Belarusian Peasants' and Workers' Union
The Belarusian Peasants' and Workers' Union Hramada (Polish: Białoruska Włościańsko-Robotnicza Hromada, Belarusian: Беларуская Сялянска-Работніцкая Грамада, Lacinka: Biełaruskaja Sialanska-Rabotnickaja Hramada) was an agrarian political party created in 1925 by a group of Belarusian deputies to the Polish Sejm. The BPWU was active in the eastern territories of the Second Polish Republic (present-day Western Belarus); and included Branislaw Tarashkyevich, Symon Rak-Mikhailouski, Piotra Miatla, and the founder of Hramada Paviel Valoshyn (be) (Paweł Wołoszyn) who was declared a traitor by the Comintern soon thereafter. The group received logistical help from the Soviet Union, and financial aid from the Comintern.
Formed in July 1925 legally – by 1927 the Hramada organization was controlled entirely by agents deployed from Moscow, whose aim was to destablize the region and recruit partisans. It was used by the Soviet Union as the cover for the activities of delegalized Communist Party of Western Belarus in Poland. Allegedly, BPWU demanded independence for Belarus, but in reality promoted only the idea of incorporating the ethnically Belarusian lands into the Soviet Union which meant yet another partition of Poland, wrote historian Andrew Savchenko. The Russians attempted to isolate the Belarusian ethnic minority in Poland from the political process in the country. In turn, Hramada leaders did exactly what their Moscow advisors suggested they do, and disseminated Comintern propaganda which resulted in the rapid growth of its rank and file. By March 1927 the party had 120,000 members. The membership of the Communist Party decreased at the same time by a thousand.
The connection between Hramada and the Communist Party of Western Belarus was inevitably discovered by the Polish authorities. On 15 January 1927 some top activists of BPWU were arrested by Poland under the charge of subversive anti-Polish activities. Most BPWU leadership escaped back to the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of the party's de-legalisation, on February 3, 1927 a riot erupted in Kosava where the Soviet diversionist cell was already formed. Polish police responded with fire, killing 6 people and wounding several dozens.
The Belarusian Peasants' and Workers' Union Hramada established several periodicals devoted not only to politics, but also to culture and business. It had party cells in the following powiats: Baranavichy, Bielsk, Valozhyn, Vaukavysk, Vileyka, Wilno, Hrodna, Dzisna, Kosava, Lida, Maladzyechna, Navahrudak, Pastavy, Pinsk, Slonim, Stouptsy and Sokółka.
- Andrzej Poczobut, Joanna Klimowicz (June 2011, Nr 7 (60)). "Białostocki ulubieniec Stalina" (PDF file, direct download 1.79 MB). Ogólnokrajowy tygodnik SZ «Związek Polaków na Białorusi» (Association of Poles of Belarus). Głos znad Niemna (Voice of the Neman weekly). pp. 6–7 of current document. Retrieved 24 May 2014. Check date values in:
- Dr Andrew Savchenko (2009). Belarus: A Perpetual Borderland. BRILL. pp. 106–107. ISBN 9004174486.
- Васіль Гарбачэўскі, ЗНІТАВАНЫЯ ЛЁСАМ. Memoir. Куфэрак Віленшчыны, 02.09.2002. (Belarusian)
- Гісторыя Беларусі (Istoriya Belarusi, History of Belarus), Volume V, "Ekoperspektiva", Minsk, (2006), ISBN 985-6598-19-2, ISBN 985-469-149-7.[page needed]
- Чаму была разгромленая Беларуская Сялянска-Работніцкая Грамада? - 150 пытанняў і адказаў з гісторыі Беларусі
- Разгром “Грамады” за кулісамі палітычнага скандалу
- У новай айчыне. Штодзённае жыццё беларусаў Беласточчыны ў міжваенны перыяд.