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  • 28 March 2017

    Head of the Institute of National Remembrance (INR) visits Vilnius. During this visit, a publication on the repression of Polish and Lithuanian partisans by the Soviets was presented.

    A presentation of the book, The Soviet apparatus of repression against the Lithuanian and Polish underground in 1944-1945, which contains documents on the actions of the Soviet authorities against Polish and Lithuanian partisans in Vilnius was recently held in Vilnius. The event was supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius as well as the Polish Institute.

    The publication – the first volume in the series Poland and Lithuania in the 20th century. Documents from secret services' archives is a result of cooperation between the Institute of National Remembrance, The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Special Archives. The next volume in the series Poland and Lithuania in the 20th century will be published shortly.

    The presentation was held on 22 March in the Memorial Complex of Tuskulėnai Peace Park and on 23 March during a meeting at the Witold the Great University in Kaunas.

    Head of the Institute of INR Dr Jarosław Szarek, Director of IPN Archive Marzena Kruk and authors of the volume from Poland and Lithuania took part in the meeting which was held in Vilnius.

    "Poles and Lithuanians experienced a number of repressive actions by the Soviet security forces; they ruthlessly countered numerous attempts by both countries to regain independence.

    It is an experience that connects us and we need to keep it in mind, because it was often associated with a heroic resistance to communism, – Dr Szarek said. The Head of INR stressed also that the institutional cooperation between Poland and Lithuania is a natural continuation of the centuries-old neighbourhood of both countries.

    "We must remember this legacy of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations, but also of the 19th century, when, for example during the January Uprising, both Poles and Lithuanians fought alongside each other in their fight for freedom, singing …. “Close to the Eagle sign of the Pursuer (PL Pogon)"- stressed Szarek. He also pointed out that both peoples were victims of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, as a result of which Poland and Lithuania lost their independence for decades. "This substantial edition – almost a thousand pages – is the result of the joint effort and work of Polish and Lithuanian historians. It contains more than 70 NKWD and KGB documents (People's Commissariat for State Security was separate from the NKVD) translated from Russian into Polish and Lithuanian"– Prof. Piotr Niwiński, member of the editorial board, said.  "For the first time historians from Poland and Lithuania have joined forces to publish a volume of fundamental documents, no historian dealing with modern history would do without them" – Prof. Niwiński added.

    According to the Polish historian, the publication, among others, is “the platform for seeking agreement”. It clearly shows that right from the very beginning Polish–Lithuanian–Lithuanian–Polish relations were – tentatively speaking – tense, but the common occupant – USSR – since July 1944 clearly extinguished this tension in the relations”,– Niwiński said. He added that "these documents showed the intentional or unintended cooperation between the Lithuanian and Polish sides in the fight against the communist system."

    During their visit to Vilnius, Jarosław Szarek and Marzena Kruk, accompanied by Poland’s Ambassador to Lithuania, Jarosław Czubiński, paid homage to the Poles murdered in the forest of Paneriai. In connection with the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the distinguished statesman and the father of Polish independence Marshal Józef Pilsudski, which falls in 2017, the Polish delegation laid wreaths at the tomb where the heart of Józef Pilsudski is buried in Rasos Cemetery in Vilnius. The delegation also visited Zułów, the birthplace of Józef Piłsudski.

    The Head of INR also met MEP and the head of  AWPL-ZChR, Waldemar Tomaszewski.


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