Promotional activities in relation to the release of the publication "Great Terror in Soviet Georgia 1937-1938. Repressions against Poles " will take place in Warsaw and Gdańsk on the 19 and 21 April 2017

The Institute of National Remembrance and the Archives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia invite you to participate in the promotion of the publication "Great Terror in Soviet Georgia 1937-1938. Repressions against Poles. "

The President of the IPN, Dr Jarosław Szarek, Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration of the Republic of Poland, Mariusz Błaszczak, Rector of the Georgian Police Academy, Givi Mikanadze, representatives of the Embassy of Georgia in Warsaw, Director of the IPN Archive, Marzena Kruk, Director of the Archive of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Omar Tushurashvil, Prof.Hiroaki Kuromiya (University of Indiana, Bloomington), Prof. Jurij Szapował (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev), editors of the volume from Poland and Georgia, invited guests and journalists will all take part in the event.

This source publication was prepared by the staff of the Institute of National Remembrance and the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs. It touches upon the topic of the forgotten genocide of Poles in the USSR - Soviet repression of 1937-1938. The documents published include, among others, NKVD order no. 00447, concerning the kulak operation, order no. 00485 regarding the Polish Operation, 137 protocols of hearings conducted by three – member, and 6 protocols of hearings administered  by two-member NKVD committees, resulting in death sentences against Poles living in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic at that time.

Four years of cooperation with Georgia

The new book, published on the basis of materials found in the Georgian archives, is not only a "catalogue of crimes " or a record of repressions against more than 100 Poles - said the IPN President. He recalled that during the so-called Polish Operation our fellow countrymen were murdered, for example, merely because they went to church or said that Soviet Russia was restricting their freedom. According to historians, the total number of Polish victims of this operation was at least 111,000. Hence the joint publication, the first of the planned volumes, is an important step in the process of reliable documentation of the genocide forgotten even in our country.

Minister Mariusz Błaszczak thanked the authors of the book for restoring the memory of those who were murdered. He further talked about events which have brought together Poles and Georgians in recent years.He spoke, among others, about the time when a group of heads of state and government leaders from our part of Europe, led by Lech Kaczyński, travelled to Tbilisi, when in August 2008, the fate of Georgian independence was threatened. This gesture of solidarity towards a country attacked by Russia has not been forgotten.

The Rector of the Georgian Police Academy, Givi Mikanadze, thanked Poles for their support in those difficult times using their native language "Every Georgian knows this gesture", he assured, confirming at the same time that the four-year ongoing cooperation with the IPN has been fruitful and is sure to bring about further joint initiatives.

The Director of the Archive of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Omar Tushurashvili reminded the guests about the film "Operation Poland", referring to repressions against Poles, which was prepared by the Georgians. The film was also screened directly after the conference at IPN’s Janusz Kurtyka Educational Center in Warsaw.” We have reviewed 22,000 protocols, 145 of which contain information about Poles. 88 people who were referred to in the above mentioned documents were executed”, he said. Omar Tushurashvili also emphasised the fact that the book, which is being promoted both countries, gives an image of what had happened in the USSR during the Great Terror.

Russian archives - still closed

Professor Hiroaki Kuromiya thanked for enabling scholars access to the materials collected in the Georgian archives. "It's still impossible in Moscow" he said. The scientist also highlighted that Poles were extremely repressed during the Great Terror. "The probability of a Polish citizen being affected by Soviet persecution was 12 to 18 times greater than that of citizens of other nations", he said.

Dr Marcin Majewski from the IPN Archive, who took part in the preparation of the publication, pointed out that the book was actually the first such publication portraying the so-called Kulak Operation. This name, however, referred to all the "anti-Soviet elements" of former Russia, such as officials, soldiers of "white" Russia, police or clergy. Joseph Stalin wanted to deal with all the remnants of the former Russia. Unfortunately, without access to the Russian archives it is impossible to determine  exactly how many Poles were killed during the Kulak Operation. Perhaps this number is even several hundred thousand.



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