Polacy pomagający Ukraińcom na ziemiach dzisiejszej Polski w latach 1945–1947
Poles Assisting Ukrainians on Contemporary Polish Territories between 1945–1947
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The article is an attempt to present briefly the extent and variety of forms of help that Ukrainians being resettled from southeastern territories of Poland into the USSR (the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) between 1944–1946 as well as during the Operation Wisła campaign in 1947 were provided with by Polish people. First of all, they were assisted by Poles in obtaining new identity cards confirming Polish nationality and also they were helped in changing the Orthodox or the Greek-Catholic Church membership into the Roman-Catholic which automatically exempted them from the relocation duty and what is more, they were not required to register for resettlement list. Polish people interceded with the authorities on behalf of the particular Ukrainian individuals who were supposed to have gone to the USRR, guaranteeing for their loyal attitude towards Poland and Polish nation during the war. According to the author’s approximate estimates, as a result of those actions, over a dozen thousands of families avoided the repatriation. When the compulsory resettlement in the USRR, starting from September 1945, was being conducted by the army, [not only did Poles offer their houses as a shelter for Ukrainians but they also interceded with commanders of the resettlement troops and committees or even paid bribes to set them free.] there were Poles who offered their homes as a shelter for Ukrainians, what is more, they interceded with commanders of the resettlement troops and committees or even paid bribes to set Ukrainian people free. Thanks to the agreement reached in 1945 (between Ukrainian Insurgent Army [UPA] and a Polish underground anti-communist organization Wolność i Niezawisłość WiN [Freedom and Independence]), in the spring of 1946, WiN members from the county of Hrubieszów provided many Ukrainian families with help hiding them among Poles of the neighbouring county of Chełm. Another important matter to be mentioned is that during the military resettlement campaign carried out in border counties of Lesko, Lubaczów, Nowy Sącz and Sanok, many public appearances of particular starosts as well as of members of local national councils (especially in counties of Sanok and Lubaczów) were being made to prevent Ukrainians and Lemkos – the most – from being relocated. Whenever those interventions failed another forms of help were used like: assistance in obtaining Polish identity cards or attempts of gaining new Ukrainian professionals considered to be indispensable for local economy. Similar efforts were being made a year later during Operation Wisła campaign, but in that case, the effects were weaker because of the fact that the authorities in Warsaw decided to expel all Ukrainians even those considered by the local administration to be loyal towards Poland as well as those of mixed families.
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