Botyan, who saved Krakov in WW2, died today at 104y.o.

Discussion in 'Warbirds Polish' started by mcgru-, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. mcgru-

    mcgru- Well-Known Member

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  2. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    R.I.P.
    One of the few Russians, who knew what kind of heritage they were dealing with. Just the right person in the right time.

    On February 10th we also commemorate the anniversary of the first "Great" deportation of Poles to Siberia.
    They were all deported from eastern Poland (that, according to your beloved President, you did not invade on September 17th, 1939) on February 10th, 1940. This deportation affected some 140.000 Poles.
    After that the Soviets performed another 3 waves of deportation, with over 700.000 Poles moved to Far East.
    There were also other signs of "Russian domination". My city (Lublin) is famous for the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp called Majdanek. Few (and even fewer in Russia) remember today, that after the liberation of Lublin by the Polish Home Army the camp was taken over by NKVD and used to imprison former Home Army members, where they were tortured, executed and burned in the same crematoria, Germans used to incinerate victims of their crimes. Some 250 survivors were transferred to the USSR, after Polish communist authorities finally managed to convince the Soviets to shut down the camp due to "poor PR" it brought.
    Of course, we will never forget those, who cared, like Alexei Botyan.
    But one should not forget, who set Europe on fire, when crediting the brave ones with extinguishing just bits of fire in the whole inferno .
     
  3. mcgru-

    mcgru- Well-Known Member

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    Here in Tomsk region there are/were many polish villages - people settled there right before WW2.
    Some of successors are known to me personally - good people, all of them became polish russians :)

    i do not know the history so good as others.
    i admit that NKVD could make mistakes in 5..10% of cases. so right know i rather think that 90..95% of those H.A. members were hostile to Soviet Army and its allies. but how many AK-prisoners were executed in Majdanek? 250 survived, and how many were imprisoned? 500?
    also, pre-WW2 Polish Government did it worst that lead to those bad consequences. i have a question - why NKVD became interested in AK-members? USSR has good relations to AL!
     
  4. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    You count World War II from 22 June 1941.
    Yet you invaded Poland in September 1939, invaded Finland in November the same year, and annexed the Baltic Republics half a year later.

    Your "prior to WW2" means that these were Polish citizens who were deported as part of one of the greatest forced migrations.
    What's more:
    According to your "Border Treaty" (Договор о дружбе и границе между СССР и Германией) of 28 September 1939 with the Third Reich you actually took more of the Second Polish Republic, that the Third Reich did. Germans took 94000 square kilometers annexed directly by the Third Reich (Pomerania and the Poznań region, plus the entire city of Łódź, or Litzmanstadt, as they called it). 95000 square kilometers were allotted to the General Government, Slovakia (the second ally of Hitler in the invasion of Poland) took mere 770 square kilometers. The remaining 200000 square kilometers were invaded and taken over by the Soviets (although they later returned the Białowieża (Беловеж) forest to Germans, because Goering personally asked Molotov for that favour (Goering was a keen hunter and was eager to hunt for the European bison there).

    And as for "mistakes" of the NKVD.
    Second husband of my grandma was a former officer of the Second Polish Republic. After serving as a commander of an artillery battery prior to war, and in September, he managed to escape to Hungary, where he was treated well in POW camp. But he wanted to fight. He fled the camp (which was relatively easy, as the Hungarians did really not much to prevent it), returned to Poland, organized a small (and later larger) partisan unit. At first he operated as Home Army, but when in 1943 the tides changed, he moved his unit to Bataliony Chłopskie [peasant army] (arguing at AK headquarters that his soldiers wished so). He participated in liberation of Lublin (which was, save for a few points, taken over by the Home Army and its allies, and not the Soviets), and went on to become an officer of the Polish Peoples Army (Ludowe Wojsko Polskie), cause he though fighting the Nazis was more important, than fighting the new system (and coming from a farmer's family he really believed Poland needed a change). He went all the way to Czechoslovakia with the 2nd Polish Army, under the command of the bloody General Świerczewski.
    After the war he settled near Szczecin, to become leader of the local militia headquarters.
    He was known for justness, and his refusal to track and hunt former Home Army members.
    Arrested in 1949 under the suspicion of espionage.
    Had every nail torn.
    Every bone in both hands broken.
    All front teeth smashed.
    Ribs broken so many times, he did not remember.
    Interrogated without a trial for 2 years.
    Then sentenced to death (without a trace of proof), changed to life in prison after appeal.
    Released, and rehabilitated in 1956.
    I have never known a person hating communism more than my "third grandpa". Even my father (leader of one of the strikes in 1981) was less extreme in his criticism of the system.