Repatriation and Resettlement
of Ethnic Poles
As World War II was coming to a close, the leaders of the Allied Powers met
to discuss redrawing the map of Europe.
It was decided that Poland's borders would move approximately 200 kilometers
to the west. Poland would lose about 178,000 sq. km. to the USSR in the
east...and acquire about 101,000 sq. km. from Germany in the west.
The result of this historic resettlement greatly affected family history and
genealogical research of ethnic Poles originating in Eastern Galicia /
Halychyna. The result was staggering. Over one million ethnic
Poles moved from what was eastern Poland (sometimes referred to as the Kresy,
or Eastern Borderlands) to what came to be called the Recovered
in western and northern Poland (which is the dark shaded regions in the
- Understand why your Polish relatives no longer live where they did before
World War II.
- Locate records regarding the Resettlement.
- Find relatives who moved to different regions of Poland.
- Understand how your relatives were born in Lwów, but died in Wrocław,
hundreds of kilometers to the west.
Although these pages are geared toward the Repatriation and Resettlement of
ethnic Poles from Eastern Galicia, the information is extremely useful to
- Researching ethnic Polish roots from territories now located in Ukraine,
Belarus and Lithuania.
- Researching ethnic Polish migration within Poland during the tumultuous
years immediately following WWII.
- Researching Ukrainian ancestors and relatives forcibly removed from their
homeland during the ethnic cleansing campaign known as Akcja Wisła.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Repatriation and
Resettlement of Ethnic Poles and the PUR Collection
Value of the Genealogical Documents of PUR (Państwowy
Urząd Repatriacyjny. State Office of Repatriation)
(documents to assist genealogical research)
History of Repatriation and Resettlement
The PUR Collection and genealogical research
Examples of Records from the PUR
Registration Lists of Repatriates and Resettlers
Village/Town Records (Ewidencje) of Repatriates and Resettlers
Sample of Record: Village of Kurznie,
Finding the Records of the PUR Collection for
your own research
Finding the Location of Resettlement
Central Europe throughout the last 4 centuries
Maps of Ethnic Groups
Works cited in these web pages and bibliography
for further research
Terminology regarding Repatriation, Resettlement,
and the PUR Collection
German-Polish Place Names
Examples for Brzeg powiat (brzeski
For an excellent article on population exchanges in Poland during the
period of 1939 to 1948 (covering Polish, German, Ukrainian, Belarusian and
Jews), please read Piotr Eberhardt's English language article
Migrations in Poland, 1939-1948.