Powojenne losy żołnierzy Polskich Sił Zbrojnych na Zachodzie po powrocie na Białoruś
After-war Lots of Soldiers Polish Armed Forces in the West after Their Comeback to Belarus
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A large part of Polish Armed Forces in the West fi ghting on the western fronts during the Second World War were soldiers from north-eastern borderlands of the Second Polish Republic. Although most of these soldiers decided to stay abroad after the war, between 1946 and 1948 about one thousand men from borderlands came back, mainly because of family reasons, to their homeland, the territory of which belonged now to the USSR. The Soviet side had been trying to persuade as many “Anders’ soldiers” as possible to come back, even as early as in the last years of war. Despite that fact, after coming back the were treated as “hostile elements” and “soldiers of Anders the traitor”. After repatriation to the Belorussian Soviet Socialistic Republic ex-soldiers of Polish Armed Forces in the West did not receive any combatant rights, and many of them even suffered repressions (arrests, faked criminal accusations, expropriations). Despite their heroism, medals or wounds suffered in the war with the Nazi, in their Soviet army booklets it was often written: “did not take part in warfare activities”. These people did not match an artificial, created by Soviet authorities pattern of an USSR citizen – a Soviet patriot, who participated in a Great Patriotic War, thus because of their moral standards, which were different from “valid” ones, and because of their different world view and freethinking, they were decided to be not useful for Soviet society. In April 1951 ex-soldiers of Polish Armed Forces in the West together with their families were deported to Siberia. Only after Belarus obtained independence, these people were given status of the Second World War participants and due combatant privileges.
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