Information about the current state of the investigation into the murder of the inhabitants of the town of Naliboki, county of Stolpce, Nowogrodek province, in May 1943.

Posted on Czerwiec 18, 2008

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Information about the current state of the investigation into the murder of the inhabitants of the town of Naliboki, county of Stolpce, Nowogrodek province, in May 1943.

The Regional Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes Against the Polish Nation in Lodz is conducting an investigation into the crimes committed by Soviet partisans on the soldiers of the Home Army and civilian population in the Stolpce and Wolozyn counties in the Nowogrodek province.

This investigation was opened on March 20, 2001, and it covers a series of crimes committed by Soviet partisans in the period 1942-1944. One of the main threads of the investigation concerns the attack on the town of Naliboki, county of Stolpce.

Until September 1939, Naliboki was inhabited mostly by Poles and Jews. From 1942 on, various bands, which hid in the surrounding forests, started raiding Naliboki. The activities of those bands had exclusivelycriminal aims, i.e., robbery. In order to protect the local inhabitants, a group of Poles in Naliboki organized a self-defence unit. In the spring of 1943 the commanders of the Soviet partisans stationed in the Naliboki forest tried to subordinate this unit but the Poles refused.
During a subsequent meeting an agreement was reached, whereby the Poles and the Soviets were not to attack each other, and the town of Naliboki with its surrounding settlements was to become the home territory of the Polish self-defense. In spite of this, during the night of May 8/9, 1943, partisans from several units of the Stalin Brigade attacked Naliboki. They seized mostly men, whom they shot after taking them out of their homes. The total number of victims was 120-129 people. All of the houses were plundered, and food and valuables taken. Some buildings were burned down, including the church and the sawmill.

So far 24 witnesses have been questioned, most of them former inhabitants of Naliboki or nearby settlements who were present there
during the attack. Their detailed testimonies about the course of events under investigation mention the names of some of the perpetrators, several of whom have been identified as former Jewish residents of Naliboki. The witnesses also mention the names of Soviet partisans. A review of the case brought against the leader of the Polish self-defense unit in Naliboki before the District Military Court in Warsaw in 1951 has also Been undertaken. During those proceedings a copy of the cryptogram sent by the Stalin Brigade to Ponamarenko and Kalinin on May 11, 1943, had been obtained. The cryptogram in question contains a report about the attack on Naliboki. At present the names and addresses of additional persons having knowledge of these events are being sought and the lists of victims submitted by three witnesses are being verified.
The Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation

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