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Soviet Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signs the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Behind him stand (left) German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and (right) Joseph Stalin. In effect, the Pact created a Nazi-Soviet alliance and sealed the fate of Poland.

The history of Poland from 1939 to 1945 encompasses the German invasion of Poland as well as the Soviet invasion of Poland through to the end of World War II. On September 1, 1939, without a formal declaration of war, Germany invaded Poland. Germany's immediate pretext was the Gleiwitz incident, a provocation staged by the Gestapo claiming that Polish troops had allegedly committed "provocations" along the German-Polish border including house torching, which were all staged by the Germans. Nazi Germany also used issues like the dispute between Germany and Poland over German rights to the Free City of Danzig and the freeing of a passage between East Prussia and the rest of Germany through the Polish Corridor as excuses for the invasion. Pursuant to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Poland was attacked by the Soviet Union on September 17, 1939. Before the end of the month most of Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviets.

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German and Soviet invasions

The Nazi German invasion was anticipated already since the late thirties in the Polish army order of battle in 1939, but the strategic position of the Polish armed forces to resist was nevertheless hopeless, because Poland was surrounded on three sides by the German territories: Pomerania, Silesia, East Prussia (all parts of Germany), and German-controlled Czechoslovakia. The newly formed Slovak State assisted their German allies by attacking Poland from the south. The Soviet Union encroached from the east, and finally Polish forces were blockaded on the Baltic Coast by the German and Soviet navies. The German "concept of annihilation" (Vernichtungsgedanke) that later evolved into the Blitzkrieg ("lightning war") provided for rapid advance of Panzer (armoured) divisions, dive bombing (to break up troop concentrations), and aerial bombing of undefended cities to sap civilian morale. The Polish Army and Air Force had insufficient new equipment to match the onslaught.

German forces were numerically and technologically superior to Polish armed forces. The Germans threw 85 percent of their armed forces at Poland. They commanded 1.6 million men, 250,000 trucks and other motor vehicles, 11,000 artillery pieces, 2,500 tanks and a cavalry division. Some of the Luftwaffe pilots were the veterans of the elite Condor Legion, which had seen action during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). The German air force comprised 1,180 fighter aircraft (mainly Messerschmitt Bf 109s), 290 Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, 290 conventional bombers (mainly He 111 type), and 240 assorted naval aircraft. The German navy positioned its old battleship Schleswig-Holstein to shell Westerplatte, a section of Free City of Danzig, an exclave separate from the main city and awarded to Poland by Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

The Polish forces found themselves severely outnumbered and outclassed. They consisted of 800,000 troops, including eleven cavalry brigades, two motorized brigades, 4,000 artillery pieces, and 880 tanks: 120 of them of the advanced 7-TP type. The Polish airforce included 400 fighter aircraft: 160 PZL P.11c fighter aircraft, 31 PZL P.7a and 20 P.11a fighters, 120 PZL.23 Karaś reconnaissance-bombers, and 45 PZL.37 Łoś medium bombers. The navy that did not participate in the withdrawal to United Kingdom and the linking up with the Royal Navy (known as Peking Plan), consisted of four destroyers, one torpedo boat, one minelayer, two gunboats, six minesweepers, and five submarines.

The Poles believed that the invasion was intended from the beginning as a war of extermination. Hitler allegedly said to his commanders: "I have issued the command — and I'll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad — that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness — for the present only in the East — with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish race and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" (There are some doubts about the authenticity of this quotation; see Armenian quote.)

Although the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany, no direct military action was rendered. France was in direct violation of the Franco-Polish Military Alliance that was signed in 19 May 1939, where France promised to attack Germany if Poland was attacked. Great Britain also refused to attack Germany, even though they had sworn to do so in the case of a German invasion. The Wehrmacht was tied up in the attack on Poland, and the French Army enjoyed decisive numerical advantage on their border with Germany, but the Allies failed to contribute solid assistance. Nine divisions of the French army (out of 102 that were ready for action) entered the German area in Saarland. They advanced only to a depth of eight kilometers and took over about 20 abandoned villages, without any resistance. The Saar Offensive caused no German soldiers to be brought from Poland to the west. At the same time, the British Royal Air Force limited itself to dropping pamphlets on German cities. Shortly after their attack, the French General Staff ordered a retreat from German territory; and, on October 4 the French forces returned to their original positions. Many historians believe that, had the Great Britain and France honoured their pledge to Poland, the Nazis would have been contained and the war would not have had such a devastating impact on all European nations.

In the meanwhile, to the east of Poland, the Soviet Union was preparing its own military advance to occupy the eastern part of Poland in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact concluded between the USSR and Germany in August 1939, just weeks before the German invasion.

Survivor of bombing of Warsaw

With Britain and France unwilling to follow on their military commitment to Poland, the Soviet Union, having its own reasons to fear the German expansionism further East, made various offers to Poland of an anti-German alliance, similar to the earlier one made to Czechoslovakia. Regardless of Stalin's true intentions, such alliances backed by the Soviet military force would have been a likely deterrent to Hitler's plans. However, the Poles feared Stalin's Communism nearly as much as they feared Hitler's Nazism, and throughout 1939 they refused to agree to any arrangement which would allow Soviet troops to freely enter Poland. The Polish refusal to accept the Soviet offer is best illustrated by the famous quote of Marshall Edward Rydz-Śmigły, the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish armed forces, who is quoted to have said: "With the Germans we run the risk of losing our liberty. With the Russians we will lose our soul".[1] The Soviets then turned to concluding the treaty with Germany (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) which was signed in August, 1939.

The Polish government feared that Germany would launch only a limited war, to seize the territories which it claimed, and then ask France and Britain for a ceasefire. To defend these territories, the Polish military command compounded their strategic weakness by massing their forces along their western border, in defence of Poland's main industrial areas around Poznań and Łódź, where they could be easily surrounded and cut off. By the time the Polish command decided to withdraw to the line of the Vistula, it was too late. By 28 September Warsaw was surrounded.

Polish infantry in action

In accordance with a secret protocol annex to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Germany asked the Soviet Union on 3 September[2] to engage its troops against the Polish state. The Soviet Union assured Germany that the Red Army advance into Poland would soon follow under the pretext of aiding the Ukrainians and the Byelorussians threatened by Germany.[3][4]

On 17 September the Red Army marched its troops into Poland, which the Soviet Union now claimed to be non-existent. Also, concerns about the Soviets' own security were used to justify the invasion.[5] The Red Army advance was coordinated with the movement of the German forces[6] and met little resistance from the Polish forces (such as Battle of Szack fought by the Border Defence Corps or Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza), who were ordered to avoid engagement into the armed fights with the Soviets although some fighting between Soviet and Polish units took place.[7]

The Polish government and high command retreated to the southeast Romanian bridgehead and eventually crossed into neutral Romania. There was no formal surrender, and resistance continued in many places. Warsaw was bombed into submission, (the event that served as a trigger for the surrender was an accidental damage caused by one of the German bombs to the water supply system and subsequent lack of water) on 27 September, and some Army units fought until well into October (Battle of Kock). In the more mountainous parts of the country, Army units began underground resistance almost at once. The Polish army lost 65,000 troops, 400 air crew, and 110 navy crew. The German losses were 16,000 troops, 365 air crew, and 126 navy crew. 285 German aircraft were destroyed, with 126 claimed by Polish fighter pilots. Ninety were shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and, due to the modesty of Polish pilots, there is a deficit of 70 unclaimed kills. Three hundred more German aircraft were so badly damaged they were written off. The Polish Air Force lost 327 aircraft, 260 of which were lost due to direct or indirect enemy action, with around 70 in air-to-air fighting. Anti-aircraft fire claimed the other 67.

Occupation and dismemberment of Poland

About one fifth of Polish citizens lost their lives in the war,[8] most of the civilians targeted by various deliberate actions. The German plan involved not only the annexation of Polish territory, but also the total destruction of Polish culture and the Polish nation (Generalplan Ost).

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Treatment of Polish citizens under German occupation

Fourth Partition of Poland - aftermath of the The Nazi-Soviet Pact; division of Polish territories in the years 1939-1941
Changes in administration of Polish territories following the German invasion of Soviet Union in 1941. The map shows the state as of 1944.

Under the terms of two decrees by Hitler (8 October and 12 October 1939), large areas of western Poland were annexed to Germany. These included all the territories which Germany had lost under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, such as the Polish Corridor, West Prussia and Upper Silesia, but also a large area of indisputably Polish territory east of these territories, including the city of Łódź.

The Germans provided for the division of the annexed areas of Poland into the following administrative units:

The area of these annexed territories was 94,000 square kilometres and the population was about 10 million, the great majority of whom were Poles.

Under the terms of the Nazi-Soviet pact, adjusted by agreement on 28 September 1939, the Soviet Union, annexed all Polish territory east of the line of the rivers Pisa, Narew, Bug and San, except for the area around Vilnius (known in Polish as Wilno), which was given to Lithuania, and the Suwałki region, which was annexed by Germany. These territories were largely inhabited by Ukrainians and Byelorussians, with minorities of Poles and Jews (see exact numbers in Curzon line). The total area, including the area given to Lithuania, was 201,000 square kilometres, with a population of 13.5 million. A small strip of land that was part of Hungary before 1914, was also given to Slovakia.

After the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Polish territories previously occupied by the Soviet were organized as follows:

  • Bezirk Bialystok' (district of Białystok), which included the Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Grajewo, Łomża, Sokółka, Volkovysk, and Grodno counties, was "attached" to (but not incorporated into) East Prussia;
  • Bezirke Litauen und Weißrussland — the Polish part of White Russia (today western Belarus), including the Vilna province (Vilnius was incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ostland);
  • Bezirk Wolhynien-Podolien — the Polish province of Volhynia, which was incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ukraine; and
  • East Galicia, which was incorporated into the General-Government and became its fifth district.

The future fate of Poland and Poles was decided in Generalplan Ost, a Nazi plan to ethnically cleanse the territories occupied by Germany in Eastern Europe. The remaining block of territory was placed under a German administration called the General Government (in German Generalgouvernement für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete), with its capital at Kraków. The General Government was subdivided into four districts, Warsaw, Lublin, Radom, and Kraków. (For more detail on the territorial division of this area see General Government.)

A German lawyer and prominent Nazi, Hans Frank, was appointed Governor-General of the occupied territories on 26 October 1939. Frank oversaw the segregation of the Jews into ghettos in the larger cities, particularly Warsaw, and the use of Polish civilians as forced and compulsory labour in German war industries.

The population in the General Government's territory was initially about 12 million in an area of 94,000 square kilometres, but this increased as about 860,000 Poles and Jews were expelled from the German-annexed areas and "resettled" in the General Government. Offsetting this was the German campaign of extermination of the Polish intelligentsia and other elements thought likely to resist (e.g. Operation Tannenberg and Action AB). From 1941 disease and hunger also began to reduce the population. Poles were also deported in large numbers to work as forced labour in Germany: eventually about a million were deported, and many died in Germany.

Treatment of Polish citizens under Soviet occupation

By the end of Polish Defensive War the Soviet Union took over 52,1% of territory of Poland (circa 200,000 km²), with over 13,700,000 people. Although estimates vary the most throughout analysis gives the following numbers in regards to ethnic composition of these areas: 38% Poles (ca. 5,1 million people), 37% Ukrainians, 14,5% Belarussians, 8,4% Jews, 0,9% Russians and 0,6% Germans. There were also 336,000 refugees from areas occupied by Germany, most of them Jews (198,000).[9] Areas occupied by USSR were annexed to Soviet territory, with the exception of area of Vilnius, which was transferred to Lithuania, although soon attached to USSR, when Lithuania became a Soviet republic.

While Germans enforced their policies based on racism, the Soviet administration used slogans about class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat,[10] which in Soviet reality were equal to Stalinism and Sovietization. Immediately after their conquest of eastern Poland, the Soviet authorities started a campaign of sovietization[11][12] of the newly-acquired areas. No later than several weeks after the last Polish units surrendered, on October 22, 1939, the Soviets organized staged elections to the Moscow-controlled Supreme Soviets (legislative body) of Western Byelorussia and Western Ukraine.[13] The result of the staged voting was to become a legitimization of Soviet partition of Poland.[14]

Subsequently, all institutions of the dismantled Polish state were being closed down and reopened with new mostly Russian directors and in rare cases[9] Ukrainian or Polish ones.[9] Lviv University and other schools restarted anew as Soviet institutions. Studies were simply devoted to Soviet propaganda.[9] Polish literature and language studies ware dissolved by Soviet authorities.

Simultaneously Soviet authorities attempted to remove all signs of Polish existence in the area by eliminating much of what had any connection to the Polish state or even Polish culture in general, as well as removing the Polish population[9] On 21 December 1939, the Polish currency was withdrawn from circulation without any exchange to the newly-introduced rouble, which meant that the entire population of the area lost all of their life-time savings overnight.[15] In schools Polish language books were burned down.[9]

All the media became controlled by Moscow. Soviet occupation implemented a political regime similar to police state[16][17],[18][19] based on terror. All Polish parties and organisations were disbanded. Only the Communist Party was allowed to exist with organisations subordinated to it. Soviet teachers in schools encouraged children to spy on their parents proposing money as bribes.[9]

All organized religions were persecuted. Most churches were closed; priests and ministers were discriminated against by authorities regardless of their faith, with forms of discrimination including high taxes, forced drafts into military service, arrests and deportations.[9] Children were told that they should pray to paintings of Stalin instead of the cross, and were rewarded with sweets and candy for this.[9] All enterprises were taken over by the state, while agriculture was made collective. [20] The results of Soviet economic policy were quickly seen, in winter locals faced new problems, as shops lacked goods, there was scarce food and they had to face famine.[9]

According to the Soviet law, all residents of the annexed area, dubbed by the Soviets as citizens of former Poland,[21] automatically acquired Soviet citizenship. However, since actual conferral of citizenship still required the consent of the individual, residents were strongly pressured for such consent[22] and the refugees who opted out were threatened with repatriation to Nazi controlled territories of Poland.[5][23][24]

In addition, the Soviets exploited past ethnic tensions between Poles and other ethnic groups, inciting and encouraging violence against Poles by calling upon the minorities to "rectify the wrongs they had suffered during twenty years of Polish rule".[25] Pre-war Poland was portrayed as a capitalist state based on exploitation of the working people and ethnic minorities. Soviet officials openly incited mobs to perform killings and robberies against the Polish population, going as far as stating that the Red Army would help to kill and pillage.[26] A brutal bloodbath ensued.[27] Such events made an everlasting influence on the Polish attitude towards Soviet occupation.[27]

Some parts of the Ukrainian population initially welcomed the end of Polish rule.[28] This was even strengthened by a land reform in which the owners of large lots of land were labeled "kulaks" and dispossessed of their land which was then divided among poorer peasants. However, soon afterwards the Soviet authorities started a campaign of forced collectivisation, which largely nullified the earlier gains from the land reform as the peasants generally did not want to join the Kolkhoz farms, nor to give away their crops for free to fulfill the state imposed quotas. At the same time, there were large groups of pre-war Polish citizens, notably Jewish youth and, to a lesser extent, the Ukrainian peasants, who saw the Soviet power as an opportunity to start political or social activity outside of their traditional ethnic or cultural groups. Their enthusiasm however faded with time as it became clear that the Soviet repressions were aimed at all groups equally, regardless of their political stance.[29] The organisation of Ukrainians desiring independent Ukraine (the OUN) was persecuted as "anti-soviet".

An inherent part of the Sovietization was a rule of terror started by the NKVD and other Soviet agencies. The first victims of the new order were approximately 250,000 Polish prisoners of war captured by the USSR during and after the Polish Defensive War.[30] As the Soviet Union did not sign any international convention on rules of war, they were denied the status of prisoners of war and instead almost all of the captured officers and a large number of ordinary soldiers[31] were then murdered (see Katyn massacre) or sent to Gulag.[32] Of the 10,000-12,000 Poles sent to Kolyma in 1940–41, most POWs, only 583 men survived, released in 1942 to join the Polish Armed Forces in the East.[33] Out of Anders's 80,000 evacuees from Soviet Union gathered in Great Britain only 310 volunteered to return to Poland in 1947.[34]

Similar policies were applied to the civilian population as well. The Soviet authorities regarded service for the pre-war Polish state as a "crime against revolution"[35] and "counter-revolutionary activity",[36] and subsequently started arresting large numbers of Polish intelligentsia, politicians, civil servants and scientists, but also ordinary people suspected of posing a threat to the Soviet rule. Schoolchildren as young as 10 or 12 years old that laughed at Soviet propaganda presented in schools were sent into prisons, sometimes for as long as 10 years.[9]

The prisons soon got severely overcrowded[29] with detainees suspected of anti-Soviet activities and the NKVD had to open dozens of ad-hoc prison sites in almost all towns of the region.[14] The wave of arrests led to forced resettlement of large categories of people (kulaks, Polish civil servants, forest workers, university professors or osadniks, for instance) to the Gulag labour camps.[12] Altogether roughly a half a million people were sent to the east in four major waves of deportations.[37] According to Norman Davies,[38] almost half of them were dead by the time the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement had been signed in 1941.

Resistance in Poland

Polish resistance to the German occupation began almost at once, although there is little terrain in Poland suitable for guerrilla operations. The Home Army (in Polish Armia Krajowa or AK), loyal to the Polish government in exile in London and a military arm of the Polish Secret State, was formed from a number of smaller groups in 1942. From 1943 the AK was in competition with the People's Army (Polish Armia Ludowa or AL), backed by the Soviet Union and controlled by the Polish Workers' Party (Polish Polska Partia Robotnicza or PPR). By 1944 the AK had some 380,000 men, although few arms: the AL was much smaller. In August 1943 and March 1944 the Polish Secret State announced their long-term plan, partially designed to counter attractivness of some of the Communists' proposals. Their plan promised land reform, nationalisation of the industrial base, demands for territorial compensation from Germany, as well as re-establishment of the pre-1939 eastern border. Thus the main difference between the Secret State and the Communists, in terms of politics, amounted not to radical economic and social reforms, which were advocated by both sides, but to their attitudes towards national sovereignty, borders, and Polish-Soviet relations.[39]

In April 1943 the Germans began deporting the remaining Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, provoking the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising from 19 April to 16 May one of the first armed uprisings against the Germans in Poland. Some units of the AK tried to assist the Ghetto rising, but for the most part the Jews were left to fight alone. The Jewish leaders knew that the rising would be crushed but they preferred to die fighting than wait to be deported to their deaths in the camps.

During 1943 the Home Army built up its forces in preparation for a national uprising. The plan was code-named Operation Tempest and began in late 1943. Its most widely known elements were Operation Ostra Brama and the Warsaw Uprising. In August 1944, as the Soviet armed forces approached Warsaw, the government in exile called for an uprising in the city, so that they could return to a liberated Warsaw and try to prevent a Communist takeover. The AK, led by Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, launched the Warsaw Uprising. Soviet forces were less than 20 kilometres away, but on the orders of Soviet High Command, they gave little assistance. Stalin described the rising as a "criminal adventure." The Poles appealed for the western Allies for help. The Royal Air Force, and the Polish Air Force based in Italy, dropped some arms but, as in 1939, it was almost impossible for the Allies to help the Poles without Soviet assistance.

The fighting in Warsaw was desperate, with selfless valour being displayed in street-to-street fighting. The AK had between 12,000 and 20,000 armed soldiers, most with only small arms, against a well-equipped German Army of 20,000 SS and regular Army units. Bór-Komorowski's hope that the AK could take and hold Warsaw for the return of the London government was never likely to be achieved. After 63 days of savage fighting the city was reduced to rubble, and German reprisals were savage. The SS and auxiliary units recruited from Soviet Army deserters were particularly brutal.

After Bór-Komorowski's surrender the AK fighters were treated as prisoners-of-war by the Germans, much to the outrage of Stalin, but the civilian population were ruthlessly punished. Overall, Polish casualties are estimated to be between 150,000 and 300,000 killed, with 90,000 civilians being sent to labour camps in the Reich, while 60,000 were shipped to death and concentration camps such as Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and others. The city was almost totally destroyed after German bombers systematically demolished the city. The Warsaw Rising allowed the Germans to destroy the AK as a fighting force, but the main beneficiary was Stalin, who was able to impose a Communist government on postwar Poland with little fear of armed resistance.

Instances of collaboration with the occupiers

German Recruitment Poster: "Let's do agricultural work in Germany. Report immediately to your Vogt"

In occupied Poland there was no official collaboration neither at the political nor at the economic level.[40][41] Poland also never officially surrendered to the Germans nor to the Soviets. In the German occupation zone the Polish resistance movement in World War II was the largest in all of occupied Europe.[42] As a result, Polish citizens were unlikely to be given positions of any significant authority.[40][41] The vast majority of the pre-war citizenry collaborating with the Nazis was the German minority in Poland which was offered one of several possible grades of the German citizenship (Volksdeutsche).[43] During the war there were about 3 million former Polish citizens of German origin who signed the official list of the Volksdeutsche.[41] People who became Volksdeutsche were treated by Poles with special contempt, and the fact of them having signed the Volksliste constituted high treason according to the Polish underground law.

Depending on a definition of collaboration (and of a Polish citizen, based on ethnicity and minority status), scholars estimate number of "Polish collaborators" at around several thousand in a population of about 35 million (that number is supported by the Israeli War Crimes Commission).[40][41][44][45] The estimate is based primarily on the number of death sentences for treason by the Special Courts of the Polish Underground State.[44] John Connelly quoted a Polish historian (Leszek Gondek) calling the phenomenon of Polish collaboration "marginal" and wrote that "only relatively small percentage of Polish population engaged in activities that may be described as collaboration when seen against the backdrop of European and world history".[44]

In October 1939, the Nazis ordered the mobilization of the pre-war Polish police to the service of the occupational authorities. The policemen were to report for duty or face death penalty.[46] Blue Police was formed. At its peak in 1943, it numbered around 16,000.[47] Its primary task was to act as a regular police force and to deal with criminal activities, but were also used by the Germans in combating smuggling, and patrolling the ghettos. Nonetheless many individuals in the Blue Police followed German orders reluctantly, often disobeyed German orders or even risked death acting against them.[5][48][49] Many members of the Blue Police were in fact double agents for the Polish resistance.[50][51] Some of its officers were ultimately awarded the Righteous among the Nations awards for saving Jews.[52][53]

Following Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, German forces quickly overran the territory of Poland controlled by the Soviets since their joint invasion. However, there are no known joint Polish-German actions, and the Germans were unsuccessful in their attempt to turn the Poles toward fighting exclusively against Soviet partisans.[5]Tadeusz Piotrowski quotes Joseph Rothschild saying "The Polish Home Army was by and large untainted by collaboration" and adds that "the honor of AK as a whole is beyond reproach".[5] In 1944 Germans clandestinely armed a few regional Armia Krajowa (AK) units operating in the area of Vilnius in order to encourage them to act against the Soviet partisans in the region; in Nowogrodek district and to a lesser degree in Vilnius district (AK turned these weapons against the Nazis during Operation Ostra Brama).[54] Such arrangements were purely tactical and did not evidence the type of ideological collaboration as shown by Vichy regime in France or Quisling regime in Norway.[5] The Poles main motivation was to gain intelligence on German morale and preparedness and to acquire much needed equipment.[55]

Gunnar S. Paulsson estimates that in Warsaw the number of Polish citizens collaborating with the Nazis during occupation might have been around "1 or 2 percent" (p. 113). However, the damage that these criminals did, was substantial. Most were interested in money. Blackmailers significantly increased the danger facing Jews and their chances of getting caught and killed. They harassed rescuers, stripped Jews of assets needed for food and bribes, raised the overall level of insecurity, and forced hidden Jews to seek out safer accommodations. Some individuals took advantage of a hiding person's desperation by collecting money, then reneging on their promise of aid—or worse, turning them over to the Germans for an additional reward. Individuals who turned in Jews in hiding to the Gestapo received a standard payment consisting of some cash, liquor, sugar and cigarettes. Many Jews were robbed and handed over to the Germans by "szmalcownik"s many of whom practiced blackmail as an "occupation". Those criminals were condemned by the Polish Underground State and a fight against these informers was organized by Armia Krajowa (Underground State's military arm), with the death sentence being meted out on a scale unknown in the occupied countries of Western Europe.[56]

A number of people collaborating with the Soviet NKVD before Operation Barbarossa were killed following the German attack. The atmoshere of revenge for the Soviet crimes against ethnic Poles led to the Jedwabne pogrom of July 1941, where a mob of Polish gentiles murdered around 300 local Jews in a burning barn-house.[57]. The village was previously occupied by the Soviet Union, (see Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) and some members of the Jewish community were subsequently accused of collaboration with the Soviet occupiers.

The Holocaust in Poland

The entrance to the Auschwitz extermination camp

Persecution of the Jews by the Nazi occupation government, particularly in the urban areas, began immediately after the occupation. In the first year and a half, however, the Germans confined themselves to stripping the Jews of their property and herding them into ghettoes and putting them into forced labor in war-related industries. During this period the Jewish community leadership, the Judenrat, which, unlike Polish authorities, had an official recognition by the Germans, was able to some extent to bargain with the Germans. After the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, special extermination squads (the Einsatzgruppen) were organised to kill Jews in the areas of eastern Poland which had been annexed by the Soviets in 1939.

In 1942 the Germans began the systematic killing of the Jews, beginning with the Jewish population of the General Government. Six extermination camps (Auschwitz, Belzec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór and Treblinka) were established in which the most extreme measure of the Holocaust, the mass murder of millions of Jews from Poland and other countries, was carried out between 1942 and 1944. Of Poland's prewar Jewish population of 3 million, only about 50,000 survived the war.

In general, during the German occupation, most Poles were engaged in a desperate struggle for survival. They were in no position to oppose or impede the German extermination of the Jews even if they had wanted to. There were however many cases of Poles risking death to hide Jewish families and in other ways assist the Jews. Only in Poland was death a standard punishment for a person and his whole family, and sometimes also neighbours, for any help given to Jews.

In September 1942 the Provisional Committee for Aid to Jews (Tymczasowy Komitet Pomocy Żydom) was founded on the initiative of Zofia Kossak-Szczucka. This body later became the Council for Aid to Jews (Rada Pomocy Żydom), known by the code-name Żegota. It is not known how many Jews were helped by Żegota, but at one point in 1943 it had 2,500 Jewish children under its care in Warsaw alone. (See also an example of the village that helped Jews: Markowa). Because of these sorts of actions, Polish citizens have the highest amount of Righteous Among The Nations awards at the Yad Vashem Museum.

Massacres of Poles in Volhynia

The Massacres of Poles in Volhynia (Polish: Rzeź wołyńska, literally: Volhynian slaughter) were an ethnic cleansing operation in the eastern part of Poland that took place mainly between late March 1943 and August 1947 thus extending beyond World War II.[58] The actions, orchestrated and conducted in most part by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) together with other Ukrainian groups and local Ukrainian peasants in six voivodeships, resulted in over 60,000 Polish civilians, being brutally murdered in Wołyń Voivodeship alone. In other voivodeships the number of victims is estimated at: between 40,000–50,000 in Tarnopol Voivodeship; over 40,000 in Lwów Voivodeship; over 22,000 in Stanisławów Voivodeship; between 14,000–15,000 in Lublin Voivodeship; and, between 3,000–7,000 Polesie Voivodeship.[59][60][61][62][63][64][65] The peak of the massacres took place in July and August 1943 when a senior UPA commander, Dmytro Klyachkivsky, ordered the extermination of the entire Polish population between 16 and 60 years of age.[66]

In mid-1943, after a wave of killings, the Poles tried to initiate negotiations with the UPA. Two delegates of the Polish government in Exile,[67] Zygmunt Rumel and Krzysztof Markiewicz, together with a group of representatives from the Polish Home Army approached the Ukrainians. They were captured, tortured and murdered by UPA on July 10, 1943, in the village of Kustycze. According to Yuryi Kirichuk the Germans were actively prodding both sides of the conflict against each other.[68]

Government in exile

The Polish government re-assembled in Paris and formed a government in exile. Władysław Raczkiewicz was sworn in as President and chose General Władysław Sikorski as Prime Minister. Most of the Polish Navy escaped to the United Kingdom, and thousands of other Poles escaped through Romania or across the Baltic Sea to continue the fight. Many Poles took part in the defence of France, in the Battle of Britain, and in other operations beside British forces (see Polish contribution to World War II).

This government in exile, based first in Paris and then in London, was recognised by all the Allied governments. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, the Polish government in exile established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, despite Stalin's role in the destruction of Poland. Hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the Soviet Union in eastern Poland in 1939, and many other Polish prisoners and deportees, were released and were allowed to leave the country via Persia. (Among them was the future Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin.) They formed the basis for the Polish Army led by General Władysław Anders that fought alongside the Allies at Cassino, Arnhem and other battles.

But in April 1943 the Germans announced that they had discovered the graves of 4,300 Polish officers who had been taken prisoner in 1939 and murdered by the Soviets, in a mass grave in Katyń Wood near Smolensk. The Germans invited the International Red Cross to visit the site, which confirmed both that the graves contained Polish officers and that they had been killed with Soviet weapons. The Soviet government said that the Germans had fabricated the discovery. The Allied governments, for diplomatic reasons, formally accepted this, but the Polish government in exile refused to do so. Stalin then severed relations with the London-based Poles.

Stalin immediately set up the nucleus of a Soviet-controlled Communist Polish government, and began recruiting for a Communist Polish Army. By July 1943 this army, led by General Zygmunt Berling, had 40,000 members. Since it was clear that it would be the Soviet Union, not the western Allies, who would enter Poland and drive off from Nazi Germans, this breach had fateful consequences for Poland. In a seemingly unfortunate coincidence, Sikorski, the most talented of the Polish exile leaders, was killed in an aircrash near Gibraltar in July. Sikorski was succeeded as head of the government in exile by Stanisław Mikołajczyk.

Polish volunteers to the Anders Army, released from Soviet POW camp

During 1943 and 1944 the Allied leaders, particularly Winston Churchill, tried to bring about a resumption of talks between Stalin and the London Poles. But these efforts broke down over several issues. One was the massacre at Katyń and the fate of many other Poles who had disappeared into Soviet prisons and labour camps since 1939. Another was Poland's postwar borders. Stalin insisted that the territories annexed in 1939, should remain in Soviet hands, and that Poland should be compensated with lands to be annexed from Germany. The London Poles, led by Mikołajczyk, refused to this proposition, even when Churchill threatened to cut off relations with them. A third issue was Mikołajczyk's insistence that Stalin not set up a Communist government in postwar Poland. Fundamentally, the issue was that the Poles wanted to preserve their independence, while Stalin was determined that he would be in control of Poland. Eventually, the Poles believed, the UK and US firmly supported Stalin on all three issues.

In 1944, the Polish government in exile considered its position boosted, as the Polish forces in the West were making a substantial contribution to the war: in May, the Second Corps under general Władysław Anders stormed the fortress of Monte Cassino and opened a road to Rome, in August general Stanisław Maczek's 1st Armored Division distinguished itself at the battle of Falaise, in September general Stanisław Sosabowski's Parachute Brigade fought hard at the battle of Arnhem. At the same time, however, the Red Army was marching into Poland defeating the Nazis and Stalin toughened his stance against the Polish exiled government in London, now demanding not only the recognition of the Curzon Line as the border, but the resignation from the government of all 'elements hostile to the Soviet Union', which meant in practice president Władysław Raczkiewicz and most of the Polish ministers.[39]

Yalta and the Soviets

Batalion Zośka soldiers in Wola during Warsaw Uprising

As the Soviets advanced through Poland in late 1944 the German administration collapsed. Over 600,000 Soviet soldiers died fighting German troops in Poland.[69] The Communist-controlled Committee of National Liberation (PKWN, Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego), headed by Bolesław Bierut, was installed by the Soviet Union in July in Lublin, the first major Polish city to be seized by Soviets from the Nazis, and began to take over the administration of the country as the Germans retreated. The government in exile in London had only one card to play, the forces of the AK. This was why the government in exile was determined that the AK would cooperate with the advancing Red Army on a tactical level, while Polish civil authorities from underground took power in Allied-controlled Polish territory (see Operation Tempest) to ensure that Poland would remain an independent country after the war. The failure of the Warsaw Uprising marked the end of any real chance that Poland would escape postwar Communist rule, especially given the unwillingness of the Western Allies to risk conflict with Soviets over Poland. Soviets performed executions, deportations and arrests of Home Army members that assisted them in fights against the Germans.[70][71] Until 1946 Soviet forces fought against the Polish independence movement, and some former AK and NSZ continued to fight as Cursed soldiers well into 1956.[72]

Poland's old and new borders, 1945

At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin was able to present his Western Allies, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, with a fait accompli in Poland. His armed forces were in control of the country, and his agents, the Polish Communists, were in control of its administration. The USSR was in the process of incorporating the lands in eastern Poland (Kresy), which it had occupied and annexed in 1939 (see Polish areas annexed by Soviet Union), with some minor border adjustments in Poland's favour (the most important of which allowed Poland to retain Białystok). In compensation, the USSR awarded Poland all the German territories in Pomerania, Silesia and Brandenburg east of the Oder-Neisse Line, plus the southern half of East Prussia (those would be known as the Recovered Territories). The entire country had shifted to the west, and now resembled the territory of Medieval Poland. This entailed the expulsion of 8 million Germans who were forced to relocate their families to the new Germany. Approximately 1000 Germans were certified as "Poles" and were given Polish citizenship. These territories were repopulated with Poles expelled from the eastern regions by the Soviet Union and other territories. The new Poland emerged 20% smaller by 77,500 square kilometres (29,900 sq mi).

Most of the ethnic Polish population was expelled from the territories incorporated into Soviet Ukraine and Belarus (Repatriation of Poles (1944–1946)) in the population exchange that included the transfer of the Ukrainian and Belarusian population from Poland into these republics.[73] The Soviet-controlled Polish government not wishing to entertain the recreation of Belarusian and Ukrainian minorities within the postwar boundaries of Poland, withdrew the citizenship of those displaced persons (DPs) and political refugees who found themselves in western Europe, leaving them stateless, and collaborated actively in 1947 in the expulsion of remaining Belarusians and especially Ukrainians from the southwestern region of postwar Poland, expelling thousands of Ukrainians into Soviet Ukraine (Operation Vistula), thereby undercutting the ongoing Ukrainian nationalist resistance to Soviet rule (Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)) and ensuring that postwar Poland would not have any significant minorities to contend with.

Destroyed Warsaw, capital of Poland, January 1945

Stalin was determined that Poland's new government should be Communist, and therefore ultimately under his control. He had severed relations with the Polish government-in-exile in London in 1943 in the aftermath of the Katyn Massacre, but to appease Roosevelt and Churchill he agreed at Yalta that a coalition government would be formed. The Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile, Stanisław Mikołajczyk, resigned his post and, with several other Polish exile leaders, went to Lublin in eastern Poland, where the Communist-controlled provisional government had been established. This government was headed by a Socialist, Edward Osóbka-Morawski, but the Communists held a majority of key posts. It was recognized by the Western Allies in July 1945. Stalin also agreed that Poland would receive a US$10 billion reparation payment from Germany.

The attitude of the Polish population towards Soviet entry was generally hostile, while some cases existed of welcoming them, they soon turned into hatred and despise as Red Army soldiers engaged in plunder, rape, banditry, while NKVD implemented a reign of political terror. In the eyes of Polish society which wasn't yet under the Soviet occupation in 1939-1941 the Soviets became a new occupiers, and soon protests and demands of their withdrawal have spread among the country. A popular belief was that Western Allies will soon defeat Soviets using atomic weapons and free Poland from the Soviets.[74]

In April 1945, that provisional government signed a mutual pact with the Soviet Union. The new Polish Government of National Unity was finally constituted on 28 June with Mikołajczyk as Deputy Prime Minister. The Communists' principal rivals were Mikołajczyk's Polish People's Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe PSL), veterans of both the World War II resistance group Home Army (AK), and the Polish armies which had fought in the west. But at the same time, Soviet-oriented parties, especially the PPR, under Władysław Gomułka and Bolesław Bierut, held the balance of power, controlling Polish army and police, and being supported by the Red Army. Potential political opponents of Communists were subject to Soviet terror campaigns, with many of them arrested, executed or tortured.[75] At least 25,000 people lost their lives in labour camps created by Soviets as early as 1944.[76] Harry S. Truman and Winston Churchill were aware of the predominance of Soviet controlled parties and decided on a policy of strong resistance to Stalin.

The Western Allies in the persons of Roosevelt and Churchill have been criticised, both by Polish writers and some western historians, for what most Poles see as the abandonment of Poland to Stalin. Well before Yalta, they secretly consigned Eastern Europe and the Baltics to the Soviet Union. At the Teheran Conference in 1943, Roosevelt committed that Stalin could have Romania, Bulgaria, Bukovina, eastern Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland,[77] in addition to making changes to the Polish frontier.[78] Meeting with Stalin in Moscow on 9 October 1944, Churchill penciled a list of which power was to have what degree of "dominance" in each country lying between the Soviet Union and western Europe.[79] This bifurcation of secret versus public diplomacy (viz. Stimson Doctrine, Atlantic Charter) sealed the post-war fate of Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe. Yalta merely confirmed prior Western commitments.

A propaganda photo of a citizen reading the PKWN Manifesto, issued on 22 July 1944

Mikołajczyk and his colleagues in the Polish Government-in-Exile insisted on making a stand in defence of Poland's pre-1939 eastern border (Curzon line) as a basis for the future Polish-Soviet border, a position which could not be defended in practice because Stalin was in control of the territory in question, and he had already been promised those areas by Churchill and Roosevelt back in 1943. The Government-in-Exile's refusal to accept the proposed new Polish borders irritated the Allies, particularly Churchill, making them less inclined to oppose Stalin on the question of the composition of the postwar government. In the end the exiles lost on both issues: Stalin annexed the eastern territories, and gained control over the new Polish government. Whilst Poland avoided the fate of becoming the 17th republic of the Soviet Union as proposed by some influential Polish communists around Wanda Wasilewska,[80] it was to remain under heavy Soviet control until the mid-1950s.

Hans Frank was captured by American troops in May 1945 and was one of the defendants at the Nuremberg Trials. During his trial he converted to Catholicism. Frank surrendered forty volumes of his diaries to the Tribunal and much evidence against him and others was gathered from them. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and on 1 October 1946 he was sentenced to death by hanging.

Of all the countries involved in the war, Poland lost the highest percentage of its citizens: over seven million perished, over three million of them Polish Catholics and the remaining three million were Polish Jews.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Boris Meissner, "The Baltic Question in World Politics", The Baltic States in Peace and War (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1978), 139–148
  2. ^ (English) Joachim Ribbentrop. "The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/nazsov/ns061.htm.  
  3. ^ (English) Friedrich Werner von Schulenburg. "The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/nazsov/ns069.htm.  
  4. ^ (English) Friedrich Werner von Schulenburg. "The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/nazsov/ns073.htm.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f (English) Tadeusz Piotrowski (1997). Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide…. McFarland & Company. pp. 295. ISBN 0786403713. http://books.google.com/books?visbn=0786403713&id=A4FlatJCro4C&pg=PA295&lpg=PA295&dq=1939+Soviet+citizenship+Poland&sig=qETeuFX3hbmM0VPSO13o0LmjgEc.  
  6. ^ (English) Friedrich Werner von Schulenburg. "The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/nazsov/ns074.htm.  
  7. ^ (Russian) Мельтюхов М.И. (2000). "Упущенный шанс Сталина. Советский Союз и борьба за Европу: 1939–1941 (Dropped chance of Stalin: USSR and the struggle for Europe)". Militera.ru. Moscow, Veche. http://militera.lib.ru/research/meltyukhov/03.html.  
  8. ^ (English) Tadeusz Piotrowski (1997). Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide…. McFarland & Company. pp. 305. ISBN 0786403713. http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&visbn=0786403713&id=A4FlatJCro4C&pg=PA305&lpg=PA305&dq=poland+second+world+war+losses&sig=obpXqNW40aSskoue-XWLfdoEZaI.  
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k (Polish) Elżbieta Trela-Mazur (1997). Włodzimierz Bonusiak, Stanisław Jan Ciesielski, Zygmunt Mańkowski, Mikołaj Iwanow. ed. Sowietyzacja oświaty w Małopolsce Wschodniej pod radziecką okupacją 1939-1941 (Sovietization of education in eastern Lesser Poland during the Soviet occupation 1939-1941). Kielce: Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna im. Jana Kochanowskiego. pp. 294. ISBN 8371331002.  , also in Wrocławskie Studia Wschodnie, Wrocław, 1997
  10. ^ (Polish) Wojciech Roszkowski (1998). Historia Polski 1914–1997. Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Naukowe PWN. pp. 476. ISBN 8301126930.  
  11. ^ (Polish) Various authors (1998). Adam Sudoł. ed. Sowietyzacja Kresów Wschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej po 17 września 1939. Bydgoszcz: Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna. pp. 441. ISBN 8370962815.  
  12. ^ a b (English) various authors (2001). "Stalinist Forced Relocation Policies". in Myron Weiner, Sharon Stanton Russell. Demography and National Security. Berghahn Books. pp. 308–315. ISBN 157181339X. http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN157181339X&id=J9nuv7MGQ5MC&pg=PA309&lpg=PA309&dq=Sovietization&sig=QTVI52AN1LIHVn13mJYNqUyNCNw.  
  13. ^ (Polish) Bartłomiej Kozłowski (2005). ""Wybory" do Zgromadzeń Ludowych Zachodniej Ukrainy i Zachodniej Białorusi". Polska.pl. NASK. http://wiadomosci.polska.pl/kalendarz/kalendarium/article.htm?id=132394. Retrieved 2006-03-13.  
  14. ^ a b (English) Jan Tomasz Gross (2003). Revolution from Abroad. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 396. ISBN 0691096031. http://books.google.com/books?visbn=0691096031&id=XKtOr4EXOWwC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=October+22+1939&sig=aUe9ogURXivTzuoeRRLlufmOCbQ.  
  15. ^ (Polish)Karolina Lanckorońska (2001). "I — Lwów". Wspomnienia wojenne; 22 IX 1939 – 5 IV 1945. Kraków: ZNAK. pp. 364. ISBN 8324000771. http://www.lwow.com.pl/karolina.html.  
  16. ^ (English) Craig Thompson-Dutton (1950). "The Police State & The Police and the Judiciary". The Police State: What You Want to Know about the Soviet Union. Dutton. pp. 88–95.  
  17. ^ (English) Michael Parrish (1996). The Lesser Terror: Soviet State Security, 1939-1953. Praeger Publishers. pp. 99–101. ISBN 0275951138. http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&visbn=0275951138&id=NDgv5ognePgC&q=Soviet+Union+police+state+NKVD&dq=Soviet+Union+police+state+NKVD.  
  18. ^ (English) Peter Rutland (1992). "Introduction". The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 9. ISBN 0521392411. http://books.google.com/books?visbn=0521392411&id=NZfqktloGCgC&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=Soviet+Union+police+state+NKVD&sig=tHrAdFgY6mVtTV43y3TuOQy3vw0.  
  19. ^ (English) Victor A. Kravchenko (1988). I Chose Justice. Transaction Publishers. pp. 310. ISBN 088738756X. http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN088738756X&id=6KK8guKbfqkC&pg=PA310&lpg=PA310&dq=Soviet+Union+police+state+NKVD&sig=MrQ01VRirGpe1xhVyvo2tfRj7yA.  
  20. ^ (Polish) Encyklopedia PWN, Okupacja Sowiecka w Polsce 1939–41, last accessed on 1 March 2006, online (Polish)
  21. ^ (Polish) various authors; Stanisław Ciesielski, Wojciech Materski, Andrzej Paczkowski (2002). "Represje 1939–1941". Indeks represjonowanych (2nd ed.). Warsaw: Ośrodek Karta. ISBN 8388288318. http://www.indeks.karta.org.pl/represje_sowieckie_5.html. Retrieved 2006-03-24.  
  22. ^ Jan Tomasz Gross (2003). Revolution from Abroad. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 396. ISBN 0691096031. http://books.google.com/books?visbn=0691096031&id=XKtOr4EXOWwC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=October+22+1939&sig=aUe9ogURXivTzuoeRRLlufmOCbQ.  
  23. ^ Jan T. Gross, op cit, p188
  24. ^ (English) Zvi Gitelman (2001). A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present. Indiana University Press. pp. 116. ISBN 0253214181. http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&visbn=0253214181&id=crBhRHqSlJYC&pg=PA116&lpg=PA116&dq=1939+Soviet+citizenship+Poland&sig=_6hV7XUdr2zEfdQUeJgRbRmd2cM.  
  25. ^ Jan Tomasz Gross, Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia, Princeton University Press, 2002, ISBN 0691096031, p. 35
  26. ^ Gross, op cit, page 36
  27. ^ a b "O Sowieckich represjach wobec Polaków" IPN Bulletin 11(34) 2003 page 4–31
  28. ^ Piotrowski, Tadeusz (1988). "Ukrainian Collaborators". Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918-1947. McFarland. pp. 177–259. ISBN 0-784-0371-3. "How are we … to explain the phenomenom of Ukrainians rejoicing and collaborating with the Soviets? Who were these Ukrainians? That they were Ukrainians is certain, but were they communists, Nationalists, unattached peasents? The Answer is "yes" - they were all three"  
  29. ^ a b (English) Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt (corporate author); Gottfried Schramm, Jan T. Gross, Manfred Zeidler et al. (1997). Bernd Wegner. ed. From Peace to War: Germany, Soviet Russia and the World, 1939–1941. Berghahn Books. pp. 47–79. ISBN 1571818820. http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&visbn=1571818820&id=7odfDAlO64UC&dq=Norman+Davies&lpg=PA78&pg=PA76&sig=G54lMoz9T0FrM5ItIPfmbYrF9lw.  
  30. ^ Encyklopedia PWN Kampania Wrześniowa 1939, last retrieved on 10 December 2005, Polish language
  31. ^ Out of the original group of Polish prisoners of war sent in large number to the labour camps were some 25,000 ordinary soldiers separated from the rest of their colleagues and imprisoned in a work camp in Równe, where they were forced to build a road. See: (English) "Decision to commence investigation into Katyn Massacre". Institute of National Remembrance website. Institute of National Remembrance. 2004. http://www.ipn.gov.pl/eng/eng_news_high_katyn_decision.html. Retrieved 2006-03-15.  
  32. ^ (English) Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (2004). Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939–1947. Lexington Books. ISBN 0739104845.  
  33. ^ Robert Conquest 1978. Kolyma: The Arctic Death Camps. OUP.
  34. ^ Michael Hope – "Polish deportees in the Soviet Union".
  35. ^ (English) Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (1996). A World Apart: Imprisonment in a Soviet Labor Camp During World War II. Penguin Books. pp. 284. ISBN 0140251847.  
  36. ^ (Polish) Władysław Anders (1995). Bez ostatniego rozdziału. Lublin: Test. pp. 540. ISBN 8370381685.  
  37. ^ The actual number of deported in the period of 1939-1941 remains unknown and various estimates vary from 350,000 ((Polish) Encyklopedia PWN Okupacja Sowiecka w Polsce 1939–41, last retrieved on 14 March 2006, Polish language) to over 2 millions (mostly World War II estimates by the underground. The earlier number is based on records made by the NKVD and does not include roughly 180,000 prisoners of war, also in Soviet captivity. Most modern historians estimate the number of all people deported from areas taken by Soviet Union during this period at between 800,000 and 1,500,000. See also: Marek Wierzbicki, Tadeusz M. Płużański (March 2001). "Wybiórcze traktowanie źródeł". Tygodnik Solidarność (March 2, 2001).   and (Polish) Albin Głowacki (September 2003). "Formy, skala i konsekwencje sowieckich represji wobec Polaków w latach 1939–1941". in Piotr Chmielowiec. Rzeszów-Warsaw: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej. ISBN 8389078783. http://www.ipn.gov.pl/a_140803_przemysl_konf.html.  
  38. ^ (English) Norman Davies (1982). God's Playground. A History of Poland, Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 449–55. ISBN 0199253404.  
  39. ^ a b (English) Jerzy Lukowski; Hubert Zawadzki (2001). A Concise History of Poland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521559170. http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&visbn=0521559170&id=NpMxTvBuWHYC&d.  
  40. ^ a b c Carla Tonini, The Polish underground press and the issue of collaboration with the Nazi occupiers, 1939-1944, European Review of History: Revue Europeenne d'Histoire, Volume 15, Issue 2 April 2008 , pages 193 - 205
  41. ^ a b c d Klaus-Peter Friedrich. Collaboration in a "Land without a Quisling": Patterns of Cooperation with the Nazi German Occupation Regime in Poland during World War II. Slavic Review, Vol. 64, No. 4, (Winter, 2005), pp. 711-746. JSTOR
  42. ^ Zamoyski, Adam. The Polish Way. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1987
  43. ^ http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:0IQ986AcKo4J:www.polishresistance-ak.org/PR_WWII_texts_En/26_Article_En.rtf
  44. ^ a b c John Connelly, Why the Poles Collaborated so Little: And Why That Is No Reason for Nationalist Hubris, Slavic Review, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Winter, 2005), pp. 771-781, JSTOR
  45. ^ Richard C. Lukas, Out of the Inferno: Poles Remember the Holocaust University Press of Kentucky 1989 - 201 pages. Page 13; also in Richard C. Lukas, The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944, University Press of Kentucky 1986 - 300 pages
  46. ^ (Polish) Hempel, Adam (1987). Policja granatowa w okupacyjnym systemie administracyjnym Generalnego Gubernatorstwa: 1939–1945. Warsaw: Instytut Wydawniczy Związków Zawodowych. p. 83.  
  47. ^ Encyclopedia of the Holocaust entry on the Blue Police, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York NY, 1990. ISBN 0028645278.
  48. ^ Gunnar S. Paulsson (2004). "The Demography of Jews in Hiding in Warsaw". The Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies. London: Routledge. p. 118. ISBN 0415275091. http://books.google.com/books?id=7xC5wNo0edoC&pg=PA118&lpg=PA118&sig=BcLlPy6seaz_N6t708FM_4bOStg#PPA118,M1.  
  49. ^ (Polish) Hempel, Adam (1990). Pogrobowcy klęski: rzecz o policji "granatowej" w Generalnym Gubernatorstwie 1939-1945. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. p. 435. ISBN 8301092912. http://books.google.com/books?id=sy0iAAAAMAAJ&q=&pgis=1#search.  
  50. ^ Paczkowski (op.cit., p.60) cites 10% of policemen and 20% of officers
  51. ^ (Polish) "Policja Polska Generalnego Gubernatorstwa". Encyklopedia Internetowa PWN. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwa Naukowe. 2005. http://encyklopedia.pwn.pl/haslo.php?id=3959423.  
  52. ^ (Polish) IAR (corporate author) (2005-07-24). "Sprawiedliwy Wśród Narodów Świata 2005" (in Polish). Forum Żydzi - Chrześcijanie - Muzułmanie (Fundacja Kultury Chrześcijańskiej Znak). http://www.forum-znak.org.pl/index.php?t=wydarzenia&id=3139. Retrieved 2007-02-20.  
  53. ^ Righteous Among The Nations - Polish rescuer Waclaw Nowinski
  54. ^ (Lithuanian) Rimantas Zizas. Armijos Krajovos veikla Lietuvoje 1942–1944 metais (Acitivies of Armia Krajowa in Lithuania in 1942–1944). Armija Krajova Lietuvoje, pp. 14–39. A. Bubnys, K. Garšva, E. Gečiauskas, J. Lebionka, J. Saudargienė, R. Zizas (editors). Vilnius – Kaunas, 1995.
  55. ^ Review by John Radzilowski of Yaffa Eliach's There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok, Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 1, no. 2 (June 1999), City University of New York.
  56. ^ The Polish Underground State and Home Army
  57. ^ Jan Tomasz Gross, "Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland", Penguin Books, Princeton University Press, 2002.
  58. ^ Timothy Snyder. (2003)The Causes of Ukrainian-Polish Ethnic Cleansing 1943, The Past and Present Society: Oxford University Press. pg. 220
  59. ^ (Polish) Szczepan Siekierka, Henryk Komański, Krzysztof Bulzacki, Ludobójstwo dokonane przez nacjonalistów ukraińskich na Polakach w województwie lwowskim 1939-1947 (Wrocław, 2006)
  60. ^ (Polish) Henryk Komański, Szczepan Siekierka, Ludobójstwo dokonane przez nacjonalistów ukraińskich na Polakach w województwie tarnopolskim 1939-1946 (Wrocław, 2006)
  61. ^ (Polish) Szczepan Siekierka, Henryk Komański, Eugeniusz Różański, Ludobójstwo dokonane przez nacjonalistów ukraińskich na Polakach w województwie stanisławowskim 1939 – 1946 (Wrocław, 2008)
  62. ^ Andrzej Potocki, Bieszczadzkie losy (RzeszówKrosno, 2000)
  63. ^ (Polish) Stanisław Żurek, UPA w Bieszczadach (Wrocław 2007)
  64. ^ (Polish) Stanisław Jastrzębski, Ludobójstwo nacjonalistów ukraińskich na Polakach na Lubelszczyźnie w latach 1939 – 1947 (Wrocław 2007)
  65. ^ (Polish) Stanisław Żurek, Chapter 14 (excerpts) from Zagłada Kresów Południowo-Wschodnich (with permission by Janusz Stankiewicz)
  66. ^ Tadeusz Piotrowski, Poland's holocaust. Published by McFarland. Page 247
  67. ^ Feliks Budzisz, The Day of Mourning in Kresy, Przeglad Weekly, number 28/2008
  68. ^ Jak za Jaremy i Krzywonosa, Jurij Kiriczuk, Gazeta Wyborcza 23.04.2003
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  • Keith Sword (1991). The Soviet Takeover of the Polish Eastern Provinces, 1939-41. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0312055706.  

Further reading

  • Davies, Norman (1982). God's Playground. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231053533 and ISBN 0231053517.
  • Jan Tomasz Gross, Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia, Princeton University Press, 2002, ISBN 0691096031, Google Print
  • John Hiden (ed.), .), The Baltic and the Outbreak of the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0521531209
  • Olgierd Terlecki (1972). Poles in the Italian Campaign, 1943-1945, Interpress Publishers.
  • Timothy Snyder, Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 030010670X
  • Marek Jan Chodakiewicz. Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939-1947. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2004 ISBN 0-7391-0484-5.

External links

See also


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