Kresy Aflame

This and the following pages describe the faithful events which began on 17th September 1939

My defenceless homeland will welcome you o invader. The street on which Jas and Malgosia went to school, will not open up under you into a deep ravine. Rivers be it lazy will not flood, and the Knights sleeping in the mountains will sleep, that's why it will be easy for you to enter.


This and the following pages show the life as it was after the fateful day of 17th September 1939, when the Soviet troops crossed the Polish frontier and invaded the Polish Republic which was already engaged in very heavy fighting with the German forces. They said they came in peace and to help, their pretext for the invasion was that they were helping the local Ukrainians who were exploited by the Capitalistic Poles. That was a blatant lie.

Almost immediately the arrests started, first to go were the officers, police and the local government officials, then came the indiscriminate arrests aided by the local Ukrainians denouncing the Poles for any reason, most of them just wanted to get even with the "Pan" that they worked for only yesterday. There was also the temptation of "easy pickings" in a form of their neighbour's property, after all dead men tell no tales.

The Ukrainians benefited from the Soviet help as the Soviets in most cases gave the Ukrainians a "free" hand to do as they wished, they in turn immediately started to murder their yesterday's neighbours and plunder their homes. Few could have had the foresight to imagine as to what awaited them under the Soviet regime, the majority realised that the life under the Soviets will be brutal and harsh and that some of them will not survive, but no one imagined that the Soviets would deport approximately 1.200.000* people to the Siberian Archipelago, to gulags and slave labour camps, to toil under inhuman conditions and for a large part of them to die there.

Whole families were placed in unheated cattle trucks in the depth of winter and sent on a nightmare journey, some did not return, majority never saw their homeland and their homes ever again.

A large majority were deported on the morning of 10th February 1940, when the loud banging on the door in the middle of the night told them that something terrible was about to happen.

The pages also contain the names of the Home Army units that fought against the Ukrainian insurgents "UPA**", "Banderowcy" and the German Army to protect the remaining Polish populace.

The following pages contain true accounts of the hardships endured by the Polish populace in those times. I see no point in trying to make up details which confuse the issue. There is also a few 'stories' based on facts.



Podlasie during the War


Podole during the War


Wielenszczyzna during the War


Wolyn during the War


 What really did happen and the persons responsible



* This is the conservative estimate, the number of deported persons is estimated as high as 2.000.000

**/*** for the terminology see the explanation page

Copyright 2003; Paul Havers