Sybirak’s Day in Poland Date in the current year: September 17, 2024

Sybirak’s Day in Poland Sybirak’s Day is an annual observance celebrated in Poland on September 17. It is dedicated to the Soviet invasion of Poland, which took place in 1939, and the subsequent deportation of more than 300,000 Polish citizens to Siberia.

In 1932, representatives of Poland and the USSR signed the Soviet—Polish Non-Aggression Pact. However, the Soviet Union broke the pact because of Poland’s participation in the German occupation of Czechoslovakia and invaded Poland without a formal declaration of war on September 17, 1939. As a result, Eastern Poland was annexed to Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.

Following the annexation, about 320,000 Polish citizens were deported to Siberia, most of them in four mass waves (the Soviet did not recognize the deportees as Polish citizens and treated them like Soviet citizens). By that moment, Siberia had already had an impressive Polish community because Russian authorities started to exile Poles in Siberia in the 18th century. The term “sybiraks” was first applied to Poles sent to Siberia after the November Uprising of 1830-1831 and the January Uprising 1863-1864.

Sybirak’s Day in Poland was declared by a resolution of Sejm (Polish parliament) in 1998. It is not a state holiday and is normally a working day, unless falling on a weekend. Nevertheless, it is marked with special ceremonies held throughout the country.

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Sybirak’s Day in Poland, holidays in Poland, memorial days, Soviet invasion of Poland