Chapter One: Colonization of the Polish Lands in the Past
Hitler has decided to expel the entire Polish population from a great area, embacing not only those Polish
provinces, which during the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century down to 1919 belonged to Prussia, i.e., Poznania,
Pomerania and Silesia, but also from the extensive area which before the war of 1914-18 formed part of Austria-Hungary and
Russia. As we have already indicated, all these territories which have been incorporated in the Reich in defiance of all the
principles of international law, comprise an area of some 36,117 square miles of surface and a population of 10,740,000, of
whom more than 9,500,000 are Poles and only 600,000 Germans.
The "incorporated" areas as a whole are ethnically purely Polish, and constitute the historical cradle of
the Polish nation. Their Polish character was never open to challenge, even by reference to the most tendencious German official
or non-official statistics.
Moreover, these areas are culturally and economically the most advanced of Polish territories, and their
population was always distinguished by its high sense of civic duty. It was admirably organized from the economic aspect and
was fully aware of the danger which threatened Poland from Germany. It is this population which fate has charged with
the duty of guarding the two essential elements of Poland's political and economic independence, namely its access to the
sea and the possession of the mineral wealth of Silesia.
Hitler hopes that when he has expelled the Poles from these areas he will be able to eliminate the Polish
element living within the present borders of the German Reich, i.e,. in East Prussia, Prussian Pomerania and German Silesia.
And thus very soon will definitely advance the ethnic frontier of the German nation 100-200 miles farther east. This would
mean driving the Poles from half of their entire compact ethnic area, as it has existed for hundreds of years down to the
outbreak of war in 1939.
This is one of the fundamental principles in Hitler's policy.
"In order to Germanize any country," he argues at length in Mein Kampf, "it is necessary to
Germanize the soil (den Boden) for only that will give lasting results."
But in order to Germanize the soil, it is necessary to remove the Polish population from it and settle Germans
in their place.
Accordingly the criminal expulsions are designed on a gigantic scale hitherto unknown in history. But it
cannot, however, be said that Hitler has had no precursors in this field. From early times the Germans have attempted to extend
and establish their influence over the foreign Slavonic lands, which they conquered with the sword, by settling Germans on
So far as the ethnically Polish territories are concerned, this colonization was on a large scale only in
the districts which Poland already lost in the Middle Ages (Silesia and the western portion of Pomerania with Stettin as its
capital) and in East Prussia, which was a fiefdom of Poland, and which in its southern part, as is well-known, is still inhabited
mainly by a Polish population.
The German colonization which went on in the area of the former Kingdom of Poland was of a different
kind. Here the German settlers - mainly merchants and craftsmen - went to the towns. They always formed an urban minority
and were swiftly and voluntarily Polonized.
This situation was changed after the partitions of Poland in the second half of the 18th century. Frederick
the Great began the forced colonization of the towns and villages which he took from Poland at the first partition in
1772, settling Brandenburg peasants in the areas. This policy was continued by his successors, who held not only the long
conquered Silesia, but also Poznania and Polish Pomerania.
The history of these areas during the Prussian rule is the history of continual attempts by the German authorities
to destroy the Polish element. Not only by using every means to Germanize the people by forcing the German language and culture upon
the Poles, but above all by wresting as much land as possible from Polish hands. In his famous speech to the Reichstag
on February 8, 1872, Bismarck summed up his programme for dealing with the Poles in the area under Prussia in the one
word "exterminate" (ausrotten).
In order to accelerate the slow process of Germanization, in 1885, under Bismarck's guidance, the Prussian
Government set up the notorious Colonization Commission (Ansiedlungskommission), endowing it with extensive financial
resources for the purchase of land from Polish owners. At first the sums assigned for this purpose did not achieve the intended
results. The Poles defended every foot of ground which the Germans attempted to wrest from them.
In the face of the obvious failure of their colonization activities, during the reign of William II
and the administration of Chancellor Bulow the Prussian Government instituted the rigorous Exceptional Laws, which were
so severe upon the Poles that they aroused the indignation of the civilized world. As, despite various forms of pressure,
the Poles were still unwilling to sell their land, it was decided to take it compulsorily. In 1908 the Prussian Landtag
determined to strengthen the hands of the Colonization Commission by a law providing for compulsory purchase of Polish land.
During the first world war of 1914-18 the Germans planned to extend the areas colonized. So long as Hohenzollern
Germany counted on winning the war, German professors, generals and politicians drew up schemes for further annexation in
the east. These plans originated from the leading military spheres of Imperial Germany, and particularly with Field-Marshal
Hindenburg. Although in 1916 Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg's Government proclaimed the formation of the "Kingdom of Poland,"
preparations were made to incorporate in the Reich a part of Polish provinces which had previously belonged to Russia,
namely the area of the Dabrowa coalfield and the extensive territories adjacent to Poznania and East Prussia. In order
to avoid any strengthening of the irredentist Polish element in the German State - which would have been unavoidable with
such a large increase of Polish population in Prussia - even at that time it was proposed to expel the Poles from these areas
into a "Kingdom of Poland" which would thus be cut off from the Polish Provinces of Pomerania, Poznania and Silesia. This
"Kingdom" was designed by the Germans as a Nebenstaat, as an area which was to supply and complement the needs of
the german economic area. Projects for the mass deportation of Poles were supported not only by the military, but also by
wide circles of the intellectual classes in Germany. A petition addressed by German intellectuals to Kaiser William II
on June 20, 1915 asked for the complete expulsion of the Polish population, that is to say of some millions of people from
the districts which were to be incorporated in Germany. This petition was signed by 352 professors, 158 clergy of differnet
denominations, 148 judges, 40 deputies, 18 generals and 253 literary men and artists, as well as by other representatives
of the intellectual world. The same claim was raised in 1918 by Field-Marshal Hindenburg in a confidential memorandum, addressed
to the German Government on behalf of the German G.H.Q., and published after the war. The military disaster of 1918 prevented
the realization of these plans at that time.
In their desire to annex more Polish districts and to expel the Polish element permanently from the areas
of the German State, the German Conservatives were in agreement with the Democrats and Liberals. They were in agreement not
only down to the moment of defeat in the autumn of 1918, but even later when, although the Weimar Constitution guaranteed
complete equality to all citizens, they persisted in persecuting and crushing the Polish element which was left within the
Reich. The idea of revenge, conceived as a fresh robbery of foreign territories and as the extermination of a lingually alien
nation, was strong among the leaders of the new German Republic from the moment of the signature of the Armistice, although
at first it was not openly manifested. They attempted to propagate this idea primarily and most clearly and to realize it
as far as possible in relation to Poland, and to the Polish population numbering almost one and a half millions, which was
left within the new frontiers of the German State.
For, as is well known, the Treaty of Versailles treated the defeated Reich, as far as its eastern frontiers
were concerned, extraordinarily gently. Poznania was returned to Poland, but without, however, certain western areas, which
even according to the biased German population statistics of 1910 possessed a considerable proportion of Polish population.
Of so-called Western Prussia (the former German province of Westpreussen) the counties of Sztum (stuhm), Zlotow (Flatow)
and other areas were excluded from the structure of the new Polish State, although they were largely inhabited by Poles. Similarly
the eastern Polish parts of Prussian Pomerania were not incorporated with Poland, nor was the southern part of east Prussia,
i.e. the Regency of Olsztyn (Allenstein) and the adjacent parts of other Regencies, inhabited by Poles. The Polish character
of these districts was recognized even by the above-mentioned German statistics of 1910, which indicated more than 60%
of Poles in many counties of East Prussia: e.g., in the County of Jansbork (Johannisburg) 66%, in Nibork (Neidenburg) 65.8%,
in Szczytno (Ortelsburg) 69%, and in others over 50%. Finally, a large part of Upper Silesia was left in the German Reich:
the so-called Opole Silesia (Oppeln), of which the part lying on the right bank of the Oder especially was one of the most
Polish districts in old-time Prussia.
The Weimar republic not only did not change the policy of extermination applied by Hohenzollern Germany
to the Polish element within the borders of the Reich, but may be said to have strengthened it.
Hitler obtained power in Germany because large sections of the German people gave him increasing support
in repeated elections to the Reichstag and in the elections for the office of President of the German Republic. In this vote
of confidence secondary importance attached to particular details of the social programme proclaimed by the future leader
of the German Nation. A minor role was played by the widely advertised slogans: the abolition of unemployment, the revival
of German economic life, the struggle against Communism, and so on. They certainly fulfilled their auxiliary role, but the
decisive argument and slogan, by the help of which Adolph Hitler won first the unlimited confidence of the German
nation and afterwards unlimited power, was his extremely nationalist programme, which opened to the German people unprecedented
prospects of world domination. The German nation saw in Hitler the one man who could realize the deeply-rooted thirst of German
society to dominate over others. That was why National Socialism was able to take such strong roots in German society.
Hitler is not the author of the Pan-German idea, the idea of dominating the weak and conquering an unlimited
"living space" (Lebensraum) for the German nation. In particular he is not the originator of the conception of the
biological extermination of the Polish nation, which stands in the way of German expansion to the east. This conception existed
much earlier, it is almost part of the foundation of the German world-outlook, which proclaims the great "mission" which
the German nation has to fulfil in this world. The extirpation of the Slavonic tribes by the margraves of Brandenburg, and
the conquests achieved by the Teutonic Knights with the sword were only varieties of the same lust, which exists in the souls
of the German nation, the lust for domination which is the basic element in the "German reason of State." A special variety
of this lust, realized with greater ruthlessness and in a shorter time, was the anti-Polish policy of all the kings of Prussia
from Frederick the Great to William II.
At the beginnng of the 19th century the German philosopher, Fichte, in his Reden an die Deutsche Nation
("Speeches to the German nation"), which in relation to his generation played much the same role as Adolf Hitler's Mein
Kampf, developed the same thesis which constitutes the essence of the National-Socialist world outlook. Fichte, like
Hitler, argued the need to conquer an extensive Lebensraum for the German nation, in which no nation of differnet blood and
different language could dwell, and from which, accordingly, all non-Germans must be expelled, the whole of their property
Shortly before the World War, in 1906, Klaus Wagner published a book entitled: Krieg, eine politisch-entwicklungs-geschichtliche
Untersuchung ("War, investigation into a history of political development"). In this study he expounded the entire doctrine
of Lebensraum. He says that a "higher" nation has the right to attempt to extend its territory.
"If the field of activity is not sufficient, this people must extend and establish itself in foreign domains
and must procure fresh territory... War alone can realize this condition."
And here is a clear formulation of the doctrine of deportation:
"Let us then organize great forced migrations of inferior peoples. Posterity will be grateful to us. The
colonization of the world by the most perfect race is the wisdom of War.
"We must assign to the vanquished rivals who encumber our road reserved territories, into which we shall
thrust them in order to make room for our expansion; we must put an end to their growth, which is injurious to us, by raising
a barrier round their country.
"Race-consciousness, nationality-consciousness. This originates in personal intercourse, and is the only
feeling which is born to the exclusion of vain humanitarian illusions."
So Hitler is not the author of the doctrine of world domination, he was not the first to invent "the divine
mission of the German nation." He only raised the instincts and ambitions dormant in the soul of every German; he was able
to speak to the imagination of his people in a tongue which the German nation understood and which corresponded to its secret
desires. Mein Kampf and the theories expounded in it are only a popularization and a more brutal conception of that
which had been formulated decades before as the main task of the Germans. Here are the words from Mein Kampf:
"The only purposeful and effective Germanization and the only one which will bring blessings to the German
people is that which aims at the Germanization of the land and not the people. For it is an unforgiveable folly to believe
that a negro or a Chinese, for instance, can become a German merely by using the German language and perhaps becoming a member
of a German political party. The anti-Polish policy advocated by so many German statesmen has almost always, unfortunately,
been based on false premises. They believed that the Polish element could be Germanized merely by a lingual Germanization...
That which has been successfully Germanized in our history has been only the land which our ancestors conquered with the sword
and settled with German peasants."
The conclusion is obvious: the Poles are to be expelled and Germans settled in their places.
END OF CHAPTER I
Chapter Two: Aims of the German Migration Plan
The 1939 autumn campaign in Poland was not yet finished, and the German armies had not yet been able, after
4 weeks' heroic defence, to overcome the opposition of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, when, on September 28, the German-Soviet
pact of friendship was concluded, as a substitute for a treaty of peace in the East. The struggles against shattered Polish
divisions, which defended themselves fiercely in inaccessible mountains and forests, went on for several weeks longer, and
yet in this pact the two "exclusively interested Powers" - as the German declaration ran - divided the territory of Poland
between them, thus carrying out a further partition of Poland, as they had done 150 years before. After dividing the country
the two states set to work at an amazing speed to transform the national co-relationships in the territories which they had
taken, doing so, of course, at the cost of the Polish element. Hundreds of thousands of Poles were exiled from the Soviet-occupied
area to Siberia and Central Asia, along the old road to exile which so many Polish militants have taken during the struggle
for independence against the Tsarist Government.
At the same time the Germans proceeded with unexampled haste to expel the Polish population from the "incorporated"
territories and to settle German colonists in their place.
They made no great attempt to invent "arguments" to justify this crime. On April 21, 1940, Governor Frank
spoke at the opening of The Institute of German Labour in the East, which is housed in the buildings of the University of
Cracow, closed down by the occupying authorities. He said:
"The history of the last 20 years has shown that a final pacification in the area of the former Polish State
is possible only if an end be put once and for all to the struggle between nationalities in this area. This is the aim
served by the planned and orderly transference of the German and Polish population into ethnographically self-contained settlement
These transferences are effected by plundering the Polish population and expelling them from their ancestral
lands, which have never been German. This is the "pacification" of General Frank's superiors and friends.
Equally false and cynical is the second "argument," which justifies the measures taken by the German authorities
by an appeal to the alleged expulsion of a large number of Germans from Pomerania, Poznania and Silesia after those areas
had been recovered by the Polish State. In reallity no such expulsions had ever taken place. On the contrary, the Polish authorities
displayed the greatest possible liberality in their attitude to the German minority.
There is no comparison between the voluntary withdrawl of Germans from ethnically Polish districts
recovered by Poland in 1918-1920 and the criminal plan of expulsion and coloniztion which is being realized by the Third
Reich in these territories as well as in large areas further east.
The emigration of Germans in 1919 and onwards was carried out under conditions which allowed them to take
the whole of their movable property and to sell their real estate. Moreover, they were not people who had deep roots in the
Polish soil but had come to it to fulfil their germanizing mission. They themselves quickly disposed of their property, recognizing
that in face of the emergence of a free Poland their mission was finished. Admitting
that the German colonists were immigrants, who had been introduced for political purposes, the authors of the Treaty of Versailles
empowered the Polish State to liquidate (against compensation) the real estate of the German colonists who had settled after
the year 1908. The Polish State only partly utilized this right, leaving many colonists on their farms and allowing them to
continue to live in Poland.
In 1924 an agreement was concluded with the Germans on this question. The liquidation of property was confined
to Poznania and Pomerania, Upper Silesia being excluded. The liquidation law of July 15, 1920, provided both for voluntary
and compulsory liquidation, giving priority to the former. Compulsory liquidation was applied to barely 13 percent of the
liquidated properties, comprising about 60,000 hectares out of a total of 460,000 hectares. The German owners received compensation
for the properties liquidated, and also had the right of appeal to the Mixed Tribunal at Paris. In the 1929 liquidation agreement
with Germany the Polish Government renounced a number of the rights conferred on Poland by the Treaty of Versailles.
For that matter the return of the German element, which thus emigrated from the Western Provinces of Poland,
forms only a modest part of the German programme, which aims - as we have already emphasized - at completely evicting Poles
from the incorporated territories.
These transettlements constitute the most essential point in the Third Reich's Eastern policy. This is obvious
from the text of a political instruction on the subject of deutsche Ostpolitik, distributed in Germany in 1940 in
the form of letters to members of the National Socialsit Party. The motto of the instruction runs thus: Der Osten ist
befreit, die Volksarbeit beginnt ("The East is freed, the national work begins"). We give the most important extracts
from the instruction:
"A victorious war is not a victorious peace. Every war is only decided after the war... the fight for
the living space of two peoples is not decided in one campaign. He who wishes to win such a fight must be able to think in
"Militarily the Polish question is settled, but from the point of view of national policy it is now only
beginning for Germany. It rises as an important task for the German people, more comprehensive and greater than ever before.
For hitherto only larger or smaller portions and advanced posts of the Polish national-area have lain within the
borders of German States, but now this national-area belongs almost in its entirety to the German field of interest.
This means that the national political conflict between German and Poles must be carried on to a degree never yet seen
in history. It would be fatal if the idea were to take root among the German public that after the removal of the factor of
political and military power no political question arises for Germany.
"The aim which confronts German policy in the field of the former Polish State is two-fold: 1) To see that
a certain portion of this space is cleared of foreign population and filled with German population, and 2) By imposing
the German leadership to a guarantee that in the area no fresh conflagration shall break out against Germany. It is clear
that such an aim can never be achieved with, but only against, the Poles."
Later on in the same brutally sincere instruction we find a detailed justification of the methods employed
against the Polish population. This declaration also constitutes an acknowledgement that their must be no humanity in
the attitude of population, and that the object of German policy is to exterminate the Polish nation biologically, and to
rob it of its heritage. The instruction continues as follows:
"If this aim (i.e., the permanent German possession od these lands) is to be taken seriously, it means that
there must be an end, once and for all, to the sentimental sympathy propaganda, which in the past, as a manifestation of political
weariness, has always worked to the disadvantage of the German position in the East. For political ignoramuses, who proclaim
the 'harmlessness' of their national adversary, there is no place in the East. And anyone who advocates the thesis of the
equal value of nations has no business there. The first law concerning the German-Polish neighbourship, is that the German
peasant is superior to the Polish intellectual, and that there can be no community between Germany and Poland which might
threaten the dominant position of the German.
"One must reckon with the likelihood that our opponents will make use of the economic and social subordination
of the Poles as a conscious weapon in the struggle between the peoples. Their low standard of needs is a means of making themselves
'indispensable' as labour power. It is, however, a danger for the German position in the East if the social system is founded
on foreign elements of population, especially when these multiply like rabbits. The German position in the East can only be
regarded as assured if it is based on a braod stratum of German workers and peasants.
"Anyone who goes to the East must know that he has to be a pioneer of the German people there. The civilian
must not destroy what the soldier has won."
One of the chief leaders of National Socialism, namely the head of the Arbeitsfront, Dr. Ley, has
thus formulated the task of annihilating the Poles:
"Every people must carry on the fight to assure its race the right to live. A lower race needs less space,
less nourishment and less culture than a higher race. Never can the German live under the same conditions as the Poles and
the Jews." (National Zeitung, Essen, February 4, 1940.)
Even during the first few weeks of the occupation reports came in from all the Polish lands illegally "incorporated"
in the Reich, showing that the orders of the Nazi headquarters are to be carried out to their full extent.
Speaking at Bydgoszcz on November 27, 1`939, Forster, the Gauleiter of West Prussia (i.e., Polish
"I have been appointed by the Fuhrer as a trustee (Treuhander) of the German cause in this country, with
the express order to Germanize it afresh. It will therefore be my task to do everything possible to remove every manifestation
of Polonism within the next few years, no matter what the kind. This concerns, above all, the national unity of this country.
Anyone who belongs to the Polish nation must leave this country. We believe that we shall never again have to fight for Germanism,
but we shall always apply the firmness which is necessary."
Shortly before this, at a National-Socialist Party demonstration, at Torun (Thorn) the same Forster made
a speech in which he also asserted that the incorporated lands would be Germanized by the most ruthless methods. We quote
from the Ulmer Tageblatt, of October 21, 1939.
"Your land is beautiful and fertile, but it lacks men. However, fellow countrymen of yours from every district
of the Reich and the Germans from abroad will join you and together with you will open up this fertile land. In a few years
not a word of Polish will be spoken here, at Thorn, any longer."
The Gauleiter firther emphasized that the old German faults of sentimentalism and tolerance "would never
be allowed to influence our conduct anymore."
On November 21, 1940, the Kolnische Zeitung wrote:
"In this regard there is unanimity among all the elements which have to be reckoned with that the land in
the East is to become a hundred percent German (dass das Land in Osten zu Hundert fur Hundert deutsche wird),
and that in future property belonging to non-German nationality is not to exist at all in that area (und dass es fremdvolkischen
Bestiz dort in Zukunft nicht mehr geben soll)."
Such were the conceptions which motivated the German policy aiming at expelling hundreds of thousands and
even millions of Poles from their age-old homes.
END OF CHAPTER II
Chapter Three: The Course and Methods of Deportation
Almost immediately after the conclusion of hostilities in the East, the German authorities undertook the
deportation of the Polish population from Western Poland on a large scale. This deportation surpassed in barbarity everything
hitherto recorded in history.
The first locality affected was the well-known Polish summer resort on the Baltic, Orlowo, between Gdynia
and Danzig. On October 12, 1939, early in the morning the whole population of Orlowo were turned out of their homes by German
police armed with rifles and driven to a temporary concentration camp 5 miles away, whence they were later sent in cattle
trucks to the "Government General." They were not allowed to take anything with them: their houses and everything in them
were handed over to Baltic Germans.
A few days later it was the turn of Gdynia, the largest Polish port, constructed after the World War by
a great effort on the part of the Polish nation on the site of a small fishing village. At the outbreak of war this town,
which was the pride of Poland, and eloquent testimony to its creative ability, possessed about a hundred and thirty thousand
inhabitants, of whom 99% were Poles.
The Polish population began the enforced evacuation of Gdynia - the invaders changed the name to Gotenhafen
- on October 16, 1939, and it lasted several weeks. The methods adopted were the same as Orlowo, the people being robbed of
all their property, movable and immovable, which the German authorities assigned to Baltic Germans. The inhabitants were also
deported to the "Government General," with the exception of a few thousand who were allowed to remain.
Later articles written by the new German inhabitants were published in a number of German newspapers. One
of them expressed his pleasure at having been given an apartment luxuriously furnished by the former Polish owner. Another
was delighted to become the proprietor of a splendidly equipped doctor's surgery.
However, the Germans to a large extent used Gdynia as a control point in the transit of the Baltic Germans,
who were afterwards sent on to "permanent" places of residence elsewhere. Consequently many houses belonging to deported Poles
stand empty, and the number of inhabitants has fallen considerably. Before the war Gdynia's port traffic had grown remarkably
quickly and Gdynia had achieved the largest turnover of all the ports of the Baltic. But to-day the port is completely dead.
Playing on the new German name of Gotenhafen (Goth's Haven), the inhabitants call it Totenhafen (Haven of
the dead). This sombre name, widely used in the Scandinavian countries, with which Gdynia had had very active relations before
the war, is fully justified by the town's present situation.
On October 22 the Germans began to deport Poles from Poznan, the capital of Western Poland, a city of 270,000
(of whom 97% were Poles and only 1% Germans) and a great Polish cultural, political and economic centre. Poznan, which was
one of the earliest capitals of the Polish State, was always regarded, even by the Germans, as completely and undeniably Polish.
The deportations, which are carried out in the most brutal manner, are still going on. It is difficult to
say how many Poles have so far been exiled from Poznan; down to the end of February, 1940, their number was assessed at about
70,000 and since then it has grown considerably. Not only all the intellectuals and almost all the middle class, but also
a considerable portion of the working class have been deported. All those people, most of whose families had been settled
in Poznan or in the Poznania area for many centuries, were robbed of everything they possessed.
In their place, 36,000 Baltic Germans and a large number of German official and military families were settled
in Poznan. There, by resorting to unprecedented violence and robbery they have succeeded in temporarily changing the ethnic
features of one of the great historical towns of Europe.
Similarly, in November and December, 1939, and the following months, the Polish population was deported
from other towns of Poznania, Pomerania and Silesia.
There was a mass deportation from Gniezno, the ancient capital of Poland, a town of 30,000 inhabitants,
Gniezno's historical traditions go back to the 9th century and even earlier; it possesses a beautiful Gothic cathedral, which
the German invaders have closed down, giving the keys into the charge of the Gestapo.
During the night of November 30, 1939, 1,000 families of Inowroclaw, a town of Pomerania with 40,000 inhabitants,
were assembled in the market place, surrounded by soldiers and conducted to the station. They were also deported to the "Government
General." Later there were further deportations from the same town.
The Germans also deported the inhabitants of Torun (the capital of Pomerania), Grudziadz, Chelmno, Leszno,
Rawicz, Ostrow, Koscian, Powidz, Witkowo, Mogilno, Wrzesnia, Gostyn, Znin, Swarzedz, Kostrzyn and many other towns. From the
town of Pobiedziska, near Poznan, which had 4,000 inhabitants, 2,500 were evacuated in one day.
The Polish intellectual class, the clergy and middle class were the first to be evacuated from the towns,
while the larger landowners were removed from the rural districts of Poznania, Pomerania and Silesia.
Then came the turn of the Polish peasant and working class. To begin with large numbers of Polish peasants
were deported from the County of Bydgoszcz and the neighbouring Counties of Szubin, Wyrzysk, Znin and others. They were driven
out of the country of their ancestors at a few hours' notice and were not allowed to take anything with them except small
bundles. Then came the turn of other counties.
Shortly after Poznania and Pomerania had been dealt with, the Germans began to deport the Polish population
from regions farther to the East, which also had been "incorporated" in the German Reich, namely from Suwalki, Ciechanow,
Wloclawek, Plock, Lodz, Kalisz, Chrzanow, Biala, Wadowice and Zywiec. These areas also were ethnically purely Polish, and,
moreover, had never belonged to the German Reich. The Polish landowners were the first to be deported, after which it was
the turn of the towns.
The old Polish town of Kalisz was the object of particular fury in regard to deportations. It is one of
the oldest towns in this part of Europe, for by the name of Calissia it was mentioned by the Greek geographer Ptolemy,
in the second century. This town, deliberately destroyed by the German armies in August, 1914, is now experiencing its second
martyrdom in a quarter of a century. As a result of the mass deportations, its population has fallen from 80,000 to 20,000
- as the official German census itself revealed - and now, after a considerable number of Germans have been settled in houses
stolen from the Poles and Jews, according to the German newspapers it has about 43,000 people, little more than half its former
Similarly the population of another large town, Wloclawek, has fallen from 67,000 to 18,000. Extensive deportations
were also carried out at Plock (40,000 inhabitants) on the Vistula, the former capital of the dukes of Mazovia, and full
of monuments of its Polish past. To-day the German invaders cynically call it eine deutsche Stadt an der Weichsel
(a German town on the Vistula). Tens of thousands of Poles have been deported from Suwalki, Ciechanow, Pultusk, Lipno, Rypin,
Nieszawa, Konin, Kolo, Aleksandrow, Turek and smaller towns. Ciechocinek, a Spa famous for its medicinal waters and its up-to-date
health resort, a town on the Vistula was renamed Hermannsbad after the Poles had been deported from it; and military
and civilian Germans were settled in its villas and hotels. The Polish County and town of Pultusk, on the Narew, where there
had never been any trace of Germans, was described by one of the National-Socialist papers as eine deutsche Bastion am
Narew (a German bastion on the Narew).
The Germans were especially ruthless in their deportations from Lodz, the second largest city in Poland,
with more than 700,000 inhabitants. This city, often called the "Polish Manchester," the centre of the Polish textile industry,
and to a large extent of the metallurgical industry also, had over 450,000 Polish inhabitants and about 200,000 Jews.
The deportations of the Polish population began in December, 1939, and in January, 1940, at a time of severe
frost. In the course of a fortnight some 6,000 Polish families drawn from the intellectual and commercial classes were deported,
and further transports affected the petty bourgeoisie and the working class. Those Poles living in the centre who were
not deported, were shifted to working class suburbs stipulated by the Germans, while they were robbed of their own houses
and property. Of course all those who were deported also lost all their possessions. On February 21, 1940, the Nazi organ
Grenzzeitung, was able to publish a statement that the centre of the city of Lodz had been entirely cleared
of Poles and was being reserved exclusively for German settlers. In September, 1940, the total number of Poles deported from
Lodz was estimated at 150,000.
To Germanize Lodz further, in April, 1940, its name was changed to Litzmannstadt, and - like everywhere
else in the "incorporated" area - all Polish monuments were destroyed and all inscriptions were removed and replaced by German
ones. Similarly all the names of streets and squares were changed. All Polish and Jewish enterprises, shops and factories,
were handed over to Germans, no compensation being paid to the owners.
In the south-west of Poland the Polish population was deported not only from Upper Silesia (in particular
from the towns of Katowice, Chorzow, Tarnowskie Gory, Rybnik and Pszczyna), but also in Cieszyn Silesia and the adjacent counties
of the Province of Cracow, in particular from the towns of Biala and Zywiec (which the Germans have renamed Saybusch).
In the centre and the South of Poland also, the Germans did not restrict themselves to deporting a large
part of the Polish population from the towns and the Polish landowners from the countryside, but soon proceeded to deport
the Polish peasants also.
In January, 1940, the Germans organized a mass expulsion of Polish peasants from the region of Plock. They
were permitted to take with them only a little food and twenty marks per person. All the rest of their possessions were confiscated.
Deportations of Polish peasants also began from the districts of Ciechanow, Wloclawek, Kalisz and Konin.
The farms taken from the Poles in the neighbourhood of Lodz were given to German peasants, "repatriated" from the Eastern
areas of Poland under Soviet occupation.
In September, October and November, 1940, there were fresh expulsions of peasants from the purely Polish
County of Zywiec, the most revolting and ruthless methods being employed.
With very few exceptions all the Polish landowners from the whole of the "incorporated" territory were expelled.
Their houses, rich in art treasures, collections and libraries, were stripped by the invaders.
In what way were these deportations of Poles carried out? Hundreds of thousands of innocent people
were treated as though they were criminals guilty of the most serious crimes and were treated as slaves who had no right to
any possessions of their own.
The expulsions were regularly accompanied by the complete expropriation of the deportees' movable
and immovable property without any compensation. In the best case they were allowed to take with them a suitcase of personal
belongings weighing from fifty to a hundred pounds. As a rule they were forbidden to take more than one or two changes of
underwear. Further, they were allowed to take only one blanket, one overcoat, and so on. Bedding and spare clothes were forbidden.
There was a specially strict order that all jewellery had to be left behind (with the exception of wedding rings, and not
always even those), and all other objects of value, particularly bonds and share certificates and the like. Some times even
the gold frames of spectacles were confiscated. Usually they were allowed to take only twenty zl. in cash, in exceptional
cases a hundred or two hundred zl. All above this figure had to be given up to the officials in charge of the deportations.
They had to leave keys in all the house doors and also those of wardrobes and chests. In a number of cases the deportees were
ordered at the last moment to wash up the plates and kitchen utensils which they were leaving behind. If they attempted to
evade these regulations they were regarded as guilty of sabotage, and (e.g., according to regulations posted up at Orlowo,
near Gdynia) were threatened with being immediately shot (werden sofort erschossen).
The unexampled cruelty of the methods employed was heightened by the fact that these expulsions
were sudden and unexpected. As a rule, they took place without any previous warning, very often at night; the officials of
the Gestapo frequently arrived at 3 or 4 in the morning and ordered entire families to leave in 10 or 20 minutes; elsewhere
the time limit was extended to 1 or 2 hours. Accordingly it was not unusual, at least in the early days of this criminal procedure,
for people wakened at night to find themselves being transported to an unknown destination, not only without any luggage,
but in many cases without even sufficient clothing, as they had not been able to dress themselves fully in the few minutes
The people were never sure of the day or the hour when their turn would come to be deported.
The order to leave their homes might come to-day, to-morrow, or in a week, at mid-day, at midnight, or in the early hours
of the morning. They lived under a terrible nervous strain while awaiting the order, not knowing until the last moment
whether husband would not be separated from wife, mother from her children, or whether they would be allowed to take at least
a little of their personal possessions; whether their wedding rings would not be torn from their fingers at the last moment;
whether small family souvenirs would not be destroyed, and whether the last hundred zlotys, kept to enable them to get
through the first few days in a strange, over-populated area, would not be taken from them.
These deportations occurred on no regular plan. On one day the inhabitants of one town district
would be carried off; another day, some other district; elsewhere a single street would be cleared, and on another occasion
the members of a certain profession, e.g., lawyers, or doctors, engineers, railway men, and so on. These absolute arbitrary
happenings, which caused the populations of entire towns to live for months in a state of terror and nervous strain, occurred
in various places, but particularly in the city of Poznan. Here, as for that matter in other towns of Poznania and Pomerania,
the favourite method of the Gestapo was to surround particular streets with a cordon of police and then empty them, house
by house. For example, during December, 1939, the entire population of Berdychowo, a working-class suburb of Poznan, was expelled.
The unfortunate victims, carrying their belongings, were driven on foot through a bitterly cold night to the suburb of Glowna,
some miles away.
Every night during the second half of November and the whole of December, 1939, 27 large motor-buses,
each carrying at least 50 persons, were employed on transporting inhabitants of Poznan to concentration camps, whence they
were afterwards sent on to other areas.
Grzywno, a suburb of the town of Wloclawek, inhabited by a poor, working-class population, was
burned down by order of the German authorities. The people were ordered to evacuate the district, and any who failed to comply
were shot on the spot. In the same town, during the deportations, a mother who had forgotten to take her child's coat
and went back to the house for it was thrown down from the first floor by Gestapo men.
During the deporations of Polish peasants from the County of Zywiec terrible scenes were witnessed.
The German police fired at the fleeing people. Among those killed was a woman with an infant in her arms.
In practice everybody was deported from the towns and villages, whether rich or poor, intellectuals,
workers and peasants. But during the first few weeks special attention was given to the intellectuals. By destroying this
class, who took a leading part in national and social life, the Germans hoped to deprive the people of its leaders, champions
The expulsion of people from their houses was regularly accompanied by outbursts of sadistic
rage and extraordinary behaviour on the part of Nazi officials.
Here is part of an eye-witness report from Poznan concerning the deportation of an old woman,
86 years of age, who had a broken thigh:
"When they carried her downstairs, her son put down his suitcase and coat in order to support
her. When he had put his sick mother on a cart he wanted to go back for the suitcase and coat. But he was not allowed
to go back, for once a deportee has left his house he has no right to return to it. In vain he explained that he was
taking the things with him and had only put them down for a moment. He should not have laid them down. He had to go without
his suitcase and coat."
In the course of the few minutes which were allowed to prepare for an unknown journey, problems
had to be decided which affected all of the future fate and even the lives of hundreds of thousands of people of various
trades and professions. Everyone designated by the German authorities was deported. There was no appeal; women and children,
old and infirm, or sick, all had to submit to the order. No regard was shown for anyone, even for a patient seriously ill
and with a high temperature, or for an infant born only a few days before, or for its sick mother. Very often children were
separated from their mothers and fathers, who were sent straight to forced labour in Germany. The entire procedure of these
deportations was an act of illegality, and their dimensions and the methods applied depended on the purely arbitrary decision
of the Gestapo official in charge at the particular spot.
The barbarism reached its height with the concentration of the largest number of deportations
in the winter of 1939-40, which - as is well known - was one of the severest which Europe had experienced for many years,
sometimes reaching a temperature of 30 degrees below freezing point (C.).
Those who were thus torn from their homes were as a rule first taken to a concentration point,
where little or no prepartation had been made for their reception. It might be a wooden shed, or a room with broken windows,
or sometimes simply an open field. People were frozen even during the first stage of their journey, and suffered from
a lack of warm food and clothing. Finally, a word of command roused the miserable crowd from the stupor in which they
had been waiting for hours in conditions which violated the most primitive conceptions of hygiene. At the command they rose
sick and exhausted, frequently weak with hunger, and were packed like cattle in the trucks which were to take them to the
Despite the severe winter, the journey into the unknown was as a rule made in unheated goods-trucks,
and sometimes open trucks. The trucks were padlocked and the train closely guarded by German officials, for whom the former
German Minister of Justice, Governor-General Dr. Frank, invented the term Polendiensttauglich (fit for civil service
in Poland). The truck doors, as we have just said, were padlocked. No one was allowed to leave them even to satisfy their
physical needs. When the trains halted at stations and local Polish people tried to give the prisoners pieces of bread or
cups of tea, the gendarmes and members of the S.S. drove them off brutally with the butts of their rifles. In many cases (as
e.g. at Sosnowiec), people who tried to give food to the deportees were shot. At Inowroclaw, in Pomerania, a Polish woman
who threw a roll to a hungry child was sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment.
The results of these journeys, which lasted several days, and sometimes a fortnight, were tragic;
when the trucks were opened at their destination, it was frequently necessary to remove a number of corpses, especially those
of children, who had died of cold.
On January 7, 1940, 28 bodies were found in one truck of a train which arrived at the Plaszow
station in Cracow with Poles, principally women and children, exiled from the Province of Poznania. At the station of Debica
30 children were found frozen to death in one truck. In a number of cases the bodies of the victims were frozen to the walls
of the trucks and had to be removed with picks. Those who survived this nightmare journey staggered with fatigue and exhaustion
and looked like shadows.
This, however, was not the end of the torture; a new stage then began. It was a happy and very
rare exception for the place in the "Government General" to which they were sent to be notified in advance of their coming.
In such cases a helpless representative of some local committee or a local official, who had been notified, as a rule, only
at the last moment, arrived at the station, to show them they way to some empty and unused shed, or school-building or empty
rooms for the aged and infirm. Usually, however, the situation was different. The transport train arrived at a place which
had received no notice at all of its coming. The people were thrown out at a small station where there was no accomodation
whatsoever, or in the open fields, in the wind and the frost, and often at night.
The exhausted and half-frozen deportees had to be quartered in villages and small towns,
whose population, compassionately shared with them what food they had, though, owing to their own miserable conditions, that
was not much. A little town of some 2,000 inhabitants would have its population increased in the course of a few days by 100-150%.
And there were hundreds not to say thousands of such examples. It must also be remembered that
the so-called "Government General" is in any case already an over-populated area, poorer than the western part of Poland,
and that it had been intentionally devastated by the Germans during the war. The newcomers at once became an army of unemployed,
possessing not the slightest prospects of finding work, and, as they had not been allowed to take any large sums of money
with them or even the most necessary things, they were plunged into the deepest misery. The conditions of existence were
and remain most primitive; the people are short of beds, cooking utensils, and sometimes even wash basins. A single family
of 6 or more people had to find room for itself in a small room. In many cases this state of affairs has lasted until the
The deportations, which were begun directly after the occupation of Poland, were particularly
extensive during the autumn and winter of 1939-40. They diminished a little during the summer. But they were renewed on a
large scale in the autumn of 1940 and are still going on.
In Silesia only the intellectuals and those who had come from other parts of Poland were expelled
at first. This was doubtless due to economic considerations, for the local population, being composed of first class workers,
highly skilled in their trade work in the mines, iron foundries and factories were absolutely indispensable if the workshops
were to remain in operation and their output was to be maintained. Doubtless also it was hoped that the local population,
whom Germans attempted to persuade that they were not Polish, could be won over to the Third Reich. When the inflexible
national resistance of the Silesian people left no room for such hopes, the procedure of large-scale expulsions was applied
there also in the summer and autumn of 1940. The small merchants and small artisans were particularly affected. Out of 10,000
small commercial undertakings in Silesia, 7,000 are already in the hands of the Germans, while the others are mainly managed
by German "trustees."
If hitherto the expulsions from Silesia have not been on the same large scale as those from Poznania
or Pomerania, it is only because during the war the Germans were afraid to risk upsetting the entire economic life of Silesia
by getting rid of such skilled, industrious and indispensable workers as the Poles.
Expulsions in the Area of the "Government General"
Expulsions of the population, on a smaller scale and of a different kind, have also been carried
out in the "Government General." In the towns the best apartments are taken for German military and officials, the inhabitants
being often turned out at an hour or two's notice and forbidden to take anything with them except small suitcases. Further,
in the chief towns of the "Government General," special German districts are reserved not only for officials and military,
but also for German merchants, artisans, journalists, etc. The local Polish population is transferred to poorer districts.
The first district thus set apsrt for Germans was at Crakow, the capital of the "Government General,"
in June, 1940. It comprises the most fashionable and modern district (Mickiewicz Avenue, Slowacki Avenue, and other streets
which were mainly built after the war of 1914-18).
At Crakow this district has not strictly demarcated boundaries, but the German district at Warsaw
has. On October 18, 1940, the capital of Poland was divided into 3 districts: German, Polish and Jewish, all Jews being ordered
to move into the ghetto within 12 days (i.e., by October 31, 1940) and the Polish population being moved from the ghetto area
to the Polish district. This transference, which caused terrible misery both to the Poles and to the Jews, affected some 110,000
Jews and about 80,000 Poles, and about 50,000 flats (i.e., one-sixth of the total number in Warsaw).
At the same time boundaries were fixed for the already existing German district, for which the
finest parts of the city had been assigned. It comprises Warsaw's 3 main squares: Marshal Pilsudski Square, the Castle Square,
and the Theatre Square, together with the Town Hall, the Ujazdowskie Avenue, the Sejm and Senate buildings with all
ther surrounding district, a considerable part of one of the main thoroughfares, the Krakowskie Przedmiescie, in which are
the best hotels (among others the Bristol and the Hotel de l'Europe) and restaurants, the only theatre which was hardly affected
by the bombardment of Warsaw and has been repaired (the Polish Theatre, now renamed the City of Warsaw Theatre), all the main
parks and gardens, including the Lazienki, the Ujazdowski, the Saski, the Botanical Gardens, the Siedlecki and Agricola Gardens, all
the boating facilities on the river Vistula, and so on. Within this district 140,000 Poles had been living.
In Warsaw cases are continually being reported of residents being evicted from their houses with
amazing brutality, being given only a short time in which to collect their things; their furniture is frequently confiscated.
Deportation of Poles for Forced Labour in Germany
Yet another form of deportation was applied by the Germans to the inhabitants both of the
"incorporated" territories and of the "Government General" abd above all to young people. Hundreds of thousands of Poles have
been taken for forced labour in Germany. These Poles are being taken into slavery, the object being the deliberate extermination
of the Polish nation.
Germany has always needed labour. According to figures published by the Kolnische Zeitung on
October 11, 1940, the number of workmen transported to Germany in the year 1940 reached almost a million (for agriculture
550,000 and for industry 400,000). These workers were brought from various countries, but above all from Poland. From comment
in the German press it appears that the Germans intend to draw further contingents of modern slaves from the conquered countries,
working them under the worst conditions for very low wages (far less than the minimum paid to German workers) for the future
and power of Germany.
In the towns and villages of Poland placards were posted up, calling on the inhabitants to register
themselves "voluntarily" for work in Germany. But at the same time every town and every county was informed exactly how many
people it had to furnish. According to such fragmentary information as we possess, several hundred thousand men and women
were sent to work in Germany from the "Government General" alone during 1940. There were 700,000 agricultural labourers alone
(Warschauer Zeitung of August 8, 1940). To this great army of compulsory workers must be added thousands of Poles
taken from the incorporated areas and over 200,000 Polish prisoners of war who, by a decree issued by Hitler in August, 1940,
have been "released" from camps only to be sent for forced labour in Germany.
Only in the districts most affected by unemployment and misery did the people themselves offer
to go to Germany. In the others, if the required contingent was not obtained, the German authorities either name the people
who are to go, or they make special round-ups in the streets and public-houses, seizing all who cannot prove that they are
gainfully employed in the "Government General," and taking them to assembly points, whence they are sent to Germany.
In these round-ups the Germans are particularly fond of seizing young people of both sexes. The families of these "voluntarily"
recruited young people receive no news of them for months and then they get only postcards telling their miserable conditions
of existence. Often after a few months these young people return home in a state of complete moral depression and extreme
physical exhaustion. There have been numerous cases of young people being sterilized while away on this "labour," and of girls
and young women being forced into brothels.
These operations against the young are a manifestation of the Nazis' especially thorough-going
policy in regard to Poland. The Germans are aiming at the moral and physical exhaustion and destruction of the young generation
of Poles, who are the most valuable section of society, in order to prevent any attempt to recover independence.
Polish Children and Youngsters Deported to be Germanized
In addition to deporting Polish men and women to do forced labour in Germany, the German authorities
are resorting to yet another criminal procedure: that of carrying off Polish children in order to Germanize them. Thousands
of Polish children between the ages of 7 and 14 have been ruthlessly parted from their families and carried off from Lodz,
Ozorkow, Kalisz, Sieradz, and other towns and villages. From Bielsko, in Silesia, and the neighbourhood, even young children
between 2 and 3 years old have been taken from their mothers.
The Kolnische Zeitung openly admitted the purpose of these abductions in an article
entitled Neues Leben im Osten ("New Life in the East"), in its issue No. 584, 1940. The newspaper described the life
of the Polish girls who had been carried off from the districts of Lodz, Sieradz and Kalisz and placed in one of the German
schools for domestic science. They were not only being taught German and domestic science, the Kolnische Zeitung
wrote, but are also having the "German spirit" grafted into them in order to bring them up as "model German girls."
The Unbroken Spirit of the Deportees
The Germans, by deporting hundreds of thousands of Poles, are animated not only by the desire
to carry through the gigantic task of Germanizing the "incorporated" territories in the shortest possible time; the people
are herded like cattle, from the conviction that the one who is depressed and is not prepared for suffering will more easily
be broken in spirit and that death will reap a larger harvest. This is, in effect, an attempt to achieve the physical and
moral annihilation of the human material which composes the Polish Nation.
Yet the Germans' sadistic methods of deporting hundreds of thousands of human beings have not
broken the spirit or the moral resolution of the victims. Again and again a procession of deportees going to the railway station,
or leaving it after a terrible journey lasting several days, despite their exhaustion sang religious and national songs, marching
proudly with their heads carried high. Peasants expelled from the district of Plock walked on foot to Warsaw singing the Polish
National Anthem. These people firmly believe that they will return to their own homes. They are now anxiously awaiting the
moment of this return.
END OF CHAPTER III
Chapter Four: Depositions and Reports
It is impossible to indicate the extent of the bestiality and brutality which accompanies the expulsion
of the Polish people from their homes, and the depth of the misery into which hundreds of thousands are plunged in their new
districts. But we can supplement the foregoing account by the authentic depositions of people who have either themselves been
deported, or have witnessed the sufferings of others. In this chapter the reader will find a number of depositions.
1. A Systematic Plan of Extermination
(Primate of Poland, Cardinal Hlond, on the expulsion of the Polish population)
The following statement by the Primate of Poland, His Eminence Cardinal Hlond, regarding the
mass expulsion of the Polish population from the Western provinces, was made in an interview accorded to the representative
of the Brussels newspaper, La Nation Belge, No. 68, February 28, 1940.
"In order that none should hide or escape expulsion, a decree was published in Poznan, on December
10 in the Ostdeutscher Beobachter, by the terms of which it was strictly forbidden to Poles and Jews to be absent
from their homes between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. It was between these hours that the Gestapo would fall upon this
or that group of houses, rounding up the inhabitants at a rate of from 5 to 1,500 a night. Preoccupied with with the fear
of such a possiblity, people were unable to sleep, and passed the nights fully dressed, because only a few minutes were allowed
them in which to get ready to leave their dwellings, and those who were not ready to go at once were put out in whatever clothes
they had on their backs.
In the streets, groups from the various houses, threatened by the rifles of the Gestapo men,
awaited the arrival of the motorbuses which were to transport them, and sometimes these delays lasted for hours. It happened
sometimes that these unhappy folk: women, children, aged and ill, were obliged to wait 4 hours in the streets in 27 degrees
C of frost (i.e., -27 degrees C).
"The buses took them to a camp in the suburb of Glowna, where they were lodged in rooms with
concrete floors without heat or mattresses. They had to sleep on straw, which was changed only after several weeks, and which
was stinking and full of vermin. There were no sanitary conveniences, no regard for anyone, neither the sick, the old nor
the dying, nor for the women about to be confined. The children born in these conditions were washed, as there was no water,
in tepid coffee, of which the charitable deprived themselves. The food was very bad. The percentage of illness was frightful,
mortality was great. No doctors or priests were admitted except those who happened to be among the groups of the evacuated.
For some time it was forbidden to bring victuals from outside.
"During this terrible quarantine, the healthy and robust men were torn from their families and
sent under military surveillance into Germany to work, whence nothing more was heard of them. Boys of 14 years were also sent
to Germany, no doubt to be given a Nazi education. Young girls were also deported, especially the prettiest ones and it is
to be imagined with what despair their families watched them depart!
"As for the others, we shall see what fate is reserved for them. Those that are left are women,
children and old people.
"After several days, and sometimes several weeks of this life, which is really a martyrdom, these
unfortunate people are loaded onto cattle trucks and transported to the 'Government General', i.e., into Central Poland. The
trucks are closed and during the journey they are not opened in any circumstances, not even to get food or drink for the children
nor to permit anyone to satisfy a natural need. The journey under these conditions in the coldest weather, lasts from 2 to
4 days. In almost every transport there are deaths and all the living are more or less ill when they arrive at their destination.
"At first, this destination was the barracks at Radom, at Kielce and other great centres. Now the
deported are simply left in some little town, in a village or even in the open country, and abandoned to their fate. The German
authorities take no more notice of them. The first to arrive fill the towns and villages, whose inhabitants offer them generous
hospitality. Those who are now arriving, wander for days from one village to another among unknown people experiencing
the greatest fatigue and the most painful disappointments before finding the smallest place for themselves and their children.
"This state of things is the more tragic because the towns of the 'Government General' were largely destroyed
by the bombs of German airmen. As for the countryside, it had already been stripped of its food by the German Army; and the
region had been suffering from overpopulation as well.
"Into this area hundreds of thousands of exiles arrived from the Diocese of Chelmno. It is there also
that other hundreds of thousands of the deported have arrived from the archdioceses of Gniezno and Poznan since the end of
last year, and tens of thousands of families from the dioceses of Wloclawek and Plock and the towns of Lodz and Crakow.
"As, according to the German Press, the forced transportation of the Polish population beyond the annexed
regions of the Reich should be terminated by the first of April, soon the unhappy deportees to the 'Government General' will
run into millions, millions without funds, stripped of everything, without possibility of employment, millions condemned to
the severest privations, to impossible conditions of existence, to starvation and disease.
"It is a veritable extermination, conceived with a diabolic malignity and executed with unequalled cruelty."
2. Deportations of Polish People from the "Incorporated" Areas
(Extracts from the second report made by the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Hlond to Pope Pius XII)
Diocese of Chelmno. "All the Polish landed proprietors have been dispossessed, even when they are
of families which have lived for seven or eight hundred years in the country. Some 10,000 peasants, constituting the main
element in the population of the district, have likewise been expropriated. All the Polish intellectuals have been either
shot or deported. A large number of persons, more than 250,000, were robbed of their goods, their linen and their money,
and expelled from Gdynia and other towns and villages to the 'Government General', whither they were transported in cattle
trucks, in the depth of winter, when the temperature was over 30 degrees below freezing point. After a journey of 2, 3, or
4 days, during which the wretched people were given no food and were not allowed to leave the trucks even to satisfy their
natural needs, the trains deposited them near Crakow, Radom, Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Kielce or other parts of the 'Government'
territory. Dozens of persons froze to death, especially the old and children.
"Further, the practice was begun of arresting hundreds, and then thousands, of men, women and young people
without cause and sending them to Germany, where they were employed either in the fields or in industry or in armament works
as slaves, ill fed and ill paid. Worse still, young Poles were taken by force from the diocese and sent to Germany, to be
brought up in Nazi impiety, and young girls were condemned to the saddest fate."
Diocese of Katowice. "The Polish intellectuals, landowners and merchants have been expelled from
Silesia in the same painful conditions as their compatriots of Poznania or Pomerania. At the present moment, at Katowice and
in the other towns of Polish Silesia there are no Polish lawyers, nor doctors, nor engineers, nor schoolmasters; and similarly
all owners of large estates have had to leave them. The houses and shops of Polish proprietors were confiscated in January
and February, 1940, without their receiving the least compensation for their buildings, sites or merchandise.
"From Silesia those workers who were no longer needed to carry on the local industries were sent by force
to Germany. Their lot in an enemy country is a very sad one, as is that of their families who have remained in Silesia and
to whom they are unable to send any of their pay. In any case, as soon as the father of a family has been sent to Germany,
his family are usually turned out of their home.
"The worst suffering, however, which the populace have to bear is the sight of their sons carried off by force
to be made, by a special course of education, into propagators of Hitlerism. The Germans are also beginning to carry off young
girls, who are sent to special camps in Germany and the chief centres of the western front."
Diocese of Lodz. "In this way all the Polish and Catholic elements have been expelled without scruple
or compassion from town and village alike and sent to the 'Government General' where they suffer from hunger, cold and sickness.
As in Poznania and Pomerania, these expulsions are carried out in the cruellest manner, and the victims are robbed of everything
they possess. Only the workmen who are needed for various industries are left on the spot. The number of persons expelled
from the dioceses amounts already to 200,000. Their places are immediately taken by Germans who establish themselves in the
houses, shops and fields of the Poles, and appropriate all their goods - furniture, clothes and victuals.
"Lodz in 6 months has become a non-Catholic German city; the entire aspect of the country has been forcibly
changed, so that in certain districts there is not a single Pole, or a single Catholic, to be met with any more."
Diocese of Plock. "Thus the venerable Polish diocese was Germanized without respite or mercy, and
despoiled of all the qualities and characteristics of Catholicism. Yet it was always, in the past, an exclusively Polish and
Catholic area; it was proud to be the home of St. Stanislaw Kostka. Never before in history had it been under German domination.
Now it has been annexed to the German province of East Prussia, with the name of Sudostpreussen. The town of Ciechanow,
which has been made the chief centre of the district, and the ancient city of Plock, former residence of the dukes of Mazovia,
were both in the course of 6 months so emptied of Poles and other elements by the Germans and hastily populated by Germans
brought from elsewhere, that they look like German towns. Nazi propaganda never ceases to proclaim in every tone, in Poland
and foreign countries alike, that these towns and this country were of German origin. This hasty and cruel Germanization means
also overbearing and tyrannical invasion by pagan Hitlerism. The German authorities, and in particular the police, are brutally
destroying the organization and life of the Church, making war, in an intransigent and subtle manner, against Christianity
and the essence of Catholic morality."
Diocese of Wloclawek. "In the diocese in question there have also been executions among the landowners
and the most eminent persons. The landowners have been dispossessed of all their lands and exiled; and the same is the case
with the intellectuals. The peasants likewise have been driven out without receiving the least compensation for their lost
property, particularly in the Counties of Kalisz, Lipno, Nieszawa and Turek. The population of the towns is continually diminishing,
and the aspect of the towns is changing. Wloclawek, which used to have 67,000 inhabitants, has been reduced to 18,000.
Kalisz looks German, its population having diminished to 20,000. The procedure for transforming the character of this Polish
and Catholic country is the same as that adopted in the other dioceses incorporated in the Reich: heinous injustices, cruelties,
acts of brigandage, sadism, robberies and executions. The Volkischer Beobachter, the Deutsche Allegmeine
Zeitung and the Ostdeutscher Beobachter contained impressive details of the Germans' feverish anxiety to
get rid of the real population of this country and put Germans in their place. With the expulsion of the Poles the beautiful
and very fertile region called Cuiavia, which had been Catholic for a thousand years and whose Bishop, in the ancient Republic
of Poland, held the office of Vice-Primate, is becoming more and more a pagan country. Often enough the new settlers imported
into the towns are distinguished by a pronounced Nazi impiety and by implacable hatred of Catholicism."
The Portion of the Archdiocese of Cracow, incorporated in the Reich. "About a quarter of the
archdiocese, and in particular the area including the coal mines, metallurgical industries and the textile factories, has
been incorporated into the Reich. As in the diocese of Czestochowa, the frontiers of the Reich have been so extended as not
to leave the 'Government General' a single coal-mine.
"The absolute expropriation and complete expulsion of the landed proprietors and the intellectuals has here
been achieved, and the Germans are now proceeding to send away the peasants. Among the new settlers are to be found several
German families transplanted from Upper Adige."
The Portion of the Diocese of Czestochowa incorporated in the Reich. "A good half of the
diocese of Czestochowa has been incorporated in the Reich: that is to say, the whole of the important industrial area
of Dabrowa - with its deposits of coal and iron and cement and glass industries - and the fertile districts of the Wielun
region. The border between the Reich and the 'Government General' passes a few hundred yards from the Sanctuary, of Czestochowa,
which itself is in the 'Government General,' while several outlying parts of the town are in the Reich.
"The Germans expropriated the nobles, the industrialists, the landed proprietors and the intellectuals, and
many peasant families, while the workers were allowed to remain, although some of them were arrested and shot."
From Appendices to Cardinal Hlond's Second Report
(a) Report dated February 11, 1940
"The expulsion of the Poles from their soil continues. At this moment hundreds of thousands of
persons are being banished in a barbarous manner from Poznania, Polish Pomerania, Lodz, Wloclawek, Kalisz and the countryside.
Young men and girls are being deported into Germany. The leading classes will soon be exterminated in prisons, concentration
camps and forced labour camps. Many persons have been shot. The Germans rob, sack and carry away everything they like, wthout
giving any receipt. If this goes on we shall perish miserably. It is not astonishing that a profound and terrible hate is
being born in every heart. It is to be feared that in time there will be some frightful massacre. But they do everything,
in very truth, to make themselves hated. With few exceptions they are only executioners and sadists, without any human feeling.
Terrible indeed is the trial which God is imposing on us. But, despite everything, the people is strong and enduring.
It does not complain, but suffers heroically."
(b) Report dated February 14, 1940
"It was early in December, 1939. The winter was extraordinarily severe, the temperature falling
to thirty degrees (C.) of frost. At Mielec I saw a train full of deportees from Bydgoszcz enter the station. The train was
composed entirely of cattle-trucks, sealed without windows, without water, lavoratories, or any heat. The journey had lasted
3 days and 3 nights. The people confined in it were mainly women and children. When the trucks were opened out of them climbed
spectres who could scarcely stand upright, all dirty and emaciated, in a state of terror. They began to unload their baggage.
I approached and saw that it consisted of frozen, frost-bitten children. One, two, twenty, thirty or more. None of the mothers
wept, they were as though numbed. Two half-dead children had great lumps of ice on their cheeks; it was their tears frozen
on their pale faces."
(c) Report dated April 8, 1940
"The German Press and important Nazi officials say that conditions of life in the Polish districts
annexed to the Reich are now normal, and that the Poles there enjoy a large measure of liberty. I permit myself to cite certain
facts which are absolutely proven, illustrating the manner in which this normalization of life and this magnanimous tolerance
are manifested in Your Eminence's diocese and in particular in the city of Poznan.
"The Poles are expropriated, not by way of any legal cession or forced sale, but simply by simple
robbery, without any compensation. We are all reduced to misery and poverty. Those who were houseowners must pay rent if they
continue to live there. So far they are allowed to use their own furniture, but they may neither sell it, nor remove it. If
the police come across a vehicle in the street carrying furniture or linen, they confiscate it on the spot. It often happens
that the police enter a house unexpectedly and immediately confiscate the best furniture. Furniture, pianos, and pictures
stolen from Poles are continually being removed to Germany."
3. The First Period of Deportations from Western Poland
(Report dated the end of February, 1940)
According to careful calculations, the deportations from Western Poland up to the end of February,
1940, have affected about 720,000 people or even more.
Here is a narrative of some of the more outstanding events accompanying these deportations:
"The deportations from Poznan began on Sunday, October 22, 1939, with the aid of the Field Gendarmerie
and the Selbstschutz. The first victims were the rich Poznan merchants. The keys of the houses from which they were
ejected were handed in by the gendarmes at the Office for Transfer of Population, the Umsiedlungsamt, Rozana Street.
From that date onward Poles are deported every day. Every evening a fleet of motor buses was drawn up in front of the police
headquarters to take deportees to barracks (ammunition sheds at Glowna, a suburb of Poznan). After some days, the time for
evictions was made later (midnight instead of 8 p.m.). After some four weeks in the second half of November, the Germans began
to empty the barracks, despatching trains of cattle-trucks filled with deportees(800 to 1,500 in each train) to Ostrowiec
Kielecki, Radom, Kielce, Czestochowa, Limanowa and other places.
"On December 14, 1939, some 1,500 Jews were deported, being sent first to Lubartow. Seven of
them died on the way from injuries or cold. The method used in deporting these Jews was fundamentally different from
that applied to the Poles. Through the authorities of the Jewish community, they were ordered to present themselves at the
barracks at Glowna on December 14, 1939, with all their baggage. They were entrained the same evening, all their baggage being
loaded into separate goods trucks. Just before the train moved off these goods trucks were uncoupled and the Jews were
transported with only what they were wearing.
"The first phase of the deportations lasted without a break until December 18. It was supervised
by 200 men who had been trained in the so-called National Socialist monasteries at Kroessinsee and Vogelsang, where they
had been given a special course in brutality (Ordensjunker aus Kroessinsee und Vogelsang). Owing to the holidays,
transport by rail was interrupted on December 18, but the deportations continued. But as the barracks were now full,
the system was modified; families to be deported were shifted from their own houses to houses which had been emptied, owners
of small houses being as a rule transferred to large ones, and owners of large flats being moved into single rooms. People
were shifted on Christmas Eve.
"The Baltic Germans who have been brought to Poznan give the town a peculiar tone and appearance.
Wearing as a rule high elk-skin boots and fur caps, they are noisy and arrogant in the streets and public squares. But they
are particularly arrogant when they take over the dwellings and undertakings assigned to them after the Polish owners have
been deported. They are firmly of the belief that the Nazi Government has paid the Poles the value of their own former
dwellings, undertakings and lands. For their estates in Latvia or Esthonia were valued by a special commission, composed of
representatives of the Balts, a delegate of the Reich Treasury, and a delegate of the Treasury of the Baltic country
in question. An equivalent sum was remitted to the German Embassy in the given State, which forwarded it to the Reich
Treasury. The Treasury then deducted the cost of valuation and assumed value of the dwelling, etc., in the new area and
paid the balance to the Baltic Germans in small instalments. The Balts therefore are fully convinced that their money has
been used by the Nazi Government to pay the Poles for the confiscated property.
"Such is the general situation in Poznan itself.
"In the province of Poznania, in Pomerania, and in Silesia it is the same, with this one difference,
that the deportations are carried out more ruthlessly, as the local organs may decide. The social classes which have felt
the German occupation most severely are the landed proprietors, the clergy and professional men. Down to the end of October,
1939, according to accounts given by various persons who had witnessed the German fury, about 5,000 Poles from these classes
have been shot in Poznania alone. The rest of the land owners were dispossessed and deported. The same fate befell the merchants,
officials, clergy and professional men. After the leading classes had thus been removed, the persecutions slackened for a
time, but at the end of November they were resumed with a new wave of deportations of the lower middle-class and the small
landowners, whose places are being taken and are to be taken in future by German peasants from Swabia, Volhynia and Lithuania
(they were to come from Lithuania on and after April, 1940).
"The deportations, which were interrupted on December 18 because of the Christmas and New Year
holidays, were resumed on January 15, 1940. They continue more ruthlessly from week to week. The professional classes
having been thoroughly uprooted, small merchants and artisans were now deported, together with the poor (workmen, widows and
old folk) and the small landowners.
"The deportations are now carried out more summarily. A motor bus drives up before the house
at any time between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Uniformed men force their way into the houses noisily and with curses, and give
the inhabitants 20 minutes to leave, allowing them to take only the most essential articles, and at most 100 zlotys of money
for each adult.
"I know of a certain family which, owing to their state of nerves, were unable to endure the
waiting for the moment when they should be deported, so they sold up their business and prepared to leave Poznan voluntarily.
(It was a particular case, for the people in Western Poland stoically waited their fate.) Their baggage was packed, their
passes were made out, ready money to the amount of 26,000 zlotys was lying in a drawer,it was the last evening and they were
ready to go in the morning. But they were taken by surprise and suddenly deported at 11 p.m. The gendarmes and the officers
of the Gestapo forced their way into the house, made a personal search of each of the inhabitants and of all the drawers;
the officer in charge took away the 26,000 zlotys and the jewellery, forbade them to touch their baggage, and ordered the
whole family, just as they stood, to leave the house immediately. The owner, faced with the complete ruin of himself and his
family, had an attack of hysteria, raved, shouted, wept and begged for the return of his money. The officer at first
threatened him with his revolver, but in the end gave way, pulled out a packet of bank notes and handed it to the owner. The
packet contained 300 Mk. (German) of an issue which had been withdrawn from circulation 10 years before.
"The deportees were transported from the barracks in sealed cattle-trucks, in conditions which
are hard to imagine: one pail in the corner, and food for all (coffee or soup) in a second pail, which was pushed into the
truck and had to suffice for everybody for 4 days or so. During the frost there were many cases of inflammation of the lungs,
and many instances of children and old folk freezing to death. In one case a landowner's wife from near Wrzesnia (name not
ascertained) was deported in a chemise and dressing-gown, and was black and blue where she had been beaten. She cut her throat
in the train, and was taken to hospital at Sokolow Podlaski only thanks to the energetic intervention of a lady doctor on
the train. What happened to her after that is not known. Another landowner's wife from the County of Jarocin (name unknown)
who had been seriously ill for a year with phlebitis, was deported without any regard for her state of health to a concentration
camp at Cerekwica, where she was left without any attention and contracted erysipelas. In this hopeless state she was taken in
the transport conditions described to the district of Kielce.
"The last deportations were from the Province of Lodz, and from those parts in the Provinces
of Warsaw and Kielce which were incorporated into the Reich."
Requisition of Dwellings
"Another form of deportation, practised all over the German-occupied area, i.e., in the 'Government
General' also, is the temporary eviction from one's home, or as the police often call it, eviction 'for the duration of the
war.' The flats thus emptied are assigned to officials or military officers. The original inhabitants are obliged to leave
their flats completely furnished, with bedding, sheets and table-linen, and all the kitchen utensils, and are even forbidden
to take their private libraries. The evacuation may be either with or without notice. In the former case the house or the
whole block is surrounded by the police, who see that the inhabitants carry away none of their possessions. It is as
a rule that the most modern buildings which are thus taken over, and most frequently whole streets or blocks."
4. The Deportation From Orlowo and Gdynia
(Deposition by an eyewitness, engineer P.D.)
"The present deponent was at Gdynia until October 16, 1939. He was an eyewitness of the methods
used in evacuating the population of Orlowo, the Polish watering-place and suburb of Gdynia, which took place on October 12
"On that day the Germans did not at once reveal their intention of evacuating the whole population.
They said only that the Polish population would be allowed to live in the area to the West of the railway. This is confirmed
by members of the local Polish 'Citizens Committee.' which was invited by the Germans to 'co-operate' in the evacuation of
"On October 11 the chairman of this committee was ordered to summon all its members for 7 p.m.,
for a 'very important matter concerning the citizens,' and at the same time was ordered to present himself at the police president's
office at 6:30 p.m. The police president informed the chairman of the committee that the evacuation of Orlowo had been
fixed for October 12, and that the people would be allowed to take only such things as they could carry, and would not be
allowed to take their furniture.
"In the belief that the committee might be able to help the citizens, its members arrived
at the police station at 5 a.m. on October 12. At 6:20 a.m. they were taken to Orlowo. At the same time placards with the
following announcement were posted up on the walls:
"'In the interest of public safety it has been arranged that the Polish population of Orlowo
shall be evacuated to the West of the railway, with the exception of the manor of Kolibki. Each person may take with him such
personal belongings as he can carry. Houses must be left open with keys in the doors. Inhabitants to be evacuated should assemble
at 9 a.m. Those who resist will be immediately shot (werden sofort erschossen). Destruction of furniture and dwellings
will be treated as sabotage.'
"The members of the committee were taken to the offices of the municipal administration at Orlowo
and told to wait. When they had waited more than 2 hours they began to call the attention of the representatives of the German
authorities to the fact that the evacuation must have already begun, and that in consequence they would be unable to carry
out their task. For they saw that the population had already begun to assemble at the appointed place. Having accomplished
nothing, the members of the committee left the offices of the municipal administration at 8:20 a.m. and went out into the street.
It transpired that the reality was still worse than they had feared.
"The population of Orlowo were expelled from their dwellings by men armed with rifles. The majority
had not had any opportunity of reading the announcement posted up so early in the morning, and consequently did not understand
why they were required to leave their houses. For the most part they supposed it must be a general search, and that after
some hours they would be able to return home. This applied to at least 75% of the inhabitants. They took literally nothing
with them, not even any food. When some few succeeded in informing the others what was really happening, the police refused
to let them go back to their own houses. They expelled everybody, even people seriously ill.
"Punctually at 9 a.m. all the Polish inhabitants were at the appointed spots. They were drawn
up in fours in groups of 500-600 people. No attention whatever was paid to the question whether all the members of a
family were in the same group. Children were frequently separated from their parents, husbands from their wives. These groups
were driven in pouring rain along a miry lane to Witomino, which was about 4 miles from Orlowo.
"Anyone who saw this tragic procession will certainly never forget it. With their last strength
hundreds of mothers pushed their perambulators, often with two small children who could not yet walk, and two others hanging
on. Very often the perambulator was the only article they had taken. No one helped these women, for as a rule their husbands
were either prisoners of war or interned. Frequently a daughter had to support her aged parents, who could not walk without
help. If the procession stopped, a soldier came and with the butt of his gun knocked the bundle which someone was carrying;
naturally the bundle fell to the ground, but the owner hurried on without stopping to pick up the only thing he had saved.
"Thus driven along, the people went with the dignity of Christian martyrs in Nero's time.
"At Witomino, a workers' settlement, about 1,900 people were 'accomodated'. As a rule, a room
of perhaps 15 feet by 10&1/2 feet was assigned to 18-20 people. There was not even any straw. The people had to sleep
on the bare floor, which was often made of concrete. Those few who were placed in the cottages of local Poles were treated
with much sympathy. Witomino was surrounded with sentries who let no one pass. That day it was impossible to buy a loaf of
bread at Witomino. The remainder of the people from Orlowo, about 2,000 in number, were simiarly accommodated at Chlyonia.
"If we bear in mind that the Germans kept their plan for the evacuation of Orlowo a close secret
from all the inhabitants until 6:20 a.m. on October 12, we can realize all the cruelty of this shameful plan.
"As the Eastern part of Gdynia was also to be evacuated during the following days, on October
12 a regular migration to the Western section of town began. Police permission was required for moving furniture. Those who
obtained it moved with their furniture, paying high charges for transport and two or three months' rent in advance. Those
who did not get permission carried what they could in small suit-cases.
"On October 16, at 12:30 p.m., the Germans issued orders that the whole of Gdynia was to be completely
evacuated by the Polish population. According to the arrangents, trains were to leave in the direction of Siedlce, Lublin,
Radom and Czestochowa. Each person was entitled to take 50 kilograms of heavy baggage and 25 kilograms in the carriage
with him. Furniture and houses had to be left in good order."
(Our informant left Gdynia on October 15, but learned from a foreigner who left the town only
on November 9 that the German orders of October 16 were not strictly carried out. Only 25 kilograms of baggage were allowed
in the carriage and 20 zlotys in currency. At the sound of the siren the people had to leave their houses and fall in in front
of them within 10 minutes, after which they were driven to goods trains and transported to an unspecified destination. The
last Poles were said to have been deported from Gdynia on November 15.)
5. One of a Hundred Thousand
(Deposition by Mrs. J.K., of Gdynia)
"On October 17, 1939, at 8 a.m. I heard someone knocking at the door of my flat. As my maid was
afraid to open, I went to the door myself. I found there two German gendarmes, who roughly told me that in a few hours I had
to be ready to travel with my children and everybody in the house. When I said that I had small children, that my husband
was a prisoner of war, and that I could not get ready to travel in so short a time, the gendarmes answered that not only must
I be ready, but that the flat must be swept, the plates and dishes washed and the keys left in the cupboards, so that the
Germans who were to live in my house should have no trouble. In so many words, they further declared that I was entitled to
take with me only one suit-case of not more than 50 kilograms in weight and a small handbag with food for a few days.
"At 12 noon they came again and ordered us to go out in front of the house. Similar groups of
people were standing in front of all the houses. After some hours' waiting, military lorries drove up, and they packed us
in one after another, shouting at us rudely and also striking us. Then they took us to the railway station, but only
in the evening did they pack us into filthy goods trucks, the doors of which were then bolted and sealed. In these trucks,
most of which were packed with 40 people, we spent three days, without any possibility of getting out. I hereby affirm that
in my truck there were 6 children under 10 years of age and two old men, and that we were not given any straw, or any drinking
utensils, that we had to satisfy our natural needs in the tightly packed truck, and that if there were no deaths in our transport
it was only because it was still comparatively warm and we spent only 3 days on the journey. We were unloaded, half dead,
at Czestochowa, where the local population gave us immediate help, but the German soldiers who opened the truck exclaimed
'What! Are these Polish swine still alive?'."
6. Methods of Emptying Poznania of Poles
(Description by Doctor W.)
"At 7:30 a.m., an hour when the Polish population were not allowed to go out of their houses
into the streets, a horde of Gestapo made their way into the houses, awakened the sleeping inhabitants and gave them 15-30
minutes to dress. Whole families were put in motor-buses waiting on the street, being allowed to take with them only a handful
of the most essential things for everyday use, one change of underwear, and fifty pfennigs (German pennies). No respect
was paid to sick persons, children, old folk or women; they were driven from their beds into the street, and transported to
unheated camps, where they were kept for some days, or even weeks, on a starvation diet and then transported, often in goods
trucks, to the territory of the 'Government General.' There those who had not died of cold or exhaustion were turned out of
the train and left to go where they would.
"These mass deportations of Poles were at first applied to the wealthy and intellectual classes,
but afterwards embraced all social classes.
"After the Poles had been expelled from their dwellings at night, the Gestapo came and stole
any objects of value, after which the houses were swept and given to the Baltendeutsche.
"At Poznan the deportations went on every night, with few exceptions, anything from a few hundred
to 2,000 people being affected. The same procedure was followed in other towns and villages.
"Young people of military age are seized in the streets and asked whether they can prove they
are in work. If they cannot, they are detained and sent to compulsory labour camps in Germany. The attempt is being made to
destroy or deport the whole of the intellectual class. All teachers of both sexes have been deported. Not only those peasants
who bought their farms after the year 1918 are being dispossessed, but also those who have cultivated their own piece of ground
from their fathers' and grandfathers' time, long before the World War, and under the Prussian occupation. Their farms are
usually given to Baltic Germans, but also in many cases to local Germans and to Germans from the Reich. These last usually
receive the larger and better farms."
7. Three Years' Imprisonment for Giving a Piece of Bread to a Hungry Child
(Extract from a deposition by Mr. Z. K. Z., February, 1940)
"During the deportations no respect was paid either to age or to sickness. Pregnant mothers
were expelled, as well as old people on their death-beds. Those expelled were transported in unheated cattle-trucks, without
food, for many days. The trains stopped at stations, and the hungry children cried bitterly. When, moved by the children's
crying, which was enough to touch anyone's heart, people tried to give them food, the German soldiers drove them away with
the butts of their guns. Despite the prohibition, a woman at Inowroclaw gave a roll to a hungry child, for which she was sentenced
to 3 years' imprisonment...
"The paralyzed Mrs. Iza Gostynska, wheeled in a little cart, was pushed into a corner of the
barracks and forgotten. Being unable to get out of the cart, she died of hunger...
"Usually trains transporting the deportees did not stop at stations but in the open fields, several
miles from the nearest town or village. The trucks were opened and the people were ordered to get out and go where they liked.
This happened at the most terrible season of the year, when there was a bitter cold. And so it happened that one train arrived
at Kielce without a single living person in it: nothing but frozen corpses.
"A few days before Christmas the following incident occurred: A transport of 3,000 Poles,
going in the direction of Warsaw, was stopped at Sokolow Podlaski. Everybody was thrown out of the train at night into the
open fields in 15 degrees (C.) of frost. They were compelled to seek shelter in neighbouring villages, as they were not
allowed to go to the small town. No one paid any attention to them. They had to walk to Warsaw, with 20 zlotys each in their
pockets. They were treated in this way because they had sung the Polish National Anthem when the train started. A similar
'crime' was committed by a transport from the district of Czarkow, which was sent in open coal-trucks in some 15 degrees (C.)
8. Tortured and Then Deported
(Deposition by Mr. J. K., February 10, 1940)
"Often the deportation was preceded by bestial treatment. In Dominowo, Marianowo, Poswietne,
Orzeszkowo, Szraplie, and Michalowo (County of Sroda, Poznania) the following incidents occurred:
"In the last days of November, 1939, the militiamen of the Selbstschutz, drawn from
the local German minority, drove the Polish peasants, whom they had turned out of their beds at night, to the village administrative
office at Dominowo. On November 26, between 8 and 9 p.m., 30 Polish farmers were driven to the place. They were shut up in
the cellar, then during the night brought out two at a time into a large room, where 10 militiamen of the Selbstschutz
beat them in the dark with sticks and gun butts. When one of them asked why they were being beaten, a German answered
cynically that it was to drive Poland out of their heads. They were then allowed to go. Some of them were so badly injured
that their friends had to come for them with carts, and others had to be supported, because they were unable to walk. A week
later (on December 3 or 4, 1939) they were deported to the County of Garwolin in the 'Government General.' They were allowed
to take with them only as much of their personal belongings as they could put in a suit-case, and food for three days. Their
money was taken from them, with the exception of 20 marks per family.
9. A Deportees' Camp
(Deposition by Mr. A.S., of March, 1940)
"They began to deport the Poles from Poznan at the end of October, 1939. Greiser, who is the
Gauleiter, repeatedly declared that Poznan, the capital of the Warthegau, must be German in character. The
following methods were employed in the deportations: One day they deported, for example, all the lawyers; the next day they
deported Poles from particular streets, no matter what their profession; the third day they returned to the method of selecting
professions, and deported engineers. The object was to make it difficult for people to move; for very often, in an attempt
to avoid deportation, they would move from one house to another, particularly into a district which had already been 'cleared'
of the Polish inhabitants.
"The deportations were usually carried out at night and always unexpectedly. As the deportees
were forbidden to take anything with them except a small handbag, and they were only left a few minutes in which to pack,
it became the habit of those who foresaw that their turn for deportation was coming, to spend the nights ready dressed, waiting
for the arrival of the police.
"I was expelled from my flat on February 5, 1940. At 4 a.m. that day police entered our house
and ordered us in exactly 5 minutes to be outside the house, ready to travel. They warned us that we would be searched and
anybody taking with him jewellery, bonds or sums of money exceeding 200 zlotys would be punished for sabotage. That day there
was 20 degrees (C.) of frost, and women and small children were gathered in the streets.
"They loaded us into a lorry and transported us to a camp in the suburb of Glowna. Here there
were some old military barracks, which had never been used by the Polish army. They were almost entirely unheated; fifty of
us at a time were packed into a barrack room, and were given a little rotten straw for bedding. Some of us were ill with a
"During my stay in the barracks a woman had a child, but the Commandant of the camp would not
agree to let her go to the hospital, so the baby was born in the bitter cold and without privacy.
"After a fortnight in this dreadful place they loaded us into cattle-trucks, and after a journey
of 4 days in frightful conditions we were turned out at a small station at Ostrowiec Kielecki."
10. A Train Without Definite Destination
(Deposition by Mrs. J. V., a doctor)
"The deportation of people from Poznan is proceeding in accordance with the system which is now
well known. Only so much money may be taken as the German soldier in charge allows. The barracks for the deportees are at
Glowna; They are surrounded with two barbed wire fences with 400 yards between them. The population is allowed to bring parcels
of food. Only scanty information leaks out of what happens in the barracks, through the doctors, who are the only persons
allowed in, and through such persons who have been deported and write from their place of exile.
"The first transport, in November, 1940, was directed to Ostrowiec Kielecki and to Limanowa.
The deportees were given the houses of the Jews who had been expelled or had escaped farther East. Since then a train of exiles
has been dispatched to the 'Government General' every week. One of them travelled for 5 days through various stations,
including Czestochowa, without finding any spot where the unhappy victims could be unloaded."
11. Unexampled Pillage
(Deposition by a Polish diplomat, April, 1940)
"The deportations continue without interruption. Several hundred thousand people, stripped of
everything, have already been deported from Poznania and Pomerania. At first they were deported in lorries, now trains come
for the unhappy people; whole blocks of houses are simultaneously evacuated in the towns, and in the country entire villages;
and every one must leave everything he possessed in 10-15 minutes. The Germans lock the wardrobes and take away the keys;
it is forbidden to take either bedding or warm coats; at the frontier of the 'Government General' there is a further search,
when they take away money and valuables, including even wedding rings and gold spectacle-frames. The victims, torn from their
homes, farms, or estates, and robbed of their possessions, are packed, cold and hungry, into cattle-trucks, without any chance
of getting out at a station. They are transported Eastward, without any definite destination, and after several days
and nights are unloaded somewhere, it may be near Warsaw, or at Kielde, Opoczno, Laskarzew, Lukow, Ryki.
"It is quite usual for corpses to be taken out of these trains together with the living, the
half-dead and the sick; it is so bitterly cold at the present. In the 'Government General' the small towns, which have been
for the most part burned or destroyed, are given no previous notice of the arrival of these transports of deportees. The people
are scattered among the villages, which have been stripped of food by the Polish, Bolshevik and German armies, and now by
the hordes of vagabonds who have been wandering over the whole of the country since the beginning of the war. So that in many
cottages there is nothing but black misery and famine. In the other direction, from Esthonia, Volhynia and the Volga, come
German colonists, eating up the country on the way, to take possession of the places which have been cleared of the Polish population."
12. Deportations From the Towns of Poznania
(Deposition by Father J. G.)
"On November 9, 1939, they deported 300 families from Gniezno, first holding them in the large
hall of the tannery (men, women, priests and monks). On Sunday, December 3, 1939, 150 more familes. Some people returning
from church were not allowed to go back to their houses, but the keys were taken from them and they were led off to the
tannery. In the middle of December this entire transport was deported to Lublin. Some transports were sent in open trucks in
10 or 15 degrees of frost.
"At Inowroclaw on the night of November 30, about 1,000 families were turned into the streets,
assembled in the market place, which was surrounded with soldiers, and then taken to the station and put in trucks (a long
line of trucks was standing ready). Soldiers were on guard to see that no one else approached the trucks. The transport
was sent off in an unknown direction.
"In the middle of December, 1939, 1,500 persons were deported from the district of Znin to Minsk
Mazowiecki. Among them was the paralyzed Mr. Unrug, whose estate at Cerekwica had been confiscated. Also Mr. Bogusiewicz from
Bozejewicze (owner of a mill and a landed estate), Dr. Jaczynski, the chemist Siejga of Janowiec, and many other citizens
who had deserved well of the Polish nation and State. They are to-day homeless and beggars. They have lost all their possessions,
which they had inherited from their fathers, or which they had gathered in a lifetime of work."
13. Mass Deportation From the County of Gostyn
(Deposition by a hospital assistant from Poznania)
"The Germans began the deportation of the Polish population from the town of Gostyn, in Poznania on
December 8, 1939; at first some 30 families were expelled from their houses. They were told to go find quarters with acquaintances.
On December 16 Germans from Riga arrived and were quartered in the large building of the Philippine monastery. They behaved
in a disorderly and noisy manner; in fact such scenes took place that the soldiers from Gostym had to intervene. The monks
from the Philippine monastery were expelled and their bedding taken from them. One of the Germans so-called Braune Schwester
(brown sisters), called Hexe or 'the witch.' carried off all the stocks of food from the monastery to a Gostyn grocer's
shop which belonged to a German woman.
"The first transport of deportees from Gostyn, numbering 1,100 people, was sent to Rawa Mazowiecka.
These poor people were first transported in large dung carts (called 'hela'). Behind every cart 5 German police marched as
though they were guarding convicts. The sight of the people weeping in the carts was dreadful. The monastery was turned into
a temporary concentration camp. There the deportees were subjected to a personal search: all money in excess of 200 zlotys
was taken from them, together with all their jewellery (with the exception of one ring), their savings bank books, their stock
and share certificates, and works of art. They were allowed to keep food, a blanket, pillows, and, if anyone had children,
a feather quilt and a suit of clothes. Some of them were allowed only 20 minutes to pack up, some of them were taken straight
from their work, from their office or factory, and led off to the monastery, where the deportees were fed with pea-soup prepared
by the sisters; in addition, they got one roll each and camomile tea without sugar in the morning. After 3 days in the monastery
the transport was sent to Rawa Mazowiecka. Among them were Mr. Lossow, Mrs. Potworowska and Mrs. Karlowska.
"The next deportation was carried out on December 16. It applied not only to Gostyn but also
to other towns of the district: Poniec, Krobia and others - altogether 1,208 people. It was in this second transport
that I travelled to Tarnow. When they took us off, each cart was followed by 4 civilians of the Hilfspolizei and
2 gendarmes. When people who met us on the road wanted to give us something to eat, the Germans would not let them. Someone
threw a box of cigarettes to one one the deportees and a German officer ran up and beat the latter man terribly.
"From the County of Gostyn they even deported a number of Germans who were not friendly to the
"At Gostyn the Germans smashed the cross which stood in the market place. At Kozmin, they destroyed
the statue of St. John in the market place and also the beautiful monument to the Polish insurgents. In some places they also
demolished churches. At Srem, where 56 men were shot, the parish priest was sick; he was to have been shot also. Then his
curate appeared in his place, and begged to be shot instead of him. The Germans agreed to the exchange, but when the old parish
priest got well again, he was shot too. At Krobia 15 persons were shot, and at Leszno 105.
"At Cracow I saw a transport of workers going to Germany. The majority were mountaineers. Two
persons returned from this work in Germany. They said that the Ukrainian Legion guarded them there, and used to beat the Polish
workmen. They had worked in a factory, but they could not stand it, so they sold the clothes in which they had come from Poland
and used the money for their return journey, in the course of which they had to steal across the frontier.
"Our journey to Tarnow was made in dreadful conditions. The train consisted of 16 carriages of
an old German type, and cattle-trucks strewn with a little straw. The journey lasted from Wednesday to the following Sunday,
and in all that time we were not once given anything to eat. The small children cried continually. Only at Plaszow did we
get pea-soup and warm water.
"On our arrival at Tarnow 400 persons were quartered in the Brodzinski and Konopnicka schools.
Deportees are still living in the latter place, being looked after by the Catholic organization 'Caritas.' The rest of the
people from the district of Konin were scattered among the villages, where they live two days at a time with poor folk and
a week at a time with the more well-to-do farmers. The local people are very kind to the new-comers and do all they can
14. Extermination of the Poles in Pomerania
(Deposition by Mr. N. B. of Pelplin in Pomerania)
"The aim of German policy is to annihilate the Polish element which, according to the declaration
of the Germans, must disappear altogether. Its chief representatives, whom Germany call Hetzer (instigators),
have already been murdered. The intellectual class has already been grundlich aufgeraumt (fundamentally cleared out).
All the Polish merchants have been dispossessed of everything without compensation, and their shops, with all contents and
their capital, have been given to in-coming Germans.
"These merchants and intellectuals, with their families (or separately), have been deported en
masse into Germany, particularly to Prussian Pomerania. The same fate befell the Polish landowners of the neighbourhood
of Peplin. The men are placed in concentration camps and camps for compulsory labour. There are special camps for women, or
they are placed (young ladies and married women from the intellectuals and landowners' families) as servants and working women
on the German farms in Pomorze. There children who are deported are placed in special institutions, where an attempt is being
made to bring them up as faithful subjects of the Fuhrer. They also are given, as the Nazis say, alle notigen
Einspritzungen (all necessary injections).
"The remaining Polish element, the mass of the workers, is being treated in a fashion cunningly
intended to denationalize them, based on the principle: das Polenvolk muss man vollig ausrotten (the Polish
people must be completely exterminated)."
15. Expulsion of the Poles From the Industrial Centre of Lodz
(Deposition by Mr. E. R., February 12, 1940)
"On January 15, 1940, some 1,400 families, mainly middle and junior state and municipal officials,
were expelled from their houses in the district of Lodz called Polesie; they were taken to a factory in Lakowa Street. Up
to January 26 (the date of our informant's departure) their houses were still standing empty, while the deportees were kept
in the factory in frightful conditions. The factory halls were not heated, though there was severe frost, and only the children
had any straw to sleep on. There was a shortage of water, and once a day hot soup was brought in a water-cart. As there was
a shortage of utensils and spoons, it was cold before those who were waiting for cups could get it.
"When friends came to visit them, various tricks were played on them. For example on January
18 or 19 all the visitors were kept shut up in the factory all night. The deportees were searched for valuables, and rings,
watches, etc., were taken from them. The first deportations, on December 12, 13 and 14, mainly affected the intellectuals,
who were transported to the sub-Carpathian region.
"Our informant confirms the information already obtained, to the effect that when the Jews were
deported the Jewish community was consulted, owing to which they had relatively better conditions than the Poles. Seventeen
hundred of them were deported each day, in motor buses and carts. They were notified several days beforehand.
16. Corpses of Deported Children in Railway Trucks
(Deposition by Mr. Francis H.)
"The deportations from Lodz were carried out in the following conditions:
"I was arrested and held in a large factory at Radogoszcz (a suburb of Lodz). On the 3rd day
all of us, about 2,500 persons, were taken by tram to the Kalisz railway station, here we were kept in 25-30 degrees
of frost for 3 hours, after which we were loaded into unheated cattle-trucks, 60-70 persons in each, and transported for 4
days, during all which time they gave us nothing to eat nor did they let us out to satisfy our natural needs.
"At one station the local population brought us food, but the Germans not only let no one approach,
but began to shoot at the people bringing the food. During the journey six children aged from 2 months to 2 years were
frozen to death. These children had had to travel without bedding, pillows or warm clothing for the German authorities had
only given the deportees 10 minutes to get everything ready.
17. Deportation of Polish Intellectuals
(Deposition by engineer J. K., April 5, 1940.)
"Deportations of the Polish intellectuals and of the Jews from Lodz are being carried out on
a large scale. They are deported according to their occupations: barristers, judges, doctors, public prosecutors and officials.
"The order is given at night, and the people are taken in trams to the Fair buildings in
Reymont Square, where they are kept in bitter cold for several days, and then some are sent to camps and others to the 'Government
"There have been cases of children being deported without their parents.
"The aim is the destruction of the entire intellectual class. Greiser, the Gauleiter
of the Warthegau, to which Lodz belongs, stated in a public speech, that in the course of 3 months Lodz would be
made Polenfrei und Judenfrei (Pole-free and Jew-free)."
18 The Deportees' Frightful Conditions of Travel
(Deposition by Dr. M. R.)
"At Zawiercie on December 11 or 12, 1939, a train was seen full of deportees from Lodz, going
to South-east Poland. There were a few trucks with roofs, but the rest were coal-trucks, though there was 13 degrees
of frost. No one was allowed to give the deportees any food. They had no warm clothing; 70% were women and children. A railway
worker said that in his train half of the deportees froze to death.
"During the holiday season and the January frosts (January 5 and 15, temperature 20-34 degrees
below zero) there was a mass evacuation of the Polish population, particularly from the counties of Turek, Plock, the Maritime
County and some counties of the Province of Lodz, to the Counties of Bochnia and Mielec in the 'Government General.'
The people were transported in sealed trucks, for 3 to 5 days, without being allowed to leave them, even if they were
sick or to satisfy their physical needs. From enquiries made of the evacuated people it appears that there was not one wagon
out of 10 or 15 trains in which there was not at least one person frozen to death.
"From the Counties of Plock, Ciechanow, Plonsk, and Mlawa all the owners of farms of 50 hectares
and over have already been evacuated.
"In the middle of November the inhabitants of Rybaki, part of the town of Plock, were expelled;
their houses, mostly old, being doomed to destruction. The deportees were transported in berlins (large half-covered, flat-bottomed
barges) to the borders of the 'Government General.' They had six hours in which to pack up and were allowed to take with them
whatever they liked. At the end of November German colonists were brought in, in their place. Some were settled in two
Polish villages, about 12 miles from Plock in the direction of Bozdan, and were very displeased with the change. The deported
Poles had not been allowed to take their stock with them, whereas the Germans came with their stock. There were several cases
of deportations of entire villages, both in the County of Plock and in the Counties of Wloclawek and Nieszawa."
19. Compulsorily Transported to Germany
(Deposition by Father A. G.)
"Both old people and priests and monks are being deported for labour in Germany. Father Musial,
of Bydgoszcz, is working as a labourer on a farm near Stettin. Counts Zoltowski, Brzeski and other eminent citizens from
the district of Gniezno have been deported to Frankfort on the Oder. Many citizens have been sent to concentration camps,
e.g., to Dachau. Many Poles have died or gone out of their minds as a result of the tortures they have undergone, e.g. Dr.
Wiecki, of Bydgoszcz. The families of those deported to Germany or to concentration camps receive no help from any quarter.
Their savings are exhausted, and they are without bread."
20. Modern Slavery
(Deposition by Mr. A. Z., October 25, 1940)
"In the 'incorporated' territories there are often press-gangs which work in the various parts
of the towns, both in the streets and bursting into houses. Persons who cannot prove that they are employed or have applied
to the labour office (which provides only physical labour, without regard to qualifications) are arrested and sent to
labour camps or transported to Germany to work in the fields. In the camps situated in the 'incorporated' territory (e.g.,
at Drobin, in the County of Plock) the Volksdeutsche distinguish themselves by the brutality they show towards the
"These man-hunts also take place in the 'Government General,' not excluding Warsaw. Those arrested
are sent to work on the fortifications along the Soviet frontier, or are transported to Germany. At a railway station
I have seen a transport of prisoners going to Germany, including young women of the educated class from Warsaw. I know personally
that 60 or 70 people from Biala Podlaska, in the Province of Lublin, are imprisoned in camps near Cologne."
21. Children Torn From Their Parents
(Deposition by Mr. W. K., May, 1940)
"There are numerous cases of young people and children being deported. The worst is that recently
there have been a number of cases in which families have been separated; the parents have been left and the children deported.
This has led more than once to hellish scenes. The Germans in Poznania particularly attacked the young people, persons who
had not been born in the area, and those who had opted for Poland in the territory formerly beonging to the Reich (before
1918). Transports of deportees are sent to the concentration camp at Glowna in open trucks, sometimes from a considerable
distance, from Lubon, Biedrusko, and even from Puszczykowo, by night in 30 degrees of frost. The people were frozen stiff
with cold, and often had to be carried, and afterwards were rubbed and restored to life by the unfortunate people already
"Of late it has been observed in the concentration camp that after eating the smallest meal the
inmates feel pains in the stomach and bowels. An epidemic of typhus and dysentery has broken out. This is beginning to
seem suspicious, and the people fear that they are being deliberately poisoned.
"There have been cases where weapons have been planted on unhappy victims, to provide a pretext
for their accusation and execution. This was done recently with a sergeant of the Polish army, who had been deported with
his daughters. A weapon was found in his possession; it had been planted on him, for he knew nothing about it, and,
moreover, had been searched previously. The Nazi ruffians searched him and found it in his side pocket, to his consternation.
This was sufficient pretext for the unfortunate man to be shot together with his daughters.
"From Bydgoszcz and Torun come reports of further deportations of young people of both sexes.
Recently a transport of girls who had been deported in September returned, they were weak and walked like ghosts. The majority
of them had been violated by degenerate Nazis, and were pregnant. Of course then they were no longer wanted."
22. Expulsion of Poles From Houses in Cracow
(Deposition by Mr. R. M., January, 1940)
"The invaders are greatly altering the appearance of Crakow. They have changed the names of the
streets. They are still expelling people from their houses. The method of expulsion is as follows: almost all new and comfortably
arranged houses, which means houses in the Krasinski, Mickiewicz and Slowacki Avenues and the neighbouring streets are to
form the German quarter. The mining academy has been turned into an office for Governor Frank; in its neighbourhood all the
Poles are threatened with expulsion. So far about 80% have been expelled from it. All the section of the town which is reserved
for deportations is closed by the Gestapo, who search all those who leave to see whether what they are taking is allowed by
deportation regulations. At first they did not give deportees any other houses, but now they are getting substitute dwellings
with Jewish and Polish families."
23. The Deportees' Misery in Their New Homes
(Depositions by Mr. R. T., May, 1940)
"From the district of Kielce comes news of the difficult, indeed almost unbelievable position
of the people (from Poznania) who have been deported there. They are partly distributed in schools or the office buildings
of landed estates. At Koniecpol or Radom twenty persons are put in one room, sleeping on foul straw which has not been changed
for 3 months. As the quarters are not heated, the damp and mildew reach a yard and a half up the walls.
"They are given food once a day from a cauldron; it consists of potato soup without any fat.
Bread for the refugees costs a zloty for a loaf weighing a kilogram (2 & 1/4 lbs). At Czestochowa the situation is still
worse, for neither bread nor potatoes can be bought. There is a shortage of these most important articles of food, and when
they do appear on the market the prices are so high that the impoverished people cannot buy them. A loaf of bread which ought
to cost 80 groszes costs 3 zlotys - and is black and uneatable.
"The Citizens' Committee is helpless, not being able to get support from anyone, and the local
population is also in desperate circumstances. Consequently the poor exiles drop with weakness and many are seriously ill;
dysentery and typhus are spreading. The lack of clothing - for they were deported just as they stood - the lack of bedding
and linen leads to many of them freezing to death. Many outstanding people, among them even university professors, doctors
and barristers, have to beg and ask for alms. There is no fuel. They have to bring wood from the forest, for the peat is graciously
reserved for the farmers. They cannot get any employment, for the local occupation authorities tell them they have been deported
as a punishment. So what is left to them? Apparently nothing but starvation.
24. The Tragedy of the Peasants in the Zywiec County
(Report dated the end of December, 1940)
"In the autumn of 1940 the German authorities began the brutal deportation of the Polish peasant
population from the County of Zywiec, in former Western Galicia, a district purely Polish from the ethnic point of view, and
never inhabited by any considerable number of Germans.
"As they were threatened with transportation, the peasants refrained from planting potatoes,
sowing winter rye and other autumn operations. Then the Landrat of Zywiec procalaimed that the deportations would
not take place, and that everyone must carry out his agricultural work under pain of punishment for deliberate sabotage. Despite
this proclamation deportations began at the end of September, 1940, being carried out in the following manner. Early in
the morning a number of lorries filled with armed S.S. men, would drive into a village. All the roads, bridges and even
field paths were occupied by the S.S., who were armed with machine-guns which they trained on the village. Smaller detachments
paid particular attention to the peasant farms, driving the inhabitants on to the road, and making them stand with their hands
up, with machine-guns trained on them. Then they proceeded to search each individual and to go through the farm buildings.
During this search small objects like watches, money and even wedding rings found their way into the pockets of the members
of the S.S.
"The deportees were allowed to take with them only one suit of clothes and a little food. As
they were driven out of their houses they were kicked and beaten with the butts of guns, neither old folk, women nor children
being spared. In consequence several were wounded, and even killed, for example at Sol and Jelesnia. Several women as they
were trying to escape were shot among the farm buildings. One woman had her infant shot in her arms. Then they were kicked
and knocked about, packed into lorries, and transported to concentration camps at Rajcza and Zywiec. There deportees from
several villages were assembled and kept two or three days in the open fields in rain and frost, not being allowed any warm
food or covering. There were terrible scenes of suicide and child births. Only after two or three thousand deportees had been
collected were they packed into trains, with twenty zlotys each in their pockets, and transported to the neighbourhood of
Lublin, Warsaw, or Kielce in the 'Govenrment General.'
"It should be mentioned that the journey in unheated trucks frequently lasted 3 days. On arrival
at their destination they were divided into groups of 10 or so, who were assigned to 1 farmer, this being the equivalent to
being condemned to a life of beggary. A few of the younger men and the stronger women were transported to Germany in special
trains to do compulsory labour there.
"It should be said that in spite of the desperate position in which they found themselves,
the population behaved heroically. When the lorries full of deportees drove through some place which had not yet been evacuated
they sung the Polish National Anthem.
"When it transpired that the assurance that there would be no transportations was false, the
people began to destroy their farm buildings and stock, so as to leave as little as possible for the Germans. They cut the
throats of their fowls, sheep and goats and cattle. They scattered their feather quilts and pillows, destroyed the tiled stoves,
and chopped up the floorboards and doors. Every night chickens and geese were hung on the door of the police station, with
the inscription underneath: 'They would rather be hanged than be eaten by the Germans.'
"The entire population of any particular village was not deported at once, for some inhabitants
were left in peace. It appeared that this was done because the agricultural labourers left behind wanted to dig potatoes and
finish agricultural operations for the incoming Germans. But they were used principally to destroy the mountaineers' cottages.
For in place of 10 or 12 deported families the authorities established a single family of Germans from Volhynia, who spoke
Polish or Ruthenian, and knew only a few words of German; they were given the fields and the livestock, etc., which had belonged
to the deported Poles. In this way the authorities created farms of 20-30 Little-Polish morg (one morg is
about half a hectare, or 1.3 acres). The German family was established in the best house, and all the other houses were destroyed
and used for firewood. Those of the inhabitants who were not deported at first had their turn later, only a few families being
left in each village. They were quartered in remote cottages, which lay high in the mountains. Two or 3 families were crowded
into each cottage, for which they were compelled to pay a rent of 7 to 20 marks. They were also deprived of the fields they
had formerly possessed, and were alloted small holdings of one-half or three-quarters of a morg of the worst soil
high in the mountains. They were informed that even this land was only rented to them and not given outright.
"The villages in the County of Zywiec had a 98.5% Polish population at the last census. To-day
the district is completely changed in appearance. On the lonely roads one hears Ukrainian, and the densely built settlements
are vanishing, only heaps of rubbish being left in their place. The transportations are continuing, and it has further
to be added that even before they began some 20,000 people, mainly men, were in German or Russian captivity, or had been
transported in masses to Germany for forced labour during the spring of 1940."
25. Making Poland German
(A neutral testimony)
The following message has been sent in January, 1941, to his paper in Helsinki, Finland, by Bertil
Svahnstroem, Berlin Correspondent of the Hufvutsdatbladet:
"Poznan, in Poland, is to-day a town with an exterior German facade on a Polish body. Gauleiter
Greiser is endeavouring with an iron fist to change Poznan into a German town 'forever.' No compromise whatever will
be allowed. The chief city of the Warthegau is to become the centre of Germany's colonisation in Poland.
"In August, 1939, just before the outbreak of war, Poznan had only 10,000 German inhabitants
out of a population of 300,000. Foreigners could use the English or French languages. In Poznan to-day French is spoken only
by French prisoners of war employed in clearing the streets of snow.
"Asked why war prisoners were sent to Poland, when there was no shortage of labour locally, a
German official spokesman replied: 'In every town and village of the Warthegau we keep a large number of French and British
war prisoners because we want to show Poles what their saviours really look like.'
"The number of Germans has risen in Poznan to 60,000. To-day they are the decisive and ruling
"Poles have been degraded to a lower class. Representatives of the Polish intellectual classes
have disappeared to the last man. Leading officials are German, but the minor officials are all Poles. Bus conductors are
Poles. In shops and offices the managing personnel is German, the assistant personnel Polish.
"The Nazi authorities will not allow German blood to mix with Polish blood. By depriving the
Poles of Polish schools and books, they intend to force the German language on the Polish working classes.
"The wages of the working classes are without a fixed standard."
END OF CHAPTER IV
CHAPTER FIVE: THE GERMAN COLONIZATION IN POLAND
Even while consolidating his conquests, and before those conquests have received any international sanction,
in accordance with the high-sounding slogan of National Socialism: Lebensraum fur das deutsche Volk (Living space
for the German people) Hitler has created a new State organization called Reichsstelle fur Raumordnung (Reich Office
for Space Planning).
The Kolnische Zeitung of November 21, 1940, writes that the task of the new office, which is to
co-operate with the Reich Commission for strengthening the German nation, is:
"to fill the unpopulated (menschenleere) areas in the East by settling German peasants, German
business men and workers, so that as a result a country truly German shall arise."
It is worth noting that the quoted article speaks of unpopulated areas, whereas the Polish Western Provinces
have a comparatively high density of population. The Province of Poznan had 208 inhabitants per square mile, Pomerania 183
inhabitants the Province of Lodz 333, and Silesia as much as 765 inhabitants per square mile. In view of these figures, the
phrase "unpopulated areas" aquires an ominous meaning. It contains the distinct forecast of further expulsions of Poles from
the incorporated territories. They want to create a wilderness which will be gradually filled by German colonists.
The German plans, which are calculated with the greatest precision, leave out of consideration the position
of the 8 million Poles to-day living in these areas. All the agricultural land lying within the bounds of the annexed territory
is destined to come under the German plough.
Thus there is to be complete spoliation of everything that is Polish for the benefit of the German settlers,
and this is called the German new order in space: die deutsche Raumordnung.
It is very difficult to estimate the exact number of Poles so far deported from the "incorporated"
territories, for there are no official German data on the subject. Reliable estimates, however, give the number of deported
up to March 1, 1940, as 720,000; by December 31 of the same year the number had probably risen to some 1,500,000.
On the other hand, the number of Germans brought in to take their places is considerably smaller. According
to figures published by German sources it amounts only to about 450,000, so that the proportion of deported to imported is
something like 10:3.
The Germans explain this disproportion by the necessity to reserve positions, farms and workshops for
front-line soldiers, who will be placed in them after the war. Further, the Germans propose to create larger farms than have
existed hitherto. For example, in the densely populated County of Zywiec, after the Polish peasants had been expelled,
numerous farm buildings were destroyed and several (sometimes as many as a dozen) farms were united in one large holding to
be given to Germans from Volhynia.
Where the German Settlers Come From
The German settlement policy in the annexed Polish lands provides for different categories of
settlers: Germans from the Baltic States, from Central and Eastern districts of Poland, from Bukovina, and Bessarabia, from
Lithuania and the Southern Tyrol, and also from the Central and Western provinces of the German Reich. According to the present
plan this mixture is to be further diversified after the war by the addition of Frontkampfer, i.e. front-line soldiers, to
be settled on the land.
So far all the Germans from the Baltic States, Latvia and Esthonia, have been transported to
Poland; they arrived in the autumn of 1939, immediately after the occupation of Poland. The Litzmannstadter Zeitung
of May 17, 1940, published an article from which we may learn many details concerning their transportation. Altogether
70,000 Germans have been shifted from the Baltic States: 55,000 from Latvia and 15,000 from Esthonia. Of these, 51,000 have
been settled in the so-called Warthegau (30,000 actually in the city of Poznan) and 11,000 in the Gau Danzig-Westpreussen.
Fifteen hundred people are in Central Germany in training or on military service, and are to be settled on the Polish lands
at a later date; 3,500 people have been classified as unlikely to make successful colonists in Poland. Germans from the Baltic
States have been or will be given charge of 3,000 industrial or commercial undertakings and 1,000 artisans' workshops.
The newspaper account from which we draw the above information states that the division of land
among these German immigrants was carried out with the intention of "compensating them for the harm done them by the agrarian
reforms in Latvia and Esthonia." Before the world war these Germans owned altogether about a million hectares of land. The
figure had fallen during the last 20 years to 86,000 hectares. The former barons of Courland and Livonia have now been compensated
for the lands lost in Latvia and Esthonia by the grant of Polish landed property in Poznania and Pomerania. The Baltic
peasants have received 2,300 farms of various acreages in the Warthegau and 280 farms in Gau Danzig-Westpreussen.
Other professional classes transferred from the Baltic States include 75 professors, 340 architects,
365 doctors, 256 members of the legal profession (barristers and judges), 358 pharmaceutical chemists, 100 foresters and a
large number of merchants. Almost all have been assured that they will be able to follow their professions the Polish districts.
A large number of public and private officials have found employment mainly in commerce and in numerous German offices.
During the winter of 1939-40, Germans were shifted from the Central and Eastern districts of
Poland, from the areas occupied by the Soviets and from the "Government General."
Some 135,000 people have been transferred from the Soviet occupied area, and above all from Volhynia,
South-Eastern Poland and the Province of Bialystok. As the German Press itself admits, many of these Germans have "forgotten"
the German language, and so have first been sent to Germany in order "to soak themselves in pure Germanism and the National
Socialist outlook" (Weltanschauung). Some of them were settled on "incorporated" Polish lands during the spring and
summer of 1940. The remainder will undergo further training until they are regarded as competent to play the part of colonists
In the autumn of 1940 it was officially stated that up to August 24 Germans from Volhynia had
taken over about 12,500 farms in the territory of the Warthegau, of which 6,800 were in the district of Lodz, 5,474
in the district of Inowroclaw, and 200 in the district of Poznan.
In the autumn of 1940, 35,000 Germans were transferred from the districts of Lublin and Chelm,
about half of them being settled in the Western Provinces. The Hamburger Fremdenblatt wrote in detail about
these immigrants in its issue for September 24, 1940, stating that they were mainly settlers who had established themselves
in the East before the war of 1914-18. According to the same newspaper the transference of these people was to be completed
in October, 1940.
At about the same time the first transports arrived from Bessarabia and Bukovina, where the total
number of Germans amounted to about 200,000.
Further, the colonists include Germans from the Reich itself. The last category is to include
merchants, artisans and others who were settled in Polish lands before 1918 and afterwards returned to the Reich, and above
all peasants from Southern Germany. According to the calculations published by Darre, the German Minister for Agriculture,
during 1940 400,000 families were to be transferred from the Reich, 60,000 of these coming from Baden alone. In addition,
emigrants were to be furnished by Wurtemberg, Westphalia and the Rhineland and Main districts (Berliner Borsenzeitung
of January 10, 1940). Altogether, according to the plan, at least 2,000,000 people are to be transported from Western Germany
to Polish territory. As a matter of fact, only a very small percentage of the above number were settled last year.
It may be assumed that up to September, 1940, about 100,000 Germans from the Reich had been
settled in Polish territory, and in addition some 75,000 Germans were settled in Western Poland, from which they had emigrated
to Germany after the war of 1914-18.
It is difficult to determine the actual number of immigrants already settled in Poland because
a considerable number of those brought in from abroad are still in training in Central Germany undergoing National-Socialist
The Volkischer Beobachter of January 7, 1941, gives the following figures of Germans
transferred from various countries to the Polish "incorporated" areas:
Chelm and Lublin areas.......31,000
According to later German sources (e.g., the Volkischer Beobachter of March, 30, 1941)
in which the results of German colonization in Poland from the outbreak of the war down to December 31, 1940, as also
the colonization plans for 1941, are discussed, by the middle of 1941 some half a million Germans were to have been transferred
to Poland. This figure does not include Germans drawn direct from Germany, among whom are not only military and civil authorities,
but also representatives of various free professions and handicrafts.
The figure of 500,000 is probably an over-estimate, for a number of German colonists, many of
whom did not even know German, have been held a very long time in "re-education" camps in Germany where they have to undergo
How do They feel in Their New Polish Homes?
By a series of decrees, Poles in the lands "incorporated" with the Reich have been deprived of
all their possessions. The expropriated property: commercial and industrial undertakings, shops, artisans' workshops, and
immovable properties in towns are administered by German Treuhander, who function under the direction of the specially
created Haupttreuhandstelle Ost. Agricultural and forest estates taken from the Poles are administered by the Ostdeutsche
Landwirtschaftgesellschaft m.b.H. until they are assigned to settlers. More details about this organization, as
well as the institution of Treuhander, are given in the section dealing with the robbery of Polish public and private
In the course of settling Germans in the place of Poles the authorities are attempting to
modify the agrarian system in order to make it conform to the interests of the Reich. According to the Der Neue Tag
of September 22, 1940, and the statements made by various party leaders, this system of small and large estates, comprising
the agricultural economy of the "incorporated" Polish lands, and in particular of the so-called Warthegau, is to
form the main source of food supply for the German Reich. This paper lays special stress on the future tasks of the above-mentioned
Ostdeutsche Landwirtschaftgesellschaft, which in the Warthegau alone has under its control 2,000 large
estates and 275,000 small farms.
"From the point of view of 'food economy,'" it states, "an important surplus area has been aquired.
The acreage under cultivation amounts to 3.25 million hectares. From this year's harvest great quantities of agricultural
produce, particularly grain and potatoes, will be sent to the Reich. No less than 25% of the entire rye harvest of the Reich,
25% of the potatoe harvest and 20% of the beet crop will come from this Gau. It is the granary of the Reich and in
future, owing to the promotion of pig-breeding, it will be its 'dripping fat-pot' also."
In connection with these plans the German Press has devoted much attention to the question of
human material which is to be settled on the stolen Polish land, and its "racial" and health standards.
The practical side of the settlement of suitable Germans on the farms or larger estates
administered by the above-mentioned trustees organization is dealt with by a number of German institutions created for this
purpose, with the Einwanderer-Zentrale as the chief. This institution is composed of representatives of all the interested
organizations and offices and co-ordinates the activities of the offices concerned with settlement problems. Its head office
is Berlin, but it has branches in the territory to be colonized, e.g., at Poznan, Gdynia, Lodz, etc. In connection with this
central institution the Deutsche Umsiedlungsgellschaft occupies itself with the actual settlement on the land, and
carries on all kinds of activities, administrative, taxational, financial and so on, connected with the settlement of the
A special role in the colonization plan is to be played by small holdings intended for front-line
soldiers on their return from the war. The preparatory work in this field is being done by the so-called Bauernsiedlung
(peasant settlement). There exists in Warthegau 3 organizations of this kind: Bauernsiedlung Hohensalza
(Inowroclaw peasant settlement), Bauernsiedlung Posen and Bauernsiedlung Kalisch. The Gau Danzig-Westpreussen
has called into being a Bauernsiedlung Danzig-Westpreussen. The Reich Ministry of Food has provided each of these
4 institutions with capital, amounting at present to 2,000,000 German marks.
Farms intended for Germans are reorganized according to the particular part which they are to
play in the German plan. Therefore, it is frequently necessary to make certain alterations in their constitution, to unite
smaller units into larger ones, and to supplement the livestock and equipment. For this work a special institution has been
created, the Zentralbeschaffungstelle (Central Supplies Office).
Finally, there is one question which should be answered: What is the relation between the German
settlers and the Poles who still remain, and how do they behave in face of the fact that they have been settled on stolen
The settlers only realize after some considerable time that they are the instruments of a criminal
action which has been carried on without regard to moral scruples. The omnipresent Gestapo provides them with a ready-made
answer to justify the theft of other people's property. When a correspondent of the Kolnische Zeitung asked
in March 1940 one of the German families transferred from the Baltic States what had happened to the former owners, they gave
the typical answer: "They are dead or have run away."
During the first few months of their stay in Poland many of the Baltic Germans who received stolen
Polish houses, buildings and undertakings, were convinced that the German authorities had paid the former owners compensation
for everything. Now, however, they are better informed, and realize that they are enjoying the use of stolen property. And
some of them - as accounts received testify - feel certain moral scruples. But the majority have already absorbed the National-Socialst
It should be said that the Baltic Germans settled in Poland were able to bring with them the
whole of their movable property. From Latvia alone they brought 6,000 head of cattle. The above-mentioned Deutsche
Umsiedlungsgesellschaft is particularly occupied with the liquidation of the immovable property left behind by the
settlers and of all their other interests. But the Poles expelled from the "incorporated" territories were not allowed
to take with them a single saucepan.
The new colonists do not as a rule reveal the least sympathy for the lot of those who have been
expelled. The German Press has quoted numerous statements by doctors, lawyers and farmers expressing their joy and satisfaction
at having been given possession of dwellings, surgeries, dental surgeries, admirably equipped workshops, and agricultural
holdings. On the other hand, German diplomatic representatives have cynically shown foreign journalists photographs of Poznan
houses, confiscated from the Poles. Underneath were captions to the effect that the German fatherland had prepared these beautifully-arranged
dwellings and had given them to the fellow-countrymen from Latvia and Esthonia.
Although neither the Baltic nor the Volhynian Germans have any belief in the victory of the Germans,
they quickly fall in with the plans of the regime. Only occasionally are fears expressed of the future which may await them.
A characteristic example is given in the deposition of one of the expropriated Poles:
"A Baltic German landowner, a Baron from Latvia, was settled on the estate of one of the Polish
landowners, on the right bank of the Vistula. He turned out to be a decent fellow. Despite his privileged position he allowed
the dispossessed Pole to take away two wagon-loads of food and utensils, and when he noticed the latter's dejection he
said to him: 'You should think how much better your lot is than mine. Sooner or later you will return to your property,
and I shall have to leave this place without any hope of returning to my estate in Latvia.'"
This German's case is by no means isolated.
The Balance-Sheet of the Settlement Scheme
As already stated, the Polish lands "incorporated" in the German Reich were inhabited by 10,740,000
inhabitants, of whom more than 9,500,000 were Poles. The German plan for getting rid of the Polish element is supposed to
provide for the expulsion of at least 5,000,000. The Germans obviously believe that when completely deprived of their leaders,
cut off from all forms of Polish culture, and economically dependent on their German employers, caught in the iron teeth of
the National-Socialist Machine, the remaining 4,500,000 Polish peasants and workers can quickly be transformed into humble
and obedient Volksdeutsche.
As for those expelled, they are transported to the so-called "Government General," a part of
the country which already is densely inhabited, is incapable of meeting its own needs, and further has been devastated by
the war and by the pillage of the German occupants. This area (not much larger than Bulgaria, with a population of 6,000,000)
is intended to accomodate 17-18 millions. It is obvious that Hitler's plan is to create conditions which will cause enormous
mortality in the population of the "Government General," and thus bring about a large reduction in the numbers of the Polish
Of these 5,000,000 to be expelled from the "incorporated" areas, over 1,500,000 have been deported
during the 2 years of German occupation. This means that so far, one-third of the entire plan has been carried out. The deportations
are still continuing.
In the place of this 1,500,000 so far some 450,000 Germans have been imported. Of the 3,200,000
hectares of land taken from the Poles, scarcely 10% has been given to new owners. The remainder is administered by the German
Although it is always declared with the utmost emphasis that the plan for colonizing the Polish
lands has deliberately been carried out only to a small extent, in order to leave the greater part of the land and jobs for
the Frontkampfer, yet the disproportion between the number of Poles deported and the number of Germans imported is
so striking that the German authorities are obviously meeting with great difficulties in carrying out their programme.
This disproportion has led to large-scale depopulation, which affected particularly the towns.
In some centres the depopulation is catastophic. We have already quoted the figures relating to the city of Kalisz, which,
according to the Berliner Borsenzeitung, possesses scarcely 50% of its pre-war number of inhabitants. In the first
period of the German occupation the population of Gdynia - the great Polish port, a town which had a flourishing commercial
life - has fallen from 130,000 to 17,000. An interesting sidelight on the present state of that town is given by the following
quotation from a Swedish paper, Goeteborgs Handels Och Soefardstidning, of January, 1940:
"Hitler has changed the name of the town of Gdynia to Gotenhafen (city of Goths). A
more proper name for it would be Totenhafen (city of Ghosts). A town which formerly had a population of 130,000 now
has 17,000 inhabitants. There are only a few hundred Poles left in Gdynia, and their lot is very hard. They are hungry, because
they do not share in the rationing. The Germans from the Baltic States live miserably, even though they are paid a subsidy.
The only nice things they have are the flats and the good furniture, as the Poles who were driven out of the town were forced
to leave everything behind. The Germans are removing the the furniture from the unoccupied flats and storing them in warehouses.
The port is completely dead. The equipment is being dismantled and shipped to Germany. Gdynia is to become a naval base, and
the Germans are taking away equipment."
So for the time being the Germans have suceeded in driving out Poles, but have not succeeded
in introducing Germans.
Considering the position in the Western Provinces, we reach interesting conclusions concerning
the causes of the difficulties encountered by the German authorities in colonizing the annexed territories.
One of them is the German population's dislike of settling in the East and its Drang nach
Westen which opposes the tendencies of the German policy: Drang nach Osten.
Even before the war of 1914-18, throughout the whole of the previous century there was a continuous
mass emigration of the population from the Eastern parts of the Reich to the West. This emigration reached enormous
dimensions. During the period 1840-1925, some 917,400 persons emigrated from East Prussia, 775,000 from Prussian Pomerania,
and 866,000 from Silesia, making a total of 2,560,000. In the course of only 15 years (1910-25), 178,100 persons emigrated
to Western Germany from East Prussia alone, i.e., 8% of the entire population of the province. The total figure for the
population of certain districts showed a fall which was not compensated by the natural increase. This process went on incessantly
over the whole of Eastern Germany. Even since the National-Socialists came to power, in the period 1933-39, states the Kolnische
Zeitung for November 9, 1940, some 25,000 people have emigrated to the West from East Prussia and from those portions
of Poznania which had been left in Germany. This figure was three-fifths of the entire natural increase.
This state of affairs compelled the Germans to introduce various privileges in the fields of
taxation, customs duties, and social and economic life for these Eastern territories, and in particular for East Prussia.
Thus they attempted to check the catastrophic German depopulation of these areas, which was all the more threatening because
the natural increase of the German inhabitants was decidedly less than that of the Poles. However, the alluring West (der
lockende Westen) was too great an attraction for the inhabitants of these Eastern areas and even far-reaching material
privileges could not check the spontaneous emigration. The development of German industry in the West, the better wages paid
to workmen, the greater possibilities of advancement open to the more capable and ambitious elements, the desire to live in
towns, in better conditions than the villages afforded, these were the real causes which produced the depopulation of Eastern
Germany and the process of migration to the West.
Among other competent authorities, Dr Frederick Burgdorfer, director of the Statistisches
Reichsant in Berlin, described the failing of the reproductive forces of the German people in very sombre colours in
an article entitled Wachstum und Lebensbilanz des deutschen Volkes, published in a compilation entitled Das Buch
vom deutschen Volkstum (Leipzig, 1935).
The same problem still exists to-day, aggravated by the additional circumstance that there is
a lack of faith in the permanence of the Brown Empire created by Hitler, a lack of faith in a victorious conclusion to the
war, and a fear of the Polish nation which is now being barbarously tortured.
To this now is added a further consideration, hints of which appear more and more clearly in
the articles, speeches, publications and practical actions of the leaders of the Third Reich.
The main foundation of the strength and power of Twentieth Century Germany was its industry,
which developed to enormous dimensions. This industry formed the basis of Germany's present military potential, and simultaneously
stimulated the desire to conquer the world in order to assure a satisfactory market for the product of that industry. But
this very fact involved the relegation of agriculture to the background, a phenomenon which, from the economic aspect of a
State aiming at autarchy, is undesirable and even injurious. The conquest of the Polish lands was intended, among other things,
to increase the economic area of the Reich by the inclusion of a territory naturally fitted for the practice of intensive
agriculture. This is one of the reasons why the Germans not only desire to make the Warthegau a Mustergau
for the whole German Reich, in which it will play the part of a granary, but have incorporated the extensive districts of
Central Poland, whose history has never had anything in common with German problems of policy.
But to achieve their desire and develop the agriculture of the "incorporated" areas, thus increasing
the output of agricultural produce to an extent which will satisfy all the needs of the Reich, the Germans need not only land.
Even more they need men, farmers, devoted to the soil, regarding the cultivation of the soil, making it increasingly fertile
and winning increasingly rich harvests from it, as their life work.
And so we come to the essential and basic factor in the difficulties confronting the Germans
in their task of Germaninzing the Polish lands. Germans who for the past 50 years have lived in an atmosphere of admiration
for and delight in industry, and in the great part which industry has to play in the achievement of the German nation's economic
and political mission, have ceased to take an interest in the soil. They do not feel drawn to it, as they must do if the soil
is to be their favourite field of labour.
Numerous articles discussing the exploitation of the Polish lands after the soldiers have returned
from the war stress the necessity for a very careful selection of Jungbauer, or Wehrbauer, i.e., young peasants
who can fulfil their mission in the spirit of the National-Socialist doctrine. That is why the German farmers from the Baltic
States, Rumania, etc., are being trained in Germany. Extensive propaganda is being carried on in the same spirit, excursions
are organized to the Polish lands, mobile exhibitions are arranged, all intended to encourage the Germans to go to the East
and devote themselves exclusively to the cultivation of the soil.
The Gauleiter of Poznania, Greiser, published an appeal to German youth to come and
make a career in the East (im grossen weiten deutschen Osten). The appeal was printed in the journal Wille und
Greifelt, an official of the Commissariat for Strengthening Germanism in the East, in the journal
Siedlung und Wirtschaft for March 1941, gave them further encouragement. He said:
"In the allocation of farms and artisans' workshops the question of what finances the applicant
possesses will play no part whatever."
But there were those who expressed doubts. Herr Brokelman, an official concerned with the question
of agricultural workers, said with touching sincerity in the Ostdeutscher Beobachter of March 21st:
"Probably there will be no difficulty in getting new German owners for the land in the East.
But will it be possible to give them German agricultural labourers also? Without that it will not be possible to speak of
a genuine Germanization."
The great output of energy involved in all this propaganda reflects the difficulties encountered
in the attempt to Germanize the Polish lands, and their anxiety concerning the permanent maintenance of these areas as German.
In this field the Polish people, 70% of whom work on the land, love the land and cultivate it with enviable obstinancy and
endurance, is a dangerous rival to the German, which is consumed with desire for the alluring life of the cities and for the
occupations of trade and commerce. This is the main reason for the radical and brutal deportation of Poles from their land,
and it also explains the German's fundamental difficulty in colonizing the lands which they have seized.
On the other hand, the devotion of the Pole to his native soil and his deeply-rooted national
instinct,which is always closely bound up with his love of the soil, constitute the source of the strength and faith of the
Polish nation and its deep conviction that, after the terrible events of to-day, after the Polish lands have been recovered
from the German invader, Poland will once more take the path of continuous development and progress, the path so brutally
interrupted by the German invasion in September, 1939.
End of Chapter Five
End of Part II