The Military Routine of Polish Partisan Detachments Operating on the Territory of the Byelorussian SSR in 1943-1944: Morale and Political Propaganda

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Abstract


There were five Polish national detachments within the Soviet partisan movement that officially operated on the territory of the Belorussian SSR during the Great Patriotic War. Their formation took place in 1943-1944. Each of them had their own special features, their own specific tasks; but they also had common characteristics. First of all, the partisans were associated with proSoviet political propaganda. In their actions, they were used as guides to the local population of Western Belarus, spreading ideas that had been elaborated by the Polish Communists. The author studies the impact of Soviet agitation on Polish partisan detachments, and investigates how much the Polish partisans were subjected to these ideas in their everyday life. Back in 1939-1941, a significant part of the Polish population of the western regions of the USSR had been subjected to repressions. Therefore, in the first months of the Great Patriotic war these people often supported the German occupiers. Why then would parts of the Polish population join the Soviet partisans? The Soviet command changed their attitude towards them, creating the opportunity for Polish partisans to keep their national traditions and to wear their military uniforms, in order to win the sympathy of the local Poles. They even accepted former “anti-Soviet elements” who had been put in prison in 1939-1941 but joined the “red” underground. Some of the formations were not totally covered by the “left” ideology and did not associate themselves with the Communists when agitating among the local population.


About the authors

Sergey V. Blagov

Kaliningrad State Technical University

Author for correspondence.
Email: press@klgtu.ru
1, Sovetsky Ave., Kaliningrad, 236022, Russia

Senior Lecturer of the Department of History

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