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The Sikorski-Mayski Agreement was a treaty between the Soviet Union and Poland signed in London on 30 July 1941.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Its name was coined after the two most notable signatories: Polish Prime Minister Władysław Sikorski and Soviet Ambassador to the United Kingdom Ivan Mayski.

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After signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Treaty in 1939[11], the Soviet Union took part in the invasion of Poland[12][13] and its subsequent dismemberment. The Soviet authorities declared Poland non-existent and all former Polish citizens from the areas annexed by USSR were treated as if they were Soviet citizens. This resulted in approximately 2 million Polish citizens (including a quarter of a Millions POWs and 1.5 million deportees[6]) being arrested and imprisoned by the NKVD and other Soviet authorities.

However, with the outbreak of the Soviet-German War in 1941 the international situation of Soviet Union changed and Joseph Stalin started to seek help from other countries opposing Germany. Strongly encouraged by British Foreign Office diplomat Anthony Eden, Sikorski on 5th July, 1941[9][8], opened negotiations with the Soviet ambassador to London, Ivan Mayski, to re-establish diplomatic relations between Poland and the Soviet Union. Sikorski was the architect of the agreement reached by both governments, that was finally signed on 30th July, 1941. A further military alliance was signed in Moscow on 14th August 1941[14][15]. Later that year, Sikorski went to Moscow with a diplomatic mission[16] (including the future Polish ambassador to Moscow, Stanisław Kot, and chief of the Polish Military Mission in the Soviet Union, General Zygmunt Szyszko-Bohusz).

Joseph Stalin agreed to declare all previous pacts he had with Nazi Germany null and void, invalidate the September 1939 Soviet-German partition of Poland and release tens of thousands of Polish prisoners-of-war held in Soviet camps. Pursuant to an agreement between the Polish government-in-exile and Stalin, the Soviets granted "amnesty" to many Polish citizens on 12th August 1941[17][18], from whom a 40,000-strong army (Anders Army, later known as the Polish II Corps) was formed under General Władysław Anders. The whereabouts of thousands more Polish officers, however, would remain unknown for two more years, and this would weigh heavily on both Polish-Soviet relations and on Sikorski's fate.

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References

  1. ^ GULAG A History by Anne Applebaum ISBN 0-140-28310-2 Pages 406-407
  2. ^ War Through Children Eyes Editor I. Gross and J.Gross Page xxii ISBN 0-8179-7471-7
  3. ^ Exiled to Siberia by Klaus Hergt Page 117 ISBN 0-9700432-0-1
  4. ^ Stolen Childhood by Lucjan Krolikowski Page 63 ISBN0-595-16863-9
  5. ^ The Polish Deportees of World War II edit by Tadeusz Piotrowski ISBN 978-0-7864-3258-5
  6. ^ a b Stanislaw Mikolajczyk The Pattern of Soviet Domination, Sampson Low, Marston & Co 1948, Page 17
  7. ^ Polish Deportees in the Soviet Union by Michael Hope Page 39 ISBN 0 948202 76 9
  8. ^ a b Jozef Garlinski Poland in the Second World War, ISBN 0-333-39258-2 Page 109
  9. ^ a b The Fate of Poles in the USSR 1939~1989 by Tomasz Piesakowski ISBN 0 901342 24 6 Page 73
  10. ^ Blank Pages by G.C.Malcher ISBN 1 897984 00 6 Page 51
  11. ^ Stanislaw Mikolajczyk The Pattern of Soviet Domination, Sampson Low, Marston & Co 1948, Page 4
  12. ^ Steven J Zaloga Poland 1939, Osprey 2003 Page 79 ISBN 1 84176 408 6
  13. ^ Norman Davies God's Playground Volume II, Oxford University Press 1986 Page 437 ISBN 0-19-821944-X
  14. ^ Jozef Garlinski Poland in the Second World War, ISBN 0-333-39258-2 Page 117
  15. ^ Stanislaw Mikolajczyk The Pattern of Soviet Domination, Sampson Low, Marston & Co 1948, Page 18
  16. ^ Stanislaw Mikolajczyk The Pattern of Soviet Domination, Sampson Low, Marston & Co 1948, Page 23
  17. ^ The Fate of Poles in the USSR 1939~1989 by Tomasz Piesakowski ISBN 0 901342 24 6 Page 77
  18. ^ Stanislaw Mikolajczyk The Pattern of Soviet Domination, Sampson Low, Marston & Co 1948, Page 19

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