Karta Archives Project


The KARTA Center is an independent non-governmental foundation documenting the recent history of Poland and Eastern Europe. Its primary role is to document the repressive Nazi and Communist regimes ruling Poland from 1939 through the end of the 1980s. It continues the activities of the illegal "Karta" and the clandestine Eastern Archives of the 1980s.

"Karta" was created in Warsaw in 1982 as an underground publication focusing on political commentaries; after a few months it was transformed into an independent almanac presenting human attitudes towards dictatorships.

The Karta Eastern Archives

The Eastern Archives were established in November 1987 as an independent social institution grouping several dozen people, with a view to documenting the untold and falsified "eastern" past.

The major part of Eastern Archives collections pertains to the history of the Eastern Borderlands of the Second Polish Republic (established in the 1920s), the fate of Polish citizens in the USSR and under the Soviet occupation, and displacements after the Second World War. Special emphasis has been given to sources containing information on Polish citizens persecuted in the USSR during the Stalin years 1939-56 (those shot, deported, interned, imprisoned at labor camps or drafted into the Red Army). Included is the documentation of the Index of the Repressed with copies from post-Soviet and émigré archives.

The Eastern Archives obtain sources by recording history witnesses' reports, conducting thematic queries at archives in Poland and the former USSR, organizing and co-organizing memoirs competitions, obtaining notes and documents from individuals, and exchanging materials with social organizations such as the Union of Siberian Deportees.

The Index of the Repressed

This Project has been in operation since 1988. At the beginning, it was a social movement gathering the dispersed knowledge on Polish citizens repressed in the USSR and under Soviet occupation. After access had been given to Archives in Poland and the former Soviet Union, a computer database on those repressed was developed, which now contains more than 800,000 records.

The verified lists of names are published in separate volumes and available on the Internet at http://www.indeks.karta.org.pl/ (currently only in Polish language). There are currently 17 volumes containing 20 collections.

JRI-Poland/Karta Cooperation

The JRI-Poland and Karta organizations have met in Warsaw a number of times. Karta has agreed to allow JRI-Poland to publish the Index of the Repressed database online in order to facilitate wider awareness of these valuable holdings and disseminate information about former Jewish residents of Poland included in its holdings and databases. Indices to those entries are now being added to the Jewish Records Indexing - Poland online searchable database.

JRI-Poland plans to add to our database all the Karta collections contained in their online database as they become available. We are starting with three releases (published sections) in this group of the deported to Archangel District, Siberia (three parts of Volume XIV of Index of the Repressed).

  1. Those Deported from Bialystok District to Archangel - 9,320 people
  2. Those Deported from Baranowicze District to Archangel - 8,559 people
  3. Those Deported from Lwow District to Archangel - 10,334 people

For further background information about Stalin's forced deportations to Archangel, please see http://www.stalinsethniccleansing.com/content/history02.htm.

Database #1: Deportations from Baranowicze District

This database includes Polish citizens of Jewish origin from the Baranowicze district deported to the Archangel area of Russia. The Baranowicze district was an administrative unit of the Belorussian Republic until it was absorbed by the former Soviet Union. It generally matched the borders of the former Nowogródek province.

The deportees from the Baranowicze area were generally families of army settlers and foresters, as well as those fleeing from Polish territories taken over by German forces in September 1939. Most were of Jewish origin.

The initial file contains 395 records from this collection - both Jewish and non-Jewish. JRI-Poland will include ALL entries from the Index of the Repressed database. The Baranowicze district collection is part of larger group identified as "Deported to Archangel district."

The JRI-Poland database contains the following fields:

  • Surname (Nazwisko)
  • Given Name (imie)
  • Given Name of Father (imie ojca)
  • Year of Birth (rok urodzenia)
  • Town of Birth (Miejsce urodzenia)

Data associated with these entries are available in the online Karta Index of the Repressed (Indeks Represjonowanych) and are based on published volumes of indices, which can be purchased at http://www.karta.org.pl/ksiegarnia_produkty.asp?DzialID=5&KategoriaID=8 (this webpage is only in Polish language).

The Karta online search engine and the search results are only in Polish language. Below are the full results of the Karta database for Blima ABRAMOWICZ:

Karta database results for Blima ABRAMOWICZ

Please note that none of the names in the book is identified by nationality.

Unfortunately there is currently no separate online publication describing the Karta database in detail. Only basic information is available on the Internet website. Furthermore, the online Index of the Repressed, the search results, and much of the online information is only in Polish language.

The Karta online store describes each volume (again only in Polish); more detailed characteristics can be found in prefaces (substantial, "meritorical") that precede each volume.

For more information on any entries of interest, send your enquires to karta@jri-poland.org.