Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

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Peter K
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Peter K » 12 Sep 2011 12:39

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michael mills
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 13 Sep 2011 02:34

From the pages posted by Domen:
Many documents relevant to the operations of the German secret services were destroyed already during the War. Among them were the materials about the Gleiwitz (Gliwice) provocation and the sabotage in Bydgoszcz. The author was thus forced to rely on probablitiy - which in some cases is his main kind of interpretation - and not on absolute certainty.
In other words, Chincinski has no hard proof of any "sabotage" in Bydgoszcz. He merely relies on "probability".

In other words, he is saying: Some hundreds of ethnic Germans in Bydgoszcz were killed by Polish soldiers and civilian militia in Bydgoszcz, so they were "probably" saboteurs.

He seems to be claiming that there were German documents proving that the ethnic Germans killed in Bydgoszcz were oart of a sabotage operation, but they were destroyed during the war.

But how do we know there ever were any such documents?

Chincinski is using a circular argument that runs like this:

1. Some hundreds of ethnic Germans were killed in Bydgoszcz on 3-4 September 1939.

2. Therefore they must have been saboteurs.

3. Therefore there must have been German documents about the sabotage operation in Bydgoszcz.

4. No such documents were discovered at the end of the war, or have been discovered since.

5. Therefore the documents must have been destroyed during the war.

It is quite possible that the documents relating to the Gleiwitz provocation were destroyed during the war, but we know that it was a provocation planned by Heydrich since the main organiser, Alfred Naujocks, came forward at the end of the war and confessed all the details.

By contrast, no-one ever came forward after the war and confessed to being part of a sabotage operation in Bydgoszcz. Even during the war itself, no-one ever came forward to claim the credit for having helped the German victory by undertaking sabotage in Bydgoszcz.

So the bottom line is that there is no evidence whatever of any German sabotage operation in Bydgoscz, or that the ethnic German residents of Bydgoscz who were summarily executed or lynched by Polish soldiers and civilian militia were participants in any such operation.

Peter K
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Peter K » 13 Sep 2011 20:09

There are Polish documents saying directly about sabotage actions in Bydgoszcz.

And German documents saying about existence of sabotage groups in Bydgoszcz.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Sep 2011 12:54

Hi Michael,

The actual argument being used is somewhat different:

1) We know, from surviving documentary evidence, that the Abwehr used Polish Volksdeutsche to conduct sabotage operations in other parts of Poland.

2) Given that Bromberg/Bydgoszcz had a large Volksdeutsch population and was strategically more important than pretty much any other site in the early days of the German invasion, it seems likely that similar actions were planned or took place there. Polish sources confirm this.

If the absence of German primary sources about alleged sabotage operations means that we can place no reliability on Polish reports of them, does this mean that an absence of Polish primary sources about alleged massacres of Volksdeutsche mean that we can place place no reliability on German reports of them?

michael mills
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 15 Sep 2011 05:06

Major T,

You wrote:
1) We know, from surviving documentary evidence, that the Abwehr used Polish Volksdeutsche to conduct sabotage operations in other parts of Poland.
The documented incidents of sabotage at the start of the German invasion all had a definite miltary objective, such as the capture of a strategic tunnel or bridge at or near the frontier, or the destruction of a communications centre.

Furthermore, those sabotage operations were carried out by groups of German commandos who entered Polish territory from Germany or Slovakia. The commando units may have been comprised of Polish-speaking Germans who had previously lived in territories handed over to Poland after the First World War, but they were members of the German armed forces.

By contrast, the Polish account of what happened in Bydgoszcz on 3 September claims that ethnic German inhabitants of the town began firing wildly from their homes, from buildings belonging to ethnic German organisations, or from the belltowers of Protestant churches and from Protestant cemeteries, of all places. Nowhere is any realistic sabotage objective identified.

On the basis of the Polish account, it is unlikely that any German sab otage group had entered Bydgoszcz with any definable sabotage objective. All that can be said is that firing erupted in Bydgoszcz while Polish troops were retreating through the town, with some Polish soldiers being killed or wounded. Frightened and enraged Polish soldiers then attacked the houses of ethnic Germans, pointed out to them by Polish neighbours, and massacred the residents. Subsequent reports by the POlish commanders claimed that the ethnic Germans killed had all been firing from their houses.

It is most probable that the firing that broke out in Bydgoszcz on 3 September was a case of "friendly fire", with panicked and confused Polish soldiers firing on each other by mistake.

A similar incident occurred in Czestochowa on the following day, 4 September, but with the roles reversed. As German soldiers entered the town, wild firing broke out, and German soldiers were killed and wounded. Believing they were under attack from Polish guerillas, the German soldiers raided civilian houses and arrested the occupants, many of whom were summarily executed. The German reports claim that the executed civilians were guilty of firing on the German troops, but historians believe that it was a case of "friendly fire", German troops entering from different directions firing on each other in confusion.

Peter K
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Peter K » 15 Sep 2011 12:40

Chincinski clearly writes, that:

"Of the recruited saboteurs, Polish citizens of German nationality living predominantly in Silesia, Greater Poland and Kujawy, numbered 6,798."

So your claim that all of the saboteurs came from Germany "together with German armed forces" is false.

BTW - Bydgoszcz is part of the Kujawy region, which is mentioned above by Chincinski.

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kujawy

Jan-Hendrik
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 15 Sep 2011 21:13

At least one polish historian confessed large scale massacres of ethnic germans.

Jan-Hendrik

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by David Thompson » 15 Sep 2011 23:13

Jan-Hendrik -- The information you gave is interesting, but without the name of the historian and the book, it doesn't provide much help for readers who want to know more.

michael mills
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 16 Sep 2011 02:27

The historian is Professor Wlodzimierz Jastzrebski.

Previously he had written a book supporting the Polish chauvinist account of the massacre of ethnic Germans in Bydgoszcz.

More recently, he has renounced Polish chauvinism, and in an article published in a Polish newspaper he stated thjat there was no evidence of any German sabotage in Bydgoszcz.

If there was no sabotage, then the more than 300 ethnic German citizens of Bydgoszcz killed by Polish soldiers and civilians were innocent victims of mob violence, not saboteurs, as claimed in the Polish chauvinist version of the incidents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C5%82odz ... %C4%99bski

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by David Thompson » 16 Sep 2011 03:24

Well, the polemics of this discussion are not giving interested readers much more than a choice between Polish or German chauvinism. If we drop the lurid qualifiers, we may get somewhere in this discussion, but I'm starting to doubt it. I'm thinking it's time for a padlock, after 34 pages.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 16 Sep 2011 05:28

Dear Mr.Thompson,

As Domen cited, Chincinski admited the murder of at least 6,798 ethnic german.

Jan-Hendrik

michael mills
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 16 Sep 2011 06:19

Well, the polemics of this discussion are not giving interested readers much more than a choice between Polish or German chauvinism.
Not true.

Readers are being given a choice between a Polish chauvinist version of events, which was first propagated by the Polish Government in Exile in 1940 and is still being supported by official Polish sources and many Polish historians today, and a modern, moderate German version that is in no way chauvinist, but has rejected the propagandist version of events promulgated by the NS German Government during the war.

The modern, moderate non-chauvinist German version of events was presented several years ago by Roberto in the first few pages of this thread. I suggest readers refer back to the first pages of this thread to see that version.

Earlier in this thread, some posters did present as historical truth the wartime German propagandistic version of events, according to which some 50,000 ethnic Germans were killed by Poles (a 10-fold magnification of the true figure of about 5000). They were roundly condemned by Roberto. Since then, I have not seen anyone presenting that German chauvinist version.

According to the modern German version of events, Polish soldiers retreating through Bydgoszcz panicked, believing they were under fire from infiltrators. Possibly the firing was the result of different Polish units firing on each other in confusion. The Polish soldiers went on a rampage, attacking German-inhabited houses and summarily executing the occupants. At the end of the day, the Polish forces evacuated the city, leaving it in the control of a civilian militia which continued the massacre. Ethnic German civilian victims in the city itself totalled more than 300, all proved to have been genuine residents of Bydgoszcz and not infiltrators. Total victims including the area surrounding the city are estimated at about 1000.
Last edited by michael mills on 16 Sep 2011 06:45, edited 1 time in total.

michael mills
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 16 Sep 2011 06:22

This is what Roberto wrote on the first page of this thread:
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
And in a subsequent post:
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
On page 6 of this thread, the moderator wrote:
Michael -- You wrote:
Roberto was known as a staunch anti-Nazi and a fierce opponent of any expression of the German chauvinist version of history; I am sure that our moderator David Thompson will vouch for that.
I do indeed.
Given that the moderator affirmed that Roberto was a staunch anti-Nazi and a fierce opponent of the German chauvinist version of history, it seems odd that he would now seem to be be describing the version of events in Bydgoszcz on 3-4 September 1939 presented by Roberto as "German chauvinist".

Peter K
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Peter K » 16 Sep 2011 10:52

Dear Mr.Thompson,

As Domen cited, Chincinski admited the murder of at least 6,798 ethnic german.

Jan-Hendrik
Nice joke Hendrix, but not funny. ;)
According to the modern German version of events
Günter Schubert, „Das Unternehmen Bromberger Blutsonntag. Tod einer Legende”.

michael mills
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 18 Sep 2011 07:23

The modern German version of the events in Bydgoszcz is that found in the book edited by Wolfgang Benz, "Legenden, Luegen, Vorurteile", from which excerpts were posted almost 10 years ago by Roberto.

The Benz book aimed to demolish some of the myths of wartime German chauvinist propaganda. That is why its version of the Bydgoszcz events is the modern non-chauvinist German version.

Schubert's book is not an exanple of the modern German non-chauvinist version, since it merely reproduces the traditional Polish chauvinist version.

A Polish chauvinist myth is still a Polish chauvinist myth even if copied by a German.

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