They created a portal about crimes committed against Poles during World War II

He is a co-founder of the Polska Hekatomba Association, which has created a portal listing Nazi and Soviet crimes committed against Poles, addressed to everyone interested in Polish history during World War II. - Crimes against Polish citizens have been written about for decades, research has been carried out, associations are commemorating various events, but everything has been scattered so far. We decided that there is a need and a chance to focus the discussion, as well as various social initiatives commemorating the tragic experiences of Poles during World War II, in one place - says dr hab. Daniel Wicenty, prof. UG, a sociologist from the Faculty of Social Sciences, UG. is a portal that contains data concerning crimes committed on citizens of the Second Republic of Poland, mainly by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

- 'We provide their location and the name of the place on an interactive map, on which we have already marked over 3,500 such places. In the case of some of them we also provide a brief note with their description, i.e. time, perpetrators, circumstances,' says dr hab. Daniel Wicenty, prof. UG, a sociologist from the Faculty of Social Sciences, UG, one of the founders of the portal. - 'The authors of the notes are mostly professional historians. A map with points and a chronologically arranged list of crimes is the core of the site. To easily identify a particular place, we have also added a simple search engine, where you can enter the name of the place or the surname.'.

The Polska Hekatomba Association, founded by Tri-City history enthusiasts, has been active since 2020. It is a bottom-up initiative, 100% financed from private funds. The association's board of directors consists of Tomasz Stachura, dr hab. Daniel Wicenty, prof. UG, and lawyer Maciej Adamczyk.

- 'There were several inspirations for this undertaking. First of all, there was the conference entitled "Polish hecatomb and the fight against polonophobia", organised some time ago by the weekly magazine "Do Rzeczy". It was a term that suggested a new, comprehensive perspective on the traumatic, tragic experiences of Poles during World War II,' says dr hab. Daniel Wicenty. - 'Another important inspiration was the concept of genocide, proposed by the Polish lawyer Rafał Lemkin. It refers not only to the physical annihilation of national, ethnic, religious or racial groups but also to everyday terror, the robbery of children, resettlement or forced sterilisation.'.

The mission of the Association and the recently created portal is not so much to disseminate knowledge about the crimes committed against Polish citizens, but above all to introduce the term " Polska Hekatomba" into scientific, media and colloquial circulation, and thus, as the initiators of the idea emphasise, to root the holistic perspective of the Polish victims to two totalitarian systems in society.

Scientists, historians and enthusiasts have worked on the project, and the materials published on the portal come, among others, from the archives of the Institute of National Remembrance, museum collections and private collections.

The portal is to be systematically supplemented with new content, mainly notes on identified crime scenes.

- 'We encourage you to join us, either as a member of the Association, which is open to all or as an author of content published on the portal, especially historians and history students,' - adds dr hab. Daniel Wicenty, prof. UG. - 'We hope to establish cooperation with various local associations and organisations.'.

The inauguration of the portal took place on Monday, February 7, in the Naval Museum in Gdynia.

Elżbieta Michalak-Witkowska/Press Office of University of Gdańsk