GOLGOTHA OF THE EAST
On 17 September, the anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union onto Poland In 1939, we celebrate the World Day of the Siberians. Poles, considered by Stalin, as enemies of a new ideology, experienced gehenna after the IV partition of the Polish Republic
An ominous harbinger of Poles’ fate was an agreement of the Soviet Union with the Third Reich which was finalized on 23 August 1939 in Kremlin. The chief of the German diplomacy Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Soviet prime minister and the foreign minister Wiaczesław Mołotow signed a pact about non-aggression and also a secret protocol attached to it, which postulated, among the others, that after the invasion onto Poland, both countries would share its lands. Our western allies, despite knowing details of that agreement, did not warn the Polish authorities against the forthcoming cataclysm.
On 1 September 1939, Hitler started implementing his plan. On 17 September 1939 Stalin attacked’ the Polish Republic which had used its all strength against the Germans. Over 700 thousand soviet soldiers of the Red Army and NKWD invaded our lands. Only about 12 thousand soldiers were fighting in defence of Polish borders, without any heavy artillery, heavy weapons or aviary, so, the fight lasted a few days. It was how the 4th partition of the Polish Republic happened. The reaction of our allies, France and Great Britain was poor. Although they declared a war to Hitler (under the pressure of the British public opinion), they decided to wait for his armies in their countries.
Soon before the attack into our eastern border, on 17 September 1939, the Soviets provided the Polish ambassador in Moscow Wacław Grzybowski with information, according to which all international agreements negotiated and contracted by the II Polish Republic turned out to be worthless scraps of paper. According to the Soviets, our country ‘stopped existing’, therefore they had to ‘take care of’ neighbouring nations – the Ukrainians and Belarus living on the Eastern Boundaries of the Polish Republic. This information, rude in its tone, was an expression of logics of the powerful country, according to which one who is stronger can do everything.
In September 1939 the Soviet Union did not declare a war to Poland, or, what is worse, the authorities of our country did not decide to make this step. It weakened the political significance of military invasion of the Soviet Union onto the Polish Republic. Formally, there was not a war, but there were a lot of victims. There were so many of them that it was difficult to count them.
St. John Paul II called this Polish martyrdom the Golgotha of the East. It was necessary to call all kinds of crimes so, which were done on Poles from Eastern borderlines of the Second Polish Republic, beginning from 17 September 1939. Among our persecutors were not only soviet soldiers, but also Ukrainian and Lithuanian nationalists. In the first place, elites were murdered, among the others, clergy, officers in Katyń, so that it would be easier to push us to the rank of slaves; about 2 million Poles were sent to the inhuman land. Most prisoners of labour camps scattered all over the Asian part of the Soviet Union died of famine or because of work destroying them or were killed by their perpetrators. This nightmare lasted very long after the end of the Second World War.