Communist Party of Western Belarus

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The Communist Party of Western Belarus (Polish: Komunistyczna Partia Zachodniej Białorusi, KPZB; Belarusian: Камуністычная партыя Заходняй Беларусі, КПЗБ) was a banned political party in the Interwar Poland,[1] infiltrated by Soviet special services (similar to German fifth column) operating in the territory of present-day West Belarus from 1923 until 1939; in Polesie (1932–1933) Słonim county (1934) and Vilnius.[2] The organization was stockpiling smuggled weapons years before the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland and received Russian instructions about how to act afterwards.[1]

History[edit]

The party was founded in 1923 in Wilno by representatives of the Belarusian communist circles from Wilno, Białystok and Brest with logistical help from the Bolsheviks. Although its name, the Communist Party of Western Belarus, could suggest a desire for independence of Belarus, wrote historian Sergiusz Łukasiewicz, in reality the party advocated transfer of eastern provinces of Poland to the Soviet Union, which constituted high treason. This is why it has been delegalized by the Polish authorities.[2]

Residents of a town in Eastern Poland (now Western Belarus) assembled to greet the arrival of the Red Army during the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. The Russian text reads "Long Live the great theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin-Stalin" and contains a spelling error. Such welcomings were organized by the activists of the Communist Party of West Belarus affiliated with the Communist Party of Poland, delegalized in both countries by 1938.[3]

The party's political program included a socialist revolution in Poland with the forcible separation of West Belarus leading to its unification with the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic in the USSR. The party worked undercover; in 1925-1927 it masked its illegal activities under the legal Belarusian Peasants' and Workers' Union in Poland. It received support from the Soviet Union with leadership brought in secretly from across the border (see Vera Kharuzhaya). It was actively involved in the anti-Polish subversion.[2]

In 1938, following a decision by the Comintern on the orders of Joseph Stalin, the KPZB along with the Communist Party of Poland and the Communist Party of Western Ukraine were delegalized by the USSR under the charge of affiliation with the Polish bourgeoisie.[2][4] Following the Soviet invasion of Poland and the annexation of Western Belarus to the Soviet Union in 1939, many former members of the KPZB were repressed, others joined the Communist Party of Byelorussia, the East Belarusian branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[2][4]

Notable members[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dr. Marek Wierzbicki from the Institute of National Remembrance (2007). "Western Belarus in September 1939 – Polish-Jewish Relations in the kresy". Shared History, Divided Memory: Jews and Others in Soviet-occupied Poland, 1939-1941 by Elazar Barkan, Elizabeth A. Cole, Kai Struve. Leipziger Universitätsverlag. pp. 138–140. ISBN 3865832407. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Sergiusz Łukasiewicz (2012). "High treason. The activity of The Communist Party of Western Belarus in Vilnius in 1930 – 1935" (PDF file, direct download). The Journal of Education, Culture and Society No. 1 / 2012. pp. 1–2 of 12. ISSN 2081-1640. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  3. ^ (Polish) Marek Wierzbicki, Stosunki polsko-białoruskie pod okupacją sowiecką (1939–1941). „Białoruskie Zeszyty Historyczne" (НА СТАРОНКАХ КАМУНІКАТУ, Biełaruski histaryczny zbornik) 20 (2003), p. 186–188. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  4. ^ a b Andrew Wilson (2011). Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship (Google Books). Yale University Press. ISBN 0300177585.