During the Second World War various groups of Polish citizens, including a substantial number of Jews, were exiled and deported to Yakutia. They ended up in the region usually as prisoners sent to Soviet camps and special residential estates as a result of deportations carried out by the NKVD in the Eastern Borderlands of the Second Polish Republic in 1940–1941.
The legal status of Polish citizens in the USSR changed only after the Sikorski–Mayski agreement of 30 July 1941 and following the Soviet amnesty decree of August 1941. People released from confinement were allowed to go to other Soviet regions or to the Polish army being formed at the time in the USSR. Some took advantage of this opportunity, but several thousand Polish citizens decided to remain in Yakutia during the following years of the war. Their health and living conditions were poor owing to the harsh climate, insufficient supply of food and necessities, unfavourable housing conditions and other local factors. Most Poles and Jews remained in Yakutia until 1946 and returned to Poland only after the signing of the Polish-Soviet repatriation agreement.