Explore touching stories of Polish citizens victims and witnesses of totalitarian crimes

„Street after street, person after person” – official video

Giving voice to the witnesses of totalitarian crimes

Chronicles of Terror is one of the largest collections of civilian testimonies from occupied Europe and features hundreds of accounts submitted by Polish citizens, who suffered immense hardship at the hands of the German and Soviet totalitarian regimes during the Second World War. These materials reflect the personal experiences of thousands of Polish victims of totalitarian crimes, and also of their families and loved ones.

Until recently, witness depositions made before the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland were scattered and locked away in archives. The accounts of Poles – both soldiers and civilians who left the Soviet Union with General Anders’ Army – were gathered from 1943 on in the Middle East, while after the War they were reposited in the American Hoover Institution. The depositions concerning Poles who helped Jews during the occupation were collected from 1999 on by the Committee for the Commemoration of Poles who Saved Jews.

Today, for the first time, they can reach a much wider audience – both in Poland and around the world.

13254

Testimonies in Polish

4462

Testimonies translated into English

14058

Published pages of source material

46473

Analyzed pages of files

Ukrainians testify about Russian crimes

It is not a coincidence that the “Chronicles of Terror” were chosen as a place to publish the testimonies of Ukrainians who experienced suffering as a result of the Russian aggression from 2022. For the past few years, our database has functioned as one of the largest collections of civilian testimonies from occupied Europe pertaining to the Second World War. Materials documenting the ongoing war in Ukraine point to the universal character of the mechanism of crimes committed by the occupiers who are guided by hatred, disrespect for human live, aggression against civilians and a sense of impunity.

The accounts gathered by the Lemkin Center comprise descriptions of crimes committed by the Russian troops against Ukrainians. Unlike a testimony given before the prosecutor, a testimony in the form of a written questionnaire or a filmed account is not classified, and thus thanks to the “Chronicles of Terror” everyone can learn about the Russian terror. We are aware that knowledge is a powerful tool. We hope to inscribe Russian crimes in the memory of the world and bring the perpetrators to justice.

A map of testimonies

Find out what happened to the residents of your town, street or house during World War II.

Places of arrests and round-ups, addresses of hiding places, harsh prisons, concentration camps, places of torture, deportations and executions – the map enables you to trace the fate of victims of totalitarian terror.

Select location where the events described by witnesses took place

Zoom in to see locations from particular testimonies

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