poland border changes

‘The Kresy’ – the parts of Poland lost after the Second World War are shaded in grey.

Kresy (literally translated as Borderlands) is the part of the Second Republic, which today lie in western Ukraine, western Belarus, and part of Lithuania. These were the parts of Poland lost following on from decisions made at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences in 1944 and 1945. Major cities lost to the Polish state included Lwow (Lviv), Wilno (Vilnius), Brzesc (Brest), Stanislawow (Stanislav), and Grodno (Hrodna).

Grodno Kresy

The Polish city of Grodno, part of the Kresy, lost to Poland after the Second World War.

Most of the Polish population of the Kresy moved to the former German areas given to Poland in exchange for the Kresy areas annexed by the Soviet Union. Until fairly recently many of these Poles dreamt of one day moving back.

lwow kresy

The Polish city of Lwow, since the end of World War Two part of the Soviet Union and then Ukraine.

Related content on Polish Poland: The Oder-Neisse border (dividing Poland from Germany).

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