Internal Security Corps

Internal Security Corps (Korpos Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego - KBW) – a military unit subordinated to the Ministry of Public Security. It was established in March 1945 to suppress anticommunist resistance and the German and Ukrainian underground. Since May 1945 B. Kieniewicz had been its commanding officer. The Internal Security Corps originated from the so-called Independent Polish Battalion, founded in 1943 and subordinated to the Union of Polish Patriots in the Soviet Union, which was spying for the Red Army in the occupied areas. In 1945 the Internal Security Corps had already 29,000 soldiers; in 1951 the organisation reached its peak with 41,00 soldiers. The Internal Security Corps units were taking part in pacifying villages which had been supporting the anticommunist underground and the legal opposition (the Polish People’s Party); they were “protecting” the polling stations during the referendum in 1946 and the elections in 1947; they were carrying out the Operation Vistula, a forced deportation of Ukrainians from the south-east of Poland; they were supervising the more important industrial plants, prisoner-of-war camps, labour camps, prisons. In 1965 the Internal Security Corps were subordinated to the Ministry of National Defence.

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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