The Fate of the Polish Refugees in Balchik in 1939–1940 Cover Image
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Съдбата на полските бежанци в Балчик през 1939–1940 г.
The Fate of the Polish Refugees in Balchik in 1939–1940

Author(s): Vencislav Chakov
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Political history, Social history, Recent History (1900 till today), Special Historiographies:, WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Fascism, Nazism and WW II
Published by: Институт за исторически изследвания - Българска академия на науките
Keywords: Polish refugees; Balchik; Jews; “Agios Nikolaos”; “Patris”; World War 2

Summary/Abstract: On September 1, 1939 Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany, which marked the beginning of World War II. After the defeat of the Polish army and the occupation of the country by German and Soviet troops, in Romania found refuge over 50,000 refugees, of which about 30,000 soldiers. After an agreement between the Polish government in exile with France and Britain, the formation of Polish troops started to help in the fight against the Nazis. Thousands of military men set off through special channels to these countries with the sole purpose to revenge the enemy and fight for the freedom of their homeland. One of these channels passed through the Bulgarian town of Balchik, which at that time was part of the Kingdom of Romania. The Polish presence in this small seaside town lasted less than a year, during which the relations between the Poles and their Bulgarian landlords were friendly. Some stayed in Balchik for weeks, others for months, waiting for the arrival of the ship that was to take them westwards. The main groups of the military shipped by the end of 1939 with two Greek ships – “Agios Nikolaos” and “Patris”, with priority given to pilots, followed by the other military men. The other refugees, for the most part civilians, left during the spring months of 1940, and the last group set off on September 29 the same year, when Balchik and the whole of Southern Dobrudzha were already joined to Bulgaria. The fact that a significant part of the Polish pilots, who were fighting in the skies of France and have won the Battle of Britain side by side with the British pilots, resided in 1939 in Balchik, still remains little known to the Bulgarian public.

  • Issue Year: 32/2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 152-167
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Bulgarian