ASSOCIATION OF SIBERIAN EXILES
Association of Siberian Exiles– an organisation established in 1928 to bring together former Siberian exiles, commonly referred to as Sybiraks. The mission of the Association is to raise awareness of the tragic repressions inflicted on the Polish nation by Tsarist Russia and later the Soviet Union.
After the outbreak of WWII, the Association had to suspend its activities and could not resume them after 1945 for political reasons. It was not until December 1988 that it was finally reactivated. In August 1988, a group in Giżycko consisting of Stanisław Mazur, Rajmund Pakulnis, Michał Jasudowicz, Wincenty Czywil, Jerzy Andrzejczuk, Ewa Drewnikowska, and Jadwiga Stankiewicz was set up to found a local branch of the Association.
Held on 23 March 1989, the first meeting attracted more than 400 former Siberian exiles. The local branch of the Association was officially established on 23 June 1989 by a resolution of the Board of the Voivodeship Branch of the Association of Siberian Exiles in Suwałki.
The Giżycko Branch was headed, successively, by Stanisław Mazur, Rajmund Pakulnis, Henryk Dawsiewicz, Bohdan Kościukiewicz, Piotr Suchocki, and Michał Jasudowicz (since 2006). As of July 2018, it had 112 members.
From the very beginning, Home Army Veterans and Sybiraks have actively participated in local social and patriotic life. Their goal has been to instil in local youth and residents the ideas enshrined in their respective statutes. Thanks to their struggle to preserve the memory of their brothers-in-arms and companions in adversity, a Cross of Katyń was erected in the communal cemetery (1990), followed by a special obelisk to commemorate Home Army Veterans and Sybiraks (1998). A square in the vicinity of the monument was named “Home Army Veterans and Siberian Exiles Square” (2018).