Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

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Post by David Thompson » 13 Oct 2004 22:01

The post on the underlying reasons for the extensive war crimes committed by German troops in WWII now has a thread of its own, at:

Nazi indoctrination and German war crimes
viewtopic.php?t=61674

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Post by Halibutt » 04 Nov 2005 08:08

I'm having a discussion on a similar topic at the English wikipedia currently and I wonder whether there are any English-language books on German war crimes in Poland? Or is the topic totally neglected and only covered by Polish authors..?
Cheers

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Post by Stoigniew » 07 Nov 2005 12:32

Similar topic ,,1939 - treatment of Polish POW's'' is discussed on this Polish forum:
http://odkrywca.pl/pokaz_watek.php?id=237263
This book is mentioned there as good source in English:
Rossino AB. Hitler strikes Poland. Blitzkrieg, ideology and atrocity. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003.
Photo: Ciepielow massacre - taken from this forum...
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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Peter K » 09 Apr 2009 15:48

3. September 2-3rd between Wadzim and Rybnik few Polish soldiers captured by Wehrmacht were ordered to lie down on ground and then tanks drove over them
Dead Polish soldier and traces of tank Caterpillars:

Image

Btw - German wikipedia is providing the following figure:
Abseits der Kampfhandlungen wurden mehr als 3.000 polnische Soldaten von deutschen Soldaten ermordet
And the following footnote for it:

Jochen Böhler, Auftakt zum Vernichtungskrieg, S. 186

This would mean that around 5% of all Polish fatal casualties suffered due to Germans in 1939 were murdered soldiers.

But what is Jochen Böhler's source for this number?

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Peter K » 09 May 2009 15:34

German source:

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... AR66-R.htm

Die II. Abteilung vom Artillerie-Regiment 66.:
Als erstes nahm die Abteilung die Kasernen von Krotoschin unter Feuer.
Polish source: A. A. Korsak, "56 Pułk Piechoty" ("56 Infantry Regiment"):
At 5:30 German artillery fired at Krotoszyn. First missiles hit the courtyard of the teacher seminary, which had been chosen by colonel Tarczynski and commander of I battalion of 56 IR for observation post.
Kasernen?! ...

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Peter K » 30 Dec 2009 22:45

michael mills wrote:It can also be taken for granted that if any German soldiers were captured by Polish troops there would have been incidents when some of them were shot.
At least several and up to a dozen or so thousands of German soldiers were captured by Polish troops. There are only several single examples of Germans who died or were killed in Polish captivity (including 1 officer), this cannot be compared to the scale of German crimes on Polish POWs (over 3,000 POWs were murdered in Polenfeldzug).

If it comes to German war crimes commited on Polish POWs the best book which has been published so far is in my opinion Jochen Bohler's "Auftakt zum Vernichtungskrieg: Die Wehrmacht in Polen 1939", chapter 7 (pp 179 - 192).

But in order to judge it fairly - the scale of Soviet crimes on Polish POWs was even bigger (and I am not talking about Katyn in 1940 - yet during the time frame of the Polish Campaign of 1939 RKKA murdered a lot of Polish POWs).

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Peter K » 16 Jan 2010 16:59

Some examples German mass murders of Polish military POWs in 1939 (others than well-known Ciepielow):

1. During the night from 4 to 5 September 1939 604. lei. Straßen-Bau-Btl. murdered 84 Polish POWs as revenge for the Polish attack on the battalion which took place on 04.09.1939 near Serock (in that combat Btl. lost 6 soldiers).
2. On 10.09.1939 in Piaseczno 15 Polish POWs were executed.
3. On 20.09.1939 as revenge for the death of one killed in combat German, 40 POWs were executed.
4. In late September in the village of Urycz ca. 100 Polish POWs were imprisoned and then burnt alive in a burn.
5. On 11.09.1939 in Zambrow 100 (German sources) or 200 (Polish sources) Polish POWs were murdered.
6. Polish POWs in Szczucin were massacred with use of hand grenades and machine guns on 12.09.1939 (40 of them died in the process as well as 30 civilian refugees). 25 Jews were forced to bury them and after that murdered as well. This happened in revenge for the fact that one Lt. (POW) during investigation pulled out a pistol from the holster of Gefreiter (and Kompaniechef) Golla who was investigating him and killed him, commiting suicide after that.
7. During the Spring of 1940 ca. 25,000 Polish POWs of Jewish nationality were murdered or died from exhaustion.

PS:

From Volksbund.de:

Nachname: Golla
Vorname: Paul
Dienstgrad: Hauptwachtmeister
Geburtsdatum: 29.06.1906
Geburtsort: Borsigwerk
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 12.09.1939
Todes-/Vermisstenort: Szczucin

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Marcus
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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Marcus » 16 Jan 2010 17:06

Everyone, please post sources for the war crimes you mention, thanks.

/Marcus

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Peter K » 16 Jan 2010 17:08

Jochen Boehler, "Auftakt zum Vernichtungskrieg: Die Wehrmacht in Polen 1939", pp 183 - 192 (of Polish edition).

Some other mass murders are mentioned by Szymon Datner in "Zbrodnie Wehrmachtu na jeńcach wojennych [...]":

8. In Sladow on 18.09.1939 soldiers of Schtz.Rgt.12 (4. Pz.Div.) murdered 150 POWs and 150 civilians.
9. 400 POWs + 100 civilians were murdered in Zakroczym on 28.09.1939 (most probably by SS "Deutschland"). Murdered soldiers were from the crew of Fort I of Fortress Modlin - this was in revenge for fierce resistance.
10. On 17.09.1939 in Terespol around 100 POWs were killed (units of Guderian are to be blamed).
11. Around 100 POWs were murdered in Trzebinia on 23.09.1939.
12. In Opatowiec, poviat Pinczow, soldiers of 2. Leichte-Division executed 45 POWs on 04.09.1939.
13. On 20.09.1939 (after the capitulation of Army "Cracow") in Majdan Wielki near Tomaszow German soldiers tortured and then massacred 42 Polish POWs from 20. Inf.Rgt. (as revenge for German losses on 19.09.1939).
14. On 08.09.1939 public execution of 11 Polish POWs took place in Mszczonow (by soldiers of 4. Pz.Div.).

---------------------------------------

Jochen Bohler describes a situation when soldiers of 19. Infanterie-Division murdered a group of Polish civilians in the village of Parzymiechy.

When one German soldier protested against murdering civilians, his commanding officer said:

"This is Polish shit. Execute all of them tomorrow morning."

Similar situation was in village Julianpol, where the Germans lead a group of civilians from the neighbouring village of Zimnowoda, ordered them to form a line in front of a ditch, directed MGs towards them and started to laugh at them and to call them "a band of Polish shit." When one soldier protested against such behaviour, others told him:

"Halt dein Maul, du kannst auch hier liegen bleiben so wie der polnische Mist!" ("Shut up, if not you will soon lie here like this Polish garbage!").

Even in letters to their families German soldiers were showing their real face - a letter of regimental doctor of Inf.Rgt.101 (14. Infanterie-Division) to his family from 7 September 1939:

"We received an order for further march - it's a pity because I already managed to domesticate in Raczki in a house of a Polish teacher, who even had got some concept of culture, at least if this is possible at all in this disgusting country [...] Polish houses are usually small, very dirty, covered with straw and their milk is sour and stinking. In fact we did well that we burnt these houses" And when the doctor saw several unburied dead horses on the battlefield, he noticed: "What a nation of sluts!".

Account of German soldier from 29. Infanterie-Division (mot.) who wanted to stay anonymus:

"A day before yesterday some Gefreiter from a slowly driving car using his Walther pistol shot a Polish 60 or 70 years old peasant who wanted to lead his cow to the cowshead, probably because he didn't want it to wander along the road. Gefreiter was very proud of this shooting achievement, which was achieved - we should remember about it - from the driving car from a distance of 12 metres. I just can't understand this. Just several weeks ago he got married and he was so tender for his wife, so nice for his old parents-in-law. Or maybe he just wanted to shot this cow? Unfortunately, pride didn't allow him to stay silent about this shooting achievement.

[...]

On that day we still didn't participate in any combat action. Only from the right and from the left side of the road some single wounded Polish soldiers with put up arms could be seen. Oberjager K. killed a seriously wounded Polish soldier just because he put up only one arm. It could be precisely seen, that the right arm of this soldier was chaotically dangling, because his entire right shoulder was crushed. Oberjager did it because of simple greed of shooting. I could see when he was aiming at this man from his rifle and I screamed towards him with indignation: "Oberjager!". Then he leaved his rifle. But just some 10 seconds later, when I was not observing them, I could hear a shoot. The Pole was dead. How will I manage to understand this? Such were heroic deeds of our company yet before any single bullet was fired towards us."

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by history1 » 17 Jan 2010 13:47

Domen121 wrote:[...]
4. In late September in the village of Urycz ca. 100 Polish POWs were imprisoned and then burnt alive in a burn.
[...]
Sorry Domen121, that´s off topic. We don´t speak about killings in Ukraina.

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Peter K » 17 Jan 2010 13:56

In 1939 Urycz was not in Ukraine.

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by history1 » 17 Jan 2010 13:57

Domen121 wrote:[...]
Polish source: A. A. Korsak, "56 Pułk Piechoty" ("56 Infantry Regiment"):
At 5:30 German artillery fired at Krotoszyn. First missiles hit the courtyard of the teacher seminary, which had been chosen by colonel Tarczynski and commander of I battalion of 56 IR for observation post.
Kasernen?! ...
Domen121 who ordered this unit to take an abservation post there?

cit.:
At 5:30 German artillery fired at Krotoszyn. First missiles hit the courtyard of the teacher seminary, which had been chosen by colonel Tarczynski and commander of I battalion of 56 IR for observation post.

Source: 56 Pułk Piechoty by A. A. Korsak

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by history1 » 17 Jan 2010 14:01

Domen121 wrote:In 1939 Urycz was not in Ukraine.
Thank´s for the info! Nevertheless the article about it (http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urycz) is a bit unclear.
I´m sorry about the false statement of me (OT), it was founded at the wiki artcile which mention this village as ukranian.
Last edited by history1 on 17 Jan 2010 14:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by Peter K » 17 Jan 2010 14:03

Colonel Tarczynski I believe.

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Re: Wehrmacht crimes in Poland in 1939 campaign

Post by RFPB » 23 Feb 2010 23:15

A good book I have learned of (though do not yet have in my possession) is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wehrma ... _1939-1945

Seems to be well-investigated.

I am also looking forward to reading: Rossino's Hitler Strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology and Atrocity

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