Once again about the "difficult questions" of the history of Polish-Russian relations

Once again about the "difficult questions" of the history of Polish-Russian relations

Recently in RIA News a press conference was held at which several new documentary books on Polish-Soviet relations were presented to journalists. Presenting books, their compilers are scientists stories and archivists said that they positively assess the tendency, the essence of which, in their opinion, is that political predilections in relations between our countries are increasingly giving way to real facts and their sober, objective assessments.

This trend can, it would seem, only welcome. Just not too early? A collection of articles by Polish and Russian authors entitled “White spots - black spots”, also devoted to relations between our countries, suggests this question. The journal New Poland (No. 6 - 2011) provides a comprehensive analysis of the collection. Well, if it is short, most of the materials in it boil down, in fact, to the strained "one-sided" thesis of Z. Brzezinski, expressed a few years ago in the Wall Street Journal: "The Russian leadership has no right to shirk the assessment of the past of their country, which the whole world considers criminal."

I don’t know how “the whole world”, but some Russian historians, including N. Lebedev and V. Parsadanov, who spoke in the collection, working on Polish grants and awards, worked hard on developing the theme of the historical guilt of the Soviet Union - Russia to Poland.

And what does the Polish side look like against the background of the Soviet "sins"? Was Poland only a victim of its eastern neighbor?

This, to put it mildly, is not so. As evidenced by the early years of the neighborhood of Soviet Russia, which replaced the Russian Empire in 1917, and Poland, which was restored a little later, in 1919.

Who then started the Polish-Soviet war is not a secret: Poland. It’s not a secret how she fought the war in the territory of Ukraine: “We killed everyone without exception and burned everyone at the slightest suspicion of sincerity,” said Y. Beck, a participant in that war, who later became Polish foreign minister, who did much to bring her closer Hitler.

By repelling the aggressor, the Red Army in June 1920 of the year went on the offensive, the successes of which so turned the heads of the military leadership of Soviet Russia in the person of Trotsky, Tukhachevsky, Putna, Kamenev, Smilga, that it did not hear the reasonable warning expressed in the open press I. Stalin: "I consider inappropriate bluster and complacency of some comrades harmful to the cause. Some of them, not content with success on the fronts, scream about march on Warsaw, others, not content with the defense of our republic from enemy attack, were proud on the claim that they can make peace only on the red Soviet Warsaw. "

"... It's funny to talk about the march on Warsaw."

And soon it became not only not funny, but ended with a major defeat of the Red Army near Warsaw and forced the Russian side to enter into peace negotiations with Poland, unfavorable for her, in 1921 by concluding the Riga Treaty, according to which significant territories of western Ukraine were ceded to Poland and Belarus. Another important point of the negotiations in Riga was the question of Red Army prisoners of war, many of whom died in the Polish camps as a result of intolerable conditions of detention, starvation, disease, bullying, and that was simply destroyed.

In other publications, in the same "New Poland" magazine published in Russian and distributed in Russia, one can find allegations that the subject of Soviet prisoners of war was raised by the Russian side after decades of complete oblivion only at the turn of 80 - 90 of the last century for the sole purpose of “to obscure the memory of the crimes of the Soviet system against the Poles, creating them (crimes. - R.L.) an imaginary analogue or even an excuse”. (A. Nowak. - "New Poland", No. 4, 2005 year).

Is this true?

Actually even in the note of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR G. Chicherin addressed to the temporary charge d'affaires of Poland G. Filippovich from September 6 1921, it was indicated that within two years 130 thousands of people from Poland died in Poland from 60.

Even earlier, the January 29 of the same 1921 of the year, Colonel of the Polish Military Medical Service K. Hobicht, who was recruited as an expert to the Polish-Russian-Ukrainian negotiations in Riga, sent the command of the Polish Army, first repatriation of prisoners of war and internees), secondly, their views on him, in particular, is this: “Since it would be difficult to respond to the charges against us on the merits, they should be drowned out (Russian-Ukrainian. - R.L.) evidence to those that in Russia prisoners of war are no better than in our country. "

According to the principle of "he himself."

A. Pachukanis, an attache of the RSFSR post office in Poland, wrote about this tactics in August 1921 of the year: “In recent years, the Polish side has been trying to fend off allegations of ill-treatment of our prisoners by reporting the recorded testimony of some Polish soldiers in 1920, when they were captured, they walked all day and did not receive food, or fables about visiting Polish camps in Russia (...), where they collect complaints, after which the complainants are shot. "

In the order of the same counter pressure, the Polish side advanced a bill to the Soviet side for the maintenance of captured Red Army soldiers in the amount of the 1495192042 mark. When, having calculated the efficiency of the labor of captured Red Army soldiers, the Soviet side put forward claims for a sum of four times as large, the question of material compensation was dropped.

However, there remained the question of the fate of thousands of Red Army soldiers in Polish captivity. The fact that it fell to their lot, wrote the memoirs of N. Walden (J. Podolsky). They were published in 1931 year in the magazine "New World". Here is how they described the delivery of prisoners from the front to the camp.

“I remember how at large stations gentlemen with sticks and“ ladies from society "approached our carriage. The most" suitable "prisoners were pulled out, beaten and scratched. The Jews enjoyed particular success. I remember with nausea how these beasts approached me. dialogue.

- Jew?

- Not.

- The truth?

“I lie in the heat,” I said at last, with the despair of the holy fool. This had the desired effect, the public very quickly left me alone, saying: "Well, die, you need to shoot him." Some gentleman youth really wanted to try his revolver on me. Someone stopped him. "

And here's another:

"When I spotted two soldiers - guys caught in the next village. They were going to flee, but gave one" uncle ", in which they spent the night in the barn."


"Hunger, forced labor, inhuman cruelty began in the camp, often reaching the direct killings of our prisoners for the fun of a drunken officer."

Recalling what was happening during the seizure of Galicia by the Poles, the author writes: "But didn't the Poles themselves behave in the same way during their short stay in our Ukraine?" And he concludes: "Bourgeois chauvinistic Poland is preparing a terrible vengeance for itself."

In the journalism of recent years, especially Polish, you can read - everyone, they say, was, but how can you compare these individual excesses characteristic of wartime with the cruelty of the Soviet system, which purposefully spread rot to Poland for decades in a row.

Did everything boil down to "individual excesses"? The above mentioned Y. Beck clearly wrote about this: "As for Russia, I don’t find enough epithets to characterize the hatred that we have for it."

And didn’t this atmosphere of total hatred inflame the appeal of J. Pilsudski to the people with an appeal to act so mercilessly against the retreating enemy, so that they would be expected everywhere to be "death and bondage." Later, the marshal confessed that his dream was to take Moscow and coarsely write on the walls of the Kremlin: "Talking Russian is forbidden."

Also, say, kurtosis?

As for the Soviet policy towards Poland, one of its principles for a number of years was not just a "ban" on pressing topics from the history of our bilateral relations, but the desire not to touch the old wounds, not to reduce everything to mutual claims, this kind of relationship can not be built.

Since the end of the 80 of the 20th century, the Polish political elite, historians, and publicists are beginning to demand - no, not to break off relations with Russia, but to build them so that Poland, as its late President L. Kaczynski put it, "is always something from Russia had ". Say, this is the "good relations" ... In accordance with them, the framework of historical objectivity is so far apart that the magazine "New Poland" - imagine! - even published the mentioned descriptions of J. Podolsky about his stay in Polish captivity. But he published with such notes that the Polish gulag almost looks like paradise.

Or, again, take the number of Red Army soldiers captured in Polish captivity in 1919 — 1920, and the number of those killed in it. By the very numbers of the agreement was not and is not. The Polish side, obviously playing for a fall, states that according to 18 on October 1920, there were 110 thousands of Soviet prisoners on Polish territory (“New Poland”, No. 11 - 2005). Of these, 25 thousand immediately went over to the side of the Polish Army, entered the Cossack units, and other white formations in Poland. Of the remaining 80 — 85 thousands of prisoners of war returned to their homeland 65797 people. Where are the rest of 16 — 18 thousands? Polish historians (Z. Korzun) argue that this is the number of people who died in Polish camps from wounds, epidemics that were so widespread at that time, and also because the young Polish state, which itself had great difficulties, could not provide the prisoners with decent content. in the camps. Sadly, they say, but what to do?

Russian researcher T. Matveev believes that the currently available sources suggest that not 110 but 157 thousands of Red Army soldiers were taken prisoner. I. Pikhutina, referring to the data of the Russian and Polish archives, calls the number in Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war in 165550. Well, V. Filimoshin counted 206877 prisoners.

Why such a scatter? Firstly, because there was no accurate record keeping of those who fell into the Polish camps and those who died in them. Secondly, the prisoners should be attributed not only to those who were held in the camps, as well as the wounded, but not picked up from the battlefield or finished off by the enemy, which was not uncommon. Short - shot on the spot - was a massacre with the captured commissioners, communists, Jews. In addition, the number of people killed during the multi-day transportation of captured Red Army soldiers from the places of capture to the camps has not been established.

In general, the camps were not “reached” by the order of 40 — 50 of thousands of Red Army soldiers, who remained outside official statistics.

According to military historian V. Filimoshin, a total of thousands of Soviet prisoners of war formed 82,5 into the Polish land. However, when in the 1998 year, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation addressed his Polish colleague with a request to consider the causes of their death, the answer was that "the investigations into the case of the allegedly exterminated prisoner Bolsheviks in the 1919 — 1920 war, which the Prosecutor General of Russia demands from Poland, will not be". This was, in Katyn, they say, genocide, and in the Polish concentration camps of Tuchola, Stzhalkov, Bialystok, Brest - everything was decent. So the question is settled ...

Was it only the attitude towards captives in red in Poland as described above? A. Denikin, in his memoirs, testifies that whites, who also found themselves in the Polish camps of that time, were not much better. In Poland, covered by the triumphant euphoria of the twenties, the eradication of everything Russian began. When the Warsaw Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky was destroyed and plundered during that campaign, where more than ten thousand works of world artistic value were kept, the newspaper Golos Varshavsky triumphed: "Having destroyed the temple, we thereby proved our superiority over Russia, our rightness over it ".

And more eloquent detail of that time. Known for his extreme ruthlessness not only to the enemies of the revolution, but also to those who fluttered in the fight against enemies, L. Trotsky in July 1920 of the year proclaimed: "Despite news of the unprecedented atrocities committed by the White Guard Polish troops over the prisoners and wounded Red Army, spare prisoners and wounded enemies ... Ruthlessness in battle, generosity to the prisoner and wounded enemy - this is the slogan of the workers and peasants of the Red Army. "

However, back in our time.

On the initiative of the European Union - the day of the signing of the Molotov Pact - Ribbentrop 23 of August - from this year will be celebrated as a day to commemorate the "victims of totalitarianism." It is perfectly clear who and whom will be stigmatized on this day, who will be billed, who will be required to "repentance" and "compensation." It is no less clear who in this sensation might not even be remembered ...

What happens to us if we are willing to put up with this "truth of history"?
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