The victims of the Soviet NKVD police were commemorated at the Monument to the Fallen and Murdered in the East in Warsaw.
The 11th of August marks the 82nd anniversary of the beginning of the so-called “Polish Operation”, the order of Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD, to eliminate the Polish minority in Russia. It resulted in the sentencing of 139,835 people, and summary executions of over 111,091 Poles.
Jarosław Szarek, the head of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance said that “over 100,000 Poles were killed just because they did not allow their Polish spirit to be driven out of them, they did not become communists and soviets.”
“It was enough to say a few words in Polish, a Polish prayer, and that meant the death penalty,” Mr Szarek added.
During the commemorations letters sent by President Andrzej Duda, PM Mateusz Morawiecki and the lower house Speaker were read to those gathered.
The head of the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression Jan Kasprzyk underlined that the source of this massacre was the Soviet’s sense of revenge against Poland for “saving Poland and Europe from the criminal communist system” referring to the Battle of Warsaw in 1920. “The Bolsheviks remembered well that Poles have a gene of freedom within them, and would never allow to be humiliated,” he added.
Pursuant to the order of Nikolai Yezhov from 1937 to 1938 the soviet authorities sentenced to death over 111,000 people of Polish descent and sent nearly 29,000 to prison camps. Moreover, over 100,000 Poles were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia.