On the Partition of Poland in 1939 by the Nazis and the Soviets?

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On the Partition of Poland in 1939 by the Nazis and the Soviets?

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Abr 16, 2018, 5:12am

Any suggestions of any books on this horrible topic.
Thus, survivors? The administration? What sort of prisinors exchanges happened?
Any survivors?


Abr 16, 2018, 9:21am

Try the memoir of JanKarski for a personal account. Yes, he escaped and spent the rest of the war as a military intelligence officer for the Armia Krajowa ("Home Army"). The book is Story of a Secret State.

For the examples of people less foresighted, try A World Apart by Gustav Herling and Shallow Graves in Siberia by Michael Krupa, for autobiographies of other Polish POWs.

For the fate of an enthusiastic Polish Communist, try Man is Wolf to Man by Janusz Bardach.

Karski is the most informative about what went on in Poland during the war years in Poland. The other accounts are the perspective from behind iron bars and barbed wire. All are immensely readable accounts.

Probably the best-known account is The Long Walk by Sławomir Rawicz.The is now a lot of controversy about whether Rawicz's autobiography is a fake, since Soviet documents have come to light which suggest he was part of the "Anders army" - where some Polish soldiers imprisoned in the USSR were released, via Iran, under the leadership of General Władysław Anders, to fight under British auspices against Hitler. However, those who think that Radicz did not make "the Long Walk" believe that he based his book on the testimony of other Poles, who did. So the account is probably broadly accurate, even if untrue in some specifics.

(I have General Anders' memoir Army in Exile on my TBR pile!)

For Polish history, Norman Davies is the preeminent author. See God's Playground for a broad sweep, and books like Rising '44 (the Warsaw Rising) and Trail of Hope (Anders' Army) for specifics.

If you are unaware of the massacre of the Polish officer corps in the forest of Katyń in 1940, may I recommend the award-winning Polish film Katyń? When I was at school, the official line was that this was a Nazi atrocity. In November 2010, the Russian Duma formally passed a resolution stating that classified documents "showed that the Katyn crime was carried out on direct orders of Stalin and other Soviet officials".


For a personal account from one of the 1.2 million Polish civilians (women, children and old men) deported to Siberia from Soviet-occupied Poland try Exiled to Siberia: A Polish Child's WWII Journey.

For the writings of a Polish Catholic imprisoned in Nazi-occupied Poland (and his experiences in Auschwitz and Dachau), try This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman by Tadeusz Borowski.

For the German treatment of Polish Jews, both in the Warsaw Ghetto and in the concentration camps, I again recommend Story of a Secret State. Karski infiltrated both, on the orders of the Polish Goverment-in-Exile. He then reported the facts to both Roosevelt and Churchill. (His reports of the genocide were deemed too horrific to be believed.)


I hope that helps!

Editado: Maio 1, 2018, 5:05am

Thank you so very much >2 Guanhumara:

My Uncle was a Polish Cavalry Officer in Sept. 1939. He said the stories of cavalry attacking German Tanks was CRAP. Perhaps a a few cadets?
The Stories Good for moral, but Crap!

He escaped to the east (through Iran?) and joined the RAF and fought over Tabrook. He was shot down and won a DFC.

He threaten to shoot the Doctor who wanted to amputate his legs :-) on the field. He always walked funny to my youthful eyes.

I have inherited his paper, and I have ABSOLUTE proof he was Born 1902 and 1904 and 1906.

I know why he had the 1906 ID. To fly for the RAF you had to be under 40yo.

I still remember admiring that medal, but he said "You just have to shoot down a few Germans and you get one of those.

I always thought it was Gorbochov who apologized to Poland in the 1990's for Katyń.

Once again you have give me many source I will have to investigate. Not Quick!

My Latvian Grandfather was a Guest of Uncle JO until Jo death, so I guess you know where my alliances lay?

Thanks again, Guido.

Maio 1, 2018, 5:25am

>3 guido47: It is fascinating how the big picture of history can suddenly become an intimate family portrait. I'm sure you are very proud of your uncle. I would be.