The Augustów Roundup of July 1945

Accounts of the Brutal Soviet Repression of Polish Resistance


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About the Book

In 1945, remnants of the Polish Home Army re-formed to counter brutal Soviet repressions. In July of that year, more than 7,000 HA freedom fighters were arrested in the northeastern Augustów region and held in barns, pigsties and warehouses where they were beaten and tortured. Two thousand of them were never seen again—their whereabouts remain a mystery. Seventy-five years later, their relatives still search for answers and the location of their mass burial. This book examines the fateful events of the Augustów Roundup (a.k.a. “little Katyn”) through eyewitness testimonies.

About the Author(s)

Teresa Kaczorowska is a Polish journalist, scholar, novelist, president of the Cultural Journalism Club at the Polish Journalists Association in Warsaw and president of the Mazovia Writers Association. She lives in Ciechanów, Poland.
Halina Koralewski is a translator and activist for Polish causes in the United States. She is the associate producer of the Flavor of Poland Series 2 on PBS, board member of the Polish-Jewish Dialogue Committee and the Polish American Congress Long Island (NY) Division. She lives in Floral Park, New York.
Bożena U. Zaremba is a Polish-American translator, editor, writer, and interviewer for international musicians, writers, and artists. She serves as an editor of Chopin Society of Atlanta’s newsletter, Chopin Notes, and as Director of Programming for the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. She lives in Jupiter, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Teresa Kaczorowska
Translated by Halina Koralewski. Edited by Bożena U. Zaremba
Afterwords by Danuta Kaszlej and Zbigniew Kaszlej; and Nikita Pietrov
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 185
Bibliographic Info: 64 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8904-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4684-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

From the Author vii
From the Translator: Historical Backdrop to the Augustów Roundup xi
Marian Tananis (Sejny): “Traitors are the worst” 1
Krystyna Świerzbińska (Augustów): “When we came back from Siberia, my father was gone” 31
Fr. Stanisław Wysocki (Suwałki): “Our farm was an oasis for the insurgency” 47
Tadeusz Jagłowski (Augustów): “Our parents waited for their son’s return until their death” 70
Józef Kucharzewski (Giby): “I heard the moans of my tortured sister” 85
Marian Bućko (Augustów): “Our family is waiting for the explanation of this crime” 100
Teresa Staśkiewicz (Augustów): “The Augustów Roundup is still alive” 117
Afterword—Why Is This Book Needed? 129
Afterword—The Augustów Roundup: Crime with No Statute of Limitations 147
Notes 151
Selected Sources 163
Index 165

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “The painstaking research that stands behind The Augustów Roundup of July 1945 deepens our knowledge of Soviet crimes against humanity, personally ordered by Jozef Stalin and then administered by the Soviet oppression apparatus. The heart-wrenching testimonies of the survivors and victims’ relatives are a chilling reminder that mass murder was practiced in the U.S.S.R. on a shockingly large scale, and that countless victims disappeared without a trace. While few Americans know about this horrible crime, more should, certainly in light of Russian butchery in Ukraine. This highly readable book could not be more timely.”—Allen Paul, author, Katyn: Stalin’s Massacre and the Triumph of Truth
  • Augustów Roundup of July 1945 by Teresa Kaczorowska teaches us the essential lesson of all wars. They have no beginning and no end. In a series of interviews with survivors of the Soviet action against Poles after the end of WWII, she eloquently and memorably reminds us of the terror and grief war causes, terror and grief that goes on for generations. This book will stand with the great books about what Eastern Europe was like after the Russians took over following the end of the war.”—John Guzlowski, author of Echoes of Tattered Tongues, winner of the Eric Hoffer Montaigne Award
  • “The Augustów Roundup was the clearest illustration of the new regime of communist terror that replaced the brutality of German occupation. This new English translation of Teresa Kaczorowska’s “Augustów Roundup of July 1945 is an important addition to our understanding of the communist rule, which rested on a foundation of murder, torture, and repression. The stories of victims and their families are a needed corrective to those who seek to deny or whitewash the fundamentally criminal nature of the Polish People’s Republic.”—John Radzilowski, director, Polish Institute of Culture and Research at Orchard Lake and a professor of history, University of Alaska
  • “The little-known ‘Augustów Roundup’ of 1945 carried out by Stalin’s Soviet Union against the Home Army resistance forces of Poland has frequently been called a ‘little Katyn’—thousands of Polish soldiers arrested, hundreds murdered without a trace, the crime long falsified and covered up, with the suppressed truth emerging slowly in the face of great obstacles. These vivid, harrowing collected testimonies of one who survived the Roundup and family members of others who did not told with first-person immediacy, help to fill in the blank pages of a historical incident that reveals much about the brutality of the Soviet takeover of Poland.”—Neal Pease, professor of history (emeritus), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee