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The Polish Combatants' Association (PCA) is an organization composed primarily of the Polish veterans of the Polish 2nd Corps who fought alongside British and Canadian troops during the Italian Campaign, 1943-45, under the operational command of the British Eighth Army. Most of these men had been prisoners of the Soviet Union during 1939-1941, languishing in Soviet prisons or toiling in the slave labour camps. Many of these men lost friends and family members due to executions or the brutal conditions in the camps and prisons. Because Poland was occupied by the Soviet Union towards the end of the war, most Poles could not safely return home. As a result, the PCA was established after the war to help the demobilized Polish soldiers adjust to their new lives as civilians and exiles, to continue military traditions, and also to keep everyone at the ready, as many were expecting World War Three to soon erupt. (This almost happened a number of times - with the outbreak of the war in Korea, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, etc.). However, until the fall of communism in Poland in 1989 and in the Soviet Union shortly thereafter, the most difficult task of the PCA was to counter the unceasing and voluminous Soviet propaganda aimed at discrediting the Polish soldiers who fought with the western allies. There was an equal amount of propaganda which aimed to whitewash the Soviet atrocities against Poland and its people and promote communism. (For example, the Soviets constantly and loudly blamed the massacre of Polish officers in Katyn forest on the Nazis. They did not admit their guilt until 1990). The task of countering the propaganda was entrusted to the Head Executive Board.






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