was born shortly after W.W.II in the US I hold advanced degrees in
medicine and I had considered myself an educated man with a particular
interest in the War. I have been to Poland, visited Auschwitz, and
I came away humbled and shaken, but still I was not aware of the magnitude
of the tragedy suffered by the Polish people in W.W.II until now.
I wish there was a way to apologize for tolerating such ignorance
for so long.
Vashem Righteous Rescuers
All Things Polish
Forgotten - Six Million Polish Citizens Were Killed During the Holocaust
of These Holocaust Victims Were Non-Jewish.
August 22, 1939, a few days before the official start of World War II,
Hitler authorized his commanders, with these infamous words, to kill
"without pity or mercy, all men, women, and children of Polish descent
or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space [lebensraum]
Heinrich Himmler echoed Hitler's decree:
Poles will disappear from the world.... It is essential that the
great German people should consider it as its major task to destroy
September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland from three directions. Hitler's
invincible troops attacked from the west, the north and the south. Poland
never had a chance. By October 8, 1939, Polish Jews and non-Jews were
stripped of all rights and, were subject to special legislation. Rationing,
which allowed for only bare sustenance of food and medicine was quickly
Polish men were forcibly drafted into the German army.
Polish language was forbidden. Only the German language was allowed.
secondary schools and colleges were closed.
Polish press was liquidated. Libraries and bookshops were burned.
art and culture were destroyed.
churches and snyagogues were burned.
of the priests were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
signs were either destroyed or changed to new German names. Polish cities
and towns were renamed in German.
Ruthless obliteration of all traces of Polish history and culture.
Goal: Terrorize Polish People Into Subservience.
of Polish community leaders, mayors, local officials, priests, teachers,
lawyers, judges, senators, doctors were executed in public. Much
of the rest of the so-called Intelligentsia, the Polish leading
class, was sent to concentration camps where they later died.
first mass execution of World War II took place in Wawer, a town near
Warsaw, Poland on December 27, 1939 when 107 Polish non-Jewish men were
taken from their homes in the middle of the night and shot. This
was just the beginning of the street roundups and mass executions that
continued throughout the war.
the same time, on the eastern border of Poland, the Soviet Union invaded
and quickly conquered. Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland in
half. The western half, occupied by the Nazis, became a new German territory:
"General Gouvernment". The eastern half was incorporated within
the adjoining Russian border by Soviet "elections". This new
border "realignment" conferred Soviet citizenship on its new
Polish inhabitants. And all young Polish men were subject to being drafted
into the Soviet army.
Just like the Nazis the Soviets also reigned terror in Poland. The Soviets
took over Polish businesses, Polish factories and destroyed churches and
religious buildings. The Polish currency (zloty)
was removed from circulation. All Polish banks were closed and savings
accounts were blocked.
period of the Holocaust of World War II, Poland lost:
of her doctors,
57% of her attorneys
40% of her professors,
30% of her technicians,
more than 18% of her clergy
most of her journalists.
educated class was purposely targeted because the Nazis knew that this
would make it easier to control the country.
Non-Jews of Polish descent suffered over 100,000 deaths at Auschwitz.
The Germans forcibly deported approximately 2,000,000 Polish Gentiles
into slave labor for the Third Reich. The Russians deported almost 1,700,000
Polish non-Jews to Siberia. Men, women and children were forced from their
homes with no warning. Transferred in cattle cars in freezing weather,
many died on the way. Polish children who possessed Aryan-looking characteristics
were wrenched from their mother's arms and placed in German homes to be
raised as Germans.
people were classified by the Nazis according to their racial characteristics.
The ones who appeared Aryan were deported to Lodz
for further racial examination. Most of the others were sent to the Reich
to work in slave labor camps. The rest were sent to Auschwitz to die.
Polish Christians and Catholics were actually the first victims of the
notorious German death camp. For the first 21 months after it began in
1940, Auschwitz was inhabited almost exclusively by Polish non-Jews. The
first ethnic Pole died in June 1940 and the first Jew died in October
of the obliteration of the Polish press by the Nazis, most of the world
was not aware, including many parts of Nazi-occupied Poland, of the atrocities
going on. Even to this day, much documentation of the Holocaust is not
available. The entire records of Auschwitz were stolen by the Soviets
and not returned. It was Hitler's goal to rewrite history.
Nazis destroyed books, monuments, historical inscriptions. They began
a forceful campaign of propaganda to convince the world of the inferiority
and weakness of the Polish people and likewise, their
invincible superiority and power. Copyright 2012 - Terese