Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Piotr Kapuscinski.
Futurist
Member
Posts: 3436
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Post by Futurist » 03 Apr 2021 21:46

Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II? The Soviet Union kept almost all of the other territorial gains that it made at Poland expense in 1939 at the end of World War II, but returned the Bialystok area to Poland:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... ine_en.svg

Image

Why was this the case? Due to Bialystok's bare Polish majority combined with the fact that Stalin possibly wanted to give some sort of concession to the Polish Communists, however small and symbolic, in exchange for having them agree to the Curzon Line? Or due to some other reason(s)--and, if so, which reason(s)?

BTW, here is some interesting historical ethnic information and data about Bialystok Oblast:

https://www.unz.com/akarlin/belostok-oblast/
Back then [as in, back in 1897], it was basically 34% Polish, 1/3 Russian (26% Belorussian, 7% Great Russian), and 28% Jew. It went to Poland after WW1. The USSR initially incorporated it back as the Belastok region, but eventually decided to let it merge back into Poland in 1944. (In fairness, by that time, it was 60%+ Polish).

GregSingh
Member
Posts: 3449
Joined: 21 Jun 2012 01:11
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Post by GregSingh » 11 Apr 2021 07:07

From PROTOCOL OF PROCEEDINGS OF CRIMEA CONFERENCE:
"The three heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon Line with digressions from it in some regions of five to eight kilometers in favor of Poland."
Consideration/agreement was on the Curzon Line, not on German-Soviet border as of late 1939.

So the question is why German-Soviet border as of late 1939 was not along the Curzon Line in the area of Bialystok.
The first step to immortality is death.
Jerzy Lec

Futurist
Member
Posts: 3436
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Post by Futurist » 12 Apr 2021 19:35

The Curzon Line explanation here makes sense. Thank you.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6377
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Post by wm » 15 Apr 2021 22:17

At Teheran, Eden expostulated that the line proposed by Lord Curzon in 1920 did not run south through Galicia and that what the Soviets proposed was the line commemorating Ribbentrop and Molotov.
"Call it what you will," answered Stalin.
Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-73 by Adam B. Ulam
So more properly it should be called the Hitler-Stalin line.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 3436
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Post by Futurist » 16 Apr 2021 00:35

wm wrote:
15 Apr 2021 22:17
At Teheran, Eden expostulated that the line proposed by Lord Curzon in 1920 did not run south through Galicia and that what the Soviets proposed was the line commemorating Ribbentrop and Molotov.
"Call it what you will," answered Stalin.
Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-73 by Adam B. Ulam
So more properly it should be called the Hitler-Stalin line.
Still looks like the Curzon Line based on my map above.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 6377
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Post by wm » 16 Apr 2021 23:10

The point is the Curzon Line and the reasons it was proposed was used as a smokescreen for Stalin's, his own, designs.
Designs that, for various reasons weren't opposed by the Allies.
So the question has nothing to do with the Curzon Line, the proper question is why did Stalin want the border like that.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 3436
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: Why did Poland get Bialystok back from the Soviet Union after the end of World War II?

Post by Futurist » 18 Apr 2021 02:31

To reunite the Ukrainian and Belarusian peoples, no?

Return to “Poland 1919-1945”