Poland's strategic objectives towards Belarus have not changed, although the methods have become more sophisticated, Aleksandr Shpakovsky, the head of the information and educational outreach center Actual Concept, said in his Telegram channel.
In the context of the International Day of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps, he noted that in Belarus this topic is not only about Nazi death camps and Stalin's repressions, but also about the crimes of the Polish occupation authorities against the population of Western Belarus in 1921-1939.
“In 1934, a concentration camp was set up to intern the opponents of the Pilsudski regime in the town of Bereza-Kartuska (now the town of Bereza in Brest Oblast). It held more than 10,000 prisoners of Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish and representatives of other ethnicities. The former prisoners would recollect that the camp was designed to serve one goal: to break a person physically and psychologically in the shortest possible time, to crush their individuality, to turn them into a silent lowlife not capable of even thinking about their political and national rights, and even more so about any fight,” Aleksandr Shpakovsky said. “It is obvious that this concentration camp was not a random phenomenon in the Polish policy during the interwar period, although modern Polish historians deny both the occupation and the authoritarian nature of II Rzeczpospolita, which, in fact, was quite an unpleasant state with obvious elements of fascism,” he said.
"Meanwhile, Warsaw's attitude to the population of the occupied territories of Belarus and Ukraine was fully expressed by Governor Ostaszewski in June 1939: 'We wish and demand that this minority think Polish. We will give nothing in return and do nothing in the other direction. Sooner or later the Belarusian population will be polonized.' In my opinion, Poland's strategic goals towards our country have not changed, although the methods have become more sophisticated," Aleksandr Shpakovsky said.
He also recalled that modern Belarus has practically kept the topic of the Polish occupation, including the crimes of the invaders against its people, under the wraps. “At the same time, using their own network of local historians and publicists, various Polish institutions promoted in the Belarusian society their own historical narratives, false beliefs beneficial to modern Warsaw. In 1966, the BSSR published a collection of memoirs of former prisoners of Bereza Kartuska Prison “They Stood Tall”. It would be right not only to re-publish these stories but also to screen them in modern Belarus".