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15 June 2022

The Holy Cross prison in the context of the penitentiary system of the Second Polish Republic: selected aspects of organization and activity (1918–1939)

European Historical Studies
The Holy Cross prison in the context of the penitentiary system of the Second Polish Republic: selected aspects of organization and activity (1918–1939)

The proposed article highlights selected aspects of the organization and activity of the Holy Cross Prison in the context of the penitentiary system of the Second Polish Republic. Particular attention is paid to the internal structure, characterization of the staff, the imprisonment of political and criminal prisoners. The research methodology is based on the use of general scientific and special historical research methods, including problem-chronological, synchronous, diachronic, comparative-historical and others. It is established that the Holy Cross Prison was located in the premises of a former highland Benedictine monastery and was intended to serve a sentence of long-term prisoners. This penal institution objectively was considered one of the harshest in interwar Poland. Except especially dangerous criminals and spies there were also political prisoners — the members of the Communist Parties of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, etc. It is revealed that in the early 1930s, the prison had good physical condition, which was the result of a number of repairs. The Holy Cross was the closed complex where, in addition to the main prison premises, there were a hospital, outbuildings, guard post, administrative premises, a stable, a warehouse, etc. Before the Second World War the prison employed about 100 people. The number of prisoners had a steady upward trend, contributing to the overcrowding of the penitentiary facility, what was especially felt in the second half of the 1930s. Based on the analysis of documentary sources, we assume that the administration of the Holy Cross, despite numerous material and personnel difficulties, fulfilled the tasks entrusted on it by the Polish state.

Source: Razyhrayev O. (2020). The Holy Cross prison in the context of the penitentiary system of the Second Polish Republic: selected aspects of organization and activity (1918–1939). European Historical Studies. №17: 89-107

Source web-site: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B-yE1GVzr50ULtIMbvmrJbO221CadYZG/view

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