Piotr Nadolski provided this information in a quwstionnaire he completed while serving with the Polish 2nd Corps in the Middle East. The original Polish text is held at the Hoover Institute in California.
Piotr Nadolski was a farmer from Zarzecze, in the Dolkiniow municipality, Wilejka district, Wilno county, or pre-WW2 Poland. He was a private in the Polish army.
He recounts the events he witnessed as follows:
The Russian occupation of Polish territories started as follow: The Russians crossed the border at night killing Polish border guards who were half-asleep. They invaded the lands and the property of wealthy landowners, arresting them. They arrested local government officials, policemen, administrative staff, and filled the empty positions with Communists and criminals.
The Russians had a policy of raiding Polish households and arresting the occupants under cover of night. The prisoners were not allowed to take anything with them. Communists and criminals assisted the Russian occupant in arresting Poles, using any forms of false accusation.
During the voting campaign for a new local government, the occupant used different tricks, blackmail, threats, as well as false promises, to force Poles to come to the polling stations. The Russians threatened that anyone not voting for their pre-chosen candidates would face being arrested and deported.
The polling was organized as follows: Every voter followed others in an orderly line to the table. The ballot box was hidden under that table. Every voter received a sealed envelope which he/she had to drop into the hole in the table.
They also promised that, after the voting is done, all Polish citizens will be living a peaceful life on their own lands. However, when the local election was over, the Russians started mass deportations of all Polish civilians deep into USSR territories. Many of the men were separated from their families and kept in prisons.
Deportation began as follows: Firstly, they deported Polish settlers, then the foresters and then the landowners. By June 1941, the Russian authorities had deported all inhabitants from some villages, mostly from the ones occupied by ethnic Poles. So many Polish inhabitants were deported that some of the villages were completely empty.
I was arrested with my family and I was told that it was a “free will” deportation of the whole family. At the railway station they separated the men from the rest of the population, locked them up in train wagons and transported them to the district town of Wilejka. In Wilejka, we couldn’t find our families. They closed the windows in the train wagons so no one could know where they were being taken. The families were deported, and the men were told to form three rows and march towards the prison.
We spent four days in the Wilejka prison, then the Russians began to evacuate us, as the Germans had invaded Russian-held territories. There were 1,800 prisoners at the time in the Wilejka prison. We marched for five days without water or food. People were falling like flies from exhaustion. The NKWD executed on the spot those who didn’t get up, in full view of the remaining prisoners.
I witnessed the executions of people I knew, as well as Sietkiewicz the mayor of our municipality, and Mejtec, and Rubin, among others. Of the 1,800 prisoners who left Wilejka prison, 180 were killed on the way to our destination.
We were treated like animals.
Copyright: Nadolski family