Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

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Karl
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Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Karl » 17 Jun 2002 07:32

Justified killing of foreign agents or Polish atrocity?

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Roberto » 17 Jun 2002 13:22

Karl wrote:Justified killing of foreign agents or Polish atrocity?


The Bromberger Blutsonntag was part of a series of massacres perpetrated against ethnic Germans in Poland during the German invasion in 1939.

Unable to stem the onrush of German forces during the invasion of their country, Polish soldiers and civilians started fleeing eastwards. It was during this flight to the east that the ethnic German civilians, resident in Poland for many years, received the full impact of the spite and hate stored up in the hearts of the fleeing Polish soldiers and their civilian followers. German houses were entered and the occupants arrested and then murdered. Not all were shot, many were brutally put to death by all sorts of tools and their bodies severely mutilated. As the soldiers left to search for more German houses, their civilian helpers were left behind to plunder and steal and in most cases, to set the house on fire. Many of the German women were raped before being shot. During this retreat from the west, the Polish soldiers, together with the civilian irregulars, were responsible for the deaths of around 6,000 German residents. At a later investigation, the testimonies of 593 witnesses established the fact that at least 3,841 named ethnic Germans were murdered by the Poles prior to the full German occupation. In September, 1939 these Volksdeutsche formed themselves into Self-Protection units known as Selbschutz and came under the control of the SS and later under the Ordungspolizei (Order Police). The infamous reputation that it earned caused it to be disbanded on 30th of November, 1939.


Source of quote:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massacres.html

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Post by Ogorek » 17 Jun 2002 16:03

Stories become simple through passage of time, and who were the victors. The PRL always commemorated the events in Bydgoszcz/Bromberg by the thousands of hostages executed in reprisal. In fact, one of my uncles was taken hostage, though not executed until almost a year later. The initial executions were public, in the market square. In the past have spoken to Polish witnesses of these executions.

The account posted by Roberto were culled from a volume POLISH ACTS OF ATROCITY AGAINST THE GERMAN MINORITY, published in New York, by the German Ministry of Information - the same folks that brought us the Gliwice story.

What personal accounts I know of came from Polish soldiers whose retreat was seriously harassed by Fifth Column machine gun fire in the city center. Another reserve officer related the execution of captured Fifth Columnists. These were armed German civilians captured during the fighting. He stated that they were all tried in a field court martial - how judicious that might have been is not really a an item for speculation, but by September 3rd, the Polish forces in the Corridor were most certainly in a desperate situation.

As for the civilians taking revenge on their German neighbors, I am certain that it happened, and how many were killed, and was it justified is a matter of speculation, but there was not much time due to the speed of the German advance.

But to answer Mr. Karl’s question: Justified killing of foreign agents or Polish atrocity? - ......the answer is probably both

The incident was used by two totalitarian regimes as a justification. Unfortunately too much time has passed, and there are too few people who might put an objective light on the subject.

The following was found on the web:

From : http://2ndww.tripod.com/Poland/vcolumn.htm

The term "fifth column" was coined during the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). General Francisco Franco in one of his comments on the plans to take Madrid, said, that the city would be attacked from outside by four columns of his troops, while his secret supporters would constitute a "fifth column", which would strike from inside. Since then the expression "fifth column" describes activities of various spies, saboteurs and terrorists, who support aggressors in the rear of attacked countries. It is characteristic to the "fifth column" to apply falsehood and provocation, and to recruit traitors and renegades among the military and civilians of the attacked countries. Very often the role of the "fifth column" play ethnic minorities.
In 1939 the "fifth column" in Poland was comprised of German and Ukrainian minorities. Various were ways to provide them with weapon, ammunition and supplies. Sometimes they travelled across the Polish border in the car of a German consul having granted diplomatic immunity. Sometimes a crate would fall out of a transit train running through the "Polish corridor" and, lifted by mysterious hands, would disappear in secret storages. In the forests, in the basements of German possessions, in the vaults of German banks or in the crypts of Uniate churches, young men under supervision of experienced German NCO's were learning the "art" of treacherous attack and shooting at the back from behind the corner. They were activated yet before the hitlerite Wehrmacht began the open aggression. Only in August 1939 Polish military and police had registered many acts of diversion, mostly against the means of communication, and armed assaults perpetrated by the bands from such organizations like Kampf und Sabotageorganisation, Freikorps Ebbinghaus and Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). By the night 1 September, it means several hours before the aggression, their activities acquired forms of a regular attack.
Its main task was to capture the industrial centre in the vicinity of Katowice intact and to hold it until the arrival of German troops. This operation brought only temporary success. As soon as the effects of surprise were gone, the Poles went to counter-attack. They dislodged the Germans from coalmines Karol and Jurand after a long and eager fight. The main force of the Polish counter-attack constituted former Silesian insurgents, organized in veteran units. With aid hastened veterans from Chropaczow and Lipiny, and a regular army unit from Godula. The bands were completely defeated. A complete fiasco also bore repeated bands' attacks on Brzeziny Slaskie. On 1 September they managed to seize the coal-mine Orzełl Białly, but soon they were dislodged by the counter-attack of Captain Bomba's company from the Entrenched Camp Katowice and a veteran unit. On 2 September took place another attack, but again it was repelled by the veteran company, reinforced by two veteran platoons from Brzozowice-Kamien and Wielka Dabrowka.
A quite serious situation happened in the area of Chorzow, Maciejkowice and Michalkowice where a several hundred strong band from the Freikorps Ebbinghaus by night 31 August to 1 September crossed unnoticed the positions of the Polish defence and attacked them from the rear. The defence of Maciejkowice was made of Lt. Alfons Piecha's company of popular militia and veteran companies of Edmund Ledwońn and Karol Marcinkowski. They held the town until Polish armoured cars, supported by regular units, came with aid and forced assailants to flee. During the fights in Chorzow some 100 Germans with their chief Karol Mania were taken prisoners. Also failed the attack on the coal-mine Michałl. The evening situation report for the command of the Army Kraków's of 1 September informed about liquidation of all the German bands; the prisoners were summarily shot. Therefore the Germans failed to take the Upper Silesian industrial region by surprise.
They raised their heads once again on 3 September when the Army Kraków, in order to avoid encirclement, started the withdrawal of its troops from Silesia. In Pszczyna armed bands attacked the 2nd Battalion of the 20th Infantry Regiment from the 6th Infantry Division. As the battalion was marching out of the town, from windows, from backyards, from cemeteries resounded treacherous shots, which disorganized its retreat. In Bielsko-Biala another attack aimed at the headquarter of the 21st Infantry Division and its troops marching through the town, which was practically in the German hands. The Polish retreat took place amidst the chaos of arsons, detonations and intensive shooting. By evening the division's headquarter was almost surrounded and since 22:00 had found itself under permanent machine-gun fire, conducted from the textile works Jankowski some 30-40m away.
But the most dramatic one was undoubtfully the armed rebellion organized by the "fifth column" in Bydgoszcz. The military situation in Pomerania turned against the Poles within very first hours of the campaign. The command of the Army Pomorze had decided to withdraw its troops from Tuchola Forest southward. Since the passages across the Vistula in Chelmno were already destroyed, the only alternative route was through Bydgoszcz. In those circumstances Bydgoszcz gained strategic importance, because its fall into enemy hands could disorganize the northern wing of Polish defence in its most important point. Substantial Polish forces - Pomorska Cavalry Brigade, 9th and 27th Infantry Divisions, and two battalions of popular militia - had to retreat through the city, while it was covered by the 15th Infantry Division. On 3 September about 10:00 they were attacked by the hitlerite squads, reinforced by some bands from the Reich and Free City Danzig. Soldiers and civilians suddenly found themselves under the machine-gun fire conducted from the windows, from the woods, from behind the fences. The toll of the dead and wounded grew. Within few hours saboteurs seized many vital points throughout the city, causing disorganization and chaos among the troops, and panic among the inhabitants. It was not until several hours later that the situation was under control again. Fifty defence nests, all generously equipped with weapons and ammunition, were gradually liquidated in stout fights. All the day 4 September the city was combed out by the troops, while the saboteurs had been hastily court-martialled and summarily executed. However, the overall situation on the front soon forced Polish troops to further retreat. As the Germans occupied Bydgoszcz, they took a bloody revenge for the suppressed rebellion.
A trouble somewhat similar, but to a lesser scale also occurred on Hel peninsula, on the northernmost tip of the country. The region adjacent to the Gulf of Danzig for centuries has been inhabited by indigenous Slavic people, Kashubians. Although in the past they were subjected to germanization, they had managed to preserve their distinct culture and language. In 1920's and 1930's there was some Kashubian nationalist movement in the Free City Danzig, but generally the Kashubians opted for Poland and in September 1939 they unanimously supported the Polish cause. The wartime hardships and nazi propaganda, though, might induce some of them with defeatist feelings. On 19 September, after surrender of Gdynia, some Kashubians demanded that Hel capitulate as well, in order to spare sufferings to the civilian population. A band of armed men, civilians and sailors alike, seized the headquarter of the commander of the Entrenched Camp Hel, Rear-Admiral Włlodzimierz Steyer, and demanded an order to surrender. The rebellion was promptly suppressed. Steyer ordered immediate execution of the leaders, but spared others. Providing that Hel had to capitulate sooner or later (actually it took place on 2 October), that was certainly a wise decision, for it left no grounds for mutual Polish-Kashubian hostility. Under the German occupation the Kashubians took part in the resistance movement together with the Poles.
A completely different situation emerged in Poland's most south-eastern region inhabited by the Ukrainians - Galicia. Those territories, conquered by Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries from Russia, for centuries had been the scene of oppression of local inhabitants and their bloody uprisings. In the 18th and 19th centuries Galicia found itself in the Habsburg realm. Seeking a balance for both Polish and Russian influence, the Austrians undertook a long-lasting campaign of ukrainization, which resulted in creation of a nationalist movement based on a groundless theory, that the Ukrainians are the only true Slavic people, distinctively different from both the Russians and the Poles, and constitute a different race, presumably superior and descending from ancient Troy. During the First World War and the civil war in Russia, the Germans, and then the Poles, attempted to create a Ukrainian "fifth column" against the Russians, but did not succeed. On the other hand, the Austro-Hungarian legacy created a substantial dissent and unrest in Galicia. As Ukrainian nationalist activities quickened towards the end of 1920's and in 1930's, the Polish régime resorted to reprisals. Ukrainian language and organizations were banned, and in 1930's the military and police carried out a number of pacification campaigns, which led to many arrests, widespread brutality and intimidation, and destruction of property. In 1930's Polish authorities promoted, sometimes by force, the conversion of the Orthodox to the Roman Catholicism (so-called Union) and seized hundreds of Orthodox churches for closure, destruction, or transfer to the Roman Catholic Church. All that provided a fertile soil for the idea of creation of "independent" Ukraine, which would comprise lands carved out of Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania. This goal was pursued by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, created in 1929 in Vienna by Jewhen Konowalec. Authoritarian in structure, conspiratorial in its methods, and influenced by nazi theories, OUN carried out acts of sabotage and assassinations of Polish officials, the most spectacular being the murder of the Polish minister of interior, Bronisłlaw Pieracki. Since 1933, when the nazis seized power in Germany, OUN started to see the alliance with German fascists as the way to achieve its goals, and offered its assistance to the German special services in their undeclared war against Poland.
As the Polish defence, as well as state authorities, collapsed in September 1939 the Ukrainians activated sabotage and diversion against the Polish troops retreating towards the Romanian border, and launched the slaughter of civilian population, first of all the Poles and Jews in Stanislawow, Kolomyja, Trembowla and Buczacz. This action naturally caused a counteraction of the Polish troops, which undertook brutal pacificatory actions. The whole Poland's south-eastern frontier found itself at the threshold of a civil war and only the approach of the Red Army ceased the hostilities. Not for long though. After the outbreak of the Germano-Soviet war the Ukrainians raised their heads again. They openly allied with the Germans in their genocidal policy in occupied territories, and conducted regular war on Polish and Soviet partisans and civilians. They also played a substantial role in extermination of the Jews, especially in Warsaw ghetto. Even after the war they conducted their criminal activities in the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania. Although the Ukrainian nationalist movement was eventually suppressed in the end of 1940's, it still has supporters and advocates, most notably in the United States and Canada.
Paul Neumann

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 17 Jun 2002 17:34

An interesting quote from an interesting site.

Welcome to the forum!

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Post by Dan » 18 Jun 2002 02:46

Polish slant aside, very well done. Thanks so much, and I hope to be hearing much from you in the future.

Very best
Dan

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Mr. Ogorek

Post by Karl » 18 Jun 2002 04:01

Wonderful details in your post.

Cheers!

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Greetings

Post by Karl » 18 Jun 2002 04:05

Good to see you again Roberto...and Dan...and I suppose R's nemesis must be lurking around too somewhere...:lol:

Greetings to all!

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Post by Sailor » 18 Jun 2002 04:07

About 15,000 German citizens were massacred at that point in time in Poland, over 5000 in Bromberg alone. Men, women and children. First mutilated, hands, arms and legs cut off, and then murdered.

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Post by Karl » 18 Jun 2002 04:14

May I ask for a source Mr. Sailor?

Thank you.

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Post by Roberto » 18 Jun 2002 10:15

Karl wrote:May I ask for a source Mr. Sailor?

Thank you.


From what I know of Mr. Sailor, his source is Nazi propaganda, in which he piously and uncritically believes.

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Post by viriato » 18 Jun 2002 15:01

Ogorek quoted:

In 1939 the "fifth column" in Poland was comprised of German and Ukrainian minorities.


One should explain why have the germans and ukrainian minorities came to be a so-called "fifth-column".

...by the bands from such organizations like Kampf und Sabotageorganisation, Freikorps Ebbinghaus and Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).


"Bands"? An highly historical way of judging... :lol:

...for it left no grounds for mutual Polish-Kashubian hostility.


As long as Kashubians bend to their masters, the poles... 8)

A completely different situation emerged in Poland's most south-eastern region inhabited by the Ukrainians - Galicia. Those territories, conquered by Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries from Russia,


From Russia????? I wonder what the author knows about history... : 8O

...the Austrians undertook a long-lasting campaign of ukrainization,


If so why were only poles in charge of the galician Diet and government, polish were the sole "official" language (even german had a second-ranking status!), and both universities in Krakau/Krakow and Lemberg/Lwow/Lviv (especially this one) were polish speaking?

As Ukrainian nationalist activities quickened towards the end of 1920's and in 1930's,


I may wonder why this happened... 8)

Ukrainian language and organizations were banned, and in 1930's the military and police carried out a number of pacification campaigns, which led to many arrests, widespread brutality and intimidation, and destruction of property. In 1930's Polish authorities promoted, sometimes by force, the conversion of the Orthodox to the Roman Catholicism (so-called Union) and seized hundreds of Orthodox churches for closure, destruction, or transfer to the Roman Catholic Church.


After all it seems that poles were no angels... :cry:

All that provided a fertile soil for the idea of creation of "independent" Ukraine, which would comprise lands carved out of Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania.


So what is the problem of an "independent" Ukraine? :?

As the Polish defence, as well as state authorities, collapsed in September 1939 the Ukrainians activated sabotage and diversion against the Polish troops retreating towards the Romanian border, and launched the slaughter of civilian population, first of all the Poles and Jews in Stanislawow, Kolomyja, Trembowla and Buczacz. This action naturally caused a counteraction of the Polish troops, which undertook brutal pacificatory actions.


Some double standard. Ukrainians are saboteurs, poles of course being the pacifiers... :lol:

Although the Ukrainian nationalist movement was eventually suppressed in the end of 1940's, it still has supporters and advocates, most notably in the United States and Canada.


Suppressed? In the end of 1940's? If for "supression" one means the ending of the ukrainian nationalism the answer is a clearly no. It still lives. And the end of the guerrilla war in Ukraine only came to an end in 1950'.

So much for a laughable text... :lol: (propaganda I would call it!)

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Post by AndyW » 18 Jun 2002 22:25

Sailor wrote:About 15,000 German citizens were massacred at that point in time in Poland, over 5000 in Bromberg alone. Men, women and children. First mutilated, hands, arms and legs cut off, and then murdered.


Are you quoting the "Völkischer Beobachter"? You should mark this as being a quotation from a nazi propaganda source, otherwise some might think you really believe this stuff... ;)

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Post by Sailor » 19 Jun 2002 02:53

Sure. Here goes:

http://www.aufdemstundenplan.de/ausgaben/top/11.htm

Try also on Google: “DER BROMBERGER BLUTSONNTAG”. There are tons of sites on this subject.

Was there not also a German radio station with the name of Gleiwitz or something like that, at the border with Poland, which the Polish took out and killed the radio operators, before the war started?

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Post by Roberto » 19 Jun 2002 10:45

Sailor wrote:Sure. Here goes:

http://www.aufdemstundenplan.de/ausgaben/top/11.htm

Try also on Google: “DER BROMBERGER BLUTSONNTAG”. There are tons of sites on this subject.

Was there not also a German radio station with the name of Gleiwitz or something like that, at the border with Poland, which the Polish took out and killed the radio operators, before the war started?


"Replacement sheets for missing or falsified school textbooks"

"The Bloody Sunday of Bromberg on 3 September 1939 was the horrendous climax of a twenty year long Polish fight of annihilation against the German ethnicity."

And so on.

The ideological blindfolds guiding the site mentioned by Mr. Sailor are obvious.

The facts are much more prosaic.

On 3 September 1939, two days after the beginning of the German attack on Poland, units of the Polish army were retreating through Bromberg, together with Polish civilians fleeing from the war. The rumor spread that German troops were on the verge of entering the city. When it turned out that this rumor was not accurate, smaller groups of retreating soldiers acting on their own attacked houses and people mainly belonging to the German majority. In the evening the Polish commander, major Albrycht, withdrew his troops, after creating and arming a civil defense force to maintain order. This was like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank, for the civil defense force, together with newly arriving soldiers, started rounding up alleged "diversionists" and shooting whoever they considered suspicious. Houses were sacked and a church was set on fire.

On 8 September 1939 the Deutsche Rundschau coined the term "Bromberger Blutsonntag" for these events. According to a study released by the German diplomatic service in November 1939, a total of
5,437 ethnic Germans had been massacred throughout Poland during the German invasion. In February 1940, Nazi propaganda blew up the death toll to 58,000 (more than ten times the actual number of victims). The Reich Ministry of the Interior decreed on 7 February 1940 that only this figure was henceforth to be used in speeches, communiqués, etc.

The source of this information are passages from Wolfgang Benz' book Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, quoted under the following link:

http://www.h-ref.de/dk/krieg/polen/bromb/brmb.shtml

A final note on the Gleiwitz incident, regarding which our friend Sailor is also recanting the Nazi propaganda version:

On the evening of 31.8.1939 SS-Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks, together with five or six SS men dressed in civilian clothes, attacked the Gleiwitz radio station in German Silesia. The running program was interrupted, and a call for a revolt of the Polish minority was broadcast. A dead body was deposed as "proof" of the alleged Polish attack on the radio station.

Propaganda was on site immediately after the staged attack. Photographs of the dead body were hurriedly taken with flashlight and flown to Berlin, but the photos did not corresponnd to Heydrich's ideas. Therefore in the same night dead bodies from Sachsenhausen concentration camp were taken to the site and placed in the switch room of the radio station.

The source of this information is an article on the site

http://www.h-ref.de/dk/krieg/polen/glei ... witz.shtml

based on Wolfgang Benz' Enzyklopädie des Nationalsozialismus and Henric L. Wuermeling's August '39.

The staged attack on the Gleiwitz radio station was Hitler's propagandistic pretext for the invasion of Poland.

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Post by AndyW » 19 Jun 2002 14:12



Seems that I was quite near with my guess to "Völkischer Beobachter":

Your link is a neonazi propaganda site, provided by the "UN-Unhabhängige Nachrichten". They propagate racial hate, Antisemitism, nAtional Socialistic ideas, the entire program.

Tidbits:

"Deutsche Jugend, wehre Dich!" ("German Youth, resist!")


"Kampf ums Dasein bleibt Naturgesetz, nur die Mittel ändern sich"

("The struggle for existence is still a law of nature, just the means are changing.")

etc pp.

Crap.

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