Tag Archives: totalitarianism

The day the Soviets captured Warsaw

Hammer and SickleOn 17 January 1945, the Red Army captured Warsaw after pushing out the Germans. One occupying power replaced another throughout war-torn Poland.

The Soviets were not “liberators.” Only several months before entering Warsaw, they stood by on the other side of the Vistula River, watching as the German Nazis–their erstwhile allies in the partition of Poland in September 1939–crushed the Warsaw Uprising in August – October 1944. Quite simply, the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, exploited the opportunity to slaughter much of the Polish patriotic underground, which was both anti-Nazi and anti-Communist, with German hands.

Thus, while the end of the German occupation spelled freedom in Western Europe, it was only a swap of totalitarian occupations in Central and Eastern Europe.

Pawel Styrna
Research Assistant, The Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies

Dr. Chodakiewicz’s work mentioned in book on genocide

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz—who currently holds the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies—wrote many monographs on the German and Soviet occupations of Poland and the greater Intermarium region of Central and Eastern Europe. These studies inevitably dealt with genocides committed by both totalitarian regimes.

The Manor of HorrorAs an expert in the field, Dr. Chodakiewicz was mentioned in a recent book on Soviet mass murder in the Vilnius/Wilno region (before the Second World War a part of Poland, now the capital of current-day Lithuania): Rokas Tracevskis, The Manor of Horror: The Soviet-Era Mass Grave in Vilnius (Vilnius: Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, 2013). His name appeared in the context of the Ejszyszki attack of 19-20 October 1944.

In his work on the subject, Dr. Chodakiewicz clarified that the Ejszyszki incident—which was falsely and inaccurately misrepresented by Western historiography as a pogrom perpetrated by Polish “Fascists”—was actually and simply an operation by the Polish anti-Nazi, anti-Soviet resistance against the Soviet NKVD and its collaborators.

The case study of Ejszyszki offers a universally applicable insight into inter-ethnic relations during times of war and conflict.