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Statement

The Polish Policy of Atrocity

During the twenty years of Polish domination, [the] Germans in Poland had become used to injury and want. Devoid of every right and protection, they were also prepared for their position to become more threatening and subject to more intolerable pressure as the German-Polish relations aggravated. During the last weeks before the outbreak of war, they were under such pressure and their private life so continually watched by Polish spies, that they already scented the danger that was being brought about by the work of agitation, emanating from secret and public Polish sources. [But] not even the worst pessimist had ever visualized that the wide-spread menaces, attacks, and acts of violence would increase and reach the point of the massacre of men, women, and children, or that these murders would ever reach the gruesome total of over 58,000. One could feel the abysmal hatred that the Poles had for anything German; hatred that was being engendered by an anti-German press, radio and pulpit propaganda. The Warsaw rulers gave proofs daily of their hostile attitude towards any sincere understanding. This manifested itself even down to the subordinate official positions, where a white-hot fanaticism culminated in treating all Germans as spies and suspected enemies of the State. It was known that the Association of the West [Polski Związek Zachodni, or "Westverband"], rebels, and rifle corps were planning evil, and that Polish Youth organisations, above all the boy scouts, were being systematically trained under military supervision in the use of firearms. Outbursts of racial propaganda could be read in the Polish press; in just the same way the poisoned atmosphere emanating from the excessive provocation of public agitators could be felt more and more every week as it spread and penetrated deeper and deeper amongst the Polish population. The result was that even the more reasonable Polish elements were dragged into the vortex, which swept away any sensible thought or moral feeling towards minority Germans already pursued and tortured. It was a political psychosis which enabled every Pole to feel that he might commit any kind of deed, even the most terrible, against minority Germans, and without the slightest restraint.

During the last days of August 1939, Germans were openly menaced in villages with the expressions: "Slaughter them off".1 In the towns Germans were the victims of insane incitement, leading to a state of boycott, terror, and direct danger to life, which the Warsaw Government tolerated and encouraged. This outbreak of concentrated fury and Polish national passion directed against everything German and invoked by the Polish officials, seemed to be the unavoidable solution for putting an end to the intolerable tension between Germany and Poland. When, therefore, on Sept. 1, 1939 the ever increasing avalanche of defence measures against the Polish provocations and attacks, which led to open raids by Polish soldiery into German territory, culminated in the entry of German troops into Poland, the last pillars of State discipline collapsed with the flight of the Polish authorities. A deluge of ghastly acts of bloodshed like an unparalleled storm burst over the heads of German men and women. These, although conscious of their defenceless state,2 were by no means faint-hearted, for they were comforted in their firm belief in their impending liberation. A few had indeed been able to save themselves in time by flight to safety3 over the frontiers of the Reich and to Danzig; in spite of repeated Polish statements to the effect that in case of war all Germans would be murdered and all German farms would be burnt down, most of the Germans stuck to their homes and possessions, part of which had been acquired or inherited from former settlements or by honest purchase hundreds of years ago, because they themselves could not believe that the menaces of murder would ever be carried out. What was the reason for all classes of Poles participating in the excesses committed against Germans? Why did that portion of the Polish population which for years had lived in harmony with their German neighbours in town and country hardly lift a hand to protect Germans exposed to lawlessness? Why did Poles, without the slightest reason, attack the one or other German – known or unknown to them –, why were they willing to take part in these indescribable atrocities? The answer to all this is that all action against Germans had been carefully planned beforehand; it had been definitely ordered.

The question arises: could not Christian and religious principles in such a devoutly Catholic country have proved sufficient to ensure a moral and disciplinary bulwark against such wanton excesses? On the contrary, the massacre of Protestant clergy, the destruction of Protestant rectories, the burning and pillaging of Protestant churches4 show clearly that the old adage of Protestant = German, Catholic = Pole, made the distinction of creed the instrument and tool of political murder. In many cases it was enough to be German and Protestant to be arrested.5 Sympathy for Germany or German connections were sufficient: even Catholic Germans were relentlessly pursued and killed, and Catholic priests themselves were ill-treated because of their sympathy towards the German element. Even the reproach to a German that he sent his child to a German school and that during the 20 years of Polish domination he had not learnt to master the Polish language, was sufficient to have him killed.6 He who was master of the Polish language and able to make himself understood in the Polish language or even he who stated he was a Pole, was spared:7 this is proof that only German lives and property were envisaged [targeted]. Further proof of this is shown by the fact that the hordes, whether in company of Polish soldiers or alone, only searched homes, attics and cellars of Germans. They were brought out into the street and where no Germans were present, the locality was left without disturbing a single hair of any Pole.8 Germans were murdered indiscriminately and regardless of age, creed or sex, whether peasant, farmer, teacher, clergyman, doctor, merchant, workman or factory-owner, no class or rank was spared. The victims were shot without trial – there was never any legal reason for the massacre of Germans. They were shot, tortured to death, beaten and stabbed without any reason at all,9 and most of them, furthermore, were maimed in the most bestial way. These murders were intentional, and for the greater part, committed by Polish soldiers, police and gendarmes, but also by armed civilians, schoolboys and apprentices (P.W., O.N.).10 Rebels in uniform, members of the West Marches Society [Polski Związek Zachodni, or "Westverband"], rifle corps, railwaymen, and released convicts were in the motley crowd that took part in these murders.11 Everywhere a definite method governed the procedure, from it could be [20] deduced that a centralized system of murder was being practised.12 That these unheard-of cruel individual and mass-murders were carried on in such a way is explained by the mentality of the Pole, and his habit to incline to cruelty and torture. The proverbial courage of the Pole corresponds with his equally proverbial cunning and deceit. Innumerable Polish murderers present themselves to our eyes as crafty and bloodthirsty creatures. Denunciation and treachery are expressions of the Polish national character, from which elements the brutal mentality and lust for murder emanate. All that occurred in and around Bromberg, Posen and Pless, in the days of September 1939, is nothing but a repetition of the bloodshed that occurred in Upper Silesia during the Polish riots in 1920/21, which, at the time, shocked public opinion throughout the civilized world.

The hunt for minority Germans in the towns and villages was carried out more or less according to the following system; following the command Nr. 5913 repeatedly broadcast by the Warsaw Government on Sept. 1, a modus operandi which must have been agreed upon beforehand with provincial authorities, the provincial governments instructed the local police immediately to enforce the orders of arrest already drawn up and provided with consecutive numbers, against the minority Germans. These warrants did not include the new arrivals within the last few weeks, proof in itself that the orders had been prepared long before.14 In accordance with these orders, the minority Germans were arrested without reason being given, and carried off to the police-station in the shortest possible time. Some were questioned (others were not) with the intention of trying to force a confession to the effect that they had been actively engaged as spies or enemies of the State. They were either thrown into prison or sent home under the impression that they were free men. Often, all their papers of identification were taken away by the police; they were liberated without these papers being returned, with instructions to call for them later. This "later" was destined to become "never". Either they never got so far, or, if they did, they never came back; they were murdered in the meantime.15 They were severely ill-treated on their way to or from the police station and in the prison cells. They were kicked, beaten with rifle butts, spat on, and subjected to the most awful words of abuse. Those who had not been arrested, interned or abducted, were, in accordance with exact lists, fetched out of their homes and either beaten to death or shot down by soldiers, police, or armed civilians, chiefly led by men of unsavoury reputation, wholly anti-German.16 Anyone asking what was the reason for such persecution, or why his arrest had been made, was answered with a shot in the neck, blows from the butt of a rifle, or stabs with a bayonet.

As a rule, when people were fetched by force and ill-treated, these acts were accompanied by house searches for weapons, secret wireless transmitters, wireless receiving sets and suspicious documents. No Germans had any weapons because for years conditions had rendered this impossible. It was sufficient to find a child's percussion-cap pistol to justify a murder.17 It actually happened that an accusation was made that a weapon had been found; actually this weapon had been concealed by the Poles on the spot beforehand, or during the interrogation. As regards the search for hidden ammunition, a cartridge was secretly laid on a cupboard during the search; the discovery of this cartridge was then brought forward as proof of guilt.18 [Or,] a minority German's notebook was taken away, drawings of an incriminating nature were secretly made inside; this was then used as a corpus delicti. We have evidence of a case in which Polish infantry asserted that a hand-grenade had been found in a house. Finally, however, a Polish soldier intervened and honestly declared that he had seen another Polish soldier put it there. This saved the minority German's life.19 In towns, a systematic signal for concerted action against Germans was usually the sudden explosion of a shot in the midst of the seething crowds;20 instantaneously cries echoed from the streets: "The Germans have started shooting! Catch them! Kill the Germans, the Huns, the Swine, the Spies!" In spite of knowledge to the contrary and without the slightest justification, Germans were accused of shooting. This gave the Polish soldiers sufficient excuse for shooting Germans in pursuance of the object aimed at by the bandits and indicated by the agitators, namely, the complete extermination of all Germans.21 Thereupon the howling and enraged mob blindly attacked and overwhelmed civilians of both sexes. Often women in a frenzy of fanaticism indicated to soldiers, who were strangers to the locality, where Germans lived. The soldiers forced their way in and stabbed or shot the Germans. For the most part, male Germans of every age, including children, down to infants of 2½ months, were murdered.22 Although mainly men of military age, especially between the ages of 16 and 25, were killed, later on even German women and girls were not spared, and for weeks after those sordid events, death notices in the Deutsche Rundschau in Bromberg as well as in the Posener Tageblatt give an appalling survey of how German men, women, old men, cripples, invalids and children were done to death at the murderous hands of the Poles, and how most of them were mutilated in a ghastly way and robbed.

The type of injury (shots in the neck, stabs in the eye-sockets, crushing of skulls with rifle butts and exposing the brain, shots in the head fired straight down, etc.) is singularly uniform in all the different localities where murder took place. A definite conclusion could be formed from the uniformity of time and method in which these outrages were committed against the German minority, that the organization of bloodshed among Germans was carried out in a uniform manner. In any case, the conclusion arrived at by the medico-legal experts, resulting from the examination of hundreds of murder cases, is that there is a remarkable similarity in the type of injury. Presence of mind saved the lives of some who either feigned death or were fortunate enough not to have suffered fatal wounds.23

Mass arrests, abductions, ill-treatment and murders of minority Germans have been proved to have taken place in all parts of Poland, wherever Germans had settled or become domiciled, among other places, besides Warsaw, in the district of Chelm, in Volhynia and in Vilna. They attained an exceptional degree of intensity where Germans were massed in comparatively large numbers and where, in consequence, arrangements for evacuation could not be carried out in an organised and methodical way, owing to the rapid advance of the German troops. The murderous outrages of both soldiers and civilians were at their worst in those districts where years of agitation had completely poisoned the soul of the Pole, and where an analysis of the population showed a high percentage of minority Germans, and where the political frenzy of the Poles reached its climax. This explains the fact that those who were made to suffer more severely under the Polish lust for blood were in particular the German settlements in the Posen region, the preponderantly German villages, and those with a preponderance of German blood in the lowlands of the Vistula, as well as Bromberg, town and district, with its high percentage of German population. Here whole villages and families were completely exterminated.24

The worst persecutions of Germans took place between Aug. 31 and Sept. 6, 1939. They reached their climax on the "Blood Sunday", Sept. 3, in Bromberg and terminated about Sept. 17/18 with the liberation of the abducted victims by the arrival of German troops near Lowitsch. The Germans were usually herded together, driven off and massacred in isolated spots, in numbers ranging from 39, 48, 53 to 104 at a time.25 Wherever [single, individual] Germans were found shot or beaten to death, they were discovered on the thresholds of their houses, in the courtyard or garden, along the road, unburied, sometimes merely covered with leaves and branches, often only hurriedly covered with a thin layer of earth. In nearly every case there were ghastly mutilations such as eyes gouged out, teeth smashed, brains oozing out of the skulls; tongues torn out, abdomens slit open, broken arms and legs, fingers hacked off, feet and lower portions of the legs chopped off. Those who were massacred in this way lay bound together with ropes in twos or threes, or were placed in rows, hands tied to their backs with ropes and straps. [25] They lay in the ditch of a field, on the edge of a wood, or on the shore of a lake26 whither they had been driven, often only to be slaughtered by a shot in the neck. Many victims were only found six, seven or even eight weeks later, and at some distant spot. Many bodies were completely smeared with dirt and blood. In a number of cases the mutilations had taken place whilst the murdered person was still alive.

Wherever Germans had succeeded in fleeing from their homes and property in time, to hide in cellars, attics, plough furrows, hedges, woods, ditches or in fields of potatoes, beetroot [turnip] and sunflowers, they were often betrayed by Polish neighbours and hunted out by hordes of politically fanatical residents, Polish adolescents of from 17 to 20 years of age,27 ill-treated and then beaten to death. These hordes were armed with weapons of every possible description – fence stakes, cudgels, knives, iron bars, axes, choppers, daggers, spades, whips, hay forks, pickaxes, stanchions, lead-tipped sticks, and then again with sabres, pistols and rifles. Where did the civilians, especially these adolescents, get these weapons from? How did all these incited and immoral elements come into possession of such instruments of murder? It was no mere chance that they were in possession of these weapons. They had either been distributed by the local Police offices or served out by the magistrates shortly before the administrative officials left, i.e. the Polish officials aided and abetted these acts of violence and murders of Germans.28 Sometimes it was one or more of the ringleaders who with their wild behaviour goaded the masses into the desire to kill their German-born fellow citizens. Working in close cooperation with the Polish soldiers, air-raid wardens were also outstanding in their cruelty. Though the greater part of these murders were committed by soldiers belonging to scattered units, or by the rear-guard in flight and by parties of sappers, the participation of regulars and even Polish officers in these murders has been definitely established. It was not only the remarks of the Polish military: "We shall stamp out the Germans root and branch",29 or the orders to shoot Germans, which prove the part taken by commissioned and non-commissioned officers in these acts of murder, but also the systematic use made of whips in rounding up Germans forcibly carried off, and the use of the pistol by Polish officers to kill them. These Polish officers have stated that they had orders to shoot Germans.

The civilian assassins and their accomplices belonged to every class of the Polish population. They were mainly composed of members of the West Marches Society [Polski Związek Zachodni, or "Westverband"] and of the Association of Reserves as well as of the Rebel Association, officially supported by the Kattowitz Provincial Governor Grazynski. They were labourers, workmen, parish employees, clerks, locksmiths, mechanics, electricians, chauffeurs, hairdressers, foresters, dental-mechanics, book-keepers, railway guards, gardeners, weavers, roof layers, slaters, butchers, cattle dealers, rarely peasants, but very often railwaymen.30 Wherever hordes of armed civilians struck down or shot minority Germans in the open street, Polish soldiers and police present on the spot made no attempt to interfere.31 Searches effected in houses, gardens, courts or cellars were generally carried out by these bands of assassins, on their own initiative or accompanied by Polish soldiers. Both soldiers and civilians took an equal part in the destruction of furniture and household articles, in the theft of money, jewels [jewelry], linen, documents, watches, fountain-pens etc. Accompanied by the curses of the incited mob and exposed to blows, cuffs, kicks and stabs, and missiles such as bottles and stones, the Germans, completely defenceless, were driven to the police or more often to soldiers who were complete strangers to the locality, who in their turn, no less than the police and gendarmes, ill-treated and killed them without rhyme or reason. The derisive attitude of the Polish soldiers towards any idea of morality or right sprang from politico-psychological roots; every kind of influence having been employed in the barracks to create a general atmosphere against everything German especially by the repeated orders of the Polish Government, clergy, subordinate officials, as well as certain quarters financed by the authorities, to eliminate all trace of the established German element. Thus so many murders took place against "persons unknown," just because the persecuted, abducted and ill-treated people happened to be Germans, and as such had to disappear to comply with the Government's watchword which, in the meantime, had become popular opinion.

A sordid chapter dealing with the atrocities committed on minority Germans is the active part taken by fanatical Polish women, married women, widows, and unemployed, acting as informers to the soldiers as to the whereabouts of minority Germans and demanding their murder.32 The attitude of these Polish women had an intensifying effect on the general lust for murder and roused the baser instincts of the marauding hordes. Whatever fanatical women did to defenceless abducted victims is no less reprehensible than the acts of the armed women who joined the francs-tireurs.

The method and degree of cruelty gives the Polish atrocities a special place in the history of political murders in the 20th century. The number of German-born children, of school or under-school age, who were killed or shot33 is just as indicative of the unscrupulous pursuit of the official murder policy against anything of German origin as is the fact that the victims of fanatical hatred were tortured in a most bestial manner, many of them being forced to dig their own graves [with their bare hands]34 and that the fatally wounded were exposed to a more or less lengthy period of mortal agony.35 Again, the ill-treated were bound with cow ropes and were left to die of hunger and thirst; war invalids, wearers of artificial limbs and sick people were forced to march for impossible distances; dead horses or dogs were thrown on the mutilated bodies of Germans as an expression of contempt.36 Even a pregnant woman was murdered shortly before parturition.37 No pity was shown to a child begging for its life38 or to the sobs of the small boy clinging moaning and terrified to the arms of his mother.39 The plea for grace [mercy] was answered with blows with the fist.40 German-born men were killed before the eyes of their wives and children, boys torn from their mothers' sides; relations were prevented from giving relief to the groaning victims. German-Polish men and women brought forward to be shot were lined up with their faces to the wall and made to bend their knees, while rifles were aimed at them without being actually fired; this form of martyrdom was repeated time after time, so that these tortured people were completely demoralised and in a state of mental despair before they were killed. Hearts were torn from the corpses,41 those who lay dying on the ground were trampled upon,42 and those already beaten to a state of unconsciousness were kicked in the face, or dragged to death with horse-reins; others had their noses cut off, their eyes gouged out, or were castrated. All this demonstrates so clearly the bestial attitude of the Polish murderers and assassins, that no surprise can be felt at the fact that in certain cases the corpses were even put on view for money, amid the applause of the ghoulish mob. All this was the outcome of the political complex of a complete moral and spiritual degeneration that had taken this country of Poland in its grip.43 An exact picture showing to what extent rape took place is not available. Rape on German women and girls can be proved to have taken place and for no other reason than that "they were Germans."44 But a great many women from a sense of shame concealed the fact that they had been raped and numerous women hanged themselves for the same reason.45

The sufferings of the German farmer were certainly even greater than those of the Germans in the towns, because each one was left entirely to his own resources on his own farm, and they were not able to assist one another to the same extent. The farmers were exterminated to such an extent that some villages had only a single survivor as eye-witness of the Polish atrocities. 20 victims lay in a meadow not far from the shooting-range at Hohensalza – "all big strong men",46 "lying singly and each having been killed by numerous shots; many of the bodies were still warm. The execution was carried out by a lieutenant and ten men of the Polish army."47 Another twenty-nine horribly mutilated farmers belonged to the purely German village of Slonsk, founded by German settlers: all of the male population of this 300-year-old purely German village on whom the Poles could lay their hands, whole families were cold-bloodedly shot and terribly mutilated by soldiers of the 63rd Infantry Regiment from Thorn.48 The property of the German farmers of Langenau and Otteraue are in blackened ruins, having been burnt down by Polish soldiers, and their inhabitants are almost all murdered. A somewhat different picture presents itself in the Posen district. Here village elders and agricultural labourers, in league with soldiers, set the barns on fire, drove away the cattle, robbed and blackmailed [extorted money from] the Germans.49 And in all the towns the Germans were herded together into columns and marched away into the interior of Poland. A "class-war" spirit directed against the German estate owners combined here with the general anti-German agitation among the Polish masses.

Were no consciences stirred when the minority Germans were herded together in hundreds in every street, and marched away in thousands into the interior of the country? Pregnant women, children, war-invalids, cripples, old men and women – names like Professor Bonin, 83 years old, of Lissa; Bohrmann, an 82 year old market gardener of Schönsee; Fräulein Schnee, 76 years old; Rector Assmann of Bromberg, 70 years old; all of them Germans of high repute among Poles as well as Germans. Tied together in twos, handcuffed, many of them bare-footed, some dressed only in shirts and trousers, some in slippers, underclothes or dressing gowns, some dragged directly from their beds – in this manner they came from Bromberg and Posen, from Lissa and Grätz, from Schroda and Schrimm, Obornik and Wollstein, leaving their [30] homes behind them, carried away by brutal guards who cursed them, beat them and stabbed them with their bayonets. They held together through thick and thin, supported and carried one another forward, suffered hunger and thirst and the brutal contempt of their guards in dogged silence. Their feet bleeding and festering, many burning with fever, some of them half-mad from suffering; 20, 25 or 30 miles a day in forced marches, on and on, almost without a pause, eastwards and still further eastwards – their destination Bereza-Kartuska, ill-famed Polish internment camp; "there they would find their end soon enough."50 Passing Polish soldiers, made furious by having been forced into rapid retreat by the advancing German troops, struck savagely at the physically and mentally exhausted Germans. Polish officers also shot some of them down, and mishandled women and the sick with whips and [riding] crops.51 Children of 3 to 5 years, tied to their parents, were driven along with the rest.

Polish spies, scoundrels and convicts mixed with the Germans and tried to take advantage of their dazed misery. All of a sudden someone would shout: "All clear, run for it!" and when the wretched prisoners attempted to make for the open country they were shot down by police and soldiers. There were strict orders to shoot anyone who lagged behind,52 and one officer ordered that those who did not keep up with the column should be struck down with rifle butts.53 The order was carried out so thoroughly that many hundreds of minority Germans remained behind, shot or struck down dead, filling the roads and ditches, pitiful evidence of Polish lust for murder. The prisoners fed themselves with swedes [turnips] and were compelled to sleep in the open even in rainy weather. They got water from dirty puddles and duck-ponds, or had it poured out for them, filthy and undrinkable, from petrol cans. Painfully seldom were they allowed a ration of even this foul water with which to moisten their lips.

The extent of the cruelty shown to the minority Germans in these columns of prisoners is shown by the fact that, whilst being driven through the little town of Schrimm, 25 Germans were beaten to death and the rest of the column mishandled in such a way that even resident Poles, amongst them a Prior, protested, without however being able to stop the atrocities.54 When a halt was made, the Germans were often "drilled" – forced, for instance, to kneel for an hour, those who fell over being struck dead, others, weak from exhaustion, "shot down like dogs".55 Women and old people were not spared these "drills". In the Posen column, a war-invalid, Herr Schmolke, who had two artificial limbs, was shot, together with his wife, his 15-year-old daughter and his son aged 18 months, when their strength gave way.56 Two other disabled men, one called Jentsch of Rakwitz, and the other, the 65-year-old Kiok of Wongrowitz (both had wooden legs), suffered the same fate – no wonder that many soon became so utterly hopeless that they committed suicide.57 Some began to have the wildest hallucinations. One imagined that he saw splendid castles, another "saw a firework display." A terrified cry from one of the prisoners, who was dreaming, brought a hail of bullets into the middle of the German group. The lives of human beings were naturally of no importance when those human beings were Germans. It was worst of all when shots were fired wildly into the ranks of the marching prisoners from behind, by their rear guard, or when men saw their fathers or friends die by their side simply because they could not continue marching for mile after mile with their arms raised aloft. Torn from their homes, driven forward like cattle and threatened every minute with death, these Germans were marched on towards Kolo-Klodowa, towards Kutno, Lowitsch and Turek-Tulischkow. The column of unfortunates from Warsaw reached the hell of Bereza-Kartuska.58 Even weeks after being liberated many were still suffering terribly as a result of the mental and physical torture they had gone through, and many finally succumbed to the after-effects of their terrible experiences in these groups, completely broken in health by the superhuman exertions they had been subjected to by the brutality of their Polish oppressors.59 The atrocious cruelty of the Poles to the minority Germany in these marches of prisoners is one of the greatest blots on the already so sordid history of minorities in our time.60

Everything in the nature of atrocity which was inflicted by the Poles on the minority Germans, was done not out of an individual desire for revenge, nor for personal reasons; it was not the product of class-hatred or envy of the wealthier man, but simply of political mass-antagonism; it was nothing more nor less than organised massacre, not due to any sudden excess of fury amongst masses which had got out of hand, but to a systematic agitation which, playing upon that lust of murder and robbery which is an essential part of Polish mentality, resulted in cruelties of all kinds. The motive for these atrocities lies deep in the soul of the Pole, it is politico-pathological. The hate-imbued will to exterminate everything German was the driving power behind the atrocity campaign, which was nurtured by press, wireless and Government,61 as well as from pulpits and barracks. It was probably only in the case of the robberies committed by Polish farm-hands in the Posen countryside that personal gain was the motive; all the rest was done merely to satisfy the feeling of revenge against the Germans with their higher standard of culture. The Pole has never lost his inferiority complex in regard to the Germans.

The Germans in Poland have always during the 20 years of Polish domination been regarded and treated by the Polish authorities and a large part of the Polish public62 as "disloyal citizens". Suspected unjustly of being spies, and accused of being actively engaged in espionage for the Reich, the minority Germans were ever under the shadow of Polish suspicion. Poland never found a way of establishing a loyal and peaceful relationship between herself and the German minority. Daily intercourse between minority Germans and Poles was a permanent danger to the lives of the former, due to Polish chauvinistic anti-German propaganda on the one side and the lack of protection from the Polish authorities on the other. This unbearable state of affairs, which had existed for years, reached its climax during the weeks prior to the outbreak of war, once the Poles had become convinced that by reason of the guarantee of assistance by the British Government, there was no further need for them to place any restraint on their provocative attitude or their shameful behaviour. The blank cheque given to Poland by Britain not only stiffened Poland's political backbone, but encouraged or even directly incited her to commit these ghastly acts of atrocity. The determination of the British war-mongers to destroy Germany was unmasked and laid bare to the whole world in all its mercilessness by the Polish atrocities. The full guilt of the British clique, whose despotism all the world over is founded on lies, oppression, cruelty and murder, has been irrefutably proved for all time by the documentary evidence on some of the most horrible crimes in the history of mankind, contained in this volume.





1Murder of Sieg (Sd. Is. Bromberg 819/39). ...back...

2"A perpetual state of anxiety reigned as no one was any longer sure of his life... The whole night they slunk round the house, and this furtive slinking, the proximity of a permanent danger was very difficult to endure" – this is how the Rector's wife, Frau Lassahn of Bromberg-Schwedenhöhe, characterizes the heavily laden atmosphere of ill-boding, just prior to the "Blood Sunday" in Bromberg. (Eye-witness report of Frau L.). The 32-year old minority German Gerhard Grieger expresses himself similarly, shortly before he was bestially murdered: "I have a terrible feeling, I feel as though I am being perpetually watched, and think it would be the best thing to clear out". Then again the witness Judge (retired) Klabun of Bromberg confirms that "everywhere they slunk around us and watched us"... (Criminal proceedings against Nowitzki and others, Sd. K. Ls. Posen 28/39). ...back...

3How tragic is the case of Vicar Reder of Mogilno, who at the time of his order for internment was on holiday in Zoppot, so that he had ample opportunity for flight. In spite of this he obeyed the order, so as to be together with the members of his parish and his co-internees during the days of trouble. He was shot down with a pistol by the Commandant of the railway station of Glodno and after receiving several blows with the butt of a rifle he was given the "coup de grāce" by Polish Military guard (OKW. HS. Ins. Br. 80). ...back...

4Protestant churches and parish halls were destroyed and burnt in Bromberg-Schwedenhöhe, in Hopfengarten near Bromberg, in Gr. Leistenau near Graudenz, in Kl. Katz near Gotenhafen. The number of vicarages robbed and pillaged has not been ascertained. A "house search" in the Protestant Consistory in Posen is further evidence of wanton destruction. In the Parish Church of Bromberg and in St. Peter's Church in Posen, altars were defiled and the altar lights destroyed, bibles and altar cloths were torn to rags. (Periodical Junge Kirche, dated Nov. 4, 1939). ...back...

5The witness Kube, Bromberg, 13 Bergkolonie, deposed on oath that a soldier, who had forcibly entered her apartment, questioned her nephew Karl Braun, who was on a visit, as to his name and religion.(!) On [After] Braun's truthful declaration as to who he was and that he was a Protestant, he was arrested and carried off. Since then no trace of him has been found and it would appear that he had been shot (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 32/39). ...back...

6Eye-witnesses' statements on the murder case Kala/Keller in Kardorf (Sd. Is. Posen 42/39) and criminal proceedings against Jan Lewandowski (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 85/39). ...back...

7The minority German Ferdinand Reumann in Schulitz saved himself from being carried off and killed by maintaining that he was Polish and by speaking in Polish to the soldiers; he was the only survivor of 13 Germans (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 31/39). ...back...

8Statement by the Polish witnesses Maria Szczepaniak and Luzia Spirka of Bromberg, who were hidden in an air raid cellar together with Germans (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 12/39). ...back...

9"Never before have I seen faces so distorted with fury or bestial expression – they had certainly ceased to be human beings –" stated the eye-witness Paul Zembol of Pless (WR I). ...back...

10P.W. = Przysposobienie Wojskowe, i. e. an organization for the pre-military training of youths under military supervision. O.N. = Obrona Narodowa, i. e. reservists mobilized at a later date. ...back...

11At a few places, convicts also took part in the atrocities against the Germans; but the statement coming from a Polish quarter, that the escaped or liberated criminals were the main perpetrators and that the atrocities against Germans, for example in and near Bromberg, are to be ascribed principally to the criminals who escaped in Crone-on-the-Brahe – or that similar atrocities against Germans in the neighbourhood of Thorn were due to criminals who broke out in Fordon – is refuted by the fact that in those places hardly any pillaging or thefts occurred, and further by the identification by name of the perpetrators and accomplices, verified in the investigations and criminal proceedings by statements of reliable witnesses. The erroneous and tendentious Polish statement that convicts and similar rabble had incited the soldiers and civilians to acts of violence is absolutely contradicted by the results of the juridical proceedings. ...back...

12The declaration of the 17 year-old Pole, Bernhard Kokoczynski, interrogated and condemned for serious breach of the peace by the special court of Bromberg, on September 27, 1939 (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg, 24/39), that he was ordered to hunt up minority Germans, repeats itself several times in the attempts at justification made by the Poles convicted of murder or complicity. The murderers or accomplices relied therefore on instructions. This establishment of fact is parallel with the attitude of nearly all the murderers and the accomplices, who based their action firmly and decisively on the grounds that the Germans had started shooting, and that that was why measures had been taken against them. For this assertion no proof was brought forward in any single case. The unanimity of this assertion points conclusively to the fact that it must have been issued by a central office as a definite basis of action. ...back...

13The broadcast of the Polish Government of Sept. 1 belongs to one of the most important pieces of evidence proving that acts of violence against Germans bore the character of a campaign, centrally organized and under official control: Frau Weise, the wife of the senior physician of the Posen Protestant Deaconess Hospital, together with Dr. Reimann of the same place, give the text of the broadcast heard by them on the morning of Sept. 1, as follows: "Hullo! Hullo! Germans, Czechs and Bohemians! Carry out Command No...... at once." The two witnesses were no longer certain of the actual number. In a verbal statement, Konrad Kopiera, director of the Schicht Trust of Warsaw, definitely remembers the number as 59. Frau Klusseck of Posen, 24 Hohenzollern Straße, heard the following on the afternoon of Sept. 1: "Hullo! Hullo! To all courts, prosecuting attorneys and other authorities. Circular No..... concerning......" after which followed an example of some kind of secret code message which Frau Klusseck could not remember, but it ran more or less like this: 824,358 x 5 ÷ 9 ÷ 4 – "has to be carried out immediately!" Further investigation is being undertaken as regards the number of the circular as well as the code text. ...back...

14There were 3 kinds of warrants of arrest – Red: for arrest and house search, Pink: Internment (supposed to have been applicable particularly to German nationals), Yellow: evacuation from a place of residence with travel permit to definite location in Central or East Poland, as prescribed by the Mayor. As a rule all these colours were treated with the same severity, i. e. those distinguished by the mild "yellow evacuation warrants" were treated in the same way as those abducted in batches under police control (Photographic copies of the warrants of arrest in the archives RKPA 1486/8. 39). ...back...

15The murder case of the brothers Lemke in Bromberg, Nakeler Strasse (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 33/39). ...back...

16The lists played a very important part in the preparation of Polish atrocities. According to Gertrud Becker, servant, of Bromberg-Jägerhof and witness in the murder case of Schröder and Köbke (WR I), "the names of all persons who were in the cellar were called out from a list." The commanders of local rebel organizations had drawn up "Death lists" which served as preliminaries for the massacre of Germans. The sworn statement of the innkeeper Litwa at Landsberg, district of Rybnik, shows that the rebel Kwiotek had drawn up a list of 150 minority Germans "who were to be killed at a convenient moment" (SG. in Kattowitz 19/39). The witness Frau Elvira Diesner in Ciechocinek (WR II) deposed that "the whole Town Council took part in drawing up the black list." Witness Paul Rakette, Pastor of Schokken (WR II), declared that the preparation of the lists was in the hands of all the local administrative authorities. A Polish police sergeant of Rogasen told the witness, innkeeper Ewald Thon, that the "black-list" had been drawn up "by someone in a high position" (WR II). The witness Erwin Boy, a master-tailor of Ostburg, is of the opinion that the Polish village elder was responsible for the drawing up of the lists: without such lists "it would have been impossible for the soldiers to use a piece of paper for calling out our names."
      The entries of "Suspicious" in the military passports of minority Germans liable to military service, or in the discharge certificates, were similar in importance. In all these cases the holders of such papers, with one exception (Eugen Hoffmann), were murdered in Bromberg on Sept. 4. It has been established that all entries of "Suspicious," as well as the discharge papers, constituted an order to the Polish authorities to have the holders of such papers shot (for details see documents RKPA 1488/22. 39 and 1486/24. 39).
      The facts which established that the Polish action against minority Germans was prepared by the officials according to plan, completely contradict the statement of Polish emigrants who maintain that all these acts of atrocity were a form of "reprisal," and that in their flight before the German troops the Poles had carried off minority Germans and, as the position in general became worse and worse, "they killed them out of sheer exasperation." In reality all minority Germans were interned, abducted, ill-treated and murdered in accordance with well-thought-out plans. It was not a spontaneous action resulting from the shock of the entry of German troops into Poland. ...back...

17Verbal statement by the witness Charlotte Korth (WR I). ...back...

18Statements of the witnesses Herbert Schlicht in Bromberg and Anna Krüger in Jägerhof (WR I). ...back...

19Statements of witness Friedrich Weiss, butcher in Wonorce, and Willi Bombicki in Grätz (WR II). ...back...

20In many cases no shot had ever been fired, some Pole simply made a false statement, trying to indicate that from the house of some German a shot had been fired. ...back...

21This signal for action was spread by the press, wireless and chauvinistic associations. It was even proclaimed from the pulpit on that "Blood Sunday" itself in Bromberg (statement of Wladyslaw Dejewski [Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 16/39] accused and convicted of three murders of minority Germans.) Dejewski's statement about the devastating work of anti-German propaganda by the Polish intelligentsia and the clergy, including various other credible statements of his, brings up and touches on a most serious subject: The abuse of the Pulpit and its connection with the political campaign for the extermination of everything German (cf. Document No. 23). Dejewski declares: "had the clergy exhorted us to calm and circumspection, it would never have come to such bloodshed." Here he referred to definite sermons inciting the population made by Canon Sch. in Bromberg shortly before the German troops occupied that town. In these sermons the Canon incites the inhabitants "to resist the Germans to the last drop of blood and to destroy everything German." In his statement before the Special Court at Posen, the Pole Henryk Pawlowski declared: "the population was incited by the clergy" (Murder case Grieger–John, Sd. Ls. Posen 28/39, cf. Document No. 50). ...back...

22According to definite proof, the oldest man murdered was the 86-year-old Peter Rienast of Ciechocinek and the youngest victim the two and a half month old infant Gisela Rosenau of Lochowo, who died of hunger on the breast of her murdered mother. The greatest number by far of the Minority Germans who were beaten to death or shot is represented by the members of the German Association (which was approved according to statute by the Polish Government) as well as by members of the Young German Party. In the case of the inclusion of victims in the "lists" it was principally the most esteemed citizens of German descent who were subject to acts of violence, but smallholders who were absolutely harmless politically, and unemployed German workmen and invalids, were also murdered without exception. ...back...

23For information as to injuries, etc., refer to the memoranda of the medico-legal expert Surgeon Major Dr. Panning and University Lecturer Dr. Hallermann, based on conclusions arrived at from 250 post-mortems (Appendix to the document section). The results of the post-mortems confirm the statements of witnesses made before the special courts and military investigation offices, from which a clear picture is formed showing that the major part of the murders of minority Germans were committed by Polish soldiers. These post-mortems clearly show that the injuries were caused by high-velocity weapons (Army rifles) and also by Army pistols, hand grenades and machine guns. There is also some evidence which indicates the use of dum-dum bullets (OKW. Hs. Ins. Br. 18). ...back...

24Official investigations carried out since the publication of the first edition of this collection of documents concerning atrocities against the German minority in Poland have disclosed a far more terrible situation than was revealed by the graves discovered before November 17, 1939. The numbers of killed and missing as ascertained by the Central Office for the Discovery and Interment of [Murdered] Minority Germans instituted by the Head of the Civil Administration in Posen, have already had to be vastly increased since that date. Not only were far more Germans killed in the surroundings of Posen and within the radius of Bromberg on Blood Sunday, but even Silesia and Central Poland have disclosed such hecatombs of victims that, according to the latest figures available on February 1, 1940, the number of dead and missing in the German minority now amounts with certainty to 58,000, of whom 12,857 have so far been discovered and identified. Heavy frost during the winter months has almost completely interrupted the systematic exhumations and the possibility of identification. The list of missing, compiled from information given by their relatives, leaves no room for doubt that the enormous grave-yard of minority Germans in Poland contains far more than 58,000 victims, all of whom perished in the Polish reign of terror. ...back...

25Among others, 36 murders took place in the Eichdorf settlement, 39 murders at Jesuitersee, 53 murders at Klein-Bartelsee. In the suburb of Jägerhof, near Bromberg, 63 Germans were murdered in one single day. In a mass grave at Slonsk, south-east of Thorn, 58 bodies of minority Germans were discovered. The largest mass grave found close to Tarnowa, north of Turek, on October 14, 1939, contained 104 bodies of Germans, who had been led away in columns from Schroda and were afterwards killed by blows, or shot and mutilated. A mass grave of 40 minority Germans from Thorn and its neighbourhood, discovered close to Alexandrowo, contained such terribly mutilated bodies that only three could be identified (see illustrations). Ghastly discoveries were further made in the Cracow district, in the province of Posen, and east of Klodawa. Between Klodawa and Krosniewice three mass graves were found in the first week of December 1939: each containing between 18 and 20 appallingly mutilated victims of the Polish lust for murder, mainly German farmers from Schrimm and Santomischel. Near the village of Tenczynek, between Kattowitz and Cracow, 20 minority Germans, who had been shot dead, were discovered with their hands bound in a common grave, live hand grenades having been strung between their bodies. Along the Kutno–Lowitsch road 26 bodies of murdered and mutilated members of the German minority were found buried in a number of places, the body of one man having been thrown into an air-raid trench and a latrine for Polish soldiers erected above it. (Communication from the Posen Central Office for Investigating the Graves of murdered Minority Germans). ...back...

26Group of murdered civilians at Jesuitersee R.K.P.A. 1486/9/39. ...back...

27In many places Polish schoolboys were often accomplices, volunteers and even ringleaders. As early as the end of July, 16-year-old boys had already been armed with army rifles. (Witness's statement Hertel in Pless WR I.) ...back...

28In Upper Silesia the Rebels and members of the West Marches Society [Polski Związek Zachodni, or "Westverband"] were the chief perpetrators of acts of violence against the German minority. They had always threatened the Germans "that one day they would be done in," and as early as the beginning of July were equipped by the "Polish military authorities with automatic pistols, light machine-guns and army rifles." (Statement of witness Hertel in Pless WR I.) ...back...

29Sworn statement of the Polish N.C.O. Friedrich Lorenz of Lischkowo. (WR I and Sd. Bromberg. Dated Sept. 28/29, 1939.) – General Bortnowski's remark that "All Germans must be exterminated," is testified to by witness Otto Leischner, teacher [from] Slonsk (WR II). The sworn statement of witness Heinz Friedrich, baker, in Wonorze (Ostburg) reveals that on Aug. 28, 1939, Capt. Czaynert, of the Polish Res. Inf. Regt. 59 in Hohensalza, on the barrack square, prophesied amongst other things, that the Poles would be in Berlin in 3 days, and he continued:... "Boys, when we march into Berlin, we shall kill all the German swine, leaving just enough alive as will have room under a pear tree, and we will have breakfast with these." Finally he said: "Well boys! if you see any Germans on the way you will know what to do." (WR II). ...back...

30The fact that in this list, which could be supplemented by the addition of other professions, no mention is made of members of the academical profession, is explained by the fact that the greater portion of the intelligentsia, the leading classes of Poland, had fled from Poland before the outbreak of hostilities. ...back...

31A few exceptional cases are on record where soldiers arriving on the scene took preventive action against the bloodthirsty Polish civilians (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 88/39); or where a Polish officer liberated a German woman from the assassins' hands (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 91/39). ...back...

32One of the most fanatical examples of hate was shown by the laundrywoman Maria Goralska, of Bromberg: She openly boasted that she had "betrayed many Germans": her mania for murder literally made her "foam at the mouth" (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 88/39). Another Polish woman, Sophie Bednarczyk shouted to the crowd, "All Germans must be slaughtered! The accursed Hitler pigs must be castrated!" (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 73/39). Also the Polish woman Salewski demanded that "Germans should have their throats cut"... (Sd. Is. Bromberg 151/39). The Polish woman Franziska Wolska had a military patrol fetched by a boy and led them into a house belonging to the minority German Rohrbeck: father and son were shot (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 44/39). How Polish women inflicted serious injuries on Germans with various weapons is shown in the testimony of Steinborn in the case of the massacre of Iwno (Sd. Is. Posen 643/39). ...back...

33The medico-legal experts have compiled a list of a number of murdered German-Polish children, whose deaths had doubtless been caused by firearms (OKW. Hs. In. Br. 60; Br. 74, Br. 76, Br. 100; Br. 118, Br. 129, P. 29). ...back...

34Sd. Is. Posen 529/39. ...back...

35In this way the married woman Gollnik of Bromberg was obliged to witness the murder of her husband which was extended over a period of 9 hours (OKW. Hs. In. Br. 110) and Frau Radler in Kleinbartelsee was prevented from giving assistance to her severely injured husband who lay dying for seven hours. (The same Br. 46.) ...back...

36Sd. Is. Bromberg 516/39. ...back...

37OKW. Hs. In. post-mortem No. Br. 127. ...back...

38Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 85/39. ...back...

39RKPA 1486/7.39. ...back...

40Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 14/39. ...back...

41Testimony of N. C. O. Fremke: "A male body was found with its heart torn out; it lay alongside the body" (WR I). ...back...

42The physical and mental torture to which victims of Polish bloodthirstiness were submitted in their mortal agony is typically shown in the sworn statement re. the murders of Steinke and Thom (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 68/39), and Ernst Krüger (Sd. Is. Bromberg 151/39). The witness Pelagia Wieczorek (Polish) of Michelin states under oath that an old man lay dying on the ground and that "the murderers trampled all over him" (Sd. Is. Bromberg 814/39). The witnesses Heinrich Krampitz, electrician, and Anton Hinz, organist, both of Kulm, deposed on oath that the chauffeur Wladislaus Rybicki of Kulm "kicked and stamped on an old man who lay dying from stabs and knife injuries inflicted on him by Polish civilians so violently and so often that the blood squirted up from under his boots" (Sd. Is. Bromberg 117/39). Bruno Bender of Schokken, dairyman, deposed on oath that Polish soldiers beat a minority German to a state of unconsciousness and then "stamped on his head until it was a mere mass of bloody matter" (W R II). ...back...

43Murder case Barnicke (RKPA 1 486/5. 39) and statement of the witness Maria Häuser (WR II). The pregnant were not spared (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 79/39). Found with the genital organs cut off (Sd. Is. Bromberg 151/39). Further statements of the witnesses Siebert and Matthies in Schwersenz (WR II) as well as the murder case Dr. Kirchhoff in Ciolkowo (WR II). "The Germans were to be run over by lorries" (Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 117/39) – Whenever a body was found bound hand and foot, but with no visible injury, it must be assumed that the victim was buried alive. (Witness Otto Hofmann, merchant of Hohensalza, WR II). In Nessau (district of Thorn), 14 minority Germans were shot on Sept. 4, 1939, and made to dig their own graves beforehand. Amongst these was the farmer Kurt Poschadel, who had been only slightly wounded. When Poschadel pleaded with the Polish soldiers to shoot him, their answer was derisive laughter; "one bullet was quite enough for a German". Poschadel was then buried alive. Several eye-witnesses of this case were afterwards able to establish the fact that the earth which had been shovelled on to Poschadel moved repeatedly. The following statement, showing the strongest sentiment of hatred towards Germans, was made by a high Polish military doctor of Ciechocinek, a representative of the Polish intelligentsia, who stated to the victims abducted from Bromberg: "If you can't stand the fellows before the machine-guns, then send them to me for my operating table!" (This statement was taken from the written complementary [supplementary] declaration of Chief Editor G. Starke in Bromberg and is from a book on his personal experiences; see documentary section). Ludwig Arrandt in Hohensalza (WR II) testifies that those abducted were refused medical attention and admission to Polish hospitals. ...back...

44The statements of the witnesses Hedwig Daase in Slonsk (WR II) and Vera Gannott in Bromberg (WR I and Sd. K. Ls. Bromberg 86/39). ...back...

45The widow of the farmer Hammermeister, Minna Hammermeister, 40 years old, was raped by a Polish First-Lieutenant. The unhappy woman was forced to march to Lowitsch, but was eventually rescued there. Observing the results of the rape after her return home, she hanged herself. Hammerstein himself had been murdered by Polish bandits. ...back...

46Statement of the witness Josef Pirschel, gardener, of Hohensalza (WR II). ...back...

47Eye-witness report of Felix Stefanski, mechanic's apprentice Hohensalza (WR II). ...back...

48A farmer, Artur Daase, of Slonsk stated, "I and another farmer who had the good fortune to escape after being carried off, are the only German farmers who remained alive in the whole northern part of Slonsk" (WR II). ...back...

49Rings were stolen from the hands of the dead (the murder of Burkat, Sd. Is. Posen 38/39). In Schwersenz Polish women land-workers mishandled arrested German women in the most brutal manner, tearing off their clothes, stockings and shoes, and robbing them under the eyes of Polish soldiers (Trial of Luczak, Sd. Is. Posen 55/39). ...back...

50Remarks made by members of the Polish guard accompanying the column of abducted Germans to Lowitsch, corroborated by the statement in court of the witness Wawrezin Dmagala, a Polish groom (WR II). ...back...

51Description of Herr Wiesner, estate-manager, of Wollstein (WR II). ...back...

52Told by a Polish N. C. O. to the farmer Hermann Netz of Crone a. B. (WR II). ...back...

53Report of Pastor Bickerich of Lissa (WR II). ...back...

54Report about the march of abducted Germans from [to] Schrimm (Sd. Is. Posen 243/39). ...back...

55Report of his experience by Pastor Rakette, of Schokken (WR II); others were "shot like hares running before the beaters" (see elsewhere). ...back...

56Eye-witness accounts of Father Breitinger and Otto Kaliske (WR II). ...back...

57Report of Wilhelm Romann of Wongrowitz (WR II). Starke (Bromberg) reports how a young German, in despair, severed the artery of his neck (eye-witness report WR II). A farmer, Drescher (Czempin), stated that one of his comrades "jumped into a water-hole in order to drown himself." (WR II). ...back...

58Eye-witness report of Father Odilo Gerhard (Document section). ...back...

59So far it has not been possible to come to a final conclusion as to the extraordinary number of minority Germans killed in these marching columns or the number of the columns themselves. It is probable that at least one column was put together in every district town of Posen and West Prussia. ...back...

60Cf. the eye-witness reports of Starke (Bromberg), Father Breitinger (Posen), Military Surgeon Dr. Weise (Posen), Pastor Lesczynski (Kosten), Veterinary Surgeon Schulz (Lissa), estate-owner Dr. Schubert (Grune near Lissa), Pastor Rauhut (Gnesen), Father Odilo Gerhard (Cracow), baker Kaliske (Rakwitz, Wollstein district), Manager Romann (Wongrowitz), Pastor Rakette (Schokken), farmer Glaesemann (Schwersenz), and others. (Cf. Document section.) ...back...

61It is significant of the attitude of the Polish Government that they instantly rejected the suggestion made by the German Foreign Office after the outbreak of war, through the Swedish Legation, to exchange for Polish nationals the minority Germans abducted by the Poles from the areas in the meantime occupied by German troops. (D.N.B. report of 14. 9. 39.) Why the Polish Government rejected this offer made to them purely on the grounds of humanity is quite incomprehensible. ...back...

62Whenever a Pole intervened in earnest on behalf of a minority German, he was intimidated by threats and violence to such an extent that he had to put conscientious objections out of his mind. In spite of this various Poles behaved decently and courageously. Polish landlords and servants are reported to have tried to protect Germans at the risk of their own lives. ...back...



The Polish Atrocities
Against the German Minority in Poland.

Edited and published by order of the Foreign Office
and based upon documentary evidence.
Compiled by Hans Schadewaldt.