The Jewish Issue in the Polish Army in the USSR and the Near East, 1941–1944

  • Ryszard Terlecki
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


On 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union; on 5 July Polish-Soviet talks were begun, which ended with the signature of a treaty between the two governments on 30 July, known as the Sikorski-Maisky Treaty. Although this was a time of shattering defeats for the Red Army and it was crucial for the USSR to get help as fast as possible from Great Britain and its allies, General Władysław Sikorski failed to negotiate a treaty fully favourable to Poland. Even though the Soviet Union acknowledged that the 1939 German-Soviet treaties were no longer in force, it nonetheless refused to acknowledge that the two states’ borders agreed at the Treaty of Riga in 1921 should remain unchanged. General Sikorski disregarded objections in his own government from the President of the Polish Republic, but bowed to British pressure to conclude the agreement as fast as possible, and decided to sign the treaty, although it did not satisfy the Polish side. A secret protocol was added to the treaty, which guaranteed an amnesty to all Polish citizens imprisoned on Soviet territory, either as prisoners of war or for other reasons.1


Polish Unit Polish Authority Polish Citizen Soviet Citizen Soviet Authority 
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  1. 1.
    The text of the treaty can be found in J. Garliński, Polska w drugiej wojnie światowej (London, 1982), pp. 151–2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. Kot, Listy z Rosji d Gen. Sikorskiego (London, 1955), p. 268.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    W. Anders, Bez ostatniego rozdziału. Wspomnienia z lat 1939–1946 (London, 1959), p. 83.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    K. Rudnicki, Na polskim szlaku (London, 1984), pp. 200–1.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    J. Zajac, W Szkocji i na Środkowym Wschodzie (London, 1967), pp. 133–4.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    T. Radwański, Karpatczykami nas zwali (Warsaw, 1978), p. 155.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    M. Wańkowicz, Bitwa o Monte Cassino, vol. 1 (Rome, 1945), p. 75; vol. II (Rome, 1956), p. 342.Google Scholar

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© School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1991

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  • Ryszard Terlecki

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