User:Vecrumba/Dubingiai Reconcile

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Civilian Lithuanians killed by Armia Krajowa on 23 June, 1944 in Molėtai district.

The Dubingiai massacre refers to the mass murder of 20 to 27 Lithuanians in the town of Dubingiai (Dubinki) on 23 June 1944 (during WWII) by a unit of the Polish Armia Krajowa ("AK"). This action was taken in reprisal for an earlier massacre of Poles by Lithuanians at Glinciszki (Glitiškės).

Wider AK actions continued for several days afterward in Dubingiai and elsewhere. By the end of June, Dubingiai counted 70 dead.


Polish-Lithuanian relations were inimical throughout the inter-war period over the Polish occupation of the Vilnius region. These tensions rose further when the Soviet Union annexed the Vilnius region to the occupied Lithuanian SSR. The Poles saw this as Lithuanian collusion with the Soviets. When the Nazis swept through Poland and the Baltics during Operation Barbarossa, the region became an area of ongoing armed conflict between Polish partisan units and Lithuanian police units.[1] Each side labeled the other Nazi collaborators and conducted operations and reprisals against the other.[2]{insert Lithuanian source critical of Poles as collaborators--not about outside objectivity}

One such escalating conflict began on June 20 1944 when Polish forces killed 4 and wounded several other members of the Lithuanian police in the village of Glitiškės (Glinciszki). In retaliation, the Lithuanian police murdered 36 mostly Polish villagers[2].

The AK command for the Vilnius region, under Aleksander Krzyżanowski, believed the Glinciszki action signaled the start of a larger anti-Polish operation. The AK command determined to make a show of force in order to protect Polish civilians and distributed leaflets that they intended to track down and execute those they considered guilty for the killings in Glinciszki[2]. Forces of the 5th AK Brigade, which was under the command of Zygmunt Szendzielarz, learned that some of the individuals they believed responsible, along with their families, were stationed in the police station in Dubingai[3][4][5][6]. One of the 5th AK Brigade companies, under Jan Wiktor Wiącek, decided to assault Dubingiai to destroy the police station and to execute those individuals they believed to be Nazi informants. When word of this reached the AK command, they dispatched a courier with orders for the 5th Brigade to hold their positions, however, the courier failed to deliver the order in time to halt the attack.[2]

Events in Dubingai[edit]

The village was warned about the coming of Polish forces bent on retaliation for Glinciszki. Many, including some of the intended targets—those implicated in the killlings in Glinciszki—had escaped by the time forces of the 5th Brigade arrived on 23 June 1944[2]. Most sources attribute leadership of the assault to the 5th Brigade's commander, Szelendziarz[4][3], although an expert on Armia Krajowa operations in the Vilna region, historian Henryk Piaskunowicz, has surmised that the local AK unit commander, Wiącek, was responsible[2]. Upon entering Dubingiai, the Polish forces murdered a number of Lithuanians, mostly civilians[4][6][7].

The AK forces targeted Dubingiai's Lithuanian populace but spared those with Polish ties (Lithuanian husbands with Polish wives)[3]. They used possession of Lithuanian prayer books as a means of identifying Lithuanian men.[3] Those the AK considered collaborators were prime targets[2]. At least one Pole, a woman, was also reported to have been killed.[6]. The total number of victims is estimated at 20 to 27.[4][8] AK actions continued for several days. Lithuanian sources indicate a total of 70 lost in Dubingiai by the end of June, mostly civilians, including children and the elderly.[9] The AK's stated policy not to target innocent civilians had clearly been ignored.[2][5]


The AK reprisal in Dubingiai was not planned by AK command. However, in the wake of the Lithuanians' massacre of Poles in Glinciszki, the AK command initiated a wider operation by the 5th Brigade and other units.[10][2] From June 25 to June 27, various Polish units entered pre-war Lithuanian territory and carried out a series of actions directed against Lithuanian police forces and alleged Nazi sympathizers. Bridges and telecommunication lines were destroyed and buildings burned. Both Lithuanians and Poles perished.[2][2][11] Lithuanian sources indicate that by the end of June, 100[12] had perished in Dubingiai and in the neighbouring villages of Joniškis, Inturkė, Bijutiškis, and Giedraičiai[9][13], although once source alleges a number as high as 200.[13][9][12]

Vilnius was re-occupied by the Soviets in July, effectively ending these actions.


The actions of Poles and Lithuanians against each other continue to be a source of contention. Zygmunt Szendzielarz, commander of the 5th Brigade, was executed by the Polish communist authorities in 1951.[7] When the Polish president Lech Kaczynski posthumously bestowed an award to Szendzielarz in 2007, the Lithuanian press, who see him as the organizer of the attack on Dubingiai, protested[14]. Lithuanian authors have made other accusations against the AK as well.

Lithuanians as a people continue to be portrayed as offering widespread support for the Nazis and being the primary executors of the Nazi Holocaust in Lithuania.[15][16]

  1. ^ (in Lithuanian) Rimantas Zizas in "Armijos Krajovos ...", pp. 14-39.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k (in Polish) Henryk Piaskunowicz, Działalnośc zbrojna Armi Krajowej na Wileńszczyśnie w latach 1942-1944 in Zygmunt Boradyn (1997). Tomasz Strzembosz, ed. Armia Krajowa na Nowogródczyźnie i Wileńszczyźnie (1941-1945). Warsaw: Institute of Political Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences. pp. p. 40–45. ISBN 8390716803 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help).  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ a b c d (in Lithuanian) Tadas Galinis. Dubingių skerdynės (Dubingiai massacre) in "Armijos Krajovos ...", pp. 76-80. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Galinis" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Galinis" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b c d Piotrowski, p.168, p.169
  5. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference RKŻ was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ a b c (in Polish) Andrzej Solak, Bohater ze skazą. Retrieved on 25 March 2008.
  7. ^ a b (in Polish) Stanisław M. Jankowski, Strzały na Wileńszczyźnie. Retrieved on 25 March 2008.
  8. ^ (in Polish) Gazeta Wyborcza, 2001-02-14, Litewska prokuratura przesłuchuje weteranów AK (Lithuanian prosecutor questioning AK veterans), last accessed on 7 June 2006
  9. ^ a b c (in Lithuanian) Arūnas Bubnys in "Armijos Krajovos ...", pp. 6-13. Ypač žiauriai išžudytė Dubingių gyventojus 1944 birželio pabaigoje. Negalutiniais duomenimis lenkų partizanai čia išžudė 70 taikių lietuvių, tarp jų daug senelių ir mažamečių vaikų. | Translation=Especially brutally were murdered Dubingiai inhabitants on the end of June 1944. According to a non final data Polish partisans did kill here around 70 peaceful people, including old men and underage kids.
  10. ^ Kozłowski, p. 66
  11. ^ Patryk Kozłowski confirms that 12 Lithuanians were killed in the area of Joniškis (Janiszki) by the squad commanded by "Maks" ("Jeden z wyklętych ...", p. 64)
  12. ^ a b (in Lithuanian) Rimantas Zizas in "Armijos Krajovos ...", pp. 14-39. Vykdydama atsakomasias keršto akcijas, AK 5-oji brigada Molėtų raj, Dubingių, Bijutiškio, Joniškio, Inturkės ir kitose apylinkėse nužudė apie 100 lietuvių. Translation=During retaliation actions AK 5-th brigade killed around 100 Lithuanians in the vicinity of Molėtai region towns Dubingiai, Bijutiškis, Joniškis, Inturkė and others.
  13. ^ a b Panorama//Kiek tveria neapykanta? 2007, p.p.13,16. ISSN 1822-2986
  14. ^ Dubingių žudynių organizatoriui - Lenkijos prezidento apdovanojimas (To organizer of Dubingiai slougther - award from Polish president). Retrived on 2008-03-27
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference MacQueen_context was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Dina Porat, “The Holocaust in Lithuania: Some Unique Aspects”, in David Cesarani, The Final Solution: Origins and Implementation, Routledge, 2002, ISBN 0415152321, Google Print, p. 162