The Polish term sybirak (plural: "sybiracy") is synonymous to the Russian counterpart "sibiryak" (a dweller of Siberia) and generally refers to all people resettled to Siberiapl icon cite encyclopedia | editor = Stanisław Dubisz | encyclopedia =Uniwersalny słownik języka polskiego | title = Sybirak | url = | edition = web | year = 2006 | publisher = PWN | volume = | location = Warsaw | id = ISBN 83-01-12837-2 | pages = 5426 ] , it is in most cases used to refer to Poles who have been imprisoned or exiled to Siberia.


Many Poles were exiled to Siberia, starting with the 18th-century opponents of the Russian Empire's increasing influence in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (most notably the members of the Bar Confederation).Norman Davies, "Europe: A History", Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN 0198201710, [ Google Print, p.664] ] After the change in Russian penal law in 1847, exile and penal labor ("katorga") became common penalties to the participants of national uprisings within the Russian Empire. This led to increasing number of Poles being sent to Siberia for katorga, they were known as "Sybiraks". Some of them remained there, forming a Polish minority in Sibera. Most of them came from the participants and supporters of the 19th century November Uprising and January Uprising,en icon cite book | author =Dennis J. Dunn | coauthors = | title =The Catholic Church and Russia: Popes, Patriarchs, Tsars, and Commissars | year =2004 | editor = | pages =57 | chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =Ashgate Publishing | location =London | isbn=0754636100 | url = ] Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki, "Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945", Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 0313260079, [ Google Print, 538] ] the participants of the 1905-1907 unrest to the approximately 1.5 million people deported in the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.

Around the late 19th century there was also a limited number of Polish voluntary settlers, attracted by the economical development of the region. Polish migrants and exileres, many of whom were forbidden to move away from the region even after finishing serving their sentence, formed a vibrant Polish minority there. Hundreds of Poles took part in the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Notable Polish scholars studied Siberia, among them Aleksander Czekanowski, Jan Czerski, Benedykt Dybowski, Wiktor Godlewski, Sergiusz Jastrzebski, Edward Piekarski, Bronisław Piłsudski, Wacław Sieroszewski, Mikołaj Witkowski and others.The term "Sybiracy" might also refer to former exiles, such as those who were allowed to return to Russian-held Poland following the amnesty of 1857. The group, popular among the youth in the period preceding the outbreak of the January Uprising, supported the idea of organic work. However, during the January Uprising it ceased to exist as some of its members supported the "Reds", while others supported the "Whites". Among the most notable members of the group were Agaton Giller, Henryk Krajewski, Karol Ruprecht and Szymon icon cite encyclopedia | editor = | encyclopedia =Internetowa encyklopedia PWN | title = sybiracy | url = | year = | publisher = PWN | location = Warsaw | id = ]

There were about 20,000 Poles living in Siberia around 1860s. An unsuccessful uprising of Polish political exiles in Siberia broke out in 1866.

Tens to hundreds of thousands of Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians or Poles were deported after the annexation of their states in 1939-1940 and German invasion of the Soviet Union; [] [] many Tatars or Volga Germans joined them just a few years later. [] [] . Others were exiled not based on their ethnicity but also for belonging to a social group, such as the kulaks, rich peasants targeted by the Soviet regime. []

Hundreds of thousands of people were exiled there during the years of the Soviet Union, including penal labor in Gulag prison camps, see Population transfer in the Soviet Union and Forced settlements in the Soviet Union for details.

ee also

*Rondo of Polish exiles to Siberia


External links

*pl icon [ Zsyłki - rys historyczny]
*pl icon [ Website dedicated to the Sybiraks]

Further reading

*M. Janik, "Dzieje Polaków na Syberii", 1928
*W. Jewsiewicki, "Na Syberyjskim Zesłaniu", 1959

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