poles made up only 65% of the total population. By the way, Poland at that time had one of the largest armies in Europe: 700 thousand people, while 14 thousand officers. The French army numbered 660 thousand people, and Germany, according to the Versailles Treaty, reduced its army to 100 thousand people. Now we had to consider everything with Poland, especially if we take into account its close relations with France.
A few words about the "humanism" of almost European Rzecz Pospolita. According to 2 (intelligence) department of the General Staff of the Polish Army, in February 1919 - October 1920. more than 146 thousand Red Army soldiers were taken prisoner. The fate of tens of thousands of these people is extremely tragic - they died from the inhuman conditions in the concentration camps of the Pilsudski regime, which appeared in Europe much earlier than the Nazi ones. For example, one of the favorite activities of the Polish (the best in Europe) cavalrymen was to put Red Army prisoners in prison throughout the huge cavalry parade ground and learn how to “ruin up to the waist” from all over the “heroic” shoulder, at full speed. Brave lords cut unarmed and exhausted prisoners "on the fly, with a turn." There were many placings for "training" in the cavalry felling. Just like the death camps. In Bialystok, Pulawy, Brest, Pikulice, Korosten, Zhitomir, Alexandrov, bows-Lomzynski Island Rombertove, Zdunskoy Will, Torun, Dorogusk, Plock, Radom, Przemysl, Lviv, Fridrihovke, Zvyagele, Dabie, Strzalkowo, Tuchola, Baranavichy ... Garrisons of brave cavalrymen stood in every town. Only in one of the Polish death camps, Tuchola, more than 22 thousand prisoners of war died from the nastiest mockery, cane discipline, cold, famine, epidemics ...
In relation to the occupied territories, Pilsudski pursued a tough policy of polonization. Closed Orthodox churches. Ukrainian and Belarusian schools and cultural organizations were persecuted. By the middle of the 1930-s, 43% of Belarusians were illiterate, and there were not two hundred Belarusian students all over Poland. 17 June 1934 of the year by order of Pilsudski in the Brest region, not far from the border with the USSR, a new concentration camp was opened in Bereza Kartuzskaya, this time for political prisoners.
From the memorandum of the Belostok voevode Ostashevsky to the Polish Ministry of the Interior, entitled “Problems of strengthening the Polish state in possession of the Belostok voivodeship”: “Sooner or later, the Belarusian population is subject to polonization. They represent a passive mass, without a broad popular consciousness, without their own state traditions. Wishing this process to be accelerated, we must overcome the ancient Belarusian culture ... In the rural volosts, where the Belarusian population lives, the material culture of the Poles should certainly be raised to the highest level. This is one of the principal conditions of Polish expansion ... In short, our attitude towards Belarusians can be formulated as follows: we want one thing and persistently demand that this national minority think in Polish - not to give anything and not to do anything in another direction. ” If it becomes necessary “to give this population something and to interest it or something”, this can be done only with the aim “that it thinks Polish and learn Polish in the spirit of Polish statehood ... land or private parcel of Polish estates took place under the condition that the lands were transferred into the hands of the Poles and, if possible, to the Belarusian elements, then only those who manifest polishing tendencies. The proletarianizing Belarusian element, going from the village to the city, is generally subject to faster assimilation than in the village ... The point is not to reduce the land holdings of the Poles, because from the point of view of the country's policy, those whose hands the land is above ... ”( GAOO GO, f.6195, op.1, d.28, l. 4, 16).
By 1939, all Belarusian schools were finally converted to Polish, and two-thirds of Orthodox churches were turned into churches. “Shooting cracks,” as the Belarusian and Ukrainian lands called the Poles, were only an agrarian and raw material appendage of their country, and also served as a source of cannon fodder. And the brave gentlemen planned to use it both in the East and in the West.
I thought of myself as a great power, the second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth dreamed not only about European, but also about African colonies! "Living space" is not enough! From the beginning of 1937, the Poles began to exaggerate the theme of their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in solving colonial issues. 18 April 1938. The whole of Poland widely celebrated the Day of the Colonies. All this was accompanied by mass demonstrations demanding the provision of overseas colonies to the great Polish nation. In the churches sent solemn service on this occasion.
The plans in Europe are eloquently illustrated by an excerpt from the minutes of the meeting No. 25 from 3.10.1935, by the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army: “The rule is developing the East, and after that we will try to solve the West within the framework of the East plan.” (Explanation: the “East” plan is a plan for war with the USSR, the “West” plan is a plan for waging war with Germany.).
The 1938 report of the Polish General Staff, dated December 2, emphasized: “The dismemberment of Russia lies at the heart of Polish policy in the East ... Therefore, our possible position will be reduced to the following formula: who will take part in the section. Poland should not remain passive at this wonderful historical moment. The task is to prepare well in advance physically and spiritually ... The main goal is to weaken and defeat Russia ”(Z dziejow stosunkow polsko-radzieckich. Studia i materialy. T.lll. Warszawa, 1968. S.262, 287).
The USSR could reasonably consider Poland the most hostile state of all with which it bordered directly. In 1930-s. in the framework of military planning, the leadership of the Soviet Union proceeded from the fact that in the upcoming conflict Poland would be the main enemy in alliance with Germany. The fact is that even in 1932, in the event of war against the USSR, Poland undertook to deploy 60 divisions. By the way, the conclusion of 26 January 1934 of the German-Polish Treaty of Friendship and Non-Aggression became the apotheosis of the formation of Nazi Germany.
Interestingly, in 1939, the Poles began their mobilization before the Germans. Already 22 of March, that is, six months (!) Before the supposedly unexpected and treacherous attack of the Nazis, in Poland it was announced the start of the first partial and hidden mobilization (five units) to provide cover for the mobilization and concentration of the main forces of the Polish army! About how successful it was, testifies, for example, the entry in the diary of the Chief of the General Staff of the Ground Forces of Germany Halder from August 15: “Last information about Poland: Mobilization in Poland will be completed 27.08. Consequently, we will lag behind the Poles with the end of mobilization. To complete the mobilization by the same deadline, we must start its 21.08. Then 27.08, our divisions of the 3 and 4 lines will also be ready. ”
On August 18, 1939, the Polish ambassador in Paris, Y. Lukasevich, in an interview with French Foreign Minister J. Bonnet courageously declared that "not the Germans, but the Poles will burrow deep into Germany in the very first days of the war!" “... Dressed in steel and armor, led by Rydz-Smigly, we will march to the Rhine ...” - they sang in Warsaw ... However, for some reason, after a few days, on the very first days of September 1939, courageous Polish cavalrymen (the best in Europe) were quickly tired of chopping German cabbage Tanks. And after they were finally convinced that they were “not from plywood”, they handed over to the “true Aryans” land “from mozh to mozh” (from sea to sea) in two days and two weeks.
The reason for such a long delay was that, thanks to the general mobilization of the regiments formed from Belarusians (Baranavichy, Slonimsky, Lidsky and others), they were forced to be the first to take the mortal blow of the German troops on the western borders of the Polish Ouchizna, who did not immediately surrender. Brave Polish lancers at this time, increasingly, instead of “Ura,” shouted the famous “Panov, fucking!”. This vigorous cry appeared immediately after the pansy was convinced that Germany, recently brought to Western poverty by complete alleviation of poverty and economic collapse, turned out to be “so much iron” (for tanks) that the Germans would be able to reach it to Smolensk.
To prevent this from happening, 17 September, when the then Polish government, abandoning its people, simply fled, and the German army approached Brest and Lviv and stormed Warsaw, the campaign of the Red Army began, ending with the annexation of western Belarus and western Ukraine to the Soviet state. D.Lloyd-George wrote to the Polish ambassador in London in the autumn of the same year that “... the USSR occupied territories that are not Polish and that were forcibly seized by Poland after the First World War ... It would be an act of criminal insanity to put the Russian advancement on a par with the promotion Germany. "
It is highly indicative that at first a different border was planned, passing much to the west — along the San and Vistula rivers — but this did not happen by the will of the USSR. The American historian William Shearer wrote in 1959 about Stalin’s decision to abandon the Polish territories proper: "Having well learned the lesson of the centuries-old history of Russia, Stalin understood that the Polish people would never reconcile with the loss of their independence."
Today's Polish historiography of those events is interesting for its scrupulousness - accuracy, up to a statement of the degree of courage of one or another ulan and the number of strokes of his sword. Only all this petty detailing does not give an answer to one big and essential question: why did such bold and desperate lancers in 1919 have passed their very large by European standards state in 1939 in a couple of weeks? For example, they took Minsk as easily in 1919 as they did in Warsaw in 1939.
The scowling reference to “stab in the back” and “war on two fronts”, to put it mildly, is not appropriate. In 1919, this same war on two fronts did not prevent Poland from simultaneously seizing huge chunks of territory in the East and in the West. Just a fact: by 1 September 1939, the Commonwealth had an 3,5-millionth mobilized army. For the entire September period of hostilities, this army killed about 66.300 people killed (less than 2%) and ... surrendered.
As for the "stab in the back," as noted by historian J. Gross in a monograph published in the United States by Princeton University Press (1988), at a time when the Soviet army entered the land of Western Belarus and Ukraine, the Polish administration The territories were completely disorganized as a result of the defeat of the Polish troops and the influx of refugees. In turn, local residents “were arming against the Poles and the Polish authorities. A large-scale civil war was averted, "notes the American historian," only thanks to the rapid deployment of Soviet troops ... ".
As an example of the actions of the Poles themselves, they can suppress the uprising of the local population in Grodno and Skidel in September 1939 by Polish ulans, gendarmes and ozonians (members of OZONE - the union of Polish nationalist parties created in 1935).
The uprisings began on September 17, when Poland no longer existed as a state, and the Polish army was crushed by the Reich war machine. The president and the government of Poland, who fled from Warsaw literally in the very first days of the war, by the middle of the month found themselves first in Romania, and from there they fled to Paris, then to London.
The workers of Skidel raised a rebellion as soon as they learned that the Red Army had crossed the border of the collapsed Rzecz Pospolita. The rebels seized the mail, the police station, and the police were disarmed and released to their homes. The same was done with the soldiers who were in a military echelon at the Skidel railway station ... A few hours later Polish soldiers appeared in the city, reinforced by a company of Grodno gendarmes ... In a small town, great atrocities began. 30 man punitive immediately shot. Shot and those who just turned up under the arm. Before being shot, they were mocked: they put out one's eyes, cut out tongues with others, and beat his fingers with the third with his butts. A wounded member of the underground KPZB district committee L.Pochimku cut off his ears, gouged out his eyes, cut out the stars on his chest and back.
Then they gathered up to two hundred people. Neither men nor women were dismantled. They were driven to the Orthodox Church, forced to lie face down, beaten with butts on their heads, forced to eat and kiss the ground, shouting: “That’s our land, Polish, you don’t live on it!” While some punitive people mocked Belarusians at the church, others threw grenades and torches in the houses of the supporters of the USSR. The neighbors were not allowed to extinguish, they were driven away by shots. 19 houses burned down, in some women and children burned alive. But the tragedy of the small town did not end there either.
Towards evening, of the two hundred people who had lain all day at the temple, they took away the “most active rebels” and drove them to execution to the shore of the Kotra. When the top five of the tortured people were snatched from the crowd of the doomed and put in for execution, a wedge with a red star appeared on board because of the little forest. This is to the rescue of the rebels in Skidel, the flying squad headed by Captain Chernyavsky hurried - two armored cars and two tanks. They were loaded weapons. The captain armed these weapons with peasants from the surrounding villages. With their help, Skidel was completely cleared of punitive.
From the Soviet report: “From the morning of September 19, from the tank battalions of the 100th and 2nd rifle divisions and the armored company of the reconnaissance battalion of the 2nd division, a motorized group of the 16th rifle corps was formed under the command of brigade commander Rozanov ... the task was set to attack Grodno.
Moving to the city, the Skidel motogroup collided with a Polish squad (about 200 people), who suppressed the anti-Polish performance of the local population. In this punitive raid, 17 was killed by local residents, including 2 teenagers 13 and 16 years. Turning around, the motogroup attacked the enemy in Skidel from both flanks. Hoping to stop the tanks, the Poles set fire to the bridge, but the Soviet tankmen sent cars through the fire and managed to slip through the burning bridge, which collapsed after the passage of tanks, to the other side of the Skidel River. ”
A similar tragedy occurred in those September days in Grodno. In two days about thirty people died from bullets, beatings and fire, including children, wounded and beaten up - up to one hundred. The agony of the second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for the residents of Grodno and Skidel turned into bloody battles. As a mortally wounded beast created by the Pilsudski regime, leaving political life, brought human sacrifices to its ambitions, avenging people for its own inconsistency and defeat in the war with fascist Germany.
According to historian A.D. Markov, practically everywhere in the east of the former Rzecz Pospolita, “Ukrainians, Belarusians and Jews organized rebel groups ... attacking Polish units retreating from the Germans ... The non-Polish population turned Polish banners, tearing white lines from them, reddened them columns of the Red Army ... indicated the places where the Poles hid weapons, participated in the neutralization of small Polish units "... This" non-Polish "population ranged from 67 to 90%!
The Soviet troops who entered the territory of the so-called “wrecks of the shoots” as liberators, avoided, where possible, clashes with Polish units. The chief of staff at the headquarters of the commander-in-chief of the Polish army, General V. Stakhevich, noted in his report: “Soviet soldiers do not shoot at our people, demonstrate their position in every possible way ...” Deputy Chief of Staff General Y. Yaklich wrote in those days in his diary: and motorized parts. Tanks go openly with white flags ... Our army is disoriented. Some have stubborn resistance, others miss the Soviet troops. They bypass them and move on. "
All Western researchers stated that the incidents at the time of the entry of the Red Army had a local character and did not accept wide dimensions. It was also noted that the Soviet troops were moving deliberately slowly, enabling the Polish units to withdraw to the Romanian border. It was especially slow to move south from Lviv.
The Nazis, as the German ambassador in Bucharest, Fabritius later admitted, “were furious that the Russians did not try to close the Romanian corridor for the Polish authorities and the army as soon as possible ...”. Most of these researchers come to the conclusion that the actions of the Soviet Union could not change anything, the defeat of Poland in the war with Germany was almost a fait accompli.
22 September 1939 was prepared by the British and French general staffs report, qualifying the actions of the USSR towards Germany as “pre-emptive” and noting that they were taken only when the final defeat of Poland became obvious, with which history played a cruel joke. As American historian B. Budurovich noted, in June 1936, Poland prevented the adoption of international sanctions against fascist Italy, which seized the territory of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) precisely because the latter, according to the Polish leader Y. Beck, allegedly “ceased to exist as a state”. In September, 1939 of the year and the second Rzeczpospolita itself collapsed in a similar way “to the waist”, ran “on all four sides”, as they say, “on the fly, with a turn”.
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