Polish scouts involved in war/resistance operations

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viriato
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Polish scouts involved in war/resistance operations

Post by viriato » 05 Mar 2003 16:36

In other threads both Davey Boy and Michael Mills discussed the (non)involvement of Polish scouts in military operations in the first days of war in 1939. Their point was made in respect to the German invasion of Western Poland. To that part of the country I have little to say. However I am reading a book dealing with the occupation of Eastern Poland by the USSR and the scouts are indeed mentioned as a part of the resistence against the occupying forces.

The book I'm referring to is written in French. The author is Alexandra Viatteau and the title is "Staline Assassine la Pologne 1939-1947" ("Stalin Assassinates Poland") and was published by Seuil in 1999.

On page 41/42 it states:

Les villes polonaises ont commencé à conspirer dès l'apparition de l'occupant. Parmi ceux qui étaient décidés à lutter, il y avait les officiers qui avaient échappé à la captivité, les membres des partis politiques et des organisations sociales et patriotiques, les functionaires de l'État, les employés des divers groupes et milieux profissioneles, le clérgé catholique et même la jeunesse universitaire et scolaire, ainsi que les scouts.


My translation:

Inside the Polish towns one bagan to conspire immediately since the first occupants moved in. Amid those who were decided to fight one could find army officers that escaped captivaty, members of political parties and from other social and patriotic organisations, state functionaries, employees from various professions, catholic clerics and even students from both universities and schools and scouts as well.


In Lwow an organisation of students were included in the resistence movement. It was called before the war the Narodowa Organizacja Gimnazjalna i Akademicka NOGA, National Organisation of Highschoollers and University Students and took the name of Wyzwolenie (Liberation) after the war begun.

Related to this is another quotation where one can read on page 101 in a testimony given by a teacher of a girls highschool:

Des lycéenes de Lida, Stolpce, Grodno, enfermées parce que elles appartenait à des organisations secrètes...


My translation:

The highschoollers [girls] of Lida, Stolpce, Grodno arrested because they were members of secret organisations...


It seems after all that some young people, be they scouts, highschoolers or university students were indeed linked to the resistence to the occupier. If this happened in the Soviet occupied lands wasn't it possible that it happened too in the German occupied lands?[/b]

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Roberto
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Re: Polish scouts involved in war/resistance operations

Post by Roberto » 05 Mar 2003 21:06

viriato wrote:In other threads both Davey Boy and Michael Mills discussed the (non)involvement of Polish scouts in military operations in the first days of war in 1939. Their point was made in respect to the German invasion of Western Poland. To that part of the country I have little to say. However I am reading a book dealing with the occupation of Eastern Poland by the USSR and the scouts are indeed mentioned as a part of the resistence against the occupying forces.

The book I'm referring to is written in French. The author is Alexandra Viatteau and the title is "Staline Assassine la Pologne 1939-1947" ("Stalin Assassinates Poland") and was published by Seuil in 1999.

On page 41/42 it states:

Les villes polonaises ont commencé à conspirer dès l'apparition de l'occupant. Parmi ceux qui étaient décidés à lutter, il y avait les officiers qui avaient échappé à la captivité, les membres des partis politiques et des organisations sociales et patriotiques, les functionaires de l'État, les employés des divers groupes et milieux profissioneles, le clérgé catholique et même la jeunesse universitaire et scolaire, ainsi que les scouts.


My translation:

Inside the Polish towns one bagan to conspire immediately since the first occupants moved in. Amid those who were decided to fight one could find army officers that escaped captivaty, members of political parties and from other social and patriotic organisations, state functionaries, employees from various professions, catholic clerics and even students from both universities and schools and scouts as well.


In Lwow an organisation of students were included in the resistence movement. It was called before the war the Narodowa Organizacja Gimnazjalna i Akademicka NOGA, National Organisation of Highschoollers and University Students and took the name of Wyzwolenie (Liberation) after the war begun.

Related to this is another quotation where one can read on page 101 in a testimony given by a teacher of a girls highschool:

Des lycéenes de Lida, Stolpce, Grodno, enfermées parce que elles appartenait à des organisations secrètes...


My translation:

The highschoollers [girls] of Lida, Stolpce, Grodno arrested because they were members of secret organisations...


It seems after all that some young people, be they scouts, highschoolers or university students were indeed linked to the resistence to the occupier. If this happened in the Soviet occupied lands wasn't it possible that it happened too in the German occupied lands?[/b]


It was certainly possible, but the Boy Scouts Davey Boy was referring to hardly had the time to even think about joining or giving assistance to a resistance movement, for they were shot in the first weeks of German occupation. The episode is mentioned by Richard C. Lukas on page 3 of his book Forgotten Holocaust.

Lukas wrote:During the Wehrmacht's administration of Poland, which went on until October 25, 1939, the German armed forces joined the Schutzstaffel (SS) and police in what Polish historians have described as "a merciless and systematic campaign of biological destruction." During the period of military control in Poland, 531 towns and villages were burned; the provinces of Lodz and Warsaw suffered the heaviest losses. Various branches of the army and police carried out 714 executions, which took the lives of 16,376 people, most of whom were Polish Christians. The Wehrmacht committed approximately 60 percent of these crimes, with the police responsible for the remainder. An English woman was an eyewitness to the criminal activities of the Germans in Bydgoszcz at this time:

The first victims of the campaign were a number of Boy Scouts, from twelve to sixteen years of age, who were set up in the marketplace against a wall and shot. No reason was given. A devoted priest who rushed to administer the Last Sacrament was shot too. He received five wounds. A Pole said afterwards that the sight of those children lying dead was the most piteous of all the horrors he saw. That week the murders continued. Thirty-four of the leading tradespeople and merchants of the town were shot, and many other leading citizens. They square was surrounder by troops with machine guns.
Among the thirty-four was a man whom I knew was too ill to take any part in politics or public affairs. When the execution took place he was too weak to stand, and fell down; they beat him and dragged him again to his feet. Another of the first victims was a boy of seventeen, the only son of a well-known surgeon who had died a year before. The father had been greatly esteemed by all, and had treated the Poles and Germans with the same care and devotion. We never heard of what the poor lad was accused ...
These are only a few examples of the indiscriminate murders which took place. The shooting was still going on when I left the town. At the beginning it was done by the soldiers, afterwards the Gestapo and the SS took over, and exceeded the troops in their cruelty.
[...]

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Post by Davey Boy » 06 Mar 2003 07:39

Viriato,

It seems after all that some young people, be they scouts, highschoolers or university students were indeed linked to the resistence to the occupier. If this happened in the Soviet occupied lands wasn't it possible that it happened too in the German occupied lands?



The scouts in Bydgoszcz weren't alive long enough to decide whether they wanted to resist or not.

Now, this may seem a little pedantic to you and Mills, but I always thought that one is guilty AFTER one commits the act in question.

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Post by Scott Smith » 06 Mar 2003 10:49

Davey,

When you are become Emperor of your "West Slavic Reich," make me your Foreign Minister--and together we shall prevent World War III.
:D

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Post by Davey Boy » 06 Mar 2003 12:20

Scott Smith wrote:Davey,

When you are become Emperor of your "West Slavic Reich," make me your Foreign Minister--and together we shall prevent World War III.
:D



Sure, and I'll offer Mills the position of PR Minister (in other words, spin doctor).

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Post by Maple 01 » 06 Mar 2003 12:29

The Polish Scouts took part in the Warsaw uprising OK, there's a photo of what I think is a captured 251 with their emblem on it somewhere - this isn't a criticism, nor condoning the German's actions in the first days of the war, the Scouts fought bravely alongside the Home Army during the Uprising.

Regards

-Nick

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Post by Davey Boy » 06 Mar 2003 12:49

Maple 01 wrote:The Polish Scouts took part in the Warsaw uprising OK, there's a photo of what I think is a captured 251 with their emblem on it somewhere - this isn't a criticism, nor condoning the German's actions in the first days of the war, the Scouts fought bravely alongside the Home Army during the Uprising.

Regards

-Nick



Given the unprecedented barbarity of the Hun, they had little choice. I would too.

viriato
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Post by viriato » 06 Mar 2003 13:51

Roberto your assumption may be right as the scouts:

...hardly had the time to even think about joining or giving assistance to a resistance movement, for they were shot in the first weeks of German occupation


However Alexandra Viatteau implied that (my translation):

Inside the Polish towns one bagan to conspire immediately since the first occupants moved in.


She originaly used the word "dès" and not "aprés". That is the reason I translated it by immediately since (on a second guess I think I should have put "immediately after"... :( ). This means that the lapse of time between the occupation and any resistence moves was very short if not non-existant as those acts would have begun simultaneously to the occupation.

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Post by Roberto » 06 Mar 2003 14:14

viriato wrote:Roberto your assumption may be right as the scouts:

...hardly had the time to even think about joining or giving assistance to a resistance movement, for they were shot in the first weeks of German occupation


However Alexandra Viatteau implied that (my translation):

Inside the Polish towns one bagan to conspire immediately since the first occupants moved in.


She originaly used the word "dès" and not "aprés". That is the reason I translated it by immediately since (on a second guess I think I should have put "immediately after"... :( ). This means that the lapse of time between the occupation and any resistence moves was very short if not non-existant as those acts would have begun simultaneously to the occupation.


It's a stretch from conspiring to acting even in Poland, and I strongly doubt the occupiers bothered with gathering evidence that any of the 16,376 they shot during the period of military administration were in any way conspiring against them.

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Post by Kokampf » 06 Mar 2003 16:08

Maple 01 wrote:The Polish Scouts took part in the Warsaw uprising OK, there's a photo of what I think is a captured 251 with their emblem on it somewhere - this isn't a criticism, nor condoning the German's actions in the first days of the war, the Scouts fought bravely alongside the Home Army during the Uprising.


This jogged my memory, and I dug Zaloga and Grandsen's The Eastern Front: Armour Camouflage and Markings, 1941 to 1945 out of the bookshelf...

Page 72 has a colour painting of a Panther in German dull yellow with green overspray, neatly remarked by the Poles with 'WP' in white on the turret rear, and the following markings from left to right in a tight row on the turret left side (picture shows the tank head-on with turret turned to face left): chequer-board, PUDEL (white capital letters), Scout symbol.

The caption:

Panther Ausf G, Zoska Battalion, Polish Home Army, Warsaw Uprising, August 1944. This was one of the two Panthers captured by the Polish insurgents and used during the fighting in Warsaw. It carries the name 'Pudel' and the national szachownica (chequer-board design) red and white insignia. the white fleur-de-lis is the insignia of the Polish Boy Scouts (Grey Ranks), which captured and manned the tank. The letters WP on the rear hatch stand for Wojsko Polskie (Polish Army).

Evidently brave and determined young men!

The only other AK vehicle in the book is a Hetzer named 'Chwat', with crowned Polish eagle on the front (contrasting with all the other pictures on the page which show the Soviet puppet army's vehicles with their 'plucked chicken' version). I do remember reading of a '251 in AK service though, and a home-made armoured car.

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Post by Starinov » 06 Mar 2003 18:03

There is a book on the market about that subject. It is in polish and I don't know if it is available in any other language:

Aleksander Kamiński, Kamienie na szaniec (Rocks on the barricade), Warszawa, 1999, 236p.

Image

When I was a kid, we were forced to read that book. Then I considered it as really lame but with time I started to appreciate it.

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Post by Somosierra » 06 Mar 2003 18:12

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

--
BTW - For many Poles who wanted to fight against Germans (and get out from the Soviet Union) there was only one option – join so-called “puppet army”…

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Post by Kokampf » 06 Mar 2003 18:42

Somosierra wrote:BTW - For many Poles who wanted to fight against Germans (and get out from the Soviet Union) there was only one option – join so-called “puppet army”…


I appreciate that, and have every sympathy with them as with the Polish contingents with all the Allied armies - but no such sympathy with the Soviet government which armed them and had no intention whatsoever of permitting the restoration of a truly independent Poland.

An excellent series of photos there - thanks! I've only ever seen that top photo of 'Chwat' before - the rest are new to me.

What does 'Chwat' mean, btw?

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Post by Somosierra » 06 Mar 2003 20:28

I agree with you – the commanders were just a band of criminals…, but common soldiers (officers were mostly Soviets) fought for Poland. I know stories of Poles who had to fight in Soviet uniforms, and so-on.

“Chwat” means: plucky fellow (merry blade, smart chap).

More you can find on:
--
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/v ... hp?t=16365

Regards,
Somosierra

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Post by VeleV » 30 Jun 2003 20:15

Indeed great pictures!
There is also a great Polish book about the underground missions of the Armia Krajowa ( National Army - it was not the offical army of Poland at the time!)
Written all about the attacks on the Germans as well as Russians called : Reportaz z Tamtych ( Report from those days written by: Cezary Chlebowski.

It features great details on underground missions performed by 13-17 year old's against the Soviets as well as the Germans and it features over 30 great pictures, actual letters and all sorts of background information!

It is one of my favorite books on the Polish Underground resistance!

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