Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

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Askold
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Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by Askold » 05 Nov 2010 05:01

Came across a very interesting info of a terrorist act committed by Polish AK in Berlin metro:

w dniu 24 lutego 1943 r. bydgoska grupa specjalnego oddziału dywersyjnego "Kosa-Zagra", nazywanego również "Zagra-linem", pod dowództwem Józefa Lewandowskiego ps. "Jur" w składzie: Janusz Łuczkowski "Mały", Leon Hartwig ps. "Leon" i Jan Lewandowski ps. "Jan" dokonała zamachu na stacji kolejki podziemnej S-Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse w Berlinie. W wyniku wybuchu zginęło 36 osób a 78 zostało rannych. Jako ciekawostkę podam, że inny oddział "Zagra-linu" dokonał 23 kwietnia 1943 r. zamachu na Dworcu Głównym we Wrocławiu, czyli ówczesnym Breslau. Rezultat - 4 osoby zabite i kilkanaście rannych


On 24th of January 1943, Bydgosk special group "Kosa-Zagra" also called "Zagra-Linem" under command of Josef Lewandowski, along with others.......commited assasiantion act on S-Banhof Friedrichstrasse in Berlin. From explosion, 36 people were killed and 76 were wounded. Another group of "Zagra-linu" on 23rd of April 1943 also committed act at Main Train station in Wroclaw or Breslau. As result 4 persons were killed and dozen wounded.

http://forum.milua.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10210

Polish monument to commemorate this bravery:

Image

vszulc
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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by vszulc » 08 Nov 2010 14:57

The lack of sources makes me a little concerned, but if true, here's a belated congrats to the brave and daring agents of AKK, if they really managed to pull it off!

"Polish monument to commemorate this bravery:"

Indeed. Striking inside enemy territory like that took both careful planning as well as guts. The number of Poles working as slavelabourers in Germany probably helped though.

Isn't this the wrong section btw? Should be in "resistance forum", no?

history1
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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by history1 » 08 Nov 2010 15:17

Askold, please provide source as the forum rules suggest.
I´m sure you know that the plate doesn´t state anything about the action in Berlin!? Also there is no hint about the victims (cit:4 persons were killed and dozen wounded)!
Last edited by history1 on 08 Nov 2010 15:59, edited 1 time in total.

vszulc
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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by vszulc » 08 Nov 2010 15:41

Odd that German sources, AFAIK doesn't mention this. The whole Nazi-establishment was pretty paranoid about actions like this and uprisings from within by slavelaborers, POWs, etc....

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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by JamesL » 08 Nov 2010 16:00

Yes, it sounds like a terrorist act. What bravery is involved blowing up a civilian subway station?

What was the mission? What was its purpose and justification? Were the Poles acting under legitimate authority?

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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by michael mills » 09 Nov 2010 00:54

Isn't this the wrong section btw? Should be in "resistance forum", no?


If these actions did in fact occur, and the persons killed were German civilians, then the actions were indeed a crime, similar to setting bombs in the London underground, regardless of whether the perpetrators were members of a legitimate military organisation or not.

Accordingly, this post is in the correct section of the forum.

vszulc
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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by vszulc » 09 Nov 2010 13:02

The attack on the Trainstation in Wroclaw/Breslau (one of three of such attacks, according to some sources) the specific target was German soldiers returning home for leave, (http://forum.ioh.pl/viewtopic.php?t=590 ... 11b490b7a7), which would make this a valid military target.

As for the attack on the S-Bahnhof on Friederichs Strasse, the target might as well have been military personel. Since I don't know for sure, let's assume that it wasn't. One might still make the case that it was a military target, considering it's location: We're not talking about a workingclass neighbourhood, or a quiet suburban location. Friederichsstrasse was in the center of Berlin, just blocks away from the Airministry, the Propaganda ministry, Gestapo HQ and the Ministry of Agriculture. A successfull attack here, would therefore not just kill innocent "civillians", chances are that a number of the victims would include military personel and officials from institutions that were the foundation of the Nazi State, and active in planning and administering the German war effort.

At this point in the war, the Nazi war of aggression and following occupation had already killed millions of Polish citizens (whether Jewish or not), so it was a little too late to talk about the sanctity of civillian lives.

Were the Poles acting under legitimate authority?


Apparently the attacks were carried out by a special group under Armija Krajiowa. AK means The National Army, and was the biggest resistance movement in Poland durring the war. AK-personel was at various times treated by German Forces as legitimate combatants with rights under the Geneva Convention. As for "legitimate authority" depends on who you ask. AK recognized the Polish government in exile in London, while there was another government in exile sponsered by the Soviet Union.

If these actions did in fact occur, and the persons killed were German civilians, then the actions were indeed a crime


At this point in time, Germany had allready killed, or caused the death of millions of civillians. Germany had also specifically targeted civilian targets on numerous occasions (Warsaw, Rotterdam, London, the Baedaecker Blitz, etc.).
Any protection that German civillians would normally be given under the rules of war, was squandered by Germanys criminal ruling regime.
There is also no proof, nor reason to believe, that the AK attacks specifically targeted as high a number of civillian lives as possible.

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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by henryk » 09 Nov 2010 20:21

vszulc wrote:Apparently the attacks were carried out by a special group under Armija Krajiowa. AK means The National Army, and was the biggest resistance movement in Poland durring the war. AK-personel was at various times treated by German Forces as legitimate combatants with rights under the Geneva Convention. As for "legitimate authority" depends on who you ask. AK recognized the Polish government in exile in London, while there was another government in exile sponsered by the Soviet Union.

AK was part of the Polish Armed Forces, with its Commander-in-Chief in London.
http://www.polishresistance-ak.org/2%20Article.htm

The Polish Underground State grew, and reached its most mature form in 1943-44. The highest authorities in this state were held by the Government Delegate at Home, in 1944 this was the deputy premier (of the acting government, in exile in London).

In 1944, at the side of the Government Delegate’s Office was the Home Council of Ministers (KRM). The Government Delegate directed the work of the Government Delegate’s Office at Home which comprised 18 departments which corresponded to the Government-in-Exile’s ministries in London. The Delegates’ activities encompassed , to the extent that conditions of enemy occupation and terror allowed, all areas of organised society.

The most important, however, was the Home Army (AK), the backbone in the struggle with the occupant. This armed force, evolved from SZP, through the Union of Armed Combat (ZWZ), to reach its apogee as the AK. This constituted an integral part of the Polish Armed Forces (PSZ) and remained under the overall command of the Polish Commander-in-Chief who remained abroad.
At the top of the command structure was the Home Army High Command (KG AK) which consisted of seven staff bureaus and miscellaneous specialist units and detachments. The territory of Poland, in its interwar shape, was divided into areas and regions, each of which had its own scaled down version of the KG AK. The chief task of the AK was to prepare and execute a general uprising in Poland coordinated with the Allies in the final phase of the war, which would liberate Poland from the occupant in one fell swoop. The on-going struggle concentrated on self-defence (freeing prisoners and hostages, defence against pacification measures), and striking at the occupant’s apparatus of terror (the physical liquidation of Gestapo and SS functionaries). These activities were conducted by a special combat department known as the Diversionary Directorate (Kierownictwo Dywersji) – Kedyw for short, under the command of Colonel August Emil Fieldorf. Besides this special partisan detachments were created, designed to train soldiers for the coming uprising through small scale on-going skirmishing.

As a result of the unification of the various underground military organisations, the AK finally emerged in 1944 as an umbrella organisation for a national military force of over 350,000 soldiers. The intelligence work of the AK in a wide area of Europe was of capital importance to Allied strategists. Among other achievements, the production centre of the V1 rocket was pinpointed and essential V2 parts were won and passed on to London. Psychological warfare was also waged, in which Action "N" was mounted to create the illusion of an internal German opposition movement to Hitler.

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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by murx » 09 Nov 2010 22:30

Here's a reference in which the "attack" is mentioned. The picture however is taken after the tunnel of the Friedrichstrasse subway collapsed in 1935 during construction. The text related to the bomb attack (not word by word translated!) says: "It is not quite known that on Feb. 13th 1943 a bomb attack occured, killing some (a few) people. Police found out that a suitcase, filled with splinters (and) explosives was placed under a bench. The attack was known to have been carried out by Berlin members of a Polish resistance group...."

http://www.nordsued-s-bahn.de/presse/No ... esse02.pdf

Personally I think that those acts are neither heroship nor intelligent. They where and are exactly what was/is needed to justify atrocities against civilians in occupied countries and to furtherly suppress the rights of the population at home.

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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by SashaWa » 10 Nov 2010 01:40

They where and are exactly what was/is needed to justify atrocities against civilians in occupied countries and to furtherly suppress the rights of the population at home.

The attacks were intended as response to German atrocities against Polish population-mass murder of 189 Poles in Poznan and in Pawiak of 94 Poles.



Biuletyn Informacyjny z dnia 1 lipca 1943 roku:

W ramach ogólnej akcji odwetowej za bestjalstwa niemieckie w Polsce, a w szczególności za wymordowanie 189 Polaków w Poznaniu oraz masakrę 94 z Pawiaka straconych 7 maja br.- dnia 10 maja 1943 r. o godz. 21 na dworcu Śląskim w Berlinie zostały zdetonowane dwie bomby, a dnia 12 maja 1943 o godz. 21.30 na dworcu we Wrocławiu- jedna bomba. W wyniku obydwu aktów 15 Niemców zostało zabitych, a 26 rannych.

Kierownictwo Walki Konspiracyjnej

28 czerwca 1943 r.

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ToKu
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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by ToKu » 10 Nov 2010 09:09

I believe, that if we are to treat these attacks as war crimes, then atrocities against Polish civilinas, deliberately commited by Germans on a scale rarely seen in modern history are strong extenuating circumstances.

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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by PFLB » 10 Nov 2010 10:01

If it was framed as a reprisal for war crimes against Polish civilians, then it would be in a similar category to the bombing of cities by both sides, which was often also said to be a reprisal for previous bombings.

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Adam Carr
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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by Adam Carr » 10 Nov 2010 10:29

I don't see why it is terrorism to kill German civilians with a bomb in a metro station, but not terrorism to kill them by dropping bombs on them from aircraft. In both cases, I would say it is not terrorism, but an act of war. The Germans attacked Poland, and the Poles were thus morally entitled to wage war against the Germans any way they saw fit.

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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by PFLB » 10 Nov 2010 10:35

The Germans attacked Poland, and the Poles were thus morally entitled to wage war against the Germans any way they saw fit.


That is your opinion, the merits of which from a moral or ethical standpoint may be debated ad infinitum, but it is not a correct statement of the law. At least since the mid-19th century, it has been undisputed that among the cardinal principles of international humanitarian law are:

(1) 'The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited' - See e.g. the St Ptersburg Declaration, Hague Regulations Article 22, Additional Protocol I Article 35(1).
(2) IHL applies equally to all parties to an armed conflict, irrespective of whether their resort to the use of force is justified.

Moreover, the strict bifurcation which you draw between 'terrorism' and 'acts of war' also does not reflect legal reality, since IHL has long prohibited the use of various terroristic measures in wartime. For example, Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I prohibits 'Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.' Similarly, amongst the acts which Australia and Holland included in their lists of war crimes employed in trials of Japanese war criminals was 'murder, systematic terrorism' - a term which was itself derived from the post-World War One multinational Report of the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War.

Thus, the fact that the motive lying behind a terrorist act is to win an armed conflict does not deprive it of its terrorist character. Indeed, terrorist acts will often be excluded from the means and methods of warfare permitted of a belligerent, and hence will not be what you call 'acts of war' - so if there is a strict bifurcation it is the terrorist purpose of the act that predominates in its legal classification.

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Adam Carr
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Re: Terrorist act by Poles in Berlin metro

Post by Adam Carr » 10 Nov 2010 11:13

Well that's all well and good, and in general I agree that these laws ought to apply. The Nazis, however, had not only conquered Poland, but enslaved it, and by 1943 had already murdered several million Polish citizens. In the long run they intended to exterminate the entire Polish people. In those circumstances I'm very reluctant, from the safety of 2010, to condemn the Polish resistance for hitting back at the Germans in the only way open to them.

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