War, Occupation and the Polish Underground State

 The research-educational programme on the War, Occupation and the Polish Underground State is envisioned to bring about:

  • deepening of knowledge about the structures and activities of the Polish Underground State;
  • examination of the human fates in the territories occupied by the Soviet regime and of Poles displaced into the Soviet Union;
  • assessment of sources on the life conditions under the Soviet and German occupations;
  • evaluation of the state of research concerning the victims of the war activities and extermination policy of the Soviet and German occupants;
  • examining the Holocaust conducted by Germans in the Polish territories.

Within the programme the following research projects are conducted.

Polish Underground State 1939-1945

The project, originated by the central Public Education Office in 2001, concerns the examination of the organization, functioning and impact of the various Polish underground structures. The project is co-ordinated by Public Education Office in Warsaw. Employees of Branch Public Education Offices in Gdańsk, Cracow, Poznań, Rzeszów and Warsaw participate in the realization of the project.

Several scientific sessions are planned to be held within the project: The informative activities of the Polish Underground State (2002), Security organs and justice of the Polish Underground State (2003); Active action of the Polish Underground State (2004).

Fates of Poles in the East

The basic part of the research is the documentation work conducted jointly by the IPN and the KARTA Center within the broader undertaking 'Index of the Repressed'. Data about Polish citizens repressed after 1939 by the Soviet regime are accumulated and published. The first part of the project consisted in verifying and publishing the data concerning 12,000 Polish war prisoners in the Soviet Union (see War Prisoners of the Lviv Camp. Alphabetical List of 12,002 War Prisoners in 1939 - Poles and Polish citizens - Concentrated in Summer 1941 in the camp in Starobielsk, Warsaw 2001).

Additionally, research and educational activities on the fates of Polish citizens in the Eastern parts of Poland are conducted by particular branch offices. The emphasis is put on the research of the so called first Soviet occupation in the years 1939-1941 as well as deportations to Syberia and Kazakhstan.

Extermination of Jews in the Polish Territories

The project on the Extermination of Jews in the Polish territories concerns two main aspects. Firstly, it examines the activities of the Polish Underground State in response to the extermination of Jews. Secondly, it analyses the influence of the extermination on Polish-Jewish relations. The outcome is going to produce the record of the activities of the Council of Aid to Jews 'Żegota' as well as of individual acts of delivering assistance to Jews which took place outside of the formal underground state structures. The impact of the issues pertaining to the German and Soviet authorities' policy towards Jews on Polish-Jewish relations will be also examined. This element will concern the collaboration of some Jews with the Soviet authorities in the years 1939-1941 and the pogroms inspired by Germans but involving Polish citizens (events in Jedwabne and other townships).