The building in the centre of Augustów in north-east Poland was used by the NKVD and the Communist secret police to hold and interrogate victims of the 1945 Augustów Roundups, known as the little Katyń.
Opening to coincide with the anniversary of Stalin’s invasion of Poland on 17 September, 1939, the Sybir Memorial Museum is the largest and most important institution dealing with deportations to Russia and later the Soviet Union.
The ‘castaways’ numbered from 500 up to possibly 2,000 people, but only a few hundred made it to the end. To survive, they formed themselves into small groups, pooling skills and dividing tasks. For the months ahead they hunkered in their shelters, each an island in the ocean of ruins.
Inside archaeologists came across bullets belonging to both German and Soviet troops leading researchers to believe it could have been the site of fierce fighting in 1944.
Practically untouched for decades, the wreck contains items ranging from military vehicles to porcelain, as well as many mysterious boxes with unknown contents, which are already capturing people’s imagination.
Fully digitalized and available online, the images captured by a Soviet aircraft on September 18th 1944 have been described as a “rich source of information.”
We take a look at the Freedom and Independence movement formed to combat Soviet terror in Poland following World War 2.
Officially known as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, August 23rd was chosen as it coincides with the date of the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a 1939 non-aggression pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany which would see a German-Soviet carve-up of Poland.
In response to articles appearing in Newsweek and the Onet news portal recalling the memories of a Red Army doctor held in a POW camp which he describes as ‘hell on earth’, in a three-page letter to the CEO of Ringier Axel Springer Media, Morawiecki said that ‘no one is allowed to relativize history’ and ‘we cannot allow the true picture of this war to be distorted.’
Covering an area of 360 square metres on the side of a ten-floor apartment building, the mural features historical figures associated with the battle, including statesman Józef Piłsudski.