Today, we commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the first forced deportations of Poles deep into the USSR by Joseph Stalin and the Soviet regime.
Beginning in 1939, as many as one million Poles were deported in four waves to Gulags in the far north and far east of the Soviet Union, including Siberia, Khabarovsk Krai and Kazakhstan from Polish territories that the USSR occupied after they invaded Poland in cooperation with Nazi Germany under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
This was a clear attempt at ethnic cleansing that led to the permanent displacement of innocent people from their homes and ancestral lands.
Eventually, many Polish deportee survivors and their families found refuge in Canada after the War, but the scars remain to this day.
Let us never forget this crime perpetrated by the USSR, nor its many victims.