Stravinskiene, Vitalija
January 2006
Lietuvos Istorijos Metrastis;2006, Issue 1, p45
Academic Journal
In the autumn of 1944 the agreement forced on the Lithuanians and Poles by the USSR concerning the evacuation of Lithuanians from Poland and of former Polish citizens, i.e. Poles and Jews, from Lithuania caused huge migration processes during 1945-1946. The repatriation process was greatly influenced by the NKVD-NKGB as the specific pressure they exerted caused many thousands of Poles to decide to move to Poland. The article seeks to reveal the influence of Soviet security on the repatriation of the Poles, to show the effect of the repressive measures on the dynamics of the repatriation process, to highlight the efforts of the NKVD-NKGB in attempting to prevent members of the Polish underground from moving to Poland, and to reveal the view of repatriation held by the Polish underground organisations. The article investigates the definition of repatriation used to define the process. Repatriation is understood as the return of another state's citizens, who are abroad, to their own state in accordance with the agreement of the states which are releasing and accepting them. But this definition is also not entirely accurate, especially in respect to the Polish autochthons. The concept of 'evacuation' used in the documents of that time also inaccurately describes the process that occurred and has been replaced in the article by 'repatriation'. The selected chronological limits coincide with the deadlines for carrying out the repatriation: after the LSSR government and Poland's National Liberation Committee signed an agreement on 22 September 1944 concerning the evacuation of Lithuanians from Polish territory and of Polish citizens from Lithuanian territory, the movement of Poles to Poland, which continued until the end of July 1947, began. This problem, which should be investigated in Lithuanian historiography, has not been studied. Archive material, which has survived in the Lithuanian Extraordinary (LYA) and the Lithuanian Central State (LCVA) Archives, was mostly used in preparing this article. This archive preserves the documents of the institution of the chief LSSR government representative for repatriation in the territory of the LSSR. This institution organised the repatriation of the Poles, controlled its course, and decided other related issues. After becoming acquainted with the surviving documents, it is possible to note that the Soviet security and repatriation structures, in pursuing their aims, coordinated their actions and worked together: the NKVD-NKGB used this institution and its documentation in looking for people who belonged to the Polish underground or were otherwise connected with it while the institution of the chief representative for repatriation. in order to hasten the repatriation process or determine whether certain individuals were entitled to be repatriated, appealed to the NKVD-NKGB for help. It should be noted that the aims of the repressive and repatriation structures at least in part coincided; in seeking first to weaken the Polish underground's support base and second to implement the 22 September 1944 LSSR and Polish agreement, repatriation was unavoidable forced using repressive means. The documents preserved by the Lithuanian Extraordinary Archive help to reveal the position of the NVKD (as of 1946 the MVD) and the NKGB (as of 1946 the MGB) on various issues concerning the life of the Polish community. The repressive structures which pursued the aforementioned aims intensively searched for people who belonged to the Polish underground. tracked and recorded the mood of the Polish inhabitants on various questions of political and social - economic life, sounded out their view of repatriation, collected information about the number of people who had registered and left, etc.�


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