AKCJA "WISLA" -
OPERATION code named "VISTULA"
That frightful secret operation, carried out by the Polish "People's" Army, and especially its Internal Security Department (KBW) has forever been damned by the handful of western Ukrainians, who in accordance with the Treaty of Yalta found themselves within the borders of the newly reconstituted "People's" Poland.
All Europeans, exhausted by five years of war, enjoyed the welcomed peace.
Upon returning home after the war, they set about rebuilding their towns and villages.
Lemkos no less than others yearned for a better future. Together with the Polish people, they had carried on their shoulders the hardships of the war years. In every Lemko village the church bells that remained tolled, when the armistice was declared. The Spring of 1945 was the prettiest one in the country's history.
Regretfully, this spirit prevailed for a very short time. Lemkivshchyna was overrun by soviet propaganda workers, so called "delegates", who through various means, forced the majority of Lemkos to resettle within Soviet Ukraine, which had been destroyed by the war.
However neither the soviet nor Polish authorities were content with this situation. The new Polish regime unleashed against the remaining Ukrainian population the worst method of annihilation. Shameless Polish gangsters terrorized the population, robbing them, committing atrocities, and killing defenseless civilians at night and in broad daylight. This continued from 1944 until 1947, culminating in the tragic Operation code named "Vistula". Starting in the Spring of 1947, the remaining Lemkos were forcibly expelled from their ancestral lands and scattered through-out the north-western territory [of the newly re-configured] Poland, so that they would be quickly assimilated.
And the entire civilized world remained silent, nobody expressed indignation, no one spoke out. Many innocent Lemkos were subsequently killed at the concentration camp in Jaworzno (Yavozhno).
"Lemko, my brother, if you are still alive in some corner of our planet, and if your heart has not completely turned to rock, and you were a witness to those frightful years, describe those events in a book of Remembrance, paint it within context of the Lemko iconography, describe it to your own and to stranger's grandchildren, and to your neighbors, for that is your holy duty towards the great Ukrainian people" - (Semen Madzelan)
To Excerpts from the book "Akcja Wisla" by Eugeniusz Misilo
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Copyright ®1997 Jon W. Madzelan
This Home Page was created on Monday, June 16, 1997
Most recent revision Saturday, July 4, 1997