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The opening of the exhibition "Order No. 00485. Anti-Polish Operation of the NKVD in Soviet Ukraine 1937-1938" - Vinnytsia (Ukraine), 12 April 2019

On 12 April 2019, Dr Jarosław Szarek, President of the Institute of National Remembrance, opened the exhibition "Order No. 00485. Anti-Polish Operation of the NKVD in Soviet Ukraine 1937-1938" in the lobby of the Vinnytsia City Council.

The ceremony was attended by the Director of the District Archives in Winnica, Dr Jurij Łehun, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Vinnytsia Damian Ciarciński and the Director of the "Center of the History of the Vinnytsia " Oleksandr Fedoryszen.

The exhibition, which was created last year to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the end of the anti-Polish operation of the NKVD (1937-1938) is the result of cooperation between the Institute of National Remembrance and the State Archives in Khmelnytsky, Vinnytsia and Odessa.

The 16 exhibition boards show the fate of people persecuted as part of the "Polish operation" carried out by the NKVD in the Soviet Union in 1937-1938, during which over 143,000 people were arrested, of which at least 111,000 were sentenced to death. Nearly 30,000 Poles were sent to labor camps. In Ukraine alone, where the largest concentration of the Polish population in the USSR was located, 55 928 people were tried, of whom 47,327 were murdered.

The exhibition under the Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda on the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence was created thanks to archival materials passed on to the Institute of National Remembrance by the Ukrainian State Archives in Odessa, Khmelnytsky and Vinnytsia. The documents produced by the NKVD are proof of the planned, criminal activity of the Soviet apparatus of repression, which was never to be revealed.

The men arrested as part of the operation were accused of belonging to the Polish Military Organization, which had not existed since 1921, and which allegedly carried out spying and subversive activities for the benefit of the Second Polish Republic. Most of them were sentenced to death. The wives of "spies" or "enemies of the people" were sent for 5 to 10 years to Kazakhstan for not informing the authorities about "the counter-revolutionary espionage activities" of their husbands. Their children were often sent to orphanages or imprisoned in labor camps.

 

The President of the Institute of National Remembrance and the accompanying delegation from the IPN Archive also laid flowers and lit candles under the plaque dedicated to Marshal Józef Piłsudski and a plaque commemorating the victims of the NKVD. The Polish and Ukrainian delegations also laid flowers at the monument devoted to Symon Petliura.

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