Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Piotr Kapuscinski.
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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Hama » 21 Dec 2017 15:05

For those who can read Polish and are interested in Polish intelligence operations during the interwar and WW2 era I can recommend 'Między Warszawą a Tokio: Polsko-japońska współpraca wywiadowcza 1904-1944' by Hiroaki Kuromiya and Andrzej Pepłoński. It discusses Polish-Japanese intelligence relations during that time and the cooperation of their agents in WW2. It's a fascinating subject that doesn't have a lot of other detailed literature written on it, and gives an interesting look in to another aspect of Polish diplomatic and secret services history during that period.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by gebhk » 01 May 2018 13:01

Thanks Hama. The relations between Poland and Japan (who like the Hungarians, despite being on different sides, seemed to retain a warm feeling towards Poland) remains a curiously off-beat aspect of the Second World War.

Since the 'secret war' has been raised, we should probably mention Stirling T, Nalecz D, Dubicki T. Intelligence co-operation between Poland and Great Britain during World War II. Vol 1: The report of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee. Middlesex: Valentine Mitchell; 2005.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by HenryD » 12 May 2019 23:08

Poles in the Wehrmacht. Would anyone know if this book is available anywhere or in anyother format than Polish. I would love to be able to read it. My google searches find that its no longer in wide circulation.
If anyone would know of any alternative reading of a similar nature that would be helpful.
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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by henryk » 13 May 2019 21:43 ... -wehrmacht
Poles in Nazi German Wehrmacht

=Post by Bonobo on Jul 17, 2011 at 4:13pm

The knowledge about Poles in German Wehrmacht has been slowly surfacing over recent years. The peak of the discussion was in 2005, during presidential elections, when PiS, the nationalist party, accused a liberal candidate of having a Wehrmacht grandfather.
The truth is that most Poles who served in Wehrmacht were forced to do it. When circumstances allowed, they deserted and joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West during Italy 1943 or France 1944 campaigns.

Facts: (from this Polish article,po ... material_3)

-Nearly half Polish pre-war territory was directly annexed into Nazi Germany in 1939. Poles who lived there faced two options- become German citizens or remain Poles, with all horrible consequences.
-from 295.000 to 500.000 Poles served in Nazi Wehrmacht.
-the first wave of deportations and repressions against Poles in German occupied Poland took place in 1939-40. The Volskliste was introduced in 1941. Many Poles signed it, fearing the fate of those who had been repressed before.
- All Polish diaries by Wehrmacht soldiers mention the feeling of alienation and estrangement.
- However, when in combat conditions, Poles were good soldiers. Brotherhood of arms caused it. Also, German soldiers liked Poles.
- It happened many times that Poles shot at other Poles in hostile armies.
- Wearing a Wehrmacht uniform didn`t provoke contempt from other Poles. They understood the whole complexity of the matter. After the war, except for individual cases, the service in German army didn`t entail communist repressions.
-90.000 ex-Wehrmacht soldiers joined the Polish Forces in the West after desertion or capture.
-Poor knowledge of the German language was the cause of directing Poles mostly to infantry units.

There were also thousands of Polish pre-war citizens who served in German forces during the war. Most of them were people who accepted so-called Volksliste ("German People's List"). In several areas, mainly Upper Silesia, Zaolzie, Pomerania, and Masuria, Poles were forced to sign these documents. Rejection of Volksliste often led to deportation to a concentration camp. Many people were compelled by force and many took Volksliste fearing the consequences. Some of those who took Volksliste were later drafted into the German forces. It was significant that the Polish government-in-exile knew about it, and Prime Minister general W³adys³aw Sikorski approved. [6]

It is not known what Hitler thought about Poles as soldiers, but one fact is certain - he distrusted them. His opinion of Polish soldiers was based on the notions of Erich Ludendorff, who reminded Hitler that during World War I the majority of Poles did not want to fight for Germany. On March 30 1943, SS Headquarters refused to create Polish units, citing the following reasons:
thousands of Poles fled both the German and Austrian armies in 1917–1918;
racial and biological differences;
propaganda reasons - the creation of Polish units would mean that Poles and Germans should be officially treated as equal;
the unsupportive stance of the SD; and
the fact that the Poles themselves were not willing to fight for Germany.

A typical story:
During WWII anyone signing volksliste could be conscripted into german army, especially after Stalingrad. If peoples adopting volksliste in Poland were poles or in fact germans is another story. I knew a man who was married to a german lady. He fought in the polish army. He became a POW in september 1939. Just to get out of the camp, with his wife help he signed in 1940 the volksliste. His story did not end there. After a few months he was taken to the german army. Lucky, he didn't go to the east front but was sent to Afrika Korps. At the first opportunity he changed the camp and fought the germans in Africa, Monte Cassino, ... He is both polish and german army veteran. His sons story is also very complicated and interesting.

Peoples living in Silesia were generally considered as germans and taken to the german army. Some of them fought to the end (1945), some of them were looking for an opportunity of changing their army. A lot of them took their chance in Italy. They were commonly called "the kesselrings". Some of this men, while hating germans remained in Wehrmant. They were a very valuable source of information. This is how the allies got before D-day complete plans of the atlantic wall.
(ed: see source for Photos. Original source for photos ... -4_600.jpg,1052/
In next posts, I will tell you about Polish volunteers in the German army. (Ed: did not find them)

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by AllenM » 09 Nov 2019 23:07

Case White: The Invasion of Poland 1939 ... 147283495X

First to Fight: The Polish War 1939 ... oks&sr=1-1

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by history1 » 04 Jan 2020 13:20

Holy mackerel! The half of this alleged quote isn´t even on the Polish propaganda forum post (claimed as source) and even less it´s part in the newspaper article, the claimed primary source.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by henryk » 05 Jan 2020 20:46

history1 wrote:
04 Jan 2020 13:20
Holy mackerel! The half of this alleged quote isn´t even on the Polish propaganda forum post (claimed as source) and even less it´s part in the newspaper article, the claimed primary source.
I don't understand your message. Please elaborate'
My quote is 100% of the text ( less pictures and picture text). What missing half?
I post a google translation of the newspaper article. The forum post seems substantive to me.
Baltic Journal
Pomeranian and other Poles in Wehrmacht uniforms
Editorial office October 15, 2010

Poles photographed themselves in uniforms to commemorate the time of service.
Up to half a million Poles, mainly from Pomerania and Upper Silesia, could serve in the German armed forces in 1939-45. Did they have another choice and do they deserve to be called traitors - asks Jarosław Zalesiński in an interview with prof. Ryszard Kaczmarek, author of the book "Poles in the Wehrmacht"

According to the most cautious estimates, there were 295,000 Poles serving in the Wehrmacht. The Lord does not exclude that there could be even half a million of them.
- The lower number is certified in German sources. There simply could not be fewer of these people. But this figure is based on data from the autumn of 1943. We do not have data from the end of 1943 and from 1944, and this means that the upper number can only be estimated.
Even 300,000 is a lot. This number cannot be understood properly if you do not know German national policy, especially in the Po-Sea and Upper Silesia.
- This policy resulted from the recognition of German citizens as part of the population in the lands annexed to the Reich, although in reality on a mass scale it concerned Pomerania and Upper Silesia, because in Wielkopolska it looked different ...

The policy of Greiser, the Gauleiter of the Warta Country, was different.
- Greiser applied the policy of Germanizing the land, i.e. mass displacements and not accepting the local population into the German national community. In Pomerania and Silesia it was accepted that it is possible to Germanise the so-called intermediate population.
To get into the German national group you had to complete and submit a special survey. This was not done voluntarily.
- This is probably the key to understanding the problem, not always understood outside these areas. In these two areas, there was no obligation to enter on the nationality list, but to fill out this questionnaire. After completing it without the knowledge or participation of the interested party, the official gave him a specific group of volkslist, and with it was associated the granting of German citizenship. Failure to complete the survey meant punishments, from protective detention to a concentration camp.
The system also relied on incentives. Inclusion in the third group of Volkslist gave some privileges and protected against repression.
- Pomerania survived the drama of displacements carried out in mass at the turn of 1939 and 1940 more than Upper Silesia. The Volkslist was not introduced until '41. People were truly afraid of repeating these actions. Anyway, these fears were not unfounded, because Gauleiter Forster did not hide that this would be the fate of Poles living in Pomerania.
So those who were included in the fourth group.
- And also those who remained outside the Volksliste. The fate of such people was a foregone conclusion, if Germany won the war, they would be displaced. The fear of displacement was also used in Upper Silesia, despite the fact that such actions as in Pomerania were not carried out for economic reasons.
By autumn '43, almost two million people were enrolled in the third group. Many of them, when they realized that it meant a conscription to the Wehrmacht, tried to get out of it later.
- In my book I try to describe the spectrum of possible attitudes of these people, without any statistics, however, because it is not possible. The attitude you're talking about is called matching. This is a typical attitude for borderlands, not only in these years. It was always about adapting to the conditions, sometimes with greater, sometimes with smaller benefits. Poles with the third group were not threatened with confiscation of property as soon as they received German citizenship. They were given practically the same food stamps as the Germans. And they were not threatened with displacement. For these reasons, a fit attitude, which could also be described as opportunism, was adopted by many people.
Especially at the beginning of the war.
- How long did the successes of the Germans seem to create the prospect of long-lasting German rule.
If we talked about this adaptation as a collaboration, we would probably transfer thinking from a different occupation reality, from the General Government, to these areas.
- I would definitely not describe this attitude as collaborationism. Attitude spectrum would range from patriotic attitudes through matching to collaboration, but only at the opposite end of this scale. Collaborationism also implies ideological cooperation, adopting the principles of the Nazi state and its ideology. The group of collaborators includes only those who have accepted the Nazi state together with its goals.
Someone like Alfons Białecki, who served in the German army officer rank?
- E.g. Or those who went to the Waffen SS, but as volunteers. Collaborators were also those who aspired to join the NSDAP.
At the other extreme, would we have someone like Józef Tusk, today a figure-symbol of Poles conscripted into the Wehrmacht?
- Yes, these are opposing attitudes. People similar to Józef Tusk were sent to the Wehrmacht, but remained patriotic. Some decided to desert, although it was important to remember that in order not to endanger their families, they usually deserted only when they were taken to the front or to prison, not from barracks.
On one side Józef Tusk, on the other Alfons Białecki, and in the middle ...
- Those who want to survive the war, not taking sides, just adapt to the current situation. At the beginning of the war, they adapted to what the Germans dictated. This changed after the defeat at Stalingrad. Often, however, their attitude changed at the moment when they received a call to the army, which they did not foresee.
You mentioned that there was also a group that was reporting to the Waffen SS. How numerous?
- I could not determine this number, although I tried very hard, because it would give the opportunity to more accurately determine this collaborative part. It must be remembered, however, that the Germans strictly adhered to the principle of only voluntary recruitment to the Waffen SS, at least until 1942. From 1943, however, a large proportion went to these units on the basis of normal conscription, only that they were still subjected to specialist racial tests. From 1944, they certainly were no longer volunteer decisions. Officer Waffen simply took over the part of the group that reported to the commission. Recruitment to the Waffen SS was carried out in both Pomerania and Upper Silesia.
Your book shows the dramas and paradoxes of this complicated story. For example, recruits going to German units and singing on the train "Rota" or "Mazurek Dąbrowski". But thanks to the skilful policy of the Wehrmacht, Poles often merged with the German army.
- When these soldiers came to the front, but such a real one, and not like the Atlantic Wall until 1944, or somewhere in Norway, where they served as an occupation army, then the military community began to play a huge role. Without accepting the Wehrmacht rules, the chances of surviving the war were reduced to a minimum. The front epic of Poles in the Wehrmacht is the second stage of this story, characterized by integration in German troops.
It really looked different on the Atlantic Wall. German soldiers and Polish soldiers were even forbidden to approach each other at maneuvers, because maneuvers sometimes turned into a fight.
- There were also fights, but I would not overstate these episodic events. On the other hand, the feeling of strangeness of Poles serving in the Wehrmacht appears in all memories.
But on the real front, Germans, Poles, Austrians and anyone else had another goal: to survive together.
- The front situation meant that the whole system of values ​​on which the world of these young people was based changed. Even if they were patriotic, everyone emphasizes that the survival needed a community with other soldiers of the same unit. Then what appears under the word Kameradschaft appears. It appears in memories and letters of soldiers commonly.
Regardless of nationality.
- Cameradschaft was not based on nationality, but on mutual trust that a soldier from the trench next to it, whether it be a German, a Pole, or someone else, will be ready to help in an extreme situation, pull him from the field of fire, wait until it will be possible to retreat the entire subdivision, help the wounded. This is not about heroism, but about a sense of community in the unit, which soldiers can only survive on the front in this way.
It had to be a truly harmonious community, since Poles from the third nationality group were statistically gaining the same amount of battle decorations as others.
- Do not ideologize too much badges obtained on the front. It seems to us that they testify to the fact that they were received by heroes who fought for ideological reasons. It wasn't like that.
Continued on part 2

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by henryk » 05 Jan 2020 20:49

part 2
There were a lot of press and memoirs, especially since the 1990s. In fact, the problem has never been examined in its entirety. And it is not an exception in the history of Europe, because we have entire national groups that found themselves in a similar situation. Well, it undoubtedly conflicted with the heroic picture of war. In which there is the German occupier on one side and Polish society heroically resisting him on the other.
- It was at odds with something else, often repeated thesis that in Poland there was no problem of collaborationism. And every time we started talking about Poles in the Wehrmacht, somewhere in the background appeared a word for Poles not for the party, which also appeared in our conversation, i.e. collaboration. It stuck together. In my book, I tried to show that service in the Wehrmacht was not a manifestation of collaborationism. Collaborationism only appeared on the outskirts of this group.
Maybe we actually have a picture of the attitudes of Polish society during the Second World War shaped by the history of the General Government?
- We have forgotten that half of the areas occupied by Germany were incorporated into the Reich. Meanwhile, our picture of this period of Polish history is just a picture of Warsaw and its surroundings. Few people know what the occupation looked like in other areas of Poland. In Poznań, Katowice, not in Gdańsk maybe, but for example in Gdynia.
Professor Ryszard Kaczmarek (born in 1959) - historian, researcher of the history of Upper Silesia in the 19th and 20th centuries, lecturer at the University of Silesia, director of the Institute of History of the University of Silesia.
He published, among others:
"Under the rule of the gauleiter. Elite and power instances in the Katowice region in 1939-1945", "Upper Silesia during World War II. Between the utopia of the German national community and the reality of occupation in the territories incorporated into the Third Reich" and the book just published by Wydawnictwo Literackie Poles in the Wehrmacht ".
He lives in Tychy.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Futurist » 13 Sep 2020 04:30

Charles Sarolea's Letters on Polish Affairs (1922): ... t/mode/2up

This book discusses various issues that the newly independent Poland is facing after the end of World War I, from economics to its territorial disputes with its neighbors to appeasing its minority populations. Sarolea is a Belgian who lived in Scotland, so he's an external observer to all of this who doesn't actually appear to have a direct personal stake in this.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Futurist » 13 Sep 2020 04:31

Sir Robert Donald's The Polish Corridor and the Consequences (in or before 1933; not sure about the exact year): ... t/mode/2up

This book discusses the post-World War I situation in Danzig and the various territories that were given from Germany to Poland after the end of World War I, including the Polish Corridor, Posen Province, and eastern Upper Silesia. It's written by a British observer who tries to be relatively imperial (even though he nevertheless appears to have a bit of a German bias) and is quite interesting to read.

Ian F. D. Morrow's The Peace Settlement in the German-Polish Borderlands (1936): ... e&q=polish corridor 1936&f=false

This book is written by a relatively impartial Brit and, as per its title, discusses the post-World War I settlement and situation in the German-Polish borderlands in the 1920s and 1930s. It really is quite interesting, detailed, and insightful.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Szwilpo » 13 Sep 2021 04:01

The Black Book of Poland

by the Polish Ministry of Information, 1942
The Black Book of Poland is so named because of the black record of German barbarism from the close of the war in Poland, which ended October 6, 1939, until the end of June, 1941, thus covering twenty-two months, as shown in documents contained in this volume. No comment is offered. The facts are unmitigated and have been classified according to topics, to facilitate reference. This represents the most astounding collection of documents ever presented both in text and photographic reproduction. Long after the war is over, this testimonial of unspeakable barbarity will stand as a monument of accusation.

The Black Book of Polish Jewry

by Jacob Apenszlak, 1943 ... jewry-1943

Published in 1943.

An estimated 1,000,000 Polish Jews have been killed by the Nazis since the beginning of the war, it is stated in “The Black Book of Polish Jewry,” which is described by its sponsors, the American Federation of Polish Jews, as “the first fully documented account of the persecutions to which the Jews in Poland have been subjected by the Germans.”

The volume, published today [1943], has been in preparation for a year. It says that approximately 1,200,000 Jews will be found within the boundaries of Poland when the Nazis are driven out, but hardly any of these will be in their original place of residence. Most of them are in concentration camps, labor camps, concealed in hiding places or fighting with guerrilla bands. The “Black Book” covers the period from Sept. 1, 1939 through last Spring when the Warsaw ghetto was liquidated after a lengthy pitched battle between the Jewish residents and regular German army troops.

Besides photographs of scenes of Nazi persecutions of Jews, the volume contains reproductions of Nazi documents, proclamations, posters, etc., and hundreds of affidavits of eyewitnesses to scenes of wholesale slaughter and deportations. In addition there are the complete reports of secret couriers who managed to spend long periods in occupied territory and escaped without detection by means of the well-organized underground system. Publication of the book is sponsored by a board consisting of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Mayor LaGuardia of New York, Congressman Emanuel Celler, Secretary Harold L. Ickes, Senator Robert H. Wagner, Polish Minister Sylwin Strakacz and others.

The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland

by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1942 ... 1/mode/2up

Note addressed to the Governments of the United Nations on December 10th, 1942, and other documents.
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.

The New Order in Poland

by Simon Segal, 1942
The thesis of this book is that Germany is attempting to carve a colonial empire out of the heart of Europe. The thesis is correct in many respects. In the annexed areas of Poland, the Nazis have not attempted to revive Bismarck's policy of Germanizing the Poles. Instead they are ruthlessly deporting and exterminating them, so as to make a new living space for German colonists. In the Government-General proper, Nazi policy is aimed at creating a serf -state beholden to the German master.

Poland Under Nazi Occupation

by Janusz Gumkowski, Kazimierz Leszczynski, 1961 ... n/mode/2up

The occupation authorities proved themselves as brutal and vicious, as devoid of all human feelings and careless of law as the military. This was something that all the countries occupied by the Third Reich were to experience to a greater or lesser degree. It sprang from the very core of the political programme of Nazism which planned the triumphant conclusion of the war to be followed by a complete transformation of Europe, particularly the East.

The Destruction Of The Polish Elite. Operation AB – Katyn

by Institute of National Remembrance, 2009 ... n-ab-katyn

This book sheds light on the cooperative efforts of Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R. to systematically exterminate the elites of the Polish population in WWII.

On March 15, 1940, in German-occupied Poznań, at a meeting of commanders of detention camps, SS Commander Heinrich Himmler stated: "All the professionals of Polish descent should be used in our defence industry. Later, all Poles will disappear from the world. ... It is therefore necessary that the great German nation focuses on annihilating all Poles.”

The Third Reich planned to eliminate the Polish “leadership element” even before the outbreak of war. Proscription lists were drawn up with 80,000 Poles designated for elimination. The lists included e.g. political activists, former participants of anti-German risings in Silesia and Greater Poland in 1918–1921, leaders of civic organizations, teachers, Catholic priests, and judges. From the beginning of German occupation, these plans were carried out in two ways. Poles were either killed in mass executions or sent to concentration camps. The killings were carried out primarily by operational groups of the Security Police (Einsatzgruppen der Sipo) which entered into Polish territories following the Wehrmacht units. Here, they were joined by Selbstschutz units, consisting of local Germans, led by SS officers who arrived from the Reich.

As part of "political cleansing” of the territory, the Germans killed about 50,000 people. The mass deportation to concentration camps conducted in April and May 1940 encompassed more than 20,000 Poles.

In 1939–1941, the Soviet authorities conducted very similar operations against Polish citizens in the occupied eastern areas of the Polish Republic. More than 100,000 people were arrested, and more than 300,000 deported to the east into the depths of the USSR. The memory of the Katyń Massacre and almost 22,000 Polish Army officers, policemen and political prisoners murdered by decision of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the VKP(b) of March 5, 1940, is still living among Poles.

The occupiers were killing both those members of Polish elites who immediately resisted them, and those who posed even the slightest potential threat. In fact, the extermination attempted to transform the Polish nation into a cultureless society.

Hans Frank's Diary

by Stanislaw Piotrowski, 1961
This book is a shortened version of the second edition (1957) of a work first published in Polish under the title "Dziennik Hansa Franka" (Hans Frank's Diary).

Frank was a Minister of the Third Reich and Governor General of those areas of Poland occupied by Nazi Germany which were not incorporated into the Reich.

The authentic statements of Dr. Hans Frank, the former Reich-Minister and President of the Nazi Academy of Law, reveal the grim day-by-day story of Nazi imperialism which in the mania of the quest for "Lebensraum" trampled underfoot the right of other nations to freedom and even to life itself.
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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Szwilpo » 13 Sep 2021 04:10

The Quest for German Blood: Policy of Germanization in Poland

by the Polish Ministry of Information, 1943 ... -in-poland

Published in 1943.

In Mein Kampf Hitler charged the Germanizing methods of the Second Reich with being half-hearted. The investigators of the new German Volkstumslehre began to recommend not the Germanization of foreigners, but the tracing out of German blood and the return to the German nation of people of "German blood" who had been assimilated by foreign nations. Side by side with the blood theory, completely taken over in National-Socialist doctrine, Darre put forward a theory for the extension of the range of the German nation by colonization ( Blut und Boden).

Germany lacks people for any large-scale colonization. The tracing out of German blood is not of much use. The bonds of blood. as conceived in the German doctrine are much weaker than the bonds of culture and genuine fusion with national tradition. In Poland there are many Polish families of German origin. Some have lived in Poland for centuries, others for decades. They have succumbed to the attraction of Polish culture. They regard themselves as so completely bound up with the fate of the Polish nation, that even now, under the German occupation, they frequently choose the concentration camp and death rather than renunciation of their Polish nationality and sentiment. For that matter, the same thing is to be observed in Alsace and Lorraine, and undoubtedly the same thing would happen in Great Britain, if that country were so unfortunate as to come under German occupation. The blood doctrine proves to be just as false as the basic assumptions of the Second Reich Germanization plans.

German Failures in Poland: Natural Obstacles to Nazi Population Policy

by the Polish Research Centre, 1942 ... ion-policy

Published in 1942.

The Polish lands incorporated in the Reich are being Germanised mainly by a policy of transfer of population. The Poles are being expelled wholesale and Germans settled in their place. The property of the expelled Poles is confiscated, with the exception of small bundles which those who are thrown out of their houses are permitted to take away with them. The German settlers enjoy every kind of privilege. These operations, begun in October 1939, continued for a considerable time. They were conducted under the direction of Himmler who, on October 7th, 1939, was appointed "commissioner for the strengthening of the German nation."

Spring Held No Hope: The Facts of the German Occupation of Poland

by Maria Mikorska, 1941

Published in 1941.

Hitler’s plans were realised with great precision. Besides facts accomplished by sanguinary methods, and with a definite aim, there took place in Poland more and more abuses and cruelties done for the simple pleasure of inflicting torture. It is necessary to understand that the German of to-day is no longer the German of 1914. From the beginning of this war up to the present day it is possible to notice among the Germans in Poland exceptional degeneracy, astonishing and abnormal confusion of feeling.

It can be proved by this example. In Kamińsk, shortly after their arrival, the Germans convoked every boy who before the war belonged to the Strzelec society [Riflemen's Association]. They were placed in a row, after which the soldiers, taking heavy clubs, amused themselves by crushing the young men’s heads and inflicting on them the most ghastly death. A few minutes later the same—the very same—soldiers with smiles were giving chocolates to the children of the town.

Another proof is the proceedings against the Jews. They are not always marked by fury, often by cold sadism. For instance in Mszczonów the Jews were taken from their houses and killed on the threshold. In P. all the Jews were driven together to the market-place, stripped and left naked, men, women, and children, for hours, while an officer with three men visited all the houses. Later the officer came back, and taking a dirty piece of wood proceeded to the most brutal and most intimate examination of the unfortunate men and women. In public!

During the transport of coal in Warsaw an old Jew was killed because he could not carry a very heavily loaded wheelbarrow.

In Pulawy, at a temperature of 3° Centigrade of frost one night, the Gestapo ordered the Jews to leave the town at once on foot, and they sprinkled them with water. On the journey three old Jews froze to death, the others arrived at Opole at sunrise. In the afternoon the same Gestapo officers came and began again to torture the evicted men, beating them for two hours with whips.

For many years the Hitlerian theory has been rammed into German brains that Jews are not human beings— gypsies are not human beings—Poles are not human beings —the circle of these not human beings widened, and accordingly lessened the limits of humanitarian feelings in German hearts. On the contrary, the conviction increased that to the Reichsdeutsch nothing in the world is prohibited, and especially in a conquered country. Therefore Gestapo, army, and officials gave full vent to their appetites. They did not deny themselves any abuses.

It is impossible to enumerate all the cruelties. . The Polish people suffered but did not submit, did not accept any compromise. During this period the Germans were looking for some possibility of co-operation with the Poles. They planned to create a Polish Government, which would help to persuade the world that the Poles desired to remain with the Reich. But among the many millions of Poles it was impossible to find a Hacha, to find a man who, for his own profit or for fear of persecution, would consent to tarnish the honour of the nation—by working with the enemy.

In all the country a tempest of cruelty raged—but the people did not yield.

Murder of a Nation: German Destruction of Polish Culture

by Gertrude M. Godden 1943 ... sh-culture

Published in 1943.

It is well that the world should know the manner in which the "civilising ” mission of Germany has been carried out in countries which the German forces have occupied since 1939. Since all true Kultur should bear bear the German stamp, it follows that “inferior” cultures should be as far as possible exterminated; and readers of these pages will be able to see how thoroughly and consistently this has been done in Poland—language education, literature and science, the press and the wireless, art, historical records and buildings—everything that the Polish nation holds dear has been effaced with a leavy and ruthless hand. Never in history, one may venture to say, has so deliberate an attempt been made to kill the soul of a people.

In spite of difficulties, much news of these events has found its way to Poles who are in exile from their mother country ; and the record has been set down, with careful documentation, by the author of this book. Much of it is enough to sicken the heart of any reader : let him glance, for instance at the treatment meted out to the Professors of Cracow University. Such deliberate barbarity savours of madness. Deus quos vult perdere, dementat prius.

The Nazi Kultur In Poland

by Stanislaw Lorentz, Bogdan Suchodolski, Jozef Grycz, Waclaw Borowy, 1945

Published in 1945.

A work written in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation by several authors in 1941. In 1942 handed over to Great Britain by activists of the Polish underground.

It is not possible to read this history without the certainty that the methods used would have been applied here, in the order: first, lulling; then, betrayals then, plunder ; then, murder, degradation and abasement ; then, a lasting enslavement.

Before the war the learned Nazi, the archaeologist, the Art-Gallery curator, the State Librarian and so forth, makes a culture-pilgrimage to the collections to be sacked. This visit is acclaimed both by Nazi and intended victim as evidence of friendship; culture has nothing to do with war; culture has but one aim, to spread the light of brotherhood. Yet, while eating the victim's salt, the visitor is appraising the booty, seeing what things must go to the Reich ; what things, not so stolen, may go to lesser thieves, or be destroyed. Some of these preliminary visits were paid in this country, before both the wars.

But theft however treacherous, is a small crime compared with the crimes against the souls of men. A few lunatics have in a few years so led a nation that it has set itself as a matter of policy to wreck intelligence in the neighboring states. It has plundered and then suppressed colleges and schools ; it has murdered, imprisoned, disallowed or starved the learned, the enlightened, the devout, and the teaching profession as a whole. It has sacked and burned the libraries, the newspapers and printing presses, closed the concert rooms, broken up the orchestras, ruined or dispersed the musicians, and forbidden the playing of the music most dear to the conquered race. . . .

The aim has been to kill intelligence throughout the country, so that in the future that land shall have no kindling mind shall have instead the slave mind, unable to resist.
Last edited by Szwilpo on 13 Sep 2021 06:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Szwilpo » 13 Sep 2021 04:15

The German Fifth Column in Poland

by the Polish Ministry of Information, 1940 ... mnInPoland


The Germans are slanderously accusing the Poles of murdering a large number of the members of the German minority. As already mentioned, the number “murdered” was first stated to be 2,000, later it suddenly jumped to 58,000, and even 65,000. These figures constitute a growing degree of falsehood in German propaganda.

Today it is no longer necessary to refute these falsehoods. It is sufficient to state that in September, 1939, a certain relatively small number of Germans were shot in execution of sentences of courts martial. Those sentenced to death were not “innocent members of the German minority,” as the official Nazi propaganda thesis would have it. They were spies, sabotageurs, and diversionists, caught red-handed.

It has to be added that the German authorities in Poland, against all the fundamental principles of international law, are shooting and murdering those Poles who in September, 1939, did their duty to their own country, by pointing out the German spies and diversionists to the Polish authorities or conducting them to the Polish military authorities.

Irredentism and Provocation: A Contribution to the History of German Minority in Poland

by Andrzej Lesniewski, 1960 ... and_201609

After the defeat of Germany in the First World War it seemed that nothing would stand in the way of putting an end to German eastward expansion. Poland and Czechoslovakia had recovered their independence, a system of international security was built up which was expected to ensure peace in the world. The Victorious Powers believed that the decisions adopted at Versailles would suffice to protect the states of Central Europe from any new aggression on the part of Germany. However, so many errors were committed that this belief became nothing more than an elusive hope.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Ponury » 13 Sep 2021 18:58

Return to “Poland 1919-1945”