Finland and the Nazis

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Finland and the Nazis

Post by WalterS » 07 Dec 2004 06:33

How got Finland involved with the Second World War?

Particularly: why in certain collaboration with Nazi-Germany?

Questions, answers, reasons and backgrounds
Many foreign investigators of the recent Finnish history have made some very essential questions about the politics of Finland before and during the Second World War (=WW2). The following text is a collection about the different awswers for the question.

What is the general attitude of the Finnish to the WW2?
Finland in WW2 and its relations with Nazi-Germany, is one of the most important and interesting pieces of the Finnish history. The WW2 still lives in the Finnish souls through the war veteran activities and ever-open Karelian question by the people who, like the writer, lost their homes in the treaties in 1940 and 1944 with the Soviet Union.

What main activities, operations and warfare did Finland conduct during WW2?
Two crucial definitions must be done in the Finnish war history:
1.) Winter War 1939-40 was Soviet Union's direct aggression against the Finnish independence.
2.) Continuation War 1941-44 (continuation regarding the Winter War) began with a collaboration with Nazi-Germany and ended with the war against it.

How did Finland manage in the Winter War?
Finland was materially alone against the mighty military power, well - got a lot of sympathy. In the peace agreement 1940 Finland could maintain its independence, though the Soviet Union took the Finnish province of Karelia. The agreement was the only realistic way to keep the target, to be independent.
Could the Winter War have been avoided?
NO! There were no possibilities to accept the Soviet Union's demands before the war's breaking out, the Finnish were so determined in the matter, and the Soviet kept its demands valid because it was the superpower's imago in question.
Some leftside politicians say that Finland (government and people together!) was stupid when it, to avoid the war, didn't accept Soviet Union's demands. Counter-argument is that the war could have been postponed only.
But, no one knows what could have been happened in those hypothetical cases.
How much did England back up Finland during the Winter War?
UK's support was quite selfish. UK's idea to send military units to protect Finland was mainly aimed to prevent Germany to use Swedish iron, and Finnish nickel ore, and Norwegian coast as military bases for Atlantic operations.
Why didn't Finland accept support from the Allied during the Winter War?
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 was valid. England and France planned to send some real military help to Finland, but Sweden and Norway did not give any transit permission. A fear existed too, the whole Finland would become a battlefield. Those troops were clearly too small to prevent Soviet Red Army's advance militarily, but, of course, politically it would have been an epoch-making happening. If Finland had said "yes", the world situation would have been completely different: the Soviet Union in a real war against the Western countries!
What happened between the Winter and Continuation Wars?
The "peace period" 1940-41 was a very difficult time for Finland. The Soviet Union put a strong political pressure against Finland, including Petsamo nickel ore findings - Soviet, Nazis and the British wanted the ore. Soviet Forces shot down a Finnish civil airliner etc. In August 1940 Finland got a lot of foreign intelligence messages that the Soviet Union concentrates military forces behind the border and shall invade Finland in near future - well, no invasion occured.
In November 1940 the Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs, Mr. V. Molotov visited Berlin. His main object in the negotiations there was that the Soviet Union must get finally free hands with Finland. But Mr. Hitler said: nein. Well - the preparings for The Operation Barbarossa (i.g. invasion eastwards) were in full speed, and Nazis included Finland to their most certain collaborators because of:
a.) the obvious huge bitterness of the Finnish caused by the Winter War and
2.) a great fear of the Soviet Union caused by the Soviets' continuous pressure and threat.

Was Finland an aggressor?
A Finnish historian describes the Finnish operations that Finland's foreign policy and warfare was defensive and unscrupulous in order to maintain the independence.
Unscrupulous indeed - because Finland saw in 1940-41 that the only military power, strong and near enough, which could help us to defend against the very frightening pressure from the Soviet Union, was Germany, though now under the Nazi regime.
Why a collaboration with Nazi-Germany?
Finland's collaboration with Nazi-Germany is naturally the weakest moral point in the Finnish political history. But there are many circumstances and backgrouds which make Finnish activities more understandable, and hopefully acceptable.
How was it possible to end the Continuation War without an occupation?
Yet unscrupulous, when Finland made a preliminary peace agreement in 1944 with the Soviet Union. According to the terms of agreement, Finland pushed still strong Nazi-German forces out from the Northern Finland.
At which practical level was the collaboration with Nazis made?
The collaboration with Nazis was quite unique. E.g. Finland refused to attack or bomber Leningrad. The amount of supporters of Nazi-ideology was very low indeed. Finland had no aggression against the Jewish people in Finland - e.g. there were Jewish officers in the Finnish Army.
Finland had to make some minor favours for the Nazis because the Nazis blackmailed Finland with the lack of corn (after the war a decision was made that Finland must produce all needed corn by itself (and caused agricultural overproduction later).

What about Nazi symbols, e.g. swastika used in Finland?
Swastika is many thousand years old. The writer saw e.g. one in India meaning an old mark bringing good luck. In Finland it was already used in 1918 in Finnish war planes. In Germany, Nazi-party leader, Mr. Hitler began to use swastika as party's mark in 1919. So - no one Finland could be a copier but, on the other hand, Mr. Hitler hardly copied the swastika from Finland.
Was Finland's strategic warfare always succesful?
The big error made by the Finnish was that the Finnish Army conquered a big part of (Russian) East-Karelia in 1941, in other words, the Army went there over the border of before-the-war-Finland.
It was a political mistake causing an internationally negative image about the Finnish collaboration with Nazis.
It was a military mistake too, because the invasion demanded a lot of blood and the conquered area was quickly emptied in 1944 when the Soviet Union surprised the Finnish Army by making a really massive attack in Karelian Isthmus.

What about the military and political operations in 1944?
The situation, caused by the Soviet Army attack in 1944, was critical. Finland needed modern weapons against the massive crowds of Soviet tanks. A help in the form of air combat forces was needed too. Mr. Ribbentrop from the Reich came to Helsinki and made an agreement with the Finnish President. In it the military help was received with the President's promise not to withdraw from the warfare. Soviet Army's attack was finally stopped in extremely heavy battles in Karelia.
Now comes out the Finnish unscrupulousness again. The Finnish government constructed knowingly the Ribbentrop paper 1944 so that it tied the President only - entirely personally. When the Soviet attack calmed down later in 1944, the undersigned President resigned, and the government was free to start to seek contacts with the Soviet government in order to achieve the peace. Of course, the Nazis were furious because they considered they were cheated, and as a revenge the Nazis destroyed unscrupulously the northern Finland during the Nazi-contra-Finland war in 1944-45.

Should the Finnish be ashamed of the collaboration with Nazis?
When one can blame Finland that it should be ashamed of the collaboration with Nazi-Germany, one can see the situation as the same when the Western countries, USA, UK etc. gave a huge material support to Soviet though they knew which kind of administration existed in the Soviet Union.
How well did Finland regarding all the war time difficulties?
Finland achieved well its wartime goal - independence - in spite of the frequent desperate situations. Finland was free and independent, Finland was not even occupied, but the human and material losts were high. In Europe there is only three war-attendant capital cities which were not occupied during the war, London, Moskow and Helsinki.
What about Finland's politics after the WW2, e.g. "finlandization"?
The Finnish think that the "finlandization"-stamp is not fair regarding the ordinary Finnish people. The Finnish government realized that is was practical to follow those "advise" from Moskow which were relatively easy to fulfil. An extra benefit was good economical relations with the Soviet Union: i.g. Finland buys raw material and delivers back HiTech products, and no actual money was used in the trade.
But if such came out where the Finnish sovereignty was threatened, Finland was determined: no!, e.g. to have military exercises where Finland and the Soviet Union were together: no!.
When one blames that Finland was "finlandized" after the WWII, one can see that the Western countries were "finlandized" too, because they did not dare to limit Soviet's might when Soviet kept East-European "people's democratic" countries under Soviet regime though

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Post by Tom Houlihan » 07 Dec 2004 07:26

That's a pretty good article! Thanks!

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Post by WalterS » 07 Dec 2004 07:47

Another interesting article about Finnish collaboration with Nazi Germany can be found at: ... prochement

It's too long to reproduce here.

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Post by Harri » 07 Dec 2004 18:16

I think Finns didn't "collaborate" particularly with Nazis but Germany. Because Germany was ruled by the Nazis it was obvious these two relationships were mixed.

I wouldn't say conquering East Karelia was either a political or military mistake. In the situation of 1941 it was the only correct solution. Besides what harm did it to us later? At least I don't see any.

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Post by WalterS » 07 Dec 2004 18:24

I realize that "collaborate" is a loaded word. You could say "cooperated with" or "worked together" or any other euphemism that comes to mind. The bottom line, according to the sites I listed, is that Finland did help Nazi Germany in furthering its war aims, for whatever reasons.

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Post by Dan » 07 Dec 2004 18:29

WalterS wrote:I realize that "collaborate" is a loaded word. You could say "cooperated with" or "worked together" or any other euphemism that comes to mind. The bottom line, according to the sites I listed, is that Finland did help Nazi Germany in furthering its war aims, for whatever reasons.
So what? The Finns weren't responsible for anything they didn't do themselves. Helping the Axis wasn't anymore evil than helping the allies.

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Post by WalterS » 07 Dec 2004 18:47

That's because you believe that there is a moral equivalency between the Nazi German government and the Allies. I don't happen to share that view. Thus, the Finns were aiding and abetting a war of annihilation, even if their reasons for it are couched in politically correct terms.

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Post by Dan » 07 Dec 2004 19:34

The Germans helped the Finns against the Soviets, the US helped the Soviets against the Finns, with the UK even declaring war on them. No, I don't see a difference.

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Post by Rauli » 07 Dec 2004 19:37

WalterS, I can understand that you will not see Finland´s struggle for survival in the same light as finns.
Winter war... we didn´t deserve it. What an irony, soviets asked the same question when Operation Barbarossa started "do we deserve this?" I´m tempted to say it...

And as you know WalterS Finland stood united.
The Jews of Finland

The Jews of Finland found themselves in a bizarre situation with the outbreak of World War II. Despite the Nazis' war on Europe's Jews, Finland's alliance with Germany caused over 300 Finnish Jews to fight alongside German soldiers on the Eastern Front, while Jewish women served in the country's civil defense corps.

Finland's Jewish community numbered only about 2000 (including almost 300 refugees from Germany and Austria), and antisemitism was practically nonexistent in the country. Finnish Jews had full rights as equal citizens. Most of the refugees were housed in labor camps, where they lived in barracks.

When Heinrich Himmler broached the subject of Finnish Jews, the country's prime minister, Johann Wilhelm Rangell, curtly replied that Finland had no "Jewish problem." Valuing Finland's military cooperation against the Soviet Union, the Nazis applied no further pressure.

In the autumn of 1942, however, eight Jewish refugees were handed over to the Gestapo. Transported to the extermination camp at Auschwitz, Poland, all but one of the refugees perished. Lengthy negotiations with the Swedish government secured the transfer of 160 other refugees to that neutral country. The remaining refugees, along with almost all Jewish-Finnish citizens, survived the war--except for a few Jewish soldiers who died in battle fighting for the German cause.

Those jewish refuges became victims of internal dispute inside the goverment but the real tragedy of Finland´s war efforts were those 16.000 Soviet Pows that died during the winter 1941-42. Whole nation was starving, but still, we were BETTER than our enemy.
I dare to say it even now - Finland´s cause was just - and that was Finland´s tragedy.

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Post by David Thompson » 07 Dec 2004 20:18

WalterS said:
the Finns were aiding and abetting a war of annihilation, even if their reasons for it are couched in politically correct terms.

Having a sleazy criminal ally like Nazi Germany, without more, isn't a war crime. The more interesting question is that posed by WalterS -- whether Finland knowingly aided and abetted, or ratified Nazi war crimes, like the German plan to level Leningrad and leave the inhabitants to shift for themselves.

What did the Finnish government know about the criminal acts of German policy in the east, and what did they do about them?

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Post by Earldor » 07 Dec 2004 20:26

WalterS wrote:That's because you believe that there is a moral equivalency between the Nazi German government and the Allies. I don't happen to share that view. Thus, the Finns were aiding and abetting a war of annihilation, even if their reasons for it are couched in politically correct terms.
Up to this point, I was with you, my friend.

But the problem comes with the definition of the word "collaborate," i.e. semantics. I'm willing to admit that the Finns collaborated with the Germans, or Nazis if you prefer, but their/our goal was to fight for our own separate goals, as you probably know and you most likely agree with that definition. But the collaboration was almost entirely military.

Inadvertantly that may have, in some meaningless way, furthered the War of Annihilation that the Nazis were waging further south, but that is a bit of a stretch IMHO. The Germans would have done their deeds with or without the Finnish front.

Now, in order to establish that the Finns actively or intentionally furthered these aims, you need to prove that the Finnish Government and authorities knew about the killings beforehand. I doubt that you will be able to do that, because I don't think that Heydrich or the rest of the gang took the time to reveal their murderous plans in the East to the German allies. Nor did the Allies offer their information. The term co-belligerent was already used at the time and should prove to most readers that Finland tried to walk a tightrope with the Nazis and the Western Allies.

The Finnish historians haven't so far found any evidence to prove that the Finnish authorities knew about the Holocaust even after the beginning of the Operations Barbarossa, although personnally I believe that at least the Finnish Secret Police and its head, Arno Anthoni knew of the Einsatzgruppe killings. They would have been inept, had they not known. He also had connections with Sandberger, the head of SD in Estonia (and head of EK1). I believe that even his knowledge was received after the fact. Calling this assisting in the War of Annihilation is IMHO stretching the meaning of the term. I hope you see the distinction.

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Post by WalterS » 07 Dec 2004 20:38

I absolutely do see the distinction you have so carefully drawn. However, it is not necessary for the Finns to have known everything the Nazis were doing in order to be considered "aiding and abetting" them. I also find it somewhat intellectually dishonest to hear our Finnish friends on this forum wash their hands of complicity by saying that Finland was only fighting for her own aims. The fact is that Finnish soldiers fought alongside German soldiers. Finnish troops bombed and killed Russian troops, thus saving the Germans the trouble. Finnish troops added manpower and resources to the struggle against the Soviets. The Finns may well have had goals distinct from those of the Germans but this does not absolve them of the fact that their assistance aided the Germans in their goals.

I realize that raising this issue attacks a sacred cow on this forum, the other being Sweden, but I feel that if it's OK to accuse the Bush family of complicity, and it's OK to call Allied fliers "terror bombers" it ought to be OK to raise the issue of Finnish complicity in WWII.

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Post by Obserwator » 07 Dec 2004 20:43

Dan wrote:The Germans helped the Finns against the Soviets, the US helped the Soviets against the Finns, with the UK even declaring war on them. No, I don't see a difference.
German Reich engaged in policy of racial extermination and genocide of several nations.
This was known at least since 3rd of May 1941 and later on 10th December of 1942 when Polish Foreign Ministry published reports describing the situation of Poles and Jews under German occupation.
What did the Finnish government know about the criminal acts of German policy in the east?

On November 27, 1942, the London National Council, representing the Polish government in exile, appealed to the Allies to act in unison against genocide, including that being carried out against the Jewish nation already underway. On December 10, 1942, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Polish government in exile issued a memorandum on that same subject. On December 17, an announcement was made by twelve states condemning the extermination of Jews and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice after the Nazi tyranny was overthrown
The report of Polish Foreign Ministry was passed to all Neutral and Allied countries, also it was made public.

The purpose of this publication is to make public the contents of the Note of December 10th, 1942, addressed by the Polish Government to the Governments of the United Nations concerning the mass extermination of Jews in the Polish territories occupied by Germany, and also other documents treating on the same subject.
In the course of the last three years the Polish Government has lodged a number of protests with the Governments of the civilized countries of the world condemning the repeated violations by Germany of International Law and of the fundamental princi-ples of morality since September 1st, 1939, i.e. since Germany's aggression against Poland.

In the Note of May 3rd, 1941, presented to the Governments of the Allied and Neutral Powers the Polish Government gave a comprehensive survey of the acts of violence perpetrated against the population of Poland, of offences against religion and cultural heritage and destruction of property in Poland.
Since then, however, many increasingly brutal acts of violence and terror have been com-mitted by German authorities in Poland.
In recent months these persecutions have been directed with particular violence against the Jewish population, who have been subjected to new methods calculated to bring about the complete extermination of the Jews, in conformity with the public statements made by the leaders of Germany.

In the hope that the civilized world will draw the appropriate conclusions, the Polish Government desire to bring to the notice of the public, by means of the present white Paper, these renewed German efforts at mass extermination, with the employment of fresh horrifying methods.

* Republic of Poland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "The German Occupation of Poland," Extract of Note addressed to the Governments of the Allied and Neutral Powers on May 3, 1941, London and New York.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
December 10th, 1942

Your Excellency,

On several occasions the Polish Government have drawn the attention of the civilized world, both in diplomatic documents and official publications, to the conduct of the German Government and of the German authorities of occupation, both military and civilian, and to the methods employed by them "in order to reduce the population to virtual slavery and ultimately to exterminate the Polish nation".
These methods, first introduced in Poland, were subsequently, applied in a varying degree, in other countries occupied by the armed forces of the German Reich.

2. At the Conference held at St. James's Palace on January 13th, 1942, the Governments of the occupied countries placed among their principal war aims the punishment, through the channel of organized justice, of those guilty of, or responsible for, those crimes, whether they have ordered them, perpetrated them, or participated in them".
Despite this solemn warning and the declarations of President Roosevelt, of the Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill, and of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, M. Molotov, the German Government has not ceased to apply its methods of violence and terror. The Polish Government have received numerous reports from Poland testifying to the constant intensification of German persecu-tion of the subjected populations.

3. Most recent reports present a horrifying picture of the position to which the Jews in Poland have been reduced. The new methods of mass slaughter applied during the last few months confirm the fact that the German authorities aim with systematic deliberation at the total extermination of the Jewish population of Poland and of the many thousands of Jews whom the German authorities have deported to Poland from Western and Central European countries and from the German Reich itself.

The Polish Government consider it their duty to bring to the knowledge of the Governments of all civilized countries the following fully authenticated information received from Poland during recent weeks, which indicates all too plainly the new methods of extermination adopted by the German authorities.

4. The initial steps leading to the present policy of exter-mination of the Jews were taken already in October 1940, when the German authorities established the Warsaw ghetto.
At that time all the Jewish inhabitants of the Capital were ordered to move into the Jewish Quarter assigned to them not later than November 1st, 1940, while all the non-Jews domiciled within the new boundaries of what was to become the ghetto were ordered to move out of that quarter.
The Jews were allowed to take only personal effects with them, while all their remaining property was confiscated.
All Jewish shops and businesses outside the new ghetto boun-daries were closed down and sealed.
The original date for these transfers was subsequently postponed to November 15th, 1940. After that date the ghetto was completely closed and its entire area was surrounded by a brick wall, the right of entry and exit being restricted to the holders of special passes, issued by the German authorities.
All those who left the ghetto without such a pass became liable to sentence of death, and it is known that German courts passed such sentences in a large number of cases.

5. After the isolation of the ghetto, official intercourse with the outside world was maintained through a special German office known as "Transferstelle".
Owing to totally inadequate supplies of food for the inhabitants of the ghetto, smuggling on a large scale was carried on; the Germans themselves participated in this illicit trading, drawing con-siderable incomes from profits and bribes.
The food rations for the inhabitants of the ghetto amounted to about a pound of bread per person weekly, with practically nothing else.
As a result, prices in the ghetto were on an average ten times higher than outside and mortality due to exhaustion, starvation and disease, particularly during the last two winters, increased on an unprecedented scale.
During the winter 1941-1942 the death rate, calculated on an annual base, has risen to 13 per cent, and during the first quarter of 1942 increased still further. Scores of corpses were found in the streets of the ghetto every day.

6. At the time when the ghetto was established the whole population was officially stated to amount to 488,000, and in spite of the appalling death rate it was being main-tained at this figure by the importation of Jews from Germany and from the occupied countries, as well as from other parts of Poland.

7. The outbreak of war between Germany and Soviet Russia and the occupation of the eastern areas of Poland by German troops considerably increased the numbers of Jews in Germany's power.
At the same time the mass murders of Jews reached such dimensions that, at first, people refused to give credence to the reports reaching Warsaw from the Eastern provinces.
The reports, however, were confirmed again and again by reliable witnesses.
During the winter 1941-1942 several tens of thousands of Jews were murdered.
In the city of Wilno over 50,000 Jews were reported to have been massacred and only 12,000 of them remain in the local ghetto.
In the city of Lwow 40,000 were reported murdered; in Rowne 14,000; in Kowel 10,000, and unknown numbers in Stanislawow, Tarnopol, Stryj, Drohobycz and many other smaller towns.
At first the executions were carried out by shooting; subsequently, however, it is reported that the Germans applied new methods, such as poison gas, by means of which the Jewish population was exterminated in Chelm, or electrocution, for which a camp was organized in Belzec, where in the course of March and April, 1942, the Jews from the provinces of Lublin, Lwow and Kielce, amounting to tens of thousands, were exterminated. Of Lublin's 80,000 Jewish inhabitants only 2,500 still survive in the city.

8. It has been reliably reported that on the occasion of his visit to the General Gouvernement of Poland in March, 1942, Himmler issued an order for the extermination of 50 percent of the Jews in Poland by the end of that year Herr Himmler's departure the Germans spread the rumor that the Warsaw ghetto would be liquidated as from April, 1942.
This date was subsequently altered to June. Himmler's second visit to Warsaw in the middle of July 1942, became the signal for the commencement of the process of liquidation, the horror of which surpasses anything known in the annals of history.

9. The liquidation of the ghetto was preceded, on July 17th, 1942, by the registration of all foreign Jews confined there who were then removed to the Pawiak prison.
As from July 20th, 1942, the guarding of the ghetto was en-trusted to special security battalions, formed from the scum of several Eastern European countries, while large forces of German police armed with machine guns and commanded by SS officers were posted at all the gates leading into the ghetto.
Mobile German police detachments patrolled all the boundaries of the ghetto day and night.

10. On July 81st, at 11 a.m., German police ears drove up to the building of the Jewish Council of the ghetto, in Grzybowska Street.
The SS officers ordered the chairman of the Jewish Council, Mr. Czerniakow, to summon the members of the Council, who were all arrested on arrival and removed in police cars to the Pawiak prison.
After a few hours' detention the majority of them were allowed to return to the ghetto. About the same time flying squads of German police entered the ghetto, breaking into the houses in search of Jewish intellectuals.
The better-dressed Jews found were killed on the spot, without the police troubling even to identify them. Among those who were thus killed was a non-Jew, Professor Dr. Raszeja, who was visiting the ghetto in the course of his medical duties and was in possession of an official pass.
Hundreds of educated Jews were killed in this way.

11. On the morning of the following day, July 22nd, 1942, the German police again visited the office of the Jewish Council and summoned all the members, who had been released from the Pawiak prison the previous day.
On their assembly they were informed that an order had been issued for the removal of the entire Jewish population of the Warsaw ghetto and printed instructions to that effect were issued in he form of posters, the contents of which are reproduced in Annex 1 to this Note.
Additional instructions were issued verbally.
The number of people to be removed was first fixed at 6,000 daily.
The persons concerned were to assemble in the hospital wards and grounds in Stawki Street the patients of which were evacuated forthwith. The hospital was close to the railway siding.
Persons subject to deportation were to be delivered by the Jewish police not later than 4 p.m. each day. Members of the Council and other hostages were to answer for the strict fulfillment of the order.
In conformity with German orders, all inmates of Jewish prisons, old-age pensioners and inmates of other charitable institutions were to be included in the first contingent.

12. On July 23rd, 1942, at 7 p.m., two German police officers again visited the offices of the Jewish Council and saw the chairman, Mr. Czerniakow.
After they left him he committed suicide. It is reported that Mr. Czerniakow did so because the Germans increased the contingent of the first day to 10,000 persons, to be followed by 7,000 persons on each subsequent day.
Mr. Czerniakow was succeeded in his office by Mr. Lichtenbaum, and on the following day 10,000 persons were actually assembled for deportation, followed by 7,000 persons on each subsequent day.
The people affected were either rounded up haphazardly in the streets or were taken from their homes.

13. According to the German order of July 22nd, 1942, all Jews employed in German-owned undertakings, together with their families, were to be exempt from deportation.
This produced acute competition among the inhabitants of the ghetto to secure employment in such undertakings, or, failing employment, bogus certificates to that effect.
Large sums of money, running into thousands of Slates, were being paid for such certificates to the German owners. They did not, however, save the purchasers from deportation, which was being carried out without discrimination or identification.

14. The actual process of deportation was carried out with appalling brutality.
At the appointed hour on each day the German police cordoned off a block of houses selected for clearance, entered the back yard and fired their guns at random, as a signal for all to leave their homes and assemble in the yard.
Anyone attempting to escape or to hide was killed on the spot. No attempt was made by the Germans to keep families together. Wives were torn from their husbands and children from their parents.
Those who appeared frail or infirm were carried straight to the Jewish cemetery to be killed and buried there.
On the average 50-100 people were disposed of in this way daily.
After the contingent was assembled, the people were packed forcibly into cattle trucks to the number of 120 in each truck, which had room for forty. The trucks were then locked and sealed. The Jews were suffocating for lack of air. The floors of the trucks were covered with quicklime and chlorine.
As far as is known, the trains were dispatched to three localities -Tremblinka, Belzec and Sobibor, to what the reports describe as "Extermination camps."
The very method of transport was deliberately calculated to cause the largest possible number of casualties among the condemned Jews.
It is reported that on arrival in camp the survivors were stripped naked and killed by various means, including poison gas and electrocution. The dead were interred in mass graves dug by machinery.

15. According to all available information, of the 250,000 Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto up to September 1st, 1942, only two small transports, numbering about 4,000 people, are known to have been sent eastwards in the direction of Brest-Litovsk and Malachowicze, allegedly to be employed on work behind the front line.
It has not been possible to ascertain whether any of the other Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto still survive, and it must be feared that they have been all put to death.

16. The Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto so far included in the first instance all the aged and infirm; a number of the physically strong have escaped so far, because of their utility as labor power.
All the children from Jewish schools, orphanages and children's homes were deported, including those from the orphanage in charge of the celebrated educationist, Dr. Janusz Korczak, who refused to abandon his charges, although he was given the alternative of remaining behind.

17. According to the most recent reports, 120,000 ration cards were distributed in the Warsaw ghetto for the month of September 1942, while the report also mentions that only 40,000 such cards were to be distributed for the month of October 1942.
The latter figure is corroborated by informa-tion emanating from the German Employment Office (Arbeitsamt), which mentioned the number of 40,000 skilled workmen as those who were to be allowed to remain in a part of the ghetto, confined to barracks and employed on German war production.

18. The deportations from the Warsaw ghetto were inter-rupted during five days, between August 2Oth-25th.
The German machinery for the mass slaughter of the Jews was employed during this interval on the liquidation of other ghettoes in Central Poland, including the towns of Falenica, Rembertow, Nowy Dwor, Kaluszyn and Minsk Mazowiecki.

19. It is not possible to estimate the exact numbers of Jews who have been exterminated in Poland since the occupation of the country by the armed forces of the German Reich.
But all the reports agree that the total number of killed runs into many hundreds of thousands of innocent victims - men, women and children - and that of the 3,130,000 Jews in Poland before the outbreak of war, over a third have perished during the last three years.*
[This statement hides the fact that 1,222,000 Polish Jews were absorbed into the Soviet Union as a result of the October 22, 1939 plebiscite held on the eastern Polish territories.]

20. The Polish population, which itself is suffering the most grievous afflictions, and of which many millions have been either deported to Germany as slave labor or evicted from their homes and lands, deprived of so many of their leaders, who have been cruelly murdered by the Germans, have repeatedly expressed, through the underground organizations, their horror of and compassion with the terrible fate which has befallen their Jewish fellow-countrymen.
The Polish Govern-ment are in possession of information concerning the assistance which the Polish population is rendering to the Jews. For obvious reasons no details of these activities can be published at present.

21. The Polish Government as the representatives of the legitimate authority on territories in which the Germans are carrying out the systematic extermination of Polish citizens and of citizens of Jewish origin of many other European countries consider it their duty to address themselves to the Governments of the United Nations, in the confident belief that they will share their opinion as to the necessity not only of condemning the crimes committed by the Germans and punishing the criminals, but also of finding means offering the hope that Germany might be effectively restrained from continuing to apply her methods of mass extermination.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my high consideration.


Annex 1:


Warsaw, July 22nd, 1942.

1. By order of the German authorities all Jews living in Warsaw, without regard to age or sex, are to be deported to the East.

2. The following are exempted from the deportation order
(a) All Jews employed by the German authorities or German enterprises, who can produce adequate evidence of the fact.
(b) All Jews who are members and employees of the Jewish Council according to their status on the day of publication of this order.
(c) All Jews employed in German-owned firms who can produce adequate evidence of the fact.
(d) All Jews not yet thus employed, but who are capable of work. These are to be barracked in the Jewish quarter.
(e) All Jews belonging to the Jewish civil police.
(f) All Jews belonging to the staffs of Jewish hospitals, or belonging to Jewish disinfection squads.
(g) All Jews who are members of the families of persons covered by (a) to (f). Only wives and children are regarded as members of families.
(h) All Jews who on the day of deportation are patients in one of the Jewish hospitals, unless fit to be discharged. Unfitness for discharge must be attested by a doctor appointed by the Jewish Council.

3. Each Jew to be deported is entitled to take with him on the journey 15 kilogrammes of his personal effects. Anything in excess of 15 kg will be confiscated. All articles of value, such as money, jewelry, gold, etc., may be retained. Sufficient food for three days' journey should be taken.

4. Deportation begins on July 22nd, 1942, at 11 a.m.

5. Punishments:

(a) Any Jew who is not included among persons specified under par. 2 points (a) and (c) and so far not entitled to be so included, who leaves the Jewish quarter after the deportation has begun will be shot.
(b) Any Jew who undertakes activities likely to frustrate or hinder the execution of the deportation orders will be shot.
(c) Any Jew who assists in any activity which might frustrate or hinder the execution of the deportation orders will be shot.
(d) Any Jew found in Warsaw, after the conclusion of the deportation of Jews, who is not included among the persons specified under par. 2 points (a) to (h) will be shot.

Joint Declaration

Announced Simultaneously on December 17th, 1942, in London, Moscow and Washington

"The attention of the Governments of Belgium, Czecho-slovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, and Yugoslavia, and of the French National Com-mittee, has been drawn to numerous reports from Europe that the German authorities, not content with denying to persons of Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule has been extended the most elementary human rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler's oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe.

From all the occupied countries Jews are being transported, in conditions of appalling horror and brutality, to Eastern Europe.
In Poland, which has been made the principal Nazi slaughterhouse, the Ghettoes established by the German invaders are being systematically emptied of all Jews, except a few highly skilled workers required for war indus-tries.
None of those taken away are ever heard of again. The able-bodied are slowly worked to death in labor camps.
The infirm are left to die of exposure and starvation, or are deliberately massacred in mass executions.
The number of victims of these bloody cruelties is reckoned in many hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent men, women, and children.

"The above-mentioned Governments and the French National Committee condemn in the strongest possible terms this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination.
They declare that such events can only strengthen the resolve of all freedom-loving peoples to overthrow the barbarous Hitlerite tyranny.
They reaffirm their solemn resolution to ensure that those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution, and to press on with the necessary practical measures to this end."

Extract of Statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. St. Mikolajczyk, on behalf of the Polish Government, November 27, 1942, at a special meeting of the Polish National Council; and text of Resolution adopted by the National Council:

The Polish Government, in the fullest understanding of their responsibilities, not neglecting their duty to inform the world of the mass murders and bestialities of the Germans in Poland, have done everything in their power to counteract this terror.
We are fully aware of the fact that the fundamental condition of an effective counter-action against the German programme which, in relation to Poland is best expressed by one slogan - TO DESTROY THE POLISH NATION WIPING OUT THE TRACES OF ITS EXISTENCE - is to shorten the time of suffering and resistance for the Poles in Poland and to defeat the enemy quickly.

THAT is why the previous appeals from Poland to open up a second front and now the appeals to hasten up, at any price, the pace of the war, are considered by us to be the fundamental principles of the policy of the Polish Government.
The persecutions of the Jewish minority now in progress in Poland, constitute, however, a separate page of Polish martyrology.

Himmler's order that 1942 must be the year of liquidation of at least 50 per cent of Polish Jewry is being carried out with utter ruthlessness and a barbarity never before seen in world history. Every one of us knows the details, so I will not go into them again....

From Poland there comes protest against the murders and persecutions. The protest is accompanied by cries of pity, sympathy and utter helplessness of those who have to look on what is happening there....

In the name of the Polish Government I support this protest of Poles in Poland and that of the Polish National Council. The Polish Government defends the interests of all Polish citizens of whatever religion or nationality they may be, and does it both in the interests of the state and in the name of humanity and Christianity....

I can only hope and pray that the protest of the Polish Government and that of the Polish National Council which represents all the groups 6f Polish society, will shake the conscience of the world, will find its way to quarters where decisions speeding up military action are taken, that it will bring about an intensified help for those who are still alive, that it will strengthen on the Allied side the determination to punish the crimes and serve as a warning to the assassins whose crimes, duly registered, will not escape a just punishment and who soon will feel the hand of justice fall heavily on their backs.

After the Declaration of Mr. Mikolajczyk, the Polish National Council unanimously adopted the following resolution:

The Government of the Polish Republic has brought the last news about the massacres of the Jewish population in Poland, carried out systematically by the German occupying authorities, to the attention of the Allied Governments and of public opinion in Allied countries. the number of Jews, who have been mur-dered by the Germans in Poland so far, since September 1939, exceeds 1,000,000.
From the beginning of the conquest of the territories of the Republic, the bestial occupying power has subjected the Polish nation to an appalling policy of extermination, to such an extent that by now the Polish population has been reduced by several million.
Now the occupying power has reached the summit of its murder-lust and sadism by organizing mass-murders of hun-dreds of thousands of Jews in Poland, not only the Polish Jews but also the Jews brought from other countries to Poland with the purpose of exterminating them.
The German murderers have sent to their death hundreds of thousands of men, women, children and old people. Their purpose is to enfeeble the Polish nation and completely to exterminate the Jews in Poland before the end of this year.
In the execution of this plan Adolf Hitler and his henchmen are using the most appalling tortures.

The Polish Government and the Polish National Council, and the Polish Nation at home, have often protested against the German crimes, and announced that a just punishment would be meted out to these offenders against mankind. Lately the Polish Government has submitted to the Polish National Council the draft of a law providing for the punishment of the German criminals.
In the face of the latest German crimes, unparalleled in the history of mankind, which have been carried out against the Polish nation, and particularly against the Jewish population of Poland, the Polish National Council again raises a strong protest and pronounces an indictment before the whole civilized world.

The Polish National Council solemnly declares:
By its heroic attitude at home the Polish nation is gathering its strength for the day of just retribution, amidst unspeakable sufferings.
The Polish National Council appeals to all the Allied nations and to all the nations now suffering together with the Polish nation under the German yoke, that they should at once start a common action against this trampling and profanation of all principles of morality and humanity by the Germans, and against the extermination of the Polish nation and other nations, an extermination the most appalling expression of which is provided by the mass-murders of the Jews in Poland and in the rest of Europe which Hitler has subjected.
To all those who are suffering and undergoing torture in Poland, both to Poles and to Jews, to all those who are taking part in the struggle for liberation and for the preparation of a just retribution on the German criminals, the Polish National Council sends words of hope and of unshakeable faith in the recovery of freedom for all.


Text of a Broadcast by Count E. Raczynski, Polish Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs (December 17th, 1942).

I am speaking to you tonight on a subject, the immensity of which I would like you to realize to the full.
I would like to make you understand how real is the tragedy which is taking place not so very far from the shores of this island, on the Continent of Europe - n the soil of Poland.
For more than three years the Germans have consistently done everything they could to hide from the eyes of the world the martyrdom of the Polish nation, the like of which has never been known in the history of humanity. But "when we would keep silence the very stones will cry out."

After receiving from Poland reports of a further intensification of the German terror, the Polish Government considered it their duty to send a note to all interested Governments drawing their attention to the horror of the situation and reminding them that what Germany is aiming at is: to reduce the population to virtual slavery and in the end to exterminate the Polish nation.

More particularly the Polish Government communicated to the Governments of the United Nations authentic information on the mass slaughter not only of those Jews whom the Germans overwhelmed in Poland, but also of the hundreds of thousands of those whom they have transplanted from other countries and imprisoned in the Ghettoes, which they have established in our country.
The note states that according to the reports in possession of the Polish Government, of a total of three million, one hundred and thirty thousand Polish Jews, more than one-third, has already been exterminated, and ends with the appeal for "condemning the crimes, punishing the criminals and devising means offering the hope that Germany might be effectively restrained from continuing to apply her methods of mass extermination."

This morning, the Governments of the United Nations of the European Continent united their voices with those of the Powers m a solemn declaration, expressing their unshakable determina-tion to cauterize with red-hot iron the evil which so dangerously infects the German people.

It is tragic to contemplate that this policy of extermination applied to the Jews by the German Government is being carried out with the active help or, at least, support of a considerable section of the German people, while the remaining part of that people allow it to pass in silence.
I know that in a totalitarian regime it is not easy to protest, but the occupied nations nevertheless find the means to manifest their will and their opposition to the barbarous methods of Germany.

When I think of the German nation, so powerful in its armed might and owning so gigantic a war machine, and at the same time so cowardly accepting the destruction of an entire race, the representatives of which, such as Heine, Mendelssohn and Einstein contributed so much to the glory of Germany's civilization and, on the other hand, when I think of my own nation, which itself is being massacred and nevertheless is capable of such acts of defiance and compassion as the demolition by Polish workers of a part of the wall which surrounds the ghetto of Warsaw, then I cannot help thinking how small is this mighty German nation-and how measureless is its infamy.

Civilized words and remonstrances are today of no avail where that nation is concerned. The bloody crimes call out for justice without mercy, and the assurance that even now they will receive their answer in ever more telling deeds as the might of the United Nations grows and as the hour of judgment approaches apace.

Released by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs -
December 30th, 1942
Also :
On November 27, 1942, the London National Council, representing the Polish government in exile, appealed to the Allies to act in unison against genocide, including that being carried out against the Jewish nation already underway. On December 10, 1942, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Polish government in exile issued a memorandum on that same subject. On December 17, an announcement was made by twelve states condemning the extermination of Jews and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice after the Nazi tyranny was overthrown
After those dates the knowledge of what was happening became public and any state helping Germany can't say it didn't knew.
Last edited by Obserwator on 07 Dec 2004 21:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by WalterS » 07 Dec 2004 20:56

Thanks, Obserwator, for a most excellent post. :D

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Post by Dan » 07 Dec 2004 21:11

I also find it somewhat intellectually dishonest to hear our Finnish friends on this forum wash their hands of complicity by saying that Finland was only fighting for her own aims. The fact is that Finnish soldiers fought alongside German soldiers. Finnish troops bombed and killed Russian troops, thus saving the Germans the trouble.
What's so immoral about that?

Obserwator, the west was perfectly aware the Soviet were engaged in murdering Christian, wars of aggression, etc.., yet the US and UK gave the Soviets a thousand times more help than the Finns gave the Germans.

Why is killing off a bunch of Jews any worse than killing off a bunch of Christians, small business owners, prosperous farmers, etc...? It would be interesting to learn something about WalterS' background.

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