The exhibition shows the Police Force of the Silesian Voivodeship as one of the most important manifestation of this region's autonomy in the Second Polish Republic. Through numerous and various documents, also personal ones, there is presented the origin of this formation, its everyday tasks and the off-duty life of its officers. What is not very well knowed today is that many of those officers were excellent sportsmen – athletes, cyclist and even fencers. Practising sport boosted their morale and kept them in good physical shape. Together with the aggression of Germany and the USSR against Poland in 1939, as a result of which, at the hands of both invaders, in executions, German concentration camps and during the Katyn Massacre, almost 80% of them died. Polish policemen, including the Silesian police officers, taken into captivity by the Red Army, were sent to the camp in Ostashkov, from where, in the spring of 1940, they were transported to the NKVD headquarters in Kalinin where they were murdered with a shot to the back of the head, and then buried in mass graves in Mednoye. A few, out of the approximately 3,000 Silesian police officers, who had survived the war still experienced repression by the communist Polish authorities after 1945.
One of the policemen who was killed in the Katyn Massacre was a sergeant of the State Police, Stanisław Kalaga. His memorabilia in our collection are a valuable addition to the exhibition. Alongside them are also presented unique exhibits from the Chamber of Remembrance at the Provincial Police Headquarters in Opole.
The exhibition will be on display in the Opole seat of the Museum until 5 May 2023.