Justice4Poland.com

Connecting true geography and detailed unfolding of wide variety of crimes perpetrated by German/Ukrainian Nazis and jewish bolsheviks of Soviet Union on the Polish nation.

The plunder of “liberated” Poland


….   and other countries by the Red Army

The Red Army stripped the territory it crossed by the law of the victor. Loot value is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. Everything of value was robbed: hand watches, works of art and even entire factories. The procedure took place at the order of Stalin himself.

As a result of the decisions of the Big Three in Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam, Poland lost its Eastern Borderlands with Lwów (Lviv, now in Ukraine)and Wilno (Vilnius, now in Lithuania) – a total of 178 thousand square kilometers. As compensation, Poland was granted 101 thousand square kilometers called “Regained Territories” – areas of former East Prussia and West Pomerania.

During the war looting of these areas took place on an unprecedented scale. But looting was not limited to the “Regained Territories”. Pursuant to the USSR war legislation, plundering “for war purposes” was allowed in all captured territory. Stalin gave the appropriate orders in January 1945, when the Red Army crossed the Vistula. On this basis, special “trofiejnyje otriady” (trophy brigades) were formed.

Looting was extremely methodical. Trophy brigades consisted of, among others, art historians who assessed which works were worth taking and engineers who supervised the dismantling of factory machinery.

Soviet trophy brigades had their own warehouses and a fleet of trucks. Entire factories were dismantled and transported by rail. A total of 100,000 personnel served in trophy brigades which also included forced labor of prisoners and the surrounding population. The entire operation was directed from Moscow by the Special Committee of the State Defense Committee (GKO), headed by Georgy Malenkov – one of Stalin’s closest associates.

Nearly a quarter of Poland’s rail network suddenly disappeared. The Soviets took away thousands of kilometers of rail tracks from Polish “Regained Territories” and eastern Germany.

However, before the “trofiejnyje otriady” took the tracks with them, they used the railway network to transport entire factories to the Soviet Union. Particularly plundered were the areas of Upper Silesia, where both on the Polish and German sides of the pre-war border operated huge mines, smelters and factories.

According to the Soviet Central Statistical Office, trophy brigades dismantled 1,119 factories in Poland. In the Soviet occupation zone in Germany the Soviets dismantled 2,955 factories.

The dismantling and removal of thousands of tons of equipment and materials also took place in other countries captured by the Red Army on its way to Berlin. In June 1944, the looting of Romania began. 2800 railcars of loot were sent from Hungary, 6500 from Czechoslovakia, and 31200 from Austria. By August 1945, 215000 railcars had been sent from Poland.

A report by the Swiss legation in Budapest describes the Red Army’s entry into the city:
“During the siege of Budapest and also during the following weeks, Russian troops looted the city freely. They entered practically every habitation, the very poorest as well as the richest. They took away everything they wanted, especially food, clothing and valuables… every apartment, shop, bank, etc. was looted several times. Furniture and larger objects of art, etc. that could not be taken away were frequently simply destroyed. In many cases, after looting, the homes were also put on fire, causing a vast total loss… Bank safes were emptied without exception — even the British and American safes — and whatever was found was taken.”

Soviet looting did not only concern large industrial centers, it was experienced by ordinary civilians as well. “On July 26, 1945, when returning by bicycle from work, I was unexpectedly pushed off my bicycle in Baranów by two unknown Soviet soldiers and without any explanation they took my bike. My intervention with the Soviet military authorities did not have any effect as the Soviet officer told me that my report was already the 20th in line…”. Countless reports of that kind were recorded all over Poland.

Apart from possessions and factory equipment, the Red Army also confiscated over 60 percent of Poland’s grain stocks. Farmers suffered hunger and the animals had no feed. The Soviets requisitioned the strongest farm animals, leaving behind only the sick and weak.

Sources: “Great Fear. Poland 1944-47” by Dr Marcin Zaremba; Swiss Legation Report of the Russian Invasion of Hungary in the Spring of 1945

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