Amnesty for Polish prisoners in the Soviet Union in 1941

Amnesty for Polish prisoners in the Soviet Union in 1941 – on 12 August 1941 Soviet authorities announced an amnesty for Polish citizens in prisons, labor camps, prison camps and places of exile in the Soviet Union. The amnesty was the result of the two weeks ago signed Polish-Soviet agreement. By the end of 1941 about 765 thousand freed Poles signed up to the Polish embassy delegations. Poles freed. This was only a part of the people covered by the amnesty. Despite numerous requests, the Soviet authorities did not provide the Polish Embassy with the lists of Polish citizens imprisoned in the Soviet Union. To the attention of the Polish authorities came more numerous cases of the detention of Polish citizens in prisons. The news about the amnesty did not reach all the places where Poles were imprisoned. In addition, on 1 December 1941, the Soviet government announced the note, which stated that as Polish citizens will be considered only people of Polish nationality who on 1 November 1939 lived in the Western Ukraine and Belarus. Thus, the citizens of Polish citizens of Belarusian, Ukrainian and Jewish nationalities were not included in the amnesty. The Polish Embassy negotiated the recognition of citizenship for the former residents of the central and western Poland. But in practice, the restoration of Polish citizenship and, what follows, extending the amnesty was implemented inconsistently.

The term was created within the framework of the project Zapisywanie świata żydowskiego w Polsce [recording the Jewish environment in Poland], whose author is Anka Grupińska, a well-known Polish journalist and writer, specializing in the modern history of the Polish Jews. The project, initiated in 2006 by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, consists in recording interviews with Polish Jews from all generations.
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