“Untold Stories…Memories of Helena Berkowska and Other Women from 1944-1945”. Premiere of the book in Łapy

On Mother’s Day, May 26, the publication “Untold Stories…Memories of Helena Berkowska and Other Women from 1944-1945” was promoted in the apy. The author of the study is Patrija Sanico of the Bialystok branch of the Institute for National Remembrance. This publication is a tribute to the women prisoners at KL Ravensbrück.

The publication was promoted on the eve of the 79th anniversary of the arrest of residents of the apy and the surrounding area. The post is a diary of an interviewee – Helena Berkowska, but also the memories of other women who were captured with her that day and imprisoned in the KL Ravensbrück camp. The book contains 150 biographies of female prisoners, as well as a list of the men who were arrested at the time. The arrests took place after Operation Kidio Unit of the Home Army, which on May 25, 1944 carried out an armed attack on trucks and cars with German gendarmes traveling along the Umeå-Bialystok road, killing several of them. In response, an arrest warrant was issued for 1,500 people in the Bialystok region. The largest arrests occurred in Teikosin, Wabi, and Sokoi. It includes those arrested in mass detentions, then transferred to Białystok prison, from where, on 1 June, the women were transferred to the Ravensbrück concentration camp and the men to Gross-Rosen camp. Then these people were transferred to other camps.

The book was promoted in the public library of the town and Łapy commune. During the event, the Director of the Institute of National Remembrance in Bialystok, Dr. Marek Jedinak, spoke, who stressed the need for ongoing research into German crimes against Poles, including deportations to Nazi German concentration camps such as KL Ravensbrück. He thanked the publishing editor for the huge amount of work and quoted part of the work in the book, emphasizing the importance of showing the truth about history, especially the hardest one. The Mayor of Łapy, Krzysztof Gołaszewski, thanked Patrycja Sanejko and the Institute of National Remembrance for addressing this difficult and traumatic topic for many Łapy residents. He also asserted that until recently the subject was almost impossible and mainly transmitted orally from generation to generation.

The post was created with the great support of the people who cultivate the memory of those events. The author, using the social media of the Institute of National Remembrance in Bialystok, asked for help in obtaining as many sources and testimonies as possible. The request was highly publicized. This indicates that the memory of those events is still fresh. The publication is distributed free of charge. To purchase, please contact us via e-mail at this address: [email protected]

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